I am single. I've been single for a long time. I haven't even had a date in the past 12 months. Keep all this in mind as you read the following story.
I shared a tender moment with a reality show contestant the other night. It was really sweet. I have a grin on my face as I write this, that's how sweet a moment it was.
I discovered A.J. on a singing competition I happened to stumble upon as I was flipping through the channels. She was introduced to me via a pre-recorded vignette that explained her journey as an "indie artist." Here's what I learned about A.J.: She is 26; hails from a small town in Kentucky I've never heard of; battled a serious case of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder when she was a pre-teen; and had been the frontwoman for a folk-rock trio before going solo.
Oh, and there's one more tidbit about A.J. that was not explicitly mentioned in the vignette, but needs to be noted here: She is cute.
Young, talented, attractive, ADHD-free...how could I (or anyone else) not root for A.J.? It would be silly not to. So I was stunned when I found out that A.J. and a seemingly unremarkable 21-year-old man named Sam had received the fewest number of viewers' votes this week. One of them would be eliminated in a matter of minutes.
As A.J. stood there, awaiting word of her fate, I remarked to no one in particular, she deserves better than this. Based on what I was told in the vignette, she had such a bright future ahead of her. It was too soon for her journey to end. She overcame ADHD, dang it. I wanted a satisfying payoff to that story line.
I noticed that A.J. and Sam were holding hands, a gesture of support between two contestants who were bonded by their experience on the show. I thought, if Sam is eliminated, this is not a bad way for him to go out: holding hands with the lovely A.J. Eventually he'll return to his hometown and tell his friends that this was the highlight of his time on the show. And they'll say, "Dude, I can't believe you got to hold her hand. You are so lucky."
I fantasized about what it would be like to be in Sam's position at that moment. To hold hands with a woman like A.J., who had so much going for her. I would wish her luck. I would whisper encouraging thoughts to her -- thoughts that the host, the judges, the studio audience and the viewers wouldn't be able to hear. I would even softly sing for her a few lines from The Beatles song "I Want to Hold Your Hand," and that would get a smile and a chuckle out of her, because a) I was already holding her hand, and b) we were on a singing show.
Sweet, right? I think it's sweet.
I said to myself, it would be a dream come true to be on a reality show like this one. To have the opportunity to compete in front of millions of viewers, and to have the opportunity to hold the hand of a nice woman like A.J. just before I'm eliminated, in front of millions of viewers.
Like I wrote earlier, I've been single for a long time.