Eric Hill

by Andrea Elizabeth

I know I didn’t impress anyone when I revealed I watched Dancing With the Stars this season. I justify it by saying, it’s because of the respectable Olympic skaters, Davis and White, whom I’ve followed for 5 years, that I watched it. But watching people deal with asceticism/hard work mixed with interpreting music, has actually made me think I shouldn’t dis the other contestants either. As with skating, or almost any art-form actually, one has to turn away from the more salacious aspects.

Now I will let my reputation sink further by revealing that I have now succumbed to watching the Bachelorette. This doesn’t have hard work to justify it, except for how hard it is to have a relationship. I’ll tell you that my fascination is to find out why men love women. I’ve always wondered. My observations after watching 3 of the 4 episodes so far:

They want acceptance, if not being impressed, comfort, and encouragement, simultaneously with that beautiful girl needing them for protection. I’ve often thought that a love interest is someone who somehow doesn’t shatter your suspension of disbelief that they are a suitable object of devotion. It almost seems unreal, misplaced, or even idolatrous how a person can expect everything to be ok if that man or woman will connect with him on a certain level. Many of the men seem wounded, and look to Andi to heal them, not that people can’t be instrumental in that. A sad case was a contestant who revealed to another contestant how devastating it was that his dad had never been in the picture, his sister died of an overdose, then his brother had a tragic accident and was in a coma before dying. The saddest part to him was the total devastation of his mother who was left prostrate on the hospital floor beside his IV. He broke down telling it, then said he really wanted Andi to know about it. When he finally gets his chance, it’s anti-climactic. He’s already told the world “what few people know about him,” and I can’t see how she wouldn’t have already known, as well as known how it was almost too important for him to tell her in particular about it in that he was one of 25 guys that she’s barely spent any time with. She seemed very nervous about her reaction being therapeutic enough. But it seems to me like most of the guys, as well as her, are genuinely putting their hearts out there.

Enter Eric Hill. He had the first one-on-one date with her. Ok maybe I’ve seen all 4 shows? It was a very adventurous snow boarding, sand-castle beach building, helicopter ride adventure in which they both hit it off. They were cute together. Then she had to give everyone else a chance and he never understood why. He was very hurt by this. They had one good conversation the last evening where she felt like they cleared the air and after saying he wasn’t open enough. He then, almost desperately, revealed that he had been raised Mormon, but had left the Church, had been afraid his family would reject him, but was very glad they didn’t. She asked some good questions, but you could tell by her stiffening and facial expression that someone who considered religion so seriously wasn’t her cup of tea. He finally had had it later last night and accused her of being “poker faced”. She lost it and pretty much told him to get lost. I have found that conversations where you want someone to like you better usually don’t go well. You hold on to a moment in the past where they seem to have liked you like you want to be liked, and you can’t believe it didn’t last. He took it personally, but really, he was too deep for her. He was a missionary and Peace Corp type person. She seems like a corporate human resources type person, which can be helpful to a point.

There is someone whom she seems the most relaxed around, but I don’t remember his name or what his background is.

Back to Eric. I thought he seemed too desperate to recapture their moment, but if you think it’s the culmination of all your hopes and dreams, I guess you can’t let it go until it’s hopelessly dashed. He seemed to realize that and wanted to be in control and reject her before he didn’t get the rose that night. That way he left under his own steam. That was the last scene before they made the announcement that that was his last appearance on the show, and that he tragically died a few weeks later in a paragliding accident where his wing collapsed in Utah. Shocker after shocker. Here’s a tribute to him from his sister.

Is it just romantic idealists who set such stock in their dream life? Is it just the ones who have a lot going for them, or likewise the arrogant ones, who aim their expectations too high?

Andi does sort of have a poker face around the ones she hasn’t let go yet. I think she genuinely likes them and wants to give them a chance. But you can’t really help who you gravitate towards, as insulting as that may be.