At the dinner table now, highly untelegenic chicken wings abound as the family steers the conversation to...pageants. And, okay, pageants are scary, and they might affirm the wrong value systems for little girls, and JonBenet's dad is totally the real killer, but still. Point of order. Jesse's main complaint here is that Mandy Jaye's family spends the entirety of the meal talking about their daughter and not enough time asking Jesse about himself to see if he might be right for their daughter. And sure, the families are I'm sure coached to within an inch of their real family sensibilities and encouraged to ask the Bachelor if he thinks it's possible to find true love on television AGAIN. But isn't this such a better way to get to know a family? If I brought someone home to meet my family (anyone interested? Seriously? I've just taken to begging, now), it would be about fourteen minutes before my mother would have them plopped down in front of the television watching my tenth-grade production of Fiddler on the Roof, because I was the greatest Motel the Tailor high school has ever seen. And really, I was quite good. So all I'm saying is that one girl's scary pageant room is another boy's Bar Mitzvah video, and if you're coming over, you're probably also watching that. And you will watch it. And wish you'd been there. And not judge my grandfather's Hebrew when he blesses the bread. And compliment my brother on his poem. You will do all of those things, as I was coronated Mr. Bar Mitzvah Teen USA and my family wants you to know about it. So choke down another chicken wing, quarterback. You're on my home turf now.
"There was definitely a lot of pageant talk at the dinner table," Jesse moans on. "I was a little taken back [sic] by the fact that they didn't have a lot of questions for me...the man who might marry their daughter." Maybe he could have made that comment directly to them, so they could at least have formulated the question "Who died and made you social arbiter of my living room, dink?" in a pinch. "Taken aback." "Aback." It's a mistake. "Aback." I'm not mad. It's just wrong.
After dinner, Mandy Jaye's very, very little stepdad takes Jesse downstairs to, it sounds like, "look at motorcycles." There, they speak a bit more about pageants. Jesse notes that "Mandy Jaye's step dad is obsessed with pageants." Meanwhile, upstairs, Mandy Jaye listens as her mom calls him "cute cute cute" (dialects make things mean different things in the South, right?), and Maydy Jaye tells her, "We'd have some good-lookin' kids." In a confessional, Mandy Jaye's mother notes, "I think Mandy Jaye would make a great NFL wife." I think she'd make a great Lanny's wife. They bid a quick farewell, and Mandy Jaye tells Jesse that she's glad he came to Texas. In a confessional, he tells us that he thinks Mandy Jaye is groovy and all that, but that he doesn't feel like he got to know her better at all. Because her family didn't sit around asking him questions? Maybe if they'd played that sequence in order I wouldn't be quite so taken back.