We drive at 88 miles an hour through that scene to the actual future, where we find Jesse confessionalizing that it was nice to see Mandy Jaye "let her guard down," adding that it was "a huge relief" for him to watch her cry over her shattered, god-forsaken family. Because he's an IDIOT.
Do they live on a plantation? Mandy Jaye and Jesse jaunt over from the -- ahem -- country club to Mandy Jaye's house on a golf cart, where the meet Mandy Jaye's mother, stepfather, and brother. Within seconds, Mandy Jaye leads Jesse into an entire room dedicated to photos, trophies, and, yes, the odd sash commemorating her days as a pageant queen. She laughs offhandedly like she feels just SO silly about even showing this stuff to him, but clearly she was gunning for a visit to that room sometime around her father's fiftieth utterance of the words "A-yuh, a-storm's a-comin'" when casting around for reasons he wasn't coming over for dinner. Jesse laments in a confessional that he feels like he had "just broken through her pageant persona" to see her crying, vulnerable, y'know, feminine side. Is that any way to talk about Miss Texas Teen USA?
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.