Tag Archives: dating

How I Ended Up On a Reality TV Show

The Big Choice Makes A Comeback In My Life A Decade Later.

So, I’ve always been a truth seeker. Sometimes even too much. I might even call myself an over-sharer. In an effort to connect with other people I tend to dig deep while sharing and talking. Usually, it’s a good experience and an interesting conversation. However, my stint on the reality tv show was not something positive or something I wanted to share with anyone.

Joe MillionaireBrandy Sullivan-Joe Millionair

Posing in front of the castle outside of Paris. It was 2002 and I was 27 years old.

Back story: I was on a furlough from being a flight attendant post 9/11. I was living in LA, teaching spin classes and waiting tables at Big World Restaurant on Main Street in Santa Monica.  I lived in a cute, little bungalow in Santa Monica right by the promenade with girlfriends. Life was oh so simple. One night I waited on the producers of a dating reality tv show. We instantly connected and got along really well. They convinced to come to an interview for an upcoming reality tv show.  At that time, reality tv was The Real World on MTV and the Bachelor had just started to take off. I hadn’t watched the bachelor so had no idea what I was getting into. I also had zero interest in watching other people date on tv. It seemed boring and the little bit I did hear about the girls seemed caddy and pretentious. Two of my least favorite characteristics.

Back to how I got roped into auditioning for a dating reality tv show when I was 27.

The producers asked me 3 basic questions:

1. Do you like to travel? Yeah! I love it! After being a flight attendant for Northwest Airlines for 3 years prior, I was no stranger to the joy of travel.

2. Are you single? Yeah, super single and on a 6 month no date dry spell to be specific.

3. Would you like to go on an all expense paid trip for a month or longer? Twist my arm-yes please!

I immediately pictured myself on a beach in Taihiti working on my even tan and snorkeling everyday. Or maybe sipping americanos in a cute cafe in Europe reading my Eckhart Tolle Book, A New Earth.  My mind was exploding with awesome travel fantasies.

Needless to say, none of them happened. Yes, I stayed for a week in the castle with 12 other actresses. There was a lot of sitting around waiting and more waiting at all hours of the night. Yes, we left our microphones on in the bathroom, while running outside and any other time. Yes, we woke up to large tv cameras in our face. Startling to say the least.

The producers would set us up to not get along everyday. It was being a kids and playing duck, duck goose and the snowball all at the same time. One day they brought in evening gowns all different sizes and styles. Then they let us loose in the room with the dresses to find a dress to wear. You had to choose a dress but there was one of each kind and no repeat sizes. AWKWARD. Yes, this is how it felt the whole time.

What I remember the most from being on that show is feeling trapped in a divey Best Western hotel in Paris. With no access to the outside world and a bodyguard outside the hotel so you couldn’t step outside for 3 weeks. There were 8 of us girls that got the boot after the second cut. After being driven away in the middle of the night and dumped at the ghetto Best Western, we had to go everywhere in a group to make sure no one “talked” about the show. Secrecy is a big clause for reality tv. No workouts, limited fresh air, McDonalds everyday and no contact with friends and family or the news. It gives me goose bumps to even write about it. It was SO UNCOMFORTABLE! I remember running the stairs in the 6 story hotel and doing a ton of push ups and sit ups in my room to stay sane. There were a couple of “handlers,” an onsite psychologist and a bodyguard who made sure we NEVER went outside. The bodyguard was like a rent a cop but bigger and super creepy.

Back Story cont. While waiting on the tv producers, I told them that dating one guy with lots of other girls wasn’t my style. I was more traditional than that, one guy and one girl is more my style. Perfect, they said we need someone traditional. I said I’m from Oregon. Even better, they said! They continued to talk about the travel and how perfect I’d be. At the very least come to the first interview and then see how it goes. I talked myself into the interview because I figured I could decide later if I even made it. Well, the interviews went well over a couple of days. Then we had 3 days to get ready and show up at the airport with our passport. Turns out, there would be 20 girls and one guy in Paris. 15 were aspiring actresses and models, only 5 of us including me were “real people.”

Spoiler Alert: Being on the show was very uncomfortable and so invasive. It wasn’t anything how I pictured and a lot worse. After the month abroad in the Best Western, I returned home and felt really bad. The trip wasn’t anything like the producers that I met explained to me. They had really cool people do the auditions and casting so you think it will be okay. But, the cool, casting people don’t go on the trip, they just rope you into the deal. By the way, the show was supposed to be called “THE BIG CHOICE” not Joe Millionaire.

When I got home I felt shame and so much embarrassment from being on the show. The pilot commercial aired during the superbowl which is where everyone heard the “new name” and the theme of the show. Oh my god, that was not what I signed up for…

The way that reality tv show worked back then was the opposite of reality and a high drama story that the producers created. Turned out that Evan Marriott (the average Joe) was as dumb as nails, with icky long, greasy hair and had a girlfriend waiting for him back in Santa Monica…

Funny how life works. It’s rarely what you expected, sometimes it’s better and often times it’s NOT AT ALL WHAT IT SEEMED.

That my friends is how I ended up on the Joe Millionaire reality tv show. It’s taken fifteen years to talk about it without the shame face. Like Brene Brown says, shame can’t exist with truth, light and vulnerability.

The funny part is most people thought it was really cool and were surprised I didn’t want to talk about it. Back then, I usually said it was really weird and not what I signed for. You never know what’s going on behind the scenes on tv and in life. So f*ck the secrecy, silence and judgement. At least I did it and won’t ever wonder what it would’ve been like. No wondering here. Not at all. Haha!

 

Instagram Why Are You So Weird

I have to talk about it because it’s happening all the time and really weird. And people that do instagram don’t know what I’m talking about until I show them. Why, oh why? Haha! I like the instagram, feels like how facebook was 10 years ago. Pictures without all the political bs. Surprisingly, you can write a lot under your instagram pictures. #justsayin

And when I publish my book, Instagram will be a great place to spread the love.IMG_3175Taking a break from the instagram weird and working out in the hotel gym. Always me in the gym and one bald pilot. Haha!

Instagram has a texting or DM component (direct message) for all my non-instagram people. However, there’s a second tier of direct messages under Direct and titled REQUESTS. These messages under REQUESTS requests are creepy. I have a revolving list of 20-30 different randoms wanting to “chat.” I don’t follow these jokers so they can’t direct message me-they can only “request” the DM. Some guys are basic with opening lines of “Hi and Hey.” Then it goes downhill from there really fast. Pictures are offered. No, I’ve never accepted one-a message or a picture.

Who knows if they are real people or robots? For all I know they’re catfishing on Instagram. I can block them especially when they get cranky and send angry direct message requests from the second tier. But really, who has time to block the freaks. Ignore them and they’ll go away is how I play it. They can delete their direct message request and a new round of freaks appears in the second tier of messaging. WTF?

Tell me, do you have a line of creepers on Instagram trying to “request” direct messages with you?

“Instagram, why you so weird?”

Small Talk Is Not My Favorite Talk

I can’t remember if I used to be good at small talk. These days, I’d rather be in uncomfortable silence than be forced to engage in small talk. Maybe, it’s the single mom thing where I have very little time to waste and zero time for bs. Maybe it’s a life thing but small talk is one of my least favorite things to do. Let’s talk about real sh*t. And if not, let’s just stand next to each other and smile…IMG_3852Real talk doesn’t have to negative and I prefer that it isn’t. There are so many juicy, positive and funny things to talk about.

Recently, after yoga I was chatting with the instructor about class. Which quickly turned into a conversation about self acceptance and self love. Which quickly turned into her sharing her recent trip to a nude beach and baring her chest. She told me how freeing it was and how good the water felt without her top on. Wow, good for you, that’s awesome! I loved you before this conversation, now I really love you. 🙂

But it get’s better… A young girl we both know came walking by and joined in on our “real talk.” She took it to the next level with all sorts of real topics and quickly. She introduced the idea that the size of his nose is likely to match the size of his…

Yep, that’s what she said. She claimed that it’s almost always true for her. I laughed and thought about it. Hmmm, maybe there is similarity?!

She also suggested that single guys carry a business card stating his “stats.’ I laughed and agreed that knowing what you’re getting into before you spend months dating would be nice. And it only seems fair. One of my favorite funny lines is, l”et’s just see what we’re working with, shall we?” I’ve actually talked about a little button that guys could wear on their tshirt or lapel that stated the info. The buttons would read SMALL, MEDIUM and LARGE. A  facebook friend recently mentioned this would be tricky because guys would be “rating” themselves. Exactly was my response to his concerned comment. That’s why there would only be three basic categories. And anyone in their right mind would understand the three categories and their “self proclaimed range.”

This is my kinda talk. The real stuff. The funny stuff. And the stuff that could eventually “make or break” a relationship. #justasyin

 

 

It’s Official, I Love To Eat

This is so true. Always has been. Except, I prefer having someone cook for me. Maybe, it’s cooking for one that makes me want to eat out or maybe it’s being a mom? Dunno? Either way, I’ve never enjoyed someone cooking for me more than I do right now. I mean, if we’re talking about the crazy hot matrix, then someone who can cook would raise their number by at least 1.5 points in my book. Just sayin.

IMG_0676_2Soaking up Portland sunshine with my girls. On our way to PIZZA. 

 

If you haven’t seen the crazy, hot matrix-you must watch it! I love it! If you laugh and love it, then we can be friends. If it makes you angry or defensive then I don’t want to know you.

Maybe, I appreciate food more than ever because I am constantly in the kitchen at home “feeding, cleaning up and then feeding again.” Taking care of my little people is a full time job that I love but boy it’s a lot of “wet hands” in the kitchen.

I started getting lean cuisines because sometimes a hot meal with zero clean up is really nice. Actually, it’s frickin awesome! And it’s even cooler on the airplane. When I pack my lean cuisines and cook them in the galley it’s pretty rad. It smells so good. And it’s all about perspective. My spaghetti lean cuisine was the envy of all the flight attendants and a couple of first class passengers. Something vulnerable and real about being hungry on an airplane. Basically, you have nothing to eat, there’s nothing to buy AND we’re 38,000 feet in the sky.

Maybe I’ll bring back my love for oranges on an airplane. Before I had kids, I used to eat an orange on the airplane and loved it. Then I had kids and was busy pumping breastmilk for years on the plane.

Well my airplane pumping days are long gone (thank God!) so bring out the oranges!

My Favorite Passengers Are Really Cool People

I meet a lot of people at work and in life for that matter. Rarely do I meet people that inspire me with my mouth open. But it’s been happening a lot lately. One of the reasons I love people and love to travel is one of the many reasons I’m a flight attendant when I don’t have my mom hat on.IMG_0742Wearing my favorite apron

My favorite passengers in 2017 happened close together, which is unusual. Both were in first class and one was from Eugene-go figure?

One woman was in her 60’s and had an attitude and energy that’s hard to explain. She was awesome! I wanted to chat with her alnight. She was cool with my airplane jokes and was a school counselor for her JOB. She was looking for a new gig and applied as a flight attendant within the past year. Like many of the people I get to work with I would love to work with her. She was with her husband and he was on the aisle but felt our love connection so kept his pie hole closed. Haha!

Another favorite passenger was a woman who introduced herself to me in main cabin last Spring. I’m hoping that she sees this blogpost and reaches out to me. She found me online years ago when I was pregnant with my momo twins and hospitalized. She followed me on my blog and recognized me on the airplane?! Whaat?! It’s a small world.

She also had twins and experienced a high risk pregnancy (not momo twins but had complications of her own) As I was cruising down the aisle pouring the diet coke, she introduced herself, briefly told me how she knew me and then said she’s taking this solo trip to get her “head straight.” She was on the divorce train and said she admired and felt strength from reading my old blog. The amazing part to me is that she had the balls to say hi and share what she did with me from the WINDOW SEAT! She had a shy demeanor with a quiet voice, she had two strangers sitting next to her and going through a major life transformation. Wow! I love “real” people who are trying their best to make real connections.

She asked if we could get a coffee sometime and I said, sure! I would love to get a coffee with any twin mom, ANYTIME.

Tinder Tales From A Single Mom-Part 2

So, my second experience with tinder was with someone that I had known for a long time. Back in the day when I was known as crazyspingirl and was single, he would come to my spin classes. He was married so it was always a very platonic, easy going friendship without any funny business. I was 30 years old, taught a ton of spin classes all over Portland and squeezed in match.com dates like a super hero. I figured online dating was a numbers game, only 30 yrs old and had a lot of stamina for the dating game. I used to say that I didn’t expect to meet my boyfriend on match.com but maybe make a friend. Then end up having a connection with one of his friends at a barbecue. Seemed to make perfect sense back then but sounds kinda naive now that I write it down?! #realtalkIMG_0955Me dating in my 30’s-focused and dedicated to the process of landing on that teeny, tiny little floatie.IMG_0954.JPGGood visual of me online dating in my 30’s. SO MANY DATES so I’d squeeze em in.

My divorce became final after a very long process. I won’t get into the details because it’s private. But, I didn’t have my kiddos for Christmas that first year in 2014 and was scared to be without them. I was elated when I reconnected with my “old spin friend.” He was also divorced and didn’t have his kids for Christmas that year either. At the time, I didn’t realize this but now I understand this is HUGE. Opposite parenting schedules can kill the dating deal right out of the gate. So similar parenting schedules can be a huge bonus.IMG_0907My current attitude about dating. My face says it all, if you get my drift. Haha! 

Anyway, we decided to see a movie and catch up. We went to the movie alright, but I don’t remember seeing it. Yep, it was one of those movie situations. Where you’re in the movie theatre and it seems like you’re alone and you give zero f*cks like you were 16 years old.

Which reminds me of how judgemental I was in my 20’s and 30’s. I remember seeing “moms” getting after it on layovers and thinking how sad they were. Wow, they’re MOMS and they’re getting wild and crazy! What’s wrong with them?! I also thought (and still do) those mini van driving moms are scary drivers. And then I had kids…Even though I don’t get wild on my layovers OR drive a mini van I can relate to those moms on so many levels. Being a mom is like nothing else. You’re scrutinized by your little kids 24/7 and judged in public all the time especially by people who don’t have kids. Now, I understand  there’s a lot going on inside a mom’s car. Little kids are needy people-yo! Sometimes, they’re happy and sometimes they’re wildly upset. Those mini van driving mom are trying to drive while simultaneously handing out snacks and keeping the peace. Being a mom is so amazing but not without it’s daily challenges. So, those moms that “let go” a little on their layovers- I get you girl! And I don’t judge you one bit! 🙂

 

Back to that tinder number 2 story. The make out movie date was my wild mom moment. And boy did I pay for it for days later… First, I have sensitive skin and hadn’t kissed anyone in awhile. So, my face was pretty red and raw after the movie. I figured it was just a random thing that would fade. Oh no, my face lost about 7 layers of skin the next day. It was so sore and looked like I had been in a skateboarding accident and landed on my face. It looked horrible and felt even worse. It was so far gone that make up didn’t even help.

We dated for about 2 months and had fun but his 5’oclock shadow was even rough and never went away. My face sort of got used to it but not really. And I was always afraid of kissing too long for fear that another “skateboarding accident face” would develop.

It reminds me of the prize down below, you never know what you’re going to get. I mean it is a TOTAL MYSTERY until it’s not. Haha! It doesn’t matter how tall you are or how big your hands and feet are, none of it matters. #justsayin

My point it, sometimes the facial hair is rough or strangely soft but you never know until you test drive it during a movie.

Happy dating my friends, may the people be honest, and the laughs be frequent.