Amie Richardson: I'd never make it on The Bachelor
OPINION: I have a dream in which I emerge from a sleek black car in a long red silk gown. I have a perfect smoky eye, glistening tinted lips and my hair falls in soft curls. I am, maybe, 10, ahh try 15, years younger.
I climb out of the car smiling, looking off-screen to the man waiting at the edge of the frame. I am the hunter approaching her prey. A lioness, a wolf, no, too aggressive. I must make him smile. This one moment could change my life. Forever.
I reach out my hand and open my mouth to release the practiced line that will win his First Impression rose and eventually his heart.
At the same time as I start to speak my stiletto heel remains one step behind my feet and I stumble forward and head butt the man TV producers have told me is The One. The Bachelor.
* Amie Richardson: What Anzac Day means to me
* Amie Richardson: Why I don't take my kids to church
* Amie Richardson: Dear Valentine, you suck
* Middle-aged: The dirtiest words you'll ever say to a woman
* Amie Richardson: Giving colonic irrigation a try because, you know, life goals
Since the first US Bachelor Alex Michel rocked our TV screens in the early 2000s, I've laughed and winced my way through countless dates, cocktail parties and rose ceremonies trying to glean meaning out of a show I've invested more time than I should in.
I was there when Brad Womack became public enemy No.1 after failing to pick either of his final two bachelorettes. On a Friday evening after my son Oli was born, my besties Ev and Janet would come over to my place for wine, chocolate and the Jake Pavelka season.
Then MediaWorks announced it would do an NZ series – and there was Art Green – tall, handsome, and a tad awkward in a Kiwi-bloke-kind-of-way. Who knew that first date with Matilda, bungy jumping from Auckland's Harbour Bridge, would lead to true love?
The pair are still together. I've met them. They're 'for-reals'. And along with just six other couples from 30 seasons of the US Bachelor and Bachelorette, they've made it.
In my dream, I never make it past the first episode. I know I don't have the stamina to take on a room full of sirens vying for the same bloke. Heart-on-sleeve-Amie would reveal every lie she's ever told in the first five minutes of a one-on-one, followed by jokes, uproarious laughter and a clumsy stumble.
But The Bachelor has taught me several valuable life lessons:
* First impressions count.
* Cling-on behaviour will only get you so far – no bunny boilers ever make it to the end.
* Sometimes you need to go to extreme lengths – ie almost getting hypothermia while immersed in an ice bath – to get your man/woman.
I'll add one more from my 8-year-old who believes The Bachelor shows us "there is enough love for everyone".
"Just because he sent that girl home it doesn't mean he doesn't like her. He just likes the other one more."
And there it is.