The Married At First Sight Provari Giveaway – Seriously

PLEASE READ: Julia Hartley-Barnes is the person behind this ProVari giveaway. This giveaway does not have the blessing from the TV Show Married At First Sight, it is not connected to the show in any way, this is all Julia. Because, for some reason, she cares about this. – ED

I know, believe me I know, Julia Hartley-Barnes has finally lost her mind. Maybe. Maybe not. I know it took a LOT to convince John to allow me to follow through on what I posted on Twitter last night, especially after admitting that I may have had a few too many Mojitos at an outside bar in Key West. But it’s done, and as I wake up this morning I still believe it’s a great giveaway idea…but this is on my dime, and it doesn’t involve Spinfuel in any other way, except to allow me to publish this. I’ll run the giveaway and I’ll pay for the Provari, if Jamie and Doug are still together.

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Love is Real

Many of us know that “soul mates” are real. I know that having a soul mate is very real. I have one, and having a soul mate makes life always and forever tolerable, even at its lowest point. Having a soul mate, a real soul mate, is the surest way to find and embrace ‘joy’.

Love goes far beyond the physical, that instant chemical attraction that floods your body with oxytocin, which makes us want to get as physically close enough to melt into the object of our affections. And once we’re attached to our object of affection there is nothing that can pull us apart…for 18-36 months anyway. But true love, the kind that lasts, is deeper than oxytocin’s effect will ever be.

Married At First Sight

I hate reality television. I hate it because there is no such thing as true reality television other than hidden CCTV’s recording the actions of passersby on the streets of our cities and towns. Every reality show, including the one I can’t stop talking about, Married At First Sight, is ‘scripted’ in some ways. It has to be because real life is ultimately boring to watch. But there is something about this particular show that does ring true, and if the participates in this show are really being honest with us and each other, it gives me hope that my belief in soul mates will be proven right by the end of its 10-episode run.

jamie and doug and the Provari giveaway ideaFor our readers that are not familiar with this new reality show I’ll give you the basics, the premise, and I’ll follow up with my very brief observations about the three couples partaking in Season One (yes, it has been renewed for Season Two).

Married at first Sight is a one hour reality show based on the premise of what would happen if six people, three males and three females, are matched up using the very latest psychological match making techniques, agree to marry someone chosen for them by these match making techniques, without ever meeting them or even knowing their names.

The matchmakers pair up two people who share similar worldviews, likes and dislikes, and so on, on the hopes that it is enough to spark a real relationship. If we are to believe match.com and other companies, this can really happen.

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On Married at First Sight the participates agree, strangely enough, to get legally married to whomever the matchmakers decide they should be with, and they agree to stay married for a month (actually I think the whole thing is 5 weeks long, wedding, honeymoon, moving in, and sharing their everyday lives). At the end of the month long ‘experiment’ the three now married couples can decide if they have indeed met Mr. or Mrs. Right. They are given the choice to stay married or file for divorce, presumably paid for by the show.

Dumb, right? I mean, how many people do you know that do such a thing? Well, as it turns out, quite a bit actually. Show business can be a very strong inducement to do most anything, and in today’s “marriage and divorce” attitude being married for a month in order to be on TV is considered harmless fun.

Game show?

I am sure that the six participates in the first season approached the show first as an opportunity to be on TV, to be the center of attention by having a camera crew follow you around for a month, and, if the show attracts an audience, to become the focal point of many water-cooled moments. The six people probably see the actual wedding, honeymoon, and life during the time period as a game. For the most part, they are right. It is a game. But, perhaps deeper down they also look at it as a chance to find someone to have a relationship with.

Tuning In

monet and vaughn and the Provari giveaway ideaI made a promise to someone that I would watch the first episode on OnDemand, and I don’t break promises, so I tuned in with as much of an open mind as I could muster.

Jamie Otis – During the first episode I watched Jamie Otis in a scene that convinced me that there was only one of two possible conclusions I could come to about Married at First Sight.

Jamie Otis is a registered nurse and works in a New York City hospital. However, she was also a contestant on The Bachelor and perhaps a couple of other shows (I really should have dug deeper than this, but really, does it matter?).

At first I knew absolutely nothing about Jamie Otis, to me she was just an incredibly beautiful girl who happened to be a hardworking nurse. When I found out she had been on TV before looking for Mr. Right alarms went off in my head so loudly that I believed that I was watching a typical fraudulent reality show, or something very unusual was unfolding before me.

Right before Ms. Otis was to walk down the aisle to marry someone she had never seen and never met, she did what any of us would do… she freaked out. Tears, shaking, and a sense of dread permeated the room around her. As I watched this scene play out it made me believe she was either an actor on par with Meryl Streep, or she was taking all of this very seriously.

I thought about that scene a lot since I found myself getting pulled deeper and deeper into the show. I asked myself that if Ms. Otis was using Married At First Sight as another gig to be on TV why be so serious, why the unhappiness? Why not go along? After all, there wasn’t any obligation on her part, or anyone else’s, to have honeymoon sex with a stranger. What’s the worst that can happen?

Then I thought that if this was a game to Jamie, a stepping stone to bigger and better gigs, then she just might play that scene exactly as she did so she could turn it all around on camera, to pull her audience into her “horrible mistake”, only to watch her fall madly in love with Doug Hehner, Jamie’s new husband. Was she capable of this level of acting chops?cortney and jason and the Provari giveaway idea

So I made the conscious decision to believe Jamie Otis. I decided that she was genuinely freaked out, and after meeting Doug she couldn’t help feeling that she had just made the biggest mistake of her life. A silly notion when you think about it. Spending a month with any decent person, with a camera crew to look out for you and protect you, marrying someone you don’t want to marry, on TV, isn’t the biggest mistake of anyone’s life, regardless of whether or not it was a game.

And then there is this nursing career. If Jamie Otis was looking to advance her television career why would she stay at a job that demands so much of her personal life? Her 12-hour shifts at the hospital, the grotesque demands of taking care of people at their worst, and the stress of being responsible for the welfare of a constant influx of new, sick people, is an odd choice for someone who’s ultimate goal is to go to LA and become famous. So, I found myself rooting for Jamie despite that fact that she had been on other TV shows looking for “love”.

Doug Hehner – Doug seems to be a great guy, a great catch, and a truly kind and understanding person. Jamie could do a lot worse than Doug, and probably has in the past. And, naturally, Jamie is certainly attractive enough for Doug to be blinded by a rush of oxytocin to believe he was smitten immediately (who wouldn’t be?), and was determined to try to get Jamie to see past his cute, but averagely cute, physicality. Watching each episode as Doug revealed his charm and patience, and seeing Jamie react positively to all of this, seemed magical… if it’s real.

That Sentence

In the last episode (#5) while Jamie and Doug were just hanging out (they have not, at this time, consummated the marriage), Jamie said something that sounded completely unscripted and rang so true that any lingering doubt that I may or may not have had about Ms. Otis vanished. The sentence was, and I am paraphrasing,

I’m afraid that I’ll like you and you won’t like me anymore

Bam! There it was, insecurity. That is what I was waiting to see. Ms. Otis is gorgeous, and I believe she knows it, to a degree. She can date, or marry, just about anyone she wants just based on the amount of oxytocin she is able to light up in anyone in her presence. Doug, on the other hand, has to work on it, he must reveal his true self before most women would become attracted to him. That’s just the way it is, that’s Darwinism.

jamie and the idea of a ProVari giveawayFor roughly 10 days Doug and Jamie (and 4 others, lets not forget them) have been in close quarters with each other and Doug’s beautiful nature, his kindness, his love of people in general, has worked like magic on this physically stunning woman to the point where she was now insecure that when it comes right down to it, she’s not good enough for him. Again, we’re seeing Ms. Streep in action or we’re seeing the real Jamie Otis, I believe it’s the latter.

The Other Four – Briefly

It wouldn’t be fair to dedicate this entire column to #TeamDamie, and not mention the other participants in this grand experiment, despite the fact that the Spinfuel Provari Giveaway is all about #TeamDamie, the others are just as important to the success or failure of the show. They have their legion of fans too, and rightfully so.

Monet Bell and Vaughn Copeland

Monet and Vaughn are the show’s black couple, and out of the six, Monet and Vaughn are arguably the most intense couple on the show. What seemed to be a match made in heaven quickly turned into a battle being waged in Vaughn’s head. The chances of these two making it past the month long marriage seems doomed, at least the way the show is being edited. And let’s face it, the magic of a reality show is created in the editing suite, which is another reason I despise the genre.provape provari

Vaughn is being made to look bi-polar, and Monet is being made to look impossibly frustrated attempting to deal with this bi-polar personality. If the editing is truly representative of what has happened during the month long marriage there is no way these two decided to stay together. (Now watch me be proved wrong).

Cortney Hendrix and Jason Carrion

Cortney and Jason are the attractive young couple of the three married parties. The attraction between these two immediate, and seems to be growing each week. And why not? Both Cortney and Jason seem to be wonderful young people. Kind, caring, giving, and physically attractive, Cortney and Jason are the ideal representation of the young generation, however unreal it truly is.

Cortney and Jason are two people whom, had they met in real life, would have probably dated, gotten engaged, and married on their own. But most people are ignoring something about these two individuals and it’s the one thing that will be the most important factor in deciding their ultimate fate. The attraction, and the intimacy they feel for each other is as real as it gets for young couples. You can see the oxytocin particles surrounding these two like a swarm of fireflies, but that doesn’t mean the marriage will last, in fact it makes the odds of a 10-year anniversary very low indeed.

Most young people today fall in love and marry, albeit with a longer courting phase, because the attraction to climb all over each other and procreate is incredibly strong. Both Cortney and Jason feel the pull of this attraction, and it will most certainly last more than a month, provided there isn’t something hidden in one or the other’s closet that will break the bond they have. Chemical attraction of the kind that Cortney and Jason share can be severed easily so while they look secure in their bond, anything hidden away can destroy what seems to be the perfect match. Will they stay together after the experiment? If I had to bet I would say absolutely yes, but when the oxytocin wear off down the road, all bets are off.

#TeamDamie

Which brings me back to Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner. If any couple has a shot of making it to their 10th anniversary its these two. Providing of course that Jamie is for real and Doug is able to look beyond Jamie’s beauty and care deeply about the real Jamie. Is Doug all about the exterior part of Jamie, or is he falling for whom she truly is? One month of being together for Jamie and Doug is long enough, in my opinion, to discover the true nature of each of them, by us and by them. They are not Cortney and Jason, or Monet and Vaughn. They began their experiment differently than the others. Jamie was in shock, and Doug had to bear the intense awkwardness of being rejected out of hand and still be the ‘good guy’. If Jamie and Doug fall in love it will be as real as it gets.

We have 5 more one-hour episodes to find out.

So why the ProVari Giveaway?

To put it as honestly and as simply as I can; because after being a witness to Jamie and Doug meeting each other for the first time, to see the unhappiness in Jamie and then the ultimate surrender to Doug’s generous and kind spirit, to see them become a real couple, and to hope that they can, against all odds, fall deeply in love and stay together for a lifetime is such an intimate experience, I feel the need to celebrate the “chance”. If they make it, if they decide that they don’t want the easy way out; a prepaid quickie divorce, than it shows us hope for genuine love, that it can still be found, cherished, and grow. More importantly, if Jamie falls in love with Doug and Doug falls in love with Jamie it will help strip away the notion that attraction has to be immediate and intense.

How many of us have been on dates with people we have a lot in common with but because that ‘spark’ wasn’t there at the start we don’t bother with date #2? That spark gets you into bed, but it doesn’t keep you there.

Finally, because I am a member of the vape community and a huge fan of the ProVari mod… and I am celebrating this opportunity for new love, if that’s what it turns out to be, by giving away a ProVape ProVari in a random drawing is my way of applauding what I am witnessing from the beginning moments… real love.

Yes, this all sounds silly as hell, I know, but I don’t care… What’s wrong with rooting for love?

Stay tuned for more about this ProVari giveaway in the coming weeks. As each episode unfolds I’ll continue this column (don’t worry, I won’t be recapping the show for you) I’ll lay out the giveaway rules. Once the show announces the results of the three couples, we will begin a weeklong giveaway, or we won’t. Or maybe we will…

Julia