Lets talk about Friday night for a minute or twelve. It all started a month or two ago when a girlfriend of mine emailed me to let me know that Ben was going to be at the Baker Youth Club annual charity night in Warsaw on Friday, March 25th and asked if I wanted to go. Silly friend, like she even had to ask. You mean I can support a good cause WHILE potentially getting to meet the bachelor of all bachelors, Ben Higgins himself? Deal. Word spread among some of my other friends and 5 us in dresses later, we were ready to roll. We were ready for Bauren, but were they ready for us? We're still not sure of that answer.
So here's the thing - we thought that we would be among the hundreds of fan girls who were there to swoon over the happy couple because well, duh. Turns out we were in the minority as the majority of the people there were Warsaw citizens with just really great hearts for Baker Youth Club. That's awesome and all but didn't really help in the "look cool, play calm, act natural" department for us. A few pep talks and glasses of wine later we were headed to get some food and that's when Ben's dad, Mr. Higgins himself spotted us. Being the gentleman that he is he approached us while saying something to the extent of "Now, I've got to meet you girls - you look like fun!" and that's when we knew we were obviously getting
a wedding invite picture with him.
A few raves about how great Lauren is and how well the two families were blending together, he introduced us to a few friends of his [Ben and Lauren were still MIA at this point] and led us to the Mayor of Warsaw, Mr. Thallemer, who proceeded to show us all sorts of great pictures of Ben with his daughter at prom in high school along with funny stories from the past. This man was a real gem I tell you. It's a good thing when you've got the mayor who happens to be friends with the bachelor on your team - "I'll make sure to get Ben and Lauren over to you ladies, don't you worry about that..."
And that's when the happy couple arrived. Now, if you recall this wasn't our first time seeing them together as we were at the taping of their hometown date. Old friends really by this point in time, they may have just forgotten that part.
We made eye contact with the beauties and being the real sweethearts that they are, proceeded to give us all hugs, thanked us for coming and then dove into conversation. While I've loved Ben since day one, Lauren may have one-up'd him as she quickly took her place as one of the girls. Talking about all things eyebrows, how crazy her life is right now, lazy eyes, interesting people they have met, her dilemma with being a flight attendant, snapchat, her insanely gorgeous ring and so, it was hard to want to end the conversation. Here's the thing with these two - they are both crazy genuine, welcoming, friendly and real. Coming off a season where over 30 million people tuned into their love story every week, it would be easy to have to keep up a good show in front of people - there was no show about them which was all sorts of refreshing.
Now that we had all officially met and became BFFs we ventured off to partake in some of the other shenanigans before taking our seats for the official presentation and auction.
We like to keep it classy at all times.
Ben and Lauren [aka Bauren] took center stage and each shared their personal experiences of what the bachelor was like for them and then opened it up for questions and answers. They touched on how they know that this "instant fame" they are experiencing right now is fleeting and not satisfying, that Olivia really was as the show portrayed her to be however it truly did take Ben awhile to realize the weirdness [the producers did not make him keep her around], that their families and faith are of the utmost importance to them and know they will need both to really make this relationship work and that they are now not obligated at all to ABC and can talk as freely and honestly about everything. I think what I appreciated most is that they weren't full of the awkward "lets kiss in front of everybody to make it look like we are really in love" moments but would rather occasionally steal little hand grabs, winks or laughs with one another.
After the presentation it was back to mingling time which really meant another picture or two along with Lauren's debut on my snapchat account [see the videos on both instagram + facebook]
During this time we also ran into Lauren's father, Mr. Bushnell, who was also as sweet as they come and joked around about how dorky he was for wearing the same outfit that he wore when Ben came to Portland for the hometown date. I prefer the term precious.
Long story short, while it was such a fun experience to meet Ben and Lauren and the families that raised them, it was even more fun to spend an evening with these ladies laughing the night away while learning about a really awesome youth club that supports hundreds of kids on a weekly basis. All in all it was one of the better nights of 2016 and I will forever be team Bauren, regardless if that wedding invite ever shows up or not [Ben and Lauren if you are reading, firstname.lastname@example.org - hit me up ;)]