It’s been an entire week since my last post. I know, I know, I’m a slacker, but I promise I had a good reason for my lack of writing in the last week.
It’s pretty simple really. I’ve been so busy in the past week living the most beautiful adventure, that I didn’t have time to write it all down. Don’t worry, I was committing it to memory, and if you follow me on Instagram, I was also sharing quite a bit there.
So as I sat down to write today, I had every intention of writing about my five day trip to San Francisco in its entirety. But really, who can write anything before getting a quick social media fix? So naturally, I opened up WordPress on my laptop, only to reject it for Instagram on my phone instead. And then I saw this.
And then I had to skip the main San Francisco post I was planning in exchange, for this. The timing seemed too pressing to ignore; if JJ O’Brien is preparing for a new chapter is his life, and announcing it today, then today is the day. I just have to share my experience of meeting him with the world.
In case you didn’t catch that, yes, on a somewhat spontaneous five day trip to San Francisco for my 22nd birthday I met JJ O’Brien.
A lot of you probably don’t care at all because you don’t actually know who JJ O’Brien is. So here’s the rundown.
JJ O’Brien is a former contestant on The Bachelorette. He was on the most recent season with Andi Dorfman as the bachelorette. On the show, he listed his profession as pantsaprenuer and he and Andi dressed up like old people on their one-on-one date.
I initially only chose JJ as my favorite for the season because his last name is O’Brien and I was going through a Dylan O’Brien obsessed phase. Plus he wore a bow tie, and I live in a fan of bow ties phase. However, as the show progressed I became incredibly intrigued by the San Franciscan businessman.
Like any normal person would, I took to social media to attack and bombard JJ O’Brien with my every thought regarding him. After the show ended, I became even more infatuated by him and his life. He goes to Burning Man, loves music festivals, and wears whatever he wants. It should in no way surprise anyone that I of all people would be intrigued by this type of person. This type of person is me.
So I made a disco ball captain’s hat for Halloween to match the one he’d worn at Burning Man. And I came up with thousands of awkward ways to reach out to him via social media without seeming too obsessive. Then I got Elan Gale, one of the show’s producers, in on the action, and the rest is basically history.
Okay technically going into the trip to San Francisco, I truly didn’t think I’d meet JJ. Even going into the coffee shop we met at, I truly didn’t think I’d meet JJ. I am a delusional dreamer and yet am often pessimistic by nature, so I really didn’t think I’d meet the guy.
I did, and it was incredible, and I have this weird story to tell for the rest of my life. I also like to think that should I ever find myself hot enough to even try to be on The Bachelor this story will somehow help my chances. But I didn’t feel compelled to write about JJ today to brag about myself or how sometimes being a little neurotic and desperately persistent works if you’re kind of adorable about it like me. (Attention: That should actually be your number one takeaway from this post. You can get away with a lot of crazy things if you are marginally cute while doing them.) I wanted to write this because I think it’s incredible that he’s stepping out to try something new, because I’m looking forward to seeing what he has in store, and because I think people as wonderful as him deserve encouragement in every form imaginable, even when it comes from silly girls on the opposite coast.
Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, what it’s like to have coffee with JJ O’Brien.
Here’s how it went. JJ picked maybe the coolest possible coffee shop in the entire city. Maybe I’m biased because I just think he’s so cool, maybe I was nervous because he’s so cool, whatever. If Sightglass Coffee were a human, it would be that cool girl who disappears for a month then shows back up to tell you she was traveling through Europe with the prince of some small, obscure kingdom. It would be the guy that dresses like James Dean in your British Lit class that always has something deep and insightful to say that even your professor can’t understand. Maybe I’m exaggerating. Maybe a coffee shop is a coffee shop. Maybe you’ll never know unless you go there for yourself. You’re welcome Sightglass for any business you gain as a result of my incredible review, you can thank me later with copious amounts of coffee beans.
So I walk into this uber cool place and I see this guy whose life I just find incredibly intriguing, and naturally I pause awkwardly in the doorway. I’m pretty sure I was talking out loud to myself about how he wouldn’t recognize me, but then he did recognize me.
Now is a good time for me to explain that JJ O’Brien is the type of person who is inherently more incredible than most. I don’t think he realizes it at all. I mean there were moments when I feel like he was just as naturally weird and awkward as me, not in a bad way, but in a way that shows he’s so comfortable with who he is that it puts others at ease, and makes you more comfortable with yourself. There are people I’ve known for years that I still have to temper my personality around for fear that they won’t like me as much, and I didn’t feel that way for a second with him. I told you, inherently incredible without even meaning to be.
After we greeted each other. I proceeded to awk all over the place and say “Oh my god” a thousand times. I like to pretend it was mostly masked by the noise of the coffee shop and the fact that he was searching for a place to sit, but who are we kidding, it was not.
Then we had coffee and we talked like casual friends. We covered a thousand random topics and he laughed way more than I know he should have. Trust me, my closest guy friends have told me over and over, I am not funny and should stop trying to be. I appreciate his kindness anyway; he’s a very sweet man for that. Actually, more importantly, he’s a very sweet person for meeting me at all, something I mentioned to him, to which he merely laughed and got flustered about how it was no big deal.
After a while, we said our goodbyes and parted ways. That’s it. I’m not going to blather on with every detail of our conversation, that would be weird, and I think an invasion of privacy.
Here’s what I gained from our conversation though. It’s an undisputed fact that he’s intelligent beyond belief because he went to Williams for undergrad and Stanford business school, but he’s also wise. He’s experienced a lot, and it’s obvious that he’s taken everything from those experiences and learned as much as possible from them. I think it’s safe to say I barely scratched the surface. Looking back, there are a thousand more things I wish I had asked him about because I value his insight. He has a good heart, and you can see it reflected outwardly in really insignificant ways. I’m sure I’ll be praising his good nature for a long time to come. Lastly, I think I have to call him out on one tiny little thing. During his time on The Bachelorette, he told Andi that for a long time before going on the show, he’d given up the thought of finding someone and come to terms with spending his life without a partner. I think that’s total shit. Maybe I’m wrong, but no one has the relationship he has with his mother and doesn’t want a wife; no one talks about little kids the way he does and doesn’t want a family of his own. I could be completely wrong about that, or anything else I said. I could be wildly overstepping in saying any of this. My Myers-Briggs personality type does say that I’m perceptive though, so I’m just going to pretend I’m right about everything I ever say about others, this included.
Now I’m going to answer a few frequently asked questions that I’ve gotten over and over since meeting him.
Is he dating anyone? I don’t know. It never once occurred to me to ask. People seem to think that was my biggest mistake, like apparently I am a terrible gossiper or else that would’ve been my first question. I am deeply sorry for my insufficiency. I will try so much harder the next time I meet a former reality tv contestant.
Are you getting married now? Okay, that was definitely asked as a joke and the answer is definitely no, but thanks friends for commenting on my Instagram with that sort of thing. You do realize he can read those comments, yes?
What does he smell like? Well, I always answer with something ridiculous ranging from “like dropping your keys on the counter after the most stressful day” to “like stale cheetos and weed,” but the truth is he smells like roses. Once you go on The Bachelor or Bachelorette, you forever smell like roses. You are surrounded by them and obsessed with them while on the show to such an extent that the smell just becomes a part of you. I’m kidding, in reality he smelled like coffee. We were in a coffee shop. What do you expect?
Are you guys gonna stay in touch? Another big failure on my part. I didn’t even ask for contact info. Maybe because I’ve become so accustomed to a life of bullying people on Twitter until they talk to me, I just assume that’s how it’s done now. However, I would like to think that if in the future, JJ and I ever find ourselves in the same city again, it would be perfectly acceptable to meet up again. I think I mentioned already that talking to him was like catching up with a friend; in some strange, random way, I feel like I made a friend, contact information or not.
What shoes was he wearing? No one is actually asking that, I just want to point out that he was wearing Birks because I love Birks and want everyone to just go ahead and get on board with them being the best shoes ever, so that I can wear mine on all occasions. Also, if it’s not too much to ask, can we stop judging me for when I wear them with socks? It’s cozy, get over it, okay?
So there you have it ladies and gents (I really doubt many men are reading this), those are my thoughts on meeting JJ O’Brien. I can now only hope that this will end up a thread on countless random Bachelor related fan sites, and if I am so lucky, that it will end up spawning some Wetpaint article for only then will I know that I have truly arrived.
Here’s to the future, JJ. Thanks again for being incredible. It’s safe to say I’ll be ordering the pants he’s promoting in that Insta pic despite the fact that I’m a Cowboys fan, and you probably all should too. Also maybe tears were shed when reading about his grandmother, but what did you expect, I told you his heart is beautiful.
Let’s hear it. What are your thoughts on JJ O’Brien and my meeting with him? Ask me any questions of your own in the comments below.