Ifinally figured out the appeal of Trista Rehn, a.k.a. “The Bachelorette.”

She’s a guy.

Oh, I don’t mean physically. I mean the way she plays the game. First, she gets the ultimate guy fantasy — a couple of dozen cuties all trying to win her affection.

Then, one by one, she tries and discards them, just like a guy. And when she narrows it down to two, she tells one partner, “Don’t be upset if I sleep with the other one.”

And the partner says OK!

Are you kidding? This woman would be King of the Frat House!

Of course, this is where the similarity ends. A real guy would not, as the Bachelorette did, accept a marriage proposal from the surviving suitor. A real guy would run. A real guy would shout, on his way out the door: “Are you kidding me? I’ve only spent, what, a couple of days alone with you? It was a TV show! Chill out!”

Oh, if it were only that simple.

Instead, American audiences — riveted to the idea that true love only comes once a week, in prime time, in front of a director and a camera crew — must endure the pitiful babbling of this ex-professional cheerleader when she weeps before her new fiance and says: “I see smiles and laughter. I see babies and grandbabies. I see comfort and safety. I see me in a white dress.”

I see a sequel. That’s what I see.

No way to find true love

Now, it’s bad enough that those lines and others were obviously written or coached for this wanna-be TV star. (She actually told the runner-up, through more tears, “My heart has gone another way.” Wow. I smell Oscar.)

But let’s cut the hypocrisy, OK? This is a woman who was ready to find true love by being one of 25 women who threw themselves at “The Bachelor.” When she lost, she jumped at the chance to star in her own show. She’s already parlayed that into another TV gig. You get the pattern? It’s called “I’ll do whatever it takes to be famous.”

Fine. It’s her life. But people like Trista are here for entertainment, not for education. When she starts lecturing on true love, I go looking for the exit.

If you want to know the future for this woman, look to the past. Look at Darva Conger, the woman who wanted to “marry a multimillionaire.” Remember? She, too, professed true love to her TV match. Once the cameras were off, she called him a creep. She dumped him. Then she posed for Playboy.

The pattern repeats. The original Bachelor — who passed on Trista — has never married the woman he chose. Why? The camera’s off, that’s why. The second Bachelor not only hasn’t married his choice but he’s also bickering with her — and they’ve made THAT into a TV show.

Whatever it takes.

No engagement gifts needed

Now, I know there are some gentle souls who see the pretty blond and the Vail, Colo., fireman and say: “Oh, come on. Wish them well.”

Why wish them well? They’ve taken a wonderful institution — engagement and marriage — and desecrated it. They’ve shown millions of young people that falling in love should be done in sound bites. They’ve chased fame and called it romance. Why wish them well?

You know who I wish well? Real people, who’ve put in real time. Who don’t get handed French mansions or first-class plane tickets. Who wake up in the morning with bad breath and pillow head — not in the green room of “Good Morning America.”

Such “real” reality, by the way, is what awaits Miss Trista, whether she likes it or not. Fame is fleeting. Ask Darva. What will Trista and her paramour do when the newspapers stop calling and the morning shows aren’t interested? They’ll split up. If they ever bother to get married.

It may not sound romantic. But these are the new vows, created by the networks, blessed by the advertisers. I want you. I love you. I’ll marry you.

Till death — or a drop in the ratings — do us part.

Contact MITCH ALBOM at 313-223-4581 or albom@freepress.com. “The Mitch Albom Show” is 3-6 weekdays on WJR-AM (760).

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