On tonight’s back to back episodes of “19 Kids and Counting,” we meet the Tennessee mirror images of the Duggars, their family friends, the Bates family. They also have 19 kids (but maybe they don’t want cameras in their house.)
And if you thought perhaps we’d meet Jessa’s beau Ben tonight, wonk wonk. No. One of the Bates girls, Erin, is newly engaged to young Chad Paine. And an engagement gets Michelle and Jim Bob to thinking about their own girls and marrying them off.
The Bates and Duggar women (about a dozen total) decide to go camping, leaving the menfolk with the little ones and boys (nothing like some clips of baby Josie on rollerblades on a tile floor to feel fine about this decision.) The women pack up 15 sleeping bags, 4 tents and 10 pounds of food for just a day. They set up in a beautiful field next to a lovely lake on a friend’s private property (even if the tents had mildewed. Ewww.) The girls, in the neck-to-knees “modest” swimwear, take turns jumping off the docks together while their moms talk about the next steps in their lives. Marriage. Erin Bates tells all the girls about her courtship with Chad; Michelle explains, perhaps setting us up for Jessa’s later courtship reveal, that courtship isn’t “frivolous” like dating, where it’s “all about fun.” It’s solely for learning about someone for purpose of marriage. There’s no alone time for a couple in courtship. It’s a family thing with no touchy-feeling going on. Erin and Chad, for instance, didn’t even hold hands until the day he proposed. Overall, they feel they’ll find someone special when the time is right. (We loved when Michelle’s “all about fun” was delivered with a scowl. Hee.)
In the meantime, the men seem to be completely overpowered. There are kids on the refrigerator, for goodness’ sake. But Jim Bob won’t be swayed – he’s still on his flea market kick and wants to see the Gil Bates‘ junk. Gil hands over some good items too. During this storage excursion, someone probably got a bloody nose, but we don’t see that.
On the next episode, we visit with Josh and Anna in D.C., as Anna goes shopping (with three kids under 4) and prepares for a dinner party. And the Duggar Family Flea Market actually starts taking shape. No one has forgotten about the item flipping challenge either. Best line of the night? When Jim Bob’s mom buys a knife from the boys’ stash of knives, he deadpans to the camera: “No one better mess with Grandma. She has a knife now.”
How does Jim Bob prepare for selling the larger items in their flea market? By meeting with an auctioneer, and introducing him to the kids, because who knows… one of them could become an auctioneer. Sure.
In the end, the dinner party with Josh and Anna’s new friends goes off well, but The Duggar Family Flea Market is pushed off until next week. So we’ll check that out next Tuesday.
But man, we were hoping that ring on that finger was Jessa’s.