Wild for Heather

Way to go, girl! Our several households, at least, if not thousands throughout Sonoma Valley, are proud of you.

We’re speaking, of course, to Heather Pond, that fresh face and peppy personality from Sonoma who graced “Love in the Wild.” The inaugural run ended last week for the new television reality show set in stunning Costa Rica, proving itself a refreshing change from the negative fare that we find on most reality shows.

All of Sonoma, it seems, knows about Ben Flajnik, who “lost” just the week before on the latest installment of the Bachelor/Bachelorette show. That program seems to call out the predatory worst in its contestants. We did watch this summer out of loyalty to our locale – Ben was another of Sonoma’s own – but we cringed at the secrecy, superficiality, and, dare we say, promiscuity that characterizes that show.

We’re glad, actually, that Ben was saved from trying to make a life with the self-absorbed Ashley, who brazenly led the poor boy to believe she’d choose him. In the end, she had not even the decency to save Ben from embarrassing himself with a bended-knee proposal on national TV that she had no intention of accepting. It’s our expectation that Ben will comport himself with greater honor if he becomes the next Bachelor himself, as is widely rumored.

In contrast, Love in the Wild has a healthy format. It’s still a contest, but each of the couples is trying to work together – a positive thing – openly competing with the other couples in outdoor, active endeavors – also positive – with no incentive to speak ill of those others – positive again.

True, some of the contestants were boors, or worse, but the format isolated and weeded them out most quickly. Heather and her love interest Miles, from Minnesota, showed real care and concern for each other, finding ways, as did the winning couple, to overcome the physical and emotional obstacles they encountered. While runners-up Heather and Miles didn’t win the round-the-world trip, both happily agreed when the show’s host asked if finding each other weren’t prize enough.

We don’t know where this will lead for Heather – how she and Miles will guide their budding romance. We do know, though, that she deserves her newly-grown popularity with men and women alike. Like so many others, we hope this isn’t the last we see of Heather.

Bill Hammett

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