Jim Bob Duggar has a knack for making the men who court his precious daughters uncomfortable. Unfortuantely, with Jinger Duggar, he's taken the grilling to new extremes, to the point that I felt nearly as uncomfortable as poor Jeremy Vuolo during tonight's episode of Counting On.
Duggar has never seemed particularly enthusiastic about his daughter's courtship, but this is something new. He claims to approve of Vuolo, but his facial expressions, body language and harsh words indicate otherwise. The relationship between Duggar and his future son-in-law is best exemplified by a clip from this season's premiere, in which Vuolo asked to court Jinger Duggar. Future dad-in-law was eating a chocolate muffin at the time, and he seemed way more interested in the muffin than in his daughter's new relationship.
If you thought the muffin shenanigans or the awkward talk about physical intimacy was bad, well, that was nothing. Tonight's episode took the awkwardness to a whole new level. Obviously not happy about the idea of his daughter moving to Laredo, Duggar questioned Vuolo at length while hanging out at a local restaurant. He mentioned Vuolo's allegedly paltry salary as a pastor and brought up concerns regarding his ability to support Jinger after getting hitched. He even brought up the idea of Vuolo taking on a second job to support Jinger's "expensive" thrift shopping habit.
Duggar acted like his questions were lighthearted and all in good fun, but it's obvious that he has his concerns about Vuolo. These concerns probably have something to do with Vuolo's bad boy past, although he also probably finds the idea of having one daughter on a mission trip and the other in Texas upsetting.
After multiple episodes of Duggar's cavalier (and sometimes downright negative) attitude, a few viewers have come to suspect that the reality TV patriarch is desperate for somebody, anybody, to court his daughters in the aftermath of last summer's Josh Duggar drama.
Vuolo must have done something to gain Duggar's full approval, since he is now engaged. I will be curious to see how their relationship evolves this season... but at the same time, I dread seeing them in the same room. Vuolo seems like an OK guy and his lady is clearly head over heels, so I think it's time for Mr. Duggar to back off.
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