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Kiss & Tell: Margaritas and love on the rocks
Being single is better than love gone wrong
Published Wednesday, August 28, 2013 10:00 am
by Michaela L. Duckett

clientuploads/wb_kiss-tell.gifI don’t know if it’s something in the air, in the water or if it’s just a crazy phase of the moon. But it seems that with just about every couple I know, their relationship is in a state of disarray. It’s at times like these that I realize being single isn’t such a bad thing after all.

It’s a Thursday afternoon. I’m leaving my office in South End and heading to South Charlotte to meet friends at Salsarita’s in Blakeney. It’s raining. It’s been a long day. I’m tired and tempted to hop on 85 North and go home to bed, but Salsarita’s is holding an open house to introduce a new Sol Margarita, and there’s something about free food, free drinks and girl talk I can’t resist.

I arrive to find my crew sitting at a booth in the back. I know I must be late because even Gabrielle beat me there, and she’s never anywhere on time. She’s seated with Sonya, Sapphire, Carmen and Monica.

I pull up a chair and Gabrielle hands me a cup filled with frozen margarita.

“You’ve got to try it,” she said. “They mix it with their Sol lemonade. It’s sooo good.”

I taste and agree.

99 man problems

Sonya Peters, a big time real estate agent in her early 40s, is so busy complaining about her 30-year-old husband Martin’s lack of ambition that she barely pauses to acknowledge my arrival.

“I never thought our age difference would be an issue,” she says. “When I met Martin, he seemed so driven to succeed. I thought that if I just gave him a little help, he’d be on his way. But that’s not the case. He’s just a big liability. It’s like having a child, and I’m starting to lose respect for him. He’s all talk and no action.”

Sonya met Martin about seven years ago at a club. They were engaged six months later and married the following year. At the time, Martin – a reformed drug dealer turned businessman – ran some kind of trucking company. But when the recession hit in 2008, it went belly up. Since then, Sonya has given him start-up capital to fund three other business ventures – a unisex salon, a clothing store and restaurant. Each failed. And now he’s trying to convince Sonya to invest in some IT business he wants to start with one of his buddies.

“I’m so sick of supporting him,” she says. “I should have run for the hills when I had to buy my own wedding ring and damn near propose to myself.”

“Oh, hell no,” says Sapphire. “I would never buy my own ring and can’t even imagine myself ever dating anyone who made less money than I do.”

“Of course you can’t,” says Gabrielle. “That’s because you’re a gold digger.”

Even though she laughs it off, she’s partly serious. Sapphire has always had a knack for parting men from their money. She’s a professional student working on her second master’s degree. She’s never held down a paying gig but manages to live in a luxurious condo in SouthPark and wears designer shoes, dresses and handbags that cost probably three times the amount I pay in rent.

I remember when we first met last year at Gabrielle’s birthday party. It was just a low-key dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, but Sapphire came in rocking a Herve Leger dress, a Breitling watch and some red bottoms. The entire dinner she kept complaining how “Daddy’s” latest gift didn’t meet her standards. He bought her a new Porsche Cayenne, but she was upset the monogram stitching on the headrests was hot pink and not her signature color, fuchsia. It took the entire dinner for me to realize that “Daddy” was not her father, but some rich guy she was dating who I’ve heard was some prince from Dubai.

“Call me what you want,” Sapphire says to Gabrielle. “But what I got is so good, I’d be a fool to give it away for free.”

Then her cell phone rings. She picks it up, looks at the caller ID and hits the ignore button.

“Ugh,” she says, rolling her eyes. “I feel like Daddy is smothering me. He’s always in my face, and when he’s not in my face, he’s blowing up my phone asking when am I going to come home so he can get back in my face.

“I mean, he’s from Dubai, and I don’t understand why he doesn’t spend more time over there with his wives. It was perfect when we first started dating because he’d only be in the states for a few days at a time. But now, it’s like he’s damn near moved in. I think I’m going to have to find a replacement for him because I want my space back.”

“Well maybe we should switch,” says Carmen. “My problem is the exact opposite. All Jackson does is work, work, work. I haven’t even heard from him in three days. Well, I take that back, he sent me a ‘Good morning’ text yesterday, but when I responded he didn’t hit me back. I’m starting to wonder if he’s seeing somebody else.”

Trouble in Paradise

As everyone complains about man problems, Monica is notably quiet. Perhaps it’s because her relationship is the picture of paradise, or so I thought.

The next day, she calls me crying. It’s only 3 o’clock in the afternoon, but I think she’s already drunk. She’s slurring her words so badly I can hardily understand what she’s saying.

“I’m leaving him,” she says, referring to Jason, her boyfriend of two and a half years.

“What?” I ask. “You’re leaving Jason? But you two seem so happy. What happened?”

“Nothing happened,” she says, blowing her nose into the receiver. “And that’s the problem. It’s been almost three years, and he hasn’t proposed to me yet. I’m 32 years old. If I ever want to have a family, I don’t have time to waste waiting on him. In three more years, I won’t have any eggs left.”

After work, I swing by her place to check on her. She answers the door looking disheveled. She’s wearing her glasses, an oversized t-shirt and some leggings. Her hair is a mess. And for whatever reason she’s got on some bright red lipstick and it’s smeared all over her face. An empty bottle of wine is on the coffee table and some depressing my-baby-don’t-love-me-anymore music is playing in the background. She lets me in, and flops down on the sofa.

“I can’t do this anymore,” she says. “He’s never going to commit. He takes me for granted. I’ve got to leave.”

She goes on and on about how she gave Jason until their two year mark to propose. She said he promised that after he got out of the league (he played professional football) they’d get engaged. His contract was not renewed at the end of last season, but still no ring.

“I’ve never even met his mother,” she says. “He’s never taken me to his house in St. Louis (where he played for the Rams). I think he takes me for granted. I put up with all of his BS, the groupies and everything. And for what?”

She said she’s been looking at apartments all week and plans to move out of the place they share in six weeks if he doesn’t get his act together and put a ring on it.

“Have you told him you're leaving?” I ask.

“Nope. And I’m not going to. He’s just going to look up, and I’ll be gone. He won’t even see it coming.”


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