It must have been the beginning of February when the ladies decided to get together for their annual dinner at Ruby Tuesday. This year, as it turned out, none of them had Valentine's Day plans. For once, this group of single women was without boyfriends, lovers or whatever.
But you know what happens when you put a bunch of single women together close to St. Valentine's Day? The stories start pouring out. It's like a bad episode of Sex and The City -- but the tales of awesome sex are replaced by stories explaining why men should take heed of the hearts they break.
A tall waiter walks over to the table, smiling at the women and assuring them that he's going to take care of them.
"That's what they all say," Erica says after he's out of earshot.
The other ladies laugh.
"Sometimes," I say, "you have to take care of them. Teach them a lesson, if you will."
All eyes are on me, and my mouth just starts running.
There was this guy that I was dating a few years ago; at first things were good. We watched old movies at his place and went to lunch in the park during the spring and summer. But once he got comfortable, things started to change. You know how men talk about a woman changing in a relationship after a period of time? It was the total opposite with this dude. Let's call him Charles.
Charles started making promises, but never followed through on them. There was the New Edition concert at Carowinds that we never made it to. There was the time he swore he was going to wash my car because it was so dirty.
It got so bad that when he talked, it was just like listening to the teacher from The Peanuts.
Finally, I got tired of it. And the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back was when the stereo in my car stopped working and he said, "If you purchase a radio for your car, I'll install it for you."
"OK," I replied. I'd already called around to some of the stereo installation stores in Charlotte and their prices were just outrageous. Besides, Charles installed stereos for a living, and as his girlfriend, he should install mine for free anyway. Hell, it was the least the asshole could do after all of the broken promises and bullshit I'd been putting up with.
I went to Wal-Mart and purchased the car stereo. I really needed the CD player because Charlotte radio sucks, but I digress.
That Monday, I called Charles and said, "Hey, when can you install the stereo?"
"Uh, well, I'm going to have to call you back," was his reply.
All right, I thought as I headed for work. Mind you, my job at the time was only about a block and a half from his place of business. So, imagine my utter surprise when I'm driving in to work and I see this fool all up in some girl's face, smiling and shooting the shit as if he didn't have a care in the world.
Had I been early for work, I might have driven my car right into them. But I was running late, so I headed to the South End office building while I dialed his cell phone. Don't you know, this fucker sent my call to voice mail!
Now I was mad.
The women lean in as if they can feel the climax to this story coming.
"Did you kick her ass?" Wendy asks.
"No," I reply. "She wasn't the one giving me the run around, nor was she the one who was supposed to be committed to me. That's the mistake that women make, we blame the other woman."
"Shut up, Oprah!" Erica says. "Get on with the story."
That day, I called Charles a few more times that I care to admit. Each time, I got his voice mail. And yeah, there were a few profanity-laced messages left on his phone.
Then the wheels started spinning. It was obvious to me that two things needed to happen. This so-called relationship needed to end, and I needed to do something to make him feel like crap.
Sure, it wasn't the most mature thing to do, but at the time who gave a damn about maturity?
After I went to this shady stereo store on Independence Boulevard and paid $35 for two seconds of work, I was really pissed. Not because of the money -- but because this guy had promised to do something for me and instead, I see him laughing it up with some random girl.
Random ... I wonder how he would feel if he got a random phone call from the Mecklenburg County Health Department?