- Tara R
A BREAK-UP NOTE FROM MY 5 PM COCKTAIL
Hey sweets, it’s me – your 5 o’ clock cocktail. I mean, it’s 4:38 but time is such a meaningless construct these days. We’ve been there for each other 24/7, have we not? But, listen, we need to talk. Yes, that talk. I’m breaking up with you. It’s not you, it’s me. I’m starting to feel unappreciated and taken for granted. I need a little space.
You used to treat me with dignity and respect. You welcomed my contactless delivery in your driveway with a hearty cheer and little dance. One time, I wondered if I was indeed your precious Danny’s letter of acceptance to Tulane and not a screw top of George Clooney’s mid-priced tequila. Oh, how you celebrated! You made me feel good about myself! You put me in fancy barware, and showed me off on zooms with your old sorority sisters. You sliced lemons and limes that you sourced from restaurant distributors who would only sell you 400. You didn’t care! I was worth it! You experimented with hypnotiq liqueur and blue curacao. You elevated me. You made me better.
But things have changed. Gone are the days of you parading me around in Waterford crystal, or in martini glasses you bought last year on Gilt. (You paid for express shipping!! I was SO touched!) These days, I’m lucky if I see the inside of a reused solo cup. Oh, and little tip: I do NOT feel good about myself when you place me in a dixie cup, as if I’m on the same level as some tepid tap water that you swish around, gargle, and spit out. I’m not. I’ve been there for you when you needed me. You could give me , at least, that much respect.
I mean, really, when was the last time you even tagged me in a post? For months, I was everywhere, my frosted rim, my perfectly square ice cubes, my sexy salts. It’s like you’re not proud of me anymore. I’m not saying you are getting a little somethin' somethin' elsewhere, but I’ve heard rumors that the Polo Bar re-opened. I’m not accusing, I’m just curious …I don’t follow accounts that make me feel bad about myself.
Then, there are other days ---days when I just need a break, and then you become so needy! Some days all I want to do is breathe – and yet you wrap your lips around my neck and inelegantly try to suck the life out of me. You let me dribble down your lip. You don’t stir me, you don’t shake me, you do nothing to bring me to life.
And while I’m not as shallow as I appear to be at the bottom of your bottle, I have to say - you’ve let yourself go. You look tired and pale. You have blackheads. Sorry, not sorry -- but no one will be honest with you like I am. They don’t see you without the mask….but I do. Sure, you blame ME when your stretchiest jeans don’t fit you, but it’s not all my fault. What about pasta? Or popovers? No, they are guiltless, one-time splurges, free from your reproach and mind-games. It is ME you push away, ME that must be the reason you don’t sleep well, or feel so bloated.
And, then, just as fast as you purge me from your life, you apologize and invite me back, carrying me silently into your bedroom, as if I’m nothing more than a pawn in your inner chess game of self-love vs self-loathing. I have so much potential, and yet, I’ve become nothing more than a convenient scapegoat. And I’m tired of it. So I’m leaving.
Look, you are a wonderful person. Relationships change. The days are getting longer and soon 5 pm will feel like midday and you won’t need me anymore. I’m getting out with my dignity intact. It was fun while it lasted.