Tasha Mack is good at many things: Managing professional athletes, taking care of her son and being a support system for her friends are just a few. But when it comes to being celibate, she’s a mess. After two weeks, even meatballs can send her into a frenzy.
At what seems to be her first meeting, she confesses all of her sexual transgressions, past and present.
There was a guidance counselor and cafeteria worker during high school, the infamous Rick Fox, a prostitute and a slew of men in between.
“I need help, y’all. I done hit rock bottom, huh?”she says.
“We’re here to support your commitment to abstinence,” says one of the Cupcakes. “You think about us as your sponsors. Like a living, breathing chastity belt. ... We feel like men need to work to get your cupcake. Dessert comes last.”
But how much work is enough?
Pookie, Tasha’s newest boyfriend, surprises her with a home-cooked meal at her place and can barely get a peck on the cheek for his efforts.
When Tasha returns from her pro-celibacy meeting to find the piping hot dish awaiting her, she complains — about everything — to prevent herself from being turned on by Pookie’s charm.
“Do me a favor, don’t bathe for a while either,” she says after complaining about Pookie’s cologne and asking that he discontinue wearing it.
And when Pookie tries to place his napkin in her lap, he’s thanked with an equal dose of hostility: “Excuse you. I can put my own napkin on my own lap,” Tasha says.
After chiding him for having the lights too dark and showing apprehension at the idea of eating spaghetti and meatballs, Tasha finally gives the man a break and decides to eat.
But he’s licking his lips after the first bite, and she can’t have that.
“Why don’t we do something a little more low key?” she says after announcing that she’s not interested in dinner anymore. She springs from the table and suggests watching a movie.
When she and Pookie move to the couch, she places a pillow and her purse in between them to act like a chastity barrier. But Pookie moves them out of the way.
“Come lay with your man,” he says. Tasha cuddles with him for a few seconds, but the closeness is too much.
“I can’t do this. Aight it was a bad idea. ... I just want to go lay down for a minute. Alone,” she says before kicking Pookie out.
In another part of San Diego, Derwin struggles with having his partner too far away.
Melanie is in “D.C.” for an interview at Johns Hopkins. (Why the producers are pretending that Johns Hopkins is in D.C., or that Baltimore — Hopkins’ real location — is so close to D.C. that Melanie could stay in the nation’s capital during her interview, is beyond me. But this is truly irksome!) To celebrate his wife-free time, he, Malik and few others party at a club.
“This is just like old times, dog. Good music, good groupies,” says Malik.
When Derwin’s phone rings, Malik clowns him about having to move away from the noisy crowd before picking up, lest he upset Mrs. Davis.
But Derwin ignores the call to show that Melanie doesn’t have him on an electronic leash.
“She’s where she wants to be, and I’m where I want to be. With my ninjas,” he says.
The next day when Malik arrives to their stadium for practice, he finds Derwin already in the middle of workout drills.
“What you doing here so early, boy?” Malik asks.
Derwin says after his night out with the guys he came straight to practice.
“You been here since 3 a.m.?” says Malik.
“Yeah man,” says Derwin. “Gotta sweat out the alcohol.”
Malik’s not buying Derwin’s insane work ethic as reason to come to practice before the sun is up.
“You worried about proving yourself to the team? Man, dog, don’t,” he says. “Ain’t nobody worried about that Kwan mess.” (Sabers star quarterback Kwan Kirkland was said to be out for the season in last week’s episode.)
“Ain’t no body worried about Kwan,” says Derwin. “I’m trying to bring home my second championship ring, baby.”
Tasha may also be having her own sleepless nights. She’s called an emergency meeting of the Cupcakes to get advice on what to do with Pookie.
“My man is in town. And my cupcake is in danger,” she says.
The group leader starts placing Tasha’s sexual triggers in a bag to help subside her temptation. Out goes her alcohol, sex toys and even a shower head that can play some interesting tricks with water pressure.
In the middle of Tasha’s at-home session, Pookie walks through the door. She asks what he’s doing here and he says he’s brought her soup. (During their disastrous dinner, Tasha had complained of stomach problems to get out of eating the spaghetti.)
He asks what all of the other women are doing there.
“We’re a celibacy support group,” says one Cupcake member.
Pookie asks if he can observe their session. After the group’s leader says they are a women’s-only club, he questions them about discrimination. She decides to let him stay.
He listens to many of the women’s sob stories, but soon they are too much to bare. One woman cries about how her man won’t care for her in the way her dad once did. And when the group leader says, “As most of you know it’s been almost two years since I took my oath of celibacy. ... I’ve never felt stronger, happier or more alive,” Pookie feels compels to speak up.
All the talk about what men are or aren’t doing for them “ain’t helpin’ you ladies at all,” he says.
One by one he calls them out for being insecure and suffering from low self-esteem. Then he turns his attention to Tasha.
“She’s scared from opening herself up to being hurt, despite the fact that she’s always jumping from one meaningless relationship to the next with men that she knows she can never have a future with,” he says.
“See me? I’m not safe. Because she knows there’s a possibility that this thing right here, it can really happen. And I know that scares the crap out of you. Doesn’t it?”
Back with Derwin, he and Malik have completed practice and are hanging at a bar. When Malik says he’s ready to leave, Derwin insists that he stay and continue their male bonding. Malik isn’t interested, so Derwin finally tells him the real reason he needs his friend to keep him company.
“I don’t wanna go home, man. It’s not the same with Melanie not there,” Derwin says.
“Dog, enjoy your hall pass before you take your [expletive] back to detention,” says Malik.
“Me and Melanie are in a tough place right now,” says Derwin. He talks about Melanie’s trip to “D.C.” and asks why she has to be so difficult.
“Because she’s a woman,” says Malik.
The football players continue trying to figure out why women do what they do until Derwin eventually returns home, solo.
He fiddles around the kitchen for a minute before finally returning Melanie’s calls, which he’s been ignoring for the past couple of days.
He asks how D.C. is and says he misses her. And though he seemed adamantly against leaving San Diego in last week’s episode, he says this: “Melanie, about the whole move to D.C., what’d you have in mind?”
And based on the buzz online about Tia Mowry (Melanie) leaving the show, it looks like Mrs. Davis has a lot in mind when it comes to settling in “D.C.”
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