Everything is Boiling Over at Sweetie Pie’s

So much has happened since the last time I was able to sit down and talk Sweetie Pies.  With the flu, travel, work and preparing for the holidays I have been holding all this in.  Now choosing to write over some of the long Black Friday lines, I can finally catch you up on the wild Montgomery antics.

Let’s begin with Miss Robbie.   That woman never seems to stop…no matter what it does to her health.  Her voice was getting worse and she needed break.  Taking a chance, she decided to give Charles his one big chance to be the manager while she took a couple of days to herself.  Knowing Tim would peek in on him helped to ease the anxiety.  Miss Robbie left the building but she forgot to leave her phone!  Despite being told to rely on Charles, their simplest solution for everything was to call Robbie.  Yelling through the phone it was obvious her voice wasn’t getting much of a rest. 

Now in fairness to the employees, Charles seemed to be a bit absent on the floor.  He spent most of his time blowing up photos of himself with his aunt and even ones of him with his dog…plastering her office with them.   Although the place didn’t come down it did catch fire.  By the time Robbie finally made it back, it was clear that Charles needed yet another career path.  It didn’t take him long to bounce into his next venture, acting.  Pulling on a connection from Tim (who had done a little acting following his time in prison), Charles met with a coach who broke the news…he would be going to classes to learn.  Something that disappointed the young man who was always looking for the easy way out.  Regardless of the classes, Charles was willing to see where it took him.

With her voice not improving, Miss Robbie decided it was time to go to the doctor.  Admitting she was worried about cancer, the doctor put her worries at ease.  However she did deliver some difficult news.  Miss Robbie needed to be quieter.  This was going to be hard. I am not sure she can do quiet.  I haven’t heard her “not yelling”, but it was obvious that her health required it and she really needed to try.  That meant she needed help.  She finally bit the bullet and hired a manager and it appears she made a good choice.  She fit right in and cracked her whip quietly yet effectively. 

Feeling empowered, Miss Robbie decided it was time for a little tough love.  She pulled Charles and Andre into the office and let them it was time for them to experience the real world.  They were no longer getting money from her for a job they didn’t do.  They needed to get REAL jobs.  Andre jumped up and headed out to find what he could but Miss Robbie had something in mind for Charles.  She coordinated with her main fishing guy who supplies her to take Charles out on the water for a hard day’s work.   Arriving over two hours late, Charles quickly realized he worked a lot harder and didn’t make a dime.  Suddenly the restaurant wasn’t so bad….but that didn’t mean he needed to end his hopes of becoming the next Denzel Washington!

A few blocks away, Tim was having his own crisis at Mangrove.  His employees were slacking and with constant pressure to close the restaurant, he had a lot on his mind.  In fact it consumed his as usual.  Tim has built a reputation on the show of not showing up for his family….his mother’s birthday, family reunions, his own son’s birthday, appointments and this time a celebration honoring his mother proving once again that Tim doesn’t see the big picture.  All the money in the world can measure up to the value your family and loved ones hold.  Seriously!   I learned that lessons very early in my childhood and it has garnered me the most important rewards.  As for Tim everyone was getting sick of the disappointment.  It was now the new expected.  His mother invited him although she admitted to him in the same breath that she knew he wouldn’t show up.   He claimed (as always) that’d he would show up…but the pattern was consistent.  Jenae was tired of it.  Did she really want to spend her life with a man who wouldn’t show up for her or her son?  It didn’t matter how much money Mangrove makes if it was at the cost of her family. 

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Sweetie Pie’s Makes Room for the Montgomery Family Reunion

Have I told you lately how much I love Sweetie Pie’s? Each week I find myself giggling along with the Montgomery family antics, reflecting about my own and craving fried chicken.  Seriously!  With the doors of the Upper Crust finally opened, it was back to business as usual.  Well…less a head chef, some cooking staff and two major events on the family’s plate.  As Miss Robbie struggled to fill in the gap, she was also working hard to pull together an important 3-day event…the Montgomery family reunion.  Family was descending from all over to capture a little family time.  The events kicked off at the Upper Crust where Robbie treated the entire family to some heavenly southern cooking.   Even though Tim briefly stopped by, poor Miss Robbie was almost bound to the kitchen.  This was one time she didn’t need to be so short staffed.  Although she was within yelling distance, she didn’t seem to get as much time as she had hoped.    Working through it she tried to stay focused on the BBQ that was taking place the following day.

Tim was focused on something totally different.  He had committed to catering at an event with 3,000 people on Sunday, the last day of the reunion.  It seemed that Tim was determined to prove to his mom that he could be a success at the helm of Mangrove.  His “all business” attitude left very little time for family…and it didn’t go unnoticed.  In fact the entire weekend served as a reminder to never bite off more than you can chew.   While Tim didn’t make the effort to show up at all that weekend, he did put in a brief appearance the first night.  As I watched Jenea and Charles taking in the events, I paused.  It was unfortunate that no one offered to step in and free her up.   Maybe they did off-scene…I hope they did.   The older I get the more I realize how important family opportunities are.  

Before it was over, Miss Robbie made it a priority to show up at church no matter how shorthanded the restaurant was.  The only one who was missing was Tim.  With lines wrapped around the building (as usual), Tim was trapped at the Mangrove taking care of customers and preparing for the 3,000 people he was going to be serving at the event later in the day.  Meanwhile, Miss Robbie boarded the charter bus that her family had piled into on their way out of town with a last minute plea for more time.  Regrets of lost moments spilled over her.    Tears came to her eyes as she worried whether Tim would ever get it.  Would his priorities ever shift and would he be able to finally put family first?

But Tim wasn’t the only one who seemed about clueless this episode.  As many viewers know, Charles is the relative who never does anything.  Still living like a high school teenager, his room was in shambles.  Clothes and garbage everywhere and his cousin, Monique had finally reached her limit.  Not only was a foul odor seeping from his room, he was regularly staying out until the early morning hours.   He wasn’t helping out around the house and his lifestyle was creating a negative impact on Monique’s life. 

Unsure of what to do, she turned to his mom for advice.   Sadly she didn’t seem surprised and implied that Monique should have known what to expect.  She had already given up on her son and on parenting him.  In fairness, he is an adult and responsible for his own actions.  It just shocks me because although I have finally stepped into my forties, my mom still tells me like it is.  Feeling she had no alternative, Monique sat Charles down and asked him to look for somewhere else to live.  His eyes dropped and for a moment I felt bad for Charles.  He felt unwanted, but that SO wasn’t the issue.   His family wanted to help, but Charles wasn’t willing to help himself.  All eyes were on him waiting for him to grow up.   Maybe this will be the catalyst that finally catapults him into change.   We will have to watch and see!

A Little Competition Reminds Us of What Really Matters on “Sweetie Pie’s”

Let me start by saying that I may have been a little hard on Tim last week.   There is no harm in a little healthy competition can, but my feisty responses were really boiled down to my own personal views on respect and loyalty. I grew in the youngest of three girls to a single mom.  Loyalty was everything.  We depended on each other and never felt alone in life.  In fact, my grandfather was the first that I know of who modeled this intense loyalty.  A single father of eight kids, his family was everything to him.  If he only had one roll, he would have split it up for his children and any other family who found themselves in need.  He never turned away family.

So this week when Tim wrapped himself up in playing games with his mom, I found myself getting upset at him.   One minute he was sneaking in the Upper Crust and taking pots that didn’t belong to him only side tracking his mom from her opening.  Not only was she dealing with a chef that couldn’t find his southern groove, she was dealing with her son.   In fact he wasn’t taking any steps to relieve any stress from his mom at all.  Instead Tim was creating drama.  I get it…it makes good TV.   He should have been clearing the road of obstacles in his mother’s path to success at the Upper Crust. However, the Montgomerys always keep it interesting! Check out this deleted scene.

Miss Robbie had built this business for her family…and Tim was her family!  He should have been doing everything to help her.  Mangrove was a well-oiled machine.  The success of both restaurants is vital for the whole family….not just Miss Robbie.

The episode opened with a little fun competition, turned a few dark corners but rounded back to family in the end.  Tim filled his time sneaking into the Upper Crust with a bit of new appliance envy, sending his best friend JR into the new restaurant to compare the food and even lifting a few new pots.  It was clear that Miss Robbie was on top of it all.  In a stand-off with Tim, she held his money ransom (should have never left it in his car) and eventually how to give it up to his mom.  Amazing how moms always have the upper hand….no matter how old you are.  She was clearly the master.

As the episode came to a Miss Robbie fired her new chef and his team and Tim seemed to come to his senses…or so it seems.  Realizing that he could lend his mom the support she needs, he refocused on family.  They were a team…and that is what truly matters!  A lesson I learned from my grandfather and my mom.  A lesson that I truly know for sure.  Let’s just hope that he is singing the same tune on the next episode!

‘Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s’ Opens with the ‘Upper Crust’

With each bite of the season opener, viewers rejoiced in our reunion with our favorite OWN TV family. Once again we were deep in the drama of the Montgomery family.  Now that wedding plans have been postponed until Tim and Jenae’s five-year anniversary, the family was in full celebration of Miss Robbie’s grand opening of the Upper Crust…well, most people.  We all know that the Montgomery family is tight, but sometimes it is hard to tell.

Tim focused on keeping the restaurant running while his mother wrapped up the last minute details for the “soft” opening she was throwing.  Throughout the scenes of dealing with a difficult contractor and a new cooking staff, Robbie was alone.  Tim was arm-deep in chicken while lines of people wrapped around the building all looking for a good meal.   For the first time, Tim was thinking of the restaurant as his own.  He wanted to be successful…it appeared to be at any cost.

As his mother’s dreams were coming true, there was a noticeable absence from the son, a son that she would do anything for.  We all knew that the plan was for Tim to be there for support while Jenae tended bar, but as the day got closer both her and Tim alluded to the possibility of not showing up.  Finding a babysitter and the desire to keep the restaurant open to make money seemed to be tripping both of them up.  We were certain it was simply a ploy to make for good TV.  It had to be.  Certainly Tim would be there for his mom. However at each turn he seemed to be sabotaging her.  First it was the contractor he hired to finish that all important patio Tim insisted on.  Then it was a childish change of passwords on a computer to protest his mother taking the office computer for the Upper Crust.  Only to be followed by complaints of her taking pots and pans and some of the staff.  None of this was a surprise to Tim.  He knew it was coming but his attitude left us questioning his character.   Maybe he and his mom had a lot more distance between them than we had realized.

As the opening got closer and the excitement built, Miss Robbie stopped into the old restaurant and told the crew she wanted all of them to be there for the opening.  Flyers were placed all around the building informing the customers that they were closing early, inviting them to the opening of their newest venture.   The staff worked through their day excited about the new beginning.   However they could tell early on that something seemed off with Tim.   Of course Jenae showed up early for Miss Robbie ready to mix drinks and show her support.  We all knew she would.  But Tim’s choices surprised many of us.

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