It’s Saint Valentine’s Day, the night of love and romance. Some of the dolls are at the Valentine’s Day Ball, the highlight of winter after Christmas. Lara and Josh, Tommy and Mira, Sam and Midge, Barbie and Ken, Sandra and Steven, Emma and Marvin – and Monique and Sutton… Monique and Sutton! How did that happen? Every time we’ve seen Sutton he’s been hanging all over Merida at the George, except for New Year’s Eve, when he went to Emma and Marvin’s party by himself. So how did he end up at the dance with Monique? To understand this development, we need to backtrack a bit…
It’s early February and Corbin is in the garden with his new girlfriend Jazmin. He’s invited her home to meet his family.
“Don’t mind my cousin’s wife, Emma,” he tells Jazmin. “She’s the African version of Mrs. Bouquet.”
“Mrs. Bouquet?” says Jazmin. “Like flowers? I don’t understand.”
“It was a sitcom on a while ago,” explains Corbin. Jazmin is Hungarian and not familiar with old British television shows. “It was about Hyacinth Bucket, who insisted on calling herself Mrs Bouquet. It was called Keeping Up Appearances, and that’s Emma. Her family is Nigerian originally so I call her the African Mrs Bouquet.”
In the kitchen, Corbin introduces Jazmin to Emma, Marvin and Viviane, who immediately asks, “Why is your hair blue?”
“Because it’s beautiful, like the sky,” says Jazmin in return.
Jazmin and Corbin head upstairs, and Emma can’t contain herself. “Oh, my God,” she says, “A white girl with blue hair!”
“Now, Emma,” says Marvin, “I don’t like it when you talk that way. My mother is white, your best friend is white…”
“And my first boyfriend was white,” Emma finishes. “White is not the point. Blue is.” She sighs. “I can’t do anything about Corbin’s taste in clothes or women,” she adds, “But it reminds me that I want to fix up Monique with that nice Sutton Matthews who was here on New Year’s Eve.”
“Oh, boy,” says Marvin. “Here we go.”
“Here’s what we’re going to do,” says Emma…
And so just a few days later, we find Sutton and Monique having cocktails at the George at the beginning of Happy Hour. Emma has invited Sutton over for a “quiet family dinner,” and suggests that he meet Monique at the George so she can show him the way over. Sutton is too polite to say that he’s been to their house already and agrees.
Behind the bar, Kevin introduces Yvette to the new barmaid he has hired, who, unbeknownst to Monique, happens to be Emma’s cousin from Nigeria, Blessing Olatunji. Blessing and Yvette hit it off immediately.
Then disaster strikes.
Merida comes in for Happy Hour and finds Sutton and Monique deep in conversation. She pauses to listen for a moment, as Sutton hasn’t noticed her and Monique has no idea who she is.
Merida can’t believe her ears. It’s pretty clear that this is a blind date and Sutton has decided to bring this woman into the George where he knows he’s likely to run into Merida!
Sutton and Monique get up to leave and as he passes Merida she hisses at him, “Well, you said you fancied a lass with curly ginger hair, didn’t you?” She’s clearly furious. Monique stops as she can hear angry whispers and definitely doesn’t want to get involved or hear what’s going on.
“Merida, this is stupid. We’ve had some laughs and a couple of drinks together. You don’t have any call to be angry at me!”
“I guess I’m not good enough for you to date, then, am I? I bet you wouldn’t stop from shagging me, though, would you?”
“Yeah, maybe I wouldn’t, but I wouldn’t take you home to visit my mother afterward!”
Merida looks as if he’s slapped her. Sutton turns around angrily and escorts Monique out the door.
Merida orders a martini and sits down, completely gobsmacked, both angry and miserable, and very close to bursting into tears. Yvette tries to console her and Blessing thinks to herself, “Oh my, I think I’m going to like this job! It’s just like a soap!”
Sutton and Monique arrive for dinner and find that Emma has prepared a feast. After a couple of glasses of wine, she’s ready to put her plan into action.
“Viviane is upstairs in the nursery with the other children,” she tells Monique, who wonders where her favourite is. “Marvin and I hardly have any ‘adult’ time these days so we are really happy to have you two here. We’ve asked Steffi to look after her on Valentine’s Day so we can go to the ball. What about you, Sutton? Are you going to the ball?”
Sutton looks slightly confused and replies that he hasn’t really thought about it.
Emma continues, “Well, why don’t you go with Monique? We could make it a double date! That would be so much fun!”
Emma doesn’t seem to notice that Monique is giving her the death stare from hell.
Sutton immediately rises to the occasion and responds, “I would love that, if Monique would agree to accompany me.”
What can poor Monique do except say yes?
The ball is terribly elegant, with a jazz singer, accompanied by Jake on the piano. Jenny is taking photos. It’s going to be Kurhn’s debut, and she’s terribly nervous. Nicole and Dexter reassure her that she’s going to be great.
In the meantime, the dancers are enjoying themselves. Everyone agrees that Lara and Emma are the belles of the ball, in their designer gowns by Cora Gu. Tommy and Mira are dancing close together and everyone seems to be having a good time – but especially Midge and Sam. And why? As they were dancing, Sam whispered in Midge’s ear, “Darling, there is something I have to ask you.”
“Ask away, sweetheart.”
“Midge, will you marry me?”
“Oh, yes, yes, yes!”
And so they are engaged!
It’s time for Kurhn to sing. She’s chosen “My Funny Valentine,” of course, and she brings down the house.
The crowd goes wild – they all stop dancing and listen, mesmerised! What a fabulous night for Kurhn!
But what about the rest of the dolls? Momoko and Yuki have a seduction planned, and there’s a big “All the Single Ladies” event on at the George, which will now include the spurned Merida. Don’t miss the next episode!