Everything I Never Dreamed I Wanted - Chapter 3

Chapter 3

We don't have enough time for coffee, I'd even settle for a 'ground-up brick' in hot water right now, or maybe Starbucks. I'm still dragging my feet. Morgan is great and I wanted to make sure that she was the one that would color me back to brunette. That's why I agreed to a 9:00 am appointment. I walk in and she gives me a hug, then does the same to Helen. Tammy is behind us looking a bit nervous. I'm not sure how many times my sister, Tammy, has actually been to a salon. If you've never actually laid eyes on her, the lone bottle of generic, baby shampoo in her shower, is all you really need to know. Helen, Tammy's roommate, wasn't kidding when she said that I made a 'better Tammy, than Tammy'. I may be wired that way, but I'm not plumbed that way.

Morgan's Salon has, what we all lovingly refer to as, an 'emergency room.' It’s private and has a lock on the door along with anything and everything Morgan needs to fix hair disasters. She finally ushers me into the solitary room to take a good look at the damage. Helen's guilt-has her following behind me. Tammy stays behind, the room isn't large enough for all of us. Morgan still needs enough room to work.

Morgan props up a segment of hair and pushes her glasses to the tip of her nose. "Hmmm, I don't think it's going to hold any color." I begin to glare at Helen. "This doesn't look like the work of any of my girls." She adds. "Who did this to you?"

I crane my neck towards Helen. "She thought it would be fun to turn my beautiful rosewood hair blonde." Helen’s eyes are cast downward. "Well, the best thing I can do is cut it short and you can just let it grow out." I'm beside myself. Morgan sees the look on my face. I'm guessing it is somewhere between 'my puppy just died' and 'MY BEST FRIEND RUINED MY GORGEOUS HAIR!'.

Morgan continues, "Your choices are long, blonde and over processed or something short and sassy but still blonde.” I know it’s pointless to seek a 'second opinion'. My eyes gaze back at Helen for some advice. Her eyes are still cast at the floor. I sigh, "cut it." I say with a sad and somber voice. Morgan sighs, "Have a seat. I'll make it quick."

"Wait! What about the interviews?" Helen reminds me. "Can we at least get it to Tammy's length and TRY some color?" Helen quickly recounts the plot for Morgan.

"It’s going to look like straw, but we'll give it a shot." Morgan remarked. "Do you really want me to make you look like her?" Morgan was dumbstruck. Morgan’s the genius that made my gender bending into an art form. I’m sure she was aghast that I would try to look anything like my sister who is seated in her waiting room.

"Well we thought you'd make them look alike. You saw my roommate out there. Why don't we see what we can do with Tim here and bring Tammy to match?"

Morgan brings one of her girls into the room then points her to Tammy. The other stylist closes her eyes, shakes her head and is off to work with Tammy. Morgan works with my hair. Tammy and I emerge 3 hours later with the same hair but not much else. The color is a bit light for me but Tammy is in love with her hair. It's nice to see her take pride in the way she looks. I think she's got the bookishness and I got the narcissism. Familial traits anecdotally, and I’m positive, people with alphabet soup at the end of their names would probably correct me.

Tammy is more animated because of her hair and I'm just happy to be anything but blonde. We're off for some shopping. It must be a strange sight. A guy and a girl, same hair, different clothing. It's always been fun blurring the gender lines. I don't think Tammy appreciates it much. The double takes make me and Helen burst into fits of laughter. We're walking with Tammy on one side of Helen and me on the other. Every now and again Helen catches me in lock step following Tammy's gestures to the letter. She gives me a shove here and there and we break out into laughter. Tammy looks at us like a mother who’s at her wits end with her children.

Walking in to shops for business wear for my sister is interesting. Obviously, I would need the same. The high end stores in town already know who I am. I'm a regular, if not a frequent customer. They are shock to see Tammy though, wondering if I've been hiding my twin from them. "It does explain why you come here often." one shop owner remarked with a smile. "Now if only I can get her to wear them." I say with a smile doing the show and tell arm gestures at my sister. There's that angry cat meme face again! Helen is just drinking it all in. At any moment she's ready to burst into laughter. We collect the attire we've chosen, my treat of course. And we're off.

We return to the apartment late in the afternoon. Tammy's had enough of her two 'kids', schleps herself into her room and closes the door behind her. I think I heard the thud of the headboard hitting the wall as she plopped down on her bed.

"You two are so different." remarked Helen. "You know if you switched places, you both would actually be 'normal'.

"Are you saying I'm too girly?" I say looking through my purse trying to cull out the unnecessary items to lighten it up. "You know I have to keep reminding myself that you are a guy sometimes." she says with a flash of a smile. "I've never asked, but why do you keep switching back and forth?" Helen's never this direct. "Where's this going?" I'm now more guarded. "I understand exploring gender lines, but how long are you going to keep this going?" "Why should I stop?" my voice and tone less jovial. "Don't you want a normal life? You can't keep this up forever."

"Why not! I've got everything I want!" I say with a smile.

"For now, but will that always be the case?"

"Why wouldn’t it. I have my own home, an awesome best friend, family that loves me and can look great in a size 4 or a size 38."

"What about starting a life?"

"What life? I've got a great one going."

"A family? I've never seen you date. You've shot down all the guys that ask you out and all the girls you approach end up as girl friends and not girlfriends. Don't you want more?"

"What I want-Is to check out the fall line-up with my best friend." Helen gives me a defeated look. She shrugs her shoulders and begins to walk to her room. "Well then I'll see you back here at 7? I think you still need to get ready too."

Tammy's at the threshold of her room. She's in her comfy wear. Sweatpants, cami and a cardigan. The thought runs through my head 'We bought you a few new outfits why are you wearing those?' I stop myself thinking it's something mom would say.

"What was that about?" Tammy asks as she leans on the doorway, arms crossed.

I think I got the " ' You should grow up already lecture' from Helen." She pours it over in her mind. "Y'know you should start thinking about your future"

"Oh! Not you too!"

"Aren't you going to get a job? What about a family? Have you thought about any of that?"

I roll my eyes. "My home is paid off and my car for that matter. I've got zero debt and I have the two of you... What else do I need? You all think I should have more when, let's face it, you both don't."

"But we are working to get it. You're not even trying."

"I have to get ready for tonight." I grab my purse and my overnight bag. "I'll be back by 7 to pick-up Helen. Do you want to grab some dinner with us beforehand then drop us off? You can have the car for the evening. We can take a cab home."

"No, I think I'll have a nice quiet night at home this evening. We still need to plan out everything for the interviews. Oh! Remember mom still wanted to talk to you about something. Your hair is semi-normal and so there's no excuse now."

Great! I love mom but sometimes I don't think I can handle another round of "Where's your life going."

The evening goes off without much fanfare, though it does give me some ideas. The morning after I check the market pour through the mass emails of facts, figures, journals & periodicals. I mine the "socials" for info and trends and make a few trades and I'm ready for the day.

I sigh, as I get into my car and head over to Tammy's. We get started on the plan for the interviews. We're pouring through her resume and her experience. We look through some of the projects she's worked on and I see how much effort she's put into her career. She was hired as an intern then promoted as an assistant with now defunct marketing firm. She finds herself having to start over competing against kids who are more adept at social media than she ever was. It wasn't her personality to be social, let alone entangle herself in the web of the "Social".

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