Everything I Never Dreamed I Wanted - Chapter 5

“Oh one more thing, I’m meeting your mother for lunch - you should join us.”

“Wouldn’t it be unfair to the other candidates?” I’m trying to worm my way out gracefully.

“Non-sense there are no other candidates. Join us I insist!”

Chapter 5

"Of course Ms. Grant. I would love to join you!" Panic sets in. There is an interview for Tim in an hour and a half. I'm booked with lunch for the next hour or more with the woman I'm to interview with and my mother. I have no chance to change out of my disguise. I have spent the last hour dressed as my sister; interviewing on her behalf for a job for which I find out, Tim, is a candidate. This is the part of the sitcom where the character has a choice of either come clean, or go for broke with another, yet more bizarre plan. Lucy?

My phone buzzes. It's Helen on the other end. I hope she knows to play along.

"Hi Tim!" I say to Helen. "Are you all set for the 1:30 interview at Grant Systems? Have you had a chance to speak with 'Ethyl'? about that costume in the closet?"

"Ummm, yes Tammy, she had it cleaned and placed in your closet; right?" Helen had played the male version of me last year on Halloween. Another story for another time. Her impression of me was dead on, almost as much as my impression of Tammy. Helen's hair is about as long as mine was before the blonde and subsequent trim two weeks ago. Her hair is more of a raven color. The logistics are a mess, hiding her breasts was another, her lack of info on my background was a serious problem. I'd need to fill her in on the interview detail somehow during lunch. I spent two weeks learning about Tammy. Helen's got less than an hour to get up to speed on me.

"Tammy do you have time to meet for lunch?"

"No sorry Tim, I'm having lunch with Ms. Grant and Mom of all people."

"I see."

"Oh, I made copies of your resume and put them on the desk drawer in the study. Good luck with the interview." I hope she's a quick study. I would owe her a kidney if she could pull this off.

Ms. Grant finishes gathering her things and shutting down her computer. We're off. Her chauffer drops us off at a wonderful gastropub that opened off the river downtown. It's elegant and I'm relieved that my attire is more than appropriate for the setting. Mom's already seated and greets Ms. Grant. The knowing look on my mom's face would be absolutely priceless, if I didn't know I would be paying for this later. "Tamera! Look at you young lady. You've never look better." Mom's 'fake excited' reaction was all the confirmation I need. "So how did my little girl do? I'm sure she met all of your expectations?"

"More than that I was impressed by her knowledge of our product line and her design ideas." Ms. Grant. "In fact I was hoping she would consider a position in our design department instead."

"Is that so? I didn't know you had the same gift for design as your brother, Tim. Where is he by the way? I've been trying to contact him for weeks?"

"My mother should have been an interrogator with the Pentagon or at least Homeland Security. She could break even the hardest detainee. They had waterboards, my mom has her wits.

"If you will excuse me, I have to visit the powder room." I say as I stand which slides my chair backwards.

"Hold on Tamera, I'll join you." The lump in my throat threatens to choke me at any moment.

"Please excuse us." my mother, calm as a reflecting pool says as we walk towards the ladies’ room. We reach the lounge inside and the calm, serene, façade drops and “pissed momma” emerges. “What the hell are you doing? Where’s Tamera and why haven’t you been returning my calls.”


“Choose your next few words carefully young lady!”


“I’m waiting. And don’t you dare start crying!”

She’s good. “I…”

“Don’t you dare lie to me either!”

She’s really good. I’ve never been on the business end of mom’s third degree but she’s busted me three times without me uttering more than a single word. “I’m interviewing as Tammy. She couldn’t make it.”

“Good start, continue.”

“She was double booked for an interview.”

“Why didn’t she say anything?”

“I don’t know”

“Lie number one! Would you like to start over?”

“You asked her to change her plans and she really wanted the other position instead. The interviews were the same day.”

“Who’s idea was this deception?”

“Mine and Helen”

“Where’s Tamera?”


“Did you think you would get away with all this?”

“Yes.” Trick question, answering ‘no’ would have been a lie.

“Is this why you have been avoiding my calls?

“No. it’s the same reason Tammy didn’t want to tell you about her other interview.”

“How did you expect to attend the interview at 1:30 and how long did you think you could keep this deception going?”

“Helen was to take my place” My mom’s eyes narrow… “We were hoping Tammy would get either of the other two jobs and be able to turn down this one.”

"You knew Tamera was up for the Assistant position, yet you took it a bit farther, angling for a position for the design department. I'm sure you didn't know about the 1:30 interview I had set up for you. You never returned my calls. I want an honest answer from you. If Ms. Grant offered you, as Tamara, not Tim, the position in the design department. Would you have taken it as Tamara?"

"She offered, I turned it down."

"On Tamera's behalf. I’ll ask it this way then. I know you already want the position. If the position was offered only to Tina or only to Tim, who would accept?"

It was the first time my own mother mentioned the name 'Tina'; much less directed at me. Her question was 'which life would I choose if one had to end?'. I lower my head, "I don't actually know."

“Then you are not ready for such a position.”

“I’ve taught you to deal with the consequences of your actions. Here they are. You are going to march in there and confess to Ms. Grant.”

I walk back to the table and proceed to confess the plot to Ms. Grant. That ended any hope of joining the company.

“Well, I’m sorry to say that I will no longer consider you or your sister as candidates for employment with my company. I wish you well in your career elsewhere.” Ms. Grant leaves and I sit there quietly with my mother.

"How did you know I wasn't Tammy?"

"Tina, sweetheart, Tamara doesn't wear diamonds to an interview or a Rolex for that matter. She doesn't even carry a mirror in her purse, let alone anything that would fill it. Tamera is simple, timeless and reserved. You, my prodigal daughter, are elegant, refined, and opulent."

“I think I’m going to go home now mother. I don’t think I have much of an appetite after that."

“I understand baby,”

Part of me wants to yell at her for ruining my chances with Ms. Grant. Part of me also wants to blame her for raising us in an environment where we would have to stoop to such levels to seek what we wish. Instead, I collect my purse and Tammy’s portfolio and walk out of the restaurant.

I place a call to Helen to tell her what happened with Ms. Grant and my mother.

“She did that to you? That was really cruel!”

I take a cab back to my car at Grant Systems and drive back to my condo. Helen’s there waiting for me as I walk into my place. “I thought you might need a friend.” I burst into tears as she hurries towards me with a consoling hug.

“It’s okay.” She coos.

My phone rings. It's Tammy. "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU! How can you have lunch with mom! You knew she would figure it out! I got yelled at because you had to go out to lunch and blow everything!"

"I'm sorry. It..."

"And what's all this about her telling me not to be too hard on my 'sister' and that 'she' has already had a rough day? Wait! Have you been crying?"

"Mom made me fill Ms. Grant in on the whole story. I lost my chance at being interviewed for the design position that I wanted." I'm on the edge of tears again.

"Wow! That's cruel, even for her! Look, I know how much you wanted that. I'm sorry, I didn't think that... How about we talk more about this when I get back. Is Helen with you?"

"She's here."

"Good. I'll see you when I get back?"

"Uh huh", is all I can manage.

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