Tami’s running late to meet me at Starbucks, so I call her to ask what kind of coffee she’d like. “House coffee. Hot.” That’s it. I order my usual froofy drink — any kind of sweetened Frappuccino, usually involving chocolate, caramel or a combination of both. That Tami’s a lesbian makes me feel all the more emasculated about my order, but I’m not sure why. I think I’m intimidated by lesbians — some ignorant part of me feels like they don’t need me, and therefore won’t like me.
Tami, 48, keeps her hair short and meets me wearing yoga pants, workout sneakers and a light-blue denim jacket from Walt Disney Studios. The second she sits down and smiles, I feel like a prejudiced idiot. I love this woman. I have no idea why, but on some weird innate level, I connect to her.
“I grew up in Albany, N.Y. — some people consider it being a New Yorker, some people don’t. Depends if you’re from Manhattan. I say we grew up the lox-and-bagel Jew. Not so religious. But now I’m Conservative, and my son’s going to have his bar mitzvah in three years. And he thinks he’s getting a big party — ha!” “Are you throwing him a big party?” I ask. She shrugs. Of course she is.
Tami went to school for environmental studies, but when she realized it required lengthy scientific studies rather than screaming, “The polar caps are melting!” at the top of her lungs, she switched to communications and theater. “I’m kind of more an immediate person than, ‘Let’s do some long-term planning.’ ”
She loved the behind the scenes of filmmaking, and got her first job on the movie “Waterworld.” “I lived in Hawaii, and I had a laptop computer, and that’s why I got hired. They needed somebody who could do a combination of Excel and Word, and I learned CAD [computer-aided design]. It wasn’t a common thing back then. That’s what got me to L.A. I really feel like I had great potential, but it’s a very hard industry, and I don’t think I knew how hard it is.”
So after she fell in love with a woman, they moved to Las Vegas. When the relationship ended, Tami realized she wanted to have kids and was probably going to have to do it alone. She fostered, and later adopted, a son.
“The economy hit, I lost my house, lost my business, and we came [to L.A.]” She got hired in marketing and advertising and has been doing it since.
Tami likes art galleries and museums and loves the beach and scuba diving. She’s attracted to women who “look and act like women. Professional women, entrepreneurial. I’m not really good with people who think black or white. I like someone who challenges things. They’ve got to have a really good sense of humor. I want someone who’s fun, outgoing, [and] likes activities. I’m very social. I like partnership. I like waking up with somebody.”
A pretty girl passes by us and sits down at a nearby table. I look. So does Tami. “She’s my type,” Tami says. “You have good taste,” I think. But I don’t say it. Because then I’d end up writing it.
Tami continues, “I want to be able to sit down and feel like I can talk to this person forever. We’ll always have enough to talk about and laugh about. I get bored. I think really fast. I want somebody who’s vibrant and alive and thinks outside of the box. We would love more kids — [my son’s] so good with kids. My biggest regret is I didn’t have more kids when he was young.”
Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.