⧫ if you were to ask mr. taylor about the night that his wife gave birth to tamara, he'd tell you that he remembers it vividly - from what he had for dinner, to the temperature outside, to the color of the sheets that she laid on in the hospital. now, whether or not any of those details are accurate are hardly the point. what this does prove, however, is that the taylor family is one saturated in love. what they might have lacked in worldly possessions, they made up with the care and affection that they had for each other. most of tammy's most unforgettable memories were those of her playing in the park with her older brothers, climbing trees and jumping off of swing sets, not of the toys she had and what presents she received. at the age of three, she started attending dance lessons in her hometown of flushing, queens, and was selected to perform as a solo artist at the annual recital. it was during this time that she was also enrolled in gymnastics, winning many state-level competitions. tamara made a formal (local) stage debut at the age of five, performing a cutesy routine at her kindergarten graduation. as a child, her ambitions were to become an actress, a singer or a dancer, something that's common among girls that age.
despite all of the time that she spent with her mother, who chauffeured her from lesson to lesson, tamara found it difficult to bond with her. she was the ultimate stage mom, present for every practice and attending every recital, but never being emotionally available when her daughter needed her. tammy never felt comfortable with confiding in her mother, realizing quite early on that she wasn't ever going to be that shoulder to cry on, or the person that she could run to when things weren't going as planned. it was this situation that earned her the title of 'daddy's little princess', and rightfully so. of the two, her father catered to everything that his only daughter needed. from the tummy aches to parent-teacher conferences, mr. taylor was as dedicated as they came. at the time, all three of the taylor children were completely unaware of their mother's secret battle with prescription drugs, a failing marriage and a less than spectacular lifestyle leading the older woman to find other methods of coping. rare was a night that an argument wouldn't ensue after hours, the sound of vases smashing and ear shattering screams waking their slumbering children, who had come to accept this as a normal part of life.
but childhood came and went, and high school proved to be a different experience for tamara. having long since ditched her gymnastics classes, the now teenage girl concentrated on her grades and a possible career in dance. with her brother's out of the house, and her mom willingly admitting herself into a rehab facility, the taylor family had grown smaller, and that special bond that her and her father shared only strengthened. it was mr. taylor who helped his daughter prep for recitals, learning how to sew (quite crudely, mind you) and putting his best foot forward when it came to supporting tamara. her father genuinely wanted his daughter to take full advantage of her potential, seeing the star quality in her before anyone else, while keeping in mind that, at the end of the day, she was still his little girl. it was during these years that tammy's focus shifted from ballet to art, a passion that, once explored, seemed like an obvious choice for the teen. having enrolled in an art class her junior year, tamara found herself immersed in a brand new world, able to get her frustrations and emotions out in a way that she hadn't before. ballet was nice and all, but this was on another level.
after the rave review from teachers on her first piece in the school art show, tamara felt encouraged to shift gears, asking her father for a set of student grade art supplies for her birthday. with the right tools in hand, tammy was better able to get what was in her head down on paper. sketches and doodles turned into full illustrations, literal lines that took her hours to fine tune, to re-work until they were just right. most of her time during the last two years in high school were spent doing just that, nose in a sketchbook, her mind ablaze with inspiration. she found herself entranced by aesthetics, drawing influence from fashion magazines and her background in dance to produce pieces that she could be genuinely proud of. question was, now that most of her class was applying for college, what would tammy do? would she follow through and study ballet, like her mother and father were expecting? or would she deviate from the path and go into the arts? there was always fashion, which was kind of a mix of both, right?
going with her gut and applying for fashion school, tamara was accepted into parsons school of design in new york city, and that fall she was packing her bags and getting settled in a dorm room that was far too small for all the crap that tammy had lugged with her. the first few semesters came and went without a hitch, progressively improving and catching the interest of her professors, who admired her ability with a pencil. this euphoria would only last for a little while, though, as things got progressively worse once tamara started her sewing classes. despite having to sew a bit when she was taking ballet, tammy found little joy in the construction part of her field. something just wasn't clicking, and she couldn't make sense of neither the patterns nor the draping. discouraged, she'd put herself through three additional semesters before begrudgingly breaking the news to her parents -- tamara taylor would be no fashion designer.
adamant on making things work, tammy managed to find a job as a live in nanny, moving into a small room in the family's posh new york city home. surprisingly, she'd take to her new role as a caregiver rather well, spending her time helping the little girl with her homework or teaching her to dance on her down time. things were starting to look up for her, and before long tamara had found herself falling in love for the very first time. things continued to blossom for her over the next few years and staying in nyc was starting to feel more and more like a possibility, which is why tammy felt so heartbroken when the family announced that they'd be moving overseas for some time. they offered to take her with them, but the chances of her relationship surviving the distance seemed non-existent. deciding to quit her job, she'd saved enough to sustain herself for a month or two while she tried to land another gig. that wouldn't pan out for tammy, though, and with a heavy heart she threw in the towel and moved back home to miami.
out of luck and living back at home, tamara felt like she had disappointed the two most important people in her life. her mother seemed to hold her daughter in contempt, expressing how she had hoped that she'd wake up one morning and tamara would've gone back to school. her dad, although disappointed, didn't want his daughter to feel as if she had failed, and instead tried to pick at her brain, to spark a new interest in something. after all, she had to be good at other things, too, right? dancing and drawing couldn't be the only two things that tamara taylor could do.
months came and went, tamara taking up odd jobs around town to make some pocket money, worried that her extended stay would eventually start to take effect on her parents. she didn't want to be seen as a burden, specially now, that her mom was home and her parents were working on their relationship. eventually, tammy decided to give school another try. having saved up enough money to pay for her own education, she'd enroll and earn her certification at a beauty school. finally accomplishing something she could be proud of, tamara started an apprenticeship at a beauty salon, where she continued to learn on the job. at the suggestion of a friend, she'd leave her hometown to pursue a career as a nail tech, making the jump from miami to san francisco.
• spends weekends practicing ballet at a small, private studio.
• has never had a boyfriend that her father actually approves of, getting into dead-end relationships that she knows aren't going to develop into anything major.
• when comfortable, she tends to be a little on the flirty side and usually doesn't realize it unless someone points it out to her. she considers herself 'friendly and unintentionally flirty' but basically harmless.
• is slowly forming a relationship with her mother, who she rarely saw because of all the time she spent in rehab.
• gets along great with her two older brothers, who go out of their way to visit their sister at least once a month.
• is affectionately referred to as minnie mouse by her dad.
• was never been treated like a child, and as a result of this she is pretty independent.
• has more energy than anyone should during the day but is nearly comatose in the mornings; she has to set two separate alarms in the morning to wake up.
• confides easily in other people, and reacts accordingly whenever someone hurts her feelings.
• has a generally silly personality.
• as an avid lover of music, she finds herself constantly making mixes for other people.
• her favorite song is bliss by mariah carey.
• reads heavily into horoscopes, and is constantly paranoid about the bad things mentioned in them.
• is addicted to being on her phone and spends most of her free time checking it.
• loves any and all things animated, watching disney and studio ghibli whenever she gets a chance to sit down and relax.