Once and Again
The Awful Truth

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The Awful Truth

Speak of the devil: here she is sitting in a corporate waiting area, anxiously tapping a sheet of paper against her fist. A suit emerges and shakes a woman's hand, saying it was nice to meet her. He then calls, "Ms. Sammler?" Lily exhales loudly and stares at her lap, oblivious. Somehow, all the other applicants, as well as the interviewer, know that's her name, and they stare at her pointedly. Lily jumps up as if she's been goosed, sending the papers on her lap flying. She yanks her purse from the chair and stares down at the avalanche. She plucks one sheet of paper from the pile and stands up, lamely explaining, "It's not that I don't know my own name. I'm just not used to it. Yet. I recently got remarried, so..." The suit looks positively engrossed.

Cut to a close-up of Lily's résumé, with the name "Elizabeth Sammler" written across the top. The woman holding it lowers her hands to look at Lily, who's explaining that in the final days of her employment at PagesAlive, she was involved at basically every step of production. "Look, I'm going to be honest with you," the woman says from her big leather chair. "Oh, no," Lily says. The woman claims that she thinks Lily is "great" and that the two of them "would really click," but Lily made the mistake of admitting to her that she hadn't finished her college degree. Lily is surprised that it matters. Considering her work experience totals somewhere in the neighborhood of a year, I can't believe she thinks it doesn't. Anyway, the woman says it wouldn't really matter to her, but it would to the woman's boss. If Lily hadn't explicitly said otherwise, the woman would have let her boss assume that Lily had a degree. Lily says, "It's so ridiculous! I only needed, like, ten more credits or something." Isn't that, like, a year's worth? In that case, I've almost got a Master's degree. ["Not necessarily; at the school Niki and I attended, one class was one credit, but ten credits might only represent two courses, depending on where Lily matriculated." -- Wing Chun] The woman advises Lily to lie on her résumé in the future, since everyone else does, too. Lily protests at first, but then looks intrigued.

"Okay, why are you telling the truth at a job interview? What were you, under oath?" Judy demands. She's sitting across a booth from Lily, having coffee. She's wearing a really boss little sleeveless western shirt. Lily says that she can't lie; she's a terrible liar. Doesn't everybody say that, though? Even if someone's the best liar in the world, she won't admit it because then her cover's blown. Not that I'd know anything about that. Judy asks how many credits Lily needs, and Lily admits, "Sixteen." So she did lie during her interview. Judy says Lily always told her she needed twelve. She demands to see Lily's résumé. "Elizabeth Sammler," she reads, with a touch of condescension. Lily says she's not used to it, either. "Well, some people keep their names," Judy says, reading over the rest of the paper. Lily mocks the idea of keeping Jake's name. "No, not Jake's name. Your name. Your real name," Judy clarifies. Lily puzzles over this while Judy swings the conversation over to Tiffany waltzing into Lily's kitchen the other day. "What's my real name?" Lily asks. Yeah, I can see where that would give you trouble. Judy makes an impatient face, and Lily caves, asking what Tiffany said. "Just, something really stupid. I gotta go," Judy says, grabbing her bag. What flew up her ass? Lily says she's listening, really. Judy's not interested, though, and insists that she's late. "For what? To meet Will Gluck?" Lily asks with a teasing smile. My heart skips a beat, and so does Judy's. "Well, you've seen him since the wedding haven't you?" Lily asks on behalf of all of us. Judy flatly replies, "I thought he'd call. He didn't." She heads for the door. Lily calls after her to stay and asks about the logos. Judy pauses by the door and tries to sound tough: "Like I can't make a decision without you." She walks into the door with a determined push. It doesn't budge. She pushes on it again and it rattles stubbornly in its frame. She tries to slide nonchalantly to the door next to it. As she pushes it open, she glances defensively over her shoulder to see if Lily caught her humiliation. She did, but she's too worried about her résumé to take any pleasure in it.

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Once and Again

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