Thursday, April 19, 2007

WHAT DID PAULA WANT?
Story contd.

My conscience wasn’t entirely clear as far as being summoned to Paula’s office was concerned. Recently I had called on a large studio – Carlton I think it was – where there were lots of excellent photographers. They were about to do a campaign for Macleans toothpaste and were keen to look at my photographs and my teeth. With my’ talk first – think later’ habit - I told them my teeth weren’t perfectly straight and they all lined up to have a look.

Feeling like a prospect for the Grand National I submitted to the examination and the consensus of opinion was that a slight imperfection would be charming and I did the job and all were pleased. They were having a large party for models, agents and clients and I was invited. Paula said it was important that I should appear, that I should look my best and she also would be there.

Obviously I had to buy a new dress and went to Harrods where they had a new department which was meant to be way out. Unfortunately it was entitled ‘Way Out’ and I mistook it for an exit for ages before I realised it was what I was looking for. The result was a red lace dress which I adored. It had a tiny waist and a billowing skirt and made you feel like a million dollars.

At the party I started off with Paula and some of her best girls and then got caught up in an intoxicating whirl – dancing – meeting new people – drinking the odd glass of wine and having a ball. The truth was for the first time in ages I was having fun and I loved it. Married life was quite serious and earnest and something seemed to be missing. I told myself all would be well when we had children. I knew Mum would say,

“You’ve made your bed – you must lie on it!”

One day I had been working with an artist and he was asking me all about my life and marriage and I was talking the usual tripe and he said.

“You sound as if you’re bored silly!”

That really shook me.

Back at the party I was sorry when it was over and I had to leave to catch the last train. One of the people I had met delivered me to the station but it was all jolly and nice and nothing untoward. But what did Paula think?

When I walked in her office she was on the phone as usual and motioned me to sit down. When she had finished she looked at me thoughtfully and said.

“At the Carlton party I had people coming up to me asking who was the girl in the red dress. Where did you get it by the way?”

“Harrods at Way…” I started…

“And also I’ve been getting feed back from the studios.”

I wondered what was coming and took a deep breath.

“I’ve decided to put you under contract – that’s if you accept it of course and quite frankly you’d be mad not to. I only have one other person under contract – that’s Marta and if you work hard and do exactly as I say there is no reason why you couldn’t be an international star. Talk it over with your husband – here is the contract – try not to lose it – and you can tell me when you phone in tomorrow.”

Bloody ‘ell!

William and I talked it over. Paula would have completer control over me and my work and I would not work for any other agent without her permission. In return she would guide my career and ensure I had a certain amount of money each month. As our plans were to start a family when I had earned enough money we decided to accept it.

Grand National – famous horse race held annually at Aintree – UK

17 comments:

sablonneuse said...

Were you feeling guilty about being homest about your teeth or because you had a great time at the party?
Either way you weren't doing anything wrong - or have I missed something?

f:lux said...

Your story just gets more and more enjoyable and exciting! Also 'Lady in Red' - but in a more glamourous, Dolores del Rio sense?

PI said...

sablonneuse:I wasn't feeling guilty about being honest because Paula didn't know and as long as I got the job she would be happy. No it was the guilt one gets when one feels perhaps one had too good a time !

f:lux: yeah I prefer Lady in Red to The Scarlet Woman:)

R. Sherman said...

Too bad you don't have any photos of you in the red dress to post here.

Unless you do and your saving them.

:)

Cheers.

PI said...

Randall: sadly no. There's no satisfying some folk!

Granny said...

Your story becomes more and more interesting.

PI said...

granny: hope I can keep it up:)

kenju said...

I remember having dresses that made me feel like that - I sure wish I could find one now! LOL

PI said...

Judy: one tries not to end up looking like the Queen Mum but it 'aint easy.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Oh, the power of a truly fabulous frock! Pat, that must have been so exciting. I can't wait to see how it all turns out.

PI said...

Zinnia: I gave the dress to a niece eventually. I wonder if it worked its magic for her.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Ha, that Way Out thing was great. I think its completely charming how you were obviously such a beautiful, elegant and capable young woman in London but still, at the same time, somehow, a puzzled Lancashire lass trying to make her way in the big city.

You must have been excited by that contract. Regular income and a whole new world of prospects.

PI said...

Sam; first off I have just had two glasses of champagne as today is the 28th anniversary of our first - how can I put it - getting to know each other . So am not 100% sober. However I think beautiful and elegant is pushing it somewhat. I was gauche and clumsy - thank God I never had to walk a cat -walk. I have never been able to walk in a straight line.
I was excited by the contract. I have always enjoyed earning money.

Guyana-Gyal said...

I just knew this advertising job would open up a new world for you...I can't wait to see what happens next. I hope William doesn't get too jealous.

PI said...

GG: Hmmmmmm!

apprentice said...

Yes I think your lovely unspoilt nature must have sown through all that London glitz.

That dress is wonderful, real Doris Day stuff, I could see you singing about eating daisies in it, or watching strong men raise a barn.

PI said...

Oooooh Anna! You've got me all excited now!