Chanel

Thursday October 7th 1926.

I thought I was going to die of boredom working at Harrison’s Perfumery. The two other girls are as prim and proper as can be. Mary and Lauren. Mary was nearly in tears on Tuesday because someone had accused her of talking to a strange man in the street. Just talking. She is devastated and bangs on and on about how will she recover her ruined reputation. The man had only asked her the way to the ironmonger’s, but someone had seen her reply to him. How will she ever live? Boo hoo hoo. Lauren is all simpering sympathy. I try not to laugh.

Of course I too look very prim and innocent in our uniform that has a very large pink bow at the neck.

But Today I met Clarence.

He came in to buy a bottle of perfume. I showed him the Chanel Number 5. He told me it was for a young lady and I said how very lucky she was. He
asked me if I thought a young lady would like a gift like that.

I pretended I was only interested in the perfume.
‘Oh yes,’ I breathed. ‘ I think she’d be ever so grateful.’
I didn’t look at him at all, letting him crave my attention as he seemed the attention seeking type.
‘How grateful?’ He asked in a saucy tone.

I pretended not to notice him. I pretended I was entranced by the shiny bottle.

‘Oh I’d do anything for such a generous gift.’ I said like I was in a dream and unaware of his meaning. Then I suddenly looked at him all shocked and prim as I scuttled back to the counter acting flustered and embarrassed. He looked wolfishly proud that he had offended my delicate sensibilities.
Sure enough he bought the big bottle of Chanel Number 5 and when I was leaving the store he caught up to me in the street and presented it to me. What would Mary say? I tried to act like I’m not that sort of girl, but of course I am that sort of girl.

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