So, it has been an interesting couple of weeks… I’ve been getting more freelance as a copywriter for advertising, which thrills me to no end and which means I am up early, out the door running off to see clients. On the days I don’t have to see clients, I basically roll out of bed, over to my desk and I start writing. So going out the door means major changes for me. The most important one being that I have to GET DRESSED! To work with French chicks. Usually very chic French chicks who are about half my age. No pressure there.
It has taken some time, but I seem to have developed something of a uniform, a Paris chic look that works on my tragically American roundness; black, blue, or white jeans, a business shirt that I leave untucked, with a fitted sweater on top and three inch heels.
As I walk to the various offices I visit, I am jealous of all the Parisiennes and how chic they look. I could live here for 60 years, I’ll never have that casually elegant, thrown together look they have mastered. And I love the way they wear dresses. I would love to wear a dress from time to time, but have never learned to shop for anything but the LBD, everything else just seems too, too… Too something! Too dressy, too frumpy, too floral. I’ve never managed to get it just right.
At the agencies, I work with a scrappy crew. Most of my colleagues are half my age (yes, I’ve mentioned that twice, it seems to matter in Paris), and they’re dressed like students, earbuds in their ears, a can of coke from last night’s late night session on their desk. Since real estate is precious, they never have a desk for me and I often end up working in some odd corner, where people have to step over my extended legs each time they pass. I love being in the agency and having the creative energy buzzing around like atoms in space. Conversations about a book cover spotted over the weekend may lead to an entire campaign for a product like corn chips.
At lunch time, everyone goes their way. Some of the agencies have a cafeteria, others subsidize their employees’ lunches through Ticket Restaurants. Since I am freelance, and just pop-in from time to time, I can arrange for long lunches to run errands and attend other meetings with other clients. This Monday I had a meeting on the poshest avenue in the world, avenue Montaigne, at the extraordinarily elegant Plaza Athenée hotel for a treatment at the Institut Dior spa.
Now that you’re done laughing at me, yes, it was a meeting, because I have been testing spas in Paris for a couple of articles I am working on, and I have to test these spas in order to write about them. I will write about the entire experience in the weeks to come, but for now, lets just say it was lovely. This particular “soins” end with a full makeover; foundation, powder, the works. You may have noticed above, my morning routine does not include make-up. I’m a strictly moisturizer kind of girl. I may wear mascara and maybe some lipstick in a pinch, but that is about it.
I had left for “lunch” looking like a normal member of the team and I came back looking like a wanna be socialite. People were doing a double takes as they’d pass, no longer clearing my extended legs; twisted ankles became epidemic. I thought I should do something. Say something. My inner American wanting to apologise profusely, or at the very least, explain. But my Parisienne took over and I sat there having fun watching the expressions on the faces that passed, enjoying my time as a working girl.