Pin Up or Shut Up

Cigarette fiction by a woman of excellent breeding and impeccable moral fiber.

Watered Down

Bill was standing at the water cooler as Mandy came to fill her glass.

"You would do well for yourself if you’d lighten up," said Bill. Bill was the son of Mr. Wilson, CEO of Sensory Soap & Co.

"You think so?" said Mandy, assuming his father had told Bill to speak with her.

"Some of the other guys say so as well."

With that, Mandy’s suspicions were confirmed. “I guess, I could try some lighter colors.”

He nodded.

"Mr. Wilson mentioned this to me once before—do you remember that time I’d accidentally untucked my blouse?" Mandy admitted. "I’ve really been giving it a try. Asking other girls what their tricks are."

Grabbing her cup, Many left and went straight to the bathroom. She looked into the mirror. She began applying several layers of her matte lipstick. As she continued to pile, her pouty smile became crusty and creased. So Maddy picked up a paper towel next to the sink and wiped the color off. She sighed.

A magazine laid on the vanity table. She sat in the chair which was reserved for customers. 

A new color by Loreal used a photo of a girl who looked just like her. And she was absolutely stunning.

"I need that color!" said Mandy.

Just then, a face appeared in the mirror. It was an elegant woman who was only marred by the distraught look she carried.

"Mandy, go back to your desk." 

"How do you know my name?"

"Dear girl, as you worry about how I know your name, what Loreal lipstick you must carry in your purse, or how the color of your office appropriate outfits make Mr. Bill Wilson see you, others worry about the same things. Just do your job, and don’t distract yourself with this frivolous nonsense." 

Mandy worked hard for the next week, spending less time in front of the mirror or at the water cooler and more time completing tasks with punctuality. Towards the end of her lunch break on Friday, Mandy was surprised to see Mr. Wilson waiting for her when she got back.

"Hello Mr. Wilson, I’ve just come back early from lunch so I might finish this project before the weekend. I hope that’s alright."

"Mandy, I’m glad to see you. I’ve given it some thought, and the way you conduct yourself as a professional individual without worrying about frivolous nonsense or waiting for others to ask you to do something, I can see you are a real asset to this office. I’m happy to offer you a position we’ve decided to create specifically for you. Does Executive Assistant suit you?" 

"Thank you sir. I’d love to hear more. Would you be available for a meeting at 5pm tonight after I’ve completed this project?"

Mr. Wilson smiled and walked away, hearing the clicks of Mandy’s keyboard over his own footsteps. 

© cc elisabeth

Image: A Refreshing Lift. Gil Elvgren. 

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