Bond is shaken, stirred and bearded’
“It’s getting a bit late” the male specie announced. It was 11:00pm and Elda Mills had been conversing with the account director she had met at a fancy dress gala over beverages in a pub for over four and half hours. The pair had met at the Brama PR Charity Gala. An evening full of too much free wine, cocktails, small talk and of course the odd encounter with attractive, bearded account directors.
Elda Mills had worked in public relations since leaving University and had worked her way up from intern to director of an entire department which of course saw her having Vogues’ editor on speed dial. At the age of 27, Elda had achieved what most 45 year olds haven’t even achieved yet in their professional domain.
She graduated from University six years prior with a first-class degree in English Literature from the University of Oxford and had spent her whole life working hard and playing hard. At University, she was considered the socialite of the course; always heading off to socials post lectures and seminars dressed in everything matching and co-ordinated. Elda was focused, determined and organised; nothing getting in her way. These CV, worthy skills, meant that Elda, put men on the bottom of her list and was a bit useless when it came to anything along the lines of flirting or socialising with attractive men. She had everything going for her; a thriving career, a body to die and of course a beautiful face. To look at, Elda was the classic English rose. With dark, luscious brown hair that was sleek and always shining, her then olive complexion made her the epitome of sophistication and class.
Elda, had been the Ugly Duckling at school and since leaving school: entering University and work, she had blossomed into a swan, a petite swan but had undergone the transformation, nevertheless. She had gone from quiet, insecure, anxious spectacle wearing teen to sassy, hip, indie contact lenses petite gal with a sense of self confidence. She knew what she wanted and who she wanted to be and didn’t let anyone or anything get in her way, especially men. Although, her appearance had made the jump and had improved over the years; her ability to converse with attractive hunky men was something she was incapable of doing.
Elda had a type, a type which seemed impossible to attract, keep or have the same interest in her. Elda’s ideal man was in similar height which was slightly taller than her but not so tall that she got a neck ache to talk to him. She then wanted someone, who was interested in fitness but wasn’t a fitness bore. A fitness bore who would leave his house every morning at 5am to go to the gym and then measure out food and calories per edible item. She was passionate about her fitness but not wanting someone to exceed her with this; as a result of having this interest in fitness they wouldn’t be on the chunky yet funky side just a healthy body shape. To look at she wanted, a mix of Richard Hammond crossed with Jude Law with a dash of Tom Hiddleston and then a sprinkling of Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys. The type of man she wanted was clearly impossible; at 27 she hadn’t dated, kissed or shagged any male specie. Either, Elda’s distinct look was not in dating trends or she had too high expectations. Often when mingling with men who ticked some of these boxes, Elda would blurt out awkward sentences, fall over or spill expensive wine over her newly tailored blouses. On the one occasion that Elda had managed to go out on a date with a male, she spent the entire date with her lipstick on her teeth and on her chin. Perhaps this mistake was the reason why he had left her stood up, the next time they were supposed to meet. She never spoke to him, saw him or requested to follow him on any social media post their awkward encounter.
These awkward encounters with men, meant that Elda had been single for 24 years of her life. On family occasions and friend’s gatherings she would wallow in self-pity about her lack of male counterpart but deep down she knew her hectic schedule meant she couldn’t juggle man, career and figure all at once. By reminding herself of such thoughts, she was able to distract herself and just focus on her career. Anyway, thinking about men and career was too distracting since Elda couldn’t multi task.
Tonight, was the night of the Brama charity gala; a gala aiming to raise money for the ‘THIS GIRL CAN’ campaign which was raising money to help women and girls around the world participate in more sports. Something Elda was very fond of, she, as a spinning teacher was keen to see more young girls in her class without any fear of sweating or being seen by men in the fitness environment. Elda, loved having men in her class as she dug deep burning those calories, sweating one out and of course shredding that fat. It made her feel empowered, like a girl boss. So, she wanted to get more girls into her classes to feel just like her in the studio.
Galas like these were not opposite sex meetings, for Elda she was not interested in meeting her man or even someone close to such a thing; she couldn’t comprehend imagining being with a man who would become her focus for the next year. This was Elda’s biggest problem, she desperately wanted to find love and find herself being in a relationship but whenever the opportunity graced her presence she’d feel that at that moment in her life a male, would just be an inconvenience or put a stop on her career. She knew from school that men or boys would come in just as the girl would be getting on with their lives and then distract them, causing them to take their eye off the ball and miss out on the opportunities.
The evening was fancy dress and she went in a flirty 1950s swing girl style outfit. Elda selected a navy polka swing dress, which sucked her waist in making it look tinier than usual but her bust much bigger than usual. The epitome of 50s Hollywood glamour. Her dark, silky, long hair was plaited into a side bun with her fringe held into place with so much hairspray that the O Zone was crying. The hair was as dark and shiny as a raven’s, maybe shiny since she had used two cans of expensive hair spray to maintain its sleekness. The make-up team in the office had, had her skin looking perfect; the mars sized spot that had developed on her forehead had been concealed with so much so concealer that the very best cameras wouldn’t even pick up on it. Not even the Daily Mails. With a touch of bronzer, the artists had magically created some cheekbones as well as a set of red luscious lips. The red was a dark cherry red that had the undertones of berry within the centre of her lips. Her lipstick and look cried 1950’s and she felt as high class as Audrey Hepburn, just without the adoring males Hepburn had.
As Press Director for British High-End fashion in her work place, Elda had to attend these galas with her team. Sometimes she enjoyed them for the number of free samples, wine and photo opportunities that these evenings had to offer. On this evening, Elda had decided to invite the interns with her, for their first experience of snazzy galas. Elda, was keen to make her interns experience at the firm as useful as possible so wanted to treat them to a free evening set for success and mingling with Fashion’s elite. She knew that internships in the public relations and fashion industry were competitive, rough and poor; often hiring interns was a way companies didn’t need to pay and just use them. Elda ensured that her hired interns were paid a suitable wage as well as given as many opportunities as possible to enhance their career prospectuses. She, her team and interns all mingled with sports and fitness models, campaigners and supporters of the charity all with the intention of reducing stigma attached to women in fitness and sport.
The gala had cost a whopping £250,000 of which had been spent on flash cocktails, bar men, disco lights, hottest DJ’s in the country as well as guests like David Gandy and Vivienne Westwood. Gandy was a man Elda took much of a shine too, but she was so nervous when she got her introductions; she froze and asked whether his work for Marks and Spencer’s earnt him sparks points on his sparks card. She felt humiliated but thankfully could blame the numerous glasses of free champagne she had drunk at the event; despite everyone around her knowing that she’d have asked such a question stone cold sober.
Elda stood in the centre of the venue glancing at the effort it had taken to put on such an extravagant event and questioning how they had managed to afford such an event. But, whilst mingling and judging the event two things Elda believed was multi-tasking at its finest; Elda bumped into the team from 6th Floor. An accounts and marketing firm. 6th Floor were known for their ability to make any business go from pity to envy within weeks rather than months; the guys knew the markets, consumers and of course how-to party. Elda had never needed their services or advice with past clients not because they were too busy but because she was too good. Elda’s clients went to her because she was the best not because she was the cheapest PR rate but because she was the best and the best delivered results along with her magnificent reputation.
Elda and her colleagues exchanged pleasantries with 6th Floor, Elda then, spotted a chap. A bearded, dark haired chap dressed as James Bond, but unlike Bond, he was unable to grace the dance floor. The chap, had groomed his facial hair with so much precision she asked one of her team, “is his barber NASA? Never seen such polished facial hair in my life.” A shirt so white that, it made Elda’s teeth look brown and a tux so tailored that Bond would be quivering on set. The chap was just Elda’s type, everything she had put in her imagination for dating but she knew deep down; a man dressed as Bond was never going to give her the time of day. The tailoring, the height and the beard were all selling points. If it was an auction, Elda would have been putting her house on the market for chance of exchanging chit chat.
Elda gave the chap the eye, the eye that meant ‘hey hot stuff, who are you, wanna chat?’ Elda was incapable of winking in the same way she was trying to flirt with Gandy. Elda’s wink at Mr Unknown was more like her having an abnormal twitch but to her this was her attempt of flirting and getting his attention. Nasa’s Bond creation gave her a look too…
Before, Elda could be asked whether she’d put her contact lenses in wrong or needed a mirror with her twitch, he had come over and introduced himself as the Director of European Accounts for 6th Floor. “Hello, who are you” he asked and before she could even introduce herself, he explained how he had worked on several high level international accounts, the level of clientele would have been great if they had been in a job interview, nonetheless Elda was impressed. Elda liked confident men but not the sort of man who felt the need to chuff on constantly about his work and his high-profile work either because she felt that her other half should never be her competition or her rival. Perhaps someone on the same level or status as her. Yet, tonight, she felt slightly aroused, slightly intrigued by this man’s love of his job. As well as confidence, she liked passion in her handsome small men. She wanted someone who would level her up in the working world. Someone who worked in a similar busy industry so that she wouldn’t feel like the only workaholic in the relationship, already, she was thinking of a relationship despite only meeting him for three minutes. The pair exchanged chit chat and drank lots of free booze from the bar; as well as Elda embarrassing herself in front of peers in the industry and potentially a handsome new acquaintance. Elda was known back home and at University as well as in her office as the ‘mad dancer’, often dancing poorly in front of peers, despite her claiming it was how everyone danced. The dancing that not even her Dad would grace a dancefloor with, yet Elda couldn’t care less and danced like nobody cared. Elda was best known for her ability to work hard and get shit done but play hard and let her dark locks down. Her clients and work peers loved her effortless ability to change from work mode to party mode within seconds and sometimes without the aid of an alcoholic beverage. She drunk most of the free alcohol tonight despite usually never drinking any alcohol, maybe this was the reason why her introduction with her handsome chap went so smoothly. The alcohol had washed over her nerves and made her smoother than silk with flirting; if only she had consumed this amount of alcohol at the start of the event, she would have the number of David Gandy too.
As the night drew to a close, Elda got a cab back to her penthouse apartment in Kensington. Her penthouse apartment was in a tall building at the heart of Kensington, although she had no interest in interior design she had taken great pride in her flats interior despite it always being so messy. Her kitchen was all white high gloss, with a matte hob which worked the moment you put a saucepan on it. Every application was techno-techno and made her feel a little more like Bill Gates every day. Her living room had one grey material sofa with teal cushions that were polka dot; Elda loved anything polka dot whether it was on her clothing or in interior. She then a dark grey coffee table with old issues of fashion magazines in the slots and a bowl containing tissues, hand cream and nail file. On her wall, she had a flat screen television where she’d sit endlessly watching repeats of shows she’d seen before but been rather content with. On one wall, she had magazine articles, press releases and features she had written. It was her wall of pride. She shared this techno-techno peaceful home life with her canine Bertie. Bertie at this time looked in shame too, after Elda tried to chat him up as well as the fridge and the oven having drunken far too much free alcohol. Elda collapsed on her leather suite with no care for her appearance and still had the name, company and greeting from an attractive male on her mind. As she collapsed onto the floor, there was a false eyelash hanging off her cheek, smudged red lipstick and spanx waiting to be ripped off her backside. A classic spinster image Elda was currently presenting to the world. Laid, in a very undignified position across her expensive suite, with Bertie laid beside her thinking what her owner had done to look such a mess.
Elda, liked her quiet home life with Bertie. Bertie was a Basset Hound a short, long eared, handsome brown droopy eyed boy who kept her company most her evenings as well as loving her despite her weird habit like her; obsession with the gym, work and cocktails. The all-night dancer and canine snored away until the late morning came around with the hustle and bustle of the city awakening her.