Charles was the complete opposite of Alan. He actually thought I was perfect the
way I was. He didn’t try to change one thing about me. He didn’t judge my appearance,
my clothes, hair, makeup or weight. For the first time, I was accepted exactly the way I
was by a suitor. Lucky me.
During one of our first conversations at the store, Charles had mentioned his brother
was a real estate appraiser and he planned to follow in his footsteps. “It’s a far more
lucrative profession than the one I’m currently in, Carol. Once I learn the Beverly Hills
area well, it’ll be easy to transition into becoming a realtor.” Since I had always admired
ambition in my family members, I saw his as an attribute, even though he had already
exhibited unlimited potential in retail and could advance in responsibilities quite rapidly.
Anyway, who was I to criticize a change in career direction?
I was living on my own, but finding myself in the same position as other employees
in the department store. I lived from paycheck to paycheck. I’d already spent the
settlement from my divorce and was determined not to turn to my parents to augment my
salary. Unfortunately, I hadn’t thought ahead before renting a one-bedroom apartment
near Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. The rent was $185 a month. My paycheck was
about $80 a week or $320 a month. Car expenses and insurance, food, utilities, telephone
and a dozen other expenses meant I was always down to the last penny. On more than
one occasion, I poured water on my morning cereal, because I was out of milk.
Ivan Treisault and his wonderful wife lived in a larger apartment in my building and
his mother lived in the apartment above mine. Ivan had been a busy character actor in
Hollywood most of his adult life, often playing foreign villains from the mid-forties
through the mid-sixties in everything from Notorious (1946), The Bad and the Beautiful
(1952), Silk Stockings (1957) and Barabbas
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