Coco Chanel, A New Friend

Coco Chanel
Source: Man Ray Trust

It’s no secret that I’m perpetually late to almost every event I attend, church included.  Last Sunday, I crept into the sanctuary seconds after the first hymn finished and the congregation bowed their heads in prayer.  I slipped into a pew towards the front and gave a friendly nod to the woman seated just a few feet away.  It wasn’t until our pastor gave the “amen” and read the day’s scripture that I had the chance to really steal a glimpse of her.  She was definitely older; her face held deep wrinkles and her dark brunette hair was sprinkled with grey.  She was dressed in a white tweed skirt suit, and sitting on the cushion next to her was a black Chanel bag.  And Chanel sunglasses.  I swear she was Coco Chanel, herself, so elegant and so poised there in that pew.  I immediately went into a fit of hushed, excited hysterics and texted both my boyfriend and my mom about my discovery.

I made up my mind to compliment her on her Chanel after the service was over.  What I didn’t bargain for was that I would make a new friend in the process.  Coco Chanel turned out to be a new Textmember of the church named Virginia.  She only moved to town four months ago following the death of her husband last year.  After introducing myself to her as a staff of the church and an avid fan of the queen of fashion, she was absolutely delighted to show me her bag.  She informed me that it was vintage (yes, a vintage Chanel) and that she had two other Chanel bags at home.  She shares my love for the arts and beautiful, classic clothing.  She’s played piano for twenty years, is a member of the local Jazz Society, and has been audience to stage plays and symphonies in New York and London.  Basically, she’s my dream best friend.  I find it funny how the one woman I meet that shares my passion for such things is in her eighties.  Does that say something about me?

I swear Virginia is one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met.  Her small group of friends from the church usually sits in the back of the sanctuary, but she breaks away from them to sit in the front so she can hear the beautiful music and the service better.  Such a rebel.  I now have the pleasure of sitting close to her during the late service and speaking with her after the service is over.  This past Sunday, she showed me a pretty little Calvin Klein purse with silver hardware that matched her silver necklace and bracelets.  I just love her.  Tune in later for more adventures with my new friend, Coco Chanel!

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