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appendage/[ə'pendidʒ]/ n. 附加物, 附器 ...

More Than One Way to the Square 通往广场的路不止一条

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We were standing at the top of a church tower. My father had brought me to this spot in a small Italian town not far from our home in Rome. I wondered why.

“Look down, Elsa,” Father said. I gathered all my courage and looked down. I saw the square in the center of the village. And I saw the crisscross1 of twisting, turning streets leading to the square.

“See, my dear,” Father said gently. “There is more than one way to the square. Life is like that. If you can't get to the place where you want to go by one road, try another.”

Now I understood why I was there. Earlier that day I had begged my mother to do something about the awful lunches that were served at school. But she refused because she could not believe the lunches were as bad as I said.

When I turned to Father for help, he would not interfere. Instead, he brought me to this high tower to give me a lesson. By the time we reached home, I had a plan.

At school the next day, I secretly poured my luncheon soup into a bottle and brought it home. Then I talked the cook into serving it to Mother at dinner. The plan worked perfectly. She swallowed2 one spoonful3 and sputtered4, “The cook must have gone mad!” Quickly I told what I had done, and Mother stated firmly that she would take up the matter of lunches at school the next day!

In the years that followed I often remembered the lesson Father taught me. I knew where I wanted to go in life. I wanted to be a fashion designer. And on the way to my first small success I found the road blocked. What could I do? Accept the roadblock5 and fail?Or use imagination and wits to find another road to my goal?

I had come to Paris, the center of the world of fashion, with my sketches6. But none of the famous fashion designers seemed interested in buying them. Then one day I met a friend who was wearing a very beautiful sweater. It was plain in color, but it had a lovely and unusual stitch7.

“Did you knit8 that sweater?” I asked her.

“No,” she answered. “It was done by a woman here in Paris.”

“What an interesting stitch!” I continued.

My friend had an explanation. “The woman her name is Mrs. Vidian—told me she learned the stitch in Armenia, her native country.”

Suddenly I pictured a daring design knitted into such a sweater. Then an even more daring idea came to me. Why not open my own house of fashion? Why not design, make and sell clothes from the house of Schiaparelli9! I would do it, and I would begin with a sweater.

I drew a bold black and white butterfly pattern and took it to Mrs. Vidian. She knitted it into a sweater. The result, I thought, was wonderful. Then came the test. I wore the sweater to a luncheon which people in the fashion business would attend. To my great pleasure, the sweater was noticed. In fact, the representative of a large New York store wanted 40 sweaters to be ready in two weeks. I accepted the order and walked out on a cloud of happiness.

My cloud disappeared suddenly, however, when I stood in front of Mrs. Vidian. “But it took me almost a week to knit that one sweater,” she said. “Forty sweaters in two weeks? It is not possible!”

I was crushed to be so close to success and then to be blocked! Sadly I walked away. All at once I stopped short. There must be another way. This stitch did take special skill. But surely there must be other Armenian women in Paris who knew how to do it.

I went back to Mrs. Vidian and explained my plan. She really didn't think it would work, but she agreed to help.

We were like detectives10, Mrs. Vidian and I. We put ourselves on the trail11 of any Armenians who lived in Paris. One friend led us to another. At last we tracked down 20 women, each of whom could knit the special stitch. Two weeks later the sweaters were finished. And the first shipment from the new house of Schiaparelli was on its way to the United States!

From that day a steady stream of clothes and perfumes12 flowed from the house of Schiaparelli. I found the world of fashion gay13 and exciting, full of challenge and adventure. I shall never forget one showing which was really a challenge. Once again Father's advice helped me. I was busy getting ready to show my winter fashions. Then just 13 days before the presentation the sewing girls were called out on strike. I found myself left with one tailor and woman who was in charge of the sewing room! I was as gloomy14 as my models and salesgirls. “We'll never make it,”one of them cried.

Here, I thought, is the test of all tests for Father's advice. Where is the way out this time? I wondered and worried. I was certain we would have to call off the presentation or else show the clothes unfinished. Then it dawned on15 me. Why not show the clothes unfinished?

We worked hurriedly. And, exactly 13 days later, right on time, the Schiaparelli showing took place.

What a showing it was! Some coats had no sleeves; others had only one. Many of our clothes were still in an early stage. They were only patterns made of heavy cotton cloth. But on these we pinned sketches and pieces of material. In this way we were able to show that what colors and textures the clothes would have when they were finished.

All in all, the showing was different. It was so different that it was a great success. Our unusual showing caught the attention of the public, and orders for the clothes poured in.

Father's wise words had guided me once again. There is more than one way to the square always.

通往广场的路不止一条

当时我们正站在一个教堂塔楼的顶上,是父亲把我从罗马的家里带到这个离家不远的意大利小镇楼顶上来的,我不明白他要做什么。

“向下看,埃尔莎,”父亲对我说。我鼓足勇气向下看去,看到了村子中央的广场,还看到蜿蜒曲折的街道交错着通向这个广场。

爸爸语气温和地对我说:“明白了吧,亲爱的,通向广场的路不止一条,生活也是如此,如果一条路走不到想去的地方,就试着走另一条路。”

现在我明白我为什么会到这儿来了。那天早些时候我请求妈妈为学校提供的难吃午餐想点儿办法,但她拒绝了我的要求,她不相信学校的午餐会像我说的那样糟。

我转向爸爸求援,他不想干预此事,却把我带到这个高塔上,给我上了一课。到家时,我已经有了主意。

第二天在学校吃午餐时,我偷偷地把我的那份午餐汤倒进一个瓶子,把它带回了家,然后说服厨师,让她在晚餐时把汤端给妈妈。我的计划进行得很成功。妈妈喝了一勺汤,就吐了出来,说:“厨师一定发疯了!”我马上告诉妈妈这是我安排的,妈妈斩钉截铁地表示她第二天就去学校就午餐问题提出交涉。

随后的这些年里,我时常记起爸爸给我上的这一课。我知道我的人生目标:我想当时装设计师!就在我走向第一个小小的成功之路时,却遇到了阻碍。怎么办呢?是承认此路不通,败下阵来;还是发挥想像力和智慧,去寻找通向目标的另一条道路呢?

我带着我的设计草图来到世界时装中心巴黎,但是好像没有一个著名的时装设计师有兴趣购买。后来有一天,我遇到一位朋友,她穿着一件非常好看的毛线衫,毛线衫的色彩平淡,但是针法却可爱、别致。

我问她:“毛线衫是你织的吗?”

她回答:“不,是巴黎的一位妇女织的。”

“针法真棒!”我又说。

朋友解释说:“这位妇女叫维迪安太太,她跟我说她是在她出生地亚美尼亚学的这种织法。”

突然,我想在这件毛线衫上织出一个大胆的图案,继而一个更为大胆的设想闪现在我的脑海里。为什么不开办自己的时装店呢?为什么不设计、制作和销售斯基亚帕雷利时装店的服装呢?我要这样做,而且要从毛线衫开始。

我画了一个醒目的黑白相间的蝴蝶图案,把它交给维迪安太太,她把这个图案织到了一件毛线衫上。我认为这件成品很漂亮,接着就是对它的检验。我穿上毛线衫,来到一个时装界人士参加的午餐会,令我十分高兴的是,毛线衫引起了众人的注意。事实上,纽约一家大商店的代理商想在两周内得到40件这样的毛线衫。我接受了他的订货,兴高采烈地走出了餐厅。

然而当我站在维迪安太太面前时,喜悦之情就一扫而光了。她说:“我几乎用一周才织完这样一件毛线衫,两周织40件是不可能的!”

我非常失望,离成功仅有半步之遥,竟又被迎头堵住了!我悲伤地走出维迪安太太的家,突然停下了脚步,一定有别的办法可以办到。这种针法确实需要特殊的技巧,然而在巴黎一定还有其他亚美尼亚妇女会这种针法。

我回到维迪安太太的家,向她讲述了我的计划。她真的认为这个计划行不通,但同意帮我的忙。

我和维迪安太太像侦探似地开始行动,我们追踪任何一位住在巴黎的亚美尼亚人。一个朋友把我们介绍给另一个朋友,就这样我们终于找到了20名亚美尼亚妇女,她们个个都会这种特殊的针法。两星期后,毛线衫都织好了,新开张的斯基亚帕雷利时装店第一批货物被发往美国!

从那天开始,一批批时装和香水源源不断地从新开张的时装店售出。我发现时装业充满竞争和冒险,令人愉快和兴奋。我永生难忘那一次真正充满挑战的服装展览,是爸爸的那条忠告再次帮助了我。我正忙着准备展览冬季时装,就在时装表演开始前13天,缝纫女工们被叫去参加罢工,我发现只剩下我自己、一个裁缝和一个缝纫车间的女主管!我像我的模特和女售货员一样沮丧,有一个女售货员哭道:“我们绝对赶不上了!”

我想,此时是对父亲的忠告最严峻的考验。这次的出路在哪儿呢?我满腹狐疑,心急如焚。我确信只有两条路可走:要么取消时装表演;要么展出没有完工的时装。就在这时,我茅塞顿开:为什么不把没有做完的衣服拿出来展览呢?

我们紧张匆忙地工作着。正好13天后,斯基亚帕雷利的时装展览准时开幕了。

这是一次什么样的展览呀!有些上衣没有袖子,有的只有一只袖子,许多衣服还在初缝阶段。它们只是一些用厚棉布做成的衣服试样,但在这些试样上我们别上了衣服的草图和衣料,这样我们就能告诉人们这些衣服做成之后的颜色和质地。

总而言之,这次服装展别开生面,它太不同凡响了,竟取得了巨大的成功。不寻常的展览吸引了公众的注意,订单源源不断。

父亲很有见地的那番话再次指引我度过了难关。通往广场的路的确不止一条。

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