Inspired by just one of the amazing women I met at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop 2014–Ilene Beckerman, author of Love, Loss, and What I Wore–this is an excerpt from the fire memoir I’m working on.
If a travel agent hadn’t messed up our reservation and nearly left us without a hotel room in New York that time, I never would have found the pink dress in an upscale beach town’s second-hand store. As an apology for his mistake, and for our embarrassment at the check-in desk at a hotel that had never heard of us or our reservation, the travel agent comped us to a weekend stay at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel.
We tore ourselves away from the luxurious seaside resort one afternoon to wander through the nearby town. I’d spotted a second hand-shop on our way to the hotel and thought I might be able to find something to wear to the fancy wedding we’d been invited to that winter. “What I’m looking for,” I explained to my husband, “is something someone wore to the Oscars and then gave away.” And once I got inside the store, I found exactly what I was looking for: a glittery rack crammed with drop-dead beautiful dresses that looked as though they’d been down a red carpet at least once. I had found the mother lode of cast-off couture.Continue Reading