I was delighted not just because it was a relief to dodge the energy sapping oppression, but also because I was worried about my hair. I have bad hair. Maybe you think that as a Midwestern housewife heading to LA to rub shoulders with the design glitterati, I should have other things on my mind. But mostly, I was worried about my hair being either limp or frizzy.
Wardrobe caused no distress as I had wisely invested in three pairs of soccer shoes, a very chic black lacrosse stick and three sleek racing swim suits just before I left.
The best part of blogging, for me, has been connecting with like-minded folks. It was such a treat to meet friends whom I have only known on-line. I was incredibly lucky to spend a leisurely afternoon with Scot Meacham Wood and long time friend Megan Arquette, who ran us around to the most reknowned shops and showrooms.
Cocktails that evening affirmed everything I knew about warm and lovely Katie Denham, who jumped into the blog pool about the same time I did. Katie was the first person who told me that Elle Decor's editor, Margaret Russell, had mentioned Mrs. Blandings at a book signing for So Chic. I still have Katie's email and receiving it was as surreal as the phone call from Margaret asking me to sit on Elle Decor's panel at West Week.
Before I left, Mr. Blandings asked me if I was nervous. I am not nervous to speak in front of people and certainly not to talk about blogging as we are all making this up anyway. But this panel was something else altogether. Mayer Rus. Michael Bruno. Vicente Wolf. I was clearly playing up.
I had met Vicente before and was thoroughly charmed. I had stalked Michael Bruno when I first started blogging. I had sent email after email trying to lure him to visit Kansas City. He was lovely about it. He was still lovely about it when I brought it up again last week.
Mayer Rus. Mayer Rus, for heaven's sake, whose back page was my first stop in House & Garden. Rus, the originator of design snark that no one else has yet again to capture without delving into the personal and petty. Rus, whom I could only compare to Keith Richards to give Mr. B perspective, would be sitting just to my right. And I, a girl whose taste tends to run more toward James Taylor, was giddy. And a little nervous. I have always had a thing for bad boys. Meeting Mayer gave me the jitters. I'm sure I flushed when he walked into the room. Nonsense, of course, as he was terrifically nice. The marijuana motif on his socks also took the edge off. Now knowing that writing those columns caused agony equivalent to the drug-free delivery of twins makes me treasure them all the more in their lucite temple on my shelves.
The panel discussion was fine (me), informative (Margaret and Vicente and Michael) and lively (Mayer.) If it is available on-line at some point I will post the link and you can judge for yourself.
Lunch with Eddie and Jaithan brought great news of their new TV pilot and breakfast the next day at the very chic Cecconi's with Lisa Borgnes Giramonti was pure delight. Lisa shared a few photos of her up-coming show. When I first found Lisa's blog, A Bloomsbury Life, I thought, "We have a lot in common, but she is at least 25% better than I am at everything." Once I met her I realized that percentage is likely greater.
A personal tour of Beverly Hills and Dawnridge followed and now I am home again. Cinderella after the ball up to my elbows in laundry and sports schedules and a science test and project due the same day, though, thank heavens, no sign of singing mice.
All images of Peter Dunham's wonderful shop Hollywood at Home. Elle Decor took care of my airfare and two days of my stay to accommodate my participation, for which I am incredibly grateful.