I have found that there is nothing more frustrating than standing at the end of one of those luggage carousels at an airport after everyone from my flight has picked up their luggage and I am left empty-handed. I gaze pathetically at the squeaking contraption and peer into the shoot, praying for one more bag -- mine -- to be spat forth. But no bag is spat. During one particular trip losing my luggage would not have been so bad had I not only two and a half hours to check into my hotel, wash up and dress for a formal dinner party. Fill out the lost baggage claims form: This is done only after finding the lost baggage claims office. This office is purposely hidden from public view since airlines do not like to admit that they just might lose a bag or two. The claims clerk always shows you a chart with 75 different styles of suitcases pictured and asks which one yours resembles. None of them! Well, maybe No. 43 if it had No. 27s handles and No. 12s shape. Then again, No. 16 and No. 72 are somewhat similar to mine. Now comes the famous phrase, "It'll probably be on the next flight." Unfortunately the next flight is not due until tomorrow morning so I am given a little "survival kit" for the night. It does not contain a long dress, panty hose or a hair dryer. But it does have one item I can use -- a package of aspirin. It is at this point that I start humming, "Help Me Make It Through the Night." I arrive at the hotel empty-handed. (I always feel guilt-ridden checking into a hotel without a suitcase.) The clerk gives me my key and inevitably rings for a bellhop to help me with my . . . I assure the kid I can carry the key myself and find the room. Now, as I enter the room I realize I have only one and a half hours to buy a dress, shower, put on my new dress and get to my dinner party. I have always found hotel clothing stores fascinating. You know, they are the stores off hotel lobbies. Exclusive little shops that sell only the most expensive labels in bathing suits and jogging gear but no dresses, underwear or panty hose. Where's the nearest "real store" I ask the clerk who looks at me as if my five day deodorant pad expired three weeks ago. Unfortunately the nearest store is in town and it would be closed now anyway: "It's after 5:30, you know?" "Yes, I know." At this point I go back to my room and begin to eye the sheets and curtains. Underneath that loud, floral quilted bedspread I pray there is a decent design on the sheets. Eureka! The sheet is a semi-tasteful pastel yellow with a tiny flower design on the hem. As I pull it from the bed I wrap it around my body. Voila! An original strapless gown. The canvas sandals I have on are covered by the length of the sheet, I mean gown, so as long as I don't cross my legs while sitting no one will see my feet. But I have to find a way to keep the dress on me. I have no belt and there are no cords in the room so I call the front desk and ask if they could spare their stapler for a moment. (I made up a tale about needing it to put together a report I had to complete and send out now.) Five minutes later a bellhop shows up with the stapler. I'll worry about how I am going to get out of the dress later. After I have carefully stapled myself I look in the mirror at my creation. I am looking at a desperate woman stapled into a sheet. Think Vogue. All those models in Vogue magazine wear lose fitting, baggy outfits but they have that chic look on their faces. Be positive. You look great, smell lousy (there was no deodorant in my survival kit) but look great. As I leave my hotel room to go to my dinner party I realize that other guests staying at this hotel and going to the same party as I am are going to return to their rooms tonight, put on their jammies, fold down the bedspread and wonder why something looks vaguely familiar.