Wedding dress.I’ve been teaching a short story life writing workshop at the Kerby Centre, an older adults’ activity hub. For our sixth class, we talked about avoiding  clichés and stereotypes in our memoirs. So instead of using a banal phrase such as “calm before the storm” or “crazy as a loon” — force your mind into different ways of describing  things.

We each got a cliché and had 15 minutes to write something new. Guess this cliché:

She never had THE ring. She never had a proposal. She never had a man bend down on one knee and ask if she wanted to be his wife.

She never had the joy of picking out a beautiful lace white dress with fancy bows on it. She never had a chance to be a Mrs.

But she did have the chance to help her sister Jill, her friends Delilah and Beth and even her fat cousin Tamara make their journey down the aisle. All the while she was stuffed into the ugliest, most uncomfortable dresses. She felt so unattractive next to those blushing brides and wondered if she would ever be one too.