I think my long-suffering assistant, Polly Brewster, would agree that I became a much better boss right around the time she repeatedly began asking if I'd seen The Devil Wears Prada. But as I look over at Polly proofreading one of the 11,000 essays I've written to get my daughter into a decent kindergarten, I realize it'll take more than a Banana Republic gift certificate at Christmas to secure a permanent place in her heart. So, Polly, I offer you all the office supplies (including but not limited to stapler, tape dispenser, Post-it notes) you can get your hands on before somebody points out that they belong to the company.
I remind my dearest friend, Brenda Josephs, of our Sunny von Bülow pact: If ever I end up in some kind of irreversible coma, I fully expect you to come by every few weeks and pluck any unsightly facial hair that might spring up. I'll be surrounded by doctors, so for God's sake, Brenda, throw a little lip gloss on me, and by all means, help yourself to my Partridge Family albums.
I would like to leave Johannes Labusch (the father of my child, the light of my life, the low-fat vanilla yogurt of my blueberry parfait) the freedom to remarry after I'm gone. I'd like to do that, but technically, my darling, you never did marry me. A minor detail, really. You go right ahead and buy that ring, rent that tuxedo, introduce your great-aunt Elfie to your brand-new in-laws. I have but one request: Do not under any circumstance have sex with this woman. Or if you must, let it be with the understanding that I will poltergeist you to a degree that makes The Amityville Horror look like The Sound of Music.
Last but never ever least, I leave my lovely and amazing daughter, Julia Claire, and the most beautiful boy on earth, Julia's half-brother, Jonathan Anteo Labusch, the comfort of shared experience and unwavering friendship, because honestly, that's just about the only defense against the world's darkness that I know of. So, Julia, you get Jonathan, Jonathan, you get Jules, and as long as I'm on a giving streak, you guys both get my favorite quote from the book we were reading last night when one of us (okay, me) fell sound asleep. I'm hoping that if you don't quite trust me on this, you'll consider taking Christopher Robin's word for it just the way that Pooh did: "You must remember this: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." And, if you'll permit me one final piece of advice: See if there's any way you can make friends with Leona Helmsley's Maltese.
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