Lately, my daydreams bear a striking resemblance to one of those black-and-white Sherlock Holmes movies: The entire team sits, sipping brandy in an ornate drawing room. "I suppose you're wondering why I've gathered you here today," I begin in an inexplicable British accent. "Well, my friends, one of you is The Tinkler." The research department averts their eyes. The art department fidgets nervously. An intern gasps. "And," I go on, "nobody is leaving this room until I reveal the person who refuses to work and play well with others." My assistant, Polly, looks up. "You mean you've figured out the identity of The Tinkler?" she asks, filled with an admiration for my powers of reasoning that she has never once expressed in real life. "It was elementary, dear Watson. I merely—" but before I can unmask The Tinkler or explain why I refer to Polly as dear Watson, the lights suddenly go out…
I could go on, but I'm bored silly whenever someone feels compelled to relay every nanosecond of a dream. Suffice it to say that I usually wind up in the arms of Tyrone Power. As for The Tinkler? She's still on the lam.
There are lots of days when I find myself wishing life were closer to a gorgeous movie from the '40s—women wore fabulous hats and pearl chokers, and I don't think they actually went to the bathroom back then. They were too busy dancing with Fred Astaire and smoking unfiltered cigarettes to schlep to an office every day. Now some of us are running the offices, but it seems we've brought a few low-grade lunatics along for the ride—and they're wreaking havoc in the ladies' room. Where have you gone, Edith Wharton? I'm not asking for cloth napkins and classical music. I don't need a mint on my pillow. I just want a bit of common courtesy, a modicum of civility, a touch of class, or, failing all that, a good supply of Lysol.