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Our Annual Holiday Letter 

Happy New Year! Can you believe how late I am? You can? Oh that's cold. Meanwhile, here is my family's holiday letter that I am posting for your reading pleasure. I didn't get it out until well into January, so don't think you're being singled out by getting it late. Cheers!

Dear friends, family, and assorted others who found their way into my address book,

Happy holidays! I know. I'm beyond late [see, I was late for everyone!]. It's just that, as many of you know, I always send out a holiday letter. Only this year, I decided not to because it felt like nothing interesting happened. Then last week, my friend Ken IM'ed me and said he missed my letter. That got me thinking, how can I disappoint my devoted annual Christmas/Chanukah, Kwanza letter followers? I can't and I won't. So here it is. The Quinn family letter, belated, but emailed with love from my computer to yours.

When I said nothing happened this year, I wasn't exactly kidding. Sam, who is 14, retreated to his bedroom last January and hasn't come out except for school, food, allowance, and periodic showers. I wonder what he's doing in there. No doubt studying theromdynamics or the Talmud. The photo of him is from last year because there have been so few sightings much less photographs taken of late. I adore what I remember about the boy, but I look forward to the day when this hormonal siege ends and my little man returns to my waiting arms. On the purely physical side, I saw a figure darting from his room to the shower the other day and noted that he's now about a foot taller than me which is good because I'm practically a midget.

Schuyler, who is 15, has moved past the raging hormones and emerged a lovely, social butterfly who flits in and out of our house with her posse in tow at all hours of the day or night. She has become an accomplished aerial ballet dancer, so if the whole education thing doesn't work out, Cirque Du Soleil is Plan B. Schuyler is starring as Margot in her school's production of Anne Frank, which I cannot wait to see (and secretly videotape for anyone who would like to come over and watch). She's planning a Super Sweet 16 party, but was thoughtful enough to say that she wasn't expecting us to present her with a car or a diamond tiara at the soiree's climax. This was good because (and please don't spoil the surprise) we were just planning to present her with a bouquet of carnations from the Korean deli on Chambers Street.

Mark is still general counsel of his company, which means that he works late hours and wears boss-like suits. But he continues to travel to important track and field meets around the world, and sometimes I tag along and pretend to be interested. His love of jazz has not waned. We've had some great parties this year where phenomenal musicians and singers have performed in our living room. That always makes me feel like I'm living in one of those old New York movies where Mark is Cary Grant, drinking martinis, and I'm Ingrid Bergman, smoking a cigarette, while a cool jazz trio plays in the corner for all our urbane friends. Actually, Mark doesn't drink martinis and I don't smoke, but otherwise we're exactly like Cary and Ingrid.

We celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary this year with a wonderful cruise to Greece, Turkey, and Italy. Mark and I both adore life at sea - dancing under the stars, midnight buffets, land tours with busloads of kvetching octogenarians. I do have to give props to the two of us for staying married so long. People say you have to work at marriage, but we just play at it. The smartest decision I ever made was to stalk Mark in law school until he asked me out. The poor sucker didn't have a chance. It turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to him (and me). It's kind of weird to think that your best life decision was to stalk someone, but in my case, it's true.

A few momentus things happened to me this year. I lost weight and got into shape, which was a huge accomplishment for a lazy porker like me. The picture above was taken before I lost 20 pounds. Now I look like a model, only shorter. And older. This year, I got to be on the View, which was scary and mad-cool at the same time. All the ladies were really nice to me except for Star who wouldn't shake my hand when I offered it. But the universe abhors a bitch, and, well, we all know how that story ended. Last fall, I enrolled in Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts, which has been enormously fun, shocking even to a cosmo girl like me, and not discussable in a G-rated family letter. Check it out if you're interested: http://www.mamagena.com/. UPDATE: I graduated from Mama's school last Sunday and instead of wearing those boring black caps, we wore diamond tiaras!

Here's exciting news. I have a new book coming out in the U.S. this March, Wife in the Fast Lane. It's already released and doing marvelously (she said modestly) in the UK and Australia. My enormously complicated life, and that of every other woman I know, inspired this one. It takes place in the ultra-privileged world of Fifth Avenue where I got to poke fun at rich people behaving badly (tee hee). If you are reading this letter, then I consider you to be one of my closest confidants, and I think (in a mad act of friendship), you should drop everything and pre-order your copy this very moment. Here, this link will make it easier for you: http://www.amazon.com/Wife-Fast-Lane-Karen-Quinn/. Go ahead. I'll wait. La-de-da, la-de-da.

Back already? Don't you just love the internet? Speaking of which, we're doing an on-line contest for the book that I know you'll want to get in on. All you have to do is express your own truth about life in the fast lane via a video, essay, or just a quick one-liner (I knew I was living in the fast lane when...For me, it was when I surprised Sam by picking him up at school one day and he asked if our nanny had died). For legal reasons too boring to explain, you have to be a U.S. or Canadian resident to enter (but anyone from anywhere can volunteer to judge, submit work just to have it seen, vote for their favorites, and enjoy the submissions).

Anyway, all these great merchants have given us the BEST prizes, including a $2,000 gift certificate to Canyon Ranch, a gorgeous gold charm bracelet from my family's jewelry store, Christian Tse gold and platinum earrings, chocolate bon bons, beautiful purses, and lots more. I could go on and on, but take a look at the site. I really hope you'll participate and tell all your friends about it because (in all sincerity) this is my first contest and I'm depending on the kindness of friends and strangers to help me get the word out. Here's the link: http://karenquinn.net/wife-in-the-fast-lane-contest/.

Okay, no more shameless plugs. They have no place in the sacred space of holiday letters, which are and should remain pure unadulterated spin-doctored ruminations about our perfect lives. Your life is perfect right? I know, mine is too. Only yesterday, four dreams came true. On another note, have you made any New Year's resolutions you probably won't keep? here are mine...
* Stay on the fitness path.
* Do one fun thing every day even if it kills me.
* Stop saying "yes" to things I don't want to do.
* Lure Sam out of his room.
* Have more playtime with Mark.
* Stop whining.
* Laugh more.
* Spend more time with my amazing friends.
* Give Smokey (our Russian Blue) a bath. She really stinks.
* Write daily.
* Pass my womanly wisdom on to Schuyler.

Well, that's all for this year's holiday letter. Maybe next year will be more eventful. Mark, Schuyler, Sam and I wish you a joyful, healthy, and successful New Year. I love you all and think of you every day, even those of you who don't remember giving me your email address.

Love, Karen

P.S. Smokey and Cookie wish you Happy New Year, too!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

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