So I get a postcard in my mailbox last Friday telling me there’s a package waiting for me at the post office. I couldn’t get there right away and then I forgot about it until this morning. So I strolled over there on my way to the gym and the clerk handed me a manila envelope with a book in it.
I opened it with great curiosity only to find no card or note. There was a return address (Elizabeth, N.J.) on the envelope, but no name. I don’t know anyone in that city, so I called my brother and left him a message. Then I called my sister and she couldn’t shed any light on it.
But here’s the funny part. The book itself. An excerpt:
Oscar Wilde, the aptly named and justly famous playwright, said, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” That is genius. My personal love affair with myself has been the most satisfying relationship I’ve ever had, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I think I’m the most glorious human being ever born.
Love is the most important thing there is. It’s my reason for living, the motivation for everything I do.
All love begins with self-love, psychiatrists say, and on that score, at least, I believe them. It makes sense! How can you love someone else if you don’t love yourself? Much less Have It ALL?
The book? Are you ready? It’s called Having It All by Erica Kane. That’s right, Erica Kane. A fictional daytime soap character. While there are photos of Susan Lucci on the cover and all through the book, there is not a mention of her name anywhere. It’s all from Erica Kane’s first-person point of view. She talks about the characters on All My Children — her mother, ex-husbands, etc. — as if they’re real. What a hoot.
Who in the world sent me this book? It seems like someone who really knows me. He or she knew I’d glom onto the title, that I’d find the whole idea funny but meaningful.
On my way home from work, I was walking on Sixth Ave. toward the subway when I found a $20 bill on the sidewalk. Another mystery. Another gift.
Life is just dishing those out lately.