Everything I Need to Know in Life, I Learned from You’ve Got Mail

According to Joe Fox, “The Godfather is the I Ching. The Godfather is the sum of all wisdom. The Godfather is the answer to any question.”

I beg to differ, even if I agree with the sentiment of leaving the gun and taking the cannoli. And while I don’t really think You’ve Got Mail is the sum all wisdom, I’ve gotten a lot more out of it than I ever got out of The Godfather.

For example, fall is the best season, especially in New York. A bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils would win big points with this girl. Also, taking all the caviar garnish is beyond tacky. Oh, and Pride and Prejudice is the best book, for way more than its use of “words like thither and mischance.”

When it comes to insults, I don’t think anything tops, “You are nothing but a suit.” It is, as Joe says, “the perfect blend of poetry and meanness.” It’s such a good insult, I’ve not been able to bring myself to use it, although tempted on more than one occasion.

“It’s not personal, it’s business.” Yeah, total cop-out.

I watched Kathleen and Joe fall in love last night, for perhaps the hundredth time. I laughed, I said a lot of the lines aloud. I sang the violins part at the Shop Around the Corner Christmas party. And because I was three glasses of wine in, I got a little sentimental.

What got me last night was what Kathleen said about her store closing. She says, “People are always telling you change is a good thing. But all they’re really saying is something you didn’t want to happen at all has happened.”

I’ve been there many times. Change can be so hard and, in the moment, it can feel impossible to look beyond how much it sucks. But some of the best parts of my life have come out of those things I really didn’t want to happen. There was being sent away to boarding school, the end of my marriage, closing my bakery. Without those things, my life never could have unfolded the way it has. And while it isn’t perfect by any means, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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