Careful and faithful readers of my column probably have noticed that I can be brutally honest about myself: “My attention span for any one thing is about 20 minutes” (March 1). “... Yep, busting my deadlines as always” (Feb. 15). “I am a huge procrastinator” (Jan. 15). “I’m going to resolve to write this column when it’s due instead of when the magazine is almost out the door” (Jan. 1). Anybody notice a pattern?

Yep, I have issues (yet another blast of honesty).

Nobody will ever mistake me for one of those perfectly scheduled, up-to-date kind of girls who walks into an office every morning and sits down at a clean desk. For me, just getting to the office is an accomplishment on some days. Okay, lots of days.

So you can imagine my delight when I read Tracy Staton’s story about hiring a personal assistant in an effort to bring order to her chaotic life.

That’s right, I took great satisfaction from the knowledge that there might be another person out there who’s just a teeny bit less organized than myself. (For those of you who thought I was going to say I was happy because I had finally found a solution to a personal problem, you obviously have mistaken my column for Oprah’s.)

But after my smugness wore off, I realized that Tracy was definitely on to something: She had outsourced those nagging little details of life that make staying in bed, under the covers, so darn appealing. Couldn’t I do the same? Couldn’t I outsource one of my nagging little details … like this column? Couldn’t I dupe somebody into taking on my chore, à la Tom Sawyer and the whitewashed fence?

Yes, I could — and I did.

For reasons that are still a mystery to me, American Way’s senior editor, Chris Wessling, was willing to be my outsourcee. He’s either a total suck-up hoping for a promotion or just a good guy who thought it would be kind of fun. Or maybe both. Hmmmm …

So my words on this page are actually his words. He went all Shirley MacLaine on me and channeled my personality to write this column, which is a disturbing thought no matter how you look at it.

But at least it served a good purpose. Chris’s kind and generous act (did I mention what a wonderful and talented guy he is?) gave me more Me Time, which I used by reading all the fabulous stories in this issue.

In addition to Tracy’s hilarious recounting of her attempt to organize her life (see page 46), this issue features an entire section devoted to Europe, a continent with which I am on a first-name basis, thanks to my many trips there.

In case you didn’t know it, the World Cup soccer tournament will be held in Germany this summer, and we give you all the info you need to enjoy the most global sporting event of all — even if you don’t have tickets.

And for those of you who appreciate intricate detail, craftsmanship, and beauty (and who doesn’t?), Larry Olmsted shows us that a Swiss watch is actually a work of art.

Much like this column.

Picture of Sheri Burns




Sherri Gulczynski Burns
Editor