Of course I'm flattered that all those letters you've written me about the life of "The wife of . . ." have been put together in a book. I had thought perhaps people would pay you more money to suppress the book than publish it, but now we'll never know.

That snazzy cocktail party Laughlin and Jennifer Phillips gave you at their glorious house in Georgetown showed me for sure that you haven't been telling me All about Washington! For one thing, you usually dwell more on your Tribulations than your Triumphs, and last night was surely Trumps!

You should have heard the tribute French Ambassador Emmanuel de Margerie paid you! He said, "Sondra Gotlieb's writing is very useful for every ambassador coming to the city." You should put that on the back of your book! And Midge Baldrige said, "It's a riot. Very clever. People shouldn't take it seriously, though."

You haven't been putting me on, have you?

Louisa Duemling said, "I had to laugh when she wrote about canned peas being the only stocks in the residence's cellar. When my husband was posted as ambassador to Suriname, the only thing we could find was dry vermouth that had turned the color of scotch."

You seem to have revealed a great diplomatic tradition there!

Jennifer Phillips told me when she saw your guest list (decidedly A-list and full of Close-To's -- you see, I know all the proper names for things, thanks to you), she said, "Those are all my friends, too!"

From what I can tell those are the kind of friends to have: Abigail McCarthy, whose new novel is coming out in April; Philip and Ellie Merrill -- who paid Laughlin all that money for The Washingtonian; I guess they made it all back with their October issue -- and the new Solicitor General Charles Fried.

You never told me about Evangeline Bruce! Imagine looking glamorous with a wool scarf wrapped around your sore throat! She's glad she has a chance to get rid of the sore throat before her house guests, three donors to the "Treasure Houses of Great Britain," arrive.

I was disappointed that I didn't meet those people you write me about: Popsie Tribble, the Washington socialite, the Great Destabilizer; Sonny Goldstone, the Gilded Bachelor and Social Asset; Baron Spitte, the dusty diplomat; Lionel Portant, World Famous Columnist; and Joe Promisall, the world's most expensive lobbyist.

Everybody was asking each other: "Did Popsie come? Who is Popsie?" And people kept pointing out this journalist and the other as being the real man behind the nom de plume Lionel Portant. Were you kidding me when you said, "The real Lionel left town"?

From what you tell me, I thought people always showed up at parties celebrating books they're mentioned in, unless they're suing the author. But nobody would admit to me that they were your characters!

The only one who would 'fess up was Mr. Ambassador, your husband. But then, a husband can't testify against his wife, or is it the other way around?

Allan Gotlieb must be the world's greatest "Husband of . . ." He told me, "Sondra has done more to put Canada on the map than I have at the embassy."

I thought you wrote your book while riding to parties in the embassy limousine. I was very disillusioned when you said you wrote on a typewriter upstairs at the residence.

Well, Sondra, I'm back in the muffin -- I mean bagel -- shop in Canada. I don't really think I'm high-powered enough for the fast lane. Are you really signing books at the Trover Shop on Capitol Hill today? I guess you've made it now. Your Best Friend, Beverly