smile, though your heart is aching

What a mess out there. Hurricane Ike, Lehman Brothers, Sarah Palin, AIG, Merrill Lynch, Dow Jones Industrials, Iraq, Iran. And sadly, surprisingly, David Foster Wallace.

This sweeps, sponsored by Vogue Magazine and Aquafresh teeth whitening treatment, seems apt once you get your mind around the cognitive dissonance of trying to win free travel when the world appears to be crumbling all around us. Alitalia may stop flying, you know. And last week one of the largest travel outfitters in the U.K. went belly up and stranded thousands of customers all over the place. Dashing honeymoons and all the rest. It helps to smile, doesn’t it? If you can muster one, that is. The prize: Two nights in New York City, in an unspecified hotel, spa treatments, a shopping spree. The prize includes airfare, too, but should I win – a girl can dream -- I’d take the train.

Otherwise, let’s fasten our seatbelts.

To enter, click HERE. One-time entry. The sweeps ends September 22.