I just want to
say, Nora Ephron.
I regret never following through on my intentions to send Nora
Ephron a note about how much I enjoy and admire her work.
Nora Ephron began her career as a journalist. She neither minced
nor wasted worded. Her tone was always conversational, perfect for an author
and columnist who was also a screenwriter. I loved her self-deprecating humor
and straightforward style. She was funny.
She died on June
26, 2012. She was 71 years old, which means she was only 13 years older than
me, which means she was not that old. I
didn't even know she was sick, and it turned out many people who actually knew
her were surprised, too.
Last summer, when she died, I regretted my procrastination about
writing to her. Now I am flushed with fresh regret, because I just finished
listening to her read her last book, "I Remember Nothing." I returned
it to the library this morning, so now you can hear it. I loved these tales,
adventures and observations, and I loved hearing them from the horse's mouth.
Failing to write to her shouldn’t bother me so much. After all,
Nora Ephron didn't know me from Adam.
What difference would it have made to know that she inspired an
upstate New York editor to write more often? Or that one of her essays in "I Feel Bad About My Neck" moved
this 50-plus-year-old to get her first pedicure, which did indeed make all 10
toes look adorable? Or that I share the frustration of not remembering the
names of familiar people and things — and nearly rewrote this paragraph because
it took 30 seconds to summon up the word pedicure?
Why would she have cared that her addiction to Scrabble Blitz was
like mine to Words With Friends (although I will surely finish this post after
one more game), or that what she wrote about breaking ground in journalism hit
home, having become a manager editor when there was never a wait in the ladies
room during breaks at newspaper conferences?
Still, what harm
would it have done to send a note? But I never got it done, and suddenly it was
What have I
learned from my procrastination?
I have not
changed my ways one bit.
morning I saw a friendly acquaintance at the Y. He was engaged in a
conversation with someone so we just nodded and waved. Seeing him reminded me
that his father had passed a few weeks ago, and I meant to send a card. I never
did, even though I've been buying condolence
cards by the bushel because I am at an age when parents of friends and
acquaintances are dropping like flies. It's too late to send a card now and I'm
sorry. I've missed the condolence boat many times lately. Also, the
congratulations boat and the get well gondola.
But back to Nora Ephron. She was a total stranger who made me feel
like I could have been a friend; that was the power of her writing. Perhaps
what I really feel bad about is selfish: no new Nora Ephron stories or movies
to enjoy, no new Nora Ephron writing to admire.
Remind me in a year or two to take “I Remember Nothing” out of the
library. The twinge of regret will return. But I’ll have the pleasure of Nora
Ephron reading to me all over again, as if for the first time.
Labels: Nora Ephron