A strange thing happened to me last night when I heard Nora Ephron had passed away. I became incredibly melancholy. And sleepless. I wanted to cry. I wanted to say “Why did Leukemia have to take her so young, just as it did my grandfather?” She, only 71; my grandfather, only 63.
There are no answers to be had, unfortunately. I am blue today, and I didn’t even know her.
But I did know her. I knew her through her amazing works. When people ask me which writers I admire most, Nora Ephron always tops my list.
Sometimes I even have the nerve to say, “I want to write just like her.”
But here’s the thing: I quote “When Harry Met Sally” more than I quote any other movie. And it isn’t even a contest.
The brilliance of Ephron’s writing will live on. For example, during one scene, Marie is trying to fix Sally up with someone as she goes through her Rolodex and says to Sally: “I’ve got the perfect guy. I don’t happen to find him attractive, but you might. (to Alice) She doesn’t have a problem with chins.” It’s so brilliantly funny, we use this line all the time. She doesn’t have a problem with chins. Laugh out loud funny.
And then there’s Harry’s classic line he says after he’s bumped into his ex-wife with Sally. Jess and Marie have now moved in together, and Harry and Sally are there discussing whether a coffee table is working in the new digs. When they can’t come to an agreement, Harry blurts out: “Jess, Marie, do me a favor. For your own good. Put your name in your books. Right now. Before they get mixed up and you don’t know whose is whose. Because someday, believe it or not, you’ll go fifteen rounds over who’s going to get this coffee table, this stupid, wagon-wheel, Roy Rogers, garage-sale coffee table.”
Because of Ms. Ephron’s quick wit and ability to lure us into her films with memorable dialogue, my family and I call everything we don’t like “stupid, wagon-wheel, Roy Rogers, garage-sale coffee tables.” We can’t help ourselves.
Just as we can’t help ourselves from saying the classic line from the movie during the orgasm scene: “I’ll have what she’s having.”
Ms. Ephron’s two most recent books, “I Feel Bad About My Neck,” and “I Remember Nothing,” are hilarious. I reference her quite a bit when I blog, because her writing is so phenomenal—and it resonates with readers. Whenever my friends and I talk about aging, I always tell them to love their necks, so they don’t have to feel bad about them as Ms. Ephron did.
From “Silkwood,” to “Sleepless in Seattle,” to her amazing directing of “Julie & Julia,” she’s entertained us through the years. I wish I didn’t have to write this blog post. I wish she were still among the living, but believe me, Ms. Ephron, you will always be adored and missed. And quoted.