Ay, there's the rub.

What I Think About When I Think About Nora Ephron

For every thirty unproductive days I have, I have about one productive day where I manage to wake up early enough to go running (read: walking while listening to Ke$ha and having deep early morning realizations like the fact that when I think something in the park smells like urine, it probably is urine) and then have extra time to update in the evening.

I've been surreptitiously reading Nora Ephron articles and interviews on my phone and was smiling to myself all day yesterday--she was so funny! I had known about her screenwriting and directing talents and had read a few articles here and there, but I had no idea there were books (!) and an entire decade's worth of articles from her days as a journalist.

Now I have quite a few things to read. So far I have really enjoyed this, especially as I recently read this (warning: the article from the Atlantic link is gripping but the writer has some diction issues [although, don't we all?] and her argument lapses into the tactics of a four year-old toward the end [I can just imagine Caitlin Flanagan saying, "So there." and sticking out her tongue]).

I have had many moments in my life where I wondered how Nora Ephron would frame what was happening to me, 1990's romantic comedy style. Once when I emerged from the library after twelve hours, weary the way twelve hours under fluorescent lighting makes you, I had a particular Nora Ephron-esque moment when I ran across the street to Au Bon Pain to grab something before the SafeRide van pulled away.

In my rush, I ended up purchasing a whoopie pie, which is maybe the worst baked good ABP has to offer (possibly why they are always in excess by the cash register), but I grabbed it anyway because I had a particularly bad relationship with the SafeRide dispatcher (once he accused me of faking my identity!) so I needed to make it back in time for the van.

Cellophane disgustingness--Credit:

SafeRide wasn't there when I returned to where the van normally pulled up, a dodgy dark alley located between the library and the computer science building. So I sat on the corner and ate my whoopie pie in the dark, illuminated by this one, lone street lamp, which probably cast a very scary glow to my silhouette. It was about 10 pm, and the streets of College Hill were fairly empty.

I was dying of hunger that evening--twelve hours in the library!--so after finishing my whoopie pie, I did something my two sessions of etiquette lessons would have advised me to NEVER do: I licked the cellophane clean of the whoopie pie crumbs. A real case of gross girl being gross.

(I guess hypoglycemia really does lead to altered mental status, friends).

There I was, sitting in this dark, licking the whoopie pie crumbs off the cellophane with a little bit of frosting on my face. Had I lived in a Nora Ephron movie, our male protagonist would have spotted me in this very sad moment in my life and maybe invited me over to eat mashed potatoes. But in real life the girlfriend of a distant acquaintance walked up the dark alley instead and saw me with my creepy alien glow/crumbs on my face, and then proceeded to RUN AWAY.

I mean, I don't blame her, I probably looked like this:


But you know, scaring this girl with my appearance and bad habits wasn't even the worst thing. What made me really upset about the whoopie pie encounter is that my whoopie pie wasn't even chocolate mocha--it was gingerbread flavored, and it was stale.

Nora Ephron knew what was up in so many ways. I've recently moved to New York, and I don't know many people here, so sometimes I stroll around the townhouses near Washington Square Park and pretend I'm Meg Ryan in the opening scene of You've Got Mail. I listen to "Dreams" by the Cranberries while I do this.

(I've posted this clip so you can see what it's like! Even though the clip is in Italian. Also, I am aware You've Got Mail is set in the Upper West Side, but I think the fact that I pretend I'm in this movie in the incorrect park makes what I do seem even more embarrassing, and this post is all about admitting embarrassing things. I mean, so far I have revealed I lick cellophane and listen to Ke$ha sometimes [her love is my drug, okay?])

Nora Ephron also understood what a trio of friends is all about: 2 friends ganging up and making fun of the third (which is why I also think it's hard for 3 roommates to live together, even though the dynamics can change). I love this scene of Sleepless in Seattle because I think it portrays friendship so realistically.

Also, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson and Victor Garber together! Love them, love it.

Anyway, I'll really miss Nora Ephron, but I am so grateful for all of this amazing work she left behind. Apart from her wonderful writing, I read that she had a deep love of butter, so her favorite dishes probably would have been loved on Ay, There's the Rub as well.
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