Me & Nora Ephron

So, I finally read Nora Ephron’s iconic (?) I Feel Bad About My Neck. I bought it because it was on sale at the library table for $1 and, when I started browsing through, it did not fail to charm me.

IFBAMN came out, according to the cover flap, in 2006. At that time, I had been married for about five minutes and had no interest in crepey necks. Now, the topic is of mild interest because I am older and wiser. (So old! So wise!) It’s fitting that I picked up this book during the week before my birthday. Perhaps we can call this my I-am-within-sight-of-turning-50 post.

Ephron and I do not have a lot in common. Unlike me, she …

  • is at least ten years older than my parents
  • wrote the screenplays for Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail (basically she wrote the screenplay for Meg Ryan’s career, it appears), Hanging Up, and Bewitched, among others
  • has been married three times
  • lives in New York City, and if this book is to be believed, pays money for things like manicures, pedicures, Botox, a semiweekly wash and blowdry, and hair color every six weeks

All of this puts our worlds pretty far apart.

(However, I would be remiss if I did not point out that Nora Ephron and I also have quite a few things in common:

  • both writers
  • both have been through labor
  • both kind of goofy
  • and somewhat cheap
  • and somewhat disorganized — me somewhat, her very, again if this book is to be believed)

Anyway, all that to say, even with our experiences being so far apart, I find this book of collected essays enjoyable and funny. I can only imagine how hilarious it must be to Ephron’s fellow New Yorkers.

And no, it is not all about necks. That is only the first essay. I am really glad, because there is no way anyone could sustain an entire book about their neck. The second essay, for example, is about how every time Ephron tries to get a new purse, the interior of it instantly becomes a disorganized Bermuda Triangle of Tictacs and Kleenexes and things, and it was this essay that really won my heart and convinced me that this New Yorker and I are kindred spirits.

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