Over the course of our year-and-a-half-long friendship Nora introduced me to, in no particular order: Several ear, nose, and throat doctors; the Patagonia jackets she favored when on set because they were “thinner than a sweater but warmer than a parka”; ordering multiple desserts and having small, reasonable bites of all of them (I thought, “Oh, so this is what ladies do”); the photography of Julius Shulman; the concept of eating lunch at Barneys; self-respect; the complex legend of Helen Gurley Brown, the Jell-O mold, her beloved sister Delia. She explained how to interact with a film composer (“Just say what you’re hearing and what you want to hear”) and what to do if someone screamed at you on the telephone (“Just nod, hang up, and decide you will never allow anyone to speak to you that way again”). She called bullshit on a whole host of things, too: Donuts served in fancy restaurants; photo shoots in which female directors are asked to all stand in a cluster wearing mustaches; the idea that one’s writing isn’t fiction if it borrows from one’s life.
This is wonderful.
What would Nora Ephron say about me leaving work this morning, changing out of my work clothes behind a bush and proceeding to go on a walk listening to Beyonce and crying a little bit behind my sunglasses? Probably that quote about being he heroine of your life and not the victim is the most apt.