11 Incredible Lessons About Womanhood Nora Ephron Taught Me

You've Got Mail
You’ve Got Mail

As I have previously stated, I am in the midst of a Nora Ephron obsession. I’ve always liked Ephron’s work; “You’ve Got Mail” is a lifelong favorite, as is “When Harry Met Sally.” Ephron was born into an illustrious Hollywood family, became a reporter, then branched into film writing screenplays and even directing. At the time of her death, she’d left millions of brilliant words all over the globe. The woman could do it all and I, as a fledgling woman writer myself, can’t help but look up to her. She was brilliant, she was hilarious, she always hit the mark.

Ladies: get over your Carrie Bradshaws (this is coming from a big ‘Sex and the City’ fan) and get into Nora Ephron. Everything you need to know about being a woman, you can learn from her. Get your hands on “The Most of Nora Ephron” immediately. Here’s the best things I’ve learned from Nora:

1. Write it out

Ephron was once married to Carl Bernstein (of Woodward and Bernstein/All the President’s Men fame) and upon discovering his affair, divorced him and turned her pain into a wildly successful and often hilarious, but still poignant, novel called Heartburn. She says, “The tragedies of your life one day have the potential to be comic stories the next.”

2. Appreciate the little things

One of my favorite parts of Nora’s book I Remember Nothing is her list of things she’ll miss/won’t miss when she dies. A snippet: “The concept of waffles. Twinkle lights. Pride & Prejudice. Butter.” And what she won’t miss: “Taking makeup off everynight. The sound of the vacuum cleaner.” I like to make lists like this myself to remind me that the world is wonderful. And who doesn’t think of Nora and You’ve Got Mail during school supply season? I’d like a bouquet of freshly-sharpened pencils.

3. Purses are kind of stupid when you think about it

“This is for women who hate their purses, who are bad at purses, who understand that their purses are reflections of negligent housekeeping, hopeless disorganization, a chronic inability to throw anything away, and an ongoing failure to handle the obligations of a demanding and difficult accessory (the obligation, for example, that it should in some way match what you’re wearing.)”

4. Basic female maintenance is a chore, but if it makes you feel better, go for it

“Sometimes I think that not having to worry about your hair anymore is the secret upside of death.” But Nora loved her weekly blowouts. “It’s far cheaper than psychoanalysis and much more uplifting.” Hell yes.

5. Love is complicated

“You don’t want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie.” (That’s from Sleepless in Seattle.)

6. Marriage is complicated

Quoth Nora: “The desire to get married is a basic and primal instinct in women. It’s followed by another basic and primal instinct: the desire to be single again.”

7. But it’s wonderful when it all works out

Love does actually occur in real life! “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

8. Make humor work for you

“When you slip on a banana peel, people laugh at you. When you tell people you slipped on a banana peel, it’s your laugh.”

9. Gospel truth

“I don’t think any day is worth living without thinking about what you’re going to eat next at all times.”

10. Support your fellow women

Don’t give in to societal pressures to be a lady at all times. “Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women.”

11. And the greatest piece of advice

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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