Nora Ephron is responsible for the crush I used to have on actress Meg Ryan.

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when harry met sally restaurant            Meg ryan orgasm

I’ll have what she’s having.”

    When Harry Met Sally

I think it was Ryan’s cutesy little nose and her transparent fragility and vulnerability, not her ability to fake a great orgasm, that drew me in. God, she was as adorable as a fluffy little puppy! But it’s the death of Ephron earlier this year that reminded me that maybe I should have been born a woman…

Certainly I’ve got all the right junk down below for AMAZING manhood (I say modestly … TMI you say emphatically!). I could go on and on here but I’ll try to stay on point, OK?  I love to watch and play manly sports like hockey and football. I don’t think that I display effeminate characteristics in style of dress or mannerisms. I feel a STRONG attraction to women and NONE towards men.

But I find that many of my thoughts and opinions and interests roll into shore along currents that most of us might think of as feminine.

Men are supposed to have a passion for swearing, hunting and drinking lots of booze, while eschewing things like shopping, reading and gardening. Real men vote Conservative or Republican, not the Liberal or Democratic bearing that attracts my vote and those of the majority of women. Tough manly studs admire violent Action or Adventure movies and TV shows that star chunky behemoths like Chuck Norris and Sylvester Stallone who run and dodge bullets and explosions with the casualness of me picking up a latte (oh, and real men don’t drink lattes either!) at Starbucks. Men avoid genuine personal conversations that deal with emotions and relationships- I prefer to dive right into the nitty gritty of the heart.

And it’s in this realm of emotions and relationships that Ephron found her calling and strengths.

So… Who’s this Nora Ephron I’m talking about here? I’ll bet many more women than men could answer this question.

noraephron_merylstreep

Nora Ephron and Meryl Streep

Ephron was a fine American blog, book, and screenwriter, and director of what most would use the term “Chick Flicks”. Her tally includes movies like “When Harry Met Sally” “You’ve Got Mail”,”Sleepless in Seattle”, and “Julie and Julia”. Something else she was famous for was once being married (of three marriages in total) to Carl Bernstein, one of the Watergate-exposing journalists that resulted in President Richard Nixon’s resignation.

I’m going to really miss Ephron and the humour that she mined from human relationships. Because despite the drama and traumas that exist within any couple-type relationship, there is just a boatload of funny stuff that goes on, some intentional, and a whole lot accidental.

Who hasn’t had an argument with their significant other over something as trivial as the proper way to slice a tomato, or from which direction the toilet paper should roll (on top, or underneath), or whether that wagon-wheel coffee table should be ditched? Ephron could turn these sorts of simple things into movie hysterics. Perhaps because of her own life experiences she created characters who desperately wanted the enchantment and longing and harmony that makes us all idiots in the love domain.

wagon wheel when harry met sally

Most of us live lives similar to those of Ephron’s characters. Ordinary people going about our day-to-day existences. Searching for meaning, connection, and love in a busy and impersonal world that often passes us uncaring or uninterested on street corners and shopping malls and offices, or in today’s more-connected world, on Facebook or eHarmony.

Thoreau said, “Most people lead lives of quiet desperation, and go to their graves with the song still in their heart.” I don’t know if any of Ephron’s characters discovered the song in their heart, but they all seemed to live lives of quiet desperation and were searching for an escape route or at least a respite. More often than not, that search began and ended with a human connection.

meg-norah-remem

The overwhelming reality of most of humankind’s romantic relationships is a spellbinding launch of euphoria and then a harrowing finish that doesn’t truly end with “’til death do you part”. For most, the narrative pendulum swings between some inexplicable sense of ecstasy and grim anguish. Very few of us cherish the storyline that ends with hard feelings and tears. Ephron led us down sinuous romantic pathways, and despite the tears shed along the road, always had us leave the theatre with a sense of elation and hope in our hearts.

I don’t know the exact reasons why I have a more-feminine mindset. There’s probably some deep-rooted psychological undercurrent that could be hooked and brought to the lake-surface of my mind by years of analysis and a few tens of thousands of dollars. But then it could be just because my mother was the parent that took me to my hockey games and teacher interviews, or it might be that I was unselfishly housed and fed by my saintly sister while I went to high school and college for four years after my Mom died. Or…maybe I’m just a serendipitous genetic artifact, like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

Anyway, I don’t lust after you anymore, new Meg Ryan  (sorry Meg, your plastic surgeon has turned you into someone I don’t recognize). But it’s because of women that attract me like you and Nora Ephron that, in the end, I’m really happy that I wasn’t born a woman…

I’m content to just think like one sometimes!

meryl-streep_julia-child

Streep as Julia Child sings “YMCA” in JULIE & JULIA…

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