what i miss
sorry in advance this newsletter has a lot of dead women in it
|Carrie Courogen||May 19, 2020|
Today would have been Nora Ephron’s 79th birthday. Nora, true Alpha Taurus and inventor of fall, was not shy about sharing her myriad opinions and the things in life that she found pleasurable and the things in life she disdained. (Sound like anyone we know?) Nora was not generally considered a private person — until, of course, she died unexpectedly in 2012 after a long, unpublicized battle with a rare form of leukemia, and we discovered that she was. In small ways, though, she managed to keep her illness a secret while simultaneously turning it, as was her way, into copy.
The final two essays of her last book, I Remember Nothing, aren’t actually essays at all. Rather, they’re lists, one of things she would miss, and one of the things she absolutely would not.
Today’s newsletter — the first in a very long time, I’m sorry! — isn’t really an essay either. Instead, partly inspired by others I’ve seen doing this and Nora, it’s my own spin on that list: things I miss and don’t miss — big and small — about life before all *gestures wildly* this.
nora, if you can hear me wherever you are……bitch, i miss u.
thanks sorry love you bye,
What I miss
Quiet late night subway rides home from being out · Dinners with friends when you say fuck it and go ahead and order that final glass of wine that puts you over into the one-too-many realm · Running in Central Park · Walking around downtown with nothing to do · Being able to go anywhere, whenever I want · Running in general — I don’t know how any of you do it with a mask, I simply cannot · Lucky Strike (RIP), Lupe’s, Little Prince, B Bar, Grey Dog, and every other downtown restaurant I’ve ever frequented · Concerts, but specifically summer concerts at Forest Hills Stadium (I pre-miss them) · My bootcamp class and my favorite elliptical at the gym · The shoes I left under my desk at work · Dressing up · My desk at work (!!??) · Meetings that weren’t Zoom · Stopping at Whole Foods on my way home from work approximately 4 nights a week · The cold bar at Whole Foods (I’m unwell) · Self serve fro-yo places · Going to a just-okay, relatively forgettable but enjoyable nonetheless movie at the Lincoln Square AMC early Saturday afternoons after the gym, whereupon my first meal of the day ends up being candy and movie theater popcorn, because I am Well · Going to the movies after work where my dinner is a glass of wine and movie theater popcorn, because I am Well · Coming over the bridge to Manhattan (okay this one I stole from Nora but oof it HITS) · MY FRIENDS! And being able to see them IN REAL LIFE (double for my older ones, double for the spontaneous hangs) · Kissing · Hugs
What I don’t miss
Tourists who walk slow · Tourists who walk slow, spread across the entire width of a sidewalk · Tourists who walk slow and stop at random on the sidewalk · Tourists, just, like, in general · Being on the same uptown A as the busker who only ever performs a bad karaoke version “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5 at least once a week · It’s showtime! · When the trains inexplicably run 20 minutes apart · When the express runs local after 11 p.m. (wow all of these are getting to be about the subway!) · The Oculus · The sub-zero temperatures and weird airplane-like air pressure of 1WTC · Open office chatter forcing me to travel to different floors and weird nooks to find quiet spaces to work · Sad desk salads from Pret · Leaving my apartment at 6:30 a.m. and coming home around 8 p.m. nearly every day · Going to the gym before work (and thus having to carry my gym bag with me anywhere I go) · Spending $127 a month for the MTA · Spending who knows how much a month on Ubers because the MTA sucks · Feeling like I needed to run or go to the gym every. single. day. · Nights where you have too many things planned across the city that are not easily accessible via subway so you’re doing a lot of running and/or cabbing · Meetings · FOMO
While you’re here, pour one out for queen of queens Gilda Radner, who died this week in 1989. (Actually, on my birthday — although not the same year — which always makes me a little extra sad on top of the usual I’m sad on my birthday bullshit.) Below, the two videos I watch religiously each year. There are plenty of other clips of Gilda that are funnier or more iconic, but something about these two makes me laugh hysterically AND cry at the same time, every. single. time. She was so wonderful and she is so missed.
Today I am also choosing to be upset that Madeline Kahn died before she could realize her longtime toyed-with idea of doing a one woman cabaret show called Kahn-cepts.
(oh god i’m sorry this has just turned into the dead funny ladies newsletter but, well, no one is forcing you to read this.)
Anyway. I just wrote a longass profile of Kahn and in doing so, tumbled down a research rabbit hole that reignited my teenage admiration and lady hero-worship. Bitch had the range (literally, as in she was operatically trained, but also, like, the emotional range!!!), and her lovely, nuanced take on “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered” performed at a 1995 benefit concert is just further bittersweet proof.
THINGS I WROTE OR DID
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okay that's it that's the end thanks bye