A most excellent surprise in the New Yorker this week — an essay by Nora Ephron. I used to love Nora Ephron– no, I still do. Hand me a copy of “Scribble Scribble” or “Wallflower at the Orgy” and I can almost quote large chunks of it from memory. She’s one of the writers I read when I was — I hate this phrase, please understand I use it under advisement — finding my voice, and she’s one of the reasons I do what I do. If you want to be a writer, you need to find a few who make it look easy; otherwise you might never try. And she always made it look easy, even when it was obviously hard. You want to know what a great magazine essay/story looks like? Read “Dealing with the, uh, problem” from “Crazy Salad,” about the development of the feminine hygiene spray. It’s simultaneously a total stitch and a stinging indictment of an industry that did its best to convince women that their ya-yas had such strong odors that needed to be corrected and sweetened.
(I was reading it once, and giggling, and Alan asked why. I told him. He said, “Never in my life have I been able to smell a woman’s p*ssy in a social setting.” There you have it. I guess nobody told the suits at Alberto-Culver, makers of FDS.)
Anyway, the essay this week was called “Serial Monogamy,” and was about Ephron’s relationships with cookbooks. Only, of course, it’s not about just that. I should quote a section, but it’s not online, and I’d have to go upstairs and find the magazine, and I have to go to work in a few minutes and excuse excuse excuse and whine whine whine. Just buy the magazine — it’s the Eustace Tilley anniversary issue.