me. in shorts. twice.

I was writing a post yesterday, for today, about how I’d recently embraced shorts for the first time since high school and was giving up on needing to self tan my SPF shielded skin. Pale is the new tan, right?

You know what I love about getting older? You stop caring about certain self-imposed rules. For years I subscribed to the notion shorts were for camp counselors and tourists. Not my style. I felt as strongly about my dislike of shorts as I do of tennis shoes – my opinion has not changed about tennis shoes. I have a lot of opinions.

A few months ago, I saw a beautiful pair of shorts in navy eyelet and bought them. And after that came a few more – the flared ones with the ruched waist at French Connection and the high waisted 40s-inspired ones from J. Crew. Suddenly, I was buying new wedges and sandals because they looked great with shorts. The shorts I thought I didn’t like.

For weeks, I’ve been wearing shorts without self tanning or real tanning or anything much to conceal my SPF protected skin (and the resulting glow that’s more ghostly than golden). But I don’t care.

I tanned all the summers of my childhood, I freckled and turned a golden brown, but as I got older, the less I liked the heat and the less time I spent in the sun unless slathered in SPF.

Sometimes life feels to short (no pun intended) to worry if my skin looks sun-kissed enough in my skirts and sundresses (and now shorts, too). Pale is the new tan.#ownthebrag

(breaking out the high school yearbook pics)

I’ve tried on a few pairs that I feel just a bit too old to wear. Lengths I wore at 18, some slightly longer but still…short. Too short at 34 I thought, which made me think of this Nora Ephron quote I hold dear:

“Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini the entire time I was twenty-six. If anyone young is reading this, go right this minute, put on a bikini, and don’t take it off until you’re thirty-four.”

Early last night as I was leaving an event, posting the piece on shorts on the list of to-dos when I got home, I learned that Ephron had passed away, via twitter.

And suddenly the post scheduled was something different.

As a screenwriter, as a filmgoer and as a reader, my life is richer because of Ephron’s work. My life is better for having Harry Burns and Sally Albright in it. From life lessons to Fruppsday my daily banter is filled with Ephron-isms.

On a personal level, our families are intertwined in the serendipitous ways that multiple generations in the same business can be. Her mother wrote a play that would later become a TV series directed and produced by my grandfather. Forty years later, another TV show written and directed by my grandfather would become a film directed by Ephron. It all seemed to come full circle.

I read the tweets in disbelief.

One of the last people I saw before I read the news was my friend Morgan. I literally was getting into an elevator to leave as she was arriving at a social media event and we said a quick hello and goodbye. I’ve known Morgan most of my life, and growing up it was with our sisters and our parents and mutual family friends that I first saw Ephron’s films.

Amongst some shorts-wearing photos from once upon a time I had planned to include in the original post was this shot of me in pattern overload (I remember the Espirit top and the shorts well. They were not meant to be worn together. The splattered painted hat from Fred Segal over my ponytail is just icing on the sartorial cake nightmare). In the middle is my sister. On the right, Morgan. Only connect

Valley Girls ca. 1988

I tweeted Morgan almost immediately after hearing of Ephron’s passing. I thought perhaps today I’d wear dots. At the very least, I think I’ll consider the shorter shorts.


4 thoughts on “On Nora Ephron and Rules Made to Be Broken

  1. Sharron

    I heard it on my way to work this morning, such a shame.Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail are two of my favourites. Loving the shorts 🙂

  2. Kal

    LOVE this post. You are incredible adorable. And you are so right about the shorts. And the bikinis and Nora Ephron. I’m going to put on a bikini right now.

  3. Pingback: New York. Nostalgia. Next. | Alexandra Wrote

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