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Nora Ephron’s 27 Best Quotes On Love, Life, And Death

The writer and filmmaker died at the age of 71 in Manhattan Tuesday. The inspiring, witty, and hilarious quotes she leaves behind in her books, movies, and essays seem endless, but here are a few of my favorites.

Lucas Jackson / Reuters
1.

“I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because 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.”— Harry, When Harry Met Sally

2.

“Well, it was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together… and I knew it. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home… only to no home I’d ever known… I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like… magic.”— Sam, Sleepless in Seattle

When Harry Met Sally…, 1989.

3.

“Sometimes I believe that some people are better at love than others, and sometimes I believe that everyone is faking it.”

4.

“Beware of men who cry. It’s true that men who cry are sensitive to and in touch with feelings, but the only feelings they tend to be sensitive to and in touch with are their own.”

Getty Images / Getty Images

Ephron and her husband Nicholas Pileggi attend the Vanity Fair Oscar party in Hollywood, 2010.

5.

“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.”

6.

“Never marry a man you wouldn’t want to be divorced from.”

7.

“The divorce has lasted way longer than the marriage, but finally it’s over. Enough about that.The point is that for a long time, the fact that I was divorced was the most important thing about me. And now it’s not.”

Courtesy of Wellesley College / AP

Nora Ephron working in the newsroom as an editor of the Wellesley News while attending Wellesley College in 1962.

8.

“Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year 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.”— I Feel Bad About My Neck

9.

“You can settle for reality, or you can go off, like a fool, and dream another dream.”— Heartburn

10.

“You can’t retrieve you life (unless you’re on Wikipedia, in which case you can retrieve an inaccurate version of it).”― I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections

11.

“Reading is one of the main things I do. Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter.”—I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

12.

“To state the obvious, romantic comedies have to be funny and they have to be romantic. But one of the most important things, for me anyway, is that they be about two strong people finding their way to love.”

13.

“I try to write parts for women that are as complicated and interesting as women actually are.”

Getty Images / Getty Images

Nora Ephron in New York City in 2008.

14.

“Insane people are always sure that they are fine. It is only the sane people who are willing to admit that they are crazy.”

15.

“I am continually fascinated at the difficulty intelligent people have in distinguishing what is controversial from what is merely offensive.”

16.

“American society has a remarkable ability to resist change, or to take whatever change has taken place and attempt to make it go away.”

17.

“The Wonderbra is not a step forward for women. Nothing that hurts that much is a step forward for women.”— ‘96 Wellesley College commencement address

18.

“One of the things people always say to you if you get upset is, don’t take it personally, but listen hard to what’s going on and, please, I beg you, take it personally. Understand: every attack on Hillary Clinton for not knowing her place is an attack on you. Underneath almost all those attacks are the words: get back, get back to where you once belonged. When Elizabeth Dole pretends that she isn’t serious about her career, that is an attack on you. The acquittal of O.J. Simpson is an attack on you. Any move to limit abortion rights is an attack on you — whether or not you believe in abortion. The fact that Clarence Thomas is sitting on the Supreme Court today is an attack on you.”— ‘96 Wellesley commencement address

19.

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”— ‘96 Wellesley commencement address

Julie & Julia, 2009.

20.

“My mother was a good recreational cook, but what she basically believed about cooking was that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you.”

21.

“Every so often I would look at my women friends who were happily married and didn’t cook, and I would always find myself wondering how they did it. Would anyone love me if I couldn’t cook? I always thought cooking was part of the package: Step right up, it’s Rachel Samstat, she’s bright, she’s funny and she can cook!”—Heartburn

22.

“If pregnancy were a book they would cut out the last two chapters.”

23.

“When you have a baby, you set off an explosion in your marriage, and when the dust settles, your marriage is different from what it was. Not better, necessarily; not worse, necessarily; but different.”

Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

Nora with Meryl Streep at the 2011 Directors Guild Of America Honors on October 13, 2011 in New York City.

24.

“[A successful parent is one] who raises a child who grows up and is able to pay for his or her own psychoanalysis.”

25.

“When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.”— I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a WOman

26.

“…the amount of maintenance involving hair is genuinely overwhelming. Sometimes I think that not having to worry about your hair anymore is the secret upside of death.”― I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

27.

“When I buy a new book, I always read the last page first, that way in case I die before I finish, I know how it ends. That, my friend, is a dark side.”

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