We needed a little push.
As much as we were resistant, we knew our tumble into We (as in, We with a capital letter, as in We kind of really, really like each other) was inevitable.
For two years, everyone but us saw it coming.
Our closest friends who we spent every minute with, in those days.
Our friends from before, when they saw us together.
Complete strangers, when they would mistake us for something we weren’t and which we joked (as if that would ever happen, yeah right) on the outside about being.
We were protective then, of both ourselves and of each other’s pasts. For two years, over many a late night beer (or two), we’d exchanged our still fragile histories. We cleaned up each other’s debris of our messy present that was then. We watched knowingly, as the other tried out yet another misfit toy.
And then in the summer of 1989, we went to see a little Nora Ephron/Rob Reiner/Billy Crystal/Meg Ryan movie called “When Harry Met Sally.”
I knew perfectly well what Harry and Sally were all about. So did my friend’s sister, with whom I was in cahoots with. We had both seen the movie beforehand and had decided that it was exactly the push we both needed to move her brother and I into the starring roles of the romantic comedy of our 20-something year old lives.
And it worked.
For … well, a little while.
I’ll spare you the drama and fast forward the VHS tape to the ending and tell you that, unlike Harry and Sally, we didn’t wind up together for the rest of our lives. Very much the opposite, in fact; the friendship disintegrated to an unrecognizable, hardened shell of what it once was and eventually, disappeared altogether.
Despite that, “When Harry Met Sally” remains one of my all-time favorite movies. Like so many others, I credit Nora Ephron for being an inspiration – for who knows if that guy and I would have ever gotten together if it wasn’t for her little movie? Maybe we were doomed to fail, but we wouldn’t have known if we hadn’t tried, right?
Because we would have always wondered what would have happened, a theme that I would encounter again and again in this life of mine.
Nora Ephron, through her words in “When Harry Met Sally,” made me brave enough to say yes to taking a chance, to spin the romantic dice, to see what would happen.
So I got my heart broken in that game of love, learned that life didn’t always turn out like the movies. If I had known her, Nora herself would probably be the first one to have to told me that might be so. (Come to think of it, she did – when I was 14 and read Heartburn.)
She probably would also say it would be worth it. Because when the next guy who was a friend came along, I would be brave enough to make the leap sooner and not have to wait two years to find out whether or not we could make it work.
By then, we already would know.
“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, in “When Harry Met Sally”
Thanks, Nora. Rest in peace.
copyright 2012, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.