Last year, while reading Nora Ephron’s final book, “I Remember Nothing,” on a flight from California, I decided to write her a letter to apologize for a rant of mine that The Post published in 2006. The letter to Ephron, who died Tuesday, was returned several months later, stamped undeliverable. Here’s what I wanted to say:
We’ve never met, but even if we had, I might not remember because I’m starting to experience that memory thing you talk about in your delightful new book, “I Remember Nothing.” I’ve been reading it on a flight from Sacramento to Washington, D.C. The young woman next to me is trying to sleep. I am attempting to laugh silently, but it’s not working. When I got to Page 66, I sprayed us both with a mouthful of cabernet sauvignon. . . .
Your references to Teflon and to Afghanistan (where I spent all of 2005 with a British infantry unit) dredged up some old memories.
Teflon: Back in 1975, I was the only female naval officer assigned to a remote U.S. communications base near Rabat, Morocco, with 1,000 sailors and Marines. I quickly moved off the base, lived near an empty beach with my French boyfriend and hired a Moroccan lady to clean my house once a week. On her first day, Fatima spent almost six hours and went through two boxes of Brillo pads scrubbing the Teflon off one of my frying pans. She thought it was burned-on food. I now realize from your book that she may have saved my life.
Afghanistan: When I came home from my tour of duty in northern Afghanistan, I think I had a touch of post-traumatic stress disorder. I was afraid to walk my dog at night, I wouldn’t pick up trash at the bus stop, and I got very angry when people thanked me for my service. A few months after my return, I read a review of your “I Feel Bad About My Neck” in The Post, dashed off a snarky letter to the editor about your book and hit the “send” button. Much to my amazement, The Post published it.
I was still recovering from my Afghanistan experience and was upset that older women were worrying about their wrinkles and bags after what I had seen and experienced in that country. (I was a 58-year old diplomat when I was sent there.) Sorry about the rant.
I love all your books and your films, and I want to thank you for making me laugh so hard that I spit wine, cry when it’s important to cry and accept that life should be spontaneous, crazy and wonderful.
All the best.
Patricia McArdle, Arlington
I appreciate and enjoyed the Style section article about the life of writer Nora Ephron [“Life, interpreted,” June 27], with two nits:
● A writer does not “wreak” revenge but rather “exacts” revenge.
● The younger sister did not get her head caught “in the banister” but rather “between balusters” — closely spaced supports for a railing — and perhaps where the head of the editor is currently caught.
Robert Braxton, Fairfax