Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A Participatory Post

As a rule, I hate quotes. Quotes on calendars. Quotes on posters. Quotes on applications for MFA programs. They're the worst kind of shallow, because they pretend to be deep. (The exception to this, of course, is anything ever uttered by Mark Twain.)

But I'm here today to, in a way, give the quote its due. I've been trying to think of the things that friends, family and co-workers have said to me that have really cut through and left a mark. They might be meaningful. They might be true. Or they might be just plain odd. So far, the list includes:

"Your entire job is to get beat up by smart people." - Pat Rosenstiel (co-worker)

"If you eat one meal a day and don't get rained on at night, you're doing fine." (my sister)

"Every married man knows that at some point, he's going to find a woman he thinks is better for him." (my father, said cryptically after I shared the story of my best friend's parents divorcing because his father fell in love with someone else... strange thing to tell your son... I let it go)

"You can't really dust for vomit." (Nigel Tufnel)

Okay, scratch that last one. I don't want this to turn into "My Favorite Movie Quotes." I'm looking for anything anyone has heard in his or her lifetime (from a real person) that actually provided either a "mentor moment" or an enigmatic scratch of the head. In the meantime, I'm going to keep thinking.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

"You can work and talk, you son-of-a-bitch." Mike Kuda, section foreman, BN railroad. Mike was old old school. A master at the use of the threat of physical violence as a motivational tool.

I know we've all evolved from those bad old days but at least when your boss gets in your face and says "Do it or I'll kick your ass" you didn't have to worry about hidden agendas.

michael f said...

"Smell my rainbow." (Overheard) statement by one kid to another in the foyer of an art gallery. I have no idea what one was showing the other.

Pinkie said...

I just read a great one this morning (my test of a quote is "Wow, I should memorize that!") by Roman Coppola to Wes Anderson re: trusting your instincts.

"When you do something that is really your instinct to do, then what more can you ask of yourself?"

Scott said...

My friend Amy referring to her ample cleavage: "As my daddy always said, If Macy's wants to sell something, they put it in the front window."

fab4fan said...

"Mommy, you are SO kidding! Really much!" My 4-year-old at the top of his lungs in Target when I refused to buy him a toy. Can't wait until he learns the words he REALLY wanted to say to me ...

fab4fan said...

"Just let me do everything I want to do!"

(James the 4-year-old again)

michael f. said...

"I had magic popcorn for breakfast this morning." (Overheard on city street) statement by an effusive teenage girl to her posse of four teenage boys.