I have begun to mentally collect serendipitous quotations which I have recently overhead. They typically stand out from the bustle of the everyday because they are so apt, or clever, or randomly funny. I want to put them down here in this blog, to catalog these nuggets of wisdom and hilarity. They are too good to be forgotten.

1) “We are your parents, not your cruise directors.” I read this little gem on my friends’ Laura and Brandon’s blog. It is so succinct and yet also so seriously true. I want to high-five Brandon for being awesome enough to say it.

2) “Soda lives in garages.” My spunky three-year-old nephew Oliver made this observation recently to his mom. You really have to hand it to him for noticing and articulating something that is universally true in the households of my parents and sisters. He saw a commonality in the storage of one of life’s little gifts (that’s right–you need not send me your online articles about the negative side effects of soda, blah blah blah), and he pointed it out, as only a sassy preschooler can.

3) “WHY DO ARMIES HAVE GUNS?!” This question, bellowed loudly at my sister’s iPhone is directed at SIRI. Once again, Oliver is asking the questions. He asks SIRI this all the time, but SIRI just can’t seem to decipher kid-lingo, and inevitably responds with an “I can’t figure out what the heck you are talking about” type of response. Fortunately for the rest of us, Oliver keeps asking.

4) “All hat, no cattle.” Jeff favors this cheeky saying, which is useful to describe a certain type of individual–one with much bravado but little in the way of actual, shall we say, beef.

5) “Jack, say ‘apple.'” Charlie says this to Jack whenever he is trying to engage Jack in conversation. While he isn’t much of a conversationalist, Jack is reliably generous about sharing with us the handful of words which he can say. These include: apple (obviously), Mom (sigh of great happiness), choo choo, more, out, chips, Coke (that’s my boy!), and “Oh No!” He usually says the last phrase on the list with great volume and gusto during therapy when he finds a request by the therapist to be unreasonable. I recently had a dream where Jack was sitting at the table, when he suddenly spoke up, saying with perfect enunciation, “No, I don’t want to do that.” I think it makes sense. If you can’t say much, probably one of the most useful things you could learn to verbalize would be a “no thanks, and please leave me alone” kind of a sentence.

6) “Truman’s hands are the size of the Grinch’s heart before it grew three sizes.” My four-year-old neighbor made this delightful comparison last December when looking at my tiny newborn.

7) “Is this real, or is only happening in my head?”
“Of course it’s happening in your head, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real.”
This exchange will be recognizable to many as Harry Potter talking with Dumbledore in a dreamlike setting which looks like King’s Cross Station in a perfected state. I love it. I find this quotation is applicable to many situations. One can’t help but feel reassured by this validating bit of wisdom, emboldened by the gravitas of Dumbledore.

Please share with me YOUR “found poetry” of overheard sayings which delight in their humor, truth, or eccentricity. Comments, please.

  5 comments for “Serendipity

  1. March 6, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I will probably mess this one up. But I was working out in the cinema room at the gym and Marley and Me was on. I hadn’t seen it before but at one point. They talk about how things are not as planned. And Owen Wilson states to Jennifer Aniston that their life wasn’t part of the plan. And she said no it wasn’t part of the plan, it is better.

  2. March 6, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    sorry for the bad grammar. I was talking to someone else at the same time.

  3. March 6, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Sue, on the hit show, “Glee” is usually verbally abrasive, rude and caustic, but every once in awhile some serendipitous little gem will pop out and this is one if my personal favorites:

    “Sue Sylvester’s not afraid to shake things up…Shake it up a bit, get our of your box, even if that box happens to be where you’re living. I’ll often yell at homeless people “Hey, how’s that homelessness working out for ya?” Give not being homeless a try, huh? It’s not easy to break out of your comfort zone. People will tear you down, tell you shouldn’t have bothered in the first place. There’s not much of a difference between a stadium full of cheering fans and an angry crowd screaming abuse at you. They’re both just making a lot of noise. How you take it is up to you. Convince yourself they’re cheering for you. You do that and someday, they will.”

    I think that the most poignant parts of this to remember are to 1: Get out of your box and 2: How you take it (other’s reaction’s) is up to you.

    My boys always want to watch the football players dance in their football gear, so I bribe them by saying, but you have to listen to Sue afterwards. I wish I had been bolstered by a monologue like this more than once when I was younger.

  4. March 7, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Jameson: “Now I know how cats feel. I actually felt really relaxed laying in a random place.”

    Ethan (this boy has so many I don’t know where to start): “Jack’s finger nails are like 5 dollar foot longs.”

    I keep a journal of all the funny things my kids say, course they are probably only funny to us.

    And finally my own litle revelation I recieved, “Do the hard thing” I heard this little gem in my head while praying and have found that it applies to just about everything in our lives. It has become our family motto. Don’t we always want to take the easy way out? How do we progress in that? “Do the hard thing” runs through my head all day long and has helped me get my butt in gear in all areas of my life.

    Keep writing, I love it!

  5. LC
    March 8, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Love it!! esp. #1:) and #6 made me laugh. My girls used to sing about the I love to see the temple song, “This is my secret beauty.” We never corrected it because it seemed spot-on. They also called their bunk beds, “bonk beds” for the longest time. Having kids is a treasure trove of succint sayings isn’t it?:) Keep recording them. Thanks for sharing.

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