I recently ran into some humorous and insightful quotes about marriage and divorce. As I chuckled while reading them, I couldn't help thinking of the quite serious question about why we do it. Do we really have no idea of what we're getting ourselves into? A long time ago, I realised that oddly enough, there are many things we do in life where there are no prerequisites. Before society allows me to drive a car, I must pass a test. Before I'm allowed to conduct brain surgery, I have to obtain a diploma and carry out an internship. But marriage? Sex? Becoming a parent? Our society, we collectively, require absolutely no proof of competency. There are no tests to pass, diplomas to obtain, or internship to go through. We all have the "right" to get married, have sex, or become parents and we all would be indignant if anybody suggested we would need to prove beforehand that we have the requisite skills and financial means to be doing any of these activities. Would this be tantamount to jumping out of an airplane with no instruction? Oh, you didn't strap on your parachute? I'm sorry; you should have taken lesson number one. Well, you won't be making that mistake again!
Marriage is the chief cause of divorce.
Marriage is a wonderful institution ... but who wants to live in an institution?
- Groucho Marx
On second marriages: "The triumph of hope over experience."
- Samuel Johnson, from Boswell's Life of Johnson
Instead of getting married again, I'm going to find a woman I don't like and just give her a house.
-Louis Grizzard (1946-1994) [Gizzard was married and divorced three times.]
The tragedy of marriage is that while all women marry thinking that their man will change, all men marry believing their wife will never change.
-Len Deighton, London Match (London: Hutchinson, 1985) p. 18.
There's nothing a woman hates more than her fiance's best friend. He knows all the secrets she's going to spend the rest of her life trying to find out.
-Jeff Douglas line in the musical Brigadoon
Marriage is really tough because you have to deal with feelings...and lawyers.
The best way to remember your wife's birthday is to forget it once.
-Joseph Cossman, Wit On Target, 1998, p. 91.
There's only one way to have a happy marriage and as soon as I learn what it is I'll get married again.
Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
Marriage is like a coffin and each kid is another nail.
Any married man should forget his mistakes - no use two people remembering the same thing.
-Duane Dewel, Wit On Target, 1998, p. 88.
Marrying a man is like buying something you've been admiring for a long time in a shop window. You may love it when you get it home, but it doesn't always go with everything else in the house.
I married beneath me. All women do.
-Lady Nancy Astor
Why do we do it? Why do we keep doing it? Does hope truly spring eternal? Woody Allen's 1977 romantic comedy Annie Hall was a comic masterpiece and probably the funniest damn film I've ever seen. There are so many great lines in it that you could probably quote the entire script as a series of witty gems.
However, besides the humour, there was the sad story of a love which blossomed, reached a wonderful peak, and then fell apart. In the final scene of the movie, Woody Allen as Alvy Singer meets Diane Keaton as Annie Hall briefly to talk over old times. It's fun to reminisce, share a few laughs, and have a nostalgic moment to relive the good times of a relationship. Nevertheless, it's over. They know it's over and it's not coming back.
Alvy Singer: [narrating] After that it got pretty late, and we both had to go, but it was great seeing Annie again. I... I realized what a terrific person she was, and... and how much fun it was just knowing her; and I... I, I thought of that old joke, y'know, the, this... this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, "Doc, uh, my brother's crazy; he thinks he's a chicken." And, uh, the doctor says, "Well, why don't you turn him in?" The guy says, "I would, but I need the eggs." Well, I guess that's pretty much now how I feel about relationships; y'know, they're totally irrational, and crazy, and absurd, and... but, uh, I guess we keep goin' through it because, uh, most of us... need the eggs.
Wikipedia: Lewis Gizzard
Lewis McDonald Grizzard, Jr. (October 20, 1946 – March 20, 1994) was an American writer and humorist, known for his Southern demeanor and commentary on the American South. Although he spent his early career as a newspaper sports writer and editor, becoming the sports editor of the Atlanta Journal at age 23, he is much better known for his humorous newspaper columns in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a popular stand-up comedian & lecturer.
Wikipedia: Jean Kerr
Jean Kerr (1922–2003) was an American author and playwright born in Scranton, Pennsylvania and best known for her humorous bestseller, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, and the plays King of Hearts and Mary, Mary. She was married to drama critic Walter Kerr and was the mother of six children.
Wikipedia: Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor
Nancy Witcher Astor, Viscountess Astor, CH, (1879-1964) was the first woman to sit as a Member of Parliament (MP) in the British House of Commons. Nancy Astor represented the Conservative Party and was the wife of Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor.
Lady Astor is nearly as famous for her scathing wit as she is for her political career. Many of her best known quotes are indicative of her personal and political views, such as feminism, temperance, and conservatism; others are merely humorous. However, because she is known for her wit, statements are sometimes attributed to her without conclusive proof that she actually said them.
By far the most famously reported quotes are taken from alleged exchanges between Lady Astor and Winston Churchill but, like the statements above, these are not well documented and may be misattributed. Examples include an instance in which Churchill is supposed to have told Lady Astor that having a woman in Parliament was like having one intrude on him in the bathroom, to which she retorted, "You’re not handsome enough to have such fears". Lady Astor was also said to have responded to a question from Churchill about what disguise he should wear to a masquerade ball by saying, "Why don't you come sober, Prime Minister?" Possibly the most famous of all such anecdotes reports that Lady Astor said to Churchill, "If you were my husband, I'd poison your tea," to which he responded, "Madam, if you were my wife, I'd drink it!"
One of the more famous exchanges that Lady Astor is purported to have had with Churchill is as follows: "Winston, you are drunk." To which Churchill responded, "And you, madam, are ugly. But I shall be sober in the morning." In fact, Churchill was talking to Bessie Braddock, a Labour Member of Parliament.
Mail Online - Jul 1/2007
Hague's baseball cap, Mandelson's mushy peas: True tales or just great political myths? by Simon Hoggart
You could fill a book with what Winston Churchill didn't say. It would be almost as long as one made up of genuine quotes. There's no record of the occasion when the Labour MP Bessie Braddock said: "You are drunk!" and he replied: "And you, madam, are ugly. But I shall be sober in the morning." It was an old gag, even then.
Wikipedia: Annie Hall
Annie Hall is a 1977 American romantic comedy directed by Woody Allen from a screenplay co-written with Marshall Brickman and co-starring Diane Keaton. One of Allen's most popular and most honored films, it won four Academy Awards including Best Picture. Roger Ebert described it as "just about everyone's favorite Woody Allen movie".
my blog: Optimism: we are hardwired to ignore defeat
The research seems to indicate that we all have this innate ability to see the sunny side of the street. Even in the most hopeless of situations, we still find hope. To quote Charlie Sheen, "Defeat is not an option." It would seem that optimism is a survival mechanism. It gives us the courage to carry on... or the hope that marriage number two is going to work.
Postscript - May 20/2012: some one liners
After our last argument, my wife told me: I hope your next wife appreciates the improvements I've made in you.
A pessimist is a man who feels that all women are bad...an optimist hopes so.
A hundred men may make an encampment, but it takes a woman to make a home.
Defeat is worse than death because you have to live with defeat.
Hallmark Card: "I'm so miserable without you, it's almost like you're still here."
I should've known it wasn't going to work out between my ex-husband and me. After all, I'm a Libra and he's a bastard.
Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
Good girls are bad girls that never get caught.
Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
The squeaky wheel doesn't always get the grease, sometimes it gets replaced.
The moment for calm and rational discussion is past, now is the time for senseless bickering.
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