How does that saying go? “Some people are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them?” Something like that.
Something similar could be said about the quotes in my book. Maybe along the lines of, “Some quotes are great, some are greater with context, and some are never going to be great no matter how much context there is.”
Okay, so the analogy kind of falls apart at the end. But today’s three-fer of quotes is the perfect representation of why I came up with it in the first place.
All three came in the span of a few minutes, on a night when the quotes were flying fast and thick. It was not long after Ron and I began dating, when Kerry came to visit. You know how it is – I’d started seeing someone new, and I hoped the new boyfriend and the lifelong best friend would get along.
At first I wasn’t sure how things were going on that front, considering that within a day of Kerry’s arrival, I had pink hair – a development that seemed to have Ron a bit nonplussed.
I needn’t have worried, though, as partway through Kerry’s visit, Ron came by my apartment for what turned out to be one of the best evenings ever of drinking, snacking, and chatting, and a truly wonderful exchange happened.
It started off when Ron made a sarcastic reply to something Kerry said. I don’t remember what it was, but I do remember laughing hard at it, then laughing even harder at Kerry’s indignant comeback:
Sorry, Benedict. Did my back dull your knife?
When I’d recovered enough to speak, I declared that was going in the quote book, and set about to scribbling it down.
Now, I’m very particular about my quote book’s formatting. In some ways it’s like a diary, so every quote is dated. It was quite late, and I wasn’t sure whether it was before or after midnight, which would, of course, affect the date.
I decided to see whether Kerry or Ron knew what day it was, along with an explanation as to why I was asking. But in my drunken state, what I hollered across the room at them was:
What time is it? ‘Cause we don’t know if it’s today or tomorrow.
I honestly couldn’t understand why Ron and Kerry collapsed into fresh gales of laughter. Then I played back what I’d said in my head, and couldn’t argue with Ron’s assertion that that had better be going in the quote book, too. (For what it’s worth, I don’t remember if it was before or after midnight. But it was April 8, 2003.)
Something else that’s important to me? Balance. And here I was, with only two out of the three of us having contributed quotes to the book that night. I’m afraid that, Kerry’s being the great one all on its own, and mine being great with some added context, that leaves poor Ron stuck with the quote that’s never going to be great.
For what it’s worth, he tried to convince me not to put it in the book. Maybe I should have listened to him. But when he was trying to use a pencil that had for some reason been stabbed into a grape – remember: drunk – and it wouldn’t write because the lead was coated in grape guts, and he couldn’t remember the word ‘pencil,’ his exasperated declaration that …
I’ve got grape shit on my thingy!
… was quotable enough for me.
In the end, I’m glad I didn’t listen to Ron. Because more than ‘just’ an okay quote, it represents one-third of a very meaningful night – hanging out with my best friend and my boyfriend, and realizing they were going to get along just fine.
To see previous posts in my Quotes series, click here.