When you are courting
a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder
a second seems like an hour. That's relativity.
- Albert Einstein
Neither a Fortress
nor a Maidenhead will hold out long after they begin to parley.
- Benjamin Franklin
Courting need not be
such sweet sorrow.
- Editorial in "The Times"
The first symptom of
love in a young man is timidity, in a girl it is boldness. The two sexes
have a tendency to approach, and each assumes the qualities of the other.
- Victor Hugo
Marriage has many pains
but celibacy has no pleasures.
- Samuel Johnson
A man may be a fool
and not know it: but not if he is married.
- HL Mencken
Kisses are a better
fate than wisdom.
- EE Cummings
"If you were a woman
or a man in the early 19th century, who you married and how you married
was going to determine your entire life."
- Jody Sheff, producer of "Regency House Party"
I believe we 21st-century
women are still more Elizabeth Bennett than we are Bridget Jones. There's
a reason why there was no "Pride and Prejudice: The Edge of Reason". She
may have been misguided at first, but the wise and witty Miss Bennett knew
how to hold on to her Mr. Darcy once she got him.
- Magan Basham, "Bridget Jones Defies Reason", "National Review"
As the tide of feminism
that crested two decades ago recedes and the old advance-and-retreat games
of courtship return, "Pride & Prejudice" speaks wistfully to the moment.
Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy are tantalizing early prototypes
for a Katharine Hepburn-Spencer Tracy ideal of lovers as brainy, passionate
sparring partners. That the world teems with fantasies of Mr. Darcy and
his ilk there is no doubt. How many of his type are to be found outside
the pages of a novel, however, is another matter.
- Stephen Holden, from his review of "Pride and Prejudice" in "The New York Times"
One of the less vaunted
joys of Austen is that she is one of the greatest writers in the English
language who also happened to write witty romance novels. Women enjoy the
love stories in Austen the same way men read Hemingway for the hunting
and fishing: it provides guiltless pleasure.
- Alessandra Stanley, "The New York Times"
Everyone in Austen's
world comes with a price tag that announces, in terms as clear as a livestock
auction, just how much money is on offer and how much is expected in return.
Thus a stonking great income of £5,000 a year is quite enough to
wipe out body odour and the fact that no one in three counties can stand
your screechy laugh. But with only a paltry £100 a year, you'd better
have the kind of cleavage Andrew Davies dreams about. Austen did not believe
that love conquers all. The girls in her novels who get caught up in the
sticky tendrils of romance - Lydia Bennet is the example par excellence
- are rewarded with shabby, shadowy lives. Nor, though, was Austen exactly
mercenary. She understood that a match made for money was a desolate business
(think of General Tilney and his wife in Northanger Abbey). Austen's philosophy
might be summed up as that of a canny pragmatist: don't marry for money,
but marry where money is.
- Kathryn Hughes, "The Guardian"
"The great ambition
of women is to inspire love."
And in that moment,
Dan was reminded once again why he wanted to write in the first place.
It's for the same reason anybody does anything: to impress women.
- Jeremy, "Sports Night"
Plain women know more
about men than beautiful ones do. But beautiful women don't need to know
about men. It's the men who have to know about beautiful women.
- Katherine Hepburn
A woman has got to
love a bad man once or twice in her life to be thankful for a good one.
- Mae West
The game women play
- Adam Smith
People who get married
because they're in love make a ridiculous mistake. It makes much more sense
to marry your best friend. You like your best friend more than anyone you're
ever going to be in love with. You dont choose your best friend because
they have a cute nose.
- Fran Lebowitz
If beauty is only skin
deep, look really, really hard.
- Virginia Heffernan
A handsome woman is
A friend's eye is a good mirror.
- Old Irish proverbs
"One of the great injustices
in fiction is that on the whole people with romantic yearnings have romantic
faces. But in real life it's not always like that."
- Julian Fellowes
I came from a generation
where women were almost deified, and like Groucho Marx's line, "I wouldn't
want to be a member of a club that would have me as a member", I thought,
"I wouldn't want to sleep with a woman who would sleep with me!" It took
me a long time to work my way through that.
- John Waters, interviewed in "The Irish Independent"
Heaven has no rage
like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.
- William Concreve
"In revenge and in
love. woman is more barbarous than man."
"You men do it well,
tormenting a girl. You must be born with it."
- Janie, in "Allegheny Uprising"
Don't waste your time
on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race
is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.
- Mary Schmich
"My old man used to
say, before he left this world, never chase buses or women. You always
get left behind."
- Marlboro to Harley, "Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man"
What really flatters a man is that you think him worth flattering.
"The first thing to learn about a deck of
cards is how to handle them. They're a whole lot like women. Usually, when
you pick one up, you wish you hadn't."
- Wolf Wylie to Duke Fergus (John Wayne) in "Flame of the Barbary Coast"
The behaviour of lovers
is oscillating like the moon, and unpredictable as the weather...
- Schuster & Sigmund
She knocked me out.
I mean it. I was half in love with her by the time we sat down. That's
the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty, even if they're
not much to look at, or even if they're sort of stupid, you half fall in
love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are. Girls.
Jesus Christ. They can drive you crazy. They really can.
- JD Salinger
"What's up with you
commitment-phobic men and women? How long will you guys and gals
hide behind the word friend to avoid the two scariest words in the English
language: girlfriend and boyfriend."
- Ms. Yolanda H
Whenever I see two women kissing, it reminds me of nothing so much as two prize-fighters shaking hands.
- HL Mencken
"As for kissing on the first date, you should never date someone whom you would not wish to kiss immediately."
- Garrison Keillor, Salon Magazine
To Kiss : An attempt to absorb the essence of the other person.
- F Scott Fitzgerald
adultery has had few rivals as a cause of murder and human misery.
The reason we tend to resemble our mates is that many of us are looking for someone who reminds us of our parent or sibling of the opposite sex, who in turn resembles us.
A friend of mine recently
split up with and got back with and split up with her boyfriend. Her reasons:
a) he wasn't texting her frequently enough, and b) he was having extra-textual
affairs. But instead of meeting up and sorting it out face to face, instead
of picking up the phone and, God forbid, speaking to one another, they
spent three weeks having a war of words by text. Analysing and agonising
over every abbreviation and exclamation mark, scrutinising the pauses between
messages, examining the tone of the monosyllabic words, and bemoaning the
confusion borne out of poor punctuation and predictive text. And when the
credit ran out, and the phone battery died, so did their relationship.
- Lynsey Kiely, with a sad tale ot "Text and the City"
If you want to get
chatted up, why not hang out in pubs with notoriously slow service? Stand
right up at the bar so that the men near you will eventually speak to you,
even if it's out of boredom or sheer frustration.
- Marisa Mackle, with some advice for single women in Dublin's "Evening Herald"
Explaining to ardent
wooers that she does not want to be wooed is one of the social skills that
women have to learn. I don't think that it is true that they are born with
it. The trick is to make your feelings clear, without wounding the wooer's
masculine amour propre. If he is a real sticker, you may have to have a
straight talk with him, over drinks or at some other sociable occasion.
Explaining that you like him as a person, but do not fancy him as a lover.
In the Victorian romances, he would then take his broken heart off to the
Foreign Legion or hunting tigers. In these less conventionally rigid days,
he can find somebody else to fancy. The best guides to these delicate feminine
skills are found in romantic novels. P.G. Wodehouse is good at doing a
turn-down with good humour and lightness. Try to see your persistent admirer
as a compliment, not a pain.
- Philip Howard, from his "Modern Manners" column in "The Times"
Q: A gentleman friend
at work has repeatedly asked me out to lunch with him. I have been before
and find his company exceedingly dull and found we had no common ground
at all. I am loathe to waste another lunch hour with him. I am unsure whether
his intentions are romantic or professional. How can I politely rebuff
him without causing offence?
A: I think that you have to carry on repeatedly refusing, in the nicest possible way, of course. This may be an occasion for a Phrop, a phrase in which the subtext means the opposite of its surface meaning. For example, in academic circles, "With the greatest respect..." actually means, "I am going to break the neck of this bottle, and ream your backside with it." Thus in social chit-chat, "We must have lunch some time," means, "I don't care if I never see you again." We should try to establish whether his intentions are professional or romantic. This should be possible over one lunch. If they are romantic, you must be generous and not wound his pride. He has, after all, shown good taste by fancying you. A Victorian Miss would have said: "Jasper: you have paid me the greatest compliment that a man can play a woman. But, my heart belongs to another, or Daddy, or whatever." Your wannabee beau would then go off to join the French Foreign Legion or shoot big game. Today he will go off to join a political party or play digital games or some other trivial pursuit. If he will not take no for an answer, and is a virtual stalker, you may have to cause offence by telling the truth. "I am sorry, Wayne, but I just don't want to have lunch with you." This is an occasion when the truth is better than polite obfuscation.
- From Phillip Howard's "Modern Manners" column in "The Times"
Q: Should one give
up one's seat on a train or a bus to a young and able-bodied female just
because she is female?
A: Should, schmould. This is a modern conundrum. Old-fashioned courtesy dictated that a gent always gave up his seat to a lady, because she was deemed to be the weaker sex. We have exploded that myth. Women are the stronger sex, not just morally but also physically. The Philip Sydney principle rules. One gives up one's seat to a fellow traveller whose necessity to sit down appears to be greater than one's own. But how to tell? Some of us evade this conundrum by never sitting down in public transport, but proppoing ourselves up against a wall with The Times crossword. One should offer one's seat modestly, not ostentatiously like Walter Raleigh throwing his cloak over the puddle for Queen Elizabeth.
- Phillip Howard, "The Times"
I've been around a
long time, and young men, if there is one thing I know, it is that the
only way to kiss a girl for the first time is to look like you want to
and intend do, and move in fast enough to seem eager but slow enough to
give her a chance to say "So anyway ..." and look up as if she's trying
to remember your name.
- Roger Ebert, from his review of "Shopgirl", "Chicago Sun Times"
When a girl says she
likes you as a friend, what she means is: "Rather than have sex with you,
I would prefer to lose you as a friend."
- Roger Ebert, from his review of "Just Friends"
Sue: Why are you looking
at me like that?
Jude: Does it scare you?
Sue: No. I am not afraid of any man.
Sue: Because no man would touch a woman unless she gives him reason to. A touch or a look that says come on. If you never look, they'll never come. You are the timid sex.
Harry: "A man can never
be friends with a woman he finds attractive, he always wants to have sex
Sally: "That's not true! I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved."
Harry: "No, you don't"
Sally: "Yes, I do."
Harry: "No, you don't"
Sally: "You're saying I'm having sex with these men without my knowledge?"
Harry: "No, I'm saying they all want to have sex with you."
Sally: "Well, what if they don't want to have sex with you?"
Harry: "It doesn't matter because the sex part is already out there, so the friendship is ultimately doomed, and that is the end of the story."
Sally: "So a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive?"
Harry: "No, you pretty much want to nail them, too"
"Why am I always at,
uh, weddings, and never actually getting married, now?"
"It's probably 'cause you're a bit scruffy. Or it could also be 'cause you haven't met the right girl."
"Ah, but you see, is that it? Maybe I have met the right girls. Maybe I meet the right girls all the time. Maybe it's me. "
- Roger Thornhill and Eve Kendall, "North by Northwest"
"Your smile is not
unattractive, sir. Did you use it to enamor this young American lady?"
"I love her sir."
"Answer the question."
"Would you repeat the question? It, erm, had 'enamored' in it."
"You claim you love her."
"I do love her!"
"Can you prove it?"
"Well give me time, sir. Fifty years will do."
"But can you prove it?"
"Well, can a starving man prove he's hungry except by eating?"
"Would you die for her?"
"I would, but, er, I'd rather live."
- Abraham Farlan and Peter Carter, "A Matter of Life and Death"
"She's awfully pretty,
not at all like you."
"Well brothers and sisters aren't always alike."
- Megan Hunter greets Jerry Burton, "Marple: The Moving Finger"
"I'm quite certain
that to to make you happy, look after you, and keep you safe is the purpose
of my life."
- Jerry Burton, second-time lucky with the girl of his dreams, "Marple: The Moving Finger"
"You see I've arrived
at that place where I can't imagine life without you."
- Fritz proposes to Brenda, "The Closer"
"I counted myself so
plain, so poorly made, that no honest love could come to me."
- Elizabeth Proctor to John Proctor, "The Crucible"
"If only you could
tell your heart to be free."
"You can't tell your heart — it hopes."
- Marty and Giles, on Thomas Hardy's "The Woodlanders"
"I'll just go and learn
how to miss you and you can do the same here."
- Noel, preparing for her first weekend away from Paul, "All the Real Girls"
"Nobody said we have
to be perfect."
- Noel, trying to work things out with Paul, "All the Real Girls"
"You make me want to
be a better man."
"That's maybe the best compliment of my life."
"Well maybe I overshot a little, because I was aiming at just enough to keep you from walking out. "
- Melvin Udall & Carol, "As Good As It Gets"
Dogbert : "Women like
men who boast about their accomplishments, but they hate men who boast.
will be your designated bragger, allowing you (Dilbert) to appear humble."
Dilbert : "One potential problem with this plan is that I have no accomplishments."
Dogbert : "Yeah, and if she isn't wearing make-up we'll be honest too."
- Dogbert's advice on dating
Asked by reporters
about his upcoming marriage to a forty-two-year-old woman, director Roman
Polanski told reporters, "The way I look at it, she's the equivalent of
- David Letterman
"The whore is despised
by the hypocritical world because she has made a realistic assessment of
her assets and does not have to rely on fraud to make a living. In an area
of human relations where fraud is regular practice between the sexes, her
honesty is regarded with a mocking wonder."
- Angela Carter
"I was in love."
"And if you were not in love?"
"Then it would depend on the man."
"A sensible answer."
- Spectre interviews a possible agent on her "intimate encounters", "From Russia with Love"
"Men always seem to
wonder. They think I'd be something very special."
"No one's ever asked for their money back."
- Nola Rice and Chris Wilton, "Match Point"
"What are they doing?"
"It's called flirting."
"They seem to be communicating telepathically."
"They're thinking the same thing, if that's what you mean."
- Guinan explains romance to Lal, "Star Trek TNG: The Offspring"
"That is how a Klingon
lures a mate."
"Are you telling me to yell at Salia?"
"No, no, no. Men do not roar. Women roar. Then they hurl heavy objects. And claw at you."
"What does the man do?"
"He reads love poetry. He ducks a lot."
"Worf, it…it sounds like it works great for the Klingons, but...I need to try something a little less...dangerous?"
"Go to her door, beg like a human."
- Worf offers Wesley some advice, "Star Trek TNG: The Dauphin"
[ Wesley goes to Riker
& Guinan for advice on how to talk to women ]
Riker: "Now, the first words out of your mouth are the most important. You may want to start with something like this here."
[To Guinan] "You are the most beautiful woman in the galaxy."
[To Wesley] "But that might not work."
Guinan: "Yes! Yes, it would."
- from "Star Trek TNG: The Dauphin"
"Would it have worked?"
"That depends on the effort and quality. For instance, if you had said something about how beautiful my eyes look in the starlight, absolutely not. Totally unoriginal, no effort at all, beyond having the nerve to say it."
- James Kirk and Jain Suni, debating the value of compliments in SD Perry's "Section 31: Cloak"
"Procreation does not
require changing how you smell, or writing bad poetry, or sacrificing various
plants to serve as tokens of affection."
- Odo, on romance, "Star Trek DS9: The Forsaken"
"See, there's thinking
about him, right? Which is what I do. All the time. It's like an obsession.
It keeps me going. Like I need that to get through the day because it's
an obsession. And if you make it real-it's not the same. It's not yours
anymore. So I don't know what to do, because maybe if I ruin it tonight,
maybe I'd be better off just having the fantasy..."
- Angela, about Jordan Catalano, "My So Called Life"
"When he's nearby,
my entire body knows it."
- Angela, about her obsession, Jordan, in "My So-Called Life"
Apparently Delia Fischer
smiles at everyone. She probably comes from one of those small towns where
everyone's friendly and smiles at you for no reason. I hate that type of
- Brian trying to figure out if Delia likes him, "My So Called Life"
"Mom, I'm not having
sex, alright? Really! I'm not even close. To an embarrassing degree."
- Angela, getting an unwarranted questioning from her mother, "My So Called Life"
"Love is when you look
into someone's eyes and suddenly you go all the way inside, to their soul,
and you both know instantly. I always imagined I'd fall in love nursing
a blind soldier who was wounded in battle. Or maybe while rescuing someone
in the middle of a blizzard, seconds before the avalanche hits. I thought
at least by the age of 15 I'd have a love life, but I don't even have a
- Angela, "My So Called Life"
"I have to believe
that it works...that when two people come together they stay together.
I have to take that to bed with me at night even if I'm going to bed alone.
That's a McBealism."
-Ally, "Ally McBeal"
"You would be the greatest
choice I would ever make."
- Andy to Nina on "Everwood"
"I'm going to miss
"I am taking you with me."
"I am keeping you here."
- Javier Suarez and Katey Miller, saying goodbye, "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights"
"You know, I'm much
more subtle when I'm hitting on you..."
- McNeill to Catera when she mis-interprets an offer, "Chicago Hope"
"I assume you've had
a great deal of experience being rejected by women?"
- from "Star Trek Voyager: Lifesigns"
I think therefore I'm
- Lizz Winstead
"Nice: meaning I'm
going to be dating leather-wearing alcoholics and complaining about them
- to you."
- Chandler, "Friends" on what being called nice means
"Could she *be* anymore
out of my league?"
- Chandler, "Friends"
"I think she does like
me. She'll learn to hate me. It'll be nice."
- Ben, looking forward to a relationship with the stunning Fiona, "Londinium"
"The guy's only platonic
relationship is with his sister!"
- Ben, on his agent, "Londinium"
"In this corner we
have the women. They claim to be looking for love, yet they have a recurring
speech impediment every time a man comes into the picture... you can't
say 'yes'. In the other corner we have the men. Might as well file their
tax returns under professional doormats. They really feel they can handle
themselves in bed, yet they can't figure out why they end up doing just
- Trevor, "Cupid"
"Beautiful people end
up together. Show me the exception, and I will show you a relationship
based on something even more shallow. Wealth, power, rock stardom and a
.315 batting average."
- Trevor, "Cupid"
"I shall not dance with you for three reasons. First because you are drunk, second, because this is not a waltz but the Peruvian national anthem and third, because I am not a beautiful lady in red; I am the Cardinal Bishop of Lima."
- Response to politician George Brown at a diplomatic reception in Peru
You don't wanna get laid, man. It leads to kissing and pretty soon you gotta talk to 'em.
Ah, women. They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.
Tony: So tell me again,
why did you break up with Sherry?
Charlie: Tony, I told you already, all right? She's a thief.
Tony: You don't honestly believe that?
Charlie: Tony she's a klepto! All right? Listen, to this day, I still don't know where my cat is.
Tony: Charlie, every time you meet a nice girl that you can get close to, you come up with some paranoid reason why you should break up with her.
Charlie: That's not true. I broke up with those girls for very good reasons.
Tony: Oh really.
Tony: Really. What about Jill?
Charlie: She was in the mafia.
Tony: She was in the mafia???
Charlie: Yes, the Cosanostra. The whole time we went out she didn't tell me what she did for a living.
Tony: Charlie she was unemployed! She didn't have a job!
Charlie: Ah, that's just the perfect cover now isn't it?
Tony: All right, all right. What about Pam?
Charlie: She smelled like soup.
- So I Married An Axe Murderer
# BUYING THE COW
A film telling the story of David, a man on a quest to discover if he has a soulmate, if his girlfriend is that soulmate and ultimately if soulmates even exist...
"You're all he wants."
"I'm all he knows."
"Well that could work."
- Tyler and Sarah, about David, "Buying the Cow"
"It's practice for
the big game."
"Maybe it's not a game?"
"You've been off the circuit too long. Of course, it's a game. It's better than a game, it's a sport. It's better than a sport, even. It's sport fishing. Case in point. Look at Jonesy. See those chicks he's wasting it on. Those are bass. And we all go bass fishing from time to time. Hell, you can get really good at it with practice. But while he's spending all his time hooking up with bottom feeders the crucial skills he'll need to hook his wife are atrophying. You see, scamming is like fishing. If your dream girl were a fish, what would she be?"
"I don't know, a tuna?"
"Yeah! No. A marlin. A big trophy fish. To catch a marlin, you must use entirely different skills. You don't go out marlin fishing with a sorry-ass fold-out pole, six-pound test. That'll do for bass. But it sure as hell isn't gonna land a marlin. You have to up your game. Know where the elusive beauties lie. You gotta know where to fish. They're rare, brother. They're rare. Most days you don't catch *beep* But when you do... Wham! The two of you are back at the dock taking pictures."
- Mike, explaining his philosophy on the game of coupling to David, "Buying the Cow"
"You miss her?"
"Surrounded by all these available women? More than ever."
"I know the feeling, only worse. I mean imagine feeling like that in this place without having anyone to miss. You ready to go?"
- Jonesy and David, "Buying the Cow"
"Look at it mathematically.
If just one person hooks up with somebody who isn't their soulmate, you
got a chain reaction that screws it up for everybody on the planet."
- Jonesy to David, "Buying the Cow"
"I realized at that
moment, there is no such thing as the one. it's more of a mind boggling
whole hell of a lot of pontential ones, and while that should be comforting,
it's actually pretty terrifying. We'd all like to kick back, and wait for
some magical force to show us who we should spend the rest of our lives
with, but the truth is there isn't a lightning bolt that slaps you on the
ass and tells you to pick this person over all others. If anything its
like the rain. Rain falls all the time, sometimes you're prepared for it,
sometimes you're not, and depending on where you are when it hits you either
get caught in it, or you dont. In fact most of us try like hell to avoid
it. You might miss the bus, you might catch the bus. Maybe you remembered
your umbrella, maybe you didn't. No big signs just random torrential bursts
- David, "Buying the Cow"
Outside is another
A neighbor fills her television dinner
With too much pepper and screams.
One woman stabs her door with a sword.
Another, overweight, steps in the shower
And screams, 'Fat! Fat! Fat!'
A man who takes flying lessons
Soars high in the clouds to scream.
Another dives to the bottom of his pool
Where he screams underwater.
I like an interior, smiling scream.
When you walk past me on the street
I nod my head to you and, smiling, scream.
You never hear me through the smile.
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