published Friday, April 6th, 2012

Leber: Collection of quotes saves wisdom of the ages

Love & Other Indoor Sports

I think I was about 13 when I started collecting quotes.

At first, I would peruse previously published books of quotations and copy them into a journal. Yes, books, not websites. I don't think we had the Internet until I was about 16 and stole my parents' credit card to sign up for AOL.

I wrote down lines from books, television shows and songs. My first quote book probably features wisdom from V.C. Andrews, the Indigo Girls and A.A. Milne, among others.

Eventually, I began adding memorable lines I heard from people I knew or that I simply overheard. Snippets from my high school astronomy class were mixed in among quotes from Goethe and Joni Mitchell lyrics. They became triggers for memories. I can open a journal to a page, read a line or two and remember the context in which they were said probably about 50 percent of the time. It's a great way to preserve memory. It's also a great tool for blackmail, should you ever need one.

As I do not have that immediate need, however, I spent some time recently perusing some of my books to find what wisdom on love, relationships, sex, et al. have been of particular note. Some are from friends, others are song lyrics, others are from well-known people.

• "It's only sexual harassment if you don't like it." -- Alicia, a friend. (This is very true. If you do like it, it's called flirting. Or, perhaps, dating.)

• "Keep the fights clean and the sex dirty." -- Kevin Bacon. (He's kind of like a friend to us all, isn't he?)

• "A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development." -- Rainer Maria Rilke (who, like me, clearly disagrees with Aristotle's notion that friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies, though I think I did record that line somewhere in my more wide-eyed years).

• "All you need is love." -- The Beatles. (Do they really require qualification?)

• "The ability to laugh at oneself and the ability to laugh together -- that's what marriage is all about, as well as love and friendship -- being best friends." -- Sally, married 50-plus years. (Personally, I can't abide any human being who is unable to laugh at him or herself.)

• "The more you love someone, the more you want to kill them." -- Avenue Q. (No one ever said love was all roses. I think soft Nerf bats should be an optional part of solving all domestic/marital disputes. No hitting in the face or the gentleman's region.)

• "It's not a tease if you deliver, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take the time to tease before delivering, because well ... that's half the fun." -- Kristen, a friend, on keeping the spark alive by continuing to flirt with one's partner.

• "Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get -- only with what you are expecting to give ..." -- Katharine Hepburn. (OK, so if it's all give and no take, that's a problem, but loving should be about wanting to bring happiness to another person.)

• "All you have to know is, the woman rules." -- Sallye, married 50-plus years.

Hey, no objections there.

So, any additions?

Contact Holly Leber at hleber@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6391. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/hollyleber. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/leber.holly.

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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