i've been reading Lots of Cake, Plenty of Candles by Anna Quindlen (the one she signed!) and, per the usual with her writing, jotting down the most memorable lines. i'm only about halfway through, but i thought i'd share some of my favorites so far. (i highly recommend her book, by the way—even though the general gist is what she learned in her fifties, much of her insights are universal, as you'll see.)
on making plans
"Life is haphazard. We plan, and then we deal when the plans go awry. Control is an illusion; best intentions are the best we can do. I remember imagining that I could chart a course that would take me from one place to another. I thought I had a handle on my future. But the future, it turns out, is not a tote bag."
on the notion of beauty
"Every face is both a mystery and an identity. We realize this when we try to capture a face in a photograph. It is like taking a picture of the sunset. What you wind up with is a trite arrangement of pink sky and pillowy clouds when what you felt was something else, something greater."
on married life
"The term 'soul mate'—which, I'm proud to say, I have never once used until now—suggests two people who have everything in common. But our gender, with all the differences it implies, divides us. That has its advantages: most of the men I know scarcely remember petty slights, while I nurse mine like kittens. My husband seems naturally inclined to cede certain areas of our family life to me. I can decorate any way I want as long as the big chair faces the flat-screen TV, with a table next to it for beer and cashews. And that's just fine. Frankly, I don't want a husband who knows what toile is. The one piece of furniture in whose purchase my husband actually participated was our first couch. It was so long ago that the couch cost a thousand dollars, so whenever I buy anything new and he asks how much it cost—an armoire, an Oriental rug, a six-burner gas stove that came in at around the same price as my first car—I say a thousand dollars. A safety net of small white lies can be the bedrock of a successful marriage. You wouldn't believe how cheaply I can do a kitchen renovation. Neither would any kitchen renovator, including the one I actually used."
on body image
"Cellulite is not a character defect."