Friday, August 30, 2013

Happy Birthday, Queen of Quotes!

Today is my beautiful, funny, loving mother's birthday. She died in 2004 and would've been 97. I miss her every day and wish she were here to be a part of our lives and to see her great-grand children. She had many funny quirks, one of which was her quote-sprinkled retorts.

Whether pulling from the Bible, Shakespeare (which she attributed to the Bible), or a mash-up of something she once heard, she was a great one for tossing out little proverbs and "Catherine-isms," instilling these sound bites of wisdom (or confusion) in her children. Must've worked, because we can still recite them.

So in her memory, a few of her favorites:
True politeness is to say the kindest things in the kindest way. (Usually said to me as I headed out the door to do battle with my 4th grade teacher).
Neither a borrower nor lender be. (Always attributed to the Bible, though we all know it's Polonius' advice to Laertes from Hamlet by that Shakespeare guy.)
To thine own self be true. (See above)
I knew of a man one time . . . (insert whatever we were complaining about) . . . and he died. (Yeah, she was a cut-up. No sympathy whatsoever.)
Gad poor Aleck! (Who knows what she meant? I think it was a sign of frustration.)
Well, Albert Sprouse! (Her reaction if we kept something in it's original box or packaging; refers to an aunt's boyfriend who carried his Bible in the box it came in)
OK, that's just a sampling. I left out all the Bible verses, as well as her version of "shit," which was about 15 syllables and drawn out so long that it lost all shock value. Still, she knew how to turn a phrase. Repeatedly. The fact that I can still quote her Catherine-isms is proof that she won the quote-brainwashing game.

So Happy Birthday, Mother, you Queen of Quotes! I love you and wish you could see all your sweet great-grand babies. And I trust that God and Mr. Shakespeare have straightened you out on the Hamlet quotes by now.

1 comment:

Liz said...

My great-aunt's favourite saying was 'kiss my a**e, Tom Chalk.' And her a leading light in the Women's institute too!

Your mum sounds lovely.