The Best of Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron (May 19, 1941 – June 26, 2012) was an American journalist, writer, and filmmaker. She is best known for romantic comedy films such as ‘When Harry Met Sally’ and ‘Sleepless in Seattle’.

Prior to her death she made a list called ‘What I Won’t Miss’. This included dry skin, email, dead flowers, the sound of the vacuum cleaner and small print. ‘What I Will Miss’ included her husband and children, spring, waffles, bacon, fireworks, twinkle lights, coming over the bridge to Manhattan and pie.

Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.

Anything you think is wrong with your body at the age of thirty-five you will be nostalgic for at the age of forty-five.

Don’t buy anything that is 100 percent wool even if it seems to be very soft and not particularly itchy when you try it on in the store.

Freedom of the press belongs to the man who owns one.

If Sigmund Freud had watched Phil Donahue he would never have wondered what women want.

I have a theory that children remember two things – when you weren’t there and when they threw up.

I have been forgetting things for years – at least since I was in my 30s. I know this because I wrote something about it at the time; I have proof. Of course I can’t remember exactly where I wrote about it or when, but I could probably hunt it up if I had to.

I look out the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world’s greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance.

I’ve always felt that one of the mistakes people make is that they try to do something that is just slightly beyond their skill set, and then feel they’ve failed.

My mother was a good recreational cook, but what she basically believed about cooking was that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you.

Never marry a man you wouldn’t want to be divorced from.

Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was twenty-six. If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and don’t take it off until you’re thirty-four.

Some people pretend to like capers, but the truth is that any dish that tastes good with capers in it tastes even better with capers not in it.

…the amount of maintenance involving hair is genuinely overwhelming. Sometimes I think that not having to worry about your hair anymore is the secret upside of death.

The Wonderbra is not a step forward for women. Nothing that hurts that much is a step forward for women.

When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.

Why do people write books that say it’s better to be older than to be younger? It’s not better. Even if you have all your marbles, you’re constantly reaching for the name of the person you met the day before yesterday.

You enter into a certain amount of madness when you marry a person with pets.

Babies and Children Quotations

The Quippery

A baby first laughs at the age of four weeks. By that time his eyes focus well enough to see you clearly.
– Author Unknown –

A characteristic of the normal child is he doesn’t act that way very often.
– Author Unknown –

A child develops individuality long before he develops taste. I have seen my kid struggle into the kitchen in the morning with outfits that need only one accessory: an empty gin bottle.
– Erma Bombeck –

A child is a person who can’t understand why someone would give away a perfectly good cat.
– Author Unknown –

All of us have moments in our lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them.
– Erma Bombeck –

Although there are many trial marriages, there is no such thing as a trial child.
– G. Willis –

Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.
– Flannery O’Connor –

Anyone who thinks the art of conversation is dead ought to tell a child to go to bed.
– Robert Gallagher –

A perfect example of minority rule is a baby in the house.
– Author Unknown –

As the father of two young girls, I have come to the realization that they are just as messy as boys but the dirt that they create around the house is comprised of at least 50% glitter.
-Andrew K. Keller –

Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he’s buying.
– Fran Lebowitz –

A three year old child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty-six dollar set of swings as it does out of finding a small green worm.
– Bill Vaughn –

Before I was married I had three theories about raising children. Now I have three children and no theories.
– John Wilmot –

Birdies with broken wings hide from each other.
Children in trouble run home to mother.
– Author Unknown –

Calvin: Dad, how do people make babies?
Dad: Most people just go to Sears, buy the kit, and follow the assembly instructions.
Calvin: I came from Sears??
Dad: No, you were a blue light special at K-Mart. Almost as good, and a lot cheaper.
– Bill Watterson –

Calvin: Is this milk spoiled?
Mom: Smell it and see.
Calvin: I’m not going to smell it! You smell it!
Mom: Oh, for goodness sake, here…It’s fine.
Calvin: I don’t take chances with a product that prints the date you might expire.
– Bill Watterson –

Calvin: You step into this chamber, set the appropriate dials, and it turns you into whatever you’d like to be.
Hobbes: It’s amazing what they can do with corrugated cardboard these days.
– Bill Watterson –

Childhood is a place as well as a time.
– May Sarton –

Childhood is that wonderful time of life when all you need to do to lose weight is take a bath.
-Author Unknown –

Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression.
– Haim Ginott

Children are living messages we send to a time and place we will never see.
– Author Unnown –

Children in a family are like flowers in a bouquet: there’s always one determined to face in an opposite direction from the way the arranger desires.
– Marcelene Cox –

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,
For babies grow up we’ve learned to our sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs…dust go to sleep,
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
– Author Unknown –

Customer to TV salesman: I don’t need remote control. With four kids, my chances of controlling it are already remote!
– Jon Cagle

Don’t argue for a later bedtime while you’re wearing pajamas with feet.
– Cynthia Copeland Lewis –

Don’t say “The last one there is a rotten egg” unless you’re absolutely sure there’s a slow kid behind you.
– Cynthia Copeland Lewis –

Even when freshly washed and relieved of all obvious confections, children tend to be sticky.
– Fran Lebowitz –

Having a two-year-old is like having a blender that you don’t have the top for.
– Jerry Seinfeld –

Hobbes: Did you ask your mom if you could jump off the roof?
Calvin: Questions I know the answers to I don’t need to ask, right?
– Bill Watterson –

I am fond of children — except boys.
-Lewis Carroll –

I’d get pregnant if I could be assured I’d have puppies.
– Cynthia Nelms –

I don’t care what the world knows about me, I just hope my mother never finds out.
– Author Unknown –

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.
-Rachel Louise Carson –

If your knees aren’t green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life.
– Bill Watterson –

If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, they’re probably broke.
– Rhonda Dickenson –

If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.
– Abigail Van Buren –

If your parents didn’t have any children, there’s a good chance that you won’t have any.
– Clarence Day –

In each child we see ourselves for we are yesterday’s children.
– Author Unknown –

I never met anyone who didn’t have a very smart child. What happens to these children, you wonder, when they reach adulthood?
– Fran Lebowitz –

I take my children everywhere, but they always find their way back home.
– Robert Orben –

It is admirable for a man to take his son fishing, but there is a special place in heaven for the father who takes his daughter shopping.
– John Sinor –

It is a well-documented fact that guys will not ask for directions. This is why it takes several million sperm cells, each one wriggling in its own direction, totally confident it knows where it is going, to locate a female egg, despite the fact that the egg is, relative to them, the size of Wisconsin.
– Dave Barry –

It took a genius to develop an aspirin bottle that couldn’t be opened by a child capable of operating a VCR.
– Author Unknown –

I was born by Caesarean section, but you can’t really tell… except that when I leave my house, I always go out the window.
– Stephen Wright –

I was browsing in a bookstore recently when I came across a book on child raising. It was a thin little volume of about fifteen or twenty pages that used the word “love” on every page and “reinforcement of self-esteem” on every other page. I leafed through it several times looking for the word that no parent should raise a child without: “No.” It wasn’t there. Mistake.
– Erma Bombeck –

I will have the children read Hamlet as soon as it is practical. There are some useful cautions against eavesdropping to be gleaned from that.
– Maryrose Wood, The Mysterious Howling –

Jonah’s adaptive niche in the family ecosystem was to be the perfect grandchild, eager to scramble up on laps, unafraid of bitter vegetables, under excited by television and computer games, and skilled at cheerfully answering questions like “Are you loving school?”
– Jonathan Franzen –

Kids? It’s like living with homeless people. They’re cute but they chase you around all day long going, “Can I have a dollar? I’m missing a shoe! I need a ride!”
– Kathleen Madigan –

Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.
– Elizabeth Stone –

My mother taught me about Contortionism – “Will you look at the dirt on the back of your neck!”
– Author Unknown –

My mother taught me religion – “You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”
– Author Unknown –

Nothing seems to make children more affectionate than sticky hands.
– Author Unknown –

Notoriously insensitive to subtle shifts in mood, children will persist in discussing the color of a recently sighted cement mixer long after one’s own interest in the topic has waned.
– Fran Lebowitz –

One of the great mysteries of life is how the idiot that your daughter married can be the father of the smartest grandchildren in the whole wide world.
– Author Unknown –

One of the things I’ve discovered in general about raising kids is that they really don’t give a damn if you walked five miles to school.
– Patty Duke –

Rearing three children is like growing a cactus, a gardenia, and a tubful of impatiens. Each needs varying amounts of water, sunlight and pruning. Were I to be absolutely fair, I would have to treat each child as if he or she were absolutely identical to the other siblings, and there would be no profit for anyone in that.
– Phyllis Grissim-Theroux –

The best revenge is to live long enough to be a problem to your children.
– Author Unknown –

The best thing about children’s birthday parties is that they prove there are children who behave worse than your own.
– Author Unknown –

The best way to raise one child is to have two.
– Marcelene Cox –

The child’s philosophy is the true one. He does not despise the bubble because it burst; and he immediately sets to work to blow another.
– J.J. Procter –

The glory of springtime is the same to all. But there are many different points of view. A child sees it best from the middle of a mud puddle.
– Pearl Swiggum –

The happiest families are those in which the children are properly spaced. About ten feet apart.
– Author Unknown –

The little girl had the making of a poet in her, who, being told to be sure of her meaning before she spoke, said, “How can I know what I think till I see what I say?”
– Graham Wallas –

The most effective birth control I know is a toddler with the croup and diaper rash.
– Kate Zannoni –

The tooth fairy teaches children that they can sell body parts for money.
– David Richerby –

There are only two things a child will share willingly — communicable diseases and his mother’s age.
-Benjamin Spock –

There are three ways to get something done: do it yourself, hire someone, or forbid your kids to do it.
– Monta Crane –

There she was in our little Hawaiian country library, same face, braces, braids, skinny sloping shoulders…Then I realized they’ve probably just run out of patterns for people now, and are beginning to repeat them over and over.
– Peg Bracken –

They say children brighten up the home. That’s right – they never turn off the lights.
– Author Unknown –

Thomas Wolfe wrote, “You can’t go home again.” You can, but you’ll get treated like an eight-year-old.
– Daryl Hogue –

We had a quicksand box in our backyard. I was an only child, eventually.
– Stephen Wright –

We’ll have children of the kingdom.
They won’t be torn by war,
nor will they
kill or hate
or hesitate to love.
– Seals and Croft –

When a child is locked in the bathroom with water running and he says he’s doing nothing but the dog is barking, call 911.
– Erma Bombeck –

When I was a kid… no, wait, I still do that…
– Author Unknown –

When they handed her to me and I realized it was a girl, I thought, “I’ve never understood one of you in my whole life.” She’s got a lot of ‘splainin to do.”
– Sean Penn –

Years ago, a child in a tree with a small caliber rifle bushwacked a piano through the open summer windows of a neighbor’s living room.
– Thomas McGuane –

You can always tell a home with a five-year old in it. You have to wash the soap before you use it.
– Richard Celeste –

You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.
– Franklin P. Jones –

Death and Cemetery Quotations

Funeral, Burial and Cemetery

The Quippery

According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two! Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.
– Jerry Seinfeld –

Amazing tradition. They throw a great party for you on the one day they know you can’t come.
– Michael Gold (Jeff Goldblum), The Big Chill (1983) –

Being president is like running a cemetery: you’ve got a lot of people under you and nobody’s listening.
– William J. Clinton –

Cemetery: (n) A marble orchard not to be taken for granite.
– Author Unknown –

Don’t carry me off in a brass-handled coffin
With a wreath on my chest I won’t be ‘at rest’
There’s nothing much worse than a ride in a hearse
To a hole in the ground with just strangers around
No! bury me deep in the compost heap
Or pop me right under a nice floribunda
Its really much wiser to become fertiliser
Then I can grow roses as I decomposes.
– Joye Fothergill –

For as much as I hate the cemetery, I’ve been grateful it’s here, too. I miss my wife. It’s easier to miss her at a cemetery, where she’s never been anything but dead, than to miss her in all the places where she was alive.
― John Scalzi, Old Man’s War –

Here lies the father of 29.
He would have had more
But he didn’t have time.
– Author Unknown –

No matter how rich you become, how famous or powerful, when you die the size of your funeral will still pretty much depend on the weather.
– Michael Pritchard –

Some hang above the tombs,
Some weep in empty rooms,
I, when the iris blooms,
Remember.
– Mary Coleridge –

The gravestones are like rows of books bearing the names of those whose names have been blotted from the pages of life; who have been forgotten elsewhere but are remembered here.
― Dean Koontz, Fear Nothing –

The wrought iron ones are holding their shape, but the wooden ones have begun to lean, often as a unit, as if a meeting had been held and the angle of lean agreed upon for the year.
– Nancy Millar, Remember Me As You Pass By Stories from Prairie Graveyards –

They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me sad to realize that I’m going to miss mine by just a few days.
– Garrison Keillor –

Death

As for a future life, every man must judge for himself between conflicting vague probabilities.
– Charles Darwin –

Dear Mrs, Mr, Miss or Mr and Mrs Daneeka: Words cannot express the deep personal grief I experienced when your husband, son, father or brother was killed, wounded or reported missing in action.
– Joseph Heller –

Death is a low chemical trick played on everybody except sequoia trees.
– J.J. Furnas –

Death is natures’ way of saying, “Your table is ready.”
– Robin Williams –

Death – when your body sets your spirit free.
– Author Unknown –

Did you hear about the plane that crashed in the cemetery? Search and rescue workers have recovered 100 bodies and expect that number to climb as digging continues.
– Author Unknown –

DIED From not forwarding that text message to 10 people.
– Suggested Headstone inscription –

During a coffee break: “There must be something to reincarnation. It’s hard to believe that I could get this far behind in one lifetime.”
– Robert Orben –

Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.
– Somerset Maugham –

Even very young children need to be informed about dying. Explain the concept of death very carefully to your child. This will make threatening him with it much more effective.
– P.J. O’Rourke –

For three days after death, hair and fingernails continue to grow but phone calls taper off.
– Johnny Carson –

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?
– Author Unknown –

I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter.
– Sir Winston Churchill –

I don’t believe in an afterlife, although I am bringing a change of underwear.
– Woody Allen –

I don’t mind dying, the trouble is you feel so bloody stiff the next day.
– George Axlerod –

If I die, who’s going to take care of my shadow? Or will it return to the night, from whence it came? While I sleep at night I keep my shadow folded neatly in my underwear drawer.
― Jarod Kintz –

I have considered all this, however, and it occurs to me that Dan, as admirable as he was in many ways, is not a good model for me. Dan’s dead.
– John Robert McFarland –

I have lost friends, some by death … others through sheer inability to cross the street.
– Virginia Woolf –

I have one last request. Don’t use embalming fluid on me. I want to be stuffed with crabmeat.
– Woody Allen –

In India when a man dies, his widow throws herself on the funeral pyre. Over here, she says, “Fifty ham baps, Beryl – you slice, I’ll butter.”
– Victoria Wood –

It is a good day to die.
– Sitting Bulls Warriors –

I think we’re finally at a point where we’ve learned to see death with a sense of humour. I have to. When you’re my age, it’s as if you’re a car. First a tire blows, and you get that fixed. Then a headlight goes, and you get that fixed. And then one day, you drive into a shop, and the man says. “Sorry, miss, they don’t have this make anymore.”
– Katherine Hepburn –

It’s not that I’m afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.
– Woody Allen –

My mother said, “You’re not going to die.”
Did you believe her?
“Hey, when my mother says something you don’t dare question it.”
– Erma Bombeck –

One dies only once, and it’s for such a long time!
– J.B. Moliere Poquelin –

The chief problem about death, incidentally, is the fear that there may be no afterlife — a depressing thought, particularly for those who have bothered to shave. Also, there is the fear that there is an afterlife but no one will know where it’s being held.
– Woody Allen –

The man who invented autocorrect has died. Restaurant in piece.
– Author Unknown –

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?
– Woody Allen –

To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.
– Oscar Wilde –

Welcome to hell. Here’s your accordion.
– Gary Larson –

What are a redneck’s last words? “Hey, y’all, watch this!”
– Author Unknown –

With the death of a husband or wife you lose your present; with the death of a parent the past; and with the death of a child you lose your future.
– Levy Shalom –