Quotes Every Human Can Learn From: Week 1 with Dorothy Parker

parkerDorothy Parker quotes are perfect for those days when nothing seems genuine and your mouth hurts from fake-smiling, because Dottie didn’t have time for that noise. A celebrated poet, critic, satirist, short-story writer and screenwriter, she was fired from Vanity Fair because her harsh (and honest) reviews closed three plays. She was an active, self-proclaimed feminist who marched for women’s right to vote. Her work can be found in Vogue, The Paris Review, and The New Yorker. In short, she was a badass.

As a liberal, successful, self-possessed woman in the first half of the 20th century, her life wasn’t easy. When The Paris Review asked what the main source of inspiration for her work was, she responded, “Need of money, dear.” 

What I admire most about Dorothy is her playfulness and humor without sugarcoating the natural state of things. If she lived today, she would have one hell of a Twitter page.

A little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika

Dorothy distrusted perfection, or at least the appearance of it. Personally I find comfort in coming home to my mismatched living room furniture, and the pink plastic pig clock that my roommates and I keep on our kitchen counter, not because it’s beautiful, but because it’s quirky and endearingly cheap. It doesn’t match the dishtowels, but it’s fun. It adds flavor. To me this quote suggests that we all lighten up. Impeccable taste is pretty, but is it memorable?

Constant use had not worn ragged the fabric of their friendship.

When Dorothy was fired from Vanity Fair because producers didn’t appreciate her opinionated reviews, two of her friends who worked alongside left their positions in protest. She called it “the greatest act of friendship I’d known.” THIS IS SO INTENSE AND BEAUTIFUL. I hope to understand and experience true loyalty like this someday.

Three be the things I shall never attain:
Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.

The Portable Dorothy Parker

dorothyThere are things we can change, and things that we can’t. Jealousy over your gym-rat neighbor’s six-pack isn’t going to give you abs. Feeling settled and happy isn’t going to push you to work harder. And only once, ONCE in my life have I been to a party where there was enough champagne for all the guests. This ended up being a mixed blessing because I had the sugary taste of champagne in my throat for two days after. Which MIGHT also be part of Dorothy’s point. Desiring “sufficient champagne” will probably leave you with a hangover, so why waste energy wanting it? Dorothy didn’t have time to waste energy, and neither should you. Accept the things that are out of your control as they are, and if you’re still sore, make a clever rhyme about it.

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