And You Can Quote Me

October 15, 2008 at 10:21 am 7 comments

When I was a moody and melodramatic teenager, I kept a journal. No, scratch that – I kept several journals. One was reserved for the details of my day-to-day life (mostly containing phrases like “I just want a fucking boyfriend!!” and rants about the unfairness of parents/school/friends/family/life/the Doppler effect/concept of gravity/anything and everything that crossed my path), and the others were filled with…quotes. Quotes and quotes and quotes. Quotes from movies, quotes from books, quotes from quote books, quotes from fortune cookies – I was practically harboring a goddamn Toastmaster’s anthology for the jaded young adult set.

I bet he doesn’t have ANYTHING from “The Crow.”

So, it can be said that I was quite fond of quotes – even the tired cliches. And while my obsessive journaling fell off quite a bit once I went off to college and discovered other interests (mostly those that could be mixed with cranberry juice), I still have my quote journals, and I’m still a sucker for a well-turned phrase. I even write down a few from time to time, although these days they come from decidedly darker sources, the most recent being a great quotefrom The Girl about Godless despair .

I’ll always be your ray of sunshine.

But for all my love of quotes, dear Internet, there is one quote that I simply despise and cannot abide. A quote that, admittedly, would have probably been fully embraced by a younger me back in the day, but that does nothing but irritate and raise my blood pressure now. And that quote is:

“Do what you love and the money will follow.”

I don’t even know if one particular person coined that asstastic phrase, or if it just worked its way into the world by being repeated by clueless fuckwads placed on this green earth to infuriate me, and quite frankly, I am not even going to pretend that I want to do the research to figure it out. All’s I know is, that right there is straight up horseshit. I’m sure that college-age me might have bought that load, but what’s important to note here is that college-age me:

  1. Never had to pay rent without her parents’ help;
  2. Never had to pay bills without her parents’ help;
  3. Never had to buy food without her parents’ help;
  4. Never had to depend on ONLY her own income to survive.

What I’m saying is, college-age me hadn’t a fucking clue.

So I EXPECT people with no real world experience to come forth with such an asinine statement (and to believe it!), but what I despise are the smug shitheads who utter this phrase AS FULL-GROWN ADULTS and expect any of us to believe it.

Let’s craft an example, shall we?

Assume for a moment you’re a gifted painter, freshly graduated from college. Ready to be a professional artist? FANTASTIC! Let’s get started, then. OK, sell some paintings. Might take years, right? But that’s OK! Just keep doing what you love, and the money will follow, remember?! And whenever it comes time to pay for rent, food, bills, healthcare, transportation and clothing, just tell whoever is asking for the money that IT WILL FOLLOW. I’m sure they’ll understand.

See how that works? It DOESN’T. That’s because the only people who can afford to have the luxury of puttering around for an undetermined amount of time before they start getting paid for their efforts are either living off a trust fund or being supported by a wealthy spouse/parent/half-dead elderly aunt.

Look, I know I whine around on here all the time about how it’s so HARD and UNFAIR for people like me whose passion/talents happen to be in the oh-so-lucrative arena of the arts, and I know that most of that whining stems from the fact that I didn’t want to pursue acting at the expense of my marriage, personal life and sanity, but all I’m really asking for here is a little truth in advertising.

A very smart friend of mine from Chicago (who, incidentally, has an ass that won’t quit) once had a conversation with me in which we expressed disbelief that modern arts/theatre programs don’t provide any practical, “real world” skills to the students they are encouraging to move to New York or L.A. with nothing but a dance belt and a tube of chapstick.

“…and I found a wonderful pantsuit for Bonnie.”

The only advice I remember receiving from ONE of my theatre professors was, “You don’t need a car if you move to New York.” Well, thanks. I probably could have assumed this myself because of the MASSIVE NEW YORK SUBWAY SYSTEM, but you know, thanks anyway.

But seriously, where are the classes that teach you the basics of Word/Excel/Powerpoint so you can get a damn day job? Where is the advice about temp agencies? Acting class scams? Health insurance? Because as a woman who had to pay out-of-pocket for her annual ladyparts exam, I am here to tell you that while you can certainly do what you love, the money to pay for your PAP smear will not magically follow.

Unless there is some magical PAP fairy I didn’t know about, in which case bitch owes me a $150 lab fee.

So that’s my long, drawn-out rant on an 8-word phrase that has undoubtedly led to skyrocketing sales of ramen noodles everywhere. So what about you? What quotes do you love? Or hate? Or just like to repeat in certain situations to irritate your friends and coworkers?

“You got time to lean, you got time to clean” is a personal favorite.


Entry filed under: And you KNOW THIS!, Taste my Backhand.

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kdiddy  |  October 15, 2008 at 10:49 am


  • 2. kristin  |  October 15, 2008 at 11:15 am

    I used to write out entire songs in my notebooks, mostly because I can’t draw for shit and definitely wasn’t taking notes.

    Favorite quote? “Life is pain, Highness, and anyone who says differently is selling something.” I will occasionally say this to A., who has never in his life seen “The Princess Bride” and therefore just thinks I’m nutty. But at least I amuse MYSELF, and that’s what matters, right?

  • 3. Sara  |  October 15, 2008 at 11:37 am

    First of all, I agree with everything you said. Or say. Ever. I wanted to put off going to college for a year after I graduated; my mom told me no because I’d never go back. Good advice. She also told me that although I wanted to be a theater major (“Acting!”), I should “find something to fall back on” so I’d be able to make some money (she was really just not encouraging me to do what I really wanted to do, although my brother should totally go to school for directing, because that’s what he wanted to do! Thanks so much!). As it turns out, I didn’t go to school for theater (short of a few acting classes I ended up taking in college; I was going to talk to the head of the drama department about an acting minor, but turns out the head of the department was my acting professor at the time, and he was a real dick, and although I got an A in the class, I decided, fuck that). I ended up majoring in English (my backup!) at the last minute, and I’m sure not making any money as a proofreader. So much for those skills. Although, I do have to say that I only took one class in college that taught any proofreading skills; all the other classes were literature and such. And what the hell do you do with that? Again, why aren’t they teaching classes so you can DO something when you graduate?

    As for favorite quotes, well, I have many. Like you, I was also constantly writing down quotes; well, maybe more like Kristin, writing them in my notebook because I couldn’t draw (and all over the place; not organized in a journal like you). I do like to annoy a coworker with “Internet, eh?” (Homer-style) whenever he says “Internet.” Actually, turns out he’s disappointed if I DON’T say it, so maybe he’s not annoyed. Anyway, there are too many favorites to list here (and I’ve gone on long enough anyway; sorry).

  • 4. hills  |  October 15, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    I hate HATE “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Sometimes it’s the small stuff that pisses me off more than the big stuff. Also? I will sweat whatever the fuck I want to, thankyouverymuch.

  • 5. The Constant C  |  October 15, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    I hate the phrase “Life isn’t fair.”

    It’s not that it isn’t true (um, duh?). It’s that the phrase is most often uttered by people doing their best to elide the fact that they actually CONTROL the craptastic situation at hand.

    Seriously. People in Darfur camps? Probably not spending all day saying “Life isn’t fair.” Random Hague criminals shrugging in their own defense? Yup.

  • 6. Chicago Friend of Said Turkey  |  October 15, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    I’m most interested in meeting the Pap Fairy. Could you send her my address if you run into her. After she does the Pap, will she leave me a shiny quarter in my hoo-hah?

  • 7. 4th Reader of Said Turkey  |  October 16, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    I always seem to find that a line from whatever show I’m currently working on will leap into my head and become the perfect comeback or commentary for the situation at hand. One of my favorites is, “I will be right back with a plan.” Another favorite is “Holy Mother of FUCK” which comes from possibly the first Jive Turkey blog entry I ever read, about the scary blank-faced ghost baby.

    A quote that gets under my skin? How about: “My friends…”


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