Mignon McLaughlin Quotations

Mignon McLaughlin

A first-rate marriage is like a first-rate hotel: expensive, but worth it.

An artist is a socially unattractive person whom socially attractive people make money out of.

An artist usually has no friends except other artists, and usually they do not like his work.

An attractive woman likes feminine company until she's twenty, and after she's thirty-five.

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.

A woman always knows when it's her husband you like, not herself.

A woman can tell you exactly what she was wearing during every crisis in her life.

A woman who had to be won from another man never lets her husband forget it.

Boredom is often the cause of promiscuity, and always its result.

Bored with your present enemies? Make new ones! Tell two of your women friends they look alike.

Broadway audiences are dependably square. "Well, I'll be a son of a bitch" always gets a laugh; spoken by a little old lady, it brings down the house.

Children lack morality, but they also lack fake morality.

Each generation must watch the next, throwing away its golden opportunities.

Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers.

Failure can get to be a rather comfortable old friend.

Few women care what a man looks like, and a good thing too.

From time to time we encounter people of a cheerful, kindly, unenvious nature. They usually run elevators.

Good food, good sex, good digestion, good sleep: to these basic animal pleasures, man has added nothing but the good cigarette.

How can a man marry wisely in his twenties? The girl he's going to wind up wanting hasn't even been born.

How strange that the young should always think the world is against them -- when in fact it is the only time it is for them.

"I am as I am" is another way of saying "I can do without your love."

If the second marriage really succeeds, the first one didn't really fail.

If you made a list of the reasons why any couple got married, and another list of the reasons for their divorce, you'd have a hell of a lot of overlapping.

If you made a list why any couple got married, and another list of the reasons for their divorce, you'd have a hell of a lot of overlapping.

If you're all set to suffer, nothing can stop you -- least of all, good luck.

I'm glad I don't have to explain to a man from Mars why each day I set fire to dozens of little pieces of paper, and put them in my mouth.

Injure a businessman and he'll try to make you sorry; injure an artist and he'll try to make you immortal.

In many marriages, one partner can't flirt and the other can't not.

In the arithmetic of love, one plus one equals everything, and two minus one equals nothing.

It does not undo harm to acknowledge that we have done harm; but it does us to not acknowledge it.

It is important to our friends to believe that we are unreservedly frank with them, and important to friendship that we are not.

It's innocence when it charms us, ignorance when it doesn't.

It's unnerving to find out whom your children most admire.

It took man thousands of years to put words down on paper, and his lawyers still wish he wouldn't.

It upsets women to be, or not to be, stared at hungrily.

Liberals constantly study their servants, in a vain effort to see them as human beings.

Life's most painful condition: to be almost a celebrity.

Many marriages are simply working partnerships between businessmen and housekeepers.

Many who would not take the last cookie would take the last lifeboat.

Men never know how tired they are till their wives sit them down for a nice long talk.

Men prefer brief praise, pitched high; women are satisfied with praise in a lower key, just so it goes on and on.

Men will make all sorts of allowances for a pretty woman, and women for a married man.

Naturally women gossip: what's the use of knowing first if you can't tell it first.

Neurotics love being in debt; it proves someone trusts them.

Nobody wants constructive criticism; it's all we can do to put up with constructive praise.

No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you'll see why.

Others follow patterns; we alone are unpredictable.

Our strength is often composed of the weakness we're damned if we're going to show.

People are like birds: on the wing, all beautiful; up close, all beady little eyes.

People who won't have a TV set in their house get more pleasure from their refusal than most of us get from TV.

Pity all newlyweds. She cooks something nice for him, and he brings her flowers, and they kiss and think: How easy marriage is.

"Pull yourself together" is seldom said to anyone who can.

Quantity is a very poor substitute for quality -- but it's the only one around.

Slavishly we imitate; and slavishly we rebel.

Some marriages break up, and some do not, and in our world you can usually explain the former better than the latter.

The chief reason for drinking is the desire to behave in a certain way, and to be able to blame it on alcohol.

The know-nothings are, unfortunately, seldom the do-nothings.

The marriage of convenience has this to recommend it: we are better judges of convenience than we are of love.

The office marriage is easier to arrange than the office divorce.

The proud man can learn humility, but he will be proud of it.

There are so many things that we wish we had done yesterday, so few that we feel like doing today.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with lawyers, but there's something wrong with most lawyers.

The two main hazards of psychoanalysis: that it might fail, and that if it succeeds, you'll never be able to forgive yourself for all those wasted years.

The uses of a dictionary: at thirteen we look up lewd, licentious, lascivious; at thirty, febrile and inchoate; at fifty, endostasis.

They threaten me with lung cancer, and still I smoke and smoke. If they'd only threaten me with hard work, I might stop.

Those who turn to God for comfort may find comfort but I do not think they will find God.

True remorse is never just a regret over consequence; it is a regret over motive.

We are all born brave, trusting and greedy, and most of us remain greedy.

We are always apologizing to some of friends for some of our other friends.

We are always baffled and annoyed by a happy marriage between two people we dislike.

We are irritated by rascals, intolerant of fools, and prepared to love the rest. But where are they?

We are never more self-righteous than when giving up what we should have shunned all along.

We are seldom happy with what we now have, but would go to pieces if we lost any part of it.

We can always show that we don't care when we really don't; but that's not when we want to.

We'd all like a reputation for generosity, and we'd all like to buy it cheap.

We lavish on animals the love we are afraid to show to people. They might not return it; or worse, they might.

We often pray to be better, when in truth we only want to feel better.

"What's for dinner?" is the only question many husbands ask their wives, and the only one to which they care about the answer.

What we forgive too freely doesn't stay forgiven.

What you were sure of yesterday, you know now to be false, but what you are sure of today is absolutely true.

When intellectuals lower their standards, they always expect fanfare.

When we discuss those we love with those who do not love them, the end of love is near.

Women are the right age for just a few years; men, for most of their lives.

You know her, don't you? She goes through life with her horn stuck.

Your children are neither as bad nor as good as you imagine. But then, neither are you.

As I could find no image of her on the Internet, the above picture of Mignon McLaughlin is a link to a larger version, if you wish to see her. The image is from the back cover of her sparkling little gem, The Neurotic's Notebook. I could have included even more. I wonder if she's still alive...such a wit!