Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision. You gone have to ask yourself, "Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?.
I always thought insanity would be a dark, bitter feeling, but it is drenching and delicious if you really roll around in it.
Wasn't that the point of the book? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought.
I always order the banned books from a black market dealer in California, figuring if the State of Mississippi banned them, they must be good.
That's what I love about Aibileen, she can take the most complicated things in life and wrap them up so small and simple, they'll fit right in your pocket.
All my life I'd been told what to believe about politics, coloreds, being a girl. But with Constantine's thumb pressed in my hand, I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe.
It weren’t too loo long before I seen something in me, had changed. A bitter seed was planted inside of me. And I just didn’t feel so, accepting, anymore.
...and that's when I get to wondering, what would happen if I told her she something good, ever day?.
That was the day my whole world went black. Air looked black. Sun looked black. I laid up in bed and stared at the black walls of my house….Took three months before I even looked out the window, see the world still there. I was surprised to see the world didn’t stop.
No one tells us, girls who don't go on dates, that remembering can be almost as good as what actually happens.
I listened wide-eyed, stupid. Glowing by her voice in the dim light. If chocolate was a sound, it would've been Constantine's voice singing. If singing was a color, it would've been the color of that chocolate.
Mississippi is like my mother. I am allowed to complain about her all I want, but God help the person who raises an ill word about her around me, unless she is their mother too.
...out of the blue, he kissed me. Right in the middle of the Robert E. Lee Hotel Restaurant, he kissed me so slowly with an open mouth and every single thing in my body-my skin, my collarbone, the hollow backs of my knees, everything inside of me filled up with light.
You got nothing left here but enemies in the Junior League and a mama that's gonna drive you to drink. You done burned ever bridge there is. And you ain't never gone get another boyfriend in this town and everbody know it. So don't walk your white butt to New York, run it.
I tell myself that's what you get when you put thirty-one toilets on the most popular girl's front yard. People tend to treat you a little differently than before.
I may not remember my name or what country I live in, but you and that pie is something I will never forget.
When you little, you only get asked two questions, what’s your name and how old you is, so you better get em right.
And you call yourself a Christian,' were Hilly's words to me and I thought, God. When did I ever do that?.
Oh, it was delicious to have someone to keep secrets with. If I'd had a sister or a brother closer in age, I guessed that's what it would be like. But it wasn't just smoking or skirting around Mother. It was having someone look at you after your mother has nearly fretted herself to death because you are freakishly tall and frizzy and odd. Someone whose eyes simply said, without words, You are fine with me.
Womens, they ain't like men. A woman ain't gone beat you with a stick. Miss Hilly wouldn't pull no pistol on me. Miss Leefolt wouldn't come burn my house down. No, white womens like to keep they hands clean. They got a shiny little set of tools they use, sharp as witches' fingernails, tidy and laid out neat, like the picks on a dentist tray. They gone take they time with em.
The day your child says she hates you, and every child will go through the phase, it kicks like a foot in the stomach.
Everyone knows how we white people feel, the glorified Mammy figure who dedicates her whole life to a white family. Margaret Mitchell covered that. But no one ever asked Mammy how she felt about it.
I come home that morning, after I been fired, and stood outside my house with my new work shoes on. The shoes my mama paid a month's worth a light bill for. I guess that's when I understood what shame was and the color of it too. Shame ain't black, like dirt, like I always thought it was. Shame be the color of a new white uniform your mother ironed all night to pay for, white without a smudge or a speck a work-dirt on it.
Miss Leefolt sigh, hang up the phone like she just don't know how her brain gone operate without Miss Hilly coming over to push the Think buttons.
If you in the morning Throw minutes away, you can't pick them up in the course of a day. You may hurry and scurry, and flurry and worry, you've lost them forever, forever and aye.
I give in and light another cigarette even though last night the surgeon general came on the television set and shook his finger at everybody, trying to convince us that smoking will kill us. But Mother once told me tongue kissing would turn me blind and I'm starting to think it's all just a big plot between the surgeon general and Mother to make sure no one ever has any fun.
I head down the steps to see if my mail-order copy of Catcher in the Rye is in the box. I always order the banned books from a black market dealer in California, figuring if the State of Mississippi banned them, they must be good.
I wash my hands, wonder how an awful day could turn even worse. It seems like at some point you'd just run out of awful.
Mrs. Charlotte Phelan's Guide to Husband-Hunting, Rule Number One: a pretty, petite girl should accentuate with makeup and good posture. A tall plain one, with a trust fund.
Got to be the worst place in the world, inside a oven. You in here, you either cleaning or you getting cooked.
Down in the national news section, there's an article on a new pill, the 'Valium' they're calling it, 'to help women cope with everyday challenges.' God, I could use about ten of those little pills right now.
...My sister Doreena who never lifted a royal finger growing up because she had the heart defect that we later found out was a fly on the X-ray machine.
She's got so many azalea bushes, her yard's going to look like Gone With the Wind come spring. I don't like azaleas and I sure didn't like that movie, the way they made slavery look like a big happy tea party. If I'd played Mammy, I'd of told Scarlett to stick those green draperies up her white little pooper. Maker her own damn man-catching dress.
Oh, it was delicious to have someone to keep secrets with...It was having someone look at you after your mother has nearly fretted herself to death because you are freakishly tall and frizzy and odd. Someone whose eyes simply said, without words, "You are fine with me.
I haven’t had the chance to look at too many men’s faces up close. And I noticed how his skin was thicker than mine, and a gorgeous shade of toast. The stiff blond hairs on his cheeks and chin seemed to be growing before my eyes. He smelled like starch. Like pine. His nose wasn’t so pointy afterall. …And out of the blue, he kissed me. Right in the middle of the Robert E. Lee Hotel Restaurant, he kissed me so slowly with an open mouth and every single thing in my body-my skin, my collarbone, the hollow backs of my knees, everything inside of me filled up with light.
Now I had babies confuse before. John Green Dudley, first word out a that boy's mouth was Mama and he was looking straight at me. But then pretty soon he calling everybody including hisself Mama and calling his daddy Mama too... Nobody worry bout it. Course when he start playing dress-up in his sister's Jewel Taylor twirl skirts and wearing Chanel No. 5, we all get a little concern.
Her nose wrinkle up cause now she got to remember to say she Mae Mobley Three, when her whole life she can remember, she been telling people she Mae Mobley Two. When you little, you only get asked two questions, what's your name and how old you is, so you better get em right.
[Crisco] ain't just for frying. You ever get a sticky something stuck in your hair,like gum?...That's right, Crisco. Spread this on a baby's bottom, you won't even know what diaper rash is...shoot, I seen ladies rub it under they eyes and on they husband's scaly feet...Clean the goo from a price tag, take the squeak out a door hinge. Lights get cut off, stick a wick in it and burn it like a candle....And after all that, it'll still fry your chicken.
Baby Girl," I say. "I need you remember everything I told you. Do you remember what I told you?" She still crying steady, but the hiccups are gone. "To wipe my bottom good when I'm done?" "No, baby, the other one. About who you are.
Mother calls up the stairs to ask what in the world I'm typing up there all day and I holler down, 'Just typing up some notes from the Bible study. Just writing down all the things I love about Jesus.
Miss Celia stares down into the pot like she's looking for her future. "Are you happy, Minny?" "Why you ask me funny questions like that?" "But are you?" "Course I's happy. You happy too. Big house, big yard, husband looking after you." I frown at Miss Celia and I make sure she can see it. Because ain't that white people for you, wondering if they are happy ENOUGH.
At one O'Clock, Miss Celia comes in the kitchen and says she's ready for her first cooking lesson. She settles on a stool. She's wearing a tight red sweater and a red skirt and enough makeup to scare a hooker.
And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.
She already got the blue dress on I ironed this morning, the one with sixty-five pleats on the waist, so tiny I got to squint through my glasses to iron. I don’t hate much in life, but me and that dress is not on good terms.
Ugly live upon the inside. Ugly be a hurtful mean person...Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision...You gone have to ask yourself, Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?...With Constantine's thumb pressed in my hand, I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe.
Stuart stands and says, 'Come here,' and he's on my side of the room in one stride and he claps my hands to his hips and kisses my mouth like I am the drink he's been dying for all day and I've heard girls say it's like melting, that feeling. But I think it's like rising, growing even taller and seeing sights over a hedge, colors you've never seen before.
Here's to new beginnings," Stuart says and raises his bourbon. I nod, sort of wanting to tell him that all beginnings are new.
Minny: "Eat my shit." Hilly: "Excuse me?" Minny: "I said eat...my...shit." Hilly: "Have you lost your mind?" Minny: "No ma'am, but you about to, cause you just did." *Minny eyes the pie* Hilly: "Did...What?" *Minny eyes pie again, Missus Walters gasping and laughing, Hilly eyes pie then gags and runs off* Missus Walters: "And you didn't just eat one, you ate TWO slices!" *Minny runs off* Missus Walters: "RUN, MINNY, RUUN!!" *She says this while laughing*.
Lord, I never seen blue hair on a black woman before or since. Leroy say you look like a cracker from outer space.
I look deep into her rich brown eyes and she look into mine. Law, she got old-soul eyes, like she done lived a thousand years. And I swear I see, down inside, the woman she gone grow up to be. She is tall and straight. She is proud. She got a better haircut. And she is remembering the words I put in her head. Remembering as a full-grown woman.
There is no trickier subject for a writer from the South than that of affection between a black person and a white one in the unequal world of segregation. For the dishonesty upon which a society is founded makes every emotion suspect, makes it impossible to know whether what flowed between two people was honest feeling or pity or pragmatism.(Howell Raines's Pulitzer Prize winning article "Grady's Gift")-Sockett admired this quote and used it in her summary...