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Margo Kaufman

  • ... making home improvements is an addiction that can be cured only by bankruptcy.

  • But a hobby, like a habit, makes you forget about important things in life.

  • House guests (I don't care who they are, how much I like them, or how long it's been since I last saw them) are pests, much like roaches and mice. But there are differences. You can trap roaches and mice. And they don't want you to drive them to Disneyland.

  • Anyone who believes that men and women have the same mind-set hasn't lived on earth. A man thinks that everything he does is wonderful, that the sun rises and sets around him. But a woman has doubts.

  • ... my sister ... believes that there should be a theme park based on the male ego, only 'there's not enough land.'

  • Cupid's arrows rarely strike two people with the same definition of cleanliness.

  • ... one person's mess is merely another person's filing system ...

  • I asked my vet what kind of dog he'd get. He told me, 'I'd get a Chihuahua, because when it died, I wouldn't care.'

  • We are living in the era of the busybody. In ancient Greece, if a person wanted guidance, it involved a long, arduous expensive journey to consult the oracle at Delphi. Today, if you want guidance, all you have to do is unplug your ears.

  • ... blueprints are like pets and children — difficult to appreciate or understand unless they're yours.

  • Probably is not a word I like to hear when I'm talking about our chances of recouping a huge investment.

  • A book collection is a cross between a Rorschach test and This Is Y our Life. It marks your life clearly like rings on a tree.

  • Call me an alarmist, but there are certain words I don't like to hear together: cheap fireplace, discount brakes, cut-rate surgery ...

  • Remodeling is like pulling a loose thread on a cheap sweater — the job keeps unraveling.

  • Remodeling defies the principles of modern commerce. You shell out great sums of money to people over whom you have no authority or power, yet these same people are constantly insinuating that you're cheap. (It reminded me of medicine, another area where you shell out great sums of money to people over whom you have no authority or power, who make you feel guilty for questioning a bill.) Construction workers are the blue-collar version of the snooty salespeople at Gucci who make $8 an hour but look down on you if you balk at a $400 alligator wallet.

  • At the beginning of a remodel, money is everything, but as you go along, it becomes secondary to the vision. You can't have the house looking like a glorious jewel and leave the cracked linoleum or the icky light fixture, so you spend and spend and spend. Then one day it suddenly occurs to you that all that play money you've been throwing around is real — and it's in someone else's bank account.

  • ... trying to control construction costs is like trying to control the cost of a hospital stay. You may not realize that when you sneeze and the nurse hands you a box of tissues, it generates a $5 charge on your bill. But you still have to pay.

  • ... international adoption was a straightforward albeit Byzantine process requiring an obsessive-compulsive desire to organize paperwork, the ability to extract information from intractable bureaucracies, a high tolerance for the unknown, and a willingness to journey to a foreign land ...

  • As always during periods of stress, I was guided by my mantra, 'Run away.'

  • There is a magical place that you can only get to when you are willing to walk away. In this paradisiacal spot you can negotiate effectively for what you truly want because you no longer give a damn. ... But you can't feign indifference; the universe only responds when you're serious.

  • ... no effort based on love is wasted.

  • Remarriage is an excellent test of just how amicable your divorce was.

    • Margo Kaufman
  • I once complained to my father that I didn't seem to be able to do things the same way other people did. Dad's advice? 'Margo, don't be a sheep. People hate sheep. They eat sheep.'

    • Margo Kaufman
  • Show dogs and their handlers remind me of Brooke Shields and her mother: an incredibly disheveled person tethered to an impeccably groomed animal.

    • Margo Kaufman
  • Truth is funnier than most things you can make up.

    • Margo Kaufman

Margo Kaufman, U.S. writer

(1954 - 2000)