1. "She can't wear pants to ride a horse?"
Spoken by the dad of the homeschooling family I tutored in college, when I was still entrenched deep in the morass of traditional extremism. I was being asked to join a horse-riding expedition and I said no. "Because she doesn't want to wear pants," said the wife, who was subsequently embarrassed by his remark. I'll be forever grateful for his bluntness. Because, I mean, how stupid. And so it began.
2. "Everything takes practice."
Spoken by a gay hairdresser a few weeks before I left California. I had forgotten this fact and had been living my life as though I was just bad at everything I tried. Going through a traumatic phase of life can cause amnesia about basic life skills such as the above. He was talking about blow-drying your own hair straight, but it applies to a lot of situations.
3. "You can't just get rid of people."
Spoken by the raw-meat-eating manly man mentioned here. I was justified in getting rid of him, because he pulled the "let's be friends" card, and the "I've never been in a serious relationship" card, and the "I guess I meant it at the time and changed my mind rather than lied" card, but I kept him around anyway because he fixes my car for free. And when he said it, I realized there was a difference between setting boundaries by removing unhealthy relationships on the one hand and not expecting other people to be perfect on the other. You can't just get rid of everyone who doesn't do what you're expecting them to do. I had to be told this by a guy who says he "has never been comfortable with emotions."
I don't make this stuff up, I swear.