Touching Quotes


Heart Attacks

Suzanne tries to comfort a worried and distraut Julia after Reese's heart attack.
JULIA: I want to be with Reese.
SUZANNE: I know, but you can't. He wouldn't even know you were there.
JULIA: But I would. I can't stand to think about him dying with strangers. That's the way it happened with Hayden. (sobbing) They wouldn't let me be with him, and he was calling for me!
SUZANNE: Julia, listen to me. I know how you feel about that. That's why I told the doctor that if at any time it looks like Reese isn't gonna make it, they're to come out here and get you.
JULIA: You did?
CHARLENE AND MARY JO: You did?!
SUZANNE: Yes, I did. And you know what? They haven't come for you, have they?
JULIA: No, they haven't.
SUZANNE: See, that's a good sign.
JULIA: Yes, it is. Thank you for doing that. (crying and hugging Suzanne)
SUZANNE: We're just gonna sit down here together, and you rest your head on my shoulder okay?
CHARLENE: (to Mary Jo) It's amazing, isn't it? Most of the time she goes around without the sense God gave a goose. Look at her. I mean, one crisis, and she's Scarlett O'Hara.

In Reese's hospital room, Reese starts to wake up.....
REESE: Hi...
JULIA: Ansel and Margaret are coming.
REESE: Does that mean I'm dying?
JULIA: No chance. You're not going anywhere.
REESE: That's my girl. Give me your hand. So you wanna give me a lecture?
JULIA: No. Right now I can only think of three words.
REESE: What are they?
JULIA: Thank you, God.
REESE: I thought you were gonna say 'I love you'.
JULIA: (leaning in to his face) That too.



Oh, Suzannah

The quote from the pillow given to Suzanne by her grandmother:
Dear Little One,
I wish two things;
To give you roots.
To give you wings.

Julia confronts, and then comforts, a very tearful Suzanne who doesn't want to give up Li Sing.
SUZANNE: Well I sure made a mess of things this time, didn't I?
JULIA: Not yet. In a few more hours they'll be talking kidnapping.
SUZANNE: I wish I'd never met her. She thinks I'm wonderful. She even loves my cooking.
JULIA: You don't cook.
SUZANNE: Well, I know that, but she doesn't! Li Sing's the first person who's ever loved me just for me.
JULIA: She's not the first. She's the third.
SUZANNE: What? you mean my ex-husbands?
JULIA: No, silly. Mother and me. We love you just for you.
SUZANNE: Yeah, but you don't think I can do anything.
JULIA: That's not true. I just said I didn't think you were cut out to be a mother.
SUZANNE: You mean unlike the four billion other women on Earth? Thanks a lot.
JULIA: But you do something nobody else can do.
SUZANNE: What?
JULIA: I don't know what it is.....exactly.....that you do. I just know nobody else is doing it, or can do it, like you do. You giving away your pillow?
SUZANNE: Yeah. I wanted Li Sing to have it.
JULIA: I think Grandma would like that. I remember when she made these for us. Roots and Wings. We sure got our share didn't we? Suzanne, I'm going to say something pretty harsh, but I'm saying it because I love you. Just once in your life, don't put yourself first.
SUZANNE: I'm not, Julia. I'm thinking of Li Sing.
JULIA: No, you're not. You're not thinking at all. You know, in your heart, that she's better off with this couple. If you love her, like you say you do, give her wings.
SUZANNE: I just didn't expect to fall in love with her. I know, you're right. I know. Ok, I'll do it.
Julia takes Suzanne's hand and starts to cry herself.
JULIA: I'm so happy for you.
SUZANNE: Why?
JULIA: Because, now. . . you know what it feels like to be a mother.



Killing All the Right People

Mary Jo is forced to defend condoms for teenager at a PTA meeting shortly after discovering a friend is dying of AIDS.
CAROLYN: Let's quit kidding around, shall we? What you're actually saying, Mrs. Shively, is that if your 15-year-old daughter is determined to have sex, that you won't mind her going to a school dance with a boy who has a condom in his wallet paid for by your tax dollars. Isn't that right?
MARY JO: What I am saying is I have a dear, sweet, funny friend -- 24 years old, not very much older than the kids we're talking about here -- and he came to me this week and asked me to help plan his funeral because he's dying.....from AIDS -- something that he got before he even knew what it was or how to prevent it. I've been thinking about his mother this week, and what she might give for the opportunity that I have tonight -- that we all still have here tonight -- because now we know how to prevent AIDS. And I think it really shouldn't matter what your personal views are on birth control, because we're not just talking about preventing births anymore. We're talking about preventing deaths. Twenty-five thousand Americans have died, and we're still debating. Well, for me, the debate is over. More important than what any civic leaders, PTA, or Board of Education thinks about teenagers having sex, or any immoral act that my daughter or your son might engage in..... the bottom line is I don't think they should have to die for it. Thank you.



Second Time Around

Suspecting that Bill broke up with Charlene because he felt guilty about betraying his late wife, Julia calls him over to her home to look at some of her old artwork.
JULIA: I wanted you to see it because it represents almost five wasted years of my life. After my husband Hayden died, I spent the first year looking out the window and feeling sorry for myself, and then I started painting all of this nonsense. I knew I didn't have any talent as an artist, but these gave me an excuse not to have to see or talk to anybody.
BILL: And what made you change?
JULIA: I met someone -- Mr. Reese Watson. One of the first things he told me was how bad my paintings were. I knew then how much Hayden would have liked him for that, and how the two of them might have become friends. You see, I had been running from a ghost, and Reese just invited him right into our relationship. He said, "Julia Sugarbaker.." -- he's an attorney, very theatrical, but anyway -- "Julia Sugarbaker, you just keep all the memories and pictures of Hayden McIlroy that you want to, because, quite frankly, I don't think I'd want to be with a woman who stopped loving her husband just because he died." You see, I'd been thinking that it was an either/or proposition. I wasn't thinking that it could be all three of us. Your wife -- what was her name?
BILL: Nancy.
JULIA: Nancy....I know she had cancer. My husband had three heart attacks. Isn't there a song that says the most we can hope for is to die in our sleep? Well, our loved ones didn't get that priviledge. That leaves the person who's left behind with a lot of guilt.
BILL: Is it that obvious -- the way I look at Charlene?
CHARLENE: Let's just say you have the look of a man who'd just been released from prison and assigned Ann Margret as his parole officer.
BILL: So how do you get rid of this guilt?
JULIA: It takes a lot of time, and the love of someone pretty wonderful. You've certainly got that last part covered.
BILL: Yeah, God knows that's true.
JULIA: I've been talking a lot, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that Charlene has the biggest heart of anyone I know. I think she has room for both you -- and your Nancy. What do you think?
BILL: I don't know. But I do know one thing -- I think it's time I found out.

Charlene goes to the hangar where Bill keeps his plane, where she finds him waiting for her playing her favorite singer Mickey Gilley.
BILL: Charlene, I want to explain some things to you.
CHARLENE: You don't have to. I talked to Julia.
BILL: You did?
CHARLENE: Well, yeah. You don't think I came all the way out here just cuz you told me you love me, do you?
BILL: I'd like to tell you about Nancy (his late wife). I'd like for you to know her.
CHARLENE: I want to.
BILL: I never thought I'd fall in love again. Then you came along, and you made me feel so good...... and guilty. Even ashamed.
CHARLENE: No one would believe this, but you're the first man I've ever completly trusted.
BILL: Oh, and then I go and do what I did to you. C'mere. Listen to me. I'll never let you down again. I want to take care of you. I want you to be my girl. I want to know every inch of you, and when I get done I want to start all over again. Just say you'll give me a chance.
CHARLENE: (kissing him) I've missed you so.
BILL: Can I have this dance?
CHARLENE: I thought we were going flying.
BILL: The weather's turned on us. How do you feel about an indoor picnic? I brought a blanket.
They begin dancing.
CHARLENE: You wouldn't be trying to seduce me now, would ya?
BILL: Hey, I don't care if it's standing up or laying down, just so long as you're next to me like this for fifty years.
CHARLENE: Bill?
BILL: Yes?
CHARLENE: I love you too.



Tyrone

(Julia accompanies Anthony to juvenile hall to give Tyrone some tough love after his "little brother" gets arrested)
ANTHONY: I want to know what you're gonna do to compensate Julia and all the others to whom you've brought pain and sorrow.
TYRONE: I guess I don't know yet.
ANTHONY: Well, you're gonna have plenty of time to think about it. This is your third offense, and they're gonna throw the book at you this time.
TYRONE: I know. I don't even know why I did it.
ANTHONY: You just wanted to screw up because that's what everybody expects of you. Well I'm gonna surprise you, Tyrone. I'm gonna wait around here for you to get out. I'm gonna come to visit you every week. I'm gonna check on you. I'm gonna hound you like a dog. And when you do get out of here, I'm gonna expect to see something a whole lot better than what I'm looking at now.
TYRONE: You are?
ANTHONY: Oh, you're damn right.
TYRONE: I can't believe you came. My own sister didn't even come.
ANTHONY: So what, Tyrone. You think that you're the only kid in the world whose family doesn't care about him? Well let me tell you something. I grew up in a neighborhood where people put cigarettes out on your head. I never met my father, and my mother was an addict who left me behind when I was two weeks old --- I didn't see her again 'til I was nine. Then she wrote and said she was coming. One day she showed up at school after I had told everybody how beautiful my mama was and how she was coming just to see me. You know what she did, Tyrone? She got out of her car. She walked across the playground and picked up some other kid and hugged him and starting crying and calling him by my name. She did that right in front of everybody. I was her son and she didn't even know me. So you see........I've been where you are right now. And if it hadn't been for that one person, my grandmama, loving me and kicking my butt everyday I'd still be there.
TYRONE: I'm sorry I let you down.
ANTHONY: I'm gonna be here every week. You can count on that Tyrone.
GUARD: I'm sorry, but your time is up.
ANTHONY: One more thing, man. You know that birthday wish that you asked me about? I wished you were my son.
TYRONE: I love you. (hugs Anthony)
ANTHONY: I love you too, man.
(The guard escorts Tyrone out.........Julia comes up to Anthony)
JULIA: Anthony, I want you to know that I've never been prouder of anyone in my life.....than I am of you at this moment. (she hugs him) Let's go home.



How Great Thou Art

CHARLENE: You're my minister. I look to you for guidance. For the past nine years I've come to you with any griefs, worries or fears I've had in my life. I've really appreciated the way you've looked out for me. But I just don't think I can do that anymore.
REVEREND NUNN: Charlene. You don't mean that.
CHARLENE: I've been up all night, trying to figure out how I can belong to a church that doesn't think I'm fit to preach God's word.
REVEREND NUNN: You want to be a minister?
CHARLENE: Well, I never told anyone this before, but as a matter of fact I did. When I was about six or seven I got my first bible -- it had my name embossed in gold across the front. My parents gave it to me when I was baptised. I'll never forget it came with this little cardboard bookmark of Jesus with a pink halo painted on it. I don't know, there's something about the way the light shone on that picture -- I couldn't take my eyes off of it. I thought, "Boy, that's for me." I was gonna travel the world preaching and teaching -- maybe even become a Saint.
REVEREND NUNN: What happened?
CHARLENE: I don't know. I guess I figured I couldn't make Saint. Anyway, my point is, I had that dream because no one told me I couldn't. And what about all those other little girls out there -- hundreds of them -- just waiting to become ministers and spend their lives preaching God's word? Except for the fact that you and a bunch of other people got together and decided that God doesn't want that. That doesn't make any sense, Reverend Nunn. For what possible reason would God not want that?
REVEREND NUNN: That's not for us to say, Charlene. I don't think we should question his wisdom.
CHARLENE: I'm not. I'm questioning yours.
Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for everything you've done for me. I'll never forget you.
REVEREND NUNN: Charlene, I wish you'd give this some more thought. Let me put you in touch with another minister. Maybe he can counsel you.
CHARLENE: No. Thanks anyway. I'll be talking to someone, but I think I'll keep this one just between me and God. Don't look so surprised, after all, we have his number too.

Charlene drops back by Sugarbaker's to pick up her purse and finds Julia still there.........
CHARLENE: Aren't you supposed to be at the church?
JULIA: I'm not going.
CHARLENE: Why?
JULIA: I just can't do it, that's all. I know you're disappointed in me. I'm disappointed in myself.
CHARLENE: Why don't you think you can do it? Are you still afraid you can't hit that high note?
JULIA: That, among other things.
CHARLENE: What other things?
JULIA: Oh, I don't know -- laryngitis, forgetting the words, getting my choir robe trapped up in my pantyhose -- you name it, I've thought of it.
CHARLENE: (sad and teary) I just resigned from my church.
JULIA: Oh, Charlene. I'm so sorry.
CHARLENE: Yeah, me too.
JULIA: Is there anything I can do?
CHARLENE: Yes, as a matter of fact there is. My minister, Reverend Nunn, is gonna be at the closing ceremony tonight, and for some reason I need to be proud of women tonight. I wanna hear you hit that high note.
JULIA: No, Charlene. No, I can't.
CHARLENE: Yes you can. Julia, I know you can. Now what I just did took more courage than I ever thought I had, and it would be impossible for me to have more courage than you.
JULIA: What makes you so sure?
CHARLENE: Well....... 'cause you're my hero.
JULIA: (touched).............heroine.
CHARLENE: Even better.
JULIA: Charlene, that's a nice idea, but just because you have faith in me doesn't mean I'll be able to do it.
CHARLENE: Well, who said anything about having faith in you? I'm just asking you to have the guts to step up to the microphone and open your mouth. I think I can get him to supply the notes.
JULIA: Exactly how sure are you?
CHARLENE: Just a feeling. Oh please, Julia. Do it for me. Do it for all us girls.
JULIA: You mean you, Mary Jo and Suzanne?
CHARLENE: I mean all us girls............everywhere.



They Shoot Fat Women, Don't They?

JULIA: Suzanne, it's just human nature. People love to see beautiful women get old or fat.
SUZANNE: All my life I've had to fight my weight, and I admit, food has been my security blanket. But also, I just gain weight more easily than some people, like you.......you've always had that tiny waist and those skinny little legs. But I can't be that, and people have always tried to make me be that.
JULIA: Suzanne, you're not alone. I'd be willing to bet most of the people in this country are overweight.
SUZANNE: The point is it's different for women, especially beautiful women. Just look at Elizabeth Taylor. I bet I've seen National Velvet maybe twenty times, and if she never did anything else in her life, what a contribution that was. But all of a sudden because she got fat, it was like she no longer had the right to live in this country. That's how I feel right now. Drugs, alcohol, cancer.......whatever your problems, people are sympathetic.....unless you're fat, and then you're supposed to be ashamed. I mean, everything is set up to tell you that; magazine covers, clothes. 'If you're not thin, you're not neat, and that's it.' And if looks are all you've ever had.......
JULIA: What do you mean 'If looks are all you ever had'? Suzanne, first of all don't be a dummy. Your looks will never be in the past tense. That face speaks for itself, and it's here to stay. And secondly, even if that weren't so.......who cares!
SUZANNE: What do you mean?
JULIA: I mean, you and I are getting pretty far along in life, and I have been able to figure out a couple of things.
SUZANNE: Are you gonna give me the key?
JULIA: Yes, as a matter-of-fact I am. In the end it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about you. You have to be exactly who and what you want to be. Most everyone is floating along on phony public relations. People who say being beautiful, or rich or thin makes them happy -- people who are trying to make their marriages and their children seem better than they actually are.... and for what?! Appearances. Appearances don't count for diddly! In the end, all the really matter is what was true, and truly felt, and how we treated one another. And that's it.

A shocked Suzanne gets up at her high school reunion to accept the award for 'Person-Most-Changed'.
SUZANNE: Well, this is quite a surprise.
I guess maybe I deserve this award for the Person-Most-Changed, but.... not for the reason you think. Last night I got my feelings hurt because I came to this reunion thinking I was beautiful...... and what I find out was that I'm fat...... at least you think I am. But that isn't the biggest change in me. The biggest change is that the old Suzanne wouldn't have shown up here tonight. She would've just gotten thin before the next reunion, and then she would have gotten even. But I'm a little older, and I hope a little wiser than that person used to be.

A lot of things have happened to me. A lot of things have happened to all of us. Sandy Smothers was killed the night before we graduated. Diane Mitchell's got two sets of twins, and Gayland Chadwick's working in the White House. We had a lot of dreams together, and there's no point in pretending....... some of mine came true, and....... some didn't.

I met a little boy from Africa tonight whose family died of starvation, and I realized that I spent the whole day at home worrying about the fact that I had too much to eat. I'm not sure the old Suzanne would have appreciated the absurdity of that, but this one does.

Some of you men wanted to know about my bra size, but i'd rather talk about my heart because...... it's a little bigger than it used to be. The old Suzanne wouldn't have forgiven you for the things that you said, but this one will........ because when I look around this room tonight, I don't see receding hairlines and the beginnings of pot-bellies and crow's feet....... I just see all the beautiful faces of old girlfriends and sweet young boys who used to stand on my front porch and try to kiss me goodnight. And you can remember me any way you'd like, but that's how I'll always remember you.

And so I thank you for giving me this award for the Person-Most-Changed, however you intended it. I'm gonna treasure it because......#1.... I love trophies....... and #2...... I earned it. Thankyou.



Come On and Marry Me, Bill

Charlene's Uncle Howard makes a toast to Charlene and Bill.
UNCLE HOWARD: You know, being an old country lawyer, I usually get to deal with the debris of marriage, so it's a high privilege for me tonight to be in on the beginning of a marriage that looks so promising. Bill, Charlene -- it's obvious to everybody here the passion that y'all hold for one another. It's something you can't fake, you can't hide, you can't buy; when you got it, you got it. And you two surely have it. My wish for you this evening is that you carry that passion with you through all your remaining days...always dancing that great male/female dance of love, sex, marriage, and eternal friendship as no one else has ever danced it...before you. May you, in short, dance the perfect Missouri Waltz.



The Rowdy Girls

Charlene goes to see her cousin Mavis, who she recently found out is a victim of spousal abuse.
CHARLENE: Mavis, I've been so upset since the other night. I just can't stop thinking about you.
MAVIS: Yeah, I've been thinking about our whole family -- how much I miss Mama and Daddy.
CHARLENE: They wouldn't want you to live this way.
MAVIS: Y'know it's funny, but I haven't really felt alive in a long time. And I've forgotten what I used to be like. Every once in a while there's this little voice inside that says, "Hey. It's me. It's Mavis. I'm still in here." But basically I've been dead. And then two things happened -- this baby and seeing you again.
CHARLENE: Then all you have to do it get Ginny, Julie and Kate and come with me now. After the show we'll go back to my house. You can all stay with Bill and me until we can find you an apartment.
MAVIS: I can't afford that.
CHARLENE: Mavis, you can't afford not to. There are places you can go for help, but first we have to get you out of here.
MAVIS: I get an allowance! I don't have any money to move into an apartment.
CHARLENE: You do now (handing Mavis an envelope). This is from Bill and me, and the other check is from the rest of us for helping us rehearse.
MAVIS: Oh, Charlene. This is too much. I mean, how could they do this? They don't even know me.
CHARLENE: That's just the way they are. That's why they're my friends. The fifty dollars is from Anthony.
MAVIS: (starting to cry) I don't know what to say.
CHARLENE: Just say you'll do it! Now, Mavis, I have to go. If you won't come with me right now, I'll be at the Arts Center until 11:00. Just get your girls and come. Just take this first step. I will be by your side the whole way.
MAVIS: I'm so ashamed. I don't know how I ever let it get to this point.
CHARLENE: It's ok. Just remember, you don't have to take this, cuz we're the rowdy girls, remember?
MAVIS: Yes, I remember.



You Got to Have Friends

JULIA: I have never understood why people are too proud to take money from friends. They will accept the things that are hardest to give; friends will accept your time, your tears, your patience, and you love -- so why is it so hard to take a few dollars?



The Mistress

Julia --- depressed --- calls Reese when she gets home.
REESE: Hello?
JULIA: Hi. You busy?
REESE: Not if it's you. What's going on, Sassy?
JULIA: Nothing much. I just called to tell you, that in this very complicated world, where people lie, cheat, steal and can't find their way home at night, I'm very very glad to have you.
REESE Well, sounds like you had an interesting day. You want to tell me about it?
JULIA: No. I don't feel like talking. I sure would like to see you though.
REESE: Shall I bring dinner?
JULIA: Mm-mm. I'm not hungry either. Let's just have pancakes for breakfast.
REESE: I'm on my way.
JULIA: I'll be upstairs.



Picking a Winner

Mary Jo is scared after finding out her trips to the sperm bank to become inseminated actually took affect....
MARY JO: Oh, Julia. I just think I've been so cavalier. Six months ago I blurted out that I wanted a baby, and now I'm gonna have one. I'm so scared.
JULIA: Mary Jo, I'm gonna tell you something. Hayden and I were planning to have another child when he had his first heart attack. And after he recovered, he was all ready to try again. But knowing that his health was precarious, I decided I just couldn't face the possibility of having to bring up that child without him. I love Payne more than anything in the world, but oh how I wanted another child. I gave up that possibility out of fear. It was a deep disappointment to Hayden. And, Mary Jo, it is the only thing in my life that I will always regret.
MARY JO: I had no idea.
JULIA: Well, I'm telling you now. And what I'm telling you is don't let fear keep you from having this thing you know you want so much.
MARY JO: Will you promise me that every time I get wimpy you'll just slap me around? No, I mean it. I'm going to need you there with me every step of the way.
JULIA: Well, you've got me. You've got me. Of course I may have to arm wrestle Carlene to see who gets to cut the umbilical cord.



The First Day of the Last Decade of the Entire Twentieth Century

The ladies and Anthony have been mesmerized by the tales at Miss Minnie's bedside as she starts to speak passionately and emotionally.
MISS MINNIE BELL WARD: ....I thought as I got older, the bold outline of truth would be revealed to me, but it hasn't happened. When I was young, I was in such a hurry. And now, I've been here a hundred years. It seems like only yesterday I held my babies in my arms. I'm glad to be going home. It's been a long time since I've seen my family. And I wish for all of you, all the love and happiness I had in my life -- and I hope the world keeps going toward freedom. And I hope that people everywhere can learn to live together in peace. As my pappa used to say......we ain't what we should be, we ain't what we're gonna be, but at least we ain't what we were..... (and Miss Minnie slowly lays back as she gasps her final breath and passes on.)


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