The rule of life was that the boys got to decide which girls were pretty; it didn’t really matter how ugly they were themselves.
In the fairy tales, the poor girl smiles when she becomes a princess. Right now, I don’t know if I’ll ever smile again.
I hope she’ll be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.
Where youth and diffidence are united, it requires uncommon steadiness of reason to resist the attraction of being called the most charming girl in the world.
We were still at the age when girls are years older than guys, and the guys grow up by doing their best when the girls need them to.
Up to forty, girls cost nothing. After that you have to pay money, or tell a story. Of the two it’s the story that hurts most. Anyway I’m not forty yet.
To look almost pretty is an acquisition of higher delight to a girl who has been looking plain the first fifteen years of her life than a beauty from her cradle can ever receive.
There was only one lesson a girl had to remember: A man was soft when he was hard and hard when he was soft.
There are two kinds of men. The first kind does not fall in love until he’s seen how the girl eats a sandwich, how she combs her hair, what sort of nonsense she cares about, why she’s angry at her father, and what sorts of stories people tell about her. The second type of man—and I am in this category—can fall in love with a woman only if he knows next to nothing about her.
The girls I dream of are the gentle ones, wistful by high windows or singing sweet old songs at a piano, long hair drifting, tender as apple blossom. But a girl who goes into battle beside you and keeps your back is a different thing, a thing to make you shiver. Think of the first time you slept with someone, or the first time you fell in love: that blinding explosion that left you crackling to the fingertips with electricity, initiated and transformed. I tell you that was nothing, nothing at all, beside the power of putting your lives, simply and daily, into each other’s hands.