The Movie: Forrest Gump, 1994 (Eric Roth, screenwriter, from the novel by Winston Groom; Robert Zemeckis, dir.)
Who says it: Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump, a childlike man
The context: Forrest repeats this line throughout the film, whenever anyone says that he’s stupid.
How to use it: To admit that you've done something stupid.
I'm sure I'll find some use for this line by the end of the day, though nothing springs immediately to mind.
Since I write this blog primarily for my mom, keeping it up when I'm at my parents' house is surprisingly difficult. Stephen King talks about this phenomenon in his memoir, On Writing. On Writing is fascinating as memoir, not especially helpful as a guide for writers -- except for King's suggestion that writers target their work toward one particular reader. In his case, he says, that's his wife, Tabitha.
I'm not sure why this feels like such useful advice. Part of my difficulty with finishing the novel I've been working on is that I've gotten too much feedback on it; returning to it, I need to find one particular person whose comments I respect, whose ultimate approval I'm looking for. I know that's contrary to conventional wisdom about self-esteem, but it makes sense to me.