"You don't have to go to a shiva just because someone died." This is one of my favorite things that my father-in-law has ever said. The only reason on g-d's green earth to go to a shiva is because someone died. But I know what he meant. He meant that if someone you vaguely know dies, or it's someone you didn't like, or if you weren't close, or if you don't really know the family, then you don't necessarily have to go to the shiva/visitation/memorial service. There are enough tragedies that we have to witness. If it's one where you aren't really needed - spare yourself.
"Kids, eat this or it's going to end up in soup." My husband thinks I am sometimes
"That's not the last straw. This is." For a few weeks in the late eighties my dad walked around with a straw in his suit pocket waiting for someone to say "That's the last straw" whereupon he would hand him the pocket straw and say - "nope, this is". This struck me as hilarious. I learned that catching people off guard can be a great ice breaker. Things are a lot funnier when they are unpredictable.
"Do not park in anyone else's driveway." My great uncle has a long and extensive list of life lessons, and this is one that resonates with me because whenever I park in someone else's driveway it ends up being a bad idea. Either someone comes home and needs their spot, or I am blocking someone in, or people want access to the basketball net. It's not your driveway. Don't park there.
"You are coming to a party at my house. Do not wear your boots. Please wear nice shoes." Rewind twenty plus years ago when I loved my Doc Martens deeply, but I love my uncle more. And when he asked me to please wear nice (read - ladylike) shoes to his party I appreciated the direct approach and did what he wanted. I think it's much more respectful to tell someone what your expectation is than to leave them to do their own thing and then whisper behind their back or worse - become insulted that they didn't read your mind.
Any favorite quotes you want to share?