I Smile because

Earlier this week, one of the questions in the “Catch the Mania” trivia tournament at the Ruck involved filling in the missing word or words from Dr. Seuss books. That was all fine and good, until the final question was asked.

“Don’t cry because it ended. ____ because it happened.”

Okay, all you Mad Libs and Match Game ’73 fans, I’m sure you can come up with a better response than the true answer… that being said, I’ve heard that quotation before. And I had no idea Dr. Seuss said it. And if he did say that… well, the operative word is “if.” And that’s what this blog post is about.

I’ve heard that “Smile because it happened” quotation a lot more these days. It’s often used as a thematic bandage, an effort to remember the good times when you’re stuck in the bad times. Hey, did your car break down? Be thankful you had a car. Life sucks? Be thankful you have a life.

The reason I even remember that quotation is because it’s also used in the dating world as an “all-purpose dumping” quote. It’s the quasi-shorthand of, “Hey, I’m breaking up with you, but here’s a quote from Dr. Seuss, the guy who wrote all those great children’s books. And you know what? These words from Dr. Seuss describe our relationship. I’m dumping you, but you should be happy you even got to spend SOME time with me, but I’m moving on to better things. Better things than you. So have a good life.”

And now I’ve found out who said that infernal statement. All that’s left for me to do now is to find which one of Dr. Seuss’s many books contains this quotation. I want to know which text and in what context were these words used. Because if this little quotation actually CAME from one of Theodore Geisel’s books…

The Cat in the Hat? Nope. Not there.

Green Eggs and Ham? I find it’s not in here, Sam I am.

The Lorax? Don’t see it. Lots of trees, but no quotation like this.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! doesn’t have that phraseology.

The Butter Battle Book? Okay, Chuck, now you’re going for the deep stuff.

Daisy-Head Maizie? And now we’re going to the posthumous stuff.

But no matter how hard I looked, searched, dug, excavated, dynamited, whatever…

I couldn’t find the quote in any of his texts. The Grinch never said it. Neither did Yertle the Turtle, neither did Horton the Elephant, neither did Marvin K. Mooney, neither did Bartholomew Cubbins, whether it was with his 500 hats or with the Oobleck. Heck, I thought maybe it would appear in one of Dr. Seuss’s old advertising campaigns, but all I could find in that vein was “Quick Henry, the Flit!”

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