My favorite movie growing up was The Princess Bride, and I think it completely ruined my ability to have a healthy view of relationships. I watched it so many times that I still have almost every line of it memorized. I also loved it so much that I read the novel by William Goldman. I will save you any time and trouble. The novel is not that great, and I am not the kind of person who EVER says that she likes the movie better than the book.
The story goes like this. Beautiful Buttercup berates the shy and quiet Wesley as she orders him around her farm. She only refers to him as “farm boy.” All he ever responds is “as you wish.” His constant compliance surprises her and as time goes on she grows to love him. Finally, she orders him to pull the pitcher of water from just above her head and the realization is actualized. But every great love story has to have a conflict. The conflict here is that Wesley is poor and must leave Buttercup to find his fortune so he can “earn” her hand in marriage. His boat is lost at sea; Wesley is rumored dead; Buttercup marries Prince Humperdinck.
So what do we learn? As a young girl, I fell helplessly in love with Wesley with his “eyes like the sea after a storm.” It was not the Wesley that starts the story (the silent steward willing to do anything the young maid wishes), but the swashbuckling pirate who returns to save Buttercup from her ruthless soon-to-be husband. The man who would go to any lengths to save the woman he loves even though he believes she married another as soon as he was gone. As far as Wesley knows, his truelove betrayed him, yet he climbs up jagged rocks to sword fight a foe, wrestles a giant, and engages in a battle of wits that could cost him his life. It is not until she reveals her love for beloved Wesley does he reveal himself as he tumbles down the symbolic hill and yells “as you wish.” When they get to the bottom he asks, “Why didn’t you wait for me?” To which she responds, “Well, you were dead.” The next words he spoke have resonated through my entire life: “Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it awhile.”
This is what I want and this is why I am completely ruined because this is not reality. Where does this type of love reside? Which one of this pair is responsible for the depths of this love? Are woman responsible for being lovable? If so, Buttercup never seems very lovable to me. She is bossy and self-centered. Are men responsible for creating a love like this? If so, Wesley is amazing, but where does a woman find him? I must admit that I still want him. When I married my ex, I was not under any delusion that he was ever a “Wesley” because as much as I wanted one, I did not really believe that he existed. If I hold out now, am I just waiting for a deluded dream? Perhaps. Perhaps.