Enough to buy a miracle

Almost all of what I know about love comes from fiction, films, and songs. What can I say? 

I’m a silly girl. 

Fiction seems to have a more honest way of representing reality than actual reality. Nothing is born out of nothing, and writers write from experience, the way I do. Either art imitates life or life imitates art.

It’s always fascinating to me the way fiction represents the truth. The Princess Bride is a classic tale of true love and high adventure, written by extraordinary writer William Goldman. That really seems to be the miracle–males and their perspective dominate the topic of love, while in my experience, women seem to be held to higher standards for how to act in love.

Who really knows any better?

I almost got married once or twice upon a time. The first one only promised to marry me and the second one actually proposed with none of the follow through. Both of them bought me very pretty rings. (My first boyfriend was the only one with enough sense to buy me a mood ring.)

There’s a difference between dating and being in a relationship. The only problem with finding yourself in one long-term relationship after another is that you stop acting on your own principles and start conforming to theirs. The truth is my almost-marriage had no love and no money and therefore really stood no chance whatsoever.

The Princess Bride for me is a celebration of something I always wished existed, but could never find anywhere except between the pages of a book. I was raised to believe in marriage, not love. Dating wasn’t encouraged in our household. Women are still judged too harshly by their dating history with men–a woman’s reputation means more than her character.

Most of us are too inhibited to talk about love in any significant way. Most books dole out advice I feel like everyone knows or should know, mainly that relationships take communication, cooperation, and compromise. Nobody ever tells you what to do when the other person refuses to give in, but swears he loves you.

When has anything in love gone right? When, for anyone, is love ever enough?

The most humorous parts of The Princess Bride tend to be some of the most real, like the reunion scene readers are deprived of because the two are arguing less than thirty minutes later. Mind you, this is after Buttercup pushes Westley off the side of a cliff and then demands to know what he was trying to tell her from the bottom.

The relationship between Buttercup’s parents is borderline hysterical; they keep score against each other, have been for years. Miracle Max takes his wife’s word for gospel while also calling her a witch.

For best friends Inigo and Fezzik, true love is the only noble cause they’re after. (Well, not the only thing: Inigo also wants revenge.) With 65 florins, it’s enough to buy them a miracle. Nor does the story end as you would expect. Happily ever after is a possibility, not the reality. It’s certainly not the end-all.

For some of us who haven’t given up yet, marriage is still an ideal; I like the world better through rose-colored glasses. All stories starting with “once upon a time…” end with happily ever after only when two people are married. For once, someone has written a story that ends with two people in love.

What you do with it, William Goldman says, will be of more than passing interest to us all.

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