Posted by: itneverrainsinseattle | May 18, 2010

Okay, Here’s What I Want

So much to write. So little time.

I’ve told you about a friend of mine who helped me to get a temporary job that is paying me pretty well. The friend (and our mutual manager) have described my stint there as being on the “Dread Pirate Roberts” contract. This is a reference to a line from the movie, The Princess Bride.

“Good night, Westley. Good work. Sleep well. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.”

You see, as a contractor, I can be let go at a moment’s notice. Before you go thinking that this is a rather grim way to put it, you haven’t seen the movie. The point is… they think I have what it takes to do what needs to be done.

I’m still on the Dread Pirate Roberts contract… but my contract has been extended to the end of the year.

But that’s not the point of this entry. Oh, and there’s another guy we work with who has never seen The Princess Bride. Poor bastard. But that’s not the point, either.

I’ve started reading the book to my oldest son (who is still young enough to be read to). I was worried, during the prologue, that he might lose interest. But he didn’t. Then we got to:

Chapter One — The Bride.

Have you ever read this book? Even if you’ve seen the movie… have you read this book?

The book is written by the same man who wrote the screenplay to the movie. William Goldman. A brilliant man. He wrote the screenplays to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Marathon Man. Misery. All the President’s Men. The Stepford Wives. Tons of others. He has written a whole bunch of novels, many of which he later wrote the screen treatments for.

[Go ahead. Try to re-write that sentence without using a preposition at the end. I dare you.]

So, then. The Princess Bride. We get to the first chapter, and it’s all about Buttercup. The bride. And it’s very funny and very witty, but it’s also about stuff that your typical eight-year-old is just not likely to get. And yet… As I’m reading it, and I say, “It’s late. You’re tired. Should we stop here and read more tomorrow?” My kid shakes his head vigorously.

“Keep reading!”

And then we get to the part where Buttercup realizes she’s in love with the Farm Boy. I read this passage, and it took my breath away. (Keep in mind, this isn’t the first time I’ve read this book… but it’s the first time I’ve read it in my current state of mind.)

“I love you,” Buttercup said. “I know this must come as something of a surprise, since all I’ve ever done is scorn you and degrade you and taunt you, but I have loved you for several hours now, and every second, more. I thought an hour ago that I loved you more than any woman has ever loved a man, but a half hour after that I knew that what I felt before was nothing compared to what I felt then. But ten minutes after that, I understood that my previous love was a puddle compared to the high seas before a storm. Your eyes are like that, did you know? Well they are. How many minutes ago was I? Twenty? Had I brought my feelings up to then? It doesn’t matter.” Buttercup still could not look at him. The sun was rising behind her now, she could feel the heat on her back, and it gave her courage. “I love you so much more now than twenty minutes ago that there cannot be comparison. I love you so much more now than when you opened your door, there cannot be comparison. There is no room in my body for anything but you. My arms love you,  my ears adore you, my knees shake with blind affection. My mind begs you to ask it something so it can obey. Do you want me to follow you for the rest of your days? I will do that. Do you want me to crawl? I will crawl. I will be quiet for you or sing for you, or if you are hungry, let me bring you food, or if you have thirst and nothing will quench it but Arabian wine, I will go to Araby, even though it is across the world, and bring a bottle back for your lunch. Anything there is that I can do for you, I will do for you; anything there is that I cannot do, I will learn to do[…] Dearest Westley — I’ve never called you that before, have I? — Westley, Westley, Westley, Westley, Wesley, — darling Westley, adored Westley, sweet perfect Westley, whisper that I have a chance to win your love.” And with that, she dared the bravest thing she’d ever done: she looked right into his eyes.

–William Goldman, The Princess Bride

[Santaslil posted a comment with the line, “If she wants you, she’ll sing for you”, which resonates with this passage.]

Now, I was going to say, “That’s what I want!” But that’s not entirely right. It’s not that I want someone obsessed. It’s not that I want to be obsessed. Well, okay, maybe just a little. But what I do want is to want her, and for her to want me. And someone who gets it. And gets me. And whom I get.

Get it?

[And in the words of the singer/songwriter George Hrab, “She also knows S. Morgentstern is a figment of imagination.” That’s from his song, Brains Body Both. Which is about what he’s looking for in a lover. Yeah, that’s also on the Soundtrack to My Life….]



  1. Hang in there, Inris, you’ll find someone who gets it, and gets you. You just have to be patient….and keep your heart and your mind open to possibilities that you haven’t even considered yet….

    Sometimes we’re so busy looking for something we miss what we’re supposed to be seeing all along. Cheesy, I know. Cheesy, but true.

  2. Ahhh. Great book. Amazing quote. Hold on. Remember…
    time. Time heals. Time changes everything. We all want that kind of love, adoration, devotion. We deserve it.

    Still missing you.

  3. Cheap Trick: “I Want You to Want Me.”

    Sentence: He has written a whole bunch of novels, many FOR which he later wrote the screen treatments.

    However, we’re American so we like our prepositions at the end of sentences. They sound incomplete otherwise.

    BTW, the kind of love she describes is scary-ass, teenage, stalker love. It’s good to eschew it.

  4. Congrats on the contract extension!! That is great news!

    It’s amazing that your son enjoys reading like that. I admit, I have never read nor seen The Princess Bride (shame on me, I know!) Once all this other stuff in your life winds down and is sorted out, you can start looking for exactly what you want. Until then, think of this time as bettering yourself. 🙂

  5. I want that too! Not the crazy stalker stuff, but I think you are on the exact same page as I am in this. I get it. I know what you want. We all deserve that.

    I’m going to read this to my girls. Good idea!

    Congrats on the contract.

  6. Yes there is a big difference between wanting to be with someone and needing to be with someone.

  7. Kudos to Suzanne for that sentence!

    But I digress…

    RUMI said, “There is some kiss we all want with our whole lives.”

    He’s not talking about what you’ll do with a woman…But if you can embrace the notion of the “kiss”, and see where it already exists in your life, (so you can FEEL it), you won’t need it from a woman. And then, when you GET it from a woman, (as you surely will) you’ll smile in the knowledge that women, for men (as men are for women) really are just desserts… The main course is you; always was, always will be.

  8. “give me the chance to win your love.”

    lord. i think that’s what we all want someone to say to us. i know i’d love to hear it. i’m sure you’ll get what you want in time. that’s the silver lining of all these clouds; you come out of these desert times with clear, unadulterated pictures of what – and who – you want. here’s sending good thoughts that it comes your way soon.

  9. Oh I had to giggle at the mention of the preposition at the end of the sentence.

    We writers have such an issue with grammar, don’t we?

    Very nice to see the commenters take over. 🙂

    Princess Bride. Awesome movie. How can someone NOT have seen it?!?!

    I’ve never read the book. And your passage was beautiful. Amazing. I think we all believe we want love like that.

    Be careful what you ask for. Being adored like that also comes with BIG responsibility.

    You will find your love, your balance, your perfection. Remember, though, perfection comes in moments.

  10. You’ve just added another item to my to-do list: the library. I haven’t read that book in years, but now I’m craving it! Awesome passage, by the way!

    And there are actually people who haven’t seen the movie?! I’ve only got the entire thing memorized…

  11. First of all, I love Princess Bride the movie. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Never read the book. Started to once, but didn’t get very far. I love that your son is like the kid in the movie – don’t stop reading, can you come back tomorrow and read it again?

    I get the desire that’s there, I do. That desire to be loved so completely. At the same time…scary. I agree with Suzanne – stalker-ish kind of love. Also, change everything about yourself to make the person you love love you, which is completely unhealthy. I expected her to say something about washing his feet and then drinking the dirty water. *shiver*

    However, should a man I love ever say “As you wish” to me, I will swoon. 🙂

  12. Hi, all.

    Yes, I completely agree — it’s not so much the stalker-ishness I’m looking for. Rather, to turn another recent movie/book title on its head, what I want is somebody who is into me. And whom I’m into. Mutuality is also important.

    Regarding ending sentences with prepositions: I used to make fun of a friend of mine (referred to elsewhere on this blog as “Kyle”) all the time for putting prepositions at the end of phrases/sentences. His response was to add “, asshole” to the end of each such sentence. Then, over time, he would deliberately find ways to end sentences with prepositions, just to get that in.

    Good times.

    Book vs movie: The book version has the “Zoo of Death,” which is simply awesome. And goes more into the rhyme game between “the Turk” (the Giant) and Inigo.

    No more rhymes now, I mean it!

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