The Princess Bride is like a banana split…with chocolate and vanilla ice cream and plenty of syrup and peanuts and whipped cream. (sigh) It’s big and it’s beautiful and it makes you happy just to think about it. And even though you know all the flavors by heart, it’s still delicious every single time. You can’t just take a taste of a movie like The Princess Bride. You devour it. And then you lick the spoon.
And sometimes you lick the bowl too, but only when you think no one is looking.
So, without further ado, here is my valentine to you. I hope you like the quote; and that is not a joke. You should also take a listen; but I can’t think of a rhyme for this’n. (I wonder if Fezzik would be disappointed in me?)
Westley: Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.
Ah, To Blave…that’s what it’s all about.
As a special valentine from me to you, I’m including some of my favorite bits and pieces:
It’s hard for me to believe this movie came out in 1982 – it’s 30 years old! I was only twelve when Tootsie was released…
Okay, that’s enough talk about how old things are.
But it’s kind of amazing, right? I mean, it doesn’t feel old. And no matter how many Mrs. Doubtfires or Big Mommas come along, they can never take Tootsie’s place. Which is the place where men make ugly women but you’re still able to suspend your disbelief when she’s on screen and forget that there’s a man under there. Mostly. Really though, there is no comparison. When she slides into that booth and won’t keep her hands off her manager…then orders a drink and tells the waiter his blouse is lovely… Please… You had me at hello.
I just love Dorothy. Tootsie is a class act, and every now and then I get a hankering to watch it. Last time I did, this is the line that stood out:
Les: Being with someone…sharing…that’s what it’s all about.
You know, I think that’s what he learned in the end. Loving and being loved, caring for other people, that’s so much more important than being right or getting your way.
Welcome to (almost) February, the month that puts a big shining spotlight of misery and pain and desperation and panic and envy and contempt on love! Unless you actually are in love, which can be even worse…
Okay, I’m really just joking. But here’s the truth: Love Is Complicated. Now you know.
Anytime you get involved with another human being, it’s complicated. Just look around at the people you only work with and consider how much can go into maintaining those relationships. It takes effort: communication, understanding, compromise, forgiveness, ignoring stupidity… The list of emotional demands goes on and on. How much more so when you’re in love.
Robbie: I remember we went to the Grand Canyon one time, we were flying there, and I’d never been there before and Linda had, so…you would think that she would give me the window seat, but she didn’t. And… Not that that’s a big deal, you know, but… Guess there were a lot of little things like that – I know that sounds stupid. –Julia: Not at all. I think it’s the little things that count.
This quote just filled me with questions:
Can you be in love with someone and at the same time know they are wrong for you?
In a loving relationship, at what point is it okay to put yourself first? When is it more important to put the other person first? How do you know the difference?
When you are in love with someone, should it come naturally to self-sacrifice for them or always think of them first? Or is that something we have to continually work on and remind ourselves to do?
If you typically put your needs in front your significant other’s, does that mean you don’t really love that person?
Where is the dividing line between putting the other person first because you love them and becoming some kind of doormat?
Did he ask for the window seat, or did he just expect her to know that he wanted it?
Should we have to ask for what we want?
It’s just got me thinking about how we express our love to each other. And also how we react to those expressions of love, or lack thereof. Some people need near-constant togetherness and gestures that prove how important they are to the other. And some people feel smothered by too much attention that feels more like distrust or neediness in their partner. I’m guessing that most of us fall somewhere in the middle. The problem is that there’s so much room in there for miscommunication.
What are the “big things” that are necessary to make a relationship work?
What are the “little things” that keep a relationship going?
What’s a deal breaker for you?
Have you ever started a relationship knowing that it was doomed to failure?
Have you ever refused to enter a relationship with someone you really liked, because you thought it would ultimately fail?
Voldemorte: There is no good and evil. There is only power and those too weak to seek it.
That statement stood out for me when I first read the book. It intrigued me, and it would pop into my mind every now and then over the years. For a long time, I wasn’t sure whether I agreed or not. Now I’m thinking that, like most things, it’s truth depends on who you are, on your viewpoint.
I really think Voldemorte believed it, that it wasn’t about being evil; it was about exercising his power. As a child, he had no power to control his family situation. He had no control over what happened to him. But as he grew, he realized that he did have power over other people; he could make them afraid. Heady stuff, the ability to instill fear.
The people in that mindset may not believe they’re evil; they may believe that it’s their right to treat people abominably (see: slavery, Hitler, Attila the Hun, Vlad the Impaler…). I don’t remember Voldemorte inflicting pain for its own sake, for his own amusement. His actions always had a purpose. Often it was to ensure that his enemies and followers knew that he was to be feared, that he was in control. In his mind, to eliminate an enemy or a threat or even a nuisance was his right, and even a necessity. If your house is infested with ants or mice or flies, you don’t eliminate them because you’re evil. You eliminate them because you are more powerful than they are, because it’s necessary to do so for your own comfort and well-being. Voldemorte saw his enemies, and even his followers, as nothing more than ants or tools. He wholeheartedly believed in his superiority and every other being’s expendability.
I had already decided to post this quote when Girl on the Contrary got me thinking about Bellatrix Lestrange. This character would inflict pain for her own entertainment; she enjoys being mean and nasty. Some people simply get a kick out of kicking others. There is a certain amount of power in being able to push people around without the fear of recourse or consequence, but I don’t believe that achieving power is her motivation. If that were so, she could have killed Voldemorte a long time ago and taken over. She doesn’t, because that’s not her personality. Her comfort zone is to serve under a master who allows her the safety and freedom to be a bad person. He is both her permission to be evil, and her guarantee (through his power) that there will be no consequences.
It scary to imagine a world without consequences. Personally, I believe that more of us would go bad than we probably think. Post-apocalyptic movies and books often rely on the battles between the “good” and “bad” bands of survivors to drive the action, and that’s not based on nothing. In real life, we need look no further than the comment sections on YouTube to see the truth of how cruel and ugly people are comfortable allowing themselves to be when there are no consequences. Anonymity creates an environment where you can unleash your inner nastiness without having to see the damage it does, and without the recourse of guilt. The same thing happens when people riot or loot. People who loot on their own are called thieves. But people, who wouldn’t otherwise smash a window and steal, find safety in numbers. They allow themselves to do “evil” things when they think they can safely get away with it.
I believe that there is more power in constraint and self-control.
So, I do believe that there is good and evil. I believe we have both tendencies inside us, and we have the power to choose which side of that fence we walk on. I do not believe that power equals stepping all over everyone else; I disagree with Voldemorte there. In fact, I would argue that the power of good is stronger and more reliable than the power of evil. Voldemorte’s power relied on other people, on whether they could be manipulated or controlled or eliminated. No matter how vile he was, there would be certain people over whom he could never have power. That made his brand of power weak, because it was not entirely within his control (look how many times he was thwarted). Harry Potter’s power was inside him. It was the power of sacrifice and commitment, friendship and love. And it was the power of courage. Harry didn’t need to rely on anyone else to access those things from inside himself.