Inigo: True love! You heard him! You could not ask for a more noble cause than that.
Miracle Max: Sonny, true love is the greatest thing in the world. Except for a nice MLT: a mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe. They’re so perky, I love that. Except that’s not what he said: he distinctly said “To Blave,” and, as we all know, “to blave” means “to bluff.” So you were probably playing cards, and he cheated! [Valerie storms in]
Valerie: Liar! Liar!
Miracle Max: Get back, witch!
Valerie: I’m not a witch, I’m your wife! But after what you just said, I’m not even sure I want to be that anymore!
Some say that to define true love, would be to ruin its purity, therefore, it can have no definition. That may be, though I think that we can all agree that true love is greater than a MLT. Billy Crystal jokes about this in the movie, “The Princess Bride”, excerpted above. In that comedy, the closest approach to true love comes in the interludes between Peter Falk and a young Fred Savage, as grandfather and grandson. It is epitomized at the movie’s end, when the grandson asks his grandfather, if he could come back tomorrow and read the story again. With a knowing smile, the grandfather answers, “As you wish.”
Fiction plays false with true love, because real life is never so scripted. Some say that true love is when you would give up your whole world, give up your life, your everything, for another person. Fiction would have one rush into a burning building to demonstrate one’s true love. A better show of true love is a life lived together, because it is only after the long haul that true love can be seen. Time, the most precious of all human quantities, is the metric for true love. Dashing into a burning building is an act of heroism, an act of passion. Afterwards, when the pulse subsides and the adrenaline ebbs, one is left with gratitude. You can build a life on gratitude, but it is not true love, not alone it isn’t.
I’m not saying that true love requires a minimum of sixty years of marriage. Few of us will enjoy that longevity. But just like the best friends are the old friends, so too, a life long love is the truer love. This brings me to the one true love escape clause, the till death do us part clause. Life is short and all too uncertain. Sometimes, we have the forethought to eat dessert first, sometimes not. Losing a loved one is always painful. When you give your heart to another, and the other person dies, part of you dies with them.
This is the feast of Saint Valentine, a day now dedicated to romance. So let us banish our melancholy. To true loves lost, raise a glass to them and remember the good times together. To true loves present, hold them, hug them and kiss them. There is a certain heroism to living a life together, maybe raising a family, being a member of society. It is so much easier, but cowardly to take the other path.
Fiction can be precisely written, but life is messy. In life, in true love, you have to get your hands dirty. You have to roll up your sleeves and work at it. The magical fairy tale of true love can be broken down into these simple spells, listening, caring, giving and respect. These are the same magical spells that we were all taught to follow in kindergarten. Remember them, practice them and you too may find true love, in time. I love you, Babes!