I love the Princess Bride. My sister and I watched it several (dozen) times growing up, and I read the book a couple of years ago. (Did you know the book is hilarious!? S. Morgenstern, so talented.)
As I was reading the book, I felt a sense of connection with the main character. Not Buttercup, who I could never completely embrace as a heroine. Maybe it was her sudden-onset, rather underwhelming “true love.” Or because she was completely lame in the Fire Swamp. (I am not alone. (And please, youth of America, use better grammar in comments on literary sites. The comma can be cool. Like, for real.))
I totally got Wesley. The person he loved mostly ignored him. She was largely unaware of or unimpressed by his awesomeness. Her thanks were clipped and unfeeling. And, upon inferring his feelings of love for her, she abused them by asking him to fetch things she easily could have gotten herself.
Wesley was pretty much in a permanent state of trying to get my children ready to go to school in the morning when we’re out of sandwich bread and it is cold outside but D2 doesn’t want to wear her coat because its blue and Ella keeps asking to play games on the iPad even though she’s still not wearing pants and school starts in 7 minutes.
Fetch me that pitcher?
After such an experience, it makes sense that Wesley is drawn to becoming the Dread Pirate Roberts: a rich, take-no-prisoners buccaneer who is actually a series of individuals collaborating to maintain an effective, fearsome reputation and make their lives better and jobs easier.
WE NEED THE DREAD PIRATE ROBERTS OF PARENTING!
A persona with parenting gravitas; who makes children leap immediately into bed and stay quietly until morning; who makes one healthy meal–with spices!!–that everyone gratefully eats with appropriate utensils; who merely looks askance at toys on the floor before small people race to pick them up, lest they instead become the spoils of piracy. I think with a bit of costume design and some solid one-liners we can do this.
THERE WILL BE NO SURVIVORS!