Oct 27, 2017

Happy Birthday Princess Bride! (P.S. Buttercup & Wesley Broke Up)

I wrote this little piece of satire and can't seem to find a home for it, so I'll put it here to share with you lovelies. Enjoy!

Thirty years ago this fall, the cult classic The Princess Bride hit theaters. Given the anniversary, the evergreen popularity of the film, and the success of Cary Elwes’s memoir As You Wish, Hollywood execs briefly floated the idea of filming a sequel. While the movie died a terrible death in pre-production, the following scene gives an indication of where filmmakers wanted to take the story.


Buttercup sits alone at a rustic tavern, a metal tankard in front of her. Wesley enters. Buttercup notices he’s still wearing his mask and rolls her eyes.

Hullo darling!

Kisses her cheek.

Hey, Wes.

He shoots her a look.

I mean Dread Pirate Roberts.

She makes air quotes.


We need to talk.

Anything for you.

I’ve been thinking and I think we should see other people.

As you wi—Wait, are you breaking up with me?

You know the counselor I’m seeing for my PTSD? She’s helped me realize this relationship isn’t right for me.

But I died for you! Does that mean nothing?

You didn’t die for me. You ghosted me. You faked your death, changed your name, and disappeared. For years. And when you finally came back, you turned it into some sick relationship test. I mean, who does that?

But I left for you – for our future!

Bullshit. You did it for you. You didn’t like being a farm boy and when you saw a chance to become someone else, you took it. The way you hold onto that sword all the time feels like you’re still compensating for something. And that mask? Don’t get me started.

But I rescued you – twice!

Yeah, well thanks for saving me from the crap marriage. But what about the first time? What about the timing there? You could’ve showed up whenever you wanted but you waited until I was engaged. Did you come for me because you love me or because you didn’t want anyone else to?

This is unbelievable! What happened to the girl who told me ‘You’re alive! If you want I can fly!’

Come on. I’d been kidnapped, concussed, almost eaten by an eel, concussed again, and then I fell down a ravine. No verbal contract would hold up under those conditions.

Verbal contract?


So you’re a lawyer now?

While you were out swashbuckling, I took night classes. You’d know if you’d ask about something besides my breasts. Your assumption that I’d sit around staring at the pig sty and moping is frankly insulting.

A rustic-looking man approaches Buttercup.

Are you ready to go, Buttercup?

Who’s this guy?

His name is Freddy. We met at university. He’s an ag student.

She starts to walk away and turns.

Poor Wesley. If you’d paid attention, you’d know I really do prefer farm boys.

She exits.


Aug 26, 2017

What "Fine" Looks Like

I cried on election night. I thought I was angry, but really, I was scared. I was scared for my brown-skinned, accented immigrant husband. The campaign season’s anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic rhetoric rang in my ears. I was terrified of the violence I thought it might inspire.
My family, all Caucasian, said I was being paranoid. “He’s legal. He’ll be fine.”
But here’s the thing: nowhere on his person is there a sign that says “I’m supposed to be here.” There’s no yellow star or tattoo with his green card number. (I hope to God he’s never forced to get one). He looks like what he is: a bald Hispanic man with a goatee. But because of that, there will always be people who question his right to be here in the U.S. with his wife and his children. People who shout hate at him on street corners don’t ask for his passport card first. They don’t ask him his immigration status. They just look at him and assume he doesn’t belong.
            For the most part, things have been fine since the election. We make sure our taillights work and our license tabs are up to date. We never speed or run stoplights. We do everything in our power not to make him a target. But “fine” for him is never going to look like “fine” for me.
            Fine for him means getting followed around in stores. It means people talking louder to him because he has an accent. It means folks asking what part of Mexico he’s from. (He’s from Spain.) It means people asking to talk to someone who “speaks English” when businesses call on the phone. It means a 1,000 little headaches and prejudices that as a White person, I’d never know were a part of life for some Americans.
            These are the things he faces, the silent battles he fights. But there is one thing that affects me directly, and that’s the way people react when we speak Spanish in public. While the Hispanic community here is decent sized, we don’t have a lot of connection with actual Spanish culture where we live. In fact, my husband is perhaps the only Spaniard in our county. Language is the one thing that connects him to his homeland. It’s the language of his family – the tios and abuela that my children only know over Skype and on the phone.
            And that’s a problem.
            Because more and more, people are looking at my husband weird when he speaks to our bilingual children in Spanish.
            This might not be the hardest thing he deals with, but it’s the hardest one for me. Our kids are young, but they see those looks. They see them and they know what they mean. They know that where we live, Spanish is different and “other” and undesirable.
            So they don’t want to speak it.
            Two weeks ago, my daughter had a raging meltdown. That in itself is not unusual – she’s the kind of kid who feels things deeply. But what set this tantrum apart was its cause. She was furious at my husband for speaking Spanish to her.
            “I hate Spanish!” she screamed. “Why can’t you just speak English?”
            It broke my heart. It broke my heart that she feels like half of who she is is unacceptable. It broke my heart that her Spanish heritage is something to be ashamed of or hide. And it broke my heart that these are the messages people give her on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. Sometimes those messages come without thinking – a subtle change in attitude, a raised eyebrow, a change of tone. And sometimes, as with the case of today’s pardon of a sheriff convicted of illegally targeting Hispanics, those messages are clearly and intentionally given.
            I can’t change the big things. I can’t force people to be okay with minorities or confront the idea of privilege. I can't overturn a presidential pardon. But I can do my damnedest to help my kids be proud of their Hispanic heritage. I’m awful at speaking Spanish, but I’m doing it anyhow. When we watch Little Mermaid, I switch the language so Ariel speaks the same way they do. And I tell my children over and over how lucky they are to be bilingual and how beautiful Spanish culture is.
When the time comes to register them for school, I’ll mark them as bilingual, even though I know I’ll have to fight the rest of my life to keep them from unnecessary ESL testing.
Most of all, I’ll keep shouting into the void that anti-immigrant rhetoric affects more than just illegal immigrants. It affects the lives of every person with an accent or more melanin in their skin, regardless of immigration status. It affects me, a white lady from Republican farm country who just wants her kids to be proud of who they are.
I will do these things because my culture of origin shouldn’t be the only one that counts in our family.

It shouldn’t be the only one that counts, period.