When our favorite movies would end and the credits rolled, we couldn’t help but continue dreaming about the stories and the characters. Where filmmakers had skimmed over small details, we dove in and swam around in a sea of untold scenes.
I’ve recently stumbled upon a literary treasure trove online called Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendency which brought me to a brilliant fictional letter from the unforgettable Baroness Schraeder of The Sound of Music.
I REGRET TO INFORM YOU THAT MY WEDDING TO CAPTAIN VON TRAPP HAS BEEN CANCELLED.
By Melinda Taub
Dear friends, family, and Austrian nobility,
Captain Von Trapp and I are very sorry to inform you that we no longer plan to wed. We offer our deepest apologies to those of you who have already made plans to travel to Salzburg this summer.
Those of you on the Captain’s side of the guest list are probably aware of the reason for the change of plans. I’m sure by now you have received that charming “Save the date!” card in the shape of a mountain goat from the Captain and his new fiancée, Maria.
I must confess to being rather blindsided by the end of our relationship. It seems Captain Von Trapp and I misunderstood each other. I assumed he was looking for a wife of taste and sophistication, who was a dead ringer for Tippi Hedren; instead he wanted to marry a curtain-wearing religious fanatic who shouts every word she says.
But I don’t want you to be angry at him. We are all adults here. “But Baroness,” so many of my friends have said, “you must be devastated. You yourself are fabulously wealthy, so you cannot have wanted the Captain for his money—you must have truly loved him.” It’s true. But so, I am sure, does his new fiancée, his children’s nanny. Her wardrobe is made of curtains. She’s definitely not a gold digger or anything.
I’m sorry. That was crude of me. She seems like a lovely person, and she and the children have a great deal in common.
A great, great, great deal.
Since I will no longer be a part of their lives, I do hope you will all keep an eye on the Captain’s children. I am not terribly maternal but I was very fond of them in my own way and I must admit I am worried what will become of them now that I have gone. I had planned to send them to boarding school, since their education at the moment seems to consist mostly of marching around Salzburg singing scales. I think it would have been particularly helpful for the eldest daughter, who seems intent on losing her virginity to the mailman.
Please, friends, don’t worry about me. While I was a bit startled to be thrown aside for someone who flunked out of nun school, I assure you that I will be fine, and my main pursuits in life shall continue to be martinis, bon mots, and looking fabulous. You’ll also be glad to know I have retained custody of the Captain’s hard-drinking gay friend, Max. Anyone who gets tired of sing-a-longs should feel free to look us up.
Again, my deepest apologies for this disruption to your plans. I am currently sorting through the wedding gifts we’ve already received and I will send them back as soon as possible. The Captain would help, but he is busy learning to play a song about cuckoo clocks on his guitar.
Baroness Elsa Schraeder
That could have been one hell of a cat fight scene!
McSweeney’s Internet Tendencies is my new go-to for bedtime reading! Try out some of their other articles I recommend ..
Monologue: I’m Comic Sans, Asshole by Mike Lacher
Answers to Rhetorical Questions posed by Movie Titles by Ethan Ryan