As you get older, things get more complicated…and by things I mean everything. There’s a huge difference between the stress of who you’re going to pick to be on your red rover team and who you’re going to choose to be in your wedding party. There’s the crumpled five dollar bill you chase an ice cream truck down the street with and the wavering bank account you use to pay for not so delicious things like insurance and rent. The simplicity we were so accustomed to and ready to be rid of becomes the very thing we search for and cling to in pursuit of laughter and happiness. Back to basics. I’ve found that there is absolutely nothing more hopeful or beautiful than young love. It’s naïve, it’s irrational and it’s paradise.
My mom picked me up from school when I was in the 4th grade and I jumped in the front seat and announced that I was going out with a boy. I just wanted her to know. Of course, in #lakme fashion, she responded ‘and where are you going?’ If anyone was curious where I get my pension for being a smartass, wonder no more. She had this smile on her face which I now know was the only thing keeping her from bursting out laughing. Young love is something ain’t it?
There is a reason Romeo & Juliet is one of my favorite stories of all time. It’s unabashed, it’s reckless and it’s pure passion. Even Dame Judi Dench in Shakespeare in Love as the pessimistic and most cold hearted Queen Elizabeth agrees it shows the very truth and nature of love. If you haven’t seen this movie, stop everything you’re doing this instant and go watch it. I’m serious. Don’t read another word. Go. Also, if you haven’t seen it, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! And don’t be offended by my judgement, in all fairness you were supposed to stop reading and I should only be in the company of fellow SIL gurus.
If the main characters in R&J were any older, the book would have been quite a touch shorter due to fundamental differences. Not to mention this type of tale would never fly in society today.
Or maybe it would become a technological tragedy as well. If Juliet or Romeo had one sensible friend, or a sassy gay friend at that (Google sassy gay friend Romeo and Juliet ….you’re welcome), perhaps someone could have suggested dating for more than a few days before jumping into marriage…and then maybe given some sort of sage advice about NOT killing your betrothed’s family members. You know, just tiny tips for a fruitful marriage. Whatever happened to just punching someone in the face? Today, they would never have caught each other’s eyes because they would have been too busy snapchatting or filtering a selfie. -I need everyone to know that as I typed selfie, there is now an emoji for that. I’ll be in the kitchen shoving my face into a blender of kale, macha and fidget spinners.
Back in the day the only fear was that you might be related…and even that didn’t stop some people. *cough* The Lannisters *cough* Nowadays we’ve got people swiping left due to height requirements, pet preferences, job titles and not just whether or not they want kids but how many. Because of that nifty little thing called an airplane you never have any idea where anyone could be from. Sneaking into parties anymore is practically impossible, I mean Paul McCartney couldn’t get into a post-Grammy party for Christ’s sake. The world, life and human beings in general have become a bit more, shall we say, finicky with age.
Romeo and Juliet met once and without analyzing, comparing or withholding, they fell. There was no thought of tomorrow or consequences. I’m not saying you should quit your job, run outside and get married to the first person you catch eyes with in your front lawn but I do think everyone needs to calm down. Life is not an Erin Condren planner. We have somehow convinced ourselves that we can choreograph and design relationships to the last detail. I hate to break it to you, but this isn’t build-a-bear people. Where’s the mystery?! The adventure?! Today’s relationships are more cat and mouse. Whoever reveals the least has the upper hand and confessions of love have become vulnerabilities many people aren’t willing to risk.
Maybe we should have a little faith that it will all work out. Believe that you’re going to bump into somebody, trust that you’re doing the best you can but, above all, know that you alone are enough. You are not defined by your relationship. They may be your missing puzzle piece but in an appendix kind of way. You don’t NEED it. It isn’t crucial to your existence but if you find it, hold on tight and let your younger heart resurface. Those hearts are a bit kinder, more eager to jump and heaps less starcrossed. If music be the food of love, play on…