Ode to Romeo and Juliet

be careful who you make memories with those things

Romeo and Juliet were love-struck individuals whose hostile, feuding families tried to keep the two apart. Yet, as everybody knows, their love still ultimately triumphed – although it ended badly, and it cost them both their lives.

And ever since that happened, Romeo and Juliet have been used as examples of passionate, true love. They’ve become the stuff of movies; they are acted out on stage; and everyone’s familiar with their story and their names.

But here’s the thing …

This Romeo and Juliet: they’re just a fantasy. Their lives were penned by Shakespeare to amuse and entertain.

And this sweet and lovely couple: they were 13 or 14. Their love was young and tender. So naïve and innocent.

But if they had lived longer, and they’d led more normal lives, perhaps they would have argued, and have fought from time to time. They might have had some children, or have juggled two careers. Of course, they would have cell phones, and they’d often be online.

And maybe our young hero would have viewed pornography, or visited some chatrooms, or downloaded hookup apps. He might have left his partner, or he might have had affairs. They might have separated, and have gone their different ways.

But this is all conjecture since the couple weren’t real.

But maybe it is closer to the way things are today.

21 thoughts on “Ode to Romeo and Juliet

  1. Interesting turn on a Shakespeare classic. These two lovers are examples of the blissful feelings of exuberance love affords is. As in any thing, I shy away from hindsight, it is always perfect fro an observational viewpoint. Instead, I often recommend to go into the feelings of the story.

    What is there for these two young lovers? Despair… Triumph… Longing… Union… Splitting… Reconciling…. War… Peace… Life… Death… Love.

    It is a hard reality we create in acts of love. The memories they create are both points of divergence and splitting and true capacity to grow at an emotional level. Thank you for sharing this wonderful article. It really made me go to a deep level of contemplation.

    Liked by 2 people

    • “…true capacity to grow at an emotional level.” YES The opportunity is there, but many cheaters, sex addicts, liars, etc., are emotionally stunted in several areas of their lives. Can they grow? Yes. Do they grow? Their choice. These guys cause destruction on so many levels.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, growth is a choice. Sometimes a difficult choice because it requires so much work. But we have to weigh up what matters most to us: staying with what is familiar and comfortable, or being a person we might ultimately respect a whole lot more, and relationships that are essentially very important to us.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Yes they do cause major damage to those whose lives they touch. The key is to integrate the lessons present for ones own growth. What does it matter if they grow or not, it is there life & eventually the bridges they burn will leave them isolated and lonely.

        We can hold onto the theme of vengeance forever. As Shakespeare’s story portrays the feuding battles warred between generations of two families that have ill intent towards each other. But this ultimately drives the wedge between the loving parties that creates their physical, emotional, and even spiritual demise.

        As the Buddha one said:

        Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

        Thank you for asking this important question. There is a lot of potential to grow in working it’s content.

        Liked by 3 people

      • The big lesson I’ve integrated is trust. I clearly had unconditional trust in my husband, and he abused that trust. I didn’t know then, but I do know now.

        Re: What does it matter if they grow or not? Many couples stay together after infidelity. Especially in long-term marriages. Growth matters if the couple chooses to stay together and work through the pain and trauma – I expect growth with telling the truth (transparency), letting go of feeling entitled to betray a wife and objectify women, letting go of selfish behaviors – and more.

        I think Will Smith said something in a song similar to what the Buddha said – “Hate in your heart will consume you, too.”

        Liked by 2 people

      • Betrayal of trust by the person closest to us is one of the hardest things to deal with. Trust, reliability and being able to predict are built into the fabric of life. We trust the bus driver not to crash the bus. We trust the chef not to put poison in out food. We couldn’t function in life without trust and making assumptions. That needs to apply to our personal life too. Without trust and making assumptions we can’t function there either. Always checking everything out would be crippling. You were right to trust, and I’m sorry you now have to keep checking that it is still safe to trust 😦

        Liked by 2 people

      • I am more careful about who I “let in” to my personal sphere of influence. That’s actually a really good thing, b/c I was a bit too open and trusting (I had rose-colored glasses – ha.)

        A few good things re: trust I’ve experienced with my husband (post-DDay) is that my husband was really present and he “showed up” with all of his heart when my father died. He really “showed up” this past fall when I had thoracic surgery too (they thought I had a rare cancer on my Thymus – positive PET scan), but it was benign – a more rare tumor. Those are “big life events” where he has shown me that I can trust him to be there for me. I’m still recovering in that my larynx is still 1/2 paralyzed, so I don’t have the stamina I used to have (can only get in 1/2 of the air I used to be able to breathe in). He helps out a lot. So – it’s not like I think I can’t trust him at all, or others, with anything, but I have learned to protect myself more and have some checks and balances in place. The more he shows he IS trustworthy, the more trust he earns back.

        Liked by 2 people

      • It sounds like you’ve been through a lot and I’m glad your husband has been a rock through it all.
        I believe people can change. Not all do but some do. No, we don’t want to trust naively but neither do we want to refuse to give someone we love that chance, if we believe they’re committed and sincere.

        Liked by 1 person

      • He also continued to use “porn substitutes” when he said he was clean, so, there’s no perfection. That took away some trust. He is a good man underneath, with a tender heart, and I’ve given him a chance.

        He knows he will lose me if he doesn’t work on his stuff. I have an exit plan. I’ll put this here in the even other women read this – ALL of us should have an exit plan (financial, safe place to stay, etc.). He knows I’ve talked to an attorney to be advised of my legal rights.

        This morning, he was expressing gratitudes, and he started crying (not his norm) about how he was grateful that I was there for him (I stopped him from killing himself).

        We have quite a story. Both of us are grateful that he is no longer working in a life/death environment anymore (ER).

        Sorry I’m so chatty – sometimes I respond with the hope other betrayed people may read some that helps them. I haven’t felt inspired to write my own blog lately.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Marriage is a difficult road to traverse. It is work, and hard work at best. We learn, we grow, from the paradoxes present. Things get built and even destroyed.

        I don’t condone untrustworthy behaviors of any sort. I try to find the silver lining in any story. When a couple chooses to stay together, they must work on trust. But this is only built by consistency in behaviors over time. Thank you for sharing. Love and Marriage can be a difficult subject to explore

        Liked by 2 people

      • It sure is, Dr. Maples, and thanks for your reply. 25 years for us. You are 100% spot-on about observing behaviors over time. We who’ve been betrayed and lied to are advised to look at behaviors and not just hear words. Sometimes our intuition is wonky for a while because we’ve been gaslighted and the trauma can knock us off-center for a while, but we can and do grow from it all. Self-compassion, post-traumatic growth, and more. My therapist has seen a shift (for the better – much better – grounded, confident, etc.) and she told me again today. We couldn’t see each other for 6 months because of a serious health issue/surgery I had and she said she saw a different person come in her door (after not seeing me for a while). That was very affirming. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree with you. Romeo and Juliet is a fantasy story and we should not equate it with true love. As you said they were young and immature. It is a pity that they took their lives. Personally, I am not a fan of Shakespeare even though I had to study his books in school. Thanks for the reality check.

    Liked by 2 people

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