I was 13 when William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet came out and like every 13-year-old girl with pictures of Leonardo DiCaprio plastered all over her walls, this movie became my everything.
I owned a copy on VHS, both soundtracks, posters and every magazine with Claire and Leo on the cover.
It was marketed as, “The greatest love story of all time….for our time,” and when you’re an awkward 13-year-old with glasses and frizzy hair, you buy this.
“This is the most romantic thing ever. They’re soul mates. They love each other. It’s destiny!”
However, when you’re an adult with D&G glasses and access to a flat-iron, you see things a little differently.
It’s less impossibly romantic and more, “Oh my God. You dipshit chowderheads. You’ve known each other for THREE DAYS! Throw a solid month at it before you decide to start fucking about with daggers and poison.”
My concept of love came directly from the movies.
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys and don’t let television and movies set the standard of what love is for your highly impressionable teenage daughter.
I thought that in order for it to be real – love needed to be like the movies. I believed the Carrie Bradshaw Bullshit.
What’s the Carrie Bradshaw Bullshit?
Pretty much everything she has ever said but this in particular:
As an impressionable teenager, I understood this completely.
As an adult? Yeah. I’m gonna let my girl Lana Kane sum up my thoughts on this one:
Let’s stop and think about this for a second.
Ridiculous? Really? Monkeys wearing tiny little pants are ridiculous. The price of fresh juice is ridiculous ($11 for a cup of pulverized fruit? Seriously, bro?). The fact that the chairman of the FCC used to be a lobbyist for the cable industry is ridiculous.
Any decent relationship shouldn’t be considered ridiculous. You’re looking for an adjective? Try happy. Try uplifting. Try amazeballs. Try anything but ridiculous.
Inconvenient? Like ATM fees and pop-up windows and when you realize you forgot something at the store and need to jackass all the way back to get it? Like that? This is something that you want to cultivate? OK, knucklehead. Enjoy that.
If a relationship is a pain in the ass and a chore, why are you engaged in it?
Consuming? You know what they used to call tuberculosis? Consumption. Look, there is nothing wrong with being into the person you’re into but I’m good without the symbiosis. You were your own fully-fledged person before your significant other came along and you should hold onto that.
If I wanted a tapeworm, I’d eat a raw slab of ham.
Can’t Live Without Each Other? I assure you, you can. And you will. Because unless the person you’re in a relationship with happens to be your conjoined twin (and that’s just a whole ‘nother kettle of crazy that I’m not going into), odds are – you’re gonna be just fine. You’ll endure. Because that’s what people do.
Despite all this, I like to believe that I’m still a romantic. My perspectives have shifted like the colors in a kaleidoscope and I just happen to be a realist/not a fucking idiot about the whole thing.
Admittedly, I have no idea what the hell I’m doing but I know this much to be true:
1. Be kind. You learned this as a toddler and it’s still applicable today.
2. Knock off the shit. Welcome to the big leagues. You are no longer in high school and here, we use our words. Don’t employ the silent treatment to punish someone. Don’t ignore texts and phone calls. You’re an adult. Talk it out. Be honest. Be generous with compliments, quick with apologies and sincere in both.
3. Make out. Like, a lot. Like, a whole lot.
4. Try. Put in the effort for no other reason than the other person is worth it.
5. Seriously. Goddamn it, babies. You’ve got to be kind.
I was in this restaurant once – eating solo while reading a book. I looked up and saw this middle-aged couple. Nothing remarkable or out of the ordinary – just two people sitting across from one another, holding hands.
Just happy to be there.
Romance is the little things and that’s what I want.
Yeah, you could be with someone who’d die for you…but wouldn’t you rather have someone who’ll live with you?