To all the guys reading, do you realize how irrational, hormonal, and stupid you were at seventeen? How almost every decision you made was a poor one, fueled by confusion and lust? And for the ladies reading, is the guy you were in love with at thirteen the same guy you ended up marrying? No, he isn’t? Well, that is how old Romeo and Juliet were. Oh, you didn’t know Juliet was a thirteen year old girl? You thought they were the same age? That is because you were weened on movie versions of the story, which wouldn’t DARE film a love scene between an adult male and an adolescent female (thank God). And that is just one element to the story that people seem to be way off base on. The other element is the idea that some woman say: I am looking for my Romeo. Wait a second, you are looking for a guy who is a great deal older than you to seduce you and then ultimately die with you a few days later? Wow, that is so romantic. No, it really isn’t. How rational would you think it if two young people you knew killed themselves because they weren’t allowed to date? It is absolutely irrational and extreme, and the fact that some people are stupid enough to think of those two children as the ideal romance story only shows you how insane we all are as well. Let’s redefine love for a minute, shall we?

Listen, there is a moment about three hours into everyone’s first relationship where they think to themselves: Wow, I am SO lucky. I already found my soul mate. We will be together forever and redefine what people think of when they think of love. In  most cases, if you flash forward even three months from that date, that relationship rarely lasts outside of the initial spurt because it is so fueled by the idea of being loved and wanted and adored for the first time. Once the reality sets in, and you stop humping three times a day, it hits you just how different you are from the person, and once the initial draw and allure wears off, you realize you were just a silly kid, thinking how silly kids think. And this is not gender specific. This comment goes both ways (like an art student). Guys do it and girls do it. But imagine, in that first three hours, you were suddenly denied the opportunity to see that person anymore. Yes, it would suck. Yes, you would always wonder what would have been. But, you know what is worse than always wondering what could have been? Hastily killing yourself in a moment of misunderstood, child-like passion.

Hey, you want to bang a few times, get married, bang a few more times, and then die with me? It’ll be boss, you’ll see.

Now I know someone will go comment and feel obliged to point out how their death was a vast misunderstanding, and at no point, despite how people perceive it, did these two actually PLAN on dying. And I won’t argue that at all. Tis true, actually. Only would a fool would argue a fact. I think Shakespeare said that once, or something. Anyway, I also want to talk about how their parents set this all up from the start. You see, the LAST thing you do to a hormonal teenager is tell them who they can and cannot date. Listen, to every racist, middle-aged Dad in the world: If you tell your daughters not to date black guys, you WILL have a mulatto child. I am telling you because someone has to. Understand, mulatto children are beautiful, so just chill out. My point is, by these two families FORBIDDING their children to date, you pretty much ensured that these two would be smitten with each other. Forbidden fruit if often a huge allure for some, and if these two were not off-limits to each other, do you think they would have pursued their love so vigorously? I can tell you they wouldn’t have. But because their warring families put such an emphasis on them NOT being together, their minds got locked into the opposite mindset.

Answer me this, besides being young and from warring families, what did these two have in common? Lust. And that is all.

Listen, I like, love you so fricking much it like, scares me and junk.

Let me give you the modern-day version of a Romeo and Juliet exchange, when busted down to its simplest levels. Two teens, in love, and on the phone:

Romeo: You hang up first, I already miss you!

Juliette: Hell no, YOU hang up first, cuz I miss the SHIT out of you.

Romeo: NO ways, Julez. You are not tricking me again. I will stay on the phone with you all night if I have to LOL.

Juliette: Okay, we will TOTES hang up at the same time on three.

Romeo: Holy crap, that is EXACTLY what I was gonna say, SOULMATE!!!!

*Both swoon.

The End.

There, did you see how banal and annoying that was? Well, that is pretty much how all their exchanges go, in some form or another. It is all super-flowery, and lovely. But VERY little is said between them. Very little is shared, outside of being “off-limits” and coming from warring lineages.

She is not mourning, she is singing What’s Going On by 4 Non Blondes.

Add sex into their decision-making (and do not forget the creepiness of a seventeen year old boy banging the shit out of a thirteen year old girl) and you can see they were just stupid kids, blinded by lust and civil expectations. And in one frenzied moment, that situation got the better of them. But what would have happened, if I may be so bold to ask, if they could have flashed forward and seen ten years into their love? Would they have reacted the same way? Do you think there is one single person on this Earth that actually thinks they would have been so rash had they flashed forward and seen the “peeing with the door open and no longer giving a fuck” phase of the relationship? Jesus, Romeo and Juliette are the old world version of those dumb people who get drunk in Vegas, meet someone, and marry them all in the same day.

And they were kids. Stupid, young, hormonal kids. More intent on proving their parents wrong than actually sticking around long enough to see if they would get along, post-coitus, theirs is a hasty, tragic, and easily avoidable fate. And you know what else, Shakespeare did not write it as the be-all, end-all love story of all time. His point was to show the hasty decision-making of children, and how putting rules in place is more likely to drive someone to betray said rules. But instead, people seemed to mistake the point of the story, and now, for years, kids have emulated that love. No, seriously, tons of them have.  Just Google it, honestly. It’s quite sad.

So why, for years now, have woman been saying they need to find their Romeo? Anytime a woman says that, or puts it on Facebook, or makes that reference in a movie, I cringe, and I think I am the normal one. People who think Romeo and Juliette is a love story mustn’t have even read the intro, where even it declares itself a tragedy.

One day, we will look back on this love and laugh at how silly it was. Oh wait, no we won’t, because we will be dead. Awesome. That’ll teach our parents.

So now, I will offer woman up an alternative. Drop the ‘Romeo’ title. Though the book was stunning, people don’t quite understand why it is stunning, and they seem to think that weird, lustful weekend these kids shared as the most romantic relationship ever, which it clearly is not. You want to know the most romantic couple ever? 

Carl and Ellie from the movie Up. Ladies, you want to be loved and adored for the entirety of your lives, and even long after you pass on, by just one man? Carl from Up is about as sweet and enamored as any man I have ever seen in cinema, and yet, the love they share is shown in under ten minutes. Long to be with a guy like Carl. Or even Wall-E. Not Romeo. Banging a young girl and then dying with her over a misunderstanding is about as romantic as a donkey punch.

The love story in UP was about as moving as any film, animated or not, has the right to be.

And on a closing note, please do not mistake this as an anti-Shakespeare piece. I LOVE the story of Romeo and Juliette and think that Shakespeare was a God with words (Iambic pentameter in the house, YO!) so my issues lay not with him at all. No, this is an anti-you piece. He didn’t write it incorrectly. It was you who misunderstood it. But in the same breath, please don’t mistake this as an anti-you piece, even though I just said it was, because what you and I had was so special, we should have killed ourselves.

Yup. I went there.

This is why I hate theater. Killing yourself wasn’t dramatic enough? You also need to bend yourself at a 90-degree angle? Also, your foot is terrifying.