Zeffirelli’s 1978 film version of Romeo and Juliet was my introduction to Shakespeare.
I was 13 years old (same age as Juliet) and about a month after seeing it, I was an acolyte at the wedding of a family friend. I danced awkwardly with the son of a family friend and fancying him my Romeo, we slipped out of the reception hall to hold hands. After he gave me my first kiss outside of the KC Hall, I knew it was true love and we were now bound to one another forever. I ran back in to my family and since I didn’t have a nurse to send a message to him the next morning, for months I spent evenings combing my hair at my window, imagining he was surely trying to sneak out of his house to come see me. (I practiced acting surprised to see him for when he would finally make it.)
Alas… our paths didn’t cross again until high school. We dated (very) briefly, but the magic was gone. Still, he will always be my first kiss and my first puppy-love.
I had no illusions of love. I had already read Ivanhoe, Le Morte d’Arthur, and an abridgment of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and felt I was sophisticated enough to appreciate the temporary beauty of star-crossed love. Ah me… Imagine my surprise when Dearest, the Great Love of my Life, swept me off my feet as I was pushing forty! For the first time, I finally believe in happily ever after.
How, if at all, has literature shaped your expectations of romance?
Read ~ Write ~ Wander