or thoughts on the current state of Romeo and Juliet’s love story…
– MARTY! … MARTY! … MARTY!
A giggle starts to creep up on me.
– COME OUT, MARTY!
-From where? – I barely whisper to myself, giggling and looking at my husband on the other side of the bed to share the laugh. He, however, doesn’t seem to have acknowledged what was happening in the back yard just outside our window.
-MARTY! MARTY! – shouts the voice a few more times allowing my imagination to drift to a scenario where the voice was walking his dog and got him off the leash. The dog, feeling empowered by the sudden lack of restraint, decided to run for it and hide in the darkness. I suddenly feel sorry for the man, starting to imagine how I’d feel if I lost my dog in the middle of the night. Here’s a hint – scared, terrified and desperate.
– MARGARITA! …MARGY!
Aaaa! So it’s not a dog he was looking for. It was a woman, who seems to live in my building. She must have given the boot to that poor guy shouting in the back. And all of a sudden the story gets a sharp turn in a different direction. It is not a sad one and I am not feeling sympathetic, but rather curious and wide awake. I am so intrigued that almost jump to the kitchen to make popcorns, open the blinds and seat myself comfortably. But you know that this is too much for 3 a.m. so I decide to lay low and listen to what is about to follow, cause I’m a sucker for a good old love story.
– MARGY! … DON’T TURN THE LIGHTS OFF, MARGY! … MARGARITA!, goes the voice again in a highly theatrical manner.
This gets me thinking again – could that be for real? Could this simply be a rehearsal for a play by an actor who is trying to fight his stage fright, or maybe even get into the character better and therefore decided to humiliate himself publicly?
Then a voice in my head goes on to contemplate on the matter of love and the grand gesture. Every woman dreams to find a man, who would be willing to sing under her balcony, shower her with love and flowers every day and help her with the household chores because this is what fairy tales taught us to expect (less the last one, which is more of a real-life issue). It is all good but nowadays prince charming is either romantic and weak or brave and manly. Rarely both and often just a little bit of everything, which means never really enough of anything. What is more, today this romantic grand gesture is considered ( totally a social issue) a sign of weakness and therefore many women not only don’t dream about it, they run from it because it comes with the weak and soft prince.
Don’t get me wrong, women still like the grand gesture and hope to receive it, but would rather if it comes from an undesirable candidate, because they don’t want to see the love of their life, the strong man, who will take care of them, humiliated like that. May be that is why I married to someone, who doesn’t give me flowers ( he hates the flower-industry and thinks it’s absurd that you pay a ridiculous amount of money to buy a dying plant), but who will, in situations that make me uncomfortable, step into either help me or fill-in for me ( like paying the bills or dealing with noisy neighbours). *
And now that I have a son I am even more convinced of this concept. I would hate for him to ever get in the position of the shouting guy. What I want for him is to be gentle and fair to women, but not having to beg, making the grand gesture by humiliating himself. I would want him to know a proper way to say I’m sorry, without becoming the laughing stock of the town, to be romantic but not too much that it becomes cheesy and is considered unmanly and to clean after himself, but not be in service to some pretty girl, who’s only taking advantage of his good heart and running away with the more rough prince in the end.
And so I see that it is not romance that is dead. It just needs a different way to manifest itself to reflect the change in society. And may be (I’m going to drop the bomb here) we need some new fairy tales to learn from in order to be able to have the romance without the humiliation. Because nowadays it seems to me that it’s more about the little things than the grand gesture.
Let me know if you share my perspective. Have you had any similar experiences and how you felt (boys/ men or girls/women)?
P.S. Unfortunately I don’t know how the story between the shouting guy and Margarita ended. He stopped shouting and I think she came down to talk to him, because not long after I heard the quiet voices of a man and a woman having a conversation, but couldn’t make out what they were saying.
* When he proposed he did it in a very well-thought way, which melted my heart. And the fact that it happened on the first day that I was feeling physically well / healthy after being ill for 3 days in a row was even more of a grand gesture. That’s because even though I was walking around the house in my knickers and my hair all messy, in other words, not a picture-perfect moment, he still made me feel beautiful and loved <3