Romeo Is A Wuss

I know that it’s unsporting of me to trash one of classic literature’s golden boys.

Pardon me Mr. Shakespeare and all Shakespeareans. I do not fully intend to lambaste Romeo Montague, but I fully intend to talk about what he represented and still represents in my life.

What brought my highly malevolent brain into churning towards the unsuspecting tragic hero of the classic tale of star-crossed lovers? I blame it fate that made me accidentally stumble upon the trailer of the new version coming to cinemas soon. This version stars Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) as Juliet, Douglas Booth (Great Expectations) as Romeo, Paul Giamatti (Sideways) as Friar Laurence, Damian Lewis (Homeland) as Lord Capulet and Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl) as Tybalt among others.  [To watch the trailer, click HERE.)

As usual, I find myself torn between putting it on my “To Watch” list or not. My hesitation stems from the fact that this tale had been used and abused since it was created and dramatized in the 16th century. Haven’t we had enough of the young love/stupid love theme yet? The whole unfortunate love between the perfect, youthful Romeo and Juliet chafes a lot now that age and maturity had made these eyes a lot less rose-colored.

The ever-famous balcony scene in Act 2.
The ever-famous balcony scene in Act 2.

But before I go full throttle, let me establish the fact that I used to fantasize on finding my very own Romeo – the epitome of all that is romantic and swoon-worthy love. However, I would forgo the whole whining “Romeo . . . Oh Romeo! Where art thou my Romeo?” and just stick with the awful truth. 

William Shakespeare‘s golden boy wrought a lot of girlish dreams, wistful sighs and delicious shivers running through me since I started thinking that boys are not just annoying creatures all the time. But after getting burned by ending up with what I thought to be my Romeos, I stopped and thought . . . 

Why should I always reach for a Romeo when all I get are heartaches – enough to make me be more cynical than I already am? Why not aim for someone different . . . someone wicked and would probably be my very own Christian Grey? Someone like a Tybalt perhaps?

Laughable but lip-smacking true. 

The Romeos of my life turned out to be all frogs, all of them wusses – a lamentable thing really. Perhaps the hero of my currently non-existent love life is just wrapped inside a villainous persona, waiting for me to unravel it. Oh, I’m no Juliet to aspire for someone Romeo-ish. I’m more of a Portia with a little dash of Viola minus the cross-dressing. Also, I’m not saying I have my sights zeroed in on someone right now, but the possibility of that happening is somehow more palatable than meeting up with another pseudo-Romeo, who is a complete wuss and wouldn’t be a complimentary half to the Alpha side of me.

It’s hard enough to actually graduate from the instant initial physical attraction and move toward the next steps in the successful dating cycle.

Most guys I’ve encountered were more comfortable putting me on the friend zone rather than pursuing a romantic relationship. A whopping 80% of them ended up as a friend probably because of my personality, which I have no intention of curbing just to get the guy. It would be pretentious and highly dishonest – things that are not ideal to build a solid foundation with. 

Anyway, if they think that I am good as a friend, there’s definitely nothing wrong with me, right? It’s just that I unintentionally put off a signal that I wouldn’t be malleable or even partially submissive – a total man repellent.  Those two traits are what guys here in my country (and culture) look for in a potential partner – the ideal wifely traits that are generally thought of but never openly discussed about.

I am neither of those, so hurray for me! I won’t be a doormat in the relationship and I refuse to be . . . ever. 

It’s confounding that after all these years, the elusive “perfect” Romeo still hounds me. But now, the promise of a Tybalt turning out to be the prince keeps me on my toes. I’m probably spoiled rotten by the idea of the cursed “Beast” character in La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and the Beast) turning out to be a redeemed prince who gets the girl – a happily-ever-after sans the magical stuff and a better alternative to the lover’s suicide in Romeo and Juliet.

Since I’m far from being conventional, that idea seems more exciting. It puts things in perspective that another woman’s Tybalt might be my Romeo waiting to happen. Hmm . . . 


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