On a spring day almost two and a half years ago, I started this blog in preparation for my trip to Verona, Italy. This past summer, a movie came out featuring my beloved city and sharing with the world a story about Romeo's Juliet that I never heard of while I was there: for almost longer than people can remember, people from around the world have been writing letters to Juliet and asking her for advice. For at least the last 70 years, she has been writing back (or at least her secretaries have been on her behalf).
Not going to lie, I'm not the hugest fan of Romeo & Juliet, but I think that's largely due to the fact that the only time I've read it, I was 14 and looking at the situation through cynical 21st-century eyes. I mean, come on. Over the course of four days, a 16-year old and a 12-year old fall in love, get married, and end up committing suicide almost accidentally? Seriously?
But the story is everywhere in Verona and during my six weeks there, I at least learned to appreciate the spirit of the story. So upon seeing the movie and reading the book Letters to Juliet this summer, I decided to embrace the role Juliet has had in my life and I wrote her a letter of my own the day before my 22nd birthday asking her about patience.
Today, my mom came up to my room telling me that I had gotten a letter from Verona, Italy in the mail. My jaw almost hit the floor.
A short, handwritten letter is now laying in its envelope on my desk. Not very long, but still very thoughtful and I'm just still in awe that it's actually here. I don't know if I was expecting some sort of automated, fill-in-the-recipient's-name-here sort of thing, but what I have is great. Not to mention, she offered some great advice and a fresh perspective. Is it hokey? A little bit, but I'll take it. Maybe I wasn't too fond of Juliet when I first read her story, but maybe it's time that I give the play a second chance after all these years.
Me and the Juliet statue that stands outside the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre on Navy Pier, a gift from the City of Verona. I also have a picture with her twin that stands under the "Juliet Balcony" in Italy.