In the eighth grade my English class had to read Romeo and Juliet. Then for extra credit, Mrs. Snyder made us act out all the parts. Sal Scafarillo was Romeo. As fate would have it, I was Juliet… all the other girls were jealous, but I had a slightly different take. I told Mrs. Snyder that Juliet was an idiot. For starters she falls for the one guy she knows she can’t have, then she blames fate for her own bad decision. Mrs. Snyder explained to me that when fate comes into play choice sometimes goes out the window, and that I would be lucky if I ever experienced that type of true love. At the ripe old age of 13, I was very clear that love, like life, is about making choices. And fate has nothing to do with it. Everyone thinks it’s so romantic, Romeo and Juliet, true love, how sad. If Juliet was stupid enough to fall for the enemy, drink the bottle of poison, and go to sleep in a mausoleum, she deserved whatever she got.
Maybe Romeo and Juliet were fated to be together, but just for a while, and then their time passed. If they could have known that beforehand, maybe it all would have been okay. I told Mrs. Snyder that when I was grown up, I'd take fate into my own hands. I wouldn't let some guy drag me down. Mrs. Snyder said that I'd be lucky if I ever had that kind of passion with someone, and that if I did, we'd be together forever. Even now, I believe that for the most part, love is about choices. It's about putting down the poison and the dagger and making your own happy ending...most of the time. And that sometimes, despite all your best choices and all your best intentions... fate wins anyway.