(Don't Be The) Village Idiot

Dear Julia:
In Wicked Angel, you wrote about two star-crossed lovers who couldn't be together because of other commitments. Well, the same thing is happening to me - I'm in love with my best friend's boyfriend, and he is in love with me! Its just like your book, except that we are still seeing each other in secret. Do you think its possible we will find a happy ending, too?

A reader from Philadelphia.

  OH.MY.GOD. Please tell me you know the difference between fiction and reality! First of all, in Wicked Angel, the so-called commitments were arranged, loveless, and unconsummated - and that was bad enough! Oh man, if you think you are playing the heroine in this story, guess again. No, this is more in line with the village idiot.

Apparently I need to clarify a few things here. Sure, its possible that Mr. X is involved with Someone #1, and then meets Someone #2, and begins to realize that maybe he should never have been with Someone #1 to begin with. It happens - but its how you handle it that counts. Just realizing that you made a wrong choice does not let you off the hook, and it certainly doesn't lessen your commitment to Someone #1!

So you and Romeo discovered a mutual attraction between the two of you. As this is not early 19th century England, I'm imagining all kinds of ways that might have happened, and I'm not liking it. But all right, what's done is done, and you can't sit around waiting for some happy little ending because your life is not an historical novel, and things just don't work that way. First of all, this is your BEST FRIEND we are talking about. I don't care how cute this guy is, or how smart, or how charming - he should have been off limits. Too late for that, obviously, so now, you either have to tell your best friend, or you and Romeo have to stop it immediately. Nope, nothing in between - and ESPECIALLY not secret meetings! And if you aren't willing to give those up (for some reason, I'm pretty sure Romeo is going to whine about it), then you have to sit her down and tell her what you've been doing behind her back.

Yes, you have to tell her. Sometimes, real adults have to tell people they care about that they hurt them or wronged them. We novelists like to think of this as character arc, the grist for the mill, the post in the toastiesÉbut I digress. Maybe you'll get really lucky, and she'll say something like, "I always said if you truly love someone, you have to set them free, so I'm setting you and Romeo free. Kiss-kiss!" But don't hold your breath - its more likely she will say something that cannot be repeated, not even on the internet.

Okay, so you've completely ruined her day, and then what? You and Romeo assess the damage. Assuming he is still around, that is. Was it worth it? And try not to let that niggling little question bother you. You know, the one where you wonder if Romeo will find someone #3, because the more you think about it, the more you start to realize that he sure latched onto Someone #2 fast enough. Yes ma'am, that's some hero, your Romeo.

But hey, I could be wrong - stranger things have happened! Maybe you and Romeo were meant to be, and you just had to go through some stuff first. Maybe Romeo was so fearful of hurting your BEST FRIEND that he couldn't bring himself to tell her, but now that it's out in the open, everything is fine! Best Friend will get over it... believe me, she'll eventually figure out that you did her an enormous favor. And Romeo - being the deep, caring person that he is - will take some time off to think about "you and him," because this has been so emotionally wringing for all of us. And you, the village idiot, will sit all alone in your living room, convincing yourself he's coming back real soon. You know, LM, I think you should switch to children's books for awhile...

Back to Julia's Modern Romance

Love Quote

"... love knows not 'mine' or 'thine';

With separate 'I' and 'thou' free love has done, -

For one is both and both are one in love;

Rich love knows nought of 'thine that is not mine';

Both have the strength and both the length thereof,

Both of us, of the love which makes us one."

Christina Rossetti
(1830 - 1894)
English Poet

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