I know there are desperate people in the world, seeking advice on how to live their lives. Dear Abby, Oprah, and Mr. Blue (oh, how I do miss Mr. Blue!) are only a few examples of how authority figures have hundreds, even thousands of people seeking their counsel. I have absolutely no issue with this, nor really a comment to voice. Find help where you can.
But there are some who don’t quite know where to turn. When she was younger, my wife Janice worked as a receptionist at a television station. On her first day she was told job was to "cull the real calls from the crazies". She was confused by those instructions until she fielded a call on her first day from a woman who had burned her hand and wanted to talk to Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman for help.
I suppose I have less of a problem with asking for a fictional character than with the choice of fictional character – wouldn’t she rather talk to Dr. Ross or Dr. Carter? Or even the guys from MASH? Someone with a passing knowledge of modern medicine at least? Not to knock Dr. Quinn – I’ve met Jane Seymour and she’s absolutely lovely. But seriously!
Which, in a roundabout way, brings us to the topic of people writing letters to Juliet. It’s been happening for several hundred years. The lovelorn, for the most part, writing to her for help. Two authors complied a book of letters written to Juliet in Verona, and the answers sent by the club set up just for that purpose. This was the book Letters To Juliet, which spawned the film of the same name. Again, kudos.
What I cannot for the life of me fathom is this – why are these people writing to Juliet? Why go to her of all people for help?
There are three distinct problems with their choice of advisor, which I will list in ascending order:
1 - She is a fictional character.
2 - She’s a dead fictional character.
3 - Seeing how she’s dead because of her love-life, why would anyone want her advice in the first place? Her love affair didn’t go so well.
So there it is, my frustration with people not thinking through their need for a guide in life. I have less trouble with Linus writing to the Great Pumpkin than I do with people writing to a fictional dead fourteen year-old.
I mean, really – who asks love advice from a fourteen year-old?