“And, I pray thee now, tell me, for which of my bad parts did thou first fall in love with me?”

This exerpt comes from Much Ado About Nothing, Act VI, Scene II which means more than a witty Shakespearean comedy but a former dramatic production I participated in as a high school sophomore. The dialogue is an exerpt from the humorous and witty banter between eventual lovers Senor Benedict and Lady Beatrice. Unlikely yet likely lovers engaged in a battle of wit and avoidance of each other until both fall hopeflessfly in love.

But an exploration into the merits of Shakespearean comedy and the two protagonists aren’t my goal. I’m focusing on the actual line, ” And, I pray thee now, tell me, for which of my bad parts did thou first fall in love with me?” This line transported me to other scenes within my own life. We all have our good qualities and less than admirable qualities all of which enter into a dating relationship. I’m not advocating for tolerance of bad behavior nor avoidance of growth and maturation beyond bad behavior and poor character. Virtue should be pursued both individuals.

Most romantic comedies don’t highlight the nitty, gritty less than cinematically pleasing moments of an ordinary yet extraordinary love story that makes a lifetime not a fleeting screen moment. When I recollected Shakespeare’s line about loving all your bad parts, I didn’t mean you or I are bad, but those aspects of ourselves that illuminate our weakness, fragility, and mortality. The aspects of ourselves we keep private and hidden either to protect ourselves from harm or out of embarrassment. But when you enter into an intimate relationship, at some point in time, the cat is out of the bag. Then both individuals are faced with a choice to flee or not. To choose each other or not.

Obviously, the title of my blog is Chronically Catholic for various reasons one highlighting young adult life with chronic illness. To the outside world, I’m a vivacious, healthy, accomplished, and somewhat fearsome sight to behold and interact with. Yes, I am all that, but the wold rarely witnesses the me behind closed doors. When a man witnesses the me behind closed doors, he must choose to stay or flee. Most have fled for various reasons, and it’s just as well for their sake and mine.

Yes, he must chose me not only at the height of my glory and prestige but at the height of my suffering and weakness. He must chose me in my moments of intellectual greatness and my moments of intellectual demise. Either we both choose to fall to our knees together in moments of struggle or we chose to turn inward and cower.  You can’t peiecemeal a person. You can try certainly but the end result is less than helpful or lasting. Relationships challenge and define aspects of a person. Do you fight or flee? Choose or abuse?  Suffer with or suffer without? Love all or love some? Take the narrow road or not? Am I a tool or a person?




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