Courtly Love

By JEREMY DOUYLLIEZ

Contributing Writer 

It’s medieval Europe and I’m a princess. 

You’re a knight who has never spoken to me, but you’ve seen me around the cherry blossoms and decided you’re in love with me.  

At the time, this is incredibly romantic.  

You will, in fact, never speak to me.  

You will probably just stare at me from afar and give lots of poets a reason to keep writing.  

Courtly love is a charming idea, but in reality it’s actually just kind of creepy.  

Thank goodness we grew out of it.  

Oh, wait,  we didn’t. 

Welcome to the digital era where courtly love is back in full swing.  

Today, it has a new name: internet stalking.  

It’s a real thing.  And yes, I’m guilty of it too.  

I recently had the opportunity to see a production of “Equus” at Actor’s Express in Atlanta.  

It was a phenomenal production of one of the greatest pieces of twentieth Century theatre.  

I was enthralled by the performance of the young man who played the character Alan.  

So I got back to my Ipswich home, logged onto Facebook, found him and sent him a message letting him know how much I appreciated his work.  

Yes, I’m a Grade-A Facebook stalker.  I’m not expecting a reply, even though I can see quite plainly that he read my message just 12 minutes after I sent it.  But I’m a victim as well. I could rattle down a list for you of people I know who keep up with me frequently on the web that have nothing to do with me in real life.  

For the sake of sparing people public embarrassment, I won’t list them in this column.  

But I could.  

Just like the princess knows the knight is hiding behind the tree to the left, I know you’re trolling my page.  

We live in a world where technology connects us more and more to each other every day.  

But it appears to me that the more connected we become, the more disconnect we’re actually creating.  

It’s safer to hide behind a screen than to confront each other in real life.  

Courtly love had a place in history.  

Can we put it back there, please?