Des Arts Bridge
After reading recently how we Americans waste too much time playing video games and social networking, I decided to step away from the Candy Crush, with my hands visible at all times, long enough to attempt to hash out an article. The truth is, I have been procrastinating (i.e. trying to beat the next level) on writing this particular post. You see, I love Paris (for proof, go here, here and here!).-– even with all the escargot eating (although the Nutella crepe eating ain’t half bad), having to bag my own groceries (it is good to be useful, even when you are the one paying the money), the one waiter haughtily thinking it necessary to inform Teen Steak Tartar was in fact ‘raw meat’ (possibly Teen’s quip “oh, just slap it on the grill, then” was not well timed), Parisians mostly preferring kids be seen and not heard (ok, secretly, I envied that part – see aforementioned quip). Nonetheless, I love Paris in all its’ facets (especially the Parisian Grandma who “photo-bombed” Teen & Pre-Teen) which is why it pains me to offer this slight criticism of the beautiful city.
Last year on Valentine’s Day, I shared a discovery made during a trip to Italy concerning the Love Locks (We Got to Let Love Rule). In essence, it is the practice of “locking your love” with a padlock onto a romantic bridge and throwing the key into the river below, thus sealing your everlasting love. (For more information on rules of engagement and origins of the Love Lock ritual, go here!).
Therefore, it was no surprise to again see Love Locks adorning bridges during a subsequent trip to Paris – all those bridges over the River Seine to choose from! However, coming upon the Love Lock operation on the Des Arts Bridge felt like (I am sorry to say) the Walmart of Love (even though it is completely criminal and not a little bit gross to put those two words together in a sentence).
The whole deal is becoming like a one-stop shopping for the love masses (with a better dress code). Locks can be purchased for a discounted price from dueling street vendors right there on the bridge (after waiting in line, of course). And no longer is the ritual just for the hopeless romantics, but all are welcome – bffs, mom’s and daughters, people who just met for the first time over a latte. The amount of locks weighing down the bridge is, in a word, outrageous! Observe. (I swear that really isn’t Pre-Teen kicking the Locks of Love, honest.)
(Video by Teen)
Well, right then and there, Teen, Pre-Teen and I decided if Love Locks were going to be taken to this extreme, clearly, some guidelines needed to be established – a list of DO’s and DON’Ts as it were. I think you will see what I mean…
Here are 6 of our suggestions!
1. DON’T use a combination lock to express your devotion. A key lock says forever, a combo lock says 6 months, tops.
2. DON’T lock your love onto another’s lock. Seriously, do you really want the success of your relationship hinged on the backs of several others? That is like depending on Bieber to stop getting arrested and taking up valuable news time.
3. DO make sure your key, when thrown, actually makes it into the water (Teen and Pre-Teen wanted to help out this unfortunate, doomed couple by scooting their key over the edge and into the river, but I told them you can’t mess with providence).
4. DON’T accidentally throw your car, home or hotel keys into the water instead of the keys to your Love Lock – clearly an omen no relationship could survive.
5. DO, if you are locking your love to a bridge in celebration of a momentous event or anniversary, get the largest lock you can find – because, yes indeed, size matters.
6. DO make sure your lock has a good view. After all, it is for eternity…or until the next bolt cutter comes around.
In the wonderful words of Lenny Kravitz – “We Got to Let Love Rule“…
Only, maybe, with a few guidelines – just to keep the beautiful ritual from becoming any more Walmart-esque, like people showing up in pajamas, or worse yet, locking their love amidst a parade of body parts never meant to see the light of day.
That rumble you hear is Napoleon turning over in his (very large/could fit 20 men) tomb
Happy Valentines Day!
More Paris Posts:
A Paris Perspective: The Monuments
A Paris Perspective: The City
A Paris Perspective: The River and Bridges
More Travel Posts:
Sweet Spot Travels