Tag Archives: walmart

Paris, the Walmart of Love?

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Des Arts Bridge

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.

Love Locks

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.

Love Locks of Paris

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).

Lost key

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.

Big Love Locks

6.  DO make sure your lock has a good view.  After all, it is for eternity…or until the next bolt cutter comes around.

Love Locks on Des Arts Bridge

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

Pretty in Pink…and Camo?

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Last weekend, I made a fatal mistake.  I uttered, out loud, the words “I’m going to town”.  Now, let me explain something.  When you live in the country (as I have found myself), you must frequently “go to town” to pick up groceries, pharmaceuticals, Dolce Vita shoes… you know, the necessities.

Unfortunately on this particular occasion, my husband, in a rare respite from ‘husband acquired deafness’ (aka HAD), heard my statement and responded:  “Oh good, can you pick something up for me?” (ugh), “At Walmart” (double ugh), “In the sporting goods section”(ok, that’s just plain cruel!).

But, being a good wife (hold snickers, please) I acquiesced with the minimal amount of spousal complaining.

So, a few hours later, there I was roaming around and around and around noted store, in designated section, trying desperately to locate said item.  And then it occurred to me, Walmart did not intend for me to find this item – and I have proof! But in order to prove my theory I must digress to earlier that afternoon.

An hour before my fated trip to Walmart, I was breezing through a local Department Store.  Not looking for anything in particular, (like that really mattered), when all of a sudden, like a heat projecting beacon, there they were!  The pink suede ballet flats I didn’t know I needed, had no idea I wanted, but clearly, could not live another day without.

So here is the thing, if Walmart really wanted for people like me – the outdoorsy challenged – to find things in the section featuring those required, rugged accoutrements, they would strategically place in amongst the sleeping bags, flashlights, guns, and camo wear something like, I don’t know, pink suede shoes, bling encrusted earrings, fragrant leather handbags, or soft as a kitten sweaters. I’m just sayin’.

Anyway, the mere thought of it made me smile; right there in front of the kerosene lanterns… so there you have it.