If You Must Affix a Symbol of Your Love to a Bridge, Here Are Some Better Options

What Women Really Think
June 10 2014 2:04 PM

If You Must Affix a Symbol of Your Love to a Bridge, Here Are Some Better Options

Par7530394
Lovers hang a padlock on the steel bar of the Pont des Arts to symbolize how they are locked together forever, trapped.

Photo by PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images

An alarmist report about a footbridge in Paris that "collapsed" under the weight of the more than 700,000 "love locks" spread rapidly on the Internet this week. The tradition of lovers putting a lock on the Pont des Arts bridge over the Seine—and throwing away the key as a symbol of a lifelong commitment—started a few years ago, and because anything love-related immediately turns into a competitive sport, the railing on the bridge has become completely overwhelmed with padlocks.

Turns out, the story of collapse was way overblown (part of the mesh fencing that is attached to the railing peeled off and fell over, and it's been replaced), but that does not vindicate this asinine ritual. Can there be any creepier symbol of "love" than a locked padlock with the key thrown away? What next? Affixing miniature cages to the Verrazano?

Advertisement

If you find yourself in Paris and feel compelled to ritually attach something to a bridge as a symbol of your love, here are some less hideous and destructive options.

Flowers. As Kim and Kanye have amply demonstrated, a wall of flowers is far better looking than a wall of padlocks. More to the point, flowers die, just like us: You can tie a rose to the bridge and contemplate the inevitable disintegration of your "forever" love, which will happen even if you manage to stay together until death. Then go visit the Catacombs and really round out a day of contemplating mortality, which is a far more Euro-romantic way to spend your time than taking couples selfies over the Seine. 

A lock of your lover's hair. A lock of hair was the symbol of romance in the Victorian era, so why not recapture the magic by tying tufts of human hair to the bridge today? Bonus: The phrase "Love locks" still works!

A wine bottle cork tied to a ribbon. To commemorate how you and your lover actually spent your time in Paris.

A wedding photo. You spent all that money on pictures that will, in all likelihood, be looked at once before heading to that corner in the closet where you store stuff you feel pressure to keep. Surely you can spare one for your public.

Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based writer and DoubleX contributor. She also writes regularly for the Daily Beast, AlterNet, and USA Today. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Uh-Oh. The World’s Oceans Have Broken Their All-Time Heat Record.

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

How to Keep Apple From Sharing Your iPhone Data With the Police

Food

How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

A Simple Way to Keep Apple From Sharing Your iPhone Data With the Police

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
Outward
Sept. 18 2014 4:15 PM Reactions to a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Reveal Transmisogyny
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.