There is a new book out about parenting your child like a Parisienne. I have not read the book, but the reviews talk a lot about how parents here use a stern voice to get their message across and inspire obedience. This is only half true. That stern voice comes with the evil eye, and is backed by a swift smack upside the head. Which is something I’d like to do to a whole whack of people these days who are refusing to use their common sense or basic courtesy.
Recently, lovers have been inspired by somebody from somewhere who had this very romantic, incredibly unique idea of taking a padlock, decorating it with his and his lover’s names and then locking the symbol of their love to a fence, throwing away the key, to rust away for posterity at the bottom of a river bed.
10’s of 1000’s of visitors have caught on to the idea of fixing “love” locks on to the bridges and monuments of Paris. Which is cute. But not really. There is a big debate about the practice these days. For starters, the locals find it ugly and are particularly dismayed by those who tie bits of trash to their locks to make them stand out. A torn bit of garbage to highlight one’s symbol of love? It boggles the mind and the people who live here don’t particularly appreciate you leaving a permanent trace on their city. I’ve heard it being compared to acting like male dogs marking their territory. Romantic, n’est-ce pas?
But now the issue goes beyond what people like or do not like. The locks are destroying the bridges. Even worse, some egotistical jerks have decided their love should stand out and they are attaching the locks to antique, ornate fences and even signed works of art on the Pont Alexandre III. What ignorant, self-absorbed jerks think that it is ok to tag public property that is so beautiful, even taggers do not consider the site to be fair game? There is, today, a gorgeously crafted, bronze crab on that very bridge, with tacky, rusting locks attached to its leg. Non merci!
There are a lot of locks on several bridges now and I have even heard they adorn the Eiffel Tower. People are putting locks on top of locks. Locks, of course, are made of metal and metal is a becoming a valuable commodity these days, so now, some savvy metal collectors are coming along, cutting out entire chucks of the fences to collect the “love” locks and melt them down to be sold as scrap. Which is Paris poetry at its best, a symbol of love ending up in the junk yard. Almost as good as a slap up side the head…. BAFFfff
Everyone; STOP putting locks on the bridges of Paris. As an alternative, I propose a pair of handcuffs… seriously. Never mind locking a symbol of your love in some far off city. What could be sexier than chaining your special someone directly to you? The French jeweler Dinh Van has the perfect pair that can be worn all day, everyday, with a model for men and women so you can even have a matching pair. The perfect symbol of your love and a memory of Paris that is sure to melt hearts without destroying our bridges, or risking the ire of a French Mom.