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Sad attempt at American romance

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There's a common sentiment among American women - romance and chivalry - both are dead! Buried many years ago, along with many dating customs of the past where men and women were forced to actually communicate with each other via spoken words and gestures, not through FB or text messages.

I don't consider myself a demanding female, but I don't like this modern form of "romance," where after a meeting a man will text something like - "Gr8 date." This is just a massive pet peeve of mine. If someone can't take the time to type two extra letters and form the word "Great" rather than using the letter "8", it somehow rubs me the wrong way. I know it's a very small thing, but we all have negative triggers in the opposite sex, and this is one of mine. :) I like words. Good ones are like vitamins for me, and I write a lot of them here in this blog, as you know.


In San Antonio, I came across this tragic scene. This is an American attempt at the famous love locks you see hanging all over European and Russian bridges. I rarely see them in the U.S., and what a negative reaction this stirred in me! No creativity or artistry with the locks. In fact, they look like chains, and being enslaved is not my idea of love. So, Russians and Europeans - you are far superior to Americans when it comes to creativity with these locks. Let's take a look at photographic evidence to support my thesis. :)

1. One of my favorite spots in Moscow - the Bridge of Kisses. Beautiful in the dead of winter, with huge ice blocks covering the river, snowy landscapes, and glowing brides in their white furs being carried up the steps by adoring grooms. Somehow the colorful locks are stunning contrasts to the expressionless, grey sky that often looms over Moscow during this season. Here the most precious moments in life are on display for all to see - a snapshot in time where two people are in complete peace and harmony. I would hope that wedding days embody these emotions for most people. I can't say, because I've never been married and don't envision it for me at anytime in the future.

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2.  I'm quite traditional with dating, and am more aligned with the old school thinking that anything worthwhile takes time, nurturing and a lot patience to grow. That's why I really like the symbolism of the tree for the hanging locks in Moscow.

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3. Novgorod, Russia. Small messages are written on a lot of these locks, and I always look at them and wonder what happened to the people? Were they teenage lovers who have long since parted ways, did the relationship turn sour?, are they married, divorced...? The present day situation of these human relations is irrelevant - the locks remain forever, unless someone takes the time to cut them off after a break-up, and I doubt many people do.


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4. In the city of brides - Ivanovo, Russia. March 2015. Simple and elegant, with some slight rustic charm thrown in. :) I recently read an article that Paris is now burdened by all of the locks hanging from bridges, and officials issued the harsh statement that "these romantic gestures cause long-term heritage degradation and danger to visitors." It sounds very dramatic, yet Parisian authorities began cutting many locks off the bridges in February, after one of them collapsed due to the weight of the love symbols. Many couples were concerned about what would happen to the locks after they were removed, and Parisian authorities proposed some type of art auction...it's a strange idea in my view.

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In Berlin, you can now be fined for putting a love lock on a bridge. The strict measures were implemented after rust began forming on many structures. I'm ambivalent about these love locks, and really don't view them as romantic. There's something scary about the concept of being "locked" or "chained," it's like the kiss of death for a free spirit like me. :) When I visit cities around the globe, I find romance in ferris wheels. I love them! You can view things from a different angle, while simultaneously being nestled in a tiny, private space with a man. For a brief moment you stop at the top, at the apex of the circle, and it feels as if you're floating above all the worries and chaos below...in your own tiny bubble, sheltered from everything but each other.

5. Abandoned ferris wheel in Portland, Maine. December 2012.

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6. And my favorite of all the wheels I've visited around the world - the Millennium Wheel in London, at sunset. Yep, pure romance for me. :))

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How do you feel about these love locks? I fear romance is really dead in today's dating world, and I can't understand modern relationships. Yet I still have hope that romance lives in some people. That it occasionally manifests itself in the exact moment a person needs it, in a way only a lover who knows you intimately on the inside can understand that the particular act will be meaningful and uplifting only to you, yet exactly what you need at that precise moment in time...


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( 56 comments — Leave a comment )
aavenger
Apr. 26th, 2016 01:56 pm (UTC)
Welcome to the L33T :)))

What about locks... I would envision way more romantic for couples' names engraved on spaceships' bodies, should they donate wedding money to science, space exploration - and progress of the humankind :)))

Edited at 2016-04-26 01:56 pm (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Apr. 26th, 2016 02:43 pm (UTC)
What should we do with these locks that are removed from the bridges? Throw them in a trash bin? It seems very heartless. :)) Put them on a future space flight so beings in far off lands can observe the odd behaviors of Earthlings? :)) I've learned to "never say never," so if I ever get married, the place would look like this. A lovely bride I encountered somewhere in Wyoming...because I love old, rustic barns and hay. :)) Of course, animals must be removed days in advance to prevent unpleasant aromas at the ceremony! :) But I can't imagine it honestly, and there are many other ways I can think to spend thousands of dollars...btw, I think most people in the U.S. spend around $10,000 - $15,000 on weddings, and a lot of people spend quadruple that...to each their own. :))

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Edited at 2016-04-26 02:44 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - aavenger - Apr. 26th, 2016 02:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
perycalypsis
Apr. 26th, 2016 02:09 pm (UTC)
We are talking the style, not the event?
In my old lovelace days I have cast off women for a stain on their tights, or for one foolish word, or for not cleaning their teeth, and now I forgive everything.
peacetraveler22
Apr. 26th, 2016 02:35 pm (UTC)
Re: We are talking the style, not the event?
If a man is charming and well-behaved at the first meeting, of course I would not discard him over something as mundane as a text message. :)) I'm not so ruthless. But if a man is rude, overly arrogant, or tries to stick his hand down my pants after only one conversation...yes, these are ground for immediate dismissal in my view. :))
pin_gwin
Apr. 26th, 2016 02:51 pm (UTC)
Guys do not read Ivanhoe now days.... but knighthood is a value forever. Let them go jerking.

peacetraveler22
Apr. 26th, 2016 02:56 pm (UTC)
Well, some do. :) The most thoughtful guy I know is actually quite young. In his mid 20's, but we are not romantically involved. He's definitely an exception though.
(no subject) - pin_gwin - Apr. 26th, 2016 03:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Apr. 26th, 2016 03:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pin_gwin - Apr. 26th, 2016 03:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Apr. 26th, 2016 03:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - pin_gwin - Apr. 26th, 2016 03:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Apr. 26th, 2016 03:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
andrey_kaminsky
Apr. 26th, 2016 03:50 pm (UTC)
Ну как тут удержаться? Ну невозможно просто!
Perceive all these locks simply as a manifestation of consumerism. People have more money to spend, they spend on the wedding dress and the locks, etc, it's casual. True love has been, be and will be the destiny of few. The rest are satisfied whith sorta deal.
peacetraveler22
Apr. 26th, 2016 04:04 pm (UTC)
Re: Ну как тут удержаться? Ну невозможно просто!
This is a rather pessimistic view, but I see no point in settling when it comes to relationships. I'd rather be alone than do it...just one of the reasons I'm eternally single.
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peacetraveler22
Apr. 26th, 2016 05:54 pm (UTC)
A man can still treat a woman as equal, and be romantic at the same time. :)) It is possible, I've had boyfriends like this in the past. Even people who fight for gender equality understand the unique, and very different attributes, men and women bring to relationships. :) Equality is really about having the same opportunities, at least in my mind, nothing more.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Apr. 26th, 2016 09:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Apr. 26th, 2016 09:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
theodorexxx
Apr. 26th, 2016 08:29 pm (UTC)
Probably there is a correlation between lock size and penis size
peacetraveler22
Apr. 26th, 2016 08:40 pm (UTC)
What are you implying? That Russisn men are better endowed than Americans? :) These American locks are very small.
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Apr. 26th, 2016 09:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Apr. 26th, 2016 09:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
dkfl
Apr. 27th, 2016 06:14 am (UTC)

I think text messaging is good. Brains have more chances to choose a proper partner. Words and the manner of writing says for itself.

peacetraveler22
Apr. 27th, 2016 01:20 pm (UTC)
Text messaging is fine for basic things like "pick up milk at the store after work", or "good morning," but not as a main means of communication. This is just a personal preference. And I don't feel the need to check-in with someone constantly throughout the day. It's extremely annoying to get ongoing message of "what are you doing"? I do the same thing almost every day of the week. Sit at my desk and work...:)
(no subject) - peterkaymd - Apr. 28th, 2016 10:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Apr. 29th, 2016 10:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peterkaymd - Apr. 29th, 2016 01:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - peterkaymd - Apr. 29th, 2016 03:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
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mystery_86
Apr. 27th, 2016 11:43 am (UTC)
As for me, I don`t understand this tradition to hang locks on the bridges and throw the key away in the water. The lock doesn`t mean at all that the couple will live happily ever after. I have friends who put the locks and later got divorced. But I doubt that they removed their locks from the bridge.

Nevertheless, I think the idea with the love trees is wonderful and much better than bridges bending under the weight of hundreds of locks which can be dangerous. I love visiting this love bridge in Moscow - it is so nice and charming!
peacetraveler22
Apr. 27th, 2016 01:22 pm (UTC)
I was so happy my friend took me to that bridge in Moscow. On the day we visited, there were three brides there. It was heartwarming to see them with their grooms and families. The trees for the lock is really nice, kudos to whoever thought of the idea. :)
moskitow
Apr. 27th, 2016 01:08 pm (UTC)
From what I understand about these locks ordeal is that some bridges can't sustain the weight of all the extra metal. I think I've heard that in France they are cutting them off of bridges (not sure where I've heard it). I don't like the look of it and the whole tradition of marking objects with signs, locks, coins.....doesn't feel romantic to me.
Being married before I understand it as a form of formal commitment. In my case it was a part of legal procedures in order for me to live in America.
I see lots of romance around me. When I was actively dating I've seen good guys. There are lot of frustrated ones (the same thing with women, I'm sure) but they are all there! You can't be romantic with just anybody, but when you know a person better then it's natural to go romantic places, give flowers, listen to music and to do all romantic things. The hard part is to open up and get from the position of two strangers to get to know each other. Everybody wants to have some guarantees first before they start produce romance. Men and women both are waiting for each other to do the first step. They can wait like this forever. So my approach always is: come up with an interesting idea of a date and then see what happens. Usually it generates some positive energy in response.
peacetraveler22
Apr. 27th, 2016 01:26 pm (UTC)
Absolutely marriage is a consideration for me if I fall in love with a foreigner, as it will be the easiest and most efficient way to bring him to the USA. :) So, there are instances where it's practical. I agree with everything you said. There are definitely good men, and good women out there. You just must be diligent in your search to find one, and I have no motivation. "Men and women both are waiting for each other to do the first step. They can wait like this forever." YES! This is a big problem with me. :)) Because I don't like aggressive, alpha males who have no problem making the first move from friendship to romance. While I'm an outspoken person, I'm shy at first in romantic relationships, and have never made the first move. This is not a good quality, by the way. I'm trying to be more open...:))
o_goncho
Apr. 27th, 2016 02:11 pm (UTC)
padlocks r lit af, im getting 1 2nite haha
peacetraveler22
Apr. 27th, 2016 02:12 pm (UTC)
:)) Actually, I understood this text lingo. There was no need to run to google to decipher it. Miracles do happen! :))
anna_sollanna
Apr. 27th, 2016 02:34 pm (UTC)
> How do you feel about these love locks?
I have expressed my opinion of them many times, I think first they should be allowed to be put only in special places, not to disfigure bridges, grates etc.
> In Berlin, you can now be fined for putting a love lock on a bridge.
Glad to hear it, maybe this will spread all over the world.
> I find romance in ferris wheels.
Well, for me there may be a kind of romance in them but for me the most romantic things are sunsets, candles and different lights in the darkness.
> I fear romance is really dead in today's dating world, and I can't understand modern relationships. Yet I still have hope that romance lives in some people.
IMHO the main problem with romance is that both people should be in the same romantic mood for a romantic date. But if a girl complains to her boyfriend that they lack romance in their life and then he suddenly decides to arrange a "romantic surprise" without any preliminary notifications or inclinations, and just that evening she is busy with her homework or some other things what should she do? Decline a date and finish everything planned? Go and worry during the whole evening about things he has to do after returning home? It's a big problem IMHO. The same situation is with women. How often girls prepare "romantic supper" to their men without thinking how busy may the men be on this day and how late and tired may they return from work. Of course, in such a situation it is very difficult for men to appreciate all the efforts spent by their girls and girls become angry at them...
peacetraveler22
Apr. 27th, 2016 03:00 pm (UTC)
You make valid points. :) But if you communicate well with your partner he/she should understand and know when you're too busy with life chores or responsibilities to go on some type of romantic excursion. And, relationships in general, are a lot of work. Even good ones. There are always actions and words that are sometimes misinterpreted, or taken wrongly, by either party. This results in hurt feelings and anger...eternal dilemmas posed by biology and different brain wiring in the sexes. :)) But there are many delights in love also...:))
biakishev
Apr. 28th, 2016 09:09 pm (UTC)
I like words too, I prefer a live phone call over texting any time of the day. :)

I wouldn't be so harsh about American locks. You never know what is behind them. In Russia it is just a tradition that often is followed by a divorce (statistics is pretty grim). While that small US lock on a wire fence might be a beautiful life long relationship.
peacetraveler22
Apr. 29th, 2016 10:40 am (UTC)
Divorce is grim everywhere, unfortunately. Sure, many of those locks probably symbolize a love that is pure and strong. Not only at the moment the lock was placed on a bridge or fence, but for eternity, with the tale of the romance passed down in family stories from generation to generation...Such romances are still possible, even in today's jaded world. I truly believe it. :)
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