Passerelle Leopold-Sedar-Senghor, the footbridge from the Musée d’Orsay to the Tuileries gardens, is a popular place for love padlocks or cadenas d’amour, as the French call them. Hundreds of them—some heart-shaped, some with painted names or Sharpied initials, some blank, generic Master locks—hang from the bridge’s railing.
I love the thought behind this gesture. I see the romantic movie playing in my mind (preferably with subtitles) of two people declaring everlasting love to one another, locking themselves together, promising forever on that bridge with that view, and tossing the kiss-wished key into the river.
When I last crossed the bridge, I noticed the broken railing in this picture. Immediately, I imagined the worst. A breakup, one so catastrophic, that one or both cut their cadenas d’amour free and sent it sailing into the Seine. Perhaps not. Perhaps it was scrap metal thieves, as The Telegraph suggested.
Or, perhaps Kibble, smiley face (What does that even mean? What is a Kibble?) was onto something with the combination lock. Instead of keys, partners must only remember a set of numbers—perhaps their anniversary. Should they ever stop being the right combo, they’d simply punch in the numbers that connected them in the first place to undo things. Imagine if every ex cut her love lock, the Passerelle Leopold-Sedar-Senghor would be holding on by a thread.
Monday morning, back from vacation, my colleague happened to be in the elevator at the same time.
“Nice weekend?” He asked.
“Oh yeah,” I said. “My friends got engaged.”
“No kidding? Mine got divorced,” he said, getting off on the floor below mine.
Next time Melinda and I go to Paris, I think I might bring a padlock along. A purple one with AD + MH etched inside a heart. We can decide if we want a key or a combination lock another day. It just has to be weatherproof, indestructible. I want it to have a chance of lasting at least as long as we do.