public declaration

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I get all kinds of excited when I discover initials carved into a willow tree, picnic table or sidewalk fence.  It’s romantic, yes, but it’s also a reminder that two people wanted the entire world to know that E+M= ♥.
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My camera swings around my neck when I’m hiking mountains, exploring neighborhoods, or simply trying a new restaurant.  When I spot initials, I have a ‘this is why I lug my camera around’ moment and snap snap snap away at the design.
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I’m smitten with simple gestures to public display affection, but, for all that sentiment, I’ve never left my own mark.  Perhaps more tellingly, it’s never even crossed my mind that I would spend time etching and scratching JP2=♥ .
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But why not?  I suppose the politically correct response is that I don’t want to deface public property or damage natural resources.  The more honest answer, however, is that I’m too busy taking pictures.
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Which makes me wonder: is carving initials into trees and sidewalks and benches a thing of the past?  Has our public declaration of love moved onto Instagram and Facebook, or are there still sweethearts securing sharpies to tell the world they feel?

Have you ever carved your name somewhere?

20 thoughts on “public declaration

  1. Have you seen those locks people attach to leave bridges? It’s the same sentiment and I audibly awe when I pass them. I’ve carved initials into a dock, and written names on a stone wall but both those gents are in the past now. Does that distort the romance?

  2. The second time I met my husband, he spray painted our initials on his bedroom wall. I was a horrified and charmed at the same time. At least we are still together 12+ years on. We haven’t defaced any trees with our initials since though so that first spray painting was not a sign of things to come.

  3. My husband and I are high school sweeties, so I am completely surprised we haven’t ever deface any property to declare our love. I think I might need to change that…hmmm…..where would be the best place???

  4. I love that you used E+M as an example up there 🙂 We’ve never defaced anything either, because I think it’s wrong and I’m a scaredy-cat and don’t want to get caught… we have used a love-lock though, which feels a little more legal and tree-friendly. 🙂

  5. I’ve never carved my name anywhere (mostly because I’d feel sort of guilty since it’s probably not good for whatever landmark I’m altering!) But I do love public displays of affection 🙂 I think it’s adorable!

  6. I never have! In Korea it’s a big thing to “lock up your love” and you find clusters of locks on certain spots on fences during a hike or on bridges. I’ll have to document for ya next time! They are all over Korea. I would be all for carving initials or writing our initials, but my husband is a rule follower through and through & would remind me that’s illegal or damaging nature/ property. But this lock thing. Maybe we will have to get on that!

  7. Okay, I am one of those people that actually choose to not do so for protection of natural resources. With that being said, I agree that it seems as though displays of affection have moved too far towards the digital end of the spectrum.

    My personal feeling, and it may not be a popular one, is that we don’t need to etch our initials into a tree or bench to imprint or demonstrate our feelings for another. Rather, we can do it with a simple smile, an act of love and kindness. In new and unique ways every day. A reminder to myself that I need to do more of just that. Thanks 😉

  8. I’ve never carved my initials into a tree or anything probably because I would feel like I’m defacing it. BUT when I see someone else’s initials, I don’t think, “What vandals!” I think, “Ahh, how sweet.” Declaring love on FB and IG just doesn’t have the same romantic quality as a heart with initials on a tree trunk.

  9. So sweet. YES! Well, my husband did. He carved our initials in a heart into freshly poured concrete in the sidewalk of the first house we lived in. Also he carved our initials on the underside of the concrete counters we made, even if no one will ever see it i thought it was super sweet! 😀

  10. I don’t know if I have…I feel like Chris and I did, but I can’t remember. So I guess we’ll have to do it again. You should start a coffee table book about professions of love like that!

  11. ^^ Baha, Love Brit’s comment there. I haven’t done this, but after reading this post I kind of want to! I’m sure there’s a way to do something like this, something less….digital?…..without defacement. Which gives me something fun to ponder on! Loooveeee these adorable pictures, by the way 🙂

  12. Oh, such lovely photos! I love spotting those little public moments of endearment and have carved many a tree with our initials 🙂 It always makes me feel slightly rebellious, but also it is so necessary.

  13. One of my past boyfriends (awkward) painted our initials (maybe even our names???) onto the side of a bridge inside a heart. Then he went and painted over it when we broke up. Hahahaha. Awkward. It was an idea from a country song….

  14. There’s an old dock near where my grandparents always go on vacation that I’ve seen a million times, and every inch of it is covered in carved names and initials–and it does make me smile to read them. I have the same uptight conscience which forbids me to commit vandalism, but I happen to know that my name is etched onto a bridge in a park in Kentucky…I refused to vandalize the bridge myself but my friends were on a mission to write all of our names together, so they included mine even though I was conscientiously objecting.

  15. We carved our initials in the tree in our backyard (our first home!) but since we’re military, we’ll have lots of trees in our lifetime 🙂

  16. We never have because it makes me a little sad to think of cutting into a tree or you know, defacing public property. But I think it’s super sweet when I see it! When we were in Italy I really wanted to put a lock on one of the bridges (it’s super popular to do that), but apparently that’s kind of considered a public menace because it damages the architecture of the bridge over time. Not to mention that the police come by and cut them all off every now and then so it’s not like it would be a lasting sign anyway, haha! So instead I took photos of all the beautiful locks. 🙂 However! When we put in our fence around our backyard, we had to pour concrete to set the posts in… so we totally signed our initials in the concrete! It’s only one small spot and it’s covered in dirt/grass now, but you could dig it up (just a few inches) and see it! I’m glad we did that. 🙂

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