Here’s something I’ve never understood: couples carving initials into trees. “Here darling, let me prove my undying love to you by carving the first letters of our names into this living thing.” the whole operation is a rather bizarre form of PDA. Its like making out in public, but for vandals. Carving initials into a tree is a potential gateway drug. Eventually, infatuated vandals will have to go to greater lengths to get their fill: “darling, I love you and I want the world to know it, let’s go torch the neighbor’s car.”
Carving initials into trees fails in the first place of making an mutual infatuation known to the world. Most simpletons who engrave their current relationship statuses into trees don’t bother with full names, either fearing retribution from the local police (or local trees,) or usually they are lazy. When was the last time that a set of carved initials captivated the public in the way that good graffiti tends to do in our post-grunge, pro-urbanism world? The effort usually isn’t there when person 1 carves their name as well as their love object into the trunk of some poor tree.
To the world who bothers to read what the vandals have carved, JJR + MRK 4 EVER does not make an iota of sense. The exception is of course if your name is William Thomas Frank and you are dating Olga Mary Grayson. Again, the problem of remaining unknown to the world enters even with these names: WTF + OMG is best understood not as a canoodling couple, but someone who is hideously misinformed about how to text.
Perhaps, I am being unfair. Maybe these initials are worn by the trees like a sort of tattoo. On second thought, no I am not being unfair. Tree tattoos are stupid.
I am all for people being proud of their significant other. I just think that we need a test to limit vandalism and vulgarity as a result of pride and love in a relationship. I think the test should be this: If the action would get you kicked out of Home Depot, don’t do it in public. I just hope that the couples who feel inclined to deface trees don’t run out to the local home improvement and start carving up 2 by 4’s.