Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A sleuth of bears

I wonder when the association of teddy bears to Valentine's started. Bears are hardly symbols of love, but one sees at this time of year various forms of heart-adorned ursine facsimiles marketed as gifts to that special someone. Bears are vicious, dangerous killers, and are solitary animals with a very brief courtship period--hardly a symbol of companionship and cohabitation. The male boinks the female, then leaves her to raise the cubs alone. I wonder at the endurance of a relationship that has the bear as a symbol, no matter how cute and cuddly it is.

But perhaps the symbolism has nothing to do with bears as paragons of a long-lasting relationship. It is instead a symbol of a transformation that someone's love has brought forth in the giver of the said bear. The man is saying: I am a ravenous, lethal, blood-thirsty killer, but you have transformed me into a cuddly, cute, hug-able ball of fur. This of course turns the inamorata, heart aflutter, into a compliant, quivering mass of jello, but at the same time, as she rejoices in her victory, her conquest seemingly complete, she ignores the warning concomitant with the confession of subservience, and is the cause of much heartache. The warning is this: I am still a bear.

1 comment:

grifter said...

it also depends what kind of bear you are. for all i know you're a koala, or worse, a panda. or maybe your name is Pooh.