News » Features

Love's Dark Side

BW explores the anatomy of breaking up


Three weddings and counting, people. I've got three of 'em under my belt, and I don't mean as a participant. As a duly ordained minister of the Universal Life Church, I'm happy to say I'm three for three on the wedding front. So far, not a divorce among any of the couples whose unions I've blessed.

It's a wonderful business, this marrying of people. No small bit of power-tripping involved, but it's also a heavy responsibility. My plan was to offer my credentials to show how BW takes this issue seriously.

And then, somewhere along the editorial process, we didn't.

About the time we were developing plans for a Love Issue, the national marketing engines for the greeting card and candy industries were revving up something fierce. It didn't take us long to feel a collective oversaturation with the concept of lovey dovey, sold to you by someone who doesn't love you.

In fact, I'm reminded of one of the best tobacco company advertising strategies ever. Back in 1999, Brown & Williamson posted a 1-800 number on their cigarette packs that, if called, played the following message:

"Yup, you heard right. Brown & Williamson Tobacco is in love. We're a giant corporation, and you make us feel like a little kitten. Thank you, lover. By the way, the other tobacco companies hate you and think you're ugly. They told us so."

If you've never been in a room full of people getting all agitated about breakups and heartache, well, you've never been to a BW editorial meeting. And when we got our collective back up about the upcoming holiday, it finally occurred to us that we needed to do something about it. You hold the results in your hand.

Don't worry. There's probably plenty of love to go around. If you find some, let us know.

—Shea Andersen