In honor of the Death Day of Gustave Eiffel, the man behind one of the most famous structures in the world, I was going to do a big long post about the Eiffel Tower. Instead, my research led me to Mrs. Ericka Eiffel, the woman who married the Eiffel Tower.
Yes. In 2007, San Francisco native Ericka LaBrie had a commitment ceremony to the famous Paris landmark. After the ceremony, she changed her last name to reflect her new relationship (Why didn’t the tower become LaBrie Tower?). And here’s the kicker: she’s not crazy.
Ericka Eiffel is an accomplished archer (as Aya La Brie) who served in the US Air Force. She just feels attraction to inanimate objects.
As an evidence of truth being stranger than fiction, in the Air Force Academy, she defended herself against a sexual attack with a japanese sword, but then received a medical discharge for PTSD after she refused to stop sleeping with the sword. Regardless of any attraction she felt to the sword after that, I think even I would have slept with a weapon if I had to watch out for sexual attacks. That’s understandable.
Less understandable is her twenty year relationship with the Berlin Wall (the relationship ended when the wall was torn down), which is now the subject of a musical production. After that relationship ended, Ericka met the Eiffel Tower and history was made.
I could probably rant about how modern times have completely disintegrated the traditional understandings of relationship and gender, but I’m not going to. I can’t say that I understand Mrs. Eiffel’s relationship. Not only because I’ve never felt an attraction to an inanimate object to rival the feelings that I have toward my wife or children, but because I would feel wrong in judging a person who loves something which, by definition, cannot love you back.
There are no benefits to Ericka by being married to the Eiffel Tower. I’m sure the landmark isn’t sharing its bank account. I’m pretty sure it has never given her a Christmas present. And let’s not even get into any jealousy issues that might exist since the Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognizable and most visited landmarks in Europe.
Nope. Instead of judging or being weirded out, I’m going to admire Ericka’s commitment and love. Because true love has nothing to with what we receive, and everything to do with what we can give. I just wish we had better examples of this truth among traditional relationships.