All the symbols of love were gathered in their annual marketing meeting.  This year they were in the Sand Dune Conference Center, the second largest meeting space in the Akron Marriott, because the Regal Explosion Ballroom had already been booked up for months by Creative Visioning Express Inc., a company that teaches people to tap into their full potential by charging 400 bucks a head for a weekend of improv exercises and creative journaling.

And so a heart, a bow and arrow, Cupid, a box of candies, a bunch of flowers, a promise ring, and an official Facebook relationship status update sat around a conference room, staring at each other.

“What are we doing, gentlemen?” asked the flowers.  “How are we going to remain competitive and relevant in today’s fast-paced, information-rich society?”

“We need to have a web presence,” said Cupid.

“Already do,” said the official Facebook relationship status update.

“It’s not enough,” said the box of candy.  “You’re just a footnote, an afterthought.  But what if we had a whole web site that was all about us?”

“You mean about love?” asked the flowers.

“Duh,” said Cupid, “Right?”

“Hey let’s not fight” said the bow and arrow, with zero irony.

“A web site would be a good start,” said the heart.  “But what kind of content would we provide?”

“What do you mean?” asked the promise ring.  “Love is love, the content provides itself.”

“That’s not actually true,” said the flowers.  “When you’re talking about creating a web site, you need to be very specific in your vision.  Like you need to know if you’re going to have your own writers–commissioning articles and the like–hiring artists to get the visual content–or are you just going to be a clearinghouse for other existing articles about love on the web–”

“You mean trolling the web for love-related things and then just reposting them, right?” said the official Facebook relationship status update, who know more than the other guys about this sort of thing.

“Right,” said the candy, “those are exactly the kinds of questions we need to be asking,” and he opened himself up and ate one of his own chocolate squares.

“Can you not do that here?” asked the bow and arrow, “Inappropriate.”

“Sorry,” said the candy.

“Let me ask you something though,” said the heart.  “What exactly is it that we are going to accomplish on a web site?  Even with terrific content, even with good pictures, what’s our goal?”

The bow and arrow, Cupid, the promise ring, Facebook relationship status update, flowers, and the candy all looked at each other in silence.

“In other words, gentlemen, what the hell are we doing?  Can we even answer that one simple question anymore?  I challenge you—”

“You’re just bringing us right back to the beginning,” complained the flowers.   “We were just starting to get somewhere and now you’ve gotten us off track.”

“That’s my point,” said the heart.  “My point is, what is our point?  You can’t get anywhere if you don’t have a point.”

“We want to create a really terrific web site—” faltered the official Facebook relationship status update.

“Oh fuck me you guys just don’t get it do you?” said the heart, throwing up his hands.

“You bring up a good point,” said the bow and arrow, “and that is that our site should not be about sex.  That’s a different web site entirely.”

“But we  might want to consider them as a sponsor,” said the candy.

“Not right away,” said Cupid.  “You get those guys in the room with you and they just want to take over.”

“Shut up a second,” said the heart.

“But they’ve got money,” said the Facebook status update.

“I know a guy over there,” said the promise ring, “Really effective team over there–not very big-picture-oriented though–”

“Let’s focus for a second,” said the heart.  “Can we please?”

“We’ve only got this room for another 20 minutes,” said the candy.

“Who set up this meeting?” asked the flowers.  “Seriously, this is bad.”

“Maybe we should go upstairs and do some creative revisioning,” suggested the heart.

“I don’t like improv,” said Cupid.  “It’s hard to do and harder to watch.”

“Then that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” said the heart. “Gentlemen–in your packet of orientation materials, you each have an envelope with 400 dollars.  That’s tuition.  Now come on, we’re all going upstairs.”

“Ugh, I was just getting comfortable,” said the candy.

“Get off your ass,” said the heart, “we’re going.  And we’re taking the stairs.”

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