Five takes on the picture:
The original take
The first time I saw the picture, I interpreted it as this: The being on the left is the guy, the being on the right is the girl. The girl is feeling sad and alone, unloved, and unnoticed. (Arms crossed, staring down, face and body language all suggest a dejected, despondent mood.) The guy comes along, and offers her his heart, though cautiously and somewhat furtively. It’s this moment that the picture captures, the instant before the girl notices. One can only hope that once she does, it will instantly overwhelm the loneliness and isolation she feels, and her enthusiastic acceptance will fuel the spark of confidence that barely managed to get the guy this far. I saw it as a happy picture, with two people about to finally get what they’ve wanted… But then why is it black and white? This one of very few pictures on explodingdog.com that’s in black and white, and there must be a reason. From this interpretation, I’d say it’s in black and white because the moment hasn’t yet happened… it’s about to change into color, the moment she notices him standing there, with heart outstretched. (Kinda like the part in Wizard of Oz where suddenly She’s in Oz, and everything is in color.)
The reaction take
As is often the case, when I find something to be happy or optimistic, I soon thereafter find reasons for it to really be the complete opposite. This picture is no different. My next interpretation was this: The guy has offered the girl his heart, and she’s refused, and is still upset (because the situation is awkward? Maybe she’s still feeling lonely, just doesn’t dig this guy at all… or is still pining after some asshole that she knows isn’t what she wants but still chases after cause she’s a girl and that’s what girls do.) Whatever it is, she’s upset, but doesn’t want this guy. Meanwhile, the guy is stuck. He’s offered his heart, and got shot down hardcore, and there’s really no way to recover from that that doesn’t involve advanced time travel or something sharp and pointy. So he stands, with heart outstretched. She doesn’t want it, and he can’t take it back. He’s screwed, the poor bastard. Everything is just shades of gray.
The revised reaction take
After some time, I decided I didn’t like that interpretation, because neither person appeared pissed at each other. The guy doesn’t appear mad as much as confused or cautious. Perhaps the girl hasn’t rejected him, but simply hasn’t accepted (yet? We can hope..) She could be playing hard to get… but if she is, she’s evil, and all girls should stop doing that from now on. (can’t you see it’s killing the guy inside!? Heartless bastards.) Perhaps there are circumstances beyond his control, or in her mind, beyond her control, that prevent her from accepting it. (The possibilities are endless… fear, she’s been forbidden by her parents, she’s stuck with some guy, she’s married? She’s dying. She doesn’t think she deserves him. He’s got a girlfriend, and she knows about it. He’s married? Religion forbids it? She’s about to leave on a 5 year mission to Mars, and he needs to be married within 6 months or he’s getting kicked out of the country.. all valid possibilities.) Whatever it is, the guy hopes that remaining there with heart outstretched, he might eventually win her over… or he’s sick of playing the game, and is going all or nothing: “Here’s my heart, take it or leave it, but this hard to get shit is growing old.” Color would just seem too cheery for a moment that’s filled with so much potential failure/destruction.
The teenager take
Perhaps it was just me, but I kinda assume that when you’re a teenager, you have no idea what it is you’re supposed to be doing about 90% of the time. The other 10% you’re suffering the consequences for not knowing what you were supposed to be doing the night before, and you’re pretty sure you’re just supposed to sit there and pretend it doesn’t bother you. Well, another interpretation I had of the picture is this: Neither one of them knows what they want. The guy thinks he loves her, but he doesn’t know what love is. So he offers her his heart, all the while wondering if this is what he’s supposed to do, or if this is even what he wants to do, or if he’s just doing it cause he thinks he’s supposed to. Constantly contemplating pulling it back, he stands with his heart outstretched, waiting for some sort of confirmation that this was the right thing, or that he had, in fact, completely screwed up again. Meanwhile, she doesn’t know what she wants, or what she should do. So she just sits and thinks… Maybe hoping that the moment will pass and she won’t have to make a decision, or some answer will be handed to her. So both just stand there awkwardly.
The return take
Not really a full fledged thought, more of a possibility: They’re breaking up. He’s giving the heart back to her that she had given to him sometime before. She’s sad and dejected, and he feels bad, and isn’t sure what to do, or if this is the right thing… She stands with arms crossed, kinda refusing to take it back. The title would be more of a pleading from the girl, or meant to be ironic.
So there you have it. What one do I think is most accurate? I dunno. But when I look at the picture, I still feel the 1st one right away. It could be that’s just what I want to feel, and the picture doesn’t matter as much, but there you have it. With a title like “I love you, I love you, I love you” how can you not help but want it to be a happy picture? Well, unless your heart is filled with poison.