With Valentine's Day upon us, everybody is in full forced-romantic mode. Right now, people are frantically planning dinners, buying flowers and thinking about chocolates or other gifts, but nobody is asking the important question here:
What about the zombies?
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It's a cold, cruel world for zombies: a violent death, an unwanted reanimation, a constant aching hunger while their bodies continue to experience morbid decomposition and the unenviable task of constantly trying to catch prey that is smarter, faster and better armed. Even when one is caught, other zombies share in the kill, leaving little to any one individual.
Zombie Portraits creator Rob Sacchetto has released zombie-themed greeting cards for Valentine's Day, Christmas and birthdays. Of course, there's also a "get well soon" card.
But in those quiet moments of contemplation, can zombies find love?
They can and they do. And it's a beautiful thing between two consenting zombies wanting to thrust their macabre, rotting pelvic areas together with morbid intensity before shambling off mindlessly in search of food again.
The website Zombie Connect bills itself as the "Official Dating Site of the Walking Dead" and has a feature that allows its users to zombify their pictures with a variety of facial features, such as sunken eyes, skull noses, bloody mouths, scars, blood spatter and wounds, weapons that can be stuck in at various angles, and a wonderful trio of sliding bars to adjust decomposition.
Once your picture is uploaded, the site starts its Matchmaker engine, matching your gender with what you're seeking and the activity (Anything Goes, Casual Feeding or Long-Term Massacre) and shows you which matches sync up with your tastes. The potential matches pop up, displaying dozens of pictures of self-disfigured zombies with names and a brief type that ranges from "shy shambler" to "responsibly rotten."
The people behind the dating site Mingle2 created ZombieHarmony, a satirical dating website to help zombies find that special someone who matches them in terms of speed (slow moving, fast moving, immobile) and general compatibility (all limbs intact, some limbs intact, no limbs).
Zombie dating website Zombie Connect has a built-in feature that can zombify any picture, including this one of the author.
The site displays zombies of both sexes on the front page, with tag lines including "I enjoy long, slow, lumbering walks on the beach," "I've gone one eye, half a torso and a whole lot of heart," and one that begins with a simple "HRRRRRNNNGGGGG," which seems oddly appropriate. It also has the best disclaimer of the group: "If you go on a date with a zombie, we cannot be held liable for contributing to the apocalypse."
There's also the Zombie Passions website, featuring numerous groups in which you can find your perfect partner. Aside from obvious groups such as Male Seeking Female Zombie, the site allows you to be more specific with your tastes, even type of partner. Zombie (Meteor Related), Zombie Groupie, Seeking Zombie for Dinner Companion, and even Couple Seeking Transgender Zombie -- proving once again that no fetish is too narrow for the Internet.
Not all the sites are tongue in cheek, though. Andrea Sacchetto of Zombie Portraits says her site has helped numerous zombie enthusiast couples who have incorporated their interest into their relationships. Zombie Portraits has released a set of greeting cards -- including a blood-spattered card that reads, "I Chew Chew Chews You!" -- for people who think Valentine's Day hearts should be bloody and still beating.
The greeting cards let zombies say those sweet things that they might not be able to say, either because they can't quite put it into words or because they are missing a crucial epiglottis. From a Valentine's Day card to a blood-spattered birthday zombie celebrating over a birthday cranium, the four-pack of greeting cards really hits close to the heart.
"We had a party here and we had all the images for the cards," says Sacchetto, whose friends matched the brain-devouring zombie picture with the slogan that was a winking reference to a classic "Simpsons" episode. "The Valentine's Day card is the one that everybody looks at, maybe because 'The Simpsons' is so pervasive in our culture," she adds. "It's not a conventional Valentine. You gotta go a little further to impress people these days."
It doesn't stop with just telling your zombified partner that you love him or her, either. At the most recent ZomBcon convention in Seattle, there was a complete zombie wedding officiated by geek legend Bruce Campbell. But it's not particularly unusual anymore; zombie weddings are popping up everywhere, from quiet Midwestern states such as Kansas to the snowy steppes of Russia.
It might not be for everybody, but it hits just the right note to those for whom "til death do us part" sounds like a temporary condition.