Valentine's, a day for lovers and haters
Germany is for lovers: A woman strings balloon hearts to a fence Tuesday in Berlin.
February 14th, 2012
12:12 PM ET

Valentine's, a day for lovers and haters

At least one reader thinks we're grouping Valentine's Day with that other special day the Mayan calendar predicts is coming this year - the end of the world.

The reader was responding to a report from CNN's Thom Patterson, who looked into how Valentine's Day, and our idea of romance, has changed with the advent of texting, reality shows and social media. Emory University English professor Mark Bauerlein wonders whether Facebook has killed the love letter.

"Romance is alive and well, I see it all the time and deliver on it all the time. To suggest that there is anything wrong with 21st-century love is ridiculous and somewhat arrogant of the experts to tell people how to conduct a romance, something that is very personal, private and unique.

"More doomsday garbage from CNN!" wrote commentator notbobslc.

Now, I'm no expert on doomsday. I'm just a humble, middle-aged, married-with-children blogger, and you can see what category of Valentine's observers I fit into, according to CNN's Emanuella Grinberg. (BTW, Honey, I hoped you liked the heart-shaped cheesecake. I think the kids put it in the fridge, near the back, on top of the milk and the sweet tea, so be careful when you take those out or the cake might fall into the leftover curry, which was delicious. Now that's middle-aged romance, people!)

Sorry, back to Valentine's Day and doomsday. If we could choose folks who might have some insight on this combo, Stalin and Mussolini might be good folks to turn to. And as CNN has been unable to reach them for comment this Valentine's Day, we tasked our Ashley Fantz to comb through their love letters to really see what was in their hearts.

Stalin may have missed the big picture, I'd say, writing to his wife, "I miss you so much Tatochka. ... I'm as lonely as a horned owl." Of course, at the time, he was exiling millions to grisly fates so it would've helped if he spread the love around a little, maybe going for the wise owl instead of the horned one.

Italian tyrant Benito Mussolini also lost the Valentine's Day plot somewhere along the way.

"I love you too, my dear Ida, even though I haven't been able to prove it to you," he once wrote to Ida Dalser, rumored to be his first wife. Dalser and her son Benito Jr. were later institutionalized under Mussolini's order.

OK, so maybe Stalin and Mussolini had a better grip on cruelty than romance. But maybe they just didn't understand the science of the kiss.

But University of Texas researcher Sheril Kirshenbaum does. She's written a book on it and explains how it works and why you like it in this column. Read up now. I don't want you making any mistakes Tuesday night. Knowledge is power.

Once you understand the science, you might need help visualizing how to make the science work. No worries, photographer Peter Turnley has that covered with pictures from Paris, the home of the French kiss. Check out 14 lip smackers from the French capital he's committed to film since 1975.

That is sweet, sweet stuff. As is chocolate, which always plays a big part in Valentine's Day. And if you want to change up your chocolate selections this year, Eatocracy has some ideas.

There are other Valentine's food ideas on Eatocracy, and you can check out the blog to see 'em all. But, to me, this one is just plain weird and won't be on the menu this or any other Valentine's Day. It's a glazed doughnut with an egg in the hole, some cheese, maple syrup. I gotta stop. Yuck.

While sweet food may be one traditional Valentine's gift, it's a gift that doesn't hang around too long. Smells, however, often do, especially if we go all romantic and call them fragrances. Check out some of the scents of the season from New York perfumer Christopher Brosius on the What's Next blog.

I'm sure with all this advice and insight you're now fired up for a romantic Valentine's evening. Unless you're comedian Dean Obeidallah. He hates Valentine's Day, and he's happy to tell you about it.

Detroit plastic surgeon Anthony Youn hates the day, too. Valentine's Day was sort of a doomsday when he was younger because dates were hard to come by, he says. But he's happily married now. And being a medical guy, he has some tips on how not to sink into despair if love isn't coming your way.

Celebrate being single by creating your own solo travel adventure

Oh, about that Mayan stuff and doomsday, don't get down thinking this Valentine's Day might be our last on the planet.

It ain't gonna happen, and that's coming from the website, which offers 10 reasons why the world will not end when the Mayan calendar does on December 21.

Ha! I love it!

XOXOXOXO (That's kisses and hugs for you texters.)

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Filed under: Food • Holidays
soundoff (157 Responses)
  1. Gfrregory Faith

    Today is one day that I really hate. You see, I'm a small business owner and today will end up with no income to my business as all the guys out there are looking for that best gift and not visiting my shop. I wished more women whould take up a HOBBY! Happy Valentine's Day folks. (Hobby shop Owner)

    February 14, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I'm sorry.
      I guess it's all in what kind of 'hobby' one is in...

      February 14, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ©

      So, close up and go fishing.

      February 14, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jennifer

    Is it a bad sign that when I tried to click the link for 10 reasons why the mayan calendar doesn't spell the end of the world, I received an "error connecting to database"...?

    February 14, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. chrissy

    Question: why didnt Cupid shoot his arrow at the lawyers heart? Answer: are you kidding? Even Cupid cant hit a target that little!

    February 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Ba ching!

      February 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sean

    No, the end of the Mayan calendar doesn't mean the end of the world.. it could possibly mark the start of a spiritual awakening and raising of consciousness, or it may just be a day like any other. What I am sure it is not is the end of the world, however.

    February 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      It means the magnetic pull of the earth will shift and we will all float off into space. Stay in your house on 12/21 if you want any chance in seeing 12/25.

      February 14, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeepers

      I'm convinced it means they ran out of rock to carve calendars on.

      February 14, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Epidi

      It is the end of a cycle of time. A long count date or b'ak'tun. It will be # 13 in 2012. They looked at time as cyclical – not linear as modern people do (which is very limiting if you thoink about it). It's just the end of one era and the beginning of another. Like atstrological time – 2001 was the beginning of the Age of Aquarius, before that was the Age of Pisces. That wheel of time from a different culture will eventually come full circle as well tho it will take thousands of years.

      February 14, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • ed

      Or maybe, the guy who made the calendar got tired and said that's enough I'm not going any farther.

      February 14, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • perrbr

      @Epidi How would time be cyclical? That doesn't make any sense to me. You can say events in time are cyclical, that maybe makes some sense.

      February 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Funny how they couldn't predict the end of their own civilization.

      February 14, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marc

      The end of the Mayan calendar can only mean one thing... no more Mayanaise. Give me a break.. ever heard of coincidence?

      February 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • right on

      right on ed!

      February 14, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chris

    Not sure why there is so much media bashing around the holiday this year? I'm indifferent but don't understand why the media storm. It's not like anyone is getting the day off work...

    February 14, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jim Gaffigan

    What would Valentine's day be without the gambling chocolate? "Awww I got the one filled with toothpaste!"

    February 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      "Hot pockets..."

      February 14, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Name*to all my firends

    To all you firends and cusints yall are some good people and mabie some people mite not have feeling if thay yell hit or say somthing mean dost mean nothing it just the way thay are and thay steel care

    February 14, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • no

      Reported for stupidity

      February 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Douglas

      Go back to your ranch in Crawford. We're not listening anymore.

      February 14, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Now *that* was funny!

      February 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joko

    Rap Music killed the love songs 🙁

    February 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. confolkal

    Valentine's Day is a holiday that is perpetuated by corporations to get you to spend money. Relax people.

    February 14, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Smart Human

    Valentine's Day has destroyed more relationships than all other holidays combined.

    February 14, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rakesh

    One of the oldest surviving civilizations are the Indian and Chinese civilizations and even between these two the Indian civilization is one of the most spiritual wherein they talk volumes about the evolution of the world and humanity. Nowhere it talks about the end of the world.Fundamentally there is no End.
    There is definitely change but no End.

    February 14, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • ed

      No there is an end. One day the Sun will run out of fuel but that's like year 3900+.

      February 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. perrbr

    The Mayan calendar doesn't predict the end of the world. The calendar just ends. It had to end sometime. People view this as a sign of the end of the world, but the Mayans made no such prediction, only current people have.

    February 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • who knows?

      Agree. I think the guy died, and nobody else knew how to do the calendar.
      Or maybe the other Mayans complained that he wasn't pulling his weight out in the fields.
      Or he got bored, and felt that nobody appreciated his hard work.

      February 14, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. victoria


    February 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ReportAbuse

    I'm sick and tired of this Mayan end of the world thing and can't wait until the stupid rock expires. They we can get on with celebrating something far more relavant in society today... my birthday.

    February 14, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Well, Happy Birthday!
      May you enjoy many.

      February 14, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Man that's too bad

      Your birthday is on Valentine's day? That's like those poor kids whose birthday was Christmas, and just got that "combined" gift instead of two unique gifts. Your woman is just obligated to give you ONE good one each year, instead of TWO.

      February 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dave from GA

    Happy VD's day to everyone. Yawn...

    February 14, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
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