Today’s news:

Everyone should have a helping of love during their lives

You must remember this, a kiss is still … an oscillatory apposition of the orbicularis oris and levator labii muscles with posterior involvement of the sternocleidomastoids, commonly in a dexterous orientation.

Valentine’s Day is Feb. 14 and, appropriately, a professor of biopsychology has produced an analysis of kissing, the angle at which people tilt their heads when they close in for a kiss. Most people are slant−to−right kissers, in about the same proportion to which they are right−legged, −eyed and −eared. This preference for head−turning is learned in the womb.

I love you … more than a fragrant rose, the sweetest rhyme, the wisest prose.

The specialist concluded that left−kissers, who will meet more right−kissers over an amative (disposed to passion and kissing) lifetime (or even a good year in high school), should shift to the right to land a wet one — or avoid broken noses. (Now I know why Gloria, a leftie, and I, a rightie, are compatible in kissing: She does not want me to have a broken nose.) The specialist also concluded that kissing is a pleasant reminder that two heads are better than one.

… more than spring’s clean breeze that whispers through the apple trees.

Although Valentine’s Day is not a legal holiday, nor in most church calendars is it a religious holiday, it is important in the personal calendars of many married and unmarried folk. Its message of love resonates even in the most cynical of hearts and is the sweetest note in the music of life.

… more than every star that shines upon us from afar.

In this time, when love is emphasized in the media, wedding halls and divorce courts, this is a the occasion to ask, “What is love?” This human emotion, often overtaking the judgment of the most rational, is basic to a well−rounded and healthy existence.

Babies who are not touched often fall ill. In hospitals of the past, when this was not recognized, they often died. Adults who do not have physical affection of some sort in their life frequently become less generous and compassionate. Everyone needs love, and those whom we care about need return love. (Now I know why Bill Clinton and Elliot Spitzer did what they did, and why they did it.)

… more than carousels, Ferris wheels or wishing wells.

It is never easy being in love, but it was tougher during the reign of Roman Emperor Claudius II. His empire was at war and he had forbidden his soldiers to get married. He was convinced that once betrothed, the men would prefer to stay at home with their wives and families than go off and fight.

His law stood until Valentine, a priest, took pity on the amorous−deprived warriors. Defying the emperor’s decree, the priest married young lovers in secret. He was arrested, imprisoned and beheaded on Feb. 14. Claudius should have known all is fair in love and war.

… more than bright sunshine that ripens grapes on the vine.

What is a person to do when he cannot find a person to love? Farmers living in the English countryside two centuries ago were lonely, as were the young people who began moving to cities for factory jobs. Both had little time to court the few available females around.

So they turned (shockingly) to advertising in local newspapers, which was frowned upon. Spinster women soon joined in and matrimonial proposals, via the printed word, caught on. But at the turn of the 20th century, because of scandal, fraud and deceit, mainstream newspapers stopped running marriage ads. In the 1960s, they exploded again, but the content changed from marriage to dating and (shockingly) sex.

… more than drink or food. You fill my heart with gratitude.

With little patience for Cupid, the 21st century brought an avalanche of personal ads via newspapers, magazines, matrimonial clubs and the Web. Whew, am I glad I met Gloria by the old−fashioned method: blind dating.

… more than summer rain that cools our souls and soothes our pain.

Did you know a majority of women today think there is nothing that compares to the love of a good man — except the unyielding, unconditional, unwavering love of a good dog? Their pets, they say, are better at giving them good cuddle−time than their mates. Yipes — am I glad I do not have a dog in my house.

… more than all I’ve done. Your heart’s the dearest prize I’ve won. — Elizabeth Hickey

Be that as it may, I agree with George Sand, who once said, “There is only one happiness in life — that is to love and be loved.” So, happy Valentine’s Day one and all.

Contact Alex Berger at news@timesledger.com.

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