patron saint of romance drama
Valentine's Day is like Paris Hilton. Out of all of the holidays...Valentine's is the holiday that everyone loves to hate...but deep down most people also wish that they were part of that exclusive "in-crowd" of romantic lovers who couldn't give a damn about what other people think.
My love-hate relationship with Valentine's Day is pretty typical, but I would generally favor the philosophy "live and let live" (this includes Paris Hilton), and the holiday has some redeeming qualities. Today at UCSF, I saw at least a dozen men (hmm, no women) carrying fresh flowers for some special people and it was just nice seeing people in love and showing that they care. The anticipation of knowing that other people in the world would be happy made me happy.
This is no time for me to air my musings on love, but there was an interesting study conducted at Albert Einstein that took brain MRI's of college students who had recently fallen in love and who were looking at photos of their loved ones. Obviously, certain parts of the brain connected with pleasure lit up, but those parts were completely different from those that lit up in the brains of students looking at pornographic photos. Love and lust are different, science tells us. If you couldn't pick up on that dry sarcasm, it's okay. Even more interesting, the study looked at the brains of students who were recently rejected by their loved ones, and the parts of the brain that heightened in activity were parts associated with physical pain. Lesson here? Love hurts...like a kidney stone.