NetNet's Valentine's Day 'Love in the Ruins'


NetNet contributors share how they spent Valentine's Day.

Nicole Lapin
Nicole Lapin

Nicole Lapin

No one asked me out, so I played footsie with FTSE futures.


Cadie Thompson

It was a pretty cozy evening involving a bottle of Dolcetto d'Alba, homecooked broccoli rissoto for two (courtesey of the NYT), some William Bellto set the mood and a debate about Ron Paul's chances as a presidential candidate. (romantic, I know).


Julia LaRoche

I don't have a boyfriend to share Valentine's Day with, so I shared my incredible singing skills with everyone at Karaoke Boho to John Carney's favorite karaoke song, Bruce Springstein's "Dancing in the Dark." But hey it's OK I have a date today, so there's always next year!

John Carney
John Carney

John Carney

Valentine’s Day has always been about sorting according to status. And also about griping about the injustice of status sorting.

You know this from your grade-school days. Perhaps you were the envy of the school, garnering more Valentines than your fellow classmates. More likely, you spent Valentine’s Day fretting and disappointed. Perhaps you even convinced yourself you didn’t care about Valentine’s Day at all.

The oldest known Valentine’s Day poem, Geoggrey Chaucer’s “Parliament of Foules,” describes a Valentine’s Day on which nature commands a flock to take their station according to rank. The birds of prey are on top, the birds that eat worms next, water-fowl below them, and lowest are those that eat seeds.

Three guy eagles make their case for the hand of a girl eagle. But before she can decide, the lower order birds object. What follows is a crazed debate among the birds. In other words, politics as usual. And Valentine’s Day as usual. In the end, the girl eagle bows out, asking nature for another year to make her decision. None of the eagles is matched.

I spent this Valentine’s day like I have every Valentine’s day for several years. I read “Parliament of Foules,” drank as much whiskey as my constitution would allow, and renewed my vows against politics and in favor of falling in love when you can with whom you can. That eagle chick was on to something.


Ash Bennington

I spent most of last night at home—napping andreadingThe Grand Inquisitor.

If you'd like to put your romantic woes in perspective I recommend comparing them to an Auto-de-fé.

(It's what you oughtn't to do but you do anyway.)


Jeff Cox

Valentine’s Day, like New Year’s Eve, is for amateurs. We true partiers don’t need a holiday for an excuse to party, and we true lovers don’t need a holiday for an excuse to show our love.

And yet…I am not so insensitive as to dismiss the occasion wholly.

So instead of heading out last night, my wife and I went for dinner and drinks Friday, then enjoyed a buffet of tapas and champagne at home last night. (New Year’s Eve? It’s for the annual “Twilight Zone” marathon on Syfy and a roaring fire in the fireplace, not cheesy parties and ugly hats.)

Roses? Also for amateurs. My wife instead got a big bouquet of red tulips, a sign that spring is ready to make its grand entrance.

Valentine’s Day is not generally a time for whooping it up around here, as my wallet gets smacked with three major holidays in less than three months – Christmas, Valentine’s, and MaryEllen’s birthday in early March. Ouch.

But we make it fun.

I was in an especially chipper mood last night after yesterday’s NetNet post exposing the government’s bogus unemployment numbers.

Imagine my surprise when the first reader comment said, “GREAT COLUMN!!!!!”

My usual cabal of dotcom haters had taken a holiday, making it an especially sweet Valentine’s Day.


Lori Spechler

“You know you're middle- aged go out as "couples" on Valentine's Day.”

That was my tweet last night and pretty much sums up the suburban version of Valentine’s Day. But wait! It’s also my birthday—the day our nation comes together in a choco-holic haze of love. And while I would prefer to ignore the event, that is not an option. For weeks, I am reminded of how I am about to become a year older and still won’t get the flowers I am secretly hoping for.

This year was no different. There were no flowers but there was an iPad. There was chocolate —oh, not for me—I bought some for my kids and my husband. And there was a fabulous dinner party with good friends and fine wine. Yes, I invited everyone and picked the restaurant, but OK!

But I did feel the love. I felt it in dozens of Facebook postings (thanks, Mark Z.) and calls from friends and family. One daughter wrote a poem, “When you walk, their jaws will drop; you really are a sight”. Now, I could easily take that the wrong way but I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt.

And when I boot up my iPad, I’m going to find a great background photo of flowers and imagine...


Lori Ann LaRocco

As a busy mom of three you take multi-tasking to the next level—especially when you work in news and your job is never really over.

Valentine's Day is no exception, nor is a holiday from the respite of motherhood. The kids and husband each got a box of chocolates (I'm not a chocolate type of gal—I don't have a sweet tooth. My kids get that from their dad) and I was the happy recipient of beautiful flowers.

Within minutes, my four year old ate the four pieces of chocolate in her heart and was going after her brothers. While the chocolate wars began I started out on my dinner. Thank goodness for leftovers!

I had my baked ziti already made for the "V-Day" dinner and a loaf of Italian bread baking in the oven. While I am passionate about journalism I live to cook and like any good Italian woman, I make my own sauces and my heart skips in delight when I serve my culinary creations. I live to cook and bake.

Meanwhile making dinner, I was booking guests for Squawk Box, sending questions off to a contact who I want to interview for my column and then had a heart to heart talk with one of my children about not falling victim to a bully. Yes, even on a day filled with the promise of love—hate and cruelty find its way in.

After dinner, my husband took over the reigns and watched the kids while I went to go work out with my trainer where I boxed and lifted weights. Then after the kids went to bed, I interviewed Rep. Van Hollen and Roger Altman for my column. Passion drives me both professionally and personally. Without that you can't live a balanced life.


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