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Judge love by the trash, not just Barry White
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The folks at have released information they claim makes certain cities in the U.S. more romantic than others.

The winner, by the way, is Alexandria, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C., which was ranked No. 11. The two places are only a few stops from each other on the Metro transit system, as is Arlington, Va., which was ranked No. 7.

The determining factor for romanticism has much to do with how much business the respective cities did with Amazon. Amazon got its start peddling books online. Now, they sell all sorts of things. The determination was compiled of sales data of romance novels; sex and relationship books; romantic comedy DVDs; Barry White CDs; and sexual wellness products since Jan. 1, 2010, on a per capita basis in cities with over 100,000 residents.

I have never purchased a romance novel or a Barry White CD and I don't know if that makes me more or less romantic. I have nothing against romance novels, but it is plausible that one might purchase a romance novel because there is a lack of romance in one's life. Before you go and fire off an email, it is not my contention that romance novels are only purchased by the lonely.

The late Barry White was a soulful singer with a very deep voice. His songs usually involved his talk-sing style expressing his love for woman. One of his big hits was "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe."

Listening to a Barry White song does not necessarily make one more or less romantic. You can listen to Barry White all by yourself, but if you play it very loud, people may talk.

I did a little search on Amazon using the words "Finding Mr. Right." I turned up "Why Mr. Right Can't Find You: The Surprising Answers that will Change your Life ... and His," the book is written by J.M. Kearns.

I don't know J.M., but he looks rather pleasant in his photo. If you ordered his book this week, I think it is a pretty good guess that you might not have a date for Valentine's Day. If you didn't choose the rapid delivery option, it might not get here in time.

So the good folks at Amazon have used sales criteria to determine our romantic standing. Atlanta, our capital city, was last of the top 20. A few more orders and that could have changed. There is a woman on Interstate 85 some mornings who is busy reading something on one of those electronic book gizmos. I would love it a lot more if she didn't.

My wife expresses love for me when I do the little things. She is so happy when I take out the dog and the trash. When I wash the sheets on sheet day, she always thanks me. I sometimes cook breakfast or supper for us and she is just tickled.

I'm not suggesting that Amazon is wrong with their measurement of romance novel purchases and Barry White record sales.

But love is much more than that. It is doing the little things that say "I love you" even better than Barry White does.

It's a shame Barry never recorded a song about taking out the dog or washing the sheets. I'd buy it and play it for her.

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on