Amazon's Most Romantic List Suffers From Assumption Errors

Amazon.com, that lover of lists, issued its list of the Top 20 Most Romantic Cities in America on Tuesday (Feb. 8). But if the world's E-Commerce leader wants to stay on top of the A-List List-Makers List, it should put more thought into these things.

Its criteria? "Compiling sales data of romance novels and relationship books (Kindle books and print books), romantic comedy movies (digital movies and DVDs), Barry White albums (CDs and MP3s), along with sexual wellness products, since Jan. 1, 2011, on a per capita basis in cities with over 100,000 residents." (What? No sales of dozens of roses or chocolate?)

Wouldn't the most romantic cities purchase the fewest of those items, because they have the real thing and don't need to read about it or have Barry White get them in the mood? Wouldn't the ocean waves or the shining stars or the perfumed breeze from the Cacao fields do the trick? (As for sexual wellness products, a truly romantic city would buy 'em in bulk from Sam's Club or Costco.)

And some of these details really don't need a heck of a lot of analysis. The least romantic cities, according to Amazon, were: El Monte, Calif.; Paterson, N.J.; and Miami Gardens, Fla. Gosh, Paterson is no longer the romantic draw? I am stunned, readers, truly stunned. For the record, the most romantic cities were listed as Alexandria, Va.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Orlando, Fla.; Miami, Fla.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Columbia, S.C.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Gainesville, Fla.; Tallahassee, Fla.; Vancouver, Wash.; Round Rock, Texas; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Arlington, Va.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Clarksville, Tenn.; St. Louis, Mo.; Dayton, Ohio; and Frisco, Texas.

Oh, and here's a mixed blessing for realtors: "For the second year in a row, Miami [Fla.] is the Sexiest City in America, winning the top spot in the sexual wellness category." Or, given the delays associated with Amazon shipping, perhaps the least spontaneous.

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