Sometimes the pain is hers. Sometimes the pain is his. Sometimes there isn't any pain, but that's comedy, not romance .

The wonder of it all, of course, is that we continue to go on with it, even in this town which thinks little of lightweights and lunacies that can't be legislated. Administrations change, races are lost, but it's still the same old story and here are a few of them. Changes have been made in the names and identifying details of the participants .

She stood there at the United baggage claim at National Airport in her clunky boots and car-wreck hair and Woolworth glasses, looking some-how tough and sexy and sweetly maternal all at once. She was pulling on a cigarette. Jewelry glistened off her wrists and throat. The reporter, trying to edge into the story, asked if she knew this was Valentine's Day in America. She didn't understand. He drew a heart on the back of his notebook and put an arrow through it.

"Ahh," said filmmaker Lina Wertmuller, nodding and smiling, "but you see, in Eeetalee we do not need a special day. Every day is a day for lover." CAPTION: Illustration, "William, do you have the courage to love?" Drawing by Koren, Copyright (c) 1977, The New Yorker Magazine Inc.