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Valentine’s Day is just another day

What holiday is celebrated by about 61 percent of Americans, prompts those celebrants to spend $13.2 billion, or an average of $116.21 per person? I’ll give you a hint: It’s Feb. 14. That same holiday sees consumers buy 180 million cards, 85 percent of which are purchased by women, and 196 million roses, 73 percent of which are purchased by men. And if those men and women don’t pony up? A reported 53 percent of women said they would end their relationships if they did not receive a gift for the occasion.

Valentine’s Day can be a very polarizing holiday. Couples get free reign to fawn all over each other in public and single people seem to fall into two camps: apathetic or depressed. At the time of writing, it’s 5 degrees outside. It’s a good thing my car is already silver, because it’s got more salt on it than Cascade Drive. Do any of us Western New Yorkers need any more reason to get what a friend of mine calls, “a case of the sads?”

Many stores have been showing red and pink everything since Christmas, and cheesy romance movies have bled from the Lifetime network into prime-time spots. The Internet has exploded with everything from “Create a romantic Valentine’s Day with your sweetie” articles to coupons for romantic getaways to “Valentine’s Day survival tips” for people who are down about the day.

I’d like to posit that, if someone really loves another person, that someone shouldn’t need a holiday to show it. If a person isn’t in a relationship on Feb. 14, that person shouldn’t be made to feel lesser for it. It is, after all, just a day. And that’s what I’d like us all to remember, whether you spent it drowning in cards or drowning your sorrows. It’s just a day, and no day should make anyone question his or her self-worth.

And if you did, I’ve got a remedy for that, too: chocolate, candy and silly little bears are on sale this weekend. If that’s not something to smile about, I don’t know what is.

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