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Valentineís 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? Iíll give you a hint: Itís 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 donít pony up? A reported 53 percent of women said they would end their relationships if they did not receive a gift for the occasion.

Valentineís 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, itís 5 degrees outside. Itís a good thing my car is already silver, because itís 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, ďa case of the sads?Ē

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 ďCreate a romantic Valentineís Day with your sweetieĒ articles to coupons for romantic getaways to ďValentineís Day survival tipsĒ for people who are down about the day.

Iíd like to posit that, if someone really loves another person, that someone shouldnít need a holiday to show it. If a person isnít in a relationship on Feb. 14, that person shouldnít be made to feel lesser for it. It is, after all, just a day. And thatís what Iíd like us all to remember, whether you spent it drowning in cards or drowning your sorrows. Itís just a day, and no day should make anyone question his or her self-worth.

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

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