I have a theory regarding olives – I believe that olives are the only food that people either love or hate. I honestly have never met anyone who is ambivalent about olives. And if you’re curious, I count myself among the haters.

Valentine’s Day is the olives of holidays. The only other holiday that I see as equally loved and hated would be New Year’s Eve. Coincidentally, both holidays are geared to couples, but it’s not to say that all couples love either. I think the similarity lies in that both have “expectations.”

One of my co-workers adamantly declares Valentine’s Day (along with Halloween) as his favorite holiday. My best friend hates Valentine’s Day; in her words, “I don’t believe in Valentine’s Day. If you expect the person you’re with to give you flowers, take you to an overpriced restaurant or any of the other jacked up crap associated with that day, then your relationship probably sucks. It’s a day like any other day. I like a nice card, and that’s it.” In defense of her comments, she provided a column by someone who appears to be her Valentine’s Day soulmate.

One of my closest friends (who recently got engaged) and I have a five year tradition of sending each other flowers on Valentine’s Day. It began when we worked in retail together and we’ve kept it up ever since, whether we were single or attached. My most memorable Valentine’s Day took place my senior year of college. I was newly involved with someone who lived in a different state and we weren’t spending the day together. In his absence, he sent me flowers and a card. Surprisingly, what made that particular Valentine’s Day memorable was going out for a somewhat fancy dinner with some of my girlfriends. After all, we were impoverished college students who rarely dined at places that favored reservations and dressing up. Needless to say, it’s not always whether you’re single or attached that makes Valentine’s Day what it’s worth.

You can go out with your friends, as the oh-so-awesome e-card above suggests, to meet undatable alcoholics. You can go out with your friends and possibly meet the guy or girl of your dreams. You can go out with your friends and simply be grateful that you have such amazing people in your life.

You can go to the movies, walk the streets, take yourself out to dinner, or celebrate “friend n fried” style – as Gawker so humorously suggests.

No matter what, be happy and enjoy Valentine’s Day tomorrow, and while you’re at it, enjoy a new favorite from the NYT’s Modern Love archives.

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