Valentine's Day is Saturday, and at least one group is happy -- the greeting card companies. For the rest of us, emotions range from eager excitement to quiet dread.
The day celebrates those in fulfilling relationships who anticipate a chance to affirm their undying love, a terrific dinner and evening. But for those who lament being alone, or worse, are involved with someone they have mixed feelings about, it's a very different story.
A friend recently discovered the guy she's dating doesn't believe in Valentine's Day, so not to expect any cards, candy or flowers. I believe that relationship will be history next week.
Meanwhile, there are precious few cards for the mixed-feelings crowd, those who love their partners on Mondays and Wednesdays, but loathe them on Tuesdays and Thursdays -- and Fridays and numerous weekends.
Or those poised to move on, but believe it's never quite the ideal moment, and are waiting until right after Christmas, or New Year's, or Valentine's Day, or their birthdays, or the next presidential election.
If you are unsure where you fall in the spectrum, look at the card you select for your spouse or significant other. If you find yourself drifting toward the "We're been through some rough times, but we always muddle through" variety: yellow flag.
If it's a "Sometimes I fantasize about running off with my office mate, then I remember everything's in your name -- ha, ha" card: red flag. Let's not even mention those who think the perfect gift would be Cee Lo Green's greatest hits.
If you are alone or in a less-than-ideal relationship this Valentine's Day, take heart: Things can change. For example, every guy in my poker game who years ago was in a seemingly stable relationship is now alone, while those who were alone are in happy relationships. Go figure.
And if you are in an enduring relationship, hopefully you realize what it's worth. Because the lucky minority -- in happy, healthy, long-lasting marriages or partnerships -- take notice of their less-than-happy friends and realize that Valentine's Day might not be the best name for the occasion.
Thanksgiving is more like it.
Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.