By Maureen Post Special to Published Feb 11, 2009 at 4:15 PM

Is it just me or are there an awful lot of bars throwing "Anti-Valentine's Day" parties this year?

Café Lulu, Mo's Irish Pub, Decibel and Zenden tossed aside the concept of luring in loved ones and opted for festivities dedicated to singles. If you look at the flyers and evening's events, though, you'll notice they aren't just parties meant to revive the single heart. More so, the overall themes, music and specials cheer on singles who hate Valentine's Day.

What's the "Anti-Valentine's Day" all about?

In a sense, it's obvious. From a business standpoint, there's a good portion of Milwaukeeans without a date Saturday night and catering to that demographic is alternative way to capture a nightlife audience. While fine dining restaurants are packed with celebrating couples, bars can accommodate singles who care to reject the holiday in style.

But, the "Anti-Valentine's Day" craze begs the question, does Valentine's Day have to be a love-it-or-hate-it kind of holiday?

If you're single, do you automatically throw any lover's sentiment to the wind with a scoff and a "Hallmark holiday" quip?

As a holiday dedicated to expressions of romance, chivalry and longing, no question there'd be a strong showing of hands for those who'd rather skip Feb. 14 altogether. And this year it lands on a Saturday? Singles don't even have work to distract them from acknowledging cupid's misguided arrow.

So, in a sense I understand.

But, I'm not so sure I agree.

I've loved Valentine's Day ever since my grandma sent me a card holding a $2 check for a treat. And she did that even when I was in college.

I love thinking about the brown paper bags decorated in grade school and meticulously choosing a store-bought Valentine for each kid in the class. I love using glitter, packaging small bags of chocolates and most of all, I love cupcakes.

And even though none of these things has to do with a particular someone special, they still make for a pretty good Valentine's Day.

Maureen Post Special to staff writer Maureen Post grew up in Wauwatosa. A lover of international and urban culture, Maureen received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

After living on the east side of Madison for several years, Maureen returned to Milwaukee in 2006.

After a brief stint of travel, Maureen joined as the city’s oldest intern and has been hooked ever since. Combining her three key infatuations, Milwaukee’s great music, incredible food and inspiring art (and yes, in that order), Maureen’s job just about fits her perfectly.

Residing in Bay View, Maureen vehemently believes the city can become fresh and new with a simple move across town.