Valentine’s Day may be celebrated on February 14th, but February 13th is ALL about Galentines. A brilliant creation of Parks and Recreation’s Leslie Knope (played by the beloved Amy Poehler). It’s the special time of year when you leave your significant other at home and enjoy the company of your bffs. The hilarious episode premiered on March 20, 2014, but me and my girls have been celebrating some version of the holiday long before it had this cutesy name.
“Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.” Leslie Knope
But loneliness is no laughing matter.
It was hard to admit as a strong independent woman but some days, being single was harder than others. My celebration with friends began shortly after a divorce. I hadn’t spent any holiday alone in over a decade and I found the looming pressure (and commercial reminders) of Valentine’s Day to be overwhelming. You know that you’re broken hearted when you are searching online for t-shirts that say “Love is not my friend.”
The good news is that there were a number of my friends in relationships and single who were determined to love me back to health. Their willingness to recognize that Valentine’s happens to be one of the more difficult ones of the year when you’re alone.
So Galentine’s is like Valentine’s Day, only instead of celebrating the love you have for your significant other, you spend it with your best friends, who are, after all, your soul mates, and therefore deserve a holiday all to themselves, too.
There are plenty of ways to celebrate rather than spending money on expensive dinner, flowers and frills to celebrate your “ride or die” friends of all gender.
- Write a note to a friend who might have lost someone special in the past year. One year, my friends went “old school” and gave each other those boxed Valentine’s cards that we all dreaded receiving as a child. A handwritten note goes a long way.
- Have a date with your teen. The pressure to have a Valentine can be overwhelming for youth. Many report staying in “bad” relationships in order to make it through the holiday. Dating violence affects about one in ten teen couples. Verbal and emotional abuse can include ridiculing, name-calling, threats, constant criticism, controlling, belittling, and other negative behavior to scare their partner. Both men and women have long-term effects from this type of abuse. Plan a date with your teen and remind them that if they shouldn’t accept such behavior in the name of love.
- Give Happies. It doesn’t take something overly expensive to make a friend smile. We showered each other will silly trinkets. You know it’s a real holiday when the Target Dollar Spot is selling Galentine’s rather than Valentine’s swag!
For Galentine’s Day, Leslie gifted each of her besties with hand-crocheted flower pens, a mosaic portrait she made for each of them, and a 5,000-word essay she wrote for every person explaining why she loves them so much. I am not that ambitious so I stick with poems, friendship necklaces, inspiring feminist reads.
- Treat Yourself to something special. Galentine’s should also be a reminder to LOVE YOURSELF. Considering writing a note or journal entry that you come back to read in a year.
- Share the love by making a donation. Women AdvaNCe has a way for you to celebrate your loved ones with a gift that lasts all year! Click here to learn more about how you can set the world on fire with the work of Women AdvaNCe. https://www.crowdrise.com/…/your-love-can-set-the-world-on-… Your special someone will receive a lovely email notification.
So whether you are showing love your bffs or just loving yourself, let Women AdvaNCe know what you are doing to make Feb 13th special! Send us pictures of your celebration.
Happy Galentine’s Day!