Many women I know are sick of being asked when they are getting married or having a baby, or having the next baby. Just let us live! Positive days like Galentine’s Day can remind us that we are OK, just as we are.
Many people aren’t aware that Galentine’s Day is a thing. This is obviously one of the biggest tragedies of our time. Let me assure you, it is indeed a thing, and is celebrated on February 13 every year.
Here is a list of the wonderful things about it and what you can do to share in a Galentine’s celebration with the lady loves in your life.
1. The History. Galentine’s Day first appeared in the TV show “Parks and Recreation” in 2010, a gal-palicious breakfast celebration hosted by the lead character, Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler). For those not old enough to appreciate that this episode featured John Larroquette from the 1980s sitcom “Night Court”, just know, it is awesome.
2. It solidifies friendships as family. Some of my female friends are my chosen family. Some people don’t understand or have never experienced the beautiful intimacy of female friendships. Or, they see them as secondary to romantic relationships. My lady pals have been there through every date, partner, mistake, life event, moving day, and have prime real estate in my heart. No cheap seats for these chicks.
3. Galentine’s challenges outdated notions of intimacy and partnership. Not to mention how women relate to one another (jealousy, cat-fight, slutshaming, the whole boring lot of it). From the Boston Marriage to Group Marriage to communal living, there are many ways people are choosing to live and care for each other, expanding on the more visible but limiting, heteronormative, monogamous social norms. Galentine’s is for women who choose anything they want, while still prioritizing friendships. Many women I know are sick of being asked when they are getting married or having a baby, or having the next baby. Just let us live! Positive days like Galentine’s can remind us that we are OK, just as we are.
4. Galentine’s is an offshoot of Friendiversaries. My friend Christin and I have done some epic friendship anniversary celebrations to commemorate the first time we hung out. Among them, a weekend spa getaway, tickets to the theatre, trip to Spain, a simple dinner. There are so many ways to celebrate each other throughout the year, between two or 32 people.
5. Galentine’s Day alleviates pressures around Valentine’s Day. It also broadens the idea of love and romantic gestures. Galentine’s Day isn’t as much about rings and roses as it is about your closest friend(s) coming over in sweatpants to talk about whatever the hell you want.
6. There is no wrong way to celebrate Galentine’s Day. Brunch. Drinks. A homemade card. A barrage of hilarious emoji texts. Clothes swap. Screw the glass ceiling, with Galentine’s Day the sky’s the limit.
7. Creative acts of kindness can make Galentine’s even more meaningful. While toasting our wonderful selves, those who gather for Galentine’s can write appreciation cards and send them to staff and residents of local women’s shelters or reproductive choice organizations like Planned Parenthood to show some Galentine’s gratitude.
8. Galentine’s games. The Golden Girls are some of the most recognizable matriarchs of outstanding female friendships and alternative ways of living. They show up for each other. For my Galentine’s party this year my friends and I are also playing a game while watching episodes of the notorious GG to honor them. Each time Rose mentions St. Olaf, guests will drink or consume a jujube, whatever the treat of choice.
9. Galentine’s gift exchange. A small gift exchange sends everyone home with a little love. Guests could spend $10 or make something homemade. This year for our gift exchange I’m making truffles. Which means I’ll have to buy something because I will have eaten them before I leave the house.
10. No gal or pal left behind. There is some debate about whether to include men in Galentine’s. As noted, there is no wrong way to celebrate. For those who don’t want to subscribe to Valentine’s or Galentine’s, there is Palentine’s Day. We can continue to broaden our ideas of who is most meaningful in our lives, and that by not subscribing to narrow definitions of love and companionship, the better off we, and the concept of love, will be.
Leigh Naturkach is a Toronto-based intersectional feminist. During the day (and night) she raises funds and does community development to improve health and equality for women and girls. In her spare time, she runs, travels, writes, and talks too much.