Valentine’s Day? More Like Galentine’s Day!


(Originally published by The Martlet.)

Valentine’s Day: the one day of the year that indulges couples in sharing their love for one another through an abundance of Hallmark cards, flowers, and chocolates. It’s a holiday that is both loved and loathed by many.

Yes, it’s fun when you’re one half of a whole and you can plan a romantic evening with that special someone you care most about. But Valentine’s Day is less forgiving toward the unattached. On this particular day, you’re either single and ready to mingle, or elbows deep in ice cream to sooth your self-pity. There is no expected middle way. Thankfully, four years ago, the ever-delightful Amy Poehler brought single ladies an option to kick those forever-alone woes in the butt.

Season two of the NBC hit, Parks and Recreation saw the rise of what Poehler coined as Galentine’s Day: a day for women to celebrate female companionship. We live in a society where girls are continually taught that they need a man in their life in order to feel complete. A whole generation of girls grew up with Bella Swan as a role model—a character that would rather die than be without her boyfriend. Having a relationship is not the be all, end all of life. Sometimes it’s important to remember that your friendships can be just as gratifying, if you let them be.

Girls’ nights may sound like a cliché, but these are, in fact, essential marks on any woman’s calendar. It’s an opportunity to do those unapologetically feminine things: hair, makeup, nails, spontaneous living room dance parties . . . but at the heart of it all are the intimate and brutally honest conversations.

Girls’ nights are evenings where we let off steam, unpack all our baggage, and shoulder each other’s burdens for a while. Life is stressful and exhausting. We’re constantly guilt-tripped into believing we’re too fat, too ugly, too slutty, too bitchy, too prudish . . . the list goes on. So there is no surprise that ladies have a great deal to rant about.

And thankfully, our girlfriends get that. Thankfully as well, they’re even better at letting us know we’re leaps and bounds better than that. I don’t need a sparkly boyfriend to tell me I’m beautiful and amazing when I have about a dozen women in my life who can shout it louder and with more conviction.

So ladies, if you’re feeling lonely this February, don’t wallow alone. Remember the goddesses in your life who would set the world on fire for you. Remember all the times they caught you when you fell or the times they were there to listen at 2 a.m.

Send them a message of pure, unadulterated affection. Bombard them with inside jokes. Plan the biggest, most fun friend date you can think of. Days of celebrating women are few and far between; why not start with the ones who love you?