Galentine’s Day is a holiday created by Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation. She formed the girl-centric celebration on February 13th, a day for your best lady friends before spending Valentine’s Day with your boyfriend. As someone who doesn’t have a boyfriend, I’m tweaking her holiday a little to make it a replacement for Valentine’s Day. It can be extremely hard to sit alone, refreshing your Facebook feed to see new pictures of happy couples celebrating their love. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, Galentine’s Day is a chance to party with your friends and remember that no matter the messages culture sends you: you are not alone!
1) Set aside bitterness and sadness. Galentine’s Day is not an Anti-Valentine’s Day party. I know because I threw one of those, and admittedly, it was fun. We made heart-shaped cookies only to break them in half or smash them to bits. My favorite activity was when we defaced romance novel covers. However! Those are not Galentine’s Day activities! Although it can feel really good to rage against the injustice of being single in an ocean of marrieds, save those negative feelings for another time.
2) Celebrate your lady friends. Gather all your single friends for a party. Invite them to invite their other single friends. Solidarity! This is a night of encouragement and fun. Let the compliments rain down in increasingly heartfelt and ridiculous hyperbole. Make cards for each other listing the ways you are grateful for their friendship. Lots of hugs are required.
3) Dress to Feel Gorgeous. Galentine’s Day parties have no dress code. The only rule is that party guests must do whatever it takes for them to feel gorgeous. If that means pajamas and bedhead, wear it. If that means dress, full makeup, and curled hair, wear it. If that means scuba gear, wear it. One of the worst parts about our romance-addicted culture is the pressure women feel to dress for other people. Galentine’s Day stands in opposition to that and provides a safe place for women to dress for themselves.
4) Buy each other traditional Valentine’s gifts. More than the lack of a boyfriend, what I miss on Valentine’s Day are all the gifts: chocolates, wine, flowers. Who says men are the only ones allowed to buy delicious and beautiful gifts for women? Guests are to bring whatever decadent treat they love most to share with everyone else. Pretty soon you’ll have more chocolates than you can handle.
5) Talk and laugh. What do women do better than talk and laugh? This is self-explanatory, but I suggest having a few party games on hand, like Would You Rather or my personal brand of crazy, Quelf, in case the conversation momentarily dries up.
6) Veg out with girl-centric movies. It is obviously mandatory to watch “Galentine’s Day,” episode 16 of season 2 of Parks and Recreation. From there, I suggest watching Pitch Perfect or Bridesmaids. It’s important to point out that those guests whose personal brand of gorgeous involves uncomfortable clothing ought to pack some pajama pants for this part of the party.
7) Commiserate if necessary. The point of Galentine’s Day is to celebrate lady friends rather than mourn the lack of boyfriends. But let’s be real. Lady friends are super good at complaining together, crying together, and reminding each other that “you’re smart, funny, and beautiful–any man is an IDIOT not to love you!” So if the party swings low into shared discontent for a while, that’s okay. Shared sadness is a lady friends celebration of its own.
Valentine’s Week Posts
February 8: How to Plan a Galentine’s Day Party
February 9: Top 6 Romantic Songs
February 10: Top 6 Heartbreak Songs
February 11: “Romance” in Senegal
February 12: Top 8 Romantic Books
February 13: A Romantic Ideal: Harold and Jean Stark
February 14: Happy Valentine’s Day!
Reasons I think Valentine’s Day is the worst:
1. it’s unnecessary. I should love my husband (and friends, family, etc.) every day. We can celebrate our relationship extra specially on our anniversary.
2. I’m a teacher. Holiday parties. if there’s anything stupider than adults celebrating an extra love holiday, it’s kids celebrating it.
3. If you do want to go out to dinner, everywhere is busy.
4. There’s this stupid expectation of being extra beautiful. I’m all for your pajama/movie party.
I’m sure there are more, but church is starting!
Oh man, I would imagine being a teacher would kill a lot of holiday spirit. All the decorations, making sure kids are nice to each other–I can definitely imagine your dislike of Valentine’s Day. I just….don’t share it! Haha! I love dressing up and I love special reminders to focus on love! The busyness, though? Yeah, that sounds awful. Party and eat at home!