An Ode to Galentine's Day

Valentine’s Day has long been heralded by the cynics of the world (hi, how are ya?) as a capitalistic beast bred by corporations to leech onto more of our hard-earned coin. Let's be real: all of that is 100% true and I will happily dismiss any counter arguments. This isn’t to say that you can’t make Valentine’s Day into something more meaningful or use it as an opportunity to shower some extra love on your S.O.

Valentine’s Day has been exploited, bought and sold by industry giants for generations and this likely won’t be changing anytime soon-- and don’t even get me started on the inadequacy it perpetuates for anyone without someone to celebrate with.

However, the writers behind the iconic show, Parks and Recreation, brought us to the light in a 2010 episode and gifted us all with a new holiday: Galentine’s Day.

 

Via Giphy

 

As Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, describes it, Galentine’s Day is “only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies.” The knight in shining armor that we’d all been waiting for (even if we didn’t realize it), Galentine’s Day has moved from being a niche reference from a sitcom and into being a bonafide holiday -- whether you’ve seen it’s source material or not.

 

Via Giphy

 

Reminiscent of the ever-popular Friendsgiving, Galentine’s Day rebukes the idea that you need a S.O. or romantic relationship to live a fulfilled life or that the other relationships in your life have to take a backseat.

Our lives are shaped by the relationships we form and the love and respect we share with those lucky people, however, we all too frequently tend to hyperfocus on just romantic relationships -- especially in the infamous “cuffing season” or the lead up to Valentine’s Day. Stores are dripping in red and pink hearts, they’re filled to the brim with candy, every channel is playing sappy romance movies and we’re pushed to either wallow on the couch with a pint of ice cream or run and buy an overpriced bouquet and  teddy bear before waiting an hour for a table at a sub-par restaurant.

Leslie and all her lady friends want us to remember that it doesn’t have to be this way. We can celebrate love, obviously, but we can celebrate it in all its forms. There’s no reason to spend your night alone on the couch watching The Notebook if you don’t want to, because you do have love to celebrate and embrace. All of us have full, beautiful lives that we spend with people who care about us, and that should be celebrated, whether you’re in a romantic relationship or not.

 

Via Giphy

 

Our lives are all so hectic, with some of us balancing jobs, internships and extracurricular activities on top of a full-time course load it can be easy to hole up in Fenwick and let your social life curl up to die. Sometimes this is extremely necessary (I’m looking at you, finals week), but it's also so important to not let that aspect of our lives go completely neglected. Sometimes we need to force ourselves to put our responsibilities aside for one night -- even if we have to do some extra work later on to make it happen -- and just forget about it all.

Whether you go out for breakfast like Leslie, treat yourselves to a night out, or pile into someone’s living room with Netflix cued up, leave behind all the stresses of your lives, indulge in some quality time with your friends and appreciate how lucky you are to have these boss women in your life.

 

Via Giphy

Collegiettes, join us here at Her Campus George Mason by gathering up your girl gang on February 13th (we’ve even got some tunes for you) and celebrate being ladies.