still captured from season two, episode 16
I am single this year, by choice, on Valentine’s Day. I am working three jobs and a little too pre-occupied. I know that I just don’t have the time, patience or the inclination to be charming and coiffed at my age for someone else’s amusement, so I am facing Valentine’s Day uncoupled.
But we all know that a divorced mom is never really alone.
I was talking to my co-workers about my lack of Valentine’s Day plans – and my true ambivalence about the holiday, even though I work in the romance publishing industry and love a good rom com or tear-jerker. We talked about how sucky it is to be stuck in a bad relationship and shopping for Valentine’s Day cards that never really say how not into the relationship you really are (when I was getting ready to leave my husband, I remember going to the card store and hoping I’d find a card that said, “It’s Valentine’s Day. Deal with it!”) When I said that I would much rather get together with my good friends, who I truly love and who have shown me time and again that they really do have my back, one of my much younger colleagues said, “Well, that’s what Galentine’s Day is for!”
I thought she had just made that up, but she explained that Amy Poehler’s character Leslie Knope from Parks & Recreation had created this new holiday.
What’s Galentine’s Day you ask? In the words of Leslie Knope, “Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast- style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.” For me, it’s like Seinfeld‘s George Costanza’s Festivus for the rest of us.
Let’s reclaim February 13th. An ex (emphasis on the “ex”) once told me that February 13th was Mistress’ Day for married men (I know, thanks for sharing, ewww). Let’s take the day back and own it.
So I am kicking off my Galentine’s Day with my favorite gal pals. By making it mine, it gives me something happy and exciting to look forward to every year whether or not there’s a lover in my life. Who better to buy cards and flowers and candy for than another woman who really appreciates what she’s giving and getting?
This year, me and a group of my besties are going to a What Men Want (of course, right?), followed by a drink-filled dinner and discussion at an awesome Chinese restaurant near the theater. I’ve bought cheesy childhood Valentine’s Day cards (Monster High, which I love), little boxes of those “Be Mine” hearts, and a rose for each of my friends. I can’t wait. This is better than Christmas, as far as I’m concerned.
And I was really surprised that everyone that I invited said “yes,” and was equally thrilled with the idea. I felt that it was like we were all waiting for someone to come up with this holiday. And now someone has (thank you Amy Poehler!).
So, I am going to make Gallentine’s Day a signature event in my life with dinner and a movie every year, either a chick flick extravaganza or an at-home girl-comfort-food (if there is such a thing) pot luck and showing of something like Gone with the Wind or Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
See , I am already planning for next year!
Happy Galentine’s Day to you all.