an ode to galentine’s day

It’s kind of crazy how a made-up holiday from a sitcom has so fully become a real, tangible part of our cultural landscape. A quick search will find article after article dedicated to Galentine’s Day – party themes, DIYs, gift ideas, card – with usually only a brief mention (if any) that it originated on the fabulous Parks & Recreation. Over the past eight years, Galentine’s Day has become in many ways a full-fledged holiday, and honestly, I’m not all that surprised. I think that we’ve been starved, waiting without knowing it for a holiday like this for a long time.

I’ve never been a “not one of those girls” kind of girl. While I’ve definitely had (and have!) male friends that I love very much, my world has always centered around female friendship. Having a sister definitely contributes to this, but so does growing up with shows like Sailor Moon, where friendship literally saves the universe. Although I’ve never wielded a magical girl wand, I know that my friendships have saved my own personal universe, time and time again.

There are holidays centered around family and holidays centered around romantic relationships, but I think we’ve been needing a day that’s all about sharing the love for our friends.

There’s pretty much no time that I’m happier than when I’m surrounded by my awesome lady friends. In a tough, mixed up world, there’s so much power and strength and spirit to be drawn from being together. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by smart, funny, and kind women in my life, gals who are always there to give you a boost when you need one. The uplifting effect mutual love and respect can have is pretty damn close to magical.

More than anything, my Galentine’s Wish, as it were, is to challenge the toxic notion that women are inherently “catty,” or competitive, or any of the other unpleasant stereotypes that keep us apart. We don’t benefit from being turned against each other – try making room in your life and your heart for other ladies.

(An aside: This isn’t to say that every woman is your friend – because women are (surprise!) people, some of them are going to be jerks, like any person. And this isn’t to say that another woman criticizing you should be met with cries for “sisterhood”…truth is, the odds are good that you’ll mess something up at some point (especially if you’re white or otherwise privileged), and it’s just as important to keep your ears and your heart open to valid criticism.)

So here’s to lady friends. Here’s to going to the bathroom together, to stepping in when a girl you don’t know is getting creeped on, to exchanging wordless streams of weird Snapchats. Here’s to late night hot tub games of truth or truth, to braiding each other’s hair, to brunch. Here’s to slaying dragons, climbing mountains, and keeping secrets. I love you a lot, and I don’t know where I’d be without you.

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