“What’s Galentine’s Day? Oh, it’s 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. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus, frittatas!” – Leslie Knope, Parks & Recreation.
There are a lot of reasons that I frequently ask myself “What would Leslie Knope do?”, but her invention of Galentine’s Day in 2010 surely leads the charge. Today marks a week until the ‘proper’ A.K.A the substantially worse holiday (Valentine’s), which means that I have begun the six day countdown to what is, I’m sure you’ll agree, a twenty-something’s Christmas.
We already know that we learn the most about being loved, and loving others, through our platonic friendships with other women, but this February, it’s time to go beyond giving our gal pals a polite nod of appreciation and get out the vodka and vuvuzelas. In 2021, we are going big or going (well… staying at) home when celebrating female friendship- let’s face it, has there been a year that our mates have been there for us more, even when banned from being within a two-metre distance?
“But how can we celebrate our love for each other when we are barred from bottomless brunch?”, I hear you shout. Don’t worry, I’ve got all the answers.
In one of my favourite Dolly Alderton interviews, the queen of romantic female friendships says: “There’s something about flowers that is so decadent and unnecessary and pretty. If you send a friend flowers, you are saying that you equate them with great beauty, and that they deserve great beauty, and I think that’s a lovely thing. Send flowers to your friends, particularly your single friends, because a girl can go a very long time without a bunch of flowers when she finds herself without a boyfriend.” At the moment, I’ve been enjoying the look of Bloom & Wild who have just launched their campaign of banning red roses this February in favour of showing your special someone “that you care wildly” and without cliché- the perfect message for Galentine’s 2021!
I know that we still hate it from Lockdown 1.0, but Zoom.
Wine and cheese night, anyone? I know, I know, Zoom still makes me wince a little bit too, but there really isn’t another way to see all your girls in the same place, at the same time, right now. Force everyone else in the house to disconnect from the WiFi, rinse work’s premium account for what it’s worth, put your favourite PJs on, and click ‘Join’ for that sweet, sweet uninterrupted gossip that we are all craving. Don’t forget your tipple of choice!
Netflix Party (now named ‘Teleparty’).
It’s by no means a replacement for the film and Chinese night that we all know and love, but Teleparty is a decent alternative for now. Whether you’re a sucker for the traditional Valentine’s romcoms (I, for one, will be sticking with my all-time-fave You’ve Got Mail), or fancy binging a few seasons of the series that reminds you of hungover mornings at your bestie’s house, nothing puts a loved-up smile on your face quite like your friend’s ridiculous telly commentary. Just make sure you all get some good snacks in.
Send a questionable card.
All cards are great, but there are few things finer than sending a slightly tongue-in-cheek Valentine’s one to your best friend. I’ve been shopping at Sighh for years now, and I’m yet to see one of their greetings cards that doesn’t make me smile or spit my drink out. From rude to romantic, their new Valentine’s collection is absolutely glorious: I can’t wait to send one to every one of my friends ever.
Stay with me now… Remember how giddy you were when you rocked up to History and your teacher was stood there, beaming, with a Kahoot! quiz on the whiteboard behind her? Channel that energy, but make the questions nonsensical and about you and the girls. (Wine helps.) My two best friends and I did this a few months ago, and we were laughing for hours. Include rounds like ‘Who said it?’ with old, embarrassing Facebook statuses, and you are guaranteed a good time.
Remember that it’s not that big of a deal.
As Poorna Bell quite rightly tweeted in 2019: “To me, that’s [the celebration of female friendship] forged in the midnight Ubers, the tissue pressed into their hand as they cry, the belly laugh as you’re walking down a street.” Like Valentine’s, Galentine’s is meant to be a lighthearted day to show those that mean the most to you that you’re thinking about them, and that you care. It’s gooey and it’s sickly sweet, so if it isn’t your thing (or if lockdown has you feeling down in the dumps), just ignore it, hang out with yourself and a good book, and make yourself a nice dinner. You deserve it!
Words by Morgan Hartley.
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