I know I’m late for the party, but I’d like to wish a sincere Happy Galentine’s Day to all my girlfriends. Let’s make that, a Happy, Healthy Galentine’s Day.
Yes, I’m a little late. But in the midst of these scary, challenging days, I’m hitting the pause button on full-fledged silliness. Instead, I want to express appreciation to all my friends — and dear Muddling through Middle Age readers, too.
Do you know about Galentine’s Day? It’s a non-official holiday designed for women to celebrate their friendships with other women. Officially — make that unofficially — it’s celebrated on February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day. But don’t you agree, we all could use a little cheering up right now?
So, since I’ve just learned about this great idea, I’m celebrating my gal pal friendships today!
I’d heard a little something about Galentine’s Day earlier this year, but in the frenzy to get Handsome Hubby, the kids, and the dog Valentine’s Day cards and treats, I never slowed down enough to pay attention.
The Galentine’s Day Skinny
“Galentine’s Day” made its debut — literally — as the 16th episode of the second season of the popular TV show Parks and Recreation, on February 11, 2010.
In that episode, fictional character Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, declared to a group of her closest female friends over a meal of waffles, “Every February 13, 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.”
According to Nielsen Media Research, that “Galentine’s Day” episode was seen by 4.98 million household viewers.
Taken Off Like a Rocket
In the decade since that episode aired, Galentine’s Day has jumped from the TV screen straight into everyday life.
Cosmopolitan Magazineopined, “It’s the only good fake holiday on the calendar.” And for its part, The Atlanticoffered this analysis of why Galentine’s Day has struck such a nerve.
“… (Galentine’s Day) acknowledged a broad truth about American life as it’s lived in the early 21st century … Long conceived as side dishes to the main feast—marriage, kids, the nuclear family above all—friendships, more and more, are helping to define people’s sense of themselves in the world.”
For this Middle-Aged Muddler
For me, female friendships are especially important. The youngest of four children, youngest by 20 years in two cases, my friends fill a void created not only by the loss of parents but also by those oldest siblings. It is a huge void to fill, both in my heart and at the holiday dinner table. But my loving friends have generously proven up to the task.
Late for the Party? Need Ideas?
And what’s a holiday, even an unofficial one, without business promotions? The Internet is flooded with lists of “Perfect” Galentine’s Day gifts for “your forever BFF,” while companies promote it extensively on social media.