We have so much to thank Lesley Knope for, Parks and Recreation is hands down on of the best shows ever, but one of my absolute favourite episodes has to be "Galentine's Day", which in her own words "it's only the best day of the year".
It is a day in which we celebrate women's friendship! An excuse to look around and celebrate the women that had our backs, that challenged us, that saw us when we weren't seeing ourselves, that believed in us, that loved us unconditionally. The ones that give advice, unapologetically defended that our partner was the lucky one but also the ones that after letting us rant for a bit, make us come back to our senses.
We are bombarded with the narrative that heteronormative romantic love is the true and only way to happiness. That being romantically loved and sexually desired are the goals that we should aspire to and focus our energy on.
Most languages have an expression that equates us with a half. The idea that we will only be complete when someone else comes and make us finally whole. That someone being a romantic partner of course, ideally a man. Galantines Day reminds us not only that we are already complete, even if a forever work in progress, but also celebrates that the journey is shared with others just like you, already whole women finding themselves and ever growing.
What a day to refuse to be a half, while acknowledging, at the same time, that we are part of something bigger. A chain of thousand, millions of women loving and caring for each other. How many women-friendships are we away from any other woman in the world? How many ways for our wins to become other women's wins? our pain to be every woman's pain. To fully see each other because we are somehow part of that chain.
We don't have to gift like Lesley does (although don't hold yourself back!). We don't have to eat waffles and frittatas (although if there was ever an occasion, you could say it is this one). But don't miss out on the opportunity to celebrate your friends! To take a minute to be grateful for them. Drop them a message, an audio voice, send them an old picture of you two, get that date in the calendar to finally meet (even if for a video call!) remind them why your life is better since they are in it, be cheesy! We are allowed to explore scary levels of cringe for St. Valentines so don't be scared! Nothing will be too much in comparison! Take this as your action call.
PS. I am working in a cafe, waiting for my kids to leave school. I am behind a group of three women in their 70s. They are drinking tea and laughing. They are talking about their families, and current events, catching up and enjoying each other's company. I am smiling every time the burst into laughs. One is starting a class in water colours and the others are so impressed. They look like the living example of what galantines day is about. May all laugh histerically with our friends while eating biscuits when we grow up.