With Valentines Day come and gone, all the overpriced boxes that never have as many little squares of grossly flavored chocolates as you want and giant teddy bears that honestly have no purpose once the poor girl or guy receives them (but to sit in the corner and be vaguely creepy once the lights are off) are up for grabs. I couldn’t help but think of “Parks and Rec”, a comedy show by Amy Poehler, and her character Leslie Knope’s holiday creation of Galentines Day. Set on the 13th of February, it is a day to celebrate female friendships. Shamelessly taking direct inspiration from her, I present my day for what holiday I would create if I could make one… Pal-entines Day.
The gender neutral “Pal” allows everyone to celebrate their friends’ male, female, non-binary and everywhere in between. Take your friends out to lunch, dinner, or even better than those two, breakfast: the clearly superior meal. Instead of showering them in overpriced, garishly pink hearts, on Pal-entines Day we gift our friends with homemade delicacies. Cookies from the one friend who always shares food videos on Facebook and never has an excuse to make four dozen of the best iced sugar cookies ever seen. A small painting from the friend who doesn’t own a non-paint splattered shirt and can never quite get the inside of their wrists free from the devil of acrylic paint. Oh, yes my friends, DIY presents are all the rage for Pal-entines Day.
In all seriousness, Pal-entines Day would help the collective ‘us’ remember that friends are just as important as a romantic relationships and can provide validation, comfort, support, and love in ways that aren’t tied up with all the romantic expectations of a relationship. The Pal-entines Day that I envision would be a day when dudes could say “I love you, Bro” without the no-homo attached to the end of it, when girls can acknowledge the way society sets us up to be competitors instead of supporters and make strides to overcome it. This made-up holiday based on a TV show could help us begin to realize our collective human-ness and help us all be better friends at the end of the day.
If I was celebrating Pal-entines Day tomorrow (and I didn’t live in a tiny dorm room) I would host a breakfast for lunch, because come on I love breakfast but everyone loves a day to sleep in. Get out a bunch of board and card games, set out loving crafted Pal-entines Day cards and home cooked meals in little take home containers for everyone to have, and make a day out of it. Of course the day would culminate in the goofiest, best, group photo ever shot and made into copies for everyone to take home to remember this year’s Pal-entines Day. So maybe this week remember to say “I love you, Bro” to the Dudes in your life, remind yourself that you’re not alone on the giant watercolor ball we call Earth, and remember that your first and best friend is yourself. Even if Pal-entines Day might be a little difficult with jobs, school, family obligations and distance; take yourself out to breakfast. I’m serious. Go buy that book, take an entirely too long bubble bath or make that 7-layer dip you’ve been dreaming about and celebrate you and your friends, Pal.