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Galentine’s Day: Valentine’s for gal pals

Elizabeth Bowie, Editor in Chief

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I love Valentine’s Day. Not in a cheesy, “I love my boyfriend sooooooooo much,” kind of way, but in the elementary school, let’s hand out cards to everyone and enjoy my friendship and chocolate kind of way. Truth be told, I’ve only had an “actual” Valentine the past two years, and I’ll have him again this year, but that’s not a big deal to either of us. Maybe what I really mean here is I love Parks and Recreation’s Galentine’s Day?

I love dressing up in pink and wearing red lipstick and making frilly sparkly cards for all my friends—preferably with really, really bad puns. I love looking at store-bought pop culture Valentines for kids, like the Avengers or Harry Potter. (In elementary school, you knew you were hot stuff if you got a card with Harry on it, not a minor character.) I love seeing my friends discuss their plans for Valentine’s day, whether they are to get drunk on pink wine and watch rom-coms on Netflix or going to fancy dinner with their significant others.

See, Valentine’s Day has never really been about romance to me. Even having a ‘real Valentine’ didn’t make it seem like a romantic day about celebrating relationships or commiserating the single life. To me, it’s always been about celebrating all kinds of love. So my friends, my parents, my brother, my grandma, my dog and myself all get shout outs because I love them! I love them all in different ways and they’re all very important to me. Significant others get the main stage, sure, but I think we should shower everyone in love on February 14. We should shower everyone in love all year long, actually. But when that gets a little tiring or starts to sound devoid of meaning, what’s so bad about having one day devoted to it?

Oh, it’s bad because it’s a made-up commercial holiday? Watch me catch this gnarly wave of I don’t care. So what if greeting card companies decided we needed a day to proclaim our love for each other? I think that’s a great thing! Celebrate love! Celebrate it in whatever way you know how. Even though it’s spurred by Hallmark, we don’t have to buy into the corporate message of “buy stuff for your SO,” we can certainly show love in all kinds of other ways. You can appreciate the concept without celebrating the weirdly materialistic and obsessively faux-romantic rituals that the “seasonal” aisle of Kroger would have you do.

That said, honestly, Valentine’s hype does get pretty sad. I hate the trashy commercials saying that Valentine’s Day is the be-all, end-all of romantic proclamations, or the more depressing ones saying that Valentine’s Day is the worst day of the year for single people. It’s never all it’s cracked up to be, and I think that’s why I hate those commercials so much: I never thought it was what they said it would be like. I never thought of it like some giant day of celebrating couples with diamonds and roses. I just like cards with glitter and puns. On February 14, I’ll be letting everyone I love know that I love them, no matter what kind of love it is.

And come February 15, I will certainly be celebrating that chocolate in the clearance section with all my girls.

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The student news site of Austin College
Galentine’s Day: Valentine’s for gal pals