Most of my audience is female and to each of you I say, “Happy Galentine’s Day.” I adore my husband and I am grateful to have a loyal, romantic partner. There is no date night on Valentine’s Day planned. I know, after twenty-four years of marriage, that a cupid date would need to be planned by me.
In contrast, some of the most sincere demonstrations of love, care and concern have come from my girlfriends on Galentine’s Day, February 13th. To quote the great Leslie Knope on the TV show “Parks and Recreation” (where the name originated), “Oh, it’s only the best day of the year…Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus Frittatas”.
I deeply appreciate the loving friendships with my gal pals that have endured over the decades.
We understand each other’s worlds well from the complexity of being a perimenopausal woman to the heavy weight of minutia involved in family life each day. My girlfriends and I discuss the saturation of motherhood and the desire to be autonomous. We know that we love our families and yet, as Christine and I muse, we want to live with anonymity some days. We want to travel to a city where no one knows our name.
I depend on Janie for always listening to my stories without judgment. I depend on her wise questions afterward. I know she will always offer empathy for my concerns and not try to fix each situation. I know she will remind me of faith and God and surrender.
My girlfriends and I find joy in dates with our husbands and yet, as Kathleen and I muse, we cannot understand their essential maleness at times. When I watch the show Top Gear with my husband and son I am reminded that I am all woman in psyche. I do not understand how men enjoy being reckless with cars and idiotic in challenges. I do understand how a Merchant Ivory film slows down time and emphasizes beauty and how a home fix-it show is vicariously satisfying.
We girlfriends understand the deep pain of groundlessness as my friend Deborah has experienced in the California fires and mudslides. I know she wants to enjoy the mundane life of carpool, dishwasher loading (and unloading) and night after night in her own bed. I know the evacuations do not empower her with a firefighter mentality. She wants the peaceful simplicity of being in her home.
We girlfriends are not after a romantic outcome when we wish each other Happy Galentine’s Day. There is no nooky waiting after red roses are presented.
We gal pals remind ourselves on February 13th of the necessary role of friendship in our lives.
May you be blessed with many long-term authentic reliable and GIRL FUN friendships.