I’ll go on the record and say that, with the exception of Christmas, I’m pretty much anti-holiday. I dislike all the consumerism, the ads, the “let’s pretend we all really love each other on this ONE day” BS. I get especially riled up about Valentine's Day - what a ridiculous concept where you have to buy someone flowers, chocolates, and cards to express that you love them?? Isn’t it Valentine’s Day every day?
But whomever marketing genius came up with GALENTINE’S Day, I gotta say, it’s growing on me. It’s not that I don’t love the guys…. It’s just, well, the GALS actually pull their weight in the relationship!
During Covid, it was the stream of 1:1 girl dates that gave me something to look forward to each week/month. Deb & I would have “dates” where we sat on opposite sides of the picnic table, chowing down popcorn chicken, then do laps around whatever random neighborhood park I happen to pick that day. When the temps dropped, we bundled up and kept going.
Tara and I went on walking dates, hiking dates, outdoor dinner dates, and sometimes, all of the above! We celebrated her birthday in January, at a fancy restaurant, OUTDOORS, without a heat lamp. (We were also literally sitting ON the street, as they haven’t built the parklet yet.)
When things started to return to “normal,” there were more lunch/dinner/coffee dates; as well as the return of the occasional spa/massage dates (with masks on), then we’d spill/vent/share every last detail of our messy, untidy lives.
When gyms started to reopen, I jumped at the chance to return to the gyms and started doing Zumba (with masks on). There, I met even more GALS and these gals were my lifeline - the folks that I saw week after week, month after month. More girl dates ensued, birthday dinners, holiday dinners. Recently I took my Zumba ladies to afternoon tea, and they faithfully dressed up (as directed) and we had a ball.
With the schools resuming pre-Covid level activities, I’ve met even more GALS. Gals that volunteer in the classrooms (despite working full time); gals who take their kids on outings, and host birthday parties; then there are the gals that sign up to become room parents and buy stuff, come early to set-up/decorate, then stay late to clean up for a school event.
There were “love at first sight” gals, and there were gals that I got to know over time; there are still gals that I know, okay, not bestie material, but you know, glad I’ve got her on my team.
There are gals that make me laugh, who love so fiercely she would take on a giant fitness conglomerate to support her friend. There are gals that brought food when me or my family was ill. There are gals who, when things got tough, we’d just sit silently but know that we’re there for each other. There are gals that I know I’ll see every month, rain or shine. There are gals that I can’t wait to get a text from - I know it’s going to be something good.
Gals - it’s not just terminology, it’s a whole community of love & support, shown up in big and small ways. In text threads, in hugs, sharing cups of coffee or boba; making the promise to see each other again, and actually follow through.
So, here’s to all the Gals in my life. To the Gals that are working their ass of, whether to provide for their families or to keep their teams going; to the Gals that are working hard for their families, whether it’s packing lunches, or showing up to school events; to the Gals that are serving on nonprofit organizations and attending Zoom meetings; to the Gals that are taking care of small humans or large animals and trying their best; to the Gals that make the world go round…… I salute you, and I’m proud to call you a friend.
Happy Galentine’s Day to you today and always. And I love you.