Galentine’s Day: the Glory of the Gal-Pal

“We made a deal ages ago. Men, babies, it all doesn’t matter. We’re soul mates”~Samantha Jones, Sex and the City.

With Valentines day aggressively invading our peripheral vision in the form of shop displays, articles and Facebook posts its easy to get pre-occupied with the current state of our love-lives. But don’t let this crooked, consumerist, cheesy holiday tell you whether or not you’re appreciated. Being loved is a beautiful thing, and worth celebrating – but why just in one form?

This holiday is missing out on something truly magnificent and extraordinarily undervalued – a love of beautiful and epic proportions. The big, brash and heavily inebriated bond formed through years of debauchery and heart-ache. A love that really deserves celebrating – the love between you and your Gal-Pal.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on relationships OR people who celebrate them. Whether it is a long term partner sparing you from the drab scenery of summative season with Netflix sessions and drinking in bed. Or even a rich, varied tapestry of one-night stands and variously successful dates, relationships can add flavour and fulfillmentto our lives. But at the end of the day, when you need to debrief from your horrendous Tinder hook-up, or you’ve made a colossally embarrassing faux-pas, who’s there, unconditionally to pick you back up and laugh it off? Who holds your regretful head over a toilet basin or gives you positive selfie feedback? Who, in fact, is the real definition of a soul-mate? Your Gal-Pal.

Friends are the family you choose.

Who, after all, said your soul-mate had to be the person you’re dating. To quote Charlotte York – maybe your friends are your soul mates, and relationships are just the side salad. Now don’t get me wrong, side orders can be amazing (case in point, garlic bread). But this holiday, let’s celebrate the Pizza of life, the Gal-Pal. That is, if Pizza ruthlessly hates your ex and gets you so drunk on your birthday that you can’t read the train times encounter a Glaswegian stranger, on the wrong tube home. Spilling about heart-rending complications and emotional troubles, only to be faced with bemused head nods. Just me? Regardless, your gal-pal, the person who knows every ugly thing about you and loves you anyway, deserves her own day.

Last Valentines day, partially in order to escape to horribly tragic, decimated wasteland of my at-the-time love life, I travelled from Durham to Exeter to gloriously celebrate the season of love with the one person who has unconditionally had my back for the past six years. My rock, my personal cheerleader, my inspiration and sass-instructor – my best friend. Because someone who answers my 3am drunk text messages about Snoop Dogg, helps me through horrific heartbreak and makes me feel like Beyoncé when I get a new haircut is undeniably worth celebrating.

In a world where the media encourages internalised-misogyny and fierce competition, girls that lift up other girls need their own personal shout out. And this shout-out should be in the form of Galentine’s day. Or even, Galentine’s week. Hell, let’s make 2016 the year of the bestie.

We have mother’s day, father’s day – celebrations of the people who look out for us, our families. But there’s not one day on the calendar to celebrate your platonic long-term partner, the life-wife. Make your own holiday. Let your Gal-Pals know you love them this year – because they’re the true love of your life.

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