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Celebrate Your Gal Pals on 'Galentine’s Day,' Leslie Knope-Style

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Leslie Knope on Galentine's Day, 2014; courtesy NBC

As NBC’s Parks and Recreation enters its final season, we must prepare ourselves to say goodbye to Amy Poehler’s lovable character, Leslie Knope: an overachieving government ingénue-slash-powerhouse known for her optimism and attention to detail. And what better way to honor councilwoman Knope than to celebrate Galentine’s Day this year?

Galentine's Day Toast, 2014; courtesy NBC
Galentine’s Day Toast, 2014; courtesy NBC

“What’s Galentine’s Day?” Knope asks in Season 2, Episode 16, “It’s only the best time of the year! Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style: ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair minus the angst . . . plus frittatas.”

The importance of breakfast foods, especially waffles, is a recurring theme in Parks and Rec, and no Galentine’s Day would be complete without brunch. Depending on your tastes and budget, diner, potluck or artisanal brunches will all suffice as long as there are large quantities of butter and/or syrup involved.

And while you’re overdoing it with food, go ahead and present outlandishly thoughtful gifts that call your sanity into question. To get on Knope’s level, you’ll need to top “a bouquet of hand-crocheted flower pens, a mosaic portrait of each of [your friends], made from the crushed bottles of [her] favorite diet soda, and a personalized 5,000 word essay of why [they] are all so awesome.”

Heather Perry, Galentine's Day Card, 2015; courtesy DrunkGirlDesigns
Heather Perry, Galentine’s Day Card, 2015; courtesy DrunkGirlDesigns

And for long-distance gal pals, a handmade or digital Galentine is a must. There are handmade Galetines available on Etsy, like this one by Heather Perry available for purchase here. And googling ‘Galentine’ provides different images you can post prominently on social media.


Bear in mind, of course, that if you were Knope’s personal lady friend, she’d probably arrive on your doorstep to personally deliver a singing telegram or hire a skywriter to brighten your day. But as long as your gift is heartfelt and likely to embarrass its recipient, you’re on the right track. If nothing else, you could gift Amy Poehler’s book, Yes Please.

And if Feb. 13th passes you by, Knope notes that “anytime a group of women get together for brunch, we inhabit the spirit of the holiday.” So go out and celebrate the strong, beautiful women in your life by addressing them with bizarre compliments as Knope does: “You are my most beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful musk ox,” for example.

Parks and Recreation Galentine, 2013; courtesy NBC
Parks and Recreation Galentine, 2013; courtesy NBC

In a media landscape that often fails to pass the Bechdel Test, “ladies celebrating ladies” is a welcome holiday from a culture that encourages women to tear each other down. Knope, however, maintains “uteruses before duderuses” and “ovaries before brovaries.”

Parks and Recreation’s “Galentine’s Day” episode explores how trying to live out traditional Valentine’s Day fantasies can lead to disappointment, but taking the time to honor the platonic love we have for both the women and men in our lives can soften the ups and downs of romance.

As Knope says in Season 3, Episode 13, “We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn’t matter, but work is third.”

To learn more about Parks and Recreation and its farewell season, visit NBC’s website.

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