Celebrating Galentine’s Day

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Musings from 20th Street

In case you haven’t heard of it,

Galentine’s Day (Feb 13th) is a phenomenon. Competing this year, in importance and glorious celebratory activities with its ancestral grandmother, Valentine’s Day.

Celebrating Galentine’s Day
(because it’s even more fun, precisely because it

de-emphasizes the “V’ part of your anatomy)

I know some lucky women who say that their boyfriend/ husband is their best friend. It may be true that these blessed women are really close to their partner. It may also be true that they count on him, depend on him, love being with him, and enjoy all kinds of other things that they have together, do together, feel together. But, it is unlikely that their boyfriend/husband really is their best friend.

Romance can be exquisitely blissful. But it can also be dreadfully painful. Boyfriends, fiancés, even husbands—they can (and often do) come and go. They may float away peacefully like a hot air balloon, or they may explode like the second coming of Fukushima. Even for the ones that endure—it is rare that romances don’t go through various and myriad upheavals during the course of a life of long-lasting love. (Anyway, your “V” part sometimes just needs a rest. And I mean not just that you don’t want to use it; I mean that you don’t want to even think about it—which is hard to do whenever there’s a man around—even the man you call your best friend).

But girlfriends are a different matter altogether. They are a steady state, which, by the way, is defined as “an unvarying condition in a physical process, especially as in the theory that the universe is eternal and maintained by constant creation of matter.” Get the point? They don’t disappear. They go on forever. My BFF has been with me through multiple boyfriends, a fiancé, and a husband (now ex). Most of the married women I know still have the same close girlfriends they had before their marriage.

You can’t fight the power of gal-pal. It’s in our DNA. We ladies are natural-born connectors. From day one, girl babies will search out the faces and eyes of a human; boy babies are perfectly happy steeling their gaze on a mobile (according to research by Simon Baron-Cohen at Cambridge University—he happens to be Sasha’s uncle). We women think, hope and pray that our guys will evolve into preferring sensual, suggestive eye contact over their mechanical toys, and some really do make the grade (for sexy moments in time). But the truth is, it’s not as natural as it is for girls. So it’s always an up-hill battle for the guys. They’d be well-served to wear a string around their finger as a gentle reminder.

What’s the best connecting we woman like to do with each other? Dissing our men! We laugh, cry, squeal in gleeful delight and writhe in throbbing pain as we complain to each other—plotting all manner of revenge: fantasies of pouring soup over his head the next time he forgets to take out the trash; or worse, imagining calling his ex to beseech her to take him back.

The other reason why celebrating G-Day is more fun than V-Day is because it is social, not dyad-al. We share with gorillas, dolphins, orcas, and wolves that we like to hang out with our own kind. All social animals like their own species, and women intuitively understand that the species of human females is different than the species of human males. In the wild, social animals get to the point where they have a recognizable and distinct society. Surely that sounds like what we girls do when we get together for gal-pal night, or for closet-cleaning day: we are a culture unto ourselves.

Girls, ladies, women: untie: it’s time to celebrate the joy of gal-pals.

Some thoughts on Galentine’s Day by Jane’s daughter, Molly:

Ah, Galentine’s Day. A big thank you to Leslie Knope for finally creating a day to celebrate the wonderful girlfriends you have. Who’s there for you when you go through a rough break up? Who’s there for you when your period cramps are insatiable? Who’s there for you when you want to watch a rom-com and paint your nails? Your girlfriends are. Truth be told, they stick around for all the feelings, all the pains, and all the good times as well. Your girlfriends deserve a day to be appreciated for putting up with your sh*t! Kidding. Hopefully, if they really love you, they enjoy being there for you through all the good and bad times… Unless you’re flying off the handle bars on a regular basis—in which case, we’ll have to write another article to help you with that issue!

Galentine’s Day can be celebrated in many different ways. Some suggestions I have, as a 23-year-old gal in New York would be a girl’s night on the town, paintin’ it red! Which actually brings me to my next suggestion, going to a Paint n’ Sip. Or perhaps instead of doing a typical Wednesday night activity, you could try something new together. Go on a bike ride, followed by wine and chocolate, or try out rock climbing… also followed by wine and chocolate! (I mean, let’s stay truthful, it’s not girl time without wine and chocolate).

I know, Valentine’s Day is what we all hope to celebrate with that special someone, but if you are not in a relationship at the moment, use this time to celebrate what you do have. Be thankful that even though you might not be getting steamy cuddles, you have your girls who support you through all the dry spells and nasty relationships.

A year ago I lost the person who I thought was the love of my life. I was absolutely crushed. I felt so alone. I came home and my roommate was in school. However, she left me little notes around the house saying “I’m your number one fan”, “I love you”, and more adorable things like that. THAT is dedication and love, if I do say so myself. That girl deserves an award of some kind. She helped me through the toughest time in my life. SHE will be celebrated on Galentine’s Day. I do have another boyfriend now, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room in my life to celebrate my appreciation and love for that girl. Plus, why not? Now you have TWO holidays where it’s perfectly acceptable, even encouraged, to down a bottle of wine, eat your weight in chocolate and be near the people/person you care the most about. Seems like a win, win, win to me!

To see more about La Casa’s Galentine’s and Valentine’s Day Specials, click HERE.

Respectfully submitted by:
*Licensed Psychologist
*Certified  Psychoanalyst
*Stone Carrier Medicine Woman, Native American Traditional Organization

Jane’s latest book is out now through Free Association Books, and available through AMAZON!

Do yourself a favor and get this book. It will touch you, it will reach you, it will teach you. If I had my way, this would be required reading for all parents and adult children.”

       -A.J. (Amazon Reviewer)

For a complete archive of all previous issues of Musings From 20th Street, simply click HERE!

I was interviewed by Betty.com for an article about how kids can cope when their parents get new partners.

In a special twist, my daughter Molly – currently in grad school studying to become a psychoanalyst – also contributed to the piece with some advice for her peers!

You can see the full article

The origins of Valentine’s Day date all the way back to the ancient Romans. According to a fascinating 2011 NPR article, the original day of romance included dog and goat sacrifice and the hitting of women with animal skins – a ritual meant to aid fertility!

Galentine’s Day has become a worldwide phenomenon ever since a 2010 episode of Parks and Recreation featured fastidious feminist (and enthusiastic government worker), Leslie Knope, taking her favorite gal-pals out for lunch in a special celebration of bonding and womanhood. Today, Galentine’s Day is a celebration of love between friends and, in the words of Leslie Knope herself, “It’s only the best day of the year!”

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La Casa Spa and Wellness Center was created out of the experience one woman had with her mother. Long before holistic medicine became widely known, Dr. Jane Goldberg spent the 1970s seeking alternative cancer therapies for her mother, who had been diagnosed with terminal bone cancer. Following sound principles of holistic health, Jane’s mother was able to reverse her cancer condition entirely, moving from her wheelchair to joyfully playing tennis again. This experience inspired Jane to specialize in her psychoanalytic practice to work with cancer patients, and to fulfill the need for a holistic healing center in NYC. Jane and La Casa invite you to partake of the restorative and profoundly cleansing therapies that have brought La Casa world-wide recognition.

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