Celebrating 'GALentine's Day'

Sunday was Valentine's Day; advertisements, casual conversations, and seeing hearts and roses everywhere make it impossible not to notice this holiday. No one is more aware of Valentine's Day than those of us who are presently single. Indeed, on Valentine's Day I avoid going to restaurants, walking through the mall, looking on Facebook - I don't need extra reminders of this festival of couples. Even Trader Joe's was teaming with bouquets and bustling with guys picking up ingredients for the meals they are making for their sweethearts.

Rather than moping over singlehood, last year a few friends and I decided to instead celebrate GALentine's Day (which we thought was an original name). The concept is a "girls' night in" - order dinner, have it delivered, and watch a movie with other non-attached female friends - a way to celebrate that these relationships enrich our lives.

Last year we watched 'Captain America' with its perfect balance of action, romance, and a sometimes-shirtless hot hero. This year someone suggested watching the movie 'Pain & Gain' to maximize on-screen time of shirtless hot men, but instead we found ourselves watching all 6 episodes of the BBC mini-series 'Pride & Prejudice'. Regardless what we watched, the concept behind the evening was the same: we are independent women who have many wonderful people in our lives with whom to spend any evening, including February 14th. It is a statement that as accomplished women we don't need someone special making us dinner to feel important - we already are important, to ourselves and to others.

While it is always lovely to have someone special make us dinner, our self-worth is not defined by that. We can arrange for someone to make and deliver dinner, no dirty pots involved. Or, as happened this year, have fun making our own. We popped open a bottle of wine, laid out the fixings for make-your-own sushi, and had fun ridiculing and gushing over the drawn-out romance between Ms. Bennet and Mr. Darcy. In my experience, it is unlikely that many male significant others would have been willing to watch this classic mini-series. Nor would they so enthusiastically watch female-oriented films and make the experience as much fun as it was to watch with my female friends.

I am happy for my friends who have found the man of their dreams and enjoyed a romantic Valentine's Day with him. Not all of us have found him yet; Ms. Bennet first rejected a marriage proposal from Mr. Collins because she knew they were a bad match. Celebrating GALentine's Day together was a testament that our lives are already full and not dependent on being with a man, whether or not he is right for us. We are happy to remain single and enjoy the company of friends until the right man comes into our lives. Perhaps by next year we will all have found our Mr. Darcys, but if not, be assured there will be another delightful evening celebrating GALentine's Day.