Valentines Schmalentines!

Whenever Mardi Gras rolls around, it takes me back to 1981 when I actually spent a four-day weekend in New Orleans checking it out.  43 years later, I’m not up for that sort of revelry anymore, but I do wonder if the throngs still chant “Show your tits!” whenever a young lovely is in the vicinity.

This year Mardi Gras is just dental appointment day for me.  Fat Tuesday is no big deal, but come to think of it, given the obesity rate today, isn’t every Tuesday Fat Tuesday?

At any rate, I thought after leaving the dentist’s office I might want to nurse a brew or two as a modest nod to the day, so I checked out a web site that highlights special events at local craft breweries.  That was when I discovered that Fat Tuesday was also Galentine’s Day.  News to me, but I miss a lot of memos, so I thought I needed to catch up.  So I took a little trip to Google land.

It is just a coincidence that this year Mardi Gras coincides with Galentine’s Day, which always falls on February 13, one day before Valentine’s Day.  As you might expect from the name, it is a female-friendly holiday.  At first blush, one might think it is some sort of lesbian holiday but that is not necessarily the case.  The idea is to celebrate female empowerment and solidarity – in short, “ladies celebrating ladies.” Apparently, it derives from a 2010 episode of the TV show Parks and Recreation.  Fourteen years later, thanks to actress Amy Poehler and writer/producer Michael Schur, you can now buy Galentine’s Day merch at Walmart, Target, and Party City.  As near as I can tell, Hallmark has yet to honor the day with any greeting cards.

In some circles the holiday is abbreviated as G-Day, which raises the question: When it comes time to choose a bar or restaurant to celebrate the holiday, what is the best G-Spot to celebrate G-Day?

A quick check of the calendars in my home and office reveals no Galentine’s Day listed.  But that day may come.  Holidays come and holidays go.  For example, Lincoln’s Birthday, the day before Galentine’s Day, appears to be in transition.  Some of my calendars list it, some don’t.  Hard to believe but one day the Great Emancipator might be scrubbed from calendars altogether and lumped in with the likes of Millard Fillmore and William Henry Harrison on President’s Day.

You may or may not be surprised to find out that there is a male counterpart of Galentine’s Day.  Called Malentine’s Day, it falls on February 12 – yet more competition for Honest Abe!  It’s a bit surprising that Ballantine beer hasn’t tried to work out some sort of promotion for Malentine’s Day.  The ads almost write themselves.

Of course, in these inclusive times, we can’t leave out the non-binary crowd.  Enter Palentine’s Day, also celebrated on February 13.  This day is geared towards platonic relationships, so the emotional component of the holiday is mild.  Not much commercial potential here.  But I could be wrong.  Just as everyone pretends to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, maybe in the future everyone will pretend to be an incel on Palentine’s Day.

All these permutations on Valentine’s Day should not be surprising.  With more men going MGTOW and the marriage prospects for young women growing dimmer by the day, Valentine’s Day no longer suffices for many people.  Will the day come when the “Seasonal” section in your local chain store will stock as much candy, gifts, and kitsch for Galentine’s/Malentine’s/Palentine’s Days as they do for Valentine’s Day?  In the final analysis, this proliferation of holidays may be about nothing more than making a buck.  Something has to prop up the retail sector till the Christmas season.

Long before Galentine’s Day, a predictable feature of the season was a flurry of articles consoling women who got depressed on Valentine’s Day because they had no significant others.  While women may have an exalted sense of entitlement today, they can’t seem to wrap their heads around the fact that they are not entitled to a male companion.  Especially galling is the fact that a receptionist, a dental hygienist, or a shop girl might have a guy but the girl boss doesn’t.

Unattached women seem unable to relegate Valentine’s Day to the scrap basket of N/A holidays, e.g., Grandparents Day…Gold Star Mother’s Day…National Children’s Day…National Foster Care Day…Administrative Professionals Day…National Back to School Day, etc.  Maybe that’s because Valentine’s Day really does have something to offer the lonely woman.  While her paired-up sisters revel in male attention, the single woman has the perfect excuse for a pity party or even a good cry.  Kind of like Election Day.

Nevertheless, now that we have Galentine’s/Malentine’s/Palentine’s Day, it would seem that everybody has a feel-good day in mid-February.  Well, maybe not furries.  That’s a shame because there are intriguing alliterative possibilities for furries and February.  Also, furry rhymes with merry!  It’s a situation just begging for exploitation.

In truth, the mid-Feb holiday season doesn’t end with Valentine’s Day!  Singles Awareness Day, appropriately abbreviated as SAD, is celebrated on February 15.  It’s also the birthday of Susan B. Anthony, who might have unwittingly played a part in creating all those sad young women.  And if all of that isn’t depressing enough to contemplate, February 15 is also International Childhood Cancer Day.

Admittedly, February tends to be a depressing time of year.  Winter has worn out its welcome and spring is still a ways off.  So perhaps the mid-month holidays should, like some Valentine’s Day chocolates, be bittersweet.

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