The first formally named “Galentine’s Day” hit public mainstream thanks to Parks and Recreation’s Leslie Knope. Her (pre) Valentine’s Day celebration of female friendship struck chords with many women, especially those of us who have been lifting each other up for years before, during, and after Valentine’s Day.
My female friendships are such a profoundly large part of my identity. I’ve always been a girl’s girl, and my friends are, often times, my heroes and warriors who inspire and instill strength within me. Without my friends, I wouldn’t be close to half the woman I am on even my lowest days.
In honor of the eighth formally coined “Galentine’s Day,” here are a few of my favorite female friendship moments on TV. Err, well one day early. Because the TRUE Galentine’s Day should be the day before Valentine’s Day!
Sex and the City (Season 4, Episode 8 – “My Motherboard, My Self”)
I came of age in the SATC era. I loved everything about SATC. Even wanted to be SATC. My first visit to Manhattan would occur toward the end of the series. I remember scouring the Internet to find as much information about filming locations and restaurants, planning my barely-out-of-college-budget for a SATC-inspired weekend in NYC. For the record, I always identified more with Miranda, and not only because we both are gingers.
Although my first reaction to this episode was how could Carrie reject the super cute MacBook Aidan bought her, the most significant event is the death of Miranda’s mother. This episode aired when I was still in college – I had one semester remaining, and 9-11 wouldn’t happen for another three months.
It was some years later that I could appreciate the profound significance of how Carrie, Samantha, and Charlotte show up for Miranda. In particular, despite Miranda throwing off offers of help, Carrie recognizes a need in her friend that Miranda, herself, may not have recognized. In the final moments of the episode, at the recessional, Miranda and Carrie see each other. Carrie steps out of the pew, into the aisle, and clasps her friend. Miranda does not need to walk behind her mother’s casket alone.
Aside from losing grandparents, I hadn’t known loss. Firmly held inside a relationship that was descending deeper into abuse cycles, I was estranged from nearly all of my friends, only having relationships with them through phone calls.
Years later, in my 30’s and much closer to the ages of Carrie and Miranda, I would come to know this deep love of friends. I have so much affection for this series and these four women, and while there are so many lovely episodes, this single moment in one episode stays with me.
Insecure (Season 1, Episode 8 – “Broken as F**k”)
To me, Molly and Issa’s friendship IS the show. Their friendship is that rare type that we cherish but sometimes take for granted. Whether wining down, calling each other out, boosting the other up, or sharing in all the little joys that day to day can bring, their friendship repeatedly captures what it is to be the best of friends. In the season finale of Insecure’s first season, Issa and Molly’s friendship is as bad as the title claims. Following a blowout of blowouts, they are barely even talking to each other, and through the course of a masterful episode, realize they are the two who still has each other’s backs. As the episode closes on devastating consequences of earlier actions, they are leaning on each other.
Grace and Frankie (Seasons 1 – 3, Netflix)
Okay, I cannot choose a best moment, but real-life BFFs Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda are gut-bustingly funny as frienemies who come together out of hard need and become great friends. In the end of Season 2, they need to come to terms with some life shaking confrontations. They show a difficult way of showing up
Parks and Recreation (Season 2, Episode 16 “Galentine’s Day”)
Ann and Leslie have a sweet, endearing, and devoted friendship. Their friendship, and this show, has many moments of gorgeous woman building up woman warm and fuzzy feelings. Fun fact: I was so slow to get on the Parks and Recreation bandwagon, but now I love it.
This can be chalked up to consequences of pursuing a PhD while working full time, too. I do not recommend (that!)
To honor the genesis of what became a tradition of my own, hosting Galentine’s Day brunch in my condo (what a monstrous Pinterest explosion in my kitchen I made again and again), the episode that made it happen!
Happy Galentine’s Day to you, you beautiful land mermaids!