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What was once a celebratory day on a fictional TV sitcom has emerged, like Festivus before it, as a very real day, spawning a legion of loyal followers. That's because it celebrates the platonic friendships among women. In a special CircleAround series, we asked writers — and readers — to tell us how their gal pals are helping them navigate one of the most challenging periods in our history, as well as to share stories about their meaningful female friendships.
* How to Celebrate Galentine's Day as a Busy Mom: "Girl time over a meal is magical because it allows us to slow down and enjoy each other’s company, catch up on what’s going on, and plan our next outing. This year, I’d like to catch up with myself and see what’s coming up for me — mentally, emotionally, and spiritually."
* Recharge Your Girl Power This Galentine's Day: "I’ve always been blessed with great, and for the most part female, friends. Growing up, I learned early on that romantic relationships can largely be transient, but true friendships can be with you forever. That’s why — in true Leslie Knope fashion — a Galentine’s celebration with your favorite people can be even more meaningful than your most romantic of Valentine’s Days."
* The Beauty of Lifelong Friendships: "Last summer, Rachel and her family drove west in an RV for a summer road trip, and we met up at a campground in Bryce Canyon in Utah. Under the night sky, grilling steaks on a fire, we found some respite from the raging pandemic. We watched our now teen boys awkwardly try to talk to each other. Long gone are the all-nighters of our 20s; we were now middle-aged women, creaky in places but wise where it counts."
* From Book Club to Pandemic Superheroes: "Meet the book club that is fighting the pandemic in New Mexico. 'The feeling has been magnetic —we have a single focus. We enjoy working with one another, we are so grateful for the opportunity, and we want to give back to our community. We want to take the joy we have from participating in this clinic and effect change in our tiny part of the world.' "
* The Pain of Being Ghosted by a Very Good Friend: "Diane left a voice message wishing me a happy birthday back in May, but she didn’t pick up the phone or return my call when I tried to get back in touch with her. I periodically sent “thinking of you” text messages. Sometimes, I popped into her Instagram DMs with a funny image I thought she’d like. One time, I even sent her a card, hoping the physical piece of mail would elicit a response."