Recharge Your Girl Power This Galentine's Day
Photo Credit: KucherAV/Shutterstock
As the one-year quarantine-versary approaches, many of us are mentally fried. Add to that the pressure of having a picture-perfect love life for Valentine’s Day and there aren’t enough bath bombs in the world to relax you. So, why not balk at tradition and celebrate the relationships that mean the most to you?
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.
First Birthday in Quarantine
I recently celebrated my first birthday in quarantine. As the day came closer, a cloud hung in the air in place of my usual birthday cheer. It would be the first birthday in many, many years where I couldn’t celebrate by filling my apartment to capacity.
But all was not lost. At the request of my all-girl bowling team, I was to meet them on Zoom for a virtual happy hour one lonely winter night. It turns out, my ladies had surprised me with an invitation to a virtual escape room. And the hunt was on!
During quarantine, one of the things I’ve missed the most is simple interactions with my friends. Though we can still have hangouts on Zoom, we are no longer creating the same kinds of memories that can only come from interacting with each other. Enter, the escape room!
During quarantine, one of the things I’ve missed the most is simple interactions with my friends.
Complete with a host and a mystery, the virtual escape room came in the form of a link that transported you to a virtual room filled with clues. You could click around to various parts of the room and search for clues throughout the area. Clues would connect to puzzles, and the puzzles would ultimately lead to the code that would allow us to "escape the room."
We had a shared Google doc provided by the company where we could share the various clues we found. Mini-games and prompts would open up and reveal clues when solved properly. Even in our pre-quarantine lives, we had never worked together in this kind of fashion. It’s not very often a friend group decides to hang out and try to solve puzzles and vague clues.
Being in the Same 'Room'
Half of the challenge is in finding the clues, the other is solving them. But also, we had to learn to work together — and virtually, on top of everything else. Hearing my friends work out the clues and support each other reminded me how lucky I am to have such intelligent, compassionate friends.
And, I’m happy to report, our teamwork paid off. We managed to escape the room with around 10 minutes to spare — an accomplishment made greater by the assertion from our host that this particular escape room had a 25% solve rate.
So, this Galentine’s Day, if you are looking for a great way to empower your friend group and make new memories, one possibility is finding a themed escape room that speaks to you and yours. Whether you win or lose, you will have learned something new about the people in your life. And, maybe, you’ll feel for a moment as if you all are in that same room, supporting each other as true friends do.
This post is part of a month-long February CircleAround series, tied to Galentine's Day. 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. 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. To see all the posts in the series — including relevant news stories — visit here. And if you'd like to contribute to the series, send us your thoughts to email@example.com or post on our "2021 Inspiration Wall."