The First Galentine’s Day
Word Count: 940
Her freshman year of college was not proceeding as planned.
In the fall she lost the race for student body president despite handing out thousands of “Vote Knope” cookies and plastering posters on every available surface across campus. She strongly suspected that in the end the race had been decided by popularity, something that could not be changed no matter how brilliant her debate performance.
She thought that her mother’s advice to hang out in the laundry room and try to talk to people had not been very successful judging by the volume of people who suspiciously declined her offer to watch their laundry for them.
Her petition to start a club celebrating breakfast foods was unceremoniously struck down by the student government association.
In November, the cute boy in her European Diplomatic History class had asked her to coffee and she accepted. But when he told her over lattes that he thought Margaret Thatcher was the “Iron P--- of Great Britain,” she had to admit that it probably wasn’t going to work out between them.
In December she inexplicably earned a C+ in her U.S. Government class. The professor was totally unimpressed when she rattled off the list of her favorite political biographies during a meeting in his office. He loudly told her to focus on the presidents- not their wives- for they were the people who actually made decisions. She hated him.
So, after a quiet Christmas break in Pawnee, when she started to feel homesick before she even left her house, she made a decision. She must take her fate in her own hands and take charge of her own destiny. She needed lady friends, more activities, and better grades. Boys could wait.
She was friendly with the fellow freshman girls on her dorm floor but spent many quiet weekend nights in the library as none of them had ever actually invited her to anything. Leslie figured that the only way to get these girls to hang out with her was to create an event and invite them. Who would turn down party favors and free food?
Leslie had always loved the ideal of best friends who supported each other through all life’s decisions. She truly believed that there should be a national holiday celebrating true friendship love. She decided that she would start a tradition. A National Galentine’s Day Celebration of Ladies Supporting Ladies!
She invited everyone personally to the Inaugural Galentine’s Day. It was a modest affair, held in the common room in their dorm. Her R.A. flatly refused to allow her to use anything other than scotch tape to attach decorations to the walls so the result was not as festive as Leslie would have liked. But there was a waffle iron with a full toppings table, streamers, table decorations, and balloons. Attendees received a gift bag that included the following items:
- A 5,000 word essay on what each lady’s favorite song said about her personally
- Three dozen cookies in the shape of each lady’s face
- A framed photo of Leslie and each lady, proving that they were best friends forever
Sure, it was super hard to write 5,000 words for Tammi about “Save the Best for Last” without including the sentence “HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU TAMMI.” She was still not sure what “Jump Around” said about Beth as a person. Carrie needed to just stop stringing two guys along- “Two Princes” was NOT an accurate description of her love life.
If anyone had asked, she’d admit that her song was “Losing My Religion” and maybe she’d have talked a little bit about failing at college and missing Pawnee. But no one did.
The majority of the girls quickly left after digging their gift bags out of the pile. Christina (favorite song: “Whoop, There It Is”) was the only one to stay behind and sit down across the table from her. She stared at Leslie. Leslie dejectedly stared back. After a long silence, Christina finally spoke.
“So are we eating waffles or what? Isn’t that what the invite said?”
Startled, Leslie leapt to her feet. “Of course, what do you like for toppings? I have whipped cream, chocolate sauce, butterscotch sauce, caramel sauce, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, milk chocolate chips, white chocolate chips…”
“Just some whipped cream is fine.” Christina furtively glanced around before reaching into her bag and pulling out a bottle of Kapali. “You’ve got coffee too, right? I stole this from my parents’ liquor cabinet when I was home for Christmas. We should mix it in and make this a real party.” She gave Leslie a conspiratorial smile.
Leslie wasn’t a drinker. She believed in rules and she abided by them. But the allure of having a secret with someone was too powerful for her to resist. She slid the coffee carafe and two mugs across the table. “Ok, I’m in.”
Leslie sat at the head of a table full of beautiful, strong, independent women, all of whom she was proud to call her friends. She beamed at each of them in turn.
The lady seated to her left reached into her purse and pulled out a small flask then leaned in and winked at her. “I stole this from my liquor cabinet at home. You want to spice up this party a little bit?”
Leslie smiled furtively back at her. “You bet your ass I do. And give Ann a hit of it too.”
Christina smiled, unscrewed the cap and topped off both Leslie and Ann’s drinks.
“Happy Galentine’s Day!” she cheered.
“Happy Galentine’s Day!” came the response from the table.