This Valentine's Day, Treat Yo Self
Each Valentine’s Day I can count on one thing: a bouquet of flowers from my mom. This bouquet used to make me feel lame, lonely, not loved in any “real” romantic, non-mommy way. As a feminist I have always wrestled with the significance of Valentine’s Day in my life, not just because it's a commercial holiday based on consumerism and patriarchal customs, but because the day has never made me feel good or loved.
I did some quick research into the history of Valentine’s Day and it turns out that the day now associated with chocolate and roses dates back to the 5th century. The Roman holiday Lupercalia consisted of men sacrificing a goat and dog, then whipping women with the hides of animals they had slaughtered because they believed doing so would actually make them fertile. The holiday got its name from the Catholic Church's decision to honor the deaths of two men named Valentine who were executed by Emperor Claudius II on February 14 in the 3rd century A.D.
This year I decided that enough is enough: it's time to construct a feminist version of Valentine's Day (like one not founded on violence against women, for example). When I think about the ideal way to do that, three words come to mind: treat.yo.self. The phrase “Treat Yo Self” was coined during the fourth season of the television show Parks and Recreation, as characters Tom and Donna participate in a day of complete indulgence. My “Treat Yo Self” Valentine’s Day is a day devoted to celebrating me and my love for myself. What could be a better day to celebrate Valentine’s Day!?
This Valentine’s Day I will be celebrating in style with my amazing gal pals. We are having a potluck dessert Galentine’s Day party because in the words of Leslie Knope, “February 14th, Valentine’s Day, is about romance, but February 13th, Galentine’s Day, is about celebrating lady friends. It’s wonderful and it should be a national holiday.” I agree with Leslie except I think of February 14th, Valentine’s Day, as a “Treat Yo Self” Galentine’s combo sort of day.
So, this Valentine’s Day instead of feeling lame like I did or pressured by society to celebrate romantically, focus on all the loves in your life, especially your friends who keep your sane and strong and yourself because you are AMAZING.
Here are some ideas of things you can do on your “Treat Yo Self” Vday:
-Make a pot of your favorite tea
-Indulge by going to your favorite restaurant or order in your favorite food.
-Light some candles, pick a nice magazine or book to read, and spend some time soaking up bubbles in the bath.
-Revive your lovely mane with a cool new ‘do.
-Reorganize your space.
- Get your sweat on with a workout of your choice. Try that new yoga class or do some stretches at home. It feels good! (Or don’t and don’t feel badly about it).
- Have a movie marathon.
-Listen to music you can groove to. Beyoncé anyone?
-Do an activity that you enjoy but don’t do enough of… knitting, writing in your journal, artwork. Today’s the day!
- Snuggle with a pet or, if you are allergic, a human friend works too. If you are an anti-snuggler, then express your love in some other way. For example, give a stranger a compliment, or do a random act of kindness.
-Take a nap.
-Host your own Galentine’s Day party.
There is so much to love whether it be cupcakes, arts and crafts, naps, or hanging with your gal pals, it is good to remember to treat yo self. So, happy “Treat Yo Self” Valentine’s Day to you all.
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