If you’re anything like me and you think that this year is already taking its toll then you’re probably struggling to have a loving and affectionate Valentine’s Day in quarantine. It also doesn’t help that I am and always have been single, but that isn’t the point. The point is that I like to add a sense of occasion, even to the simplest of western holidays that my society forces me to celebrate and Valentine’s Day is no exception.
This time last year, Valentine’s Day marked the end of my pre-COVID activities. After that, my school clamped down hard with its restrictions, being an epicenter for this new virus, and I went back to live with my parents. I honestly can’t believe that I’m coming up on a year, a full rotation around the sun, abiding by limitations put in place due to a global pandemic. So without knowing it, I had to make that Valentine’s Day count and I therefore want to make this one count.
Like most people on Valentine’s Day, I want to be sipping a virgin pina colada and wearing my black tights, because black tights are made for Valentine’s Day, as are pina coladas, at least in my mind. But I have no way of getting a pina colada and I left my tights at home. I could pick up some of the beloved chocolate covered strawberries from “Topps Bakery,” but since my school is actually strict about leaving campus for things that aren’t priorities, I might just wait until after they lift some of the restrictions. Then, I will practically live at Topps bakery.
So what is a single girl, locked in quarantine to do on Valentine’s day?
Well, as many of you know, I am a strong proponent of “Galentine’s.” Galentine’s day is an alternative holiday in which you celebrate your best gal pals, brought to us by Leslie Knope, the fierce feminist voice of the fictional TV show “Parks and Recreation.”
It has occurred to me that I have never read a book in which one of the themes was female friendship. I’ve read several books with great female role models, like Hermoine Granger, but even in that example Hermoine only had friends who were boys. Many of my favorite films are about gal pals, such as “Booksmart” and “The First Wives Club,” but I’ve never read a book that actually depicts and celebrates female friendship. It is for that reason that I’ve decided to observe Galentine’s day by reading a book that has been praised for its female besties, preferably one that doesn’t overcomplicate the matter.
One book that was overwhelmingly recommended to me when I google searched this was “The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan. So I decided to spend this holiday season reading, which is probably the safest way to celebrate anything while in quarantine. I also thought that in the spirit of “Galentine’s Day,” I should make some cookies for myself and my suitemate, the only other person I’m allowed to interact with because we share a living space together.
They’re called preacher cookies, although I have sometimes heard them called “no bakes,” since you make them completely on the stove without an oven. That also makes them incredibly convenient and easy to make. This was my first time making them alone, even though I have made them several times before with my mother. I stood over the stove the whole time, stirring together a full stick of butter, an obscene amount of sugar, and some whole milk. What I’m saying is, this is not the cookie you eat when you’re on a diet. I got globs of peanut butter over everything and stained a few surfaces with cocoa powder, but they came out perfectly.
My mother has promised to send me some girl scout cookies if she ever stumbles upon them, so I’ll be supporting female entrepreneurs and eating sweets for Valentine’s Day. I’m wishing everyone a happy Valentine’s/Galentine’s Day and if anyone else out there has any recommendations for stories about positive female friendships, please send me your recommendations. I’d love to read them.
The Tragic Queen,