February 13, 2013

be mine, galentine

Happy Galentine's Day to you!

Last year's Galentine's Day swag bags
contained Recycled Romances (copies of
old romance novels I'd enjoyed in the past,
linked together by common themes),
beauty products, candies and a lot of
decorating. This year's bags are a little
different, but I'll share those
details later!
(If you're reading my blog, I assume you're either a woman interested in women's literature, or my dad counting on a recipe-themed post. If you're neither of these, well, I still wish you a Happy Galentine's Day, because you most be a highly progressive male who feels comfortable enough in his masculinity to check out a hot pink blog.)

Today, I will be meeting some of my favorite local ladies for lunch at a Mexican restaurant to celebrate the bonds of sisterhood. After work, some of my co-workers and I are grabbing sushi.

I know it's not the brunch arrangement Parks and Rec's Leslie Knope had in mind when she founded the day, but we don't have a JJ's Diner in town to make us some fabulous waffles.

This is my second consecutive year celebrating my friendships, and I am excited. Why do it? Galentine's Founder Leslie Knope says it best:

"Ladies celebrating ladies. It's like Lilith Fair minus the angst. Plus frittatas." 

As my good friend and fellow Galentine's Day party planner and I discussed, this holiday has quickly become one of our favorites. In true Leslie Knope fashion, we began discussing this year's festivities soon after last year's were done. You'll be able to read all about the swag bags I lovingly made for my Galentine's later. (I need to keep it a secret until after I give them away!)

In the interest of celebrating the love of friendship with you readers I thought we'd talk about best friends in books. Last year I ran a series on the blog counting down my top 10 favorite BFFs in literature. In the interest of time (and the fact that not all of my top BFFs were ladies), here's a look back at five women make the bonds of friendship and sisterhood look good.

My No. 1 Galentine, Jane, and I wish you a marvelous
Galentine's day filled with friends, laughter and food.
Jane Bennet of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
I'm blessed to call my own sister my best friend, and I can assure you it is a beautiful thing, which is why I love Lizzie's relationship with her sister, Jane. Both sisters are willing to go to extreme lengths to ensure the other's happiness. They enjoy each other's company. They swap secrets. They dish about men. Also, they take their friendship to the max when they marry BFFs, ensuring they'll spend their futures together. The Bennet girls have no choice but to be close, but in the case of Jane and Elizabeth, I'm sure they would have been besties whether or not blood connected them.

Diana of the L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series 
Though Anne and Diana grow up and inevitably see less and less of each other, their friendship withstands the distance. What started as one of the sweetest childhood friendships ever depicted in a book, Anne and Diana together as grown-ups is a delight to follow, too. No matter where Anne goes on her adventures there is still a connection between the two women. Anne never forgets Diana, and you know they are important to each other. Their friendship shows that even though two people can be quite different they can still develop a close kinship.

Suze of Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series 
Everyone needs a Suze in their life. Someone who will help you meet goals, pay off  debts and tell you when you are in too deep or acting crazy. There are countless ways Suze offers assistance to Becky, whether it's a huge production or a brief phone call. She is the type of modern friend we all want. Someone who loves you, has your back and shares an honest relationship with you.

Charlotte of E.B. White's Charlotte's Web  
I think the final lines of the book says it all where dear Charlotte is concerned:
Wilbur never forgot Charlotte. Although he loved her children and grandchildren dearly, none of the new spiders ever quite took her place in his heart. She was in a class by herself. It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.
I bawled when I read it in elementary school, and I tear up every time I have read it since. Charlotte devoted her life to Wilbur and left an impression on him for the rest of her life like a good friend does.

Hermione from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series 
Talk about a HBIC. Though Hermione comes off as a know-it-all, I find her empowering. She isn't ashamed to be smart, and for the most part she makes a great role model for young girls. And even though Harry is the star, he would never have made it to the end without his friends -- a fact he seems to appreciate in the end.

Also, as an honorable mention, be sure to check out my thoughts on two groups of girlfriends who seem to treat every day like Galentine's Day: Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, Stacey, Dawn, Mallory and Jessi of Ann M. Martin's Baby-sitters Club series and Mac, Emma, Laurel and Parker of Nora Roberts' Bride Quartet.

The importance of solid friendships plays a big role in the novel I am working on now. I'm always intrigued by the dynamics of friends, but one factor always remains the same: a BFF supports his or her buddy through thick and thin and makes them better.

Now, as I prepare to eat way too many calories, today, it's your turn to weigh in: Who are your favorite BFFs in books?

A preview of this year's Galentine's Day swag.

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  1. This post just confirms that we are virtual besties. I was nodding my fool head off as I was reading each one of these because I TOTALLY agree! I don't think I could have worded it as well as you did, but you're the writer here, not me ;)
    I think I would add Jessica and Hope from the Jessica Darling series. Even though you don't often get to read about the time they spend together, you can tell they're still BFFs, even after Hope is forced to move away.
    I hope you have a fabulous Galentine's Day!

    1. And a happy Galentine's Day to you, my virtual bestie! I haven't read those books, but will add them to my list.

  2. I heart this post, Laura! And, of course, I totally agree with all of your choices for literary BFFs! A group of female friends I love are Henrietta, Charlotte, and Penelope in the Pink Carnation books, which is a Regency series by Lauren Willig. These three ladies are very different in their personalities, but they always support and help each other and they are hilarious together! I will never forget the scene in The Masque of the Black Tulip when the three of them are stalking Henrietta's love interest, Miles, in the park and they end up hiding behind a bush so they can spy on Miles and some black widow he's taking on a carriage ride. The three of them are SO funny in that scene, especially when Miles catches them!

    Enjoy all of your Galentine's celebrations today! I'm just jealous that we don't live in the same city so that I can participate in all the fun!

    1. It's too bad you can't be here for the Galentine's festivities -- we take it pretty seriously (i.e. I'm wearing a pink sweater AND glittery headband to lunch), but I'm glad to celebrate via the interwebs.

      I'll have to add those books to my list. I love a good story with a fab group of friends.

  3. Love Parks & Rec, love Leslie Knope and LOVE this post!!
    Your list of Book BFFs is awesome! (I can't decide which is my favorite--Jane or Suze!)
    Have a great Galentine's Day!! :)

    1. It's tough to choose isn't it? And so much love for Leslie. I wish I was more like her.

  4. I love Parks & Rec too! This is so off topic, yet not, but the episode that was shot in Indy with the never ending bachelor party was so cool to watch being an Indiana resident. The gal who walked in with Newt Gingrich is a local news anchor, and one of my buddies was in the restaurant scene at St Elmo's!

    Okay, on to BFF's. It's so hard for me to choose, but one recent BFF couple I loved was in Dina Silver's book, Kat Fight, with Kat and her BFF Adam. Super duper cuter relationship. XO

    1. I love the Indy episode. My brother is a big Colts fan, but not a huge P&R lover. I made him watch and even he liked it. So cool you know some of the people!