This time of year kind of feels like a holiday wasteland after indulging in office parties, gift exchanges, tasty smorgasbords and lots of wine in the months leading up to January. But there were actually a ton of holidays packed into last week, starting with Galentine’s Day. This Valentine’s Day Eve gathering of ladyfriends has transcended its origin as a fictional celebration on Parks and Recreation into a bonafide fête, complete with commercial holiday status (Galentine’s Day Sale, anyone?).
Also on Feb. 13: Mardi Gras aka Fat Tuesday aka Shrove Tuesday. Mardi Gras is the culmination of the Christian Carnival leading into the Lenten season — those 40 days before Easter. But for most people celebrating around the Tri-State, country and world, this holiday involves tasty glazed king cake (don’t swallow the baby!), hurricane cocktails and loads of purple, green and gold beads. Fun fact: Elton John was smacked in the face with a strand of beads during a Las Vegas concert. He’s OK.
Fat Tuesday leads to Ash Wednesday, a Christian holy day for peace. It’s a big one for Catholics, so you probably saw some locals with ashy black crosses on their foreheads on Wednesday. Lent is the season to make a sacrifice, so get ready to hear Catholics and others talk at length about their holy sugar fasts like a new vegan offering unsolicited diet advice.
Of course, Wednesday was also Valentine’s Day, and if you didn’t post a picture of the flowers you received, do you even have a man?
Finally, what better way to celebrate Black History Month than with Black Panther’s opening weekend? That movie was fire! The Marvel flick grossed around $235 million during its three-day opening — the fifth-biggest box office debut ever. Wakanda forever!
Hopes for a Retro Reunion
Valentine’s Day is all about romance (I guess), but for one Hollywood couple, it marked the death day for their relationship. Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux reportedly saw each other “one last time” that night before announcing their separation Thursday. The two have been together since 2011 and got secret-married in a surprise ceremony in August 2015. Apparently Justin and Jen broke up late last year and have been trying to keep it under wraps, but since paparazzi gonna pap, they released a statement confirming that Theranniston is over. Maybe if they had a catchier celeb couple moniker they would have made it at least five years.
TMZ has jumped in to stir the pot with the report that their crack team of investigators could find no legal evidence of a marriage license for the couple in Los Angeles County. And since no divorce lawyers have come forward about working with them, some are speculating they never even made it offish in the eyes of the law.
If it was legal, it would be Justin’s first marriage and Jennifer’s second. She was famously married to Brad Pitt from 2000 to 2005 and got even more famously dumped in favor of Angelina Jolie. Now that Brangelina is no more, fans are calling for the ultimate 2000s reboot: Brad and Jen 2.0.
Happy Year of the Dog
There really were a shitload of holidays this week! As of Friday, It’s the Year of the Dog! Maybe this is a good sign for our shitty world. After all, 2017 was the year of the Cock (OK, I realize it’s Rooster and no one uses that term anymore, but bear with me), and it sucked a big one. Since everyone loves puppers and a cute dog video is one of the only things on the internet most people can enjoy without completely attacking one another in the comments, maybe this bodes well for 2018.
And the reigning king of the Year of the Dog is 5-year-old bichon frisé Flynn, who was crowned Best in Show at the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show last week. Flynn basically looks like a cotton ball with feet, which is to say, very adorable, and he beat out six finalists including a precious pug named Biggie. Let’s hope they all remain friends.
PyeongChang? More Like PenisChang (Sorry)
South Korea loves some phallic public art. An installation titled “Bullet Man” near the Olympic media center and ski jump center features three giant silver men, Ds out, faces covered with helmets that also look like penis heads. They have obviously gone viral, but the dicks don’t stop there! East of the PyeongChang Olympic village in Sinnam is Haesindang Park, which is seriously known as Penis Park. There are penis cannons, penis totem poles, penis benches and even more penis warrior men statues.
In other Olympics news, two figure skaters experienced a poorly timed wardrobe malfunctions (but handled it like champs). Viewers seemed to enjoy the way speed skaters push each other on the butt during the relay. A Russian curler is suspected of doping. U.S. ice prince Adam Rippon was offered a role as NBC commentator for the final week of the games, but he turned it down so as not to abandon his teammates. A new rule allowed figure skaters to compete to music with lyrics, and a French duo did not disappoint with their selection of Disturbed’s “The Sound of Silence.” U.S. freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy (who, along with Rippon, are the first openly gay American Winter Olympians) shared a celebratory kiss with his boyfriend, which happened to be caught on cameras in perhaps the first televised same-sex kiss at such an event. Team USA snowboarder Shaun White won a record-breaking third Olympic gold — America’s 100th in all of the Winter games— on halfpipe, but the #MeToo movement came after Shaun, who recently settled a sexual harassment suit out of court. As of press time, the U.S. is in fifth place for gold (5) and medals overall (10).
Contact T.C. Britton: [email protected]