We have a lot to thank Parks and Recreation for, but one of the greatest gifts that the show gave fans is Treat Yo Self Day. In 2011, Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) and Donna Meagle (Retta) introduced us all to this most blessed of days: one day a year that’s all about you. There are no rules on Treat Yo Self Day except for giving into your heart’s desires (within reason… don’t show up Lloyd Dobler-style outside of Jennifer Lawrence’s window), so go ahead and buy those shoes and put them in that all-new tastefully appointed Mercedes. You deserve it.
While the idea of treating yourself every day just isn’t sustainable, that doesn’t mean that you have to give up that kind of mentality. Let these Parks and Recreation characters show you how to live your best life and adopt “treat yo self” as your new mantra.
“How do you make any event classy on a budget? Red carpet. My entire apartment is red carpet. On top of that, leading into my bedroom, a second red carpet. Oh, what’s this in my shoe? Red carpet insole. Everywhere I go, I’m walking on red carpet.” — Tom
Sometimes you have a bit more swag than your situation allows, and no one knows that feeling better than ol’ Tommy Fresh. Humble Pawnee just didn’t have the glitz to keep up with his charisma, so he made his own. While red carpet may not be your thing, find your way to shine and don’t let anyone stop you.
“Sometimes you gotta work a little, so you can ball a lot.” — Tom
You gotta be able to support the “treat yo self” lifestyle, so working hard is definitely the first step. Those mimosas aren’t going to buy themselves. If you’re ever feeling down about the 9-5 grind, remember that it is your bridge to meeting your goals. Your office job may not be the dopest, but it will allow you to ball out on the weekends.
“Use him. Abuse him. Lose him. That’s the Meagle motto.” — Donna
While being in a committed relationship is great, sometimes you just want to get your flirt on at happy hour. Donna slayed dudes left and right all over Pawnee, so let her be your spirit guide when navigating the single life. Treating yo self isn’t just about material things; sometimes it about getting over your insecurities and getting that cute guy’s number.
“When life gives you lemons, steal your grandma’s jewelry and go clubbin’.” — Jean Ralphio
Jean Ralphio is a garbage person, and this is mostly terrible advice. However, rolling with the punches isn’t a bad approach to life. Don’t steal from your grandma, but maybe go and dance it out. Sure, your problems might still be there in the morning, but you can have fun before you have to face reality.
“Jogging is the worst, Chris. I know it keeps you healthy, but god, at what cost?” — Ann
It’s a new year, so everyone is feeling extra ambitious about their resolutions. Jogging is indeed the worst, but what if you jogged to the new fro-yo place down the block? That counts as exercise, right? You can transform anything with the power of the “treat yo self.”
“I’ll have a glass of your most expensive red wine mixed with a glass of your cheapest red white wine served in a dog bowl. Silly straws all around, please.” — April
Nobody said you had to be classy when pursuing the “treat yo self” life. Half of what wine snobs say is utter nonsense anyway, so go with what you like. A dog bowl probably isn’t the best way to go, but maybe you prefer your Franzia straight from the box?
“I mean, look at what I’ve accomplished.” — Ben
Part of treating yourself is cultivating your hobbies, so whether you want to write the next Mouse Rat mega-hit or craft some sweet claymation, do what makes you happy. Whether you share it with others or prefer to do it on your own, follow your passions, even if they’re a little weird.
“Just give me all the bacon and eggs you have. Wait…wait. I worry what you just heard was ‘give me a lot of bacon and eggs.’ What I said was ‘ give me all the bacon and eggs you have.’ Do you understand?” — Ron
Asking, nay, demanding what you want is definitely part of treating yourself. Like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, going back to show those bitchy shopgirls on Rodeo Drive what a mistake they had made, you go ahead and stand up for what you really want. It may not be extreme amounts of breakfast food, but you have to start somewhere.
“We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn’t matter, but work is third.” — Leslie
It’s easy to get caught up in the American idea of success, but it’s good to keep your priorities in line. While being a contributing member of society is all well and good, be sure to make time for the finer things in life. Because, honestly, what’s better than waffles? (Nothing.)
“Not to worry. I have a permit.” — Ron
Part of truly treating yourself is knowing when you’re in charge. Sometimes you have to fight for your right to party, so don’t let the man bring you down. No guarantees that this ballsy permit will actually pan out for you, but maybe people will be taken aback by your sheer audacity.