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Here’s How Donna From ‘Parks and Recreation’ Would Celebrate ‘Treat Yo’ Self’ Day in 2017

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Today is “Treat Yo’ Self” day, otherwise known as the best day of the year. For the sad souls who have lived their lives without knowing what this hallowed holiday is until now, here’s a brief: on October 13, 2011, Donna Meagle (Retta) and Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari,) two of the best characters on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, introduced “Treat Yo’ Self” day to the public; the day is exactly what it sounds like: a day to pamper yourself and indulge in your most extravagant whims. Clothes? Yep. Fragrances? Yup. Massages, mimosas, and fine leather goods? Yes, yes, and yes!

The holiday became an instant hit with fans of the show, who have enthusiastically celebrated the day every year since the episode aired (in the last season of the show, Tom and Donna have a final “Treat Yo’ Self” day that’s their most extravagant yet.) In honor of “Treat Yo’ Self” 2017, we caught up with Retta to see how both she and her on-screen counterpart would celebrate this very important holiday in the present.


Why do you think people have loved Donna and Tom doing “Treat Yo’ Self ” day so much?

To me, I feel like Donna and Tom, particularly together, had a child-like love for life and I think we don’t embrace that when we’re older. I think watching them do that with sheer abandon, to just enjoy things, kind of brings you back to that and you want to experience that too. And people love to buy sh-t! It’s a good excuse.

Do you still keep in touch with Aziz Ansari since Donna and Tom were partners-in-crime?

The whole cast does. We talk at least once a week if not more because we have a group text. Our most recent group text was Pratt saying that he was in town because he’s been working so much, so we were trying to figure out where and when. Amy and Nick are both on set for their new show, Making It, so they sent pictures from the barn they were filming at.

How do you think Donna would celebrate “Treat Yo’ Self” day in 2017?

She would do all the things that they said they would do. The massage. The mimosas. The shopping. Once Parks ended and they had that flash-forward episode, she was in a place where she was earning good money, so she would be getting those massages during a trip to Europe. Doing more extravagant shopping, like in a boutique in Rome. Her Instagram would be filled with more lavish locations.

How would you celebrate “Treat Yo’ Self” Day if you could be as extravagant as Donna?

I am an avid handbag purchaser. So my first stop would Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci. I say this as though I don’t do this every other week. I definitely have an obsession with handbags and I say that it’s because they always fit. The clothes that I like, the styles that I like, they may not always make it in my size, but they always make handbags my size.

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Write to Cady Lang at cady.lang@timemagazine.com