I don’t hear from my brother super frequently and I don’t tend to answer calls during This is Us, however, I answered the phone that night. “I hear you and Mother marched”, he said. “Yes, we did”, I answered. “Well, I’m just really interested to know the reasons why, I genuinely want to understand”. Thank you, Luke. Really, I mean that.
The reason I started this blog was because I just love to travel and I’m passionate about food. I was also seeking a creative outlet. I did not necessarily intend for it to be political. Two weeks ago, I attended the Women’s March on Washington and couldn’t wait to share the great experience on here, until I read on Facebook about how some people felt about it. I was stunned. I have not been able to write about it until today.
On Saturday 21st January, I drove myself and 5 fabulous women to our Nation’s Capital to join thousands of others to march. I hadn’t originally planned to go but Steve’s cousin, Amy, and her wife MerryBeth asked me a few weeks ago if they could stay with me so that they could attend. They flew up from Florida for it and were SO excited. I kind of casually responded that I should probably go too and up until the day, I regrettably kept that attitude. However, just like many events and happenings in my life over the last couple of years, it was no accident that I was meant to be there.
What transpired was an awe inspiring day of peaceful solidarity amongst women of all ages and circumstances…along with many men. Not one single arrest. Medical emergencies were dealt with by Doctors who were marching also. Women came in wheelchairs. They came pushing strollers. Husbands and boyfriends came in support of the women in their lives. For about 3 hours, no one could move, so we got to know our neighbors…3 older very well-to-do Jewish ladies; a new mom with her sweet baby, husband and friends; a Floridian woman in a motorized scooter with her grand daughter, and then there was 10 year old Evan who climbed up the tree and led us to believe that the crowds were actually moving… Everyone was so very very polite and respectful. Paths were magically created for those needing special assistance. Were there some “vulgar” signs and attire? Yes. But more so than the source that inspired them? No. Actually, most of the signs were amazingly creative and brilliantly clever and I understand why there is talk of gathering many of them in a museum to commemorate the event.
Upon my return home, I was genuinely shocked, and quite frankly hurt, to learn that by attending the march, I was branded as a number of highly offensive things by some people. I can assure you that I did NOT go because I’m happy to kill my babies. But I CAN tell you that it hurt like hell when I miscarried my first pregnancy, but that thankfully I had the fortune to have great health insurance to figure out the problem and this allowed me to subsequently have 2 healthy boys. I did not litter while at the March. I was not violent, nor was a single other person there. I was not in costume, nor did I wear a Pussy Hat but I totally understood why people did.
I’m a single mom of 2 teenage boys. I’m not raising them totally alone though, they have a great and ever-present Dad. I am an immigrant and green card holder. I’m also a woman of relative privilege. Who did I march for? I marched for my boys and the women in their present and future lives. I marched for women who have far less than I and those who have endured abuse and violence. I marched with and for Amy and Merrybeth who, along with so many LGBT people, finally felt safe and free only to suddenly feel afraid again. I marched for the women and their families fleeing horrific conditions in other countries. I marched for better education and access to healthcare. I marched because it’s so important that we never go back but instead keep moving forward towards equality.
For the women who didn’t understand why we felt the need to march because they feel like they have every opportunity available to them already? Good for you to have that comfort and security, but I kind of marched for you too. Life and circumstances can and do change in an instant. I believe we also owe it to all those women who, in only the last 100 years, gave and risked their lives for what we have today. We have the privilege of feeling like we have endless opportunities and rights because they paved the way to allow us that feeling.
It was an amazing day, one that I’ll never forget. When I discovered that women had marched all over the world and that also I had the support of my friends from around the globe, I felt like a tiny part of something very powerful. Later, upon my return home, I discovered that my boys had been following the TV coverage all day.
As I usually bring food up at some point in these blog posts…for what it’s worth, I consumed a large tea and a Protein pack from a Starbucks in Fredericksburg and then snacked on nuts, dried apricots and way too many chocolate covered salted caramel pretzels during the March. We returned home to attend a lovely party at Silvia’s house, she was having a fabulously and typically diverse gathering of friends that included the serving of food representing various countries and a whole bunch of much needed wine. Perfect.
We gasped when we turned the corner to view the crowds for the first time, realizing that a few more than expected showed up:
Gotta get a selfie…
The vast majority of the following photos were taken by my brilliant friend and fellow marcher, Aimee Joyaux: