Five days after the election, my friend Katie and I booked our train tickets (and a nice hotel, too!) to Washington DC. Basically as soon as the Women’s March on Washington was announced, we knew this was something we had to do.
I’ve never made a better decision in my life.
On Saturday morning, at 6:30am, we met at Penn Station, along with hundreds of eager, Pussy-hat wearing women.
During the train ride, we ate pastries, talked politics, napped and marveled at not having to throw snacks at our children. It was delightful and relaxing. And we were excited. When the conductor announced Washington DC, everyone on the train erupted in cheers.
Our plan was to drop our bags off at the hotel and then head to the march. It worked out even better than we could have ever planned it. The Metro (why is the DC Metro so clean?) was our friend, people were all around helpful (more on that later), and we made it to our hotel and to the Mall in record time.
Once we got closer to the “starting point” of the march, we realized there was no starting point. People were kind of aimlessly roaming around, shoulder to shoulder, and every now and then word would spread “You can’t walk this way. Turn around.” So hundreds of people would turn around and move into the opposite direction, slowly, inch by inch.
We finally found a good spot from which we could see a screen of the stage. We could hear the speakers and catch glimpses of their faces.
We were surrounded by a bunch of lovely ladies. We were surprised by the number of seniors; there were so many! Women with their friends, daughters, sons, grandchildren. But also young women, men, children, everyone from every walk of life you can imagine. It was so powerful.
Chants would spread across the ocean of pink-hatted people. Chants of love, unity, a revolution. Oh, to be a part of this! I felt it. And more than anything, I felt the unity. Never in my life have I been surrounded by that many people, strangers all of them, and experienced nothing but kindness and courtesy.
Not once did I hear a harsh word or feel an elbow in my ribs. Once we started moving, there was no space. We were like sardines, moving forward or sidewards or any which way we could, inch by inch. Katie and I laughed at our notion to stick to the outskirts of the march, for safety reasons. It was funny for two reasons: there were no outskirts in sight, and we were not worried about our safety, not for a split second.
Our sign got some good laughs, and I was blown away by everyone’s creativity and wit. Also, by the enormous number of vaginas on posters.
Our favorite chant of the day was, “You’re orange, you’re gross, you lost the popular vote!” Imagine thousands of people singing this.
After the march seemed over, although truthfully thousands of people were still marching in any direction in sight, Katie and I decided to head to our hotel to watch some news, refresh, eat. Oh, and beer. That first beer of the night was divine.
We had dinner at the hotel restaurant and drinks at a bar nearby. Then we crashed.
I slept like a baby, knowing no child would wake me, and I could sleep in the next morning. Of course, because that’s how I’ve been conditioned, I woke up at 6:30am. Read some news and dozed off again, and that in and of itself felt like a vacation.
We eventually rolled out of bed, showered, and headed towards a brunch spot we wanted to try, on a bus – in the wrong direction for about 15 minutes. We finally made it, ate, drank, had lots of coffee, and got ambitious again and wanted to check out a museum. Unfortunately, upon arrival, we were notified that all tickets for the day were already gone (at 1pm), so we decided to day-drink instead.
At 3pm we looked at our watches and realized that we hadn’t paid our check, needed to run to the hotel, in the rain, to pick up our bags and take the train or cab to the train station. Our train was to leave in 25 minutes. You’ve never seen two mamas run like we did!
We made our train, ate the rest of the trail mix we’d brought, read our books and marveled at the adventures we’d just had.
What an opportunity this was, what a movement, what a VOICE that cannot be ignored! The world heard us. Trump heard us. Everyone heard us.
And now we move onward. Let’s continue with the enthusiasm I witnessed, with the love and strength and unity and with our relentless will to make change happen. I truly believe now, after seeing these hundreds of thousands (and millions across the globe!) of people and walking amongst them, that Trump was what we needed to get our asses in gear and make it happen – together. Yes we can!
Meanwhile, on the home front, two of the reasons I marched: