What a day. For someone who sleeps from 8 pm-7 am, getting up at 3:20 am was NOT easy. When the alarm went off, I had half-a0mind to just turn it off, roll over and go back to sleep. The only thing that kept me from doing that is knowing I had 8 women showing up at my house in 1/2 hour to accompany me to the Maplewood Rally bus pick up spot and I was designated as a captain of one of those buses…
After a bumpy morning- I couldn’t find my wallet, there was a not-so-nice woman at the bus stop, our bus was a 1/2 hour late- we got on the road. I still wasn’t feeling the exhilaration I thought I would and I was worried the whole thing was going to be anticlimactic. That’s until we pulled into the rest stop.
The number of buses at the rest stop (and pulling in and pulling out) rendered me speechless. The number of pink pussy hats, women peeing behind a shed and the sheer energy made me feel, well, united.
We didn’t get there on time (we were shooting for 9 and we got there at 10:30) but when we pulled into RFK stadium, I could not believe my eyes. Thousands of buses- each carrying approximately 50 people! It was a sea of pink walking towards the exit of the stadium. And it didn’t stop there.
While we could have taken the Metro to the beginning of the rally, we decided to follow the masses and walk. It already felt like we were part of the movement and we hadn’t even joined the masses. As we walked along the streets of DC, so many people had signs on their lawns supporting the cause, some were outside cheering us on, one man had his two small daughters with him and he told us he just returned from the main area and “it was amazing!”
There was an overall feeling of disorganization and miscommunication as to when/where events were happening but we were all just happy to be walking in these massive crowds, reading all the signs, and feeling like we were a PART OF SOMETHING BIG. Some of our favorite signs read:
- “Pussy brought you into this world!”
- “Women’s right are human rights. #FreeMelania”
- “You can’t just say that!”
- And my favorite (sign and chant) “We want a leader NOT a Tweeter!”
After walking 8 miles (according to a friend’s Fitbit and my Apple watch) we decided to find a place to rest our feet, get some food and have a beer! Lucky for us, as soon as we arrived at Circa at Foggy Bottom, a table of 8 was getting up! We sat right down and immediately felt the weight (physically and mentally) of the day catch up with us. Still, we were surrounded by fellow protesters and our energy was high!
CSPAN was on the TV and we saw that Madonna was at the march?! We still have no idea where that was, but the whole table of women I was with broke into song (loudly) to her lyrics “Don’t go for second best baby Put your love to the test you know, you know you’ve got to Make him express how he feels and maybe Then you’ll know your love is real!” No one cared and we were happy.
After lunch/dinner/who-knows-what-when-you-are-up-since-3am we made our way back to the bus passing weary, but accomplished, groups of women like us. A few times I yelled “Great day, ladies” and cheers immediately followed. We all knew what we had been a part of. The peaceful protests, the unison chanting, the unified message, the energy… gave us HOPE.
What comes next? Local protests, petition signing, having our voices heard. We cannot, will NOT STOP NOW!