I don’t know when I made International Women’s Day a personal holiday–probably sometime in college. Somehow I don’t need reminding of the significance of March 8th when it comes around. The date leaps out and says, “Remember!”
The day I remember fell in Spring 1991. I had doubled the office space of my graphic design business with a move across the Capital Square that January–just days before Operation Desert Storm broke loose and the economy froze like a frightened possum. My bank loan to outfit the new space drained fast as design work dried up. In early March my bookkeeper pointed out the dire news–I was losing money at a rate of around $4000 a month. With three employees, 1500 square feet of office, and no clients, what could I do?
I took her news and walked out the door. First I went to the florist around the corner and bought three long-stemmed red roses. Then I went to the bank and asked for three crisp hundred dollar bills. I returned to the shop and presented my gifts to Susan, Carolyn and Cathy. “Happy International Women’s Day,” I said. “Bread and roses.”
I’ve always wondered why exactly I did that… but I’ve never regretted learning that that’s the kind of person I am.
Here are three International Women’s Day suggestions for you:
1. Listen to Judy Collins sing “Bread and Roses”….
2. Read Linda Lenske on women and labor in “Maria from the Sewing Room”
3. Make a donation to a cause that celebrates women, such as Madison Community Foundation’s “A Fund for Women.”
Three cheers for the women!