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Skirts, Pearls & Shattered Ceilings

July 26, 2016

I wore a dress and pearls to work today. I hadn’t precisely planned it… 

I mean, the dress was because of a presentation. The pearls were because they matched the dress, and the earrings were brand new. 

I laughed at myself a little when I got to work, wearing my 1950-style dress, pearls, and of course, heels. I could be a housewife in this outfit!

Or wait… I could be a librarian shushing all the noisy students!

I made that joke a couple of times during the day when I got compliments on my dress. No big deal, right?


I was just leaving the office when I got a message from a friend: “They’re doing the roll call at the DNC!” 

“OMG! I’m getting on the train! Let me know how it goes!”

So he messaged every couple of minutes. 1566… 1984… 2011… And then at last “It’s official!”

When my kids ask me where I was when the first woman in the country received the votes she needed to be nominated by a major party to run for President of the United States, I’m going to say “On the L, heading home… doing my best not to weep, or shout for joy, or stand up and hug the other women in the car.” Mostly that last is because I was not about to give up my seat, darn it. (Yeah, me and Rosa P, right?)

I opened Twitter and watched Bernie give all the votes to Hillary. Oh. Oh my. That means the party voted unanimously for her. Potentially the first female president ever. 

That part about not crying on the train? Out the window. 

Not crying while walking home? Pfft. 

I passed two families with babies on my way home, tiny, precious beings who now will NEVER know a time when a woman was not ever a serious contender for the highest office in the country. They will never need to celebrate the breaking of the glass ceiling because to them the room never had one. 

They can, truly, grow up to be whoever and whatever they want to be.

Now, I’m going to pause for a moment. I do not mind if you are anti-Hillary. I do not mind if you feel compelled in your heart of hearts to vote for Trump. What I want us all to recognize, however, is that Hillary had the chutzpah to run against incredible opposition, and that whether or not she is elected come November, she has done what no other woman has ever done before. Which simply means the future is brighter for the rest of us. 

Which brings me back to my 50’s dress. My housewife librarian dress. 

But who says I only have to be one of those things?

What if I want to be something else?

What if I want to be a princess?

(Come on, Harry!)

But no, really.

I realized that I have started to count myself out. To assume that this last, lost year of my life is indicative of the future, that I will be relegated to a life of inconsequence. A life of broken dreams and missed opportunities. 

But tonight… tonight I can consider my wildest imaginings. If a woman could possess herself of the strength and fortitude to be what she wants to be, perhaps I could too. Perhaps I could be a princess…

Or even… the President. 

All I know is this: Today is a day of history. And you know what? I’m glad I dressed up for it. 

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