We need a thread about the patriarchy. I'll start.
I went to the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., and I arrived home feeling heartbroken. It was the last way I expected to feel.
I had spent the morning sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with my 16-year-old daughter, Katherine, whose silent tears on election night in 2016 had marked the beginning of this national nightmare for me. She had insisted we drive from Charlotte to D.C. this year so that we could "protest in front of the president’s house." We heard all of the inspiring speakers; we relished the creativity of the posters and slogans. Being among so many like-minded people was comforting. I heard one woman say, "I love being here today. It makes me feel less alone."
I wanted to be with people who shared my anger. Because I have been so angry about Donald Trump this past year. I have been angry at my country for electing this man, angry at my neighbors who support him, angry at the wealthy who sacrificed our country and its goodness for tax breaks, angry at the coal miners who believed his promises.
My fury has been bottomless. I drink my morning coffee from a cup that says, "I hate to wake up when Donald Trump is President." The constancy of my outrage has been exhausting, yet I have not yet found a way to quell it — nearly each day has brought a new reason to stoke the fire. But a day with my daughter, communing with the angry and the aggrieved, seemed a good way to try.
After the march, Katherine and I hit the road in the late afternoon, feeling good; we had done our part to express our outrage. We were about 90 minutes south of D.C. when I heard a terrible popping sound. I assumed I had blown a tire and headed toward the nearest exit. The popping was followed by screeching — were we now driving on metal? Luckily, there was a gas station right off the exit.
Before I could do anything but park my gray Prius, a man rushed over. "I heard you coming down that road," he said. Before I could say much he started surveying the situation. He didn’t so much offer to help us as get right to work.
It turned out that I hadn’t blown a tire; a huge piece of plastic under the front bumper had come loose, causing the screeching as it scraped along the road. After determining that he couldn’t cut the plastic off, he ran over to his car to grab some zip ties so that he could secure the piece back in place.