Happy International Womens’ Day, Madame!” she said, beaming at me as she efficiently whipped out her notepad to take my order.
“Same to you, young lady!” I said with a big smile. Then I raised the palm of my right hand to energetically high-five her; and she reciprocated delightedly.
She was a waitress and White. She sounded Eastern European and looked 25. I met her in a restaurant in London a couple of days ago – Wednesday March 8.
She and I were totally different on several levels – racially, socio-economically, generationally and culturally. And yet we were the same on a fundamental level: We are women of the world, doing our best to get by, overcome obstacles associated with our gender and solve problems that are part of life in general.
We are women who work very hard, play our roles as well as we can and regularly or occasionally excel in little or large ways. We are women who are keen to display sisterly, daughterly or motherly goodwill towards our fellow females and humans.
And we are many.
We and our ilk can be found all over the globe – in cities, towns, villages and hamlets on every single continent. Some of us are man-less and childless and earn our crusts outside the home. Some of us are toiling full-time housewives and mothers who struggle to make ends meet and cope with never-ending chores.
Some of us do everything – career combined with family, domestic plus professional. Some of us do not have jobs or spouses or offspring. Some of us are happy. Some of us are sad. Some of us are a bit of both.
Some of us lead leisurely existences as retirees, consorts of wealthy husbands, beneficiaries of substantial inheritances, lottery winners, etc, etc, etc. Some of us are able-bodied. Some of us are disabled. Some of us are noisy. Some of us are quiet. Some of us are tall, short, beautiful, plain, practical, flighty, arty, scientific.
We are many and different and the same. We are womankind. And we are, traditionally, carers; and most of us add a lot of value and deserve applause.
On Wednesday night, I knelt down and prayed for the cheerful waitress who put a smile on my face. I prayed that her dreams would come true. I also prayed for the millions of girls and adult females – some nearby, some in far-flung locations – who would go to bed that night unfulfilled or miserable or in pain or hungry or ill or uncomfortable. And for those who would not wake up on Thursday morning.