when i was young i marched in the streets. in my teens i marched in the labor day parades down fifth avenue. with a guitar slung over my shoulder i raised my fists in protest against the bosses of the world. while my father kindly and patiently pointed out to me that he, the very one who paid for my food, clothing, education and ten pair of pappagallo flats, not to mention the aforementioned guitar, was indeed a boss himself, i felt no remorse. i was, at the moment, madly in love with a freshman at columbia university who happened to be a communist. when he said march i marched.
years later, during vietnam, i marched in candlelight parades in manhattan protesting the war and then i marched on washington for the very same purpose. in the 90's i marched again in washington, this time for equal rights for women. i haven't marched in a while because there hasn't been a cause, or a cute college boy, that has moved me to do so, until today.
today was the day i found out that chanel has discontinued my liquid, eggplant, eyeshadow #30. when i asked why, the black clad chanel sales lady smiled and said "that's what we do".
"but why" i heard myself whine. "because that's what we do. can i interest you in winter plum #42"?
i stomped out of neiman marcus determined to find my number 30 eyeshadow. it had taken me years to perfect my look and number 30 was the basis of that look. i trekked up and down wilshire blvd. first to saks, then to barney's and finally to the rodeo drive branch of chanel itself. surely one of them would have a bottle or two of #30 hidden somewhere in their back rooms. nope. not a bottle to be had. i stamped my feet, i clenched my fists. i felt a familiar emotion rise up in my chest. i felt powerless and downtrodden. the feeling moved from my head to my chest and settled finally in my feet. my feet knew what to do. my feet wanted to march.
tomorrow i am going to organize. i know there are thousands of us, perhaps millions of women who have been led down this road by cosmetic companies. we give them our loyalty and our money and then after that, without any warning, they pull our lipsticks, eye shadows, and nail polishes out from under us.
the pundits tell us that americans are not taking to the streets in protest of the iraqi war because there is no draft. without a draft, the average american does not feel impacted by the fighting and dying. it is the impact that drives people to protest. well, you want to feel impact just try getting made up in the morning without your favorite base, lipstick or blush. you want impact - try hearing your hairdresser tell you that the color hair dye you have been using for the past twenty years, to cover those pesky little greys, had been discontinued. suddenly, after sailing through your thirties and forties as an "autumn brown" you are forced to choose between "broadway brunette" or "audacious auburn".
i think all you women out there know exactly what i mean. we're mad as hell and we are not going to take it anymore. we will meet next tuesday at 10 a.m. at the v.a. building in westwood. we will march to neiman marcus. bring your daughters. this will be a historic day.