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  • Writer's pictureJane Leder

International Women's Day

I trudged "home" from a #pilates class. The relentless sun reminded me that I wasn't at home in Chicago but in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where the thin altitude and sizzling 88-degree sun send even the locals deadheading for a siesta. With my head down to avoid a fall, I called on the "little engine that could" for support.

Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a man walk out of a doorway—not an unusual occurrence. He was clean-shaven and wore dark pants, but I couldn't see his shirt.

"Felicitations (Congratulations)," he said.

Had I finished a climb most gringos cannot? Had I forgotten my wedding anniversary? It wouldn't be the first time, but it's March, not September. Or maybe he was just another man trying to get my attention?

I repositioned my bolsa on my shoulder and kept walking. Then he spoke again in rapid Spanish that, at first, I couldn't understand.

"Es el dia de las mujeres en todo el mundo."

I stopped. I think he had wished me a Happy International Women's Day. I rolled the sentence around. Yep, that's what he said.

"Oh, gracias," I said with a big smile.

Then he put his two hands above his heart and made the shape of a heart, the ubiquitous "Love you" sign.

If the man was trying to "pick me up," I didn't mind. For a start, he knew the significance of this special day and didn't hesitate to spread the good word. I was touched.

And so all of my sisters, I, too, wish you "Felicitations" and a strong and joyous year ahead.


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