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Your Daily Itinerary for International Women’s Day: Burn It All Down

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You’re ready to be rattled.

6:30am: Happy International Women’s Day! Time to change the world!

7:00am: Looks like your cat threw up on your pussy hat. In a show of sisterhood, you forgive her. Emmeow Goldman is pardoned for her crimes today.

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7:30am: You decide to tweet an inspirational selfie. Caption? #SisterhoodIsPowerful!

8:15am: Time to drive to work. You turn on NPR just in time for a report on the erosion of reproductive health care under the Trump administration. You jokingly wonder how hard it is to build a guillotine. Maybe there’s a YouTube tutorial about it? If they can teach you to contour, they can teach you anything. Ha!

8:57am: You sit at your desk, ready to begin the day. Paul needs you to make copies. Technically Paul works for you, so that isn’t your job — but sure, OK, it’s not that hard.

9:45am: You’re at the copier when someone taps you on the shoulder. It’s your coworker Karen. You ask how she’s going to celebrate International Women’s Day. She replies that she doesn’t celebrate it because it excludes non-binary people. You ask if she needs the copier. She replies that she has no interest in the master’s tools, or any machinery that cannot be used to dismantle corrupt patriarchal regimes.

You don’t really get Karen.

10:30am: You get an angry email from Paul. Apparently someone put their middle finger down on the copier glass in the middle of his copy job and he had to do them himself! That’s too bad. Maybe he’d have more control over his final product if he just did his own work for once?

10:45am: Someone got promoted today! Wait…Jack? Really? But he’s late every day! You guess it doesn’t matter when your father-in-law is on the board.

12:15am: Your Lean Cuisine is spinning in the microwave. Time to check Twitter. Looks like your tweet was picked up by r/TheRedPill! Now your mentions are flooded with cartoon frogs who think you’re fat and want you to die for reasons that are unclear.

12:45pm: Oh shoot, you burned your lunch! You want to make healthy choices, so you decide to get some cardio in by sitting in your car and screaming along to L7 while you punch your dashboard. Feel that burn! Everything burns.

2:15pm: Time for your performance review. You take a deep breath and Lean In. You’ve prepared so carefully, researching comparable positions and roleplaying with your mentor — but the boss shakes his head. You haven’t been here long enough to earn it.

(Jack started the same day as you! Didn’t he? You’re pretty sure he did, because you remember seeing him throwing up in the parking lot.)

You smile tightly. It occurs to you that you are surrounded by paper, wood, and electricity. It only takes one frayed wire, one paperclip in a wall socket.

Like the one by his desk, for example.

3:30pm: According to Twitter’s abuse team, a man threatening to disembowel you is not a violation of their terms of service. Good to know.

4:00pm: Your boss calls you into his office. You hope he changed his mind on the raise, but he just wants you to throw together a celebratory happy hour for Jack. You’re so good at planning events! You reserve a room at TGIFridays. They’re serving pink margaritas for International Women’s Day. Lucky you!

5:05pm: Everyone arrives at the restaurant. Your boss hands you the company card and tells you to start a tab. You walk up to the bar, thinking about the true crime podcast you’ve been listening to. Could you get your hands on some ricin? Margery Johnson did, and she was a housewife from Topeka. That was before Craigslist, too.

6:00pm: You spot your boss by the jukebox. You decide to give the raise conversation another try. You walk up to him and share some of your Glassdoor research. He shouts over you, telling a joke to change the subject. (Him saying he can’t promote you because you’ll quit as soon as you get knocked up is a joke, right?)

7:25pm: You’re slumped against the wall, overcome with sadness, tongue numb with cheap tequila and food coloring. You’re startled by the feeling of something being slipped into your fingers. It’s a bottle of Bacardi 151. Karen looks you in the eye, puts a hand on your elbow..

You get Karen now.

7:35pm: You both walk outside, the bottle hidden in your coat. Karen pulls the Hermes scarf from your neck. She stuffs it into the mouth of the bottle and sets it alight. You both watch the flame arc through the air, smile at the crash of the breaking window.

7:45pm: You pile into Karen’s Subaru, watching as your coworkers flee the burning building. The company card is safe in your pocket. By the time they realize it wasn’t lost in the chaos, you’ll be halfway to Tijuana. Karen cranks her stereo loud enough to make your teeth shake. You’re ready to be rattled. You’re ready for something new.

After all, it’s International Women and Non-Binary People’s Day. And the night is still young.

Harmony Mae is a Midwestern essayist, storyteller, and satirist. She writes about feminism, pop culture, and whatever else crosses her mind. She loves coffee, beer, small dogs, and arguing with your boyfriend about Nicki Minaj. She also loves Twitter.

Your Daily Itinerary for International Women’s Day: Burn It All Down was originally published in The Belladonna Comedy on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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