A Brief History of Costumes

I have costume block.

Halloween is two weeks from now, and I don’t know what I’m going to be. Devin and I are invited to childhood-faves theme party, so I have a lot of ideas, but they all seem really hard to make. For example, we could dress up as characters from our respective Sesame Streets. Devin could be Big Bird from the U.S. version of Sesame Street, and I could be Abelardo from Plaza Sésamo, Mexico’s version of Sesame Street. I’m into the idea, but it totally breaks my costume rules. When it comes to costumes, my goal is for them to be 1) easy to make, 2) inexpensive, and 3) sweatshop-free. The last part is the hardest because there are so many cool costumes you can buy in stores, but they are all made in horrible conditions (do you ever think that the womp womp sound effect is the perfect soundtrack to life under capitalism?). When I can’t find another alternative, sometimes I buy very small things, like pipe cleaners or felt, that are made in sweatshops. Anyway, I can’t imagine how hard it would be to make our costumes out of feathers, but maybe I will find a way.

In the meantime, I’ve been looking at pictures of costumes online, and I stumbled upon a lot of my own costumes from previous years, which I am sharing with you in hopes of earning costume-inspiration karma in time for Halloween. ; )


city-mouse-country-mouseCity Mouse, Country Mouse

Our fastest costume: Frida Kahlo and Leon Trotsky. We were going to a party and hadn’t thought of a costume until 15 minutes before it started.

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Audrey Hepburn in How to Steal a Million

American Gothic in sepia

Possibly my worst costume of all time. I layered purple clothes and called myself The Color Purple.

My scariest costume of all time: notorious anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg

George and Jane Jetson at a very rainy parade. (You can’t tell, but Devin is wearing blue polyester pants.)

French Toast

During the recession, I was a bear market. I don’t know why the “sexy Halloween” industry hasn’t capitalized on this. Think about it: “sexy bear market” or “bare market,” and of course, the men’s version would be “strong bull market.” (Honestly, I really dislike scary costumes and sexy, hyper-gendered costumes, but somehow I still love Halloween.)

And finally, my favorite costumes of all time…

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Pizza Rat


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the subway.

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Ring, eat, repeat


Recently, I joined a writing group with a reward/punishment system to create accountability. It started out simply enough. We each had to create punishments to give ourselves in the event that we did not meet our weekly writing goal (most had to do with bringing snacks for everyone else in the group). But then someone had the idea to ring a shame bell every time someone failed to meet their goal. And someone else decided that it would boost morale if people got to ring a success bell every time they did meet their goals. So we unwittingly became a writing group centered around ringing bells and snacks. No, the Pavlovian connotations are not lost on me. Yes, I am cringing a little. No, I won’t give up the bells or the snacks, thank you very much. The man was clearly on to something.

This week two of our members had to drop out of the writing group, and when I heard the news, my first thought was, “But how will they write without bells?” I made it my mission to find some for them, and luckily, I found a whole shelf of bells at the thrift store. The hard part, it turns out, is not finding bells but finding bells that don’t commemorate a significant wedding anniversary. Most of them say 25th Anniversary or have 50 written in huge gold cursive letters, and why is that?

Were they gifts exchanged by couples to symbolize their undying devotion? After all, nothing says love like, “You can ring this bell anytime you need something but don’t want to get out of bed.” (Maybe this seems particularly romantic to me because it’s cold in the mornings now, and the thought of being able to ring a bell and have Devin bring me a warm fluffy robe to make getting out of bed slightly less painful, makes me want to fast-forward to our twenty-fifth anniversary tout de suite, even though, now that I’ve admitted this, I’m pretty sure I’ll never get an anniversary bell.)

My other theory is that these bells were gifts for guests at anniversary parties––ceramic precursors to the dreaded-but-somehow-omnipresent commemorative t-shirts. (What’s the deal with those? Related: what happens to shirts that commemorate something that doesn’t end up happening.)

I don’t think we know enough about the fine American tradition of commemorative consumer goods, and maybe that should be your next writing project? Let me know. I’ll send you your bells.

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an anniversary video

Usually on our anniversary, I like to post a wedding picture, but I figure everyone has probably already seen all of them. Multiple times. (What’s the statute of limitations on posting pictures from your wedding? Are You There, Emily Post? It’s Me, A Millennial.)

This was also the first anniversary we spent apart, so I asked Devin if we could make a Q&A video (partly because we played a Q&A game at our wedding and partly so I could watch it on our anniversary and laugh at Devin side-eyeing me with the fire of a thousand suns).

It’s been a couple of months since our anniversary, but this has never been a timely blog, so here it is for your enjoyment/bafflement. Happy anniversary, Devin! I love you.

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Every taco is a walking taco


Last year, when I was volunteering in school cafeterias dressed as a vegetable, I encountered a Wisconsin dish called the “Walking Taco” consisting of Fritos chips, ground beef, and yellow cheese. I’d seen this combination in Texas, where the dish is known as a Frito Pie, but its Midwestern moniker gave me pause. “The taco is an inherently portable food! I will prove it by making real tacos for all the children!,” I shouted in my head. “Provided you buy the ingredients,” I added because I’m trying to be better about budgeting, all the time, and that includes daydreams.

I was talking to someone about tacos recently, and they asked, “Do you mean the ones with the hard or soft shell?,” and my heart shattered, so I’ll pause to explain what a taco is. A taco consists of a fresh tortilla, which you top with meat and/or vegetables and Mexican salsa and lime, like so:



Photo via chef.mx

You can just pick one up and walk with it if you want.

But then I started thinking, what if Wisconsin is the type of person who puts too much meat and salsa in her taco y se le rompe la tortilla y su mamá le dice, “Ay, m’ijita ¿por qué eres tan batida?”

Maybe Wisconsin decided she was too messy to eat tacos, and she decided to pretend that a bag of Fritos and some canned ground meat could be a suitable substitute.

Pobre Wisconsin. A mí no me molesta si te manchas la ropa.



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Notes on a Surprise Party

When I introduce Devin, I like to tell people that he’s from a hippie community. “No, like a real hippie community,” I clarify. I explain that his parents grow most of their own food, that people have names like Tree, Chamomile, and Forest––and oh yeah, Devin and his three best friends were all born at home and delivered by the same midwife.*

This year, the spouses of those four born-at-home hippies decided to surprise them with a birthday party. The midwife came. It was in the house where one of them was born. And––at the height of the party––the mothers did dramatic readings of their birth stories that bordered on performance art. (OK, the last one is a lie, but I wish I’d thought to suggest it.)


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The four born-at-home hippies with Tree, their midwife

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The party-planning spouses

At first, the surprise party seemed easy enough to orchestrate. All we had to do was get the guys to go home on the same weekend, have them show up at the same place at the same time, and keep it a secret until then. In the end, it was less “piece of cake” and more “learning experience.” I took some notes in case you’d like to learn from my mistakes!

1) Coordinating party plans from three different states can be really confusing. You’ll probably send a lot of text messages. If you don’t want your surprise target to get suspicious about said texting, change the names of your co-conspirators in your contact list. Otherwise, your partner may see your phone light up with a text from his best friend’s partner and say, “Hey! Look who sent you a text message!” thinking you’re going to tell him that they’re coming to visit or something, and instead you’ll get cagey and mumble that he shouldn’t look at your phone.

2) Related: figure out a plan so that your partner doesn’t talk to any of his best friends in the weeks leading up to their joint surprise party (and then report back because I still don’t know how to do this).

3) How do you explain coming home with 45 pounds of cheese? You can’t. Don’t do the party prep at your place––or figure out a workaround for party prep altogether. I recommend throwing your surprise party with people who don’t mind doing a potluck. Luckily, hippies are so down for potlucks (though really, “potluck” is an understatement. We had so many cakes that we hardly made a dent in the official birthday cake! It was like a cartoon banquet come to life.)

4) This might seem like backward advice, but trust me: you don’t want to be too good at hiding the surprise party. I was so focused on keeping the secret that Devin thought I wasn’t going to celebrate his birthday at all. And he planned his own party. Oops. Miraculously, he decided he wanted it to be a brunch at his parents’ house on the same day as the surprise party, which was a dinner, so we were able to do both (back-to-back!), but it was nerve-wracking for me and confusing for Devin. So confusing in fact that when everyone yelled, “Surprise!” Devin turned to me in a panic and said, “Do my parents know about this?” because he was worried they hadn’t been invited. (They had to wait until we left their house to drive to the party.)


Devin’s morning party with our Madison friends (photo by our friend Kate)

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Devin’s evening party with his baby friends (and their babies!)

5) The saying “two can keep a secret if one of them is dead” definitely applies in this situation. Surprising four people is impossible! By the end of our party-planning sojourn, half of the birthday guys knew about the party, and you know what? They didn’t enjoy it any less than the dudes who didn’t know.

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Happy birthday, Devin, Jackson, James, and Morgan!

I’m honestly not sure if the moral of this story is that a party doesn’t have to be a surprise to be fun OR that now I know how to do better next time. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

*I told Tree, the midwife, that this is my favorite fun fact about Devin, and she asked me to note that she does not deliver babies. The way she sees it, the person giving birth does all the work. She’s just there to assist.  

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Happy Birthday, Bethany!

This summer I visited a friend I hadn’t seen in a while, and the first thing she said to me was, “How do you know ArchedEyebrow?,” which thrilled me because I love Bethany Rutter, and I think everyone should know her.

And since the internet told me that today is her birthday, I decided to answer that question for the world wide web.

bethany rutter

Bethany in front of the Brooklyn Museum, spring 2015

I met Bethany at a wedding, waiting in line for appetizers––they had these little food stations featuring different cuisines in addition to a seated dinner and multiple desserts. It was food heaven (or as I like to call it, heaven. Because if it’s true we get to create our own version of heaven, mine will consist of grocery stores, farmers’ markets, kitchens, and restaurants).

Back to the wedding buffet…

When I met Bethany, I was spending a lot of time with super cool women who unfortunately had terrible relationships with food (like a lot, if not most, women living in our patriarchal, body-hating society), so social eating situations made me apprehensive. (It’s hard for me to hear people make negative weight-related comments about food, especially when I’m about to eat, and all I want to do is enjoy it!) I didn’t realize how much I had come to expect fatphobic food talk before every meal until I heard Bethany exclaim, “This is delightful!”

We bonded over how excited we were to try everything, and honestly, that interaction was enough for me to love her. But that wasn’t all! She was also wearing a dress I still daydream about. And she was the wedding DJ. And she played ***Flawless by Beyoncé for me, so by the end of the wedding, I had a major friend crush.

She lives in London, so I wasn’t sure if I would get to see her again, but somehow we ended up going to see the Kara Walker exhibit in the Domino sugar factory before she flew home. All of the art was made of refined sugar and represented Black bodies, and at the exhibit, there were lots of non-Black people doing awful things to the sculptures (like taking photos in front of the art while making lewd or violent poses). Bethany took in the scene and said, “Someone should take pictures or make a video to expose all the racist things people are doing.”

I decided on the spot that we were destined to be friends, even if she did live across the Atlantic. (Later we learned Kara Walker had been filming us all along because she’s brilliant.)

It’s been two years since that dreamy wedding, and I’ve only found more reasons to love Bethany, including her fabulous fashion blog, her hilarious twitter, her sense of fun, and the way she doesn’t just stand with her arms crossed when she sees something unjust (see, for example, her “You Look Great!” campaign in response to one of the worst examples of fat-shaming harassment I’ve ever heard of).

edama me

arched sushi

Happy birthday, Bethany! I’m so glad you exist.


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click, click, click: fighting fatphobia edition

In fourth grade I wrote my first petition, asking the principal for benches near the playground so kids could have a more comfortable place to read during recess. (I don’t know how I convinced other kids to sign it because there wasn’t exactly a recess book club, but the petition was successful, and I read on a blue bench for the rest of the year.)

As you can tell, I wasn’t what you would consider an athletic child. When I did exercise, it was in structured environments like gym class or cheerleading practice, and that’s the kind of exercise environment I still prefer. Put me in a class with a person telling me what to do and I’m happy. I don’t really care what the class is as long as I don’t have to figure out what to do by myself. It’s like, I like to move; I just don’t really know how.

Even though I enjoy them, I’m ambivalent about recommending exercise classes because there’s one part I hate and would never want other people to endure. It happens about halfway through class, and I think most instructors consider it a pep talk. I call it the Lalalala-I-can’t-hear-you portion because it is usually just fatphobia disguised as encouragement. Often it includes references to bikinis and summer and “working hard to look good!”

Once, during the most intense part of a class, the teacher broke with body-shaming tradition and asked, “Do you feel strong?”

Did I? No one had ever asked me before.

It made me think about all the ways I’ve been taught that as a woman, my most important job is to be pretty and how beauty is conflated with thinness in our society. What if I’d been taught to focus on how I felt rather than how I looked? What if I’d been praised for being strong instead of “cute”? How different would my life be?

The sad thing is, I can’t even imagine.

I’ve written before about deciding to love my body, resist negative messages, and challenge the underlying assumptions of fatphobia. It’s an ongoing process because I encounter countless messages designed to make me feel bad about my body or fear gaining weight, and I can’t just go through life yelling “Lalala, I can’t hear you!” Thankfully, there are lots of positive messages for people who want to question our fat=bad, diet=good culture. You just have to know where to look. Here are a few links to pieces I’ve found especially interesting.

nayyirah waheed quote  Graphic found via Pinterest


Most of what I’ve read about fat positivity is written from the perspective of someone who has overcome insecurities, but Jo’s post about being fat and struggling to love your body is in the present tense, and her willingness to focus on process rather than triumph makes it not just inspiring but useful.

“it would be so great if naming this thing would make it go away, but it doesn’t. i’ve had it pinned down, i’ve had it named, for years now yet i still crumble under the weight of the gaze that is disgusted by me. as women, the gaze is rarely pleased with us for a million different reasons…but if you are woman who is fat, a woman like me, the gaze is actively DISGUSTED by you. you can’t imagine how much it fucks you up to know the gaze does not approve in such a fundamental way, unless you can imagine it. unless you are living it.”



This American Life did an episode about “rethink[ing] the way we see being fat.” The whole episode is excellent, but if you only have time for one act, I suggest Elna Baker’s story about her drastic weight loss, which demonstrates how harmful fatphobia can be––even when you “succeed” at becoming thin.

Here’s something I never tell people. I still take phentermine. I take it for a few months at a time a year, or sometimes it feels like half of the year. I can’t get it prescribed anymore, so I buy it in Mexico or online, though the online stuff is fake and doesn’t work as well.

I have a shirt that says, ‘I’m allergic to mornings.’ Everyone who knows me knows I have problems sleeping at night. I am usually up until 4:00 AM. I say I have insomnia. Really, I am awake because I am on speed. And I am on speed, because I need to stay thin. I need to stay thin so I can get what I want.

I know how this sounds. I know exactly how messed up it is. But I also feel like…we won’t really get anywhere unless I admit it.”



Annika Burnett’s “Doctors Don’t Like Fat People” has a depressing title that makes me want to burn everything down, but it’s an open letter from a med school student challenging anti-fat bias in her own training and in medicine in general. Take comfort in knowing that someday she’ll be an M.D. with patients of her own and that she’s not waiting until then to change things.

All too frequently in medicine, the terms ‘fat’ and ‘unhealthy’ are mistakenly collapsed. In fact, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that the relationship between body weight and overall health status is not so clear (to read more from folks beginning to challenge this paradigm, check out here and here). Yes, obesity is a risk factor for many diseases. So are age, race, gender and family history. It is unclear whether and to what extent we can choose our body size any more than we can choose those characteristics.

Still, even if being fat were entirely a matter of willpower and even if fat definitively meant unhealthy, would that give us an excuse to treat fat patients poorly? When has hostility ever been conducive to taking care of a patient? Creating a clinical environment so antagonistic that fat patients are afraid to access care is not helping anybody.”



That’s what Arianna Rebolini did after she realized that she had a closet that was antithetical to the way she wanted to feel about–and in–her body.

“I was beginning every single day with a terrible task — facing a closet that told me my body wasn’t right, and choosing which way I’d like to be made physically uncomfortable that day. My clothes were undoing years of work toward accepting my body as-is, coaxing me into old beliefs. Like: Discomfort was what I deserved for having gained weight. Like: Anger and unhappiness would motivate me to lose weight. Like: Happiness and nice things and self-esteem were for people who haven’t gained weight. I’d decided years ago those beliefs were empty; it was time to ditch the last thing pulling me toward them.”

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My Madison: Community Pharmacy

The best part about moving to a new city is discovering your places. There are personal places like your favorite room at home (the living room) or your preferred bus route (the 28), and then there are the notable ones: things you’ve never seen anywhere else, places you can’t wait to share with your friends.

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I’m no stranger to hyperbole, but I’m not exaggerating when I say that Community Pharmacy is the most unique pharmacy I’ve ever encountered. Like most U.S. pharmacies, it sells a lot more than prescription drugs. Unlike most pharmacies, it’s owned by the people who work there; half of the store is devoted to natural remedies; and its goal is not to make money but to provide health care at the lowest possible cost. Plus, does your pharmacy stock feminist magazines and vegetarian cookbooks? Mine does!

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A few weeks ago, I spoke with Scott Chojnacki to learn more about this Madison institution.

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Founded in 1972 with a grant from the Wisconsin Student Association, Community Pharmacy was established to serve students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison by providing the most affordable medications available.


Today Community Pharmacy strives to provide the most affordable health care possible to everyone in Madison. Scott explained how that philosophy shapes the pharmacy: “There’s a segment of customers that get their prescriptions and don’t really explore very much; they see us as your standard pharmacy. A lot of other people don’t even think of us as a pharmacy even though ‘pharmacy’ is in our name. They come in for supplements, herbs, and custom homeopathic formulas. Others come in for natural beauty and skin care products. The idea has always been to offer the biggest range of health options, and that’s what we aspire to do.”

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Community Pharmacy is a workers’ cooperative. There is no CEO, no managers, and the store is run without hierarchies. Everyone who works there is part of a team that makes decisions collectively. And they take their role in the community seriously. If the staff believes a cause needs support, they discuss it at their monthly staff meeting and decide on a course of action. That’s how they decided to hang a Black Lives Matter sign in their front window.

Because no one is relying on the store to turn a profit, Community Pharmacy answers to its customers––not stockholders.  Instead of asking “how much can we charge?,” they ask, “How little?”

That approach can have a huge impact. Before this interview, I didn’t realize how much power pharmacies have over the price of medicine, especially if a prescription is not covered by insurance. “We hear it from our customers,” Scott explained, “They’ll say, ‘Oh my God, I called Walgreens and they were going to charge me hundreds of dollars for this drug. You’re selling it for ten percent of that.’”

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One of my favorite things to do is ask the workers at different stores and restaurants about their favorite products because I know that nobody knows the stuff better than they do. During our interview, I asked Scott to recommend some of his favorite Community Pharmacy products, and he got so excited that he ran out of the room and came back with his hands full. 

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1.“Suki exfoliate foaming cleanser is a cleanser and mild exfoliator that you can use every day. It’s my job to sample different products, but I can never get too far from this.”

2. “Veriditas is an essential oils company that only buys ingredients from cooperatives  and only sells to cooperatives. Most people are familiar with the aromatherapy uses of lavender, but it’s also a great anti-inflammatory. This is my go-to with mosquito bites or if I give myself a little burn with the oven. It works so well at taking that pain away.”

3. “MegaFood has relationships with farmers that have exactly the kind of growing practices they appreciate, and with food-grown supplements, you’re getting the highest absorbability. Your body is able to process them so much better than synthetic vitamins.”

4. “If you like coconut and chocolate, you have to try Madécasse Toasted Coconut. It’s chocolate that has shaved coconut on the bottom. I buy this as a gift all the time, so people can know what the good life is.”


As for his favorite places in Madison, Scott recommends the botanic gardens: “I love Olbrich Gardens, which is a free garden for anybody to go to. Pick a day and spend an hour getting lost there. I am surprised every time with some plant that I missed before.”

Thank you, Scott, and thank you, Community Pharmacy!

Sign up for the Community Pharmacy e-mail newsletter to receive 10% off your next purchase.

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Gifts For My Dead

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I went to Portland last week, and when I got back to Madison, I noticed that everyone was talking about gifts for their dead.

Devin was at his parents’ house, so I made a mental note to ask him later in the week. And I kept overhearing the phrase: “Gift for my dead” … “Gift for my dead” … “Gift for my dead.”

Wisconsin has a large Catholic population so I started to wonder if it was a tradition similar to Día de los Muertos.

I imagined little altars topped with cheese curds and Green Bay Packers memorabilia, rhubarb-scented veladoras, a polka band instead of mariachis, and calaveritas made of maple syrup instead of sugar cane. I’ve passed a few cemeteries in Madison, and I wondered if I’d get to see some of the celebrations.

It wasn’t until I overheard someone say “I’ve really got to get a gift for my dead. Father’s Day is on Sunday!” that I realized they weren’t preparing to accept the reality of death by participating in a collective mourning ritual commemorating loved ones lost. They were buying gifts for their dads!

And that’s when I had my big epiphany: the Upper Midwest accent is really just a game of musical chairs for short vowels.

The “a” in “dad” sounds like the “e” in “dead.”

The “o” in “Wisconsin” sounds like the “a” in “apple.”

“About” sounds like “a boat,” and round and round.

Now I know to run through all the vowels before I imagine another elaborate scenario (though I’m not ready to give up my daydream of a Midwestern Día de Muertos quite yet).



* The ceramic skull pictured above was a souvenir from Puerto Peñasco, where I guess they also know about Wisconsin’s Day of the Dead. ; )


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“I wanted to be a lawyer when I grew up, but since women couldn’t do that, I went to secretary school,” Abbita (short for abuelita) explained, when I called to interview her for a homework assignment about feminism. I’d been nervous to call, afraid she’d say feminism was a crazy American import or that it was un-Christian and ruining “the family” or that she was disappointed in me. Instead she told me about how she had worked for Licenciado Müller, a lawyer who helped women get divorced in Chihuahua. Abbita, whose real name was Carolina, said she loved her job because she cared about helping those women and because her boss trusted her judgment.

I never knew about any of this because she stopped working after she and my grandfather got married, but hearing this story illuminated the parts of her life I did know in a new way. It was the light turning on in a room I’d only explored with a flashlight.

All my life I’d heard about how she had been on her school’s basketball team. The girls wore long skirts as part of their uniform, but she joined the team in secret and had to hide it from her family because playing sports––even in giant skirts––was not ladylike. It was a quiet act of resistance. Like most of what she did.

My grandmother would often tell me the story of a woman who got married in the city and was soon forced by her husband to move to a little house with a dirt floor in the mountains, completely isolated from her friends and family. She would get angry telling this story and say that she supported the woman leaving her husband because the way he treated her was wrong. When I was little, I thought this was just one of those stories that grandmas tell (“This one again?”). I didn’t understand why it was such a big deal to her. Now I can imagine how desperate I would feel if I lost control of my life from one day to the next, can imagine how many women my grandmother knew who never regained it.

Whenever a woman she knew got married, Abbita would give her a little bit of money in secret because she believed it was essential that women have a way to escape bad marriages. This too seemed melodramatic to me (“Por si el marido le sale malo” sounded like something from a novela, and when I heard about my grandmother’s bridal safety-net tactics, I laughed and thought, “Too much Televisa.”)

In my own life, I’ve noticed that it is very taboo to talk about divorce if you’re married, but I don’t think I could be married if divorce weren’t legal and accessible to women. I don’t mean to imply that I take my relationship with Devin lightly, but I think marriage fundamentally changes when it is not an obligation. When I decided to get married, I didn’t have to give up my name or my rights. I didn’t have to give up my job or my dreams. I didn’t become someone’s property. I believe that Devin and I choose to be together even though we are free to leave. I believe we have the kind of marriage women like my grandmother fought for.

On the day of my cousin Vanessa’s wedding, Abbita told me a story. “I was never interested in cooking, but when I married your grandfather, I thought I should learn. He said, ‘No! Don’t take a cooking class. You should learn to play the piano,’ and he got me a piano. In the end, I didn’t learn to cook or play the piano. All I did was have babies. What kind of a life is that?”

Of course, that isn’t all she did. She did lots of things, like finding a way to own and manage properties and teaching me how to read and write and becoming so well-known for her wit that people would ask her to write their greeting cards and building relationships so strong that her children and grandchildren would fight over who got to sleep in the extra twin bed she kept in her room.

Still, I know she would have liked to do other things, too. It’s no coincidence that all of her daughters have Master’s degrees or that she gave each of her grandchildren a small sum of money when we turned 18 and said, “This is your money. You can do whatever you want with it.” She believed fiercely in independence. She took as much of it as she could and made sure we were free to have more.

Abbita didn’t go around exclaiming “I’m a feminist!,” but when I asked her to explain if she was, she had a quick answer: “Machismo means men are in charge, but feminism doesn’t mean women should be in charge. Do you know the saying ‘Behind every great man is a great woman’? Well, I don’t think anyone should be behind anyone. To me, feminism means that we all walk together, hand-in-hand.”

I think about myself at 21, nervous to call her, worried that I would have to defend feminism to my grandmother, wondering if there were any books I could give her to explain it in a way she could understand. I was so silly, thinking I’d discovered feminism when she had taught it to me all along.

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