March 8 dates

Happy International Women’s Day!

Also, in more mundane news, I’ve seen so many people out on dates today in Moscow. International Women’s Day is a holiday, most people have the day off, and men and women are going on dates. The metro is awash in flowers – or, rather, people carrying flowers. Women are receiving gifts. And for some reason, this year, I’ve been struck by the people who do acknowledge the socialist roots of this holiday, however tangentially. We were at a restaurant tonight, and eavesdropped on other people’s celebratory toasts during lulls in conversation. “Let’s drink to my wife,” the guy sitting behind me said. “The beautiful mother of my children – and my best business partner. If it wasn’t for her hard work, we wouldn’t have anything.” It was nice to overhear that.

The original women’s day was dedicated to working women. Of course, few people still acknowledge just how much work children also are.