Hope you all spent it, um, being international, and (optionally) women. I had a burrito for lunch at Chipotle. That counts, doesn’t it?

Maria Bethania, circa Rubi's Misspent Youth

Sure, it’s a far cry from the way I spent the first International Women’s Day I ever celebrated. (And shouldn’t that be “International Woman’s Day,” or are the people at that stalwart of semi-anachronistic female-oriented publishing going to get their ruffled rhumba pants into a half-hitch?) Anyway, picture this: Paris, 1982. Rubi, a dewy 19, clad in electric blue capris from Les Puces, a red-striped mariniere and red patent kitten heels with big bows (a/k/a The Naugahyde Slippers) is at L’Olympia to hear sultry Brazilian singer Maria Bethania in concert. The women in the row in front of her are — horror! — smoking hash. The women next to her are necking vigorously. The opening act has long since finished their set and gone offstage, La Bethania is nowhere to be seen, and there’s a something like a grrrrrrl-riot brewing amongst the audience. It’s all a bit terrifying.

Somewhere, in a tiny little corner of Rubi’s brain, there is the spark of a thought: “How in the hell am I ever going to live in Vo’ Dilan after this?”

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