true story: I met Kirsten Gillibrand in 2006, when she was running for office against John Sweeney. I was getting a haircut in a salon in Saratoga Springs, New York and it was just me and the stylist in there, after the store had already closed for the day, just hanging out waiting for the foil in my hair to do its thing. This panicked-looking woman with a bluetooth and a clipboard knocked on the window and asked to be let in. She explained that she was the assistant of a woman who was running for office, they’d been asked to do a last-minute live TV appearance, and she’d left the house without wearing makeup that day; could we help? Five minutes later, Kirsten Gillibrand is there, extremely polite and charming and gracious, but — and this part I remember — clearly a little annoyed that she had to take time out of her crazy schedule to deal with her hair and makeup, and blow a bunch of money at this salon — instead of reviewing her talking points on the way to this event.
If I had been smart enough in the moment, I would have told her that I was sorry she had to deal with that bullshit, but I wasn’t. Instead I just told her that she had my vote. Which she did.
Hey. Katherine here, the woman behind ladypockets. I just wanted to interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for a brief pause. Maya Angelou died today, at eighty-six years old.
She was an incredible woman. My deepest condolences to her loved ones, and to all those who, like myself, found courage and strength and comfort in her words.
She once said, and I quote, “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”
She also said, “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”
Maya Angelou kicked serious ass. And her birdsong meant a great deal, to myself and to the world.