Boobs & Brains: Why Can’t We Be Friends?

I don’t understand why the Breast Cancer Walk and the Walk to End Alzheimer’s fall on the same day in NYC—October 19. It seems a shame that they can’t be assigned different dates so people who want to do both, can. Hmm. I did the Alz Walk because my mom has it, but my aunt had breast cancer and I have friends who have survived it too.

The Alzheimer’s Walk is definitely less sexy than the Breast Cancer Walk and attracts fewer walkers. They wear pink; we wear purple. They start at the Bandshell in Central Park; we meet at Riverside Park. People of all ages do the Breast Cancer Walk; same for us. They are raising money for boobs, and we, for brains. Ah, there’s the rub. Boobs trump brains. Most people think it only affects old people, but people in their 30s, 40s and 50s can contract what’s known as early onset Alzheimer’s. Perhaps the belief it only affects the old makes it less sexy too. Hmm.

Anyway, it was a beautiful, brisk autumn day and we had a excellent turnout. My friend “C” and I saw some of the Pink Brigade after our walk. We had brunch on the Upper West Side and boarded the #1 train to 42nd Street. As we tried to board, a barricade of tall people with giant, hard-shell wheelie suitcases impeded our path. Why do people with giant suitcases always stand in or near the doors? Just asking.

A woman in a pink hoodie, stroller in hand, barreled in without even saying excuse me. I jumped out of the way and said, “You could say excuse me,” and she said snarkily, “I did.” She did not.

C wasn’t quick enough and her tiny feet were rolled over by the high octane SUV-like stroller.

She said, “Bitch!” under her breath.

The woman turned around as much as she was able and said, “You don’t have to use that language with me.”

C and I rolled eyes at one another.

An older woman began oohing and aahing at the baby in the stroller and giddily talking to the mother. I’m sure the baby was adorable, but I never got to see her. Then a young couple chimed in, oohing and aahing and making funny faces at the baby. It felt like the entire subway car was FOR the pink-clad lady and baby and AGAINST the purple people–us. Okay, I’m probably being a tad paranoid. It was a New York moment–you had to be there. Nobody rallied around us, even though C had her toes crushed by Rude Pink Lady, and we were wearing adorable purple T-shirts. My God, a purple and silver “Grand Champions” medal hung around my neck and a Walk to End Alz purple and black tote bag draped on my shoulder. Couldn’t they see that we were VIPs? It only goes to prove my point: Boobs Trump Brains. Why can’t we be friends?

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