Well, Red loves lists … and Black likes to be organized and efficient, so here's a list of the Banter Bites we posted this month:
1: COVID-19 Stinks. Literally.
3: Making History With A Splash
4: Tricked Into Truth?
5: Everyone Has One
6: TikTok … The Clock Is Ticking
7: Armed And Ready For A Fight
8: Think Before Overthinking
10: Pencils, Pens, & Pajamas?
11: Deadly Politics
12: COVID-19 vs. College Sports
13: Disbelief Unmasked
14: A Takeout Tailgate?
15: Giving "Mr. Clean" A Run For His Money
17: You've Got Mail. Maybe.
18: Women + Voting = History
19: No Theatrics. Just Impact.
20: Is This History? Or Herstory?
21: Words + Passion = Powerful
22: An Escape Is One Cookie Away
24: What You Say To Family … Should It Stay With Family?
25: Fact Or Fiction? Reality Or Alternative Narrative?
26: How's A Hurricane Like A Pandemic?
27-1: Mother Nature Always Wins
27-2: When Games Not Played Are The Ones Remembered
28: Hurricanes, COVID-19, & Gambling?
29: The Coolest Voting Places EVER!
31: Powerful Film Roles – Powerful Role Model
Comic strip or reality show: A group of bachelors participates in a foot race, and whoever's caught by the single woman in the race will become her husband.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We may be sisters, but except for growing up with the same parents in the same house in New York, that may be where the similarities end; especially in terms of dating "protocol" as Black never thought twice about asking boys (and later men) out on a date, while Red never gave it any thought, accepting the convention that boys did the asking. (She did make an exception for her senior prom but was shocked when he accepted.)
When it comes to Sadie Hawkins Day, we both agree it's a quirky holiday that makes it "acceptable" for girls to ask out boys, but of course, we have very different perspectives. For Red, it conjures up images of Sadie Hawkins Day dances, although she never went to one and doesn't even remember how she knows about them. While Black's fascinated by how it all began with the cartoonist Al Capp and his popular "Lil' Abner" comic strip and quickly became a pop culture phenomenon.Now, over 80 years later, if you were to analyze Sadie Hawkins Day, you would probably find it outdated and sexist. But why not just laugh at its silly beginnings and enjoy the day. The funny thing is Red still thinks men should ask out women, while Black always believed that every day's Sadie Hawkins Day.
Tomorrow’s Election Day, and our thoughts about the importance and challenges of voting haven’t changed since last year (see below) – although the stakes may have gone up. (Think Roe v. Wade and how the Supreme Court has sent it back to the states.) Black wishes more states offered referendums so we could vote on specific issues instead of trying to find the candidate that most closely represents our positions and then actually stays true to their word. Which, unfortunately, makes voting much harder than it needs to be …
So many people have fought for the right to vote, yet so many don't even bother to vote.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Like many of us, Red can come up with a whole list of reasons why she didn't plan to vote this Election Day, but what she thought was a sarcastic comment from Black would point out the challenge of balancing philosophical beliefs with reality.
Red, being that former straight-A student, remembers the first time she voted and how she felt it was her civic responsibility, but that she'd never just vote by party line (for her, it was never that simple, especially not these days). That each vote needs to be a conscious one. But that takes lots of "homework", so unless it's a presidential or gubernatorial election, she tends to sit out most of them. Which she felt was just fine, until Black pointed out,
The prior few presidential elections aside, I could argue that non-presidential elections have a far greater impact on our lives. Because state and local issues, such as school board elections and amendments to state constitutions, can make a huge difference to your daily lives.
Now, Red thought, there's an understatement. Especially in the state of Texas. But even on a local level, as Red had recently found out that one trustee on her local school board has created such a huge uproar that all the other trustees called for her resignation. When she first heard the news, she couldn't quite believe the accusations, except most of them were officially "on record", but then, as a parent, Red was appalled that such a person was sitting, of all things, on a school board. But until Black's comments, she didn't connect the dots between that and her responsibility as a voter (not to mention a parent) to take future school board elections more seriously.
Of course, Red still feels an obligation to research the candidates and learn not only what they claim to believe and intend to do, but to try to have a better understanding of who they really are. Which given the times we live in, and the power of social media to spread misinformation, is more challenging than ever. And when she asked Black what to do, she heard a familiar analogy, but with a different spin,
You can eat an elephant (and I am not referring to the GOP/Republicans) just not all at once. Same holds true in terms of the candidates and issues. Review the ones you feel strongly about and then vote. Remember, you are not required to vote the entire ballot.
Well, Red realized that although she hadn't prepared to vote, ironically, it was her desire to make the right choices that led her to make no choices. Now, she realized it was not only her civic responsibility to vote but something that was truly important. For her, her family, her community.
Although it’s time to change the clocks (again!), some things never change, including our very different opinions of Daylight Saving Time. But we do agree that the extra darkness requires us to be extra careful.
Love it, hate it, or just don't care about it … but you can't avoid it.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: It happens like clockwork every fall, as Red starts to hate the feeling of waking up in darkness, she's pleasantly reminded that the clocks will be turned back shortly; while to Black, who keeps oddball hours, none of it really matters to her, except for having to remember to reset all her clocks.
Red loves the fall and winter months, except when it gets too cold, which she now defines as dropping below freezing. Although she grew up in New York, her decades living in sub-tropical climates (first Hong Kong, then Shanghai, and now Houston) may not have "thinned out her blood" (as the old wives' tale says), but it has made her less tolerant of the cold. But that doesn't stop her from loving when it gets darker earlier, and for the same reason she likes dreary, rainy days (so long as she doesn't have to go out because it causes her hair to frizz) … she welcomes the cozy feeling of being bundled up inside.
Black, on the other hand, is more pragmatic about it. Initially, she thought Daylight Saving Time was instituted to save energy but was surprised to learn it's a moneymaking strategy endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. And independent of the fact she prefers the extra sunlight (and vitamin D), she'd like them (she was fascinated to learn "them" is the Department of Transportation, although it would take an Act of Congress to do it) to permanently switch to Daylight Saving Time since we use it most the year anyway. (Sorry, Red.) Not to mention, it would eliminate time wasted resetting all the clocks twice a year.