Red's Head

Yesterday was Halloween and the decorative ghosts around the neighborhood, including the inflatable in my front yard that has three of them, and all the trick-or-treating ghosts coming to my door, reminded me of Black's ghost … although that one last "appeared" over the summer, never to be heard or seen again.

As Black previously explained …

Everyone laughs and wants to hear the story when I mention that I was recently "ghosted" by someone I had dated. What I find interesting is that ghosting has become so prevalent in today's society (and is not restricted to dating) that there is a term to describe the sudden "disappearance" of someone who wants to avoid all future contact with you.

Going back decades, I know there have been first dates that, at the time, I thought went well. But, after getting the "I'll call you" line … I never did. As a teenager, I can remember anxiously waiting for the phone (a landline tethered to the wall – and yes, I am that old) to ring, not wanting to go out and possibly miss the call. And, being very disappointed by the silence. Now, I cannot even remember who they were.

Over time, especially once women's lib made it more acceptable for women to take the initiative when dating, I came to appreciate that it was easier not to call than to tell someone face-to-face that you did not want another date. But, it did not change the inevitable, and ghosting can be more painful than politely telling the truth. Meanwhile, given how outspoken and opinionated I was (I still am), I think they could always sense where they stood and whether our personalities were compatible.

I never intentionally misled anyone, as that is not my style. Plus, it is inefficient as it creates more work down the road to try and reverse the situation. Of course, when you get past the initial dates and learn more about each other, you may realize that you are not compatible. Then, you want to cut your losses and move on, so would break up. It did not require long conversations or detailed relationship analysis. Merely, the common courtesy to be honest.

I know that Red would try and make me understand that "mere mortals" (as she refers to herself and most people, accusing me of being a Vulcan) prefer to avoid these situations – finding them not only uncomfortable and difficult, but thinking they require full explanations. However, I am not questioning "why" people ghost.

Yes, there can be legitimate reasons for ghosting someone, although often there are not. The specific details of my situation are not relevant, but the fact we went on six or seven dates, and he made it very clear that he thought our relationship could be a long-term one (I thought it had potential but was concerned about emotional compatibility) made being ghosted very unexpected. And disappointing. Not to mention,

Ghosting is flat-out rude and shows a lack of manners. If you no longer want to date someone, tell them. Plus, it is an excellent way to practice having difficult conversations, especially as there is no downside risk. But, there can be upside potential … Besides improving your communication skills, you may realize that your decision to stop seeing them is based on a misunderstanding or extenuating circumstances.
Photo by chameleoneye for iStock

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At the risk of Black coming up with another potato analogy, for me, Chanukah's all about potato latkes. The childhood memories of our dad grating pounds and pounds of potatoes to the point where I'm not sure I could see our kitchen table to many decades later my eldest daughter taste-tasting latkes from an assortment of places. (I love to cook, but latkes are a lot of work.)

Of course, the lighting of the menorah is also such a special part of the holiday celebration, whether the electric menorah that my parents had where you would "twist" each light bulb as the nights progressed or the more traditional menorah with candles that my daughters and I light each year (and never leave unattended).

Black's Head Black

I never cease to be amazed by the miracle of Chanukah (regardless of whether you spell it Chanukah or Hanukkah, or some other variation) and how the oil that was only supposed to last one day instead lasted for eight days. It is as if your cellphone indicated it is at 12% but lasts eight days. Or, if the gas gauge in your car indicates you have 25 miles left, but you are able to drive 200 miles. Sometimes things happen that defy logic, and that is where faith takes over. And a belief in something bigger than all of us.

Tomorrow is the start of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, which celebrates hope and miracles – and who could not use hope and miracles?

Happy Chanukah!

Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Almost everyone likes Thanksgiving, but of course, Black's not one of them. First, she's not a fan of the traditional Thanksgiving food and only has one thing she likes, unlike most of us who'd be hard-pressed to narrow it down to one favorite. And then there's the "forced" sense of celebration. She remembers the best part of Thanksgiving when we were growing up in New York wasn't the table laden with food, but having lots of relatives busy "arguing" with each other, but that tradition ended too soon for Black. (Red, who's definitely into conflict avoidance, is glad it did.)

Black's consistent in that she also dislikes celebrating her birthday, and this year it falls on Thanksgiving. All of which creates a bit of a challenge for Red, who loves to celebrate both. So, what's Red to do? Well, believe it or not, in "RED & BLACK … A Birthday Turkey", Black's potato analogy may provide a clue.

Want to read other columns? Here's a list.

Created by Black
Red loves Thanksgiving, turkey, and TV dinners, but last year she never expected that they would somehow be connected (thanks to Black!) to a history lesson. This year, even though it will be a more "normal" Thanksgiving dinner, we decided to rerun the column, while Red can't help but wonder if Black still prefers sushi over turkey …

Red's Head Red

I know it can't be avoided, but I feel bad that Mom's spending Thanksgiving alone, but given the coronavirus it can't be helped.

Black's Head Black

Unfortunately, there are many people in that situation this year. Myself included.

Red's Head Red

Please. You only "do" Thanksgiving because it's expected of you. Unlike Mom, you don't even want me to make you a Thanksgiving dinner care package.

Black's Head Black

Not a fan of turkey – but did you know that TV dinners were created because of Thanksgiving?

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