For those that thought they were escaping the cold of the North to live in the South … think again.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We grew up on Long Island (which is an island over 100 miles long just east of New York City) and got to experience all four seasons.

So, we know all about cold weather and snow, as winter typically included multiple snowstorms, often canceling schools, with shoveling a foot or more of snow not uncommon. And whether you liked the cold weather or not, you were at least mentally prepared for it. Not to mention having appropriate clothing. After all, this was the northeast and just part of growing up, well, in the north.

As Red remembers it, Black always hated the cold. This may explain why after getting her M.B.A., Black went to work in New Orleans, and then Texas. Or, maybe that just happened because she decided to work in the oil and gas industry, but Red suspects Black would have found a way down south regardless. Red, on the other hand, always loved the cold and even dreamed of living in Vermont year-round. (Now, that's cold! Don't believe us? Ask Bernie Sanders.)

Anyway, decades later, after Red lived overseas for many years, including time in China and Hong Kong (which definitely don't get cold), she found herself in Houston. Once she realized she was staying here, she gave most of her cold weather clothing to charity, keeping only that which she'd need if she was traveling somewhere cold. She never asked Black about winter clothing, figuring since she was a life-long clothes horse probably had more than her fair share of winter clothing, even if she really didn't "need" it.

Well, fast forward to this week's unprecedented winter storm and Red was relieved she had the clothing she needed, although she chuckled to herself when she saw her UGGs …

I found the warm gloves and hat at the top of my closet in a box rarely opened, and the heavy scarves (not to be confused with the lightweight ones I wear all the time) were easy to find. My winter outwear was stashed in the back of an upstairs closet. And winter boots? Well, it may look silly, but I wear my beloved UGGS once it gets to the low 50s, not for warmth but just because they're comfortable (like bedroom slippers). So, now I was ready. To go outside? Yes. But earlier in the week, I needed all this just to try to keep warm in a house without power. In Texas. How crazy is that?!

It’s hard to believe the topic of the Supreme Court and abortion could become any more controversial or dramatic. But there was no way to know a draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade would be leaked to the press. A situation so shocking, it’s being compared to the "Pentagon Papers" leak.

Yes, leaks happen all the time in politics – at the campaign level, sometimes from Congress, and even on occasion from the executive branch. But from the Supreme Court of the United States??? Yet as Black said to Red just after it happened,

Nowadays, it is just too easy to have a “leak” as almost everything is just a “click away” from being shared or printed. No clandestine nights at the copy machine are required.

There’s an expression … throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Well, Supreme Court decisions on “babies” (well, technically fetuses) may also impact its integrity.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: There’s no question the recent Supreme Court cases involving abortion are controversial and may have a major impact on Roe v. Wade; something that both Red (as a mom to two daughters) and Black (as a highly independent woman who made the conscious decision not to have children) have strong feelings about, albeit focused on two very different aspects.

Keep Reading ... Show less

If you’ve never thought about May Day, don’t worry, most of us haven’t.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red appreciates that some holidays have historical significance, some have ancient traditions, and some are opportunities for one of Black’s unexpected, but often amusing and clever, comments, but May Day checks all those boxes.

Keep Reading ... Show less

To quote the lyrics from "West Side Story," “Could be … who knows …”

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red, the theater major and lover of Broadway musicals, has loved "West Side Story" for as long as she can remember, so imagine her surprise when Black, usually only interested in the business aspects of the entertainment world, shared a “new” fact (at least, new to Red) about one of the most popular musicals ever produced.

Keep Reading ... Show less