Banter Bites

Bracing For The Brrrrrr

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?!

Two years ago, on MLK Day, Red learned the power and inspiration of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And the power of dreams. And as long as there's social unrest and social injustice in the United States (stop and think about the first word … as we’re supposed to be united), the more we can learn from him … as not only did he fight for equality for all, but his approach is proof of the power of peaceful protests.

For most of us, writing and delivering one powerful and/or inspiring thing would be a very difficult task. To be remembered for hundreds is truly amazing.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: There's so much one can say about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who led the civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968, and whose leadership was fundamental to the ending of legal segregation in many parts of the United States. But regardless of your position on segregation, it's almost impossible not to acknowledge, yet alone appreciate, how incredibly powerful and inspiring his words were and the impact they continue to have on the civil rights movement. But don't believe us. This goodreads post provides more than just a good read, it's a seemingly endless list of inspirational quotes while a great "refresher" course on Dr. King is available at History.com.

We grew up in New York, where bagels are almost sacred, but even though they may have started as a Jewish food in Europe, they’re now enjoyed by everyone everywhere (including Red and Black, but in very different ways) – why else would there be a National Bagel Day?

National holidays aren’t the time to count calories.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We both agree that happiness has a hole in it, although one of us may only eat one bagel a year while the other tries to keep it to only one bagel when she does indulge.

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Another year and another National Clean Your Desk Day (yes, that’s actually a thing). So, is Red’s desk any better than the “disaster” it was last year? Well, believe it or not, it may not be perfect, but it’s significantly better. Is it because she finally listened to Black’s advice (see below) or somehow found a “secret” of her own? As it turns out, it was a combination of the two as Red discovered, even if the rest of her life isn’t “nice and neat” (that’ll never happen), she loves walking into her workroom in the morning and starting the day in a (somewhat) organized space, which provides the best motivation for keeping it that way. (Luckily, Black never brought up the science of messy desks.)

A day to clean up your desk?! It will take way more than a day …

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: No one is immune from piles of paper, not even Black, the master of organization, but there’s a huge difference between a desk with a few small piles and some scattered papers (although her laptop’s keyboard needs serious cleaning) and Red’s “workroom” that usually looks like a tornado hit it.

Which is why Red rolled her eyes when Black mentioned today’s National Clean Your Desk Day, as it’d take her significantly more than a day to “clean up this mess,” but then she remembered Black’s advice on how to keep her piles (and piles) of paper under control and felt inspired. Red admits often feeling like she’s drowning in paper, but that’s because she lets the piles get out of control before reminding herself of Black’s very easy, straightforward approach to turning her mountains of paper into small manageable hills. And, significantly reducing stress along the way, because as Black points out,

Sometimes, it is more important to know what you are ignoring than it is to deal with everything in the piles.