Words & Banter

Chocolate Chip Cookies Made Me Admit I Was Wrong?

It started last Friday when I saw a video of First Lady Dr. Jill Biden delivering cookies to the National Guard at the Capitol in appreciation of their service protecting her and her family during the inauguration. I sent it to Red with the brief subject line, "Class act" and nothing in the body of the email except the link. Throughout the day, we take "brain breaks" and after Red watched it, she called to tell me how she was extremely touched by the simple gesture. Not only because she could relate to how many times over the years she had baked "thank you" cookies and brownies, but because she knows first-hand how protective moms are about their families, and especially their children. Never one to be succinct, she explained how she could "totally relate" to how your maternal instinct always seems to be front and center. Then adding how the fact Dr. Biden was also a military mom only meant her desire to show her appreciation to the National Guard was even stronger.

So, when it came time to pick the topic of our next Banter Bite, Red immediately suggested the cookie story. But I hesitated. I was concerned that this might have been staged to offset the uproar about the National Guard, who initially had been resting and napping in the Capitol, but post-inauguration had been relocated to nearby parking garages. (This was subsequently remedied.) Instead, our Saturday Banter Bite, which tend to be "feel good" or, at least, less serious ones, was about Ben & Jerry's new doggie treats.

But, I could not stop thinking about the "cookie story" … and the fact it seemed true to character to who Dr. Biden is, so whether or not it was orchestrated for the media, it still was an authentic reflection of our new First Lady. A woman displaying gratitude, decency, and grace. A role model for us all.

And, I could not stop thinking about my initial reaction, as I have always prided myself on giving people the benefit of the doubt. (Red often jokes that I am much better at that than she is, even though she is the warm and fuzzy one!). But why did I not do so this time? Is it a reflection of how jaded we have all become? Is that what the last four years has done to us?

If nothing else, just knowing we have become jaded is a step in the right direction. But I could not let it end there. So, early Saturday morning (well, early for Red, as I am usually up well before 6 a.m.), I called Red and said I was wrong not to run with the "cookie story" and explained why. Which explains why we will do it this Saturday.

Photo by OnTheRunPhoto for iStock


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I keep getting emails about where to go for mocktails. I know alcohol-free cocktails, like Virgin Margaritas, have been around for a while, but I’d never heard that term before. Do you think it has to do with New Year’s resolutions?


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It can if any of your resolutions are to lose weight, save money, sleep better. Or, drink less. Psychologically, January is the month when we “reset”, so a UK-based organization, Alcohol Change UK, started Dry January, where you abstain from drinking alcohol.


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Perfect timing since many people shop, eat, and drink more than usual over the holidays.


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I know you used to drink a glass of Cold Duck on New Year’s Eve, a tradition going back to our childhood, but that hardly counts as drinking. But, I have always wondered why you rarely drink, but never asked.
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Photo by bhofack2 for iStock

Popcorn! Quite simply, it’s one of my absolute favorite things. Starting when I was a child, whenever I went to the movies, I’d get (and finish!) the largest bucket of popcorn available. And I always thought movie popcorn was far superior to what you could make at home … until a recent trip to visit a close friend in Tennessee, and she introduced me to Great Northern Popcorn (I promise this isn’t a paid ad). Now I’m addicted to it as I can make it on my cooktop. I know Black would be more interested in the science of what makes popcorn pop, but I prefer to just be obsessive about my popcorn …

Popcorn. Just the thought of popcorn makes me smile, makes me want to indulge, makes me happy. And I’m guessing my popcorn obsession makes Black roll her eyes (although she might admit it can be a healthy snack). However, plenty of people must love popcorn as much as I do. Why else would there be a National Popcorn Day?!

Over the past few years, the pandemic posed challenges that none of us could’ve foreseen (and I’ll never forget the dedication of the front-line workers or make light of the sacrifices so many had to make). But part of me has to laugh at the irony because it ended my seemingly easy “escape” from the stresses of life – going to the movies and enjoying the largest bucket of popcorn – when I needed it the most.

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


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You’re going to roll your eyes, but lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about myself.


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That is totally out of character, unless you are thinking of New Year’s resolutions.


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Actually, no. For decades, my priorities, and therefore my life, have always been focused on the girls and Mom. But that’s all changing. And I’m not sure how to “change” with it.
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