Banter Bites

Avoiding Conflict. Avoiding Life?

What’s the cost of avoiding conflict at all costs?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red will admit that she’s always been an ostrich, although she’s not sure whether it was to avoid dealing with things she didn’t like or to avoid conflict at all costs, but knows whatever position she takes, Black will probably take the opposing side just for the fun of it.

Growing up, Red was the “nice” one, wanting to please everyone, which made her very easy to get along with. Black, on the other hand, has always thought of arguing as sport, often not even agreeing with the position she takes, but doing so merely to see if she can win the other person over. Or just to annoy them. (Or, sometimes, both.)

Some things never change. Even today, Red still goes out of her way to avoid arguments or disagreements but has learned that sometimes you have to stand up for yourself. Or, at least, speak up when something doesn’t seem right. No matter how uncomfortable it may be. And that’s where her theater degree comes in handy, as she can pretend to be someone else.

Black, of course, takes a more direct approach as she knows,

Doing nothing is a decision. It is a decision to accept the status quo. And, saying nothing implies you are in agreement.

Which was a difficult concept for Red to embrace as she always thought of herself as the dutiful daughter, and then the dutiful wife, until her “crisis” when her husband got fired. Then she turned to Black hoping for answers, and instead, Black made her realize that she would have to ask some very uncomfortable questions – of her husband and, ultimately, of herself.

It was either that or just remain a passenger in her life, allowing someone else to control the situation and her future. And her daughters’ futures. Sometimes we get forced to the point where we can no longer stay quiet. But along the way, Red made a very interesting discovery,

As much as I always avoided conflict, I never realized that I had the ability to stand up for what I believed. And to confront others when necessary. I may not have done it for myself, but in doing it for my daughters, I found an inner strength I never knew existed. However, unlike Black, I’ll never find it fun.

Sometimes we think we can’t do something until we try and realize we can. But there’s a big difference between standing up for what you believe and looking for an excuse to debate. And not everything’s worth making an issue of, which explains why Red still believes in conflict avoidance … especially when it comes to disagreeing with Black.

Today’s a national holiday … for a reason. And although it may be a day of fun, festivities, and maybe even relaxation, it’s important to stop and think about the true meaning of the day …

We all “celebrate” Memorial Day differently, but we all should remember it’s a day to honor those who gave their lives serving this country.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Memorial Day may be the unofficial start of summer, and Red remembers celebrating over the years with family get-togethers, barbeques, and pool parties; whereas Black “celebrates” most holidays by having a quiet day to work uninterrupted, but it’s important never to forget the significance of the holiday.

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If you’re looking for a reason not to mow, there’s logic behind letting it grow …

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: As is often the case, Red hadn’t heard of the latest trend, “No Mow May,” which is all about lawn maintenance (or the lack of it) until Black started sending her articles about it.

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It’s hard to imagine one holiday celebrates … spring, women’s fertility, workers, and labor rights. But it shouldn’t surprise you that even though it dates back thousands of years, we each “dance around” different aspects of May Day.

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.

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