Banter Bites

Did I Stutter? Yes, And Thank You.

Think of stuttering as foreplay for great conversation.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Patience isn’t something that either of us possesses, and Black has been known to question whether it’s really a virtue; but when it comes to someone speaking, or more specifically, stuttering, it’s interesting (but not surprising) how they have very different reactions.

I am running out of patience with your blah-blah-blah. Can you get to the point?

No, that’s not how Black reacted to someone that stuttered, but it’s often how she feels in conversations with Red, and sometimes even tells her that. Because Black isn’t, well, the most patient of people and has been known to finish people’s sentences or interrupt them when she knows where they’re going and wants the conversation to move along quicker.

And then there’s Red … maybe a little more patient because she’s a little more, well, nice. But still, because of her love of the blah-blah-blah, she has a habit of not letting others get a word in edgewise.

So, imagine when coincidence (or was it?) recently led us to each encounter someone that stutters. For Red, it came when she was stressing out about having to possibly disassemble and dispose of a commercial-sized shuffleboard table in our mom’s house. She called a highly recommended company (LoadUp, if you’re curious, but this isn’t a paid ad) and was surprised to find that the customer service representative stuttered,

Something remarkable happened during that call. I went from being incredibly stressed out to being calm and in a good mood. Because as soon as I heard his stutter, I forced myself to “slow down” and just listen.

And Black? Well, it was when she was introduced to the two-man film crew at the taping of an interview for the dedication of the Make-A-Wish building, and assumed that the person who stuttered was the cameraman, not the interviewer, but when she realized her error,

Allowing the interviewer to ask his questions at his pace reminded me of the importance of listening to what he was saying before deciding how to answer. That it was not a race to the finish.

The timing of these two experiences so close together was one thing, but it happened around the same time that Black saw the latest release in the New York Times’s Adapt-Abilty series, a fascinating video, “I Stutter. But This Is What You’re Not Hearing,” with an important message …

The problem isn’t with the stutterer; it’s with the listener.

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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