Banter Bites

Don’t BE A Dish Washer – Use a Dishwasher

There’s good reason to use your dishwasher instead of that nasty sponge in your sink.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We find it ironic that Black, whose kitchen always looks like it’s ready for a magazine photo shoot since she lives alone and rarely cooks, is explaining to Red, who loves to cook and whose kitchen is always a whirlwind of activity, how using the dishwasher can save time, money, and water.

It started on a typical afternoon; Black was skimming the Axios “Closer” newsletter when the bar chart under the headline “Two ways to clean a dish” caught her attention. The article bullet-pointed (one of the things she likes best about Axios) that Proctor & Gamble was heavily promoting the use of dishwashers, and how they save water, to increase sales of its Cascade dishwashing detergent. Since Black’s daily “dishes” consist of small single-serving French press coffee makers, a coffee cup, an occasional plate or two, and some silverware, most of which accumulate in her dishwasher throughout the week, it wouldn’t have much impact on her but might be valuable information for Red.

Of course, the subject line immediately caught Red’s attention. Mostly because it seemed so out of character for Black. A quick read later, Red started getting very excited at the thought that now she had some very good reasons to run the dishwasher more often, especially since it supported her efforts to change her habits into more environmentally-friendly ones.

But it also made gave her an idea, and she used Black as a sounding board (although Black thought it was just another example of her thinking out loud),

I’ve wanted a new dishwasher for a while but couldn’t rationalize it as my old dishwasher still works, although I feel it’s more of a sterilizer than a washer. But the new high-efficiency ones might provide the perfect excuse, although I know you’ll ask if I’ve crunched the numbers. And it’d be great to be able to give up handwashing everything, except my good knives, to help save water!

Black never expected to have a conversation about dishwashers, even though, over the years, she had gotten into heated discussions about the proper way to load them. And although she fully appreciated the logic of using the dishwasher more often, and all the “savings”, her focus was still on the marketing angle, and the use of humor,

I may only use my dishwasher once a week, but I love the Cascade advertising campaign, “Do IT Every Night.” And, if you have not already seen it, check out the version with Freddie Prinze, Jr. and his wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar.

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

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.