So many people have fought for the right to vote, yet so many don't even bother to vote.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Like many of us, Red can come up with a whole list of reasons why she didn't plan to vote this Election Day, but what she thought was a sarcastic comment from Black would point out the challenge of balancing philosophical beliefs with reality.

Red, being that former straight-A student, remembers the first time she voted and how she felt it was her civic responsibility, but that she'd never just vote by party line (for her, it was never that simple, especially not these days). That each vote needs to be a conscious one. But that takes lots of "homework", so unless it's a presidential or gubernatorial election, she tends to sit out most of them. Which she felt was just fine, until Black pointed out,


The prior few presidential elections aside, I could argue that non-presidential elections have a far greater impact on our lives. Because state and local issues, such as school board elections and amendments to state constitutions, can make a huge difference to your daily lives.

Now, Red thought, there's an understatement. Especially in the state of Texas. But even on a local level, as Red had recently found out that one trustee on her local school board has created such a huge uproar that all the other trustees called for her resignation. When she first heard the news, she couldn't quite believe the accusations, except most of them were officially "on record", but then, as a parent, Red was appalled that such a person was sitting, of all things, on a school board. But until Black's comments, she didn't connect the dots between that and her responsibility as a voter (not to mention a parent) to take future school board elections more seriously.

Of course, Red still feels an obligation to research the candidates and learn not only what they claim to believe and intend to do, but to try to have a better understanding of who they really are. Which given the times we live in, and the power of social media to spread misinformation, is more challenging than ever. And when she asked Black what to do, she heard a familiar analogy, but with a different spin,

You can eat an elephant (and I am not referring to the GOP/Republicans) just not all at once. Same holds true in terms of the candidates and issues. Review the ones you feel strongly about and then vote. Remember, you are not required to vote the entire ballot.

Well, Red realized that although she hadn't prepared to vote, ironically, it was her desire to make the right choices that led her to make no choices. Now, she realized it was not only her civic responsibility to vote but something that was truly important. For her, her family, her community.

We'll keep this simple and to-the-point … Happy Thanksgiving!

Is it even possible to have a single Thanksgiving favorite? Some have many – some have none!

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red always looks forward to Thanksgiving, not just because she loves having everyone around her dining room table, but because she enjoys so much of the food; while Black tolerates the food and tries to forget that she's not a fan of "forced celebrations", especially this year's double hit as Thanksgiving falls on her birthday.

Of course, Red does all the cooking, not just because she enjoys it but because that way, she's guaranteed to get her favorites – cranberry sauce and cornbread stuffing. She enjoys the food so much that a few times a year she'll make a turkey dinner, but with much fewer side dishes.

Black, on the other hand, doesn't have any Thanksgiving favorites, unless you count a baked yam, which is nothing special as she makes them in the microwave year-round. But she does miss the years they used to go to the Omni Hotel for its amazing Thanksgiving buffet, and she could avoid all the traditional foods,

Some people love to make turkey and all the fixings. I prefer to make dinner reservations.

A movie with murder, designer clothing, amazing locations, sex, and money. Who needs the popcorn?! (Besides Red.)

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red loves going to the movies – sometimes because of the story, other times it could be the actors or director, but always for the popcorn; while Black's very discerning when it comes to "investing" a few hours to sit in a movie theater … but we both want to see "House Of Gucci."

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