Tell it to the elf. Tell it to the judge.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Saying different people see things differently and find different things amusing is an understatement, especially when it comes to us; but although we may have different reasons why we found this so funny (Red may have been punchy at the time, while Black finds it very clever), it did make us laugh.


When Black forwarded Red a story about toy elves, it left her a bit bewildered, especially since the subject line was “With a wink, judge fights ‘tyranny’ of Elf on the Shelf.” Initially, Red couldn’t help but think about Will Ferrell in the movie “Elf” since the seasonal angle was pretty obvious, even if the movie wasn’t one of her Christmas favorites. (Sorry, Will, that honor goes to “Holiday Inn,” a classic starring Bing Crosby that never gets old.)

But as soon as Red clicked on the judge’s mock order, she started to smile and then, as she told Black,

It’s just hilarious. And while I wasn’t familiar with the concept of elves essentially being spies for Santa, I couldn’t help but love and laugh at the judge’s evaluation and handling of the Elf on the Shelf “situation”.

Of course, Black was surprised she’d never heard about Elf on the Shelf, so sent her an interesting article on its innocent beginnings, adding,

There is no need for an elf in my house – just put me on the naughty list.

In May, when there was a leak of a draft opinion of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, we started preparing ourselves for the court to officially overturn the 1973 decision. And it happened.

Trying to stay neutral and not voice our personal opinions about abortions (not an easy thing to do), we still find ourselves filled with a combination of sadness, confusion, anger, and deep concern. Especially as the court’s ruling impacts not only women but the country as a whole, including our standing in the eyes of world leaders.

Red, as a mom to two girls in their 20s, can’t help but think of how it takes away women’s rights to make decisions over their own bodies and gives it to the states in which they live, making them almost second-class citizens. Even recognizing her tendency to be warm and fuzzy, after hearing of the decision, Red finds herself more emotional than she thought she’d be.

Black is flat-out frightened, which is out of character for her. As she initially expressed below (back in March), after the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the future of a wide range of rights provided to us are at risk of being taken away … by a majority vote of nine people who we never elected to represent us. And as much as Black likes to be right, in this instance, she’s hoping to be wrong …

There’s an expression … throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Well, Supreme Court decisions on “babies” (well, technically fetuses) may also impact its integrity.

Keep Reading ...Show less

This name comes with a warning ...

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Yes, climate’s a “hot” topic, but summer has only started (marked by the summer solstice), and Red’s already whining about the heat, while Black considersthe logic of naming heat waves. (Really! But it’s not her idea.)

Keep Reading ...Show less

Ok, let’s be clear (pun intended) … Communication is critical. Whether in your personal life or in business, not to mention communication skills are transferable between the two (Black even suggested Red hold family “business” meetings). And what better time to work on how we communicate, and maybe even have a new attitude toward vocabulary and “50-cent words” (Red loves those, but terminology scares her!?), than during Effective Communications Month.

Talking isn't the same as communicating. And hearing isn't the same as listening. Think about it.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Being an effective communicator, whether in our personal lives or at work, is a critical skill but one-size-doesn't-fit-all as we each use very different methods and styles … ranging from lots of words and talking stuffed animals (Red) to bullet points and racing flags (Black).

Keep Reading ...Show less