Banter Bites

Is Feeling Safe Too Much To Ask For?

It's a beautiful day for a walk. But, if you're a woman, you have to think about more than just the weather …

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: The truly tragic and awful story about Sarah Everard, the young woman who was kidnapped and murdered while walking home in London, has not only alarmed women everywhere, but highlights how women ALWAYS have to be concerned about their safety, even when seemingly doing all the right things.

When Red first heard the news, she was saddened and dismayed. Not only because her eldest daughter lives in England, but because it's a sign of the times. When she lived there, granted it was decades ago, she was surprised that many people didn't even lock their doors yet alone worry about walking alone at night.

We grew up just outside New York City with what we'd call a "New York" mentality. It wasn't that we were paranoid; it was just that personal safety was a natural part of our upbringing as when we'd go into "the city" we paid particular attention to our surroundings and always tried to avoid any potentially dangerous situations. And it became second nature.

So, when Red became a mom, she passed down this way of thinking, and because she had daughters also made sure they had things like pepper spray and a rape whistle. And while it's always been part of a mom's "job description" to worry about her children, now it's more than that …

I hate that I have to remind the girls that they need to be extremely careful and aware of their surroundings at all times and prepared for the worst. I know they've "inherited" my New York mentality, but that's not always enough given how the world is these days. In fact, I'm not sure there's any truly safe place, especially for a woman.

Black agreed and then started to delve deeper into the many other safety issues that face women – things like date rape, workplace harassment, and domestic violence – and Red quickly asked her to stop. It wasn't that she was being an ostrich; it was just more than she wanted to hear right then. So, Black decided to lighten it up in her own way …

The things we do for safety! In fact, that is why I sold my Ferrari. I was afraid as a woman alone, especially in a convertible, that I was asking for trouble. I feel so much safer in my G-wagen, which is like a tank. One of the ploys with women driving alone at night is to lightly run into the back end of their car, getting them to stop, and get out of their car. Do that to me, and I'll just put it in reverse and destroy the front of your car.

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 History.com.

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.