Banter Bites

Talk About Getting The Royal Treatment

Obviously, people cannot get enough of the Royal Family or of Oprah, as over 17 million people watched the interview on Sunday night.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: The last thing that Red expected was for Black to ask her what she thought of Oprah's interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

After all, Red knew that Black didn't "follow" the Royal Family, unless it had something to do with the business world and appeared in a business publication, or maybe crossed her radar via one of the handful of daily newsletters she receives. So, once Red confirmed that Black really wanted to know her thoughts, Red started talking and probably didn't come up for air for about 20 minutes.

Now, it's not just that Red follows (to some degree, but not in an all-consuming way) what goes on with the Royal Family, but Red was married to a Brit and lived in England for many years, so had both friends and family there, giving her both "outsider" and "insider" perspectives of the country, its people, its media, and the institution of the Britishmonarchy.

Red's overall sentiments (as best as 20+ minutes can be boiled down),

I can see where on the big picture issues – from racial discrimination to awareness of mental health issues to historically how the "Firm" (as the family and institution calls itself) conducts its business – much of what Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said rings true. But, of course, we'll never know if all the details are truly accurate, somewhat skewed to suit their version of events, or a reflection of what they honestly perceived and remembered.

Of course, Red couldn't resist asking Black what her thoughts were, half expecting her to say that she didn't have any. Then again, looking back later, Red really wasn't surprised when Black commented …

I preface this with, I did not watch the interview, although I have since seen clips and yesterday morning every daily newsletter I receive (AP News, Axios, Bloomberg, and the New York Times) covered it. The topics seemed to parallel, but on a personal level, that which has been headline news in the States – racism, the power of the media, and mental health issues. But what struck me most, even taking into consideration that Meghan is an actress, was her maternal instincts to protect her child, and her bravery to admit considering suicide. It was not that long ago she addressed her miscarriage with the public, again not something normally admitted to others – let alone the entire world.

P.S. – The following is from the bottom of the Axios article: the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free and confidential support for anyone in distress, in addition to prevention and crisis resources. Also available for online chat.

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.