Words & Banter

A Historic Backdrop. Literally.

Screenshot taken by Black


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Are you familiar with the saying … behind every great man is a great woman?


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Yes, it generally refers to a woman working behind the scenes. But, in this instance, I am guessing that you are referring to Vice President Harris, who is also President of the Senate, and House Speaker Pelosi sitting at the rostrum while President Biden addressed Congress.


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Not fair! You stole my punch line. But politics aside, it was so inspiring and amazing. Although I'm sure you have a different perspective.

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Actually, I agree. It was a historic occasion. Especially when you realize that these two women are No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the line of presidential succession.


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I didn't think of that, which makes it an even more powerful image. As there's no secret of the importance that President Biden places on women being not only involved, but having powerful and meaningful roles, in his administration. It's truly an amazing time for women and, perhaps more importantly, for girls. Wasn't it only last month that we talk about how the Senate Sergeant at Arms office was A Senate Dream Team because for the first time since it was created in 1789, its leadership team is all women?


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Says the woman who a month ago did not even know there was a Senate Sergeant at Arms office.


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Fine, but that doesn't change the fact that we're seeing more and more women in government with important leadership roles and high levels of responsibility. But it's more than just impressive positions and titles – they're role models proving "You too can do this."


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Even the military, which has had a "less than welcoming" history when it came to women (allowing them to serve during wartime but not peacetime, and questioning whether they were fit for combat), has taken great strides. Last month President Biden nominated two female generals to positions as four-star combatant commanders. And, last week the White House announced he'll nominate a woman as the first female four-star admiral in Coast Guard history.


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I think it's safe to say that would have been unthinkable not that long ago. When it comes to President Biden's campaign pledge to have more women in powerful positions, he really is putting his words into action. And that's not taking into consideration all the other appointments and nominations being made!


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Exactly. In fact, they just released his 100-Day Staffing Report, and of approximately 1,500 key agency appointees, 58 percent are women. At the U.S. Department of Labor, a critical agency in terms of the issues facing women in the workforce, almost 70 percent of the appointees are women. The report is barely two pages long, but it is obvious that when it comes to the support and advancement of women, it is an era of "historic and transformative leadership."


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No kidding. And well said!


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Actually, they are not exactly my words. I "borrowed" the phrase "historic and transformative leadership" from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's formal invitation to President Biden to speak to Congress and then applied it specifically to the women of his presidency.


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Which takes us back to where this conversation started …
Photo by OnTheRunPhoto for iStock


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I keep getting emails about where to go for mocktails. I know alcohol-free cocktails, like Virgin Margaritas, have been around for a while, but I’d never heard that term before. Do you think it has to do with New Year’s resolutions?


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It can if any of your resolutions are to lose weight, save money, sleep better. Or, drink less. Psychologically, January is the month when we “reset”, so a UK-based organization, Alcohol Change UK, started Dry January, where you abstain from drinking alcohol.


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Perfect timing since many people shop, eat, and drink more than usual over the holidays.


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I know you used to drink a glass of Cold Duck on New Year’s Eve, a tradition going back to our childhood, but that hardly counts as drinking. But, I have always wondered why you rarely drink, but never asked.
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Popcorn! Quite simply, it’s one of my absolute favorite things. Starting when I was a child, whenever I went to the movies, I’d get (and finish!) the largest bucket of popcorn available. And I always thought movie popcorn was far superior to what you could make at home … until a recent trip to visit a close friend in Tennessee, and she introduced me to Great Northern Popcorn (I promise this isn’t a paid ad). Now I’m addicted to it as I can make it on my cooktop. I know Black would be more interested in the science of what makes popcorn pop, but I prefer to just be obsessive about my popcorn …

Popcorn. Just the thought of popcorn makes me smile, makes me want to indulge, makes me happy. And I’m guessing my popcorn obsession makes Black roll her eyes (although she might admit it can be a healthy snack). However, plenty of people must love popcorn as much as I do. Why else would there be a National Popcorn Day?!

Over the past few years, the pandemic posed challenges that none of us could’ve foreseen (and I’ll never forget the dedication of the front-line workers or make light of the sacrifices so many had to make). But part of me has to laugh at the irony because it ended my seemingly easy “escape” from the stresses of life – going to the movies and enjoying the largest bucket of popcorn – when I needed it the most.

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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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You’re going to roll your eyes, but lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about myself.


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That is totally out of character, unless you are thinking of New Year’s resolutions.


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Actually, no. For decades, my priorities, and therefore my life, have always been focused on the girls and Mom. But that’s all changing. And I’m not sure how to “change” with it.
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