Whoever said you can't buy happiness, never bought ice cream.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Black sent Red an email linking to what she thought was a fascinating article about the competitive ice cream industry, and Red rolled her eyes, thinking, "My sister can't even enjoy something as simple as ice cream without analyzing it."
But then, for Red, ice cream isn't just a food – it's an indulgence, an experience, and a trip down memory lane. Back to a time when ice cream was simpler, as was life. Well before the ice cream section of the grocery store overwhelmed you with too many choices (was there ever a time when the only options were vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry?), although she'll admit a pint of Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia and a spoon is all you need to make a bad day better.
Of course, the mention of Ben & Jerry reminds Black of how their ice cream somehow became political. She can understand the internal battles of whether the guilty pleasure of ice cream is worth the calories (she compromises by eating only a spoonful or two), or even arguing with someone over the "best flavor" (even chefs have favorite store-bought ice cream flavors), but the only connection between ice cream and politics should be related to the history of ice cream. (It was first introduced in America when we were still colonies. Later, President George Washington supposedly spent $200, a lot of money in those days, to satisfy his ice cream cravings, while Thomas Jefferson's credited with the first American ice cream recipe.)
Fast forward to today, and our love of ice cream is stronger than ever (and big business), whether fueled by the pandemic and our desire for "comfort food" or us wanting to return the simple pleasures, albeit with more sophisticated flavors. Black watches as there's a battle brewing (or should we say, churning) between artisanal ice cream shops opening throughout Houston, but Red sums it up best,
Whether it's the cheapest scoop out there or it seems more like a car payment (ok, that might be a slight exaggeration, but if there's three or four of you, it adds up), ice cream's one of life's greatest pleasures and always brings a smile to my face. Especially when it's one of those shops where you can smell the freshly baked cones before you even walk in the door. Then it's a treat for all your senses.
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.
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.
Red admits that although she knows bagels aren’t a healthy choice, she’ll occasionally treat herself, not only because they remind her of growing up in New York when almost every town on Long Island had at least one bagel shop, but because she loves whipped cream cheese almost as much as the fresh, squishy bagel on which she smears it. And while she was a fan of both cinnamon raisin and onion bagels as a kid, the introduction of the “Everything” bagel was a turning point. However, her all-time favorite is technically not a bagel, as it’s a bialy.
On the other hand, it only takes one look at Black’s “selfishly svelte figure” to know that she has the willpower to resist bagels (including her favorite, sesame) as well as all the other carbs that she loves, but when it comes to National Bagel Day and the “health” issues of bagels, she has an interesting perspective,
Bagels are one of life’s true culinary pleasures, often tied to wonderful memories, so you cannot always measure their value in terms of nutrition. But, when it comes to healthy eating, it might be interesting to remember that bagel-cutting injuries are common and result in thousands of people having to go to emergency rooms or urgent care centers … so, celebrate carefully.
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.