RED & BLACK ... Seeing In 2020
|I don't know about you, but although I knew that 2019 was coming to an end, I hadn't really been thinking about it in terms of the end of a decade. That is, until I started seeing all the newspaper articles and television programs not only running their usual year-end summaries, but also looking back on the entire decade.|
|Well, it definitely is not as big a deal as the turn of the century. I remember that everyone was worried about Y2K, and whether there would be serious computer problems related to going from 1999 to 2000. Plus, people were worried there would be a champagne shortage. But, neither of those two "catastrophes" actually happened.|
|Seriously? People were actually worried about a champagne shortage?|
|Wine producers and retailers probably started the idea of so much celebrating, and not enough champagne. Turns out there were shortages of some of the high-end champagnes in certain places, and overall champagne sales were up significantly.|
|I should've guessed that your memories would be business-related.|
|In that instance, yes. But, you are the one who likes to travel down memory lane, not I. So, are you reminiscing about the past decade or just the past year?|
|Until all the media hype, I hadn't really thought about it being a new decade. But when I did, it was bittersweet because the girls were 10 years younger.|
|So were you. So was I.|
|But it's different when you're thinking about how quickly your children grow up. Anyway, I understand that you're not nostalgic, and you definitely never play the "what if" game, but I find it hard to believe that you won't reminisce, even a little, over the past 10 years, or even the last year.|
|Our past has led us to where we are, and you can learn from it, but that is different from reminiscing. You need to live in the present and know that it will influence the future.|
|But how do you learn from the past if you don't take the time – and I'm not saying a large amount of time – to think back about it?|
|You do that as you go, you do not think back over an entire year. Or, an entire decade. Especially since those are arbitrary time periods based on calendars.|
|When you put it like that, it does seem a little crazy. I guess it does make a lot more sense to just learn and make adjustments as you go vs. letting the "mistakes" pile up.|
|You cannot change the past. But, what you do today does impact the future. The key is finding the right balance between savoring the moment and planning for the future.|
|You'd think that as we get older, we'd learn to do things better, to approach things better, to just, well, at the risk of sounding like Melania Trump, be better. But for many of us, that's not the case.|
|With age comes experience, not wisdom.|
|Wow! You're probably going to roll your eyes at this, but I never really thought about it that way. But it's so true. The concept of "learning from your mistakes" is something we hear a lot, especially when we're growing up. Unfortunately, I think that often stops when we become adults.|
|Learning should never stop – especially as we can learn from both our "mistakes" and our good experiences. It just takes the desire to do so.|
|That sounds good, but for us "mere mortals" it can be a little more difficult, as we tend to do things the way we always have. We get caught up in our day-to-day lives and before you know it another week – another month – another year – another decade has come and gone.|
|The older we get, the quicker the years seem to fly by, which makes it even more critical to focus on what is truly important. Identifying your values and priorities, and making sure your decisions align with them.|
|You make it sound so easy but, trust me, it's not. Plus, you've always looked 20 years out and worked backward. For many of us that's a totally new way to look at life, especially those of us who like to reminisce.|
|At the risk of sounding like a Hallmark card, it is a new year, a time to look forward, not backward. Put another way, there is a reason your front windshield is significantly larger than your rear-view mirror.|
|You and your car analogies. But I have to admit it's a great visual. And I'll do my best to keep it in mind. But for now, I still can't believe it's 2020.|
|Funny thing is I started to wish you "20/20 vision" in 2020, then realized it refers to "average" vision … and why would I wish anyone an average year?|
|For those of us who need glasses, 20/20 is what we strive for, and allows us to see things much clearer.|
|In that case, I wish you 20/20 in 2020.|
Connected By More Than Chinese Food. Connected By Humanity & Respect.
May is Asian American Pacific Island Month (which prompted our conversation below about Jews and Chinese food), but we should treat all our fellow Americans with respect and kindness every day.
|Have you ever wondered why Jews love Chinese food so much?|
|No, but what prompted that? Did you take in Chinese food this weekend? Or, did President Biden signing the anti-Asian hate crimes bill make you think about how Jews can relate given all the antisemitism in the world?|
|Only you would connect those dots. I was straightening up papers in the kitchen and noticed how Chinese takeout menus look the same as they did when we were kids, and how we've laughed over the decades about how much Jews love Chinese food. But now you've reminded me about how we've recently talked about the recent increase in hate crimes against the Asian community . I simply don't understand how people can hate an entire group of people based on race or religion.|
|You are the history lover. It is not a new phenomenon. And, the reasons have not changed – Ignorance, prejudice, feelings of supremacy; the list has many "reasons". What I find scary is that people form stronger bonds with others based on what they hate than they do on what they love. But, there is no question that the Asian community and Jews have experienced hate for a long time.|
|I know, but in America of all places, that just shouldn't happen. Ever. We're a country built on immigrants, and the contributions of Asian Americans and American Jews have been so significant. From scientists to doctors, artists to activists, the list goes on and on.|
|The lists of contributions can be sliced and diced in so many different ways – gender, race, religion, nationalities. There are not enough months in the years to celebrate them all. However, some groups tend to be forgotten or overlooked, which is why President Carter signed the first proclamation celebrating Asian/Pacific Americans , which eventually led to May becoming Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. But now, with hate crimes increasing against them, celebrating by learning about their cultures is even more critical.|
|Well, I admit that I personally didn't know any Asians before I lived in Hong Kong, and then Shanghai, several years after getting married. Until then, all I knew was that I loved Chinese food. I know that might sound condescending, but that's not how I mean it.|
|No, it sounds like you just did not have any personal experience except for enjoying the food. And, except for dating Raman Sehgal, who was from India, when I was a graduate student at NYU, my experience before moving to Houston was basically the same as yours.|
|Sorry, but I can't keep track of everyone you've dated. Anyway, I learned so much about the people and their culture when living in Asia. It made me realize just what a young country America is and how many countries have so many more centuries of history than we do. And there I was the outsider, and although I might have been seen to be different, I was never disrespected in the way Asians are treated here.|
|A redhead in Asia. I bet you stood out like a sore thumb. Which is the problem they face here. Identifying Jews is a little more challenging, but that does not stop antisemitism. There was a very interesting article that interviewed Asian American Jewish leaders , asking them to share their experiences.|
|I never thought about being Asian and Jewish! But that explains the Chinese Kosher restaurant in Queens I used to go to when I was a teenager. I couldn't figure out why there was such a thing, but the food was so delicious I never gave it any more thought. Until now, when I realize Asian Jews must have run it.|
|I appreciate that food, and people, get "Americanized" over here, but what did you think about authentic Chinese food?|
|It's very different from American Chinese food, but both are delicious! They each have their own unique characteristics and flavors, and although very different, I appreciate them both, and there will always be a place for each in my culinary world!|
|Just as there should be a place for "different" people …|
Don’t Expect A Compliment From A Sarcastic Sister. An Important Message About … Sunscreen?!
I’ve always been a proud redhead, even though I used to wish that I could tan like those glamorous models in fashion magazines. Or maybe I just got tired of Black’s sarcastic comments about my white skin. Except for the one time when we played a rare round of golf together (see below), which ended up becoming one of my favorite memories! Although I do wish I had known back then about how important it is to protect our skin from the sun … So, now I invite everyone (regardless of hair color) to join us in not only observing Skin Cancer Awareness Month but also celebrating National Sunscreen Day.
I'll never forget the day. It was an "almost" ordinary day out on the golf course with my mom and dad during the heat of a Long Island summer. Now, if "Long Island" conjures up images of stately manors on the North Shore (think "Great Gatsby") or beachfront mansions in the Hamptons (think Robin Leach and his popular show "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous"), you can put those out of your head. I'm not talking about some fancy country club golf course, just a regular public course.
I loved the game ever since I learned to play as a teenager, and although I never got to play while at college (Wake Forest, which was renowned for its golf program, with its most famous alumni being Arnold Palmer), I'd try to get out as often as possible when I was home. I wasn't a phenomenal player but had a decent game and natural talent. And most of the time, I hit it pretty straight, so one of the things I enjoyed was walking down the middle of the fairway, pulling my clubs along (no fancy golf carts on this course), appreciating the day and the sport.
On one (very rare) occasion, my sister came back to New York to visit, as she moved out of state as soon as she graduated from business school. She also played golf, but unlike me, who relied on natural ability and played for fun, she worked extremely hard at her game, was overly competitive, and played "business golf". The result was that she was a far better player than me, although I was holding my own on that day.
As Black often says, the scorecard contains only numbers, no editorial. And it would ultimately show that she'd beat me, but as we were each walking up one of the last holes toward our respective balls, in the heat of a late summer afternoon, with the sun at our backs, I was secretly hoping that she'd be proud of me. So, after I hit my fairway shot onto the green, I heard her call out to me, and my hopes were high,
Hey, Red! I was watching you hit that shot, and well, I have been watching you all afternoon, and I have to say … you have the whitest legs I have ever seen, or are you wearing white pantyhose?
I wasn't sure whether to laugh, cry, or be angry. Or to just roll my eyes as it really was something only my sister would say. And to this day, I'm not even sure if she had even noticed how close I came to beating her and how well I played – "upping" my game driven by her much better game.
But I also know that I can never look down at my very pale legs without laughing just a little at how a lifetime ago (or so it seems), she was so right. Recently, when she treated me to my first pair of Birkenstocks, I stood in the store trying them on, and before she had a chance to say it I told her … Yes, I do look like I have on white hose.
P. S. – I feel it only fair (pun intended) to have a P.S. for a P.S.A. – Long ago, the harm of the summer sun wasn't as well known, but in the years since, we've learned how important sunblock is. Year-round. So, whether you're a redhead who never tans (I used to cycle between being extremely pale and burning red and back again) or someone who does tan, take care of your skin!
Mother’s Day is a celebration of moms – those with us and those in our hearts and memories. And that’s why we’re repeating last year’s post (that, and because Black was borderline warm and fuzzy) …
I appreciate that bullet points may not be the typical
approach to Mother’s Day, but it seems appropriate to me …
red head assets.rebelmouse.io
|This year I write about Mother’s Day with a heavy heart and still much raw emotion, as our mom passed in December. My pragmatic side (yes, that’s usually Black’s area although she did sound somewhat warm and fuzzy above) knows that she had been 94 and led a full life, but that really doesn’t make it any less sad or fill the emptiness. But I find myself, when I least expect it and triggered by the most unexpected things, finding comfort in wonderful memories. And although Black’s first bullet point hits too close to home for me, I’ll try my best to focus on the other bullets.|