Banter Bites

Label Yourself An American?

Should Made in the U.S.A. be the first – or last – thing to ask yourself?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: If you were to ask us how we show that we’re proud to be an American, Red would tell you about the large bear in her entry hall that displays an American flag for July 4th and cheering for American teams in world sports competitions; but Black tends to work on holidays (and her birthday) so it’s not surprising her answer would include a major business decision.

Before Black turned Red’s “crisis” into a book (what are big sisters for?!), Red never thought about buying American-made products, focusing solely on price and quality. But when Black insisted on printing in the U.S.A. (even though it doubled the cost), Red listened to logic and decided she’d try to buy American more often. However, it’s never happened,

I know I should, and I want to, but I just don’t seem to be able to turn my “good intentions” into actions. I wonder if it’s because I try to be very cost-conscious when buying things and, let’s face it, most products made overseas are usually cheaper.

Black is quick to point out that cheaper is a relative term. How it might be true in terms of the price tag. But often not when you consider quality. Something that may be cheaper at first may not last as long, so needs to be replaced more often and may become more expensive in the long run.

Black does understand Red’s focus on cost and that calculations such as “cost per wearing” aren’t how Red’s brain functions. So, she suggested Red think about “why” (probably Black’s favorite word, especially when it comes to guiding decision-making) she’d like to “Buy American”,

Are you doing it to be patriotic? Is it to show your support of American workers and local businesses? Is it for environmental or social reasons? Knowing the “why” can remind you it is more than looking at the price tag. At that point, you can decide (if there is a premium) how much extra you are willing (and able) to pay. It does not matter whether it is a big purchase (like a car or major appliance) or smaller items (like clothing or household items); the key is getting into the habit of thinking before spending.

And the single best and easiest way to start to buy American? Simple! Just get in the habit of checking labels.

If you think today’s politics are ugly … let’s talk about a man who named himself “dictator for life” of the Roman empire, and is then assassinated by a group of senators, including his best friend. (However, there’s a “pretty” part – Cleopatra was his mistress.) Food trivia and leadership lessons aside, the fact July is named after him is the perfect excuse to rerun one of Red’s favorite Banter Bites

Quick! If someone says "Julius Caesar," what comes to mind?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Almost everyone has heard of Julius Caesar, but how many of us really know much about him, or at least that's what Red starts to wonder when she receives the usual flippant, but still accurate, reply from her sister, after feeling very proud that she knew that July was named after the famous Roman.

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We don’t know about you, but we hate bathing suit shopping. So, we can’t imagine what it must be like if you’re looking for a gender-fluid one. And why would anyone get their panties in a knot (as Black would say) if Target sells them? Or Pride-themed merchandise? But clearly, people did. Which makes us ask … why should Target have such a difficult time supporting their LGBTQ+ (there are variations of this acronym) customers? And, more importantly, why can’t we let people celebrate who they are without facing a backlash of prejudice and violence?!

Rainbows are beautiful and suggest something magical. But during Pride Month, they also become a symbol of love, support, and understanding for the LGBTQ community.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Until yesterday, when Black explained it to her, Red, like many people, didn't realize that Pride Month evolved from a tragic event, the Stonewall Uprising, into both a tribute and a memorial before it became a worldwide celebration of the LGBTQ community.

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No matter what holiday you may celebrate, Red can’t help but quote a line from one of her favorite Christmas songs, “Have yourself a merry little Christmas. Let your heart be light. From now on, your troubles will be out of sight.”

And Black can’t help but point out that the song wasn’t introduced in a Christmas movie but in the movie "Meet Me In St. Louis."

Wishing you a merry everything and a happy always!