Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

I'll be quite honest. I probably would've left my British "history" in the past except for all the buzz about Oprah's interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. I'll admit that as soon it was announced, I put it on my calendar as "must-see" TV. I know, I know, I need to get a life. But in my defense, once upon a time, my life had included living in England and being married to a Brit, plus a love of Tudor history going back to when I was a teenager. In other words, I've always been interested in the Royal Family.

So, what did I expect? Remember the TV game show "Family Feud" hosted by the British comedian Richard Dawson? Well, that was my first thought. How every family has an assortment of "characters" that, by definition of their relationships and different personalities, provide endless amusement, aggravation, conflict, misunderstandings, and stories. Countless stories and different versions of those stories. So why should the Royal Family be any different?

But they ARE different. They live a larger-than-life existence and us "mere mortals" see them not only as members of the Royal Family but also as celebrities. And the British, including the many countries that comprise the British commonwealth, also see them as "civil servants" since their salary and staff are paid for by the people. All of which is to say, they play many roles – both in public and in private.

Fast-forward to the interview. I've already said quite a bit about my thoughts in our Banter Bite from earlier this week, Talk About Getting The Royal Treatment. But what I didn't include there, but what I've kept thinking about since, is how I feel that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wasted an incredible opportunity. So, have I now become a public relations or communications expert? Hardly. But since I can't help but think about the significant issues they exposed,

I wish that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had used their experience not to make anyone look bad but rather to merely tell their story and lay the foundation of why they're going to dedicate themselves to bringing greater awareness to incredibly important topics – racism and mental health – that apply to all of us, whether Americans or Brits.
Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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I can’t believe it’s already May, which means hot and humid weather is just around the corner. All I can say is … ugh.

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Not a scientific term, but descriptive nonetheless. And, I hate to break the news to you, but the science of climate change and global warming means summers will keep getting hotter.

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I can remember growing up in New York and summers being hot, but not like now. Of course, it didn’t help that Mommy didn’t run the air conditioning until it got into the 90s.
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I appreciate that bullet points may not be the typical approach to Mother’s Day, but it seems appropriate to me …
  • Be sensitive to those people whose mothers may no longer be with us, especially given how many have been lost to COVID
  • If you have lost a mother, remember they are always with you – in your heart and in your memories
  • Remember Mother’s Day also includes all those “unofficial moms” and “mother figures” who are like second (or replacement) moms
  • And, last but not least, If you’re a mom, try to enjoy the day by doing something for yourself, as today may be the one day you can get away with it

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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.

Wishing all moms a very Happy Mother’s Day!

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

At speaking engagements, Black will often ask, “Who likes math?” followed by, “Who likes money?” As you can imagine, a lot more hands go up in the air for the second question than the first. But imagine if she asked if money made them laugh. It’s probably safe to say no one would say, “Yes.” Although they’d be wrong because people laugh (and learn) at basic, but potentially life-changing, stories about Red and how, when it came to money, she was clueless and intimidated.

It could be the story of Red putting her theater degree to good use as she freaked out about vocabulary. Especially since she was a straight-A student and avid reader who prided herself on her vocabulary. (If words set her off, Black could only imagine the “scene” that would have occurred if she had asked Red this handful of questions.) But Red’s financial crisis did prompt the ever-pragmatic Black to envision the power of a sitcom with entertaining money episodes because … Money IS A Laughing Matter!

Want to read other columns? Here’s a list.