Chapter 2: Why Can't Money Grow On Trees?

Red was scared, for herself, and for her family. Having to deal with personal finances for the first time is scary. Especially if you believe you need a finance degree to figure it out. Yes, it's human nature to have a fear of the unknown, but feeling you have to face it alone makes it even worse. Red knew that her sister, Black, was there for her, but it wasn't in the "warm and fuzzy" and sympathetic way that Red wanted.

P.S. – If you were expecting banter between Red and Black, then this Book Bite might surprise you.

We thought it important to acknowledge that although when facing a challenge – financial or otherwise – Black's extremely pragmatic and likes to address it head-on, Red learned that recognizing how you feel about something can be as important as the specifics of the situation.

I knew Black was right – I wasn't going to win the lottery. There was no book that would instantly solve my financial problems. And as Black bluntly told me, sympathy wasn't going to help either. She also made it painfully clear that although I wanted to keep my head in the sand, I needed to face reality. That left me with no choice, but to get on with it. And so I decided I had to do it Black's way. She was doing her best to help me clear my head of the emotional aspects of the situation, trying instead to make me look coldly and honestly at the critical issues we were facing.

I knew we were in a huge financial mess, not because of the specific details of our situation, but because neither Nick nor I really knew where we stood. And as uncomfortable as it was, I decided to offer to help Nick with our financial matters. This "transfer of responsibility" was tricky because I didn't have any financial experience. Although I had worked for a number of years before I got married, I never had to spend my money on necessities because I lived with my parents until the day I married Nick. For the next 15 years nothing much changed except Nick paid the bills instead of my Mom and Dad. Then suddenly, I'm being forced to deal with the financial well-being of my family.

Chapter 7: My Husband Gets In Hot Water – I Want To Make Soup!

Are you a talker? Or do you prefer the written word? Are you the outspoken type or do you prefer quiet and will do almost anything to avoid conflict? Well, in the best of times, communication between spouses can be challenging. Throw in different communication preferences and it can seem almost impossible. In this excerpt, Red's in the midst of her crisis so communicating with her husband becomes even more critical than usual. And what does she do? She further complicates the situation by wanting to communicate differently than she usually does. Talk about a recipe for disaster!

P. S.This excerpt's relevant whether or not you're going through a crisis. In fact, communicating with others in a method they prefer is not only extremely effective, but may be one of the "secrets" to good communication. Especially as you can use it in all aspects of your life – family, friends, and even in the workplace.

Sometimes I wish I could be more like Black in that she seems to get away with being blunt, almost to the point of being rude, and yet she can pull it off because it is totally "in character" for her. There's a consistency and sense of predictability in how she handles things. And maybe that was part of Nick's and my problem right now. We were acting out of character.

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Chapter 12: Desserts Spelled Backwards Is Stressed. And Vice Versa.

Although Red has tackled most of the critical issues brought on by her new "life", she now hears herself saying the most outrageous things (at least for her) and recognizes her behavior's out of character. Nothing serious, but enough for her to realize she was becoming overwhelmed by stress caused by her new responsibilities. Black sends her an email with a sarcastic stress management technique, but Red needs more than humor.

P. S.This excerpt's as relevant today as it was when Red was going through her crisis. Maybe even more so. Because for Red, she realizes it's not always about learning something new, sometimes it's about remembering something learned in the past.

Red's Head Red

I loved your e-mail. Obviously, I can't "drown" my problems, but I sure need some other ways to reduce stress. Any ideas?

Black's Head Black

Here are your options:
A: Identify and eliminate things that are causing you stress.
B: Adjust your attitude and/or outlook.
C: Find a way to temporarily escape.
D: All of the above.

Red's Head Red

I vote for C. Listing what's causing me stress won't eliminate any of them. And I'm not sure what you mean by adjusting my attitude or outlook.
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We really struggled with what excerpts from our bestselling book, What I Learned About Life When My Husband Got Fired!, to initially put here, as everyone seems to have a favorite, and the topics in our book are so varied. (We hope to get the Table of Contents posted within the next few weeks so you can see what we mean.)

Plus, this site was quickly pulled together in response to recent requests from our readers, fans, and especially educators, so we've had to prioritize what initially got posted. Good news is that we'll continue to post excerpts and hope they not only give you some insight into the very differing personalities of Red and Black (if you find Red unbelievably naïve and Black extremely sarcastic, don't worry, most people do), but also provide you with some amusement and/or useful information.

Included in the forthcoming excerpts will be stories from the book that people seem to enjoy when we talk about them in speaking engagements. Especially since Black finds it really annoying when authors reference an excerpt or a story and then say … to find out the details, buy the book.

In fact, we're not even selling our book on this site – yet. In our rush to get this site up, we decided to let the shopping cart wait for the next phase (don't tell our attorneys or accountants, and definitely not our mom, who's always asking Red how many books we've sold). Make sure to sign up on the "sticky bar" at the bottom of this page to get Red & Black Banter in your inbox, as well as to be the first to know when the book's available.

P.S. - We know that you can find used copies on Amazon, but if you can't wait and want a new (or autographed) copy it's as easy as just contacting Red (the nice one) here.