So, no women members allowed – unless you're saving our club from bankruptcy!
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: When it comes to women's rights and equality, golf probably isn't what you'd immediately think of unless you're a woman golfer and have had "experiences" with "men only" clubs (we both have) …
Before becoming a mom, Red was an avid golfer for decades. She had learned to play from our parents on local public courses when she was barely a teenager and had a natural talent and love for the game. Consistent with her being a straight-A student, she spent lots of time practicing and became a better-than-average golfer. Fast forward to post-college, when Red moved back home and worked for a non-profit photography museum in New York City. The job paid little, but she had four weeks of vacation, so off she went, by herself, to Scotland on a golf adventure,
I planned for the trip for almost a year and went from one great course to another. From St. Andrews to Turnberry to Royal Dornoch, although I was a woman traveling alone, I always was made to feel welcome. At Gleneagles, the foursome was made up of me and three men traveling together from New Jersey, one of whom made it quite clear to me that he was a member at Pine Valley Golf Club and how I'd never be able to play the course. I can still remember looking at him saying how I'd never even heard of it and then proceeded to hit my tee shot onto the green on a long par 3. At the time, I didn't think any more of it until I got home and mentioned it to my Dad, who then proceeded to tell me all about Pine Valley.
Black, on the other hand, was also introduced to golf by our parents but had little interest in it until she graduated business school and quickly realized the importance of "business golf". For her, golf had a specific purpose, and she became an extremely competitive player, rarely playing for the "fun" of it,
Living in Houston and working in the "good 'ole boy" oil and industry, it was not long before I was made aware of Lochinvar, one of the most exclusive private clubs in Houston. And men only. Of course, knowing that golf is a mind game, I was prepared for men in my foursome to nonchalantly mention the club thinking it would bother me. And then one day, I got roped into playing a women's tournament and decided to rattle the competition by using a golf bag from Lochinvar with the club's name written in such large bold letters you could not miss it. From that day on, I used it all the time.
Oh, and what about Helen Crump Street being the first women member at Pine Valley? When Axios first announced Pine Valley finally allowing women members, Black wanted to know more and learned that the club almost went into bankruptcy in the early 1920s but was saved by the founder's sister, who was then given a lifetime membership. But that was a century ago … with no other women members allowed … until now.
Some things never change, like our Thanksgiving routines. But that’s ok, as Thanksgiving’s about traditions, so it seems only appropriate that we’d like to repeat what we’ve told you before …
We'll keep this simple and to-the-point … Happy Thanksgiving!
Comic strip or reality show: A group of bachelors participates in a foot race, and whoever's caught by the single woman in the race will become her husband.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We may be sisters, but except for growing up with the same parents in the same house in New York, that may be where the similarities end; especially in terms of dating "protocol" as Black never thought twice about asking boys (and later men) out on a date, while Red never gave it any thought, accepting the convention that boys did the asking. (She did make an exception for her senior prom but was shocked when he accepted.)
When it comes to Sadie Hawkins Day, we both agree it's a quirky holiday that makes it "acceptable" for girls to ask out boys, but of course, we have very different perspectives. For Red, it conjures up images of Sadie Hawkins Day dances, although she never went to one and doesn't even remember how she knows about them. While Black's fascinated by how it all began with the cartoonist Al Capp and his popular "Lil' Abner" comic strip and quickly became a pop culture phenomenon.Now, over 80 years later, if you were to analyze Sadie Hawkins Day, you would probably find it outdated and sexist. But why not just laugh at its silly beginnings and enjoy the day. The funny thing is Red still thinks men should ask out women, while Black always believed that every day's Sadie Hawkins Day.
Tomorrow’s Election Day, and our thoughts about the importance and challenges of voting haven’t changed since last year (see below) – although the stakes may have gone up. (Think Roe v. Wade and how the Supreme Court has sent it back to the states.) Black wishes more states offered referendums so we could vote on specific issues instead of trying to find the candidate that most closely represents our positions and then actually stays true to their word. Which, unfortunately, makes voting much harder than it needs to be …
So many people have fought for the right to vote, yet so many don't even bother to vote.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Like many of us, Red can come up with a whole list of reasons why she didn't plan to vote this Election Day, but what she thought was a sarcastic comment from Black would point out the challenge of balancing philosophical beliefs with reality.
Red, being that former straight-A student, remembers the first time she voted and how she felt it was her civic responsibility, but that she'd never just vote by party line (for her, it was never that simple, especially not these days). That each vote needs to be a conscious one. But that takes lots of "homework", so unless it's a presidential or gubernatorial election, she tends to sit out most of them. Which she felt was just fine, until Black pointed out,
The prior few presidential elections aside, I could argue that non-presidential elections have a far greater impact on our lives. Because state and local issues, such as school board elections and amendments to state constitutions, can make a huge difference to your daily lives.
Now, Red thought, there's an understatement. Especially in the state of Texas. But even on a local level, as Red had recently found out that one trustee on her local school board has created such a huge uproar that all the other trustees called for her resignation. When she first heard the news, she couldn't quite believe the accusations, except most of them were officially "on record", but then, as a parent, Red was appalled that such a person was sitting, of all things, on a school board. But until Black's comments, she didn't connect the dots between that and her responsibility as a voter (not to mention a parent) to take future school board elections more seriously.
Of course, Red still feels an obligation to research the candidates and learn not only what they claim to believe and intend to do, but to try to have a better understanding of who they really are. Which given the times we live in, and the power of social media to spread misinformation, is more challenging than ever. And when she asked Black what to do, she heard a familiar analogy, but with a different spin,
You can eat an elephant (and I am not referring to the GOP/Republicans) just not all at once. Same holds true in terms of the candidates and issues. Review the ones you feel strongly about and then vote. Remember, you are not required to vote the entire ballot.
Well, Red realized that although she hadn't prepared to vote, ironically, it was her desire to make the right choices that led her to make no choices. Now, she realized it was not only her civic responsibility to vote but something that was truly important. For her, her family, her community.