Ok, I may get in trouble with Black for writing this post, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. So, it all started when Black told me that she was having issues with the clock on her computer. I'm old-fashioned and if I want to know the time, look at my wrist watch. When I suggested that she just do the same ...

she tried to explain how it impacted "time stamps" on emails and documents. It was at that point that it became one of those conversations where I just listened politely, as there was no way that I could add a single thing of value as the topic had to do with computers.

A few days later she let me know that some other issues had come up, so she ended up contacting the DELL service desk. (Disclaimer: Although both of us have used DELL computers for as long as I can remember, this isn't an ad for them.) Anyway, she explains how they ran hardware diagnostics remotely, and while I'm thinking that's kind of cool, I'm also thinking that I'm really busy and wondering if there's a point to all of this? (Ok, now I understand how my blah-blah-blah can make people feel.)

Well, I'm only half listening as she tells me how they'll be sending out a technician, but given the pandemic have numerous protocols. I know she loves bullet point lists, so was relieved when she didn't itemize the protocols but merely mentioned that they're designed to protect their technicians. Yes, all makes sense. Got it. Thanks. Can I please get back to work now?

And then I hear Black say, "The technicians want to keep as much distance from me as possible." Well, when I could stop laughing, all I could say was,

Yes, at some point in time, that's how many of us feel about you.

Because as much as I love my sister, she can be, well, someone that at times you definitely want to keep your distance from. Even my daughters know that. But I'm sure we all have someone in our life like that.

Thank you, DELL, who knew your COVID-19 protocols could provide such amusement?!

Rendering by porcorex on iStock

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Based on the "hints" in your Ghosting post, it sounds like your recent "romance" wasn't quite a Lady GaGa "bad romance", but, well, a frustrating one.

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Interesting comparison, as years ago Gaga revealed that she is drawn to bad romances, but is not sure if she goes after them or they find her. Regardless, my "relationship" ended in the dating stage and never really became a romance. Either when I dated him almost 30 years ago, or recently. Although, this time, I thought it had potential.

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I was amazed that you were even willing to "rekindle" the relationship as you're not exactly a believer in "recycling" relationships, as I think you once phrased it. In fact, I thought you were pretty adamant about the concept of not repeating your mistakes.
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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

It started when Black sent Red a LinkedIn post about Louis Armstrong, asking her to "connect the dots" (one of Black's favorite things to do). Red knew that he was one of the most distinctive and talented jazz musicians in American history, but it was a complete surprise to learn that he had such a strong connection to a Jewish couple that immigrated from Lithuania and that he wore a Star of David for most of his life to honor them. That alone made it a "truth is stranger than fiction" story. The fact it's also a touching story about kindness and love makes this, at least for Red, even better than fiction.

Black, who prefers the pragmatic aspects of Armstrong's unusual journey – from being an impoverished black boy to an extraordinary career as a musician, singer, and composer – and sees it as a story of overcoming barriers, realizing your potential, and finding freedom (and she discloses an interesting connection between Armstrong and Independence Day).

Our July column, "RED & BLACK … The Sound Of Freedom," connects all those dots and is about so much more than surprising facts about Louis Armstrong. It's also about the power of music, inspiration, and hope, not to mention a very different way of looking at freedom.

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

Everyone laughs and wants to hear the story when I mention that I was recently "ghosted" by someone I had dated. What I find interesting is that ghosting has become so prevalent in today's society (and is not restricted to dating) that there is a term to describe the sudden "disappearance" of someone who wants to avoid all future contact with you.

Going back decades, I know there have been first dates that, at the time, I thought went well. But, after getting the "I'll call you" line … I never did. As a teenager, I can remember anxiously waiting for the phone (a landline tethered to the wall – and yes, I am that old) to ring, not wanting to go out and possibly miss the call. And, being very disappointed by the silence. Now, I cannot even remember who they were.

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