Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


I used to think that when it came to actors or musicians, or really any public figure, I didn't care about their personal lives. (Black will probably take issue with that statement as I make an exception for historical figures, especially those from the Tudor period.) Yes, I know the personal lives of "celebrities" sells magazines and grabs headlines. But for me, it was about their professional work. However, when it comes to sharing stories about their mental health struggles and challenges, I now have a totally different attitude. It's not only brave but a wonderful way to help others. Recently, I heard musician and songwriter, Bebe Rexha, speaking with Gayle King on CBS This Morning, and what resonated with me was how she wished growing up that her favorite artist had talked about mental health. And, I know that Demi Lovato, Glenn Close, and Anderson Cooper, all mental health advocates, are teaming up to do an event later this month. So, I think the more people that can talk openly and honestly about it, the better!


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


In about sixth grade, a friend of mine, Janet A., was seriously ill, but no one would talk about what was wrong. I later found out it was "the Big C" because people back then would not say the word "cancer." Years ago, Red had a miscarriage, but although she could have used the support, told very few people about it. She would come to learn, years later, that they are more common than many people realize. Today, you have famous people openly talking about their miscarriages. The same is happening with mental illness – with celebrities and athletes (gripping essays) speaking out.

There have always been stigmas associated with mental health issues – just as there used to be with cancer and miscarriages. But we need to bring it out into the open, raise awareness, and not only acknowledge it has hit crisis proportions, but that it can be treated. And, celebrities can help shine a bright light. Not only during May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month, but all year-round.

We’re a storytelling society, so it only makes sense that when asked about tattoos, stories are part of our answers. After all, each of us strongly believes that what makes a tattoo perfect isn’t only the creativity of the tattoo and the skill of the artist; it’s the story that has inspired the tattoo.

P.S. – And if Red ever decides to get a tattoo, you can guarantee there will be a story behind it!


Red assets.rebelmouse.io


Well, I can tell you that what I think about them today, especially as they’ve become more mainstream (so many celebrities and athletes proudly display them), is very different than how I used to think about them! Growing up, I thought that only “bad people” had tattoos. And I couldn’t quite understand why anyone would want to permanently “decorate” their bodies. Using needles, no less!

So, what changed? When my oldest daughter, Natasha, was fairly young, she talked about getting tattoos. She’s always been a non-conformist (I wonder where she inherited that trait), but I’ve no idea where the tattoo idea came from. And I never thought she’d be willing to endure the pain , especially since she has an extremely low (as in non-existent) tolerance for pain. Yet, she got her first tattoo on the day of her high school graduation instead of walking the stage. And while it was a simple outline of a bat, in honor of her love of bats , she has continued to get more elaborate ones over the years. And my younger daughter, Sawyer, who’s more like a mini-me and more traditional, totally surprised me when she decided to get her first tattoo.


Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Red neglected to answer the question as to whether she would ever get inked. Whereas I already have (warning: tattoos can be addictive ). My first tat is identical to Natasha’s bat, and I asked her permission to copy it as a reminder of the special bond between us. My second is the “ perfect tattoos” (yes, plural) as it was Sawyer’s first, and we got them done together. For me, while tattoos can be beautiful works of art on their own, there is something very special about having meaningful tattoos.

However, you must think about whether you will “outgrow” or regret the tat later. Keep in mind that while tats may have become more mainstream, there is still some stigma. (Some of my older and more conservative friends tried to hide their looks of disapproval when they saw mine.) It is a function of the other person’s age and prior exposure to tats, the specific tat and location (I still find some face tattoos scary), and your work environment .

What is it about wearing white after Labor Day? And why is it a question without a definitive answer? And who decided it would be a perfect question to ask … in a Twizzlers commercial?!


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


I'm probably the last person to ask a fashion question, full stop. In fact, during the early days of my crisis, when I was looking to save every penny and was canceling all my magazine subscriptions, Black told me I could cancel the fashion ones as it was obvious that I never looked at any of them. But "InStyle" does have some good fashion tips about wearing white after Labor Day.

For me, I'll probably wear my white long sleeve shirts (I'm not a fan of tee shirts) until at least November as here in the Houston area it stays pretty warm well into fall, and white is such a "cool" (temperature, not style) color to wear. There's nothing else white in my wardrobe because the combination of being a redhead with pale skin and being a mom means white isn't a flattering or practical color. But I'm curious what Black, the fashion maven of our family, has to say about wearing white …


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


I am not going to get into the psychology of fashion, but I find the concept of "fashion rules" almost an oxymoron as I have always thought of fashion as being fluid and creative, and a reflection of your individuality. Plus, some rules (especially fashion ones) are meant to be broken . Including wearing white after Labor Day. Otherwise, why would the term " winter white " even exist?

However, I find the history of not wearing white after Labor Day fascinating, although possibly elitist. And, although I would never equate my sense of style to that of Coco Chanel, who went against the trends of her time and wore white year-round, I believe white never goes out of season.


Red assets.rebelmouse.io


Funny you should ask, as I was recently getting ready for a garage sale of our mom’s things and came across an old metal carrying basket that I think is for milk bottles. Although my memory of our milkman is that he left the milk bottles in a small rectangular metal box outside our front door.

Anyway, my best memory of fresh milk, especially chocolate milk, was going to Dairy Barn with our dad. It was a drive-through; we’d return the old bottles, get our deposit back, and pick up new ones. I have to admit that when my mom started to get milk at our local Waldbaum’s (anyone growing up on Long Island will remember them) in paper cartons, I thought it was a little sad. Plus, I didn’t think the milk tasted as good.

Recently, when I saw some old-fashioned milk bottles from 1836 Farms at my local Kroger, although it was more expensive, I bought one just because it reminded me of my youth. In fact, when I initially told Black I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend that much on milk, she suggested I could reuse the bottle as a vase. And it always makes me smile!


Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Since you mentioned your grandmother, which makes me feel old, you may have to ask her to explain what we meant when we teased Red, a redhead in a family of brunettes, of being the “milkman’s daughter”.

Looking back, “milkmen” and dairy delivery services were ahead of their time. They delivered milk as well as other dairy products, and seem to be a precursor to Instacart, Amazon Fresh, and all the food delivery services. Not to mention, it was a way to reuse the glass milk bottles (remember, this was decades before recycling was a “thing”).

Regardless, when we taught at KIPP Houston High School, I asked our students if they had ever heard of a milkman. (Most had not.) And then (of course), I followed up with an assortment of other questions … Can jobs become obsolete? What creates new opportunities? Do you think there may be jobs in the future that no one has ever heard of yet? What can you do to be prepared? So, if nothing else, I hope the milkman makes you stop and think …