FULL QUESTION: I'm reading about lots of air travel delays, should I be worried about holiday travel?


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I hate to say this, but I think the answer is yes. My youngest daughter's a freshman at college, and I was so proud of myself for booking her Thanksgiving and winter break flights months ago (great prices and schedules on Southwest Airlines). Now, I find myself worried that although she may have flight reservations, who knows if those flights will get canceled. And, if so, how much advance notice we'll have.

Of course, the worst-case scenario is I could get in the car and get her, but since it's a 12+ hour trip (each way), it might not work for Thanksgiving since she only has a few days off. So, at this point, I'm trying not to freak out (which is my default setting) and just keep my fingers crossed that the flights stay as scheduled. But I'd be very grateful if she only experiences delays vs. cancellation. Meanwhile, she's already prepared for long lines (for everything) at the airport.


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Actually, I think Red's daughter is doing a better job of handling the situation, both logistically and, perhaps as important, mentally. She recognizes there is not much she can do in terms of delays or cancellations and will deal with it when and if they occur. And, she already planned to leave plenty of time to check luggage (I suggested she leave her guitar at school and just go with carry-on) and go through security. Fortunately, she is booked on a direct flight; otherwise, she would also be concerned with whether there was sufficient time between connecting flights.

But, "all of the above" is in terms of getting home for the holidays, and you did not indicate whether that was your situation or whether you were traveling for business or a holiday vacation. In that case, it becomes a risk-reward analysis starting with why you are making the trip. If you decide to travel, besides the flight issues, you should adjust your expectations and be prepared for different service levels than you might have experienced in the past. For example, most hotels now offer limited hotel services, such as housekeeping or restaurant options. And, if you are renting a car, availability is limited and prices have increased dramatically.


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Putting aside the fact that 2021 looks nothing like 1621 (wow, it's been exactly 400 years since the first Turkey Day!), I think they'd be overwhelmed by the sheer abundance (both quantity and types) of food at the Thanksgiving table and be amazed at the seemingly endless ways to prepare potatoes. I hope they'd be honored, and maybe even marvel, that the feast they prepared to simply give thanks has become a tradition and includes friends and family, and in many ways defines and unites us (even if for just a day) as a country.


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As Puritans, I think they would be shocked by our clothing and lack of modesty. And, they would be confused by all the technology, but that is true of Red, as well. They would probably be disappointed by all the commercialism surrounding Thanksgiving (especially the focus on Black Friday sales). So, maybe we all need to celebrate the holiday as if they are watching us and get back to the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

Interested in other Red & Black Thanksgiving posts?

FULL QUESTION: Why is Facebook changing its name to Meta, and will it impact me?


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At least you didn't ask, "What's the meta with Facebook?" Sorry, I couldn't resist. But you have to admit there are some great headlines out there, with one of my favorites being "Is Meta Really Betta?" Black's probably rolling her eyes and wondering why I don't answer the question, but the truth is I don't know how to answer the question because I find all of this really confusing! Is META an acronym for something? (When I heard "meta," the first thing I thought of was Metamucil, but that may be showing my age.) If I used Facebook, which I don't, would I have to change my Facebook page? And then there's, to me anyway, the million-dollar question of why would a company as well-known as Facebook change its name?


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First, your easy question. They are changing the name (and logo) of the parent company from Facebook to Meta Platforms, but Facebook, the social media app (and its "f" logo), will not change.

As to the "why" … Publicly, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and "face" of Facebook, explains the change as shifting the corporate focus from social media to the metaverse. (I explained it to Red as imagine taking real-life, digitizing it, mixing in virtual reality, and yet-to-be-created technology, and convincing us we "need" it.)

Facebook, oops Meta, is not the first company to rebrand, but that is different from merely changing your name. It is interesting that the change "coincidently" happened at the same time they are undergoing severe scrutiny from the government and getting lots of bad press, much of it due to a whistleblower saying that the company put "profits before people." Personally, it makes me think of a witness protection program – except, in this case, the name change and false identity are to protect the "bad guys".


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I have to confess the first time I heard the term "ghosted," I thought it had to do with Halloween or maybe parapsychology, as I know there's increased interest in the topic (my oldest daughter would watch shows such as Ghosthunters). But then Black explained it had nothing to do with ghouls and goblins, and when she initially told me that it's when someone suddenly "disappears" from your life without so much as a call, email, or text, I didn't believe her. I now know it's become a common phenomenon in the dating world, although I don't care how "common" it becomes; call me old-fashioned, but I find it downright rude. And inexcusable.


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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 … the phone never rang, so in that sense, "ghosting" is not an entirely new phenomenon. However, I was recently "ghosted" by someone I had been dating, and although I am not sure we were a good match, his decision to just disappear was not only inconsiderate but demonstrated a lack of basic manners.

And, ghosting is not limited to dating as it is also happening in the workplace – including when hiring and even when quitting. There is a phrase, "Give up the ghost," that means to stop making an effort, and it seems manners are rapidly going out of style, but I hope people are not "giving up the ghost" on them.