Memory Lane

Readers & High School Students Love This Spreadsheet

When it came time to write the Introduction to our book, What I Learned About Life When My Husband Got Fired!, Red, unsurprisingly, went on (and on and on …) for pages with her usual blah-blah-blah. Black, on the other hand, cut to the chase and provided the book designer with a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Little did we know that comparison chart would take on a life of its own after the book was launched. Not only does it capture our extreme differences in a visual and highly efficient way, but the chart has been the source of lively conversation by readers, many of whom started describing themselves (and even family and friends) as being more Red-like or Black-like.

But perhaps nothing surprised us more than the day Red's oldest daughter came home from high school with an "inventory update" about our book. (The story of how our book became a textbook can be found here.) She had been helping out in the front office and was asked to do an inventory of textbooks, and was less-than-thrilled when led to a storage room full of books. However, her mood improved when she saw stacks of our book, and she was amused as she started reviewing the condition of each book. Not that she was condoning how the students treated the books, but she discovered that many of the cartoons at the beginning of each chapter had been torn out as "keepsakes" by students, as well as the comparison chart!

Table as of April 2004What I Learned About Life When My Husband Got Fired!

‘Tis the season for joyous celebrations – of whatever holiday you may celebrate. And fond memories. Even though Red wasn’t born when this happened, it’s still one of her holiday favorites (yes, she initially thought Black must have been on the “naughty list”) and a reminder of what the holidays are truly all about.

BLACK: I do not know at what age my Christmas memories began, but I do remember being very young and in awe of a very large – and very well decorated – Christmas tree in our family room. I even remember peeking down the stairs late one evening and seeing my mother standing extremely close to Santa Claus. OK, you might not find that an unusual memory, except my family is Jewish.

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Photo by klohka on iStock

For those of you who have followed us for years, you know what’s coming … a naked turkey story. Because as soon as Black wrote it, it became a Thanksgiving tradition.

Black typically doesn’t reminisce, so her memories of a perfect turkey that made for a perfect Thanksgiving (for her) have become the perfect way for us to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. May your day be filled with family and friends and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Today is Thanksgiving, and I cannot help but wonder why we are online. However, everyone has their own way of celebrating. I know that Red is in the kitchen cooking – and watching a marathon of "The Godfather" movies. Which is perfect as turkeys take such a long time to cook and patience is important when you want it perfectly browned. So inviting, so appetizing, so … naked?

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Photo by Red

It was one of those mindless questions, “What was your favorite childhood book?” And although I couldn’t answer the question, it brought back wonderful memories of my favorite book while I was still living at home. Which recently turned into a new tradition … and maybe the highlight of my summer …

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