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!

Photo by Iam Anupong on iStock

I'll never forget the day. It was an "almost" ordinary day out on the golf course with my mom and dad during the heat of a Long Island summer. Now, if "Long Island" conjures up images of stately manors on the North Shore (think "Great Gatsby") or beachfront mansions in the Hamptons (think Robin Leach and his popular show "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous"), you can put those out of your head. I'm not talking about some fancy country club golf course, just a regular public course.

I loved the game ever since I learned to play as a teenager, and although I never got to play while at college (Wake Forest, which was renowned for its golf program, with its most famous alumni being Arnold Palmer), I'd try to get out as often as possible when I was home. I wasn't a phenomenal player but had a decent game and natural talent. And most of the time, I hit it pretty straight, so one of the things I enjoyed was walking down the middle of the fairway, pulling my clubs along (no fancy golf carts on this course), appreciating the day and the sport.

On one (very rare) occasion, my sister came back to New York to visit, as she moved out of state as soon as she graduated from business school. She also played golf, but unlike me, who relied on natural ability and played for fun, she worked extremely hard at her game, was overly competitive, and played "business golf". The result was that she was a far better player than me, although I was holding my own on that day.

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Photo of Red's beloved stuffed sheep

Photo by Red

I've always loved stuffed animals. And the softer and plusher, the better. They're like family. Only, in some ways, better, but I won't go down that road. Not today, anyway. Some children outgrow their love for stuffed animals (or do they just stopping admitting it?), but not me. And although I've stopped adding to my collection over the years (ok, make that decades), there are always those favorite ones that are loved just a little bit more, squeezed a little tighter, hugged a little longer.

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Photo by Walik on iStock


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


It's funny. When the New York Islanders were in the semi-finals of the Stanley Cup, your post about how ice hockey brought back warm memories of you and Daddy, brought back a vivid memory for me, too.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


I have never known you to be interested in ice hockey. Full stop. Or, should that be "full hockey stop"?


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


Cute. And although we both skated as kids, and Daddy tried teaching me the hockey stop, I never could do it. But my memory has nothing to do with professional ice hockey or even skating. Instead, it's how you handled a bunch of high school ice hockey players.
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