Queen Elizabeth II had just died and hadn’t even made it to London for the official laying in state (the funeral was 10 days away, although everything had been planned years, no make that decades, ago). That didn’t stop Red, a Tudor history fan (Black would say “fanatic”) and long-time follower of the Royal Family (dating back to before she married a Brit and lived in England), from sharing with Black how she thought King Charles III could be the right man at the right time to be king.
RED’S THOUGHTS ABOUT KING CHARLES:
- King Charles could be the perfect bridge between Queen Elizabeth II and the next in line, Prince William
- Trained since birth, he knows the importance of the role and its history
- He may have “rocked the boat” in his younger days, but now he’s older and wiser
- His generation may not have acknowledged the changing of England’s population and the need to accept racial diversity or the existence of mental health issues, but he understands the importance of embracing today’s issues vs. living in the past
- His long-time positions on climate change, the environment, and conservationism used to be considered crazy and are now not only mainstream, but recognized as critical issues
- People’s opinions of him have changed and may have been due to a concerted effort on his part, but maybe he’s not quite as daft as people once thought
- Prince Charles’s personal life was once viewed through the lens of his “fairy tale gone bad” relationship with Princess Diana, but Queen Consort Camilla, who was his “first love”, seems to be a true partner and may be a better fairy tale
- Regardless of why, he’s more “human” and approachable than prior British sovereigns, as displayed by “the kiss” he received on his first day as king from one of his subjects
Of course, Red fully expected Black to reply with a business analysis of “The Firm” (which is how the Royal Family refers to itself and the institution) which is estimated to contribute over $2 billion a year to the U. K. economy or the business impact of a change in the ruling monarch (for example, changing the image on currency). Or, at least, some sarcastic comment about how King Charles certainly had long enough to prepare for the role. But the last thing she expected was bullet points of the important lessons to be learned from the new monarch.
BLACK’S LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM KING CHARLES III:
- Be patient
- Prepare for the job you want – not the one you have
- If others undervalued you, realize that may be their shortcoming
- You can pick your friends, but not your family
- You will be judged by the company you keep (and the people you marry)
- If you do not like how people see you, show another side of yourself
- Manners and decorum never go out of style
- You may be in the public eye, but some things are best kept private
- It is always essential to have a succession plan
- Find humor in the everyday things
Regardless of your opinion of the monarch and the Royal Family, the crown rests on the head of a soft-spoken, wise man who has spent his entire life preparing for this role. And although Queen Elizabeth II was more than a queen, she was a symbol of royal perfection, we live in a very different world … yet that doesn’t change the fact the King is still his mother’s son.
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?
Growing up, our house used to be where everyone congregated for the holidays. Not because my mother was a good cook, or even liked to entertain, but because my parents bought a house on Long Island while the rest of her family continued to live in apartments in Brooklyn and the Bronx. In other words, they had the most room.
Thanksgiving was always a house full of people and everyone always gathered in the kitchen, which made food preparation a challenge. Especially as everyone loved to nibble on ingredients during the process. For the most part, Mom was a good sport about it. But, the closer we got to the turkey being ready, the more food she would move into the dining room, hoping we would follow the food.
I remember one year when the turkey cooling on the counter looked like something from a magazine – it was perfectly browned. Normally, it was splotchy, although you never knew it once my father was done carving it. (Although an engineer, he had dreamed of being a surgeon and every year as I watched him carve the turkey, I would think he missed his true calling.) Anyway, my mother was so proud of this perfectly browned turkey that she would not let anyone near it, and was delaying the inevitable carving.
However, she made the mistake of taking the balance of the side dishes into the dining room and my father must have been helping as my cousin and I snuck back into the kitchen. In a matter of seconds, we had striped that turkey naked. Enjoying the crispy skin (ok, this was well before the days we were told it was "bad" for you) and laughing until my parents returned to see what was causing the commotion.
Mom was less than pleased, while Daddy tried to hide his amusement. My cousin ran to the safety of his parents, while I stood there defiantly asking if could have a wing. To this day, I cannot see a perfectly browned turkey without remembering that Thanksgiving. And, I venture to guess it has become a favorite memory of my Mom's, as well.
So today, at the risk of being warm and fuzzy (which is Red's area of responsibility),
I want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving … filled with memories that will last a lifetime.
People have told us they’re using our sisterly banter to start conversations with others (family, friends, and even in classrooms), so Black created “Conversation Starters”.
red head assets.rebelmouse.io
I’m really looking forward to Thanksgiving this year,
especially since last year was the first since Mom passed away, and the dining room table seemed incomplete. Which may partially explain why we ended up
sitting around the kitchen table and island instead. And that was wonderful – so relaxed, easy,
and fun – but I still couldn’t help but think of her not being with us. It’s funny because, over the years, even as
life changed, such as the girls growing up and going off to college, I’ve
always taken for granted that Thanksgiving would somehow always remain the
same, cooking the same dishes, with all the preparation beginning days in
So, I'm not sure that I truly stopped and appreciated each Thanksgiving Day as I was so focused on everything I needed to get done. This year, though, I plan to take a moment to stop and think about some of the things I'm thankful for, and to start appreciating the day itself. To try to "be present", so to speak, in the present.
|I know that Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, but what
you just described is gratitude. Gratitude is "deeper" than
thankfulness, and the best way I can describe it is … think about when
you might write a thank you note – someone gives you something or does something
for you. It is a fleeting event. Now think about if you were to write someone
a note or letter of appreciation.
You have repeatedly told me that mere mortals often need reminders, so what if this Thanksgiving you start a "gratitude habit"? Make a daily appointment with yourself to find a few quiet moments and write down at least one thing for which you are grateful. It can be as simple as sunlight on your face or the crunch of an apple. You are probably rolling your eyes right now, but it will only take a few minutes and can change your life. Or, at least, how you look at it.
THE CONVERSATION STARTERS
- If you look back, what or who would you appreciate (or appreciate more) that you didn’t at the time?
- If you begin to appreciate the value of appreciation (pun intended), what might you want to be mindful of going forward?
- Do you think a "gratitude habit" might be useful? Would you be willing to "test-drive" (Black's words) one for a month and see if your opinion changes? Explain your answers.
Money. It’s the first thing Red thought about when her husband came home and, totally unexpectedly, told her he was fired. And what was the first thing she did? She freaked out (Black likes to say that Red finally used her theater degree), assuming the worst about their financial situation. And if that wasn’t bad enough, she was certain she couldn’t “do” personal finance.
She then made a third foolish assumption … that her sister Black, who had an M.B.A. in International Finance, would tell her what to do. Instead, after giving Red a few days to deal with her emotions, Black started to ask her basic questions about their financial situation, and it became obvious Red’s default setting was to “freak out”.
And so Red’s journey (which Black turned into our bestselling book, What I Learned About Life When My Husband Got Fired!) began with learning the basics of personal finance and, ultimately, she’d realize that Black wasn’t being sarcastic when she said,
When it comes to money, you have two choices: you can let your money control you, or you can control your money.
But first, Red, a straight-A student, had to overcome the unfounded belief that she wasn’t capable of learning about money. She had to find a way to get around the mental roadblocks of being intimidated by financial terminology and concepts, which the very thought of gave her a headache. And then Black simply asked,
Can you add and subtract? If so, you’re qualified to “do” personal finance.
So, whether you’re more like Red (was), feel like you’ve got a good handle on your money but are always looking for tips and tools, or merely are curious about Black’s unusual ways of looking at money (or her sarcastic comments), we think you’ll enjoy the DOLLARS & SENSE section on our new site in the new year.
Until then, and especially since “tis the season for spending”, we want to share some of our favorite money posts:
- TERMINOLOGY (AS EXPLAINED BY BLACK): RED & BLACK … Like Money More Than Math?
- A POWERFUL TIP: Think Before You Spend?
- MONEY & RELATIONSHIPS: My husband and I always argue about money. Any advice?
- CREDIT CARDS: My credit card bills are out of control! What do I do?
- BUDGETING (THIS IS A TRUE STORY): Black’s First Budget – A Fond Childhood Memory?
- ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS: Talking To Myself … About Money?