An inauguration day filled with pageantry and patriotism, celebration and ceremony. But, above all, filled with hope.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: If someone asked you what you thought was the most memorable moment of the inauguration, what would you choose?
For Red, she felt overwhelmed – by emotions and by choices. She can't decide between the inauguration of our first female Vice President, the poetry of 22-year-old Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet, or the many powerful words spoken by President Biden in his address. But ultimately what she felt was a feeling of hope and possibility, of unity and working together. And for a mom, there's perhaps no better feeling to have, as the future of our country is intertwined with their future.
And Black? An extremely pragmatic, non-emotional person who rarely lets feelings impact her reactions and thoughts. Well, she first honed in on the part of the President's speech where he said, simply and humbly, "Let us start afresh" and then when he asked his political opponents to at least "Hear me out." Each may seem like just a few words, in the midst of a speech filled with many heartfelt, and seemingly more memorable, words. But to her, these were some of the most powerful words spoken, as the only way we can hope to find common ground and achieve unity is to listen to one another. To truly listen with open hearts and open minds.
Tell it to the judge … I'm not a cat!
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red was used to Black sending her various business articles, but never expected one from MarketWatch with a clip of a Texas attorney who had a cat filter on during a virtual court hearing on Zoom.
The subject line of the email was the article title, Do not miss this: Texas 'cat lawyer' commits hilarious Zoom fail by keeping kitten filter on, but what really caught Red's attention was Black's opening line, "This is wonderful …" Normally, when Black sends a link to an article, especially if it's from a business publication, there's a fact-based opening line so Red saves them as a "brain break" for later in the day (or sometimes even later in the week). But this time, she was just too curious, especially as Black had also copied Red's daughters on the email.
The first time Red watched the video she smiled, and admits that she's kept it on her computer home screen so she could go back and watch it from time to time. But that was almost two weeks ago! So why would Red even remember it at this point? Let alone mention it to Black?
Because we have an assortment of Zoom meetings this week, and Red couldn't forget how much enjoyment she got from that Zoom mishap. It had taken her a while to get used to having virtual business meetings (Black had used Zoom even before the pandemic and now is trying to convince Red to do virtual speaking engagements) as she finds them somewhat impersonal. But now, we both realize that,
Zoom calls can result in some very unexpected, and memorable, situations. Made even better if they're captured on video!
Black History Month begs the question, "Why aren't we celebrating all significant achievements by men and women of ALL races ALL year-round?"
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Interesting that even though Red loves history (but she admits Tudor history is her favorite), she'll be the first to admit that she knows very little about Black history.
But the fact it's Black History Month is helping to change that, as the various morning TV shows that she usually has on in the background have been running different segments on Black achievements. Red was surprised (and, in some cases, shocked) at the achievements and accomplishments – independent of the fact that they were done by Black people. When she asked Black (sorry, no pun intended) her thoughts, Black said that each year during Black History Month she reads an assortment of articles, and this year found a great article by Mashable that lets you visit exhibits online.
Regardless of how we find our information, we both agree:
There are so many notable events and people that should be celebrated in a color-blind way, but Black History Month highlights those that are even more extraordinary in that they had to overcome the obstacle of being Black in America.
Imagine if a story started with "Once upon a time on Mars" and it was not fiction.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Both Red and Black will admit that science wasn't their favorite subject at school, but that doesn't stop them from being in awe of "things scientific" – such as the landing of the Perseverance rover (nicknamed "Percy") on Mars.
Red, the straight-A student, got through her science classes with hard work and perseverance (sorry, couldn't resist), but as soon as she could, left the subject of science to others. (Unless you count occasionally watching science fiction movies.) When catching up on the news from last week, she read the AP article Black had sent, and when she read the quote from NASA's science mission chief, "Now the amazing science starts," could only imagine how everyone involved was probably so far beyond being straight-A students that it boggled the mind. So, Red decided to just enjoy the incredible images she found on CNN.
Black, who may not have been the best student (too impatient with that which she thought irrelevant, although she did learn critical negotiating skills in order to pass some classes), started to take issue with Red's comment about everyone being "beyond straight-A students" as she knows passion, hard work, and tenacity (was so tempted to use "perseverance" again) can get you further than just grades. But before she could say anything, Red reminded her of the television show "My Favorite Martian," which had been a childhood favorite.
And although the landing of Percy on Mars generated very different thoughts for each of us, we both agreed that President Joe Biden summed it up best when he tweeted congratulations to NASA,
Today proved once again that with the power of science and American ingenuity, nothing is beyond the realm of possibility.