Banter Bites

A Thanksgiving Ostrich?

It's time to talk turkey … you need to brace yourself for your Thanksgiving grocery shopping this year.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: This year's Thanksgiving is no different than previous years in that it remains, far and away, Red's favorite holiday, except this year has shopping challenges; while if it was up to Black, she'd skip the Thanksgiving meal altogether.


Shopping for Thanksgiving's always a major undertaking, especially for Red, as she likes to make sure she prepares everyone's favorite foods. It usually means a long list that requires shopping at different grocery stores to get the best prices, but this year even the "best" prices will be considerably more expensive, not to mention it may also be a challenge to find all the ingredients.

When she commented about this to Black, she expected her traditional response – Black offering to either have it catered or take everyone out for dinner (her ulterior motive being she could order something other than turkey for herself). But not this time. Instead, Black applied her "backward planning approach" to, of all things, Red's Thanksgiving dinner,

There is nothing you can do about supply chains issues, but there are things within your control. Start with who you really want there and how much leftovers you want, and go from there. That will help you identify the essential "favorite" dishes so that you can create your shopping list. Then get an early start on your grocery shopping.

It often amazes Red, while at the same time making her laugh, at how easily she jumps straight to being overly emotional and reactive, rather than stepping back and letting logic and common sense prevail. But that's what Black's for – to remind her to focus on what she can control and try to forget or, at least, keep in perspective everything else.

As she said to Black,

In other words, "streamline" Thanksgiving dinner and focus on what I really need vs. everything I might want. Or, was that your polite way of telling me that I have a tendency to cook for an army instead of just my family?

Black can’t help but think backward (more on that below), but Red always thought being told that you do things backward was an insult, not a compliment. Except, maybe, on National Backward Day, when everyone is encouraged to have a bit of fun, shake up the “normal” way of doing things, and maybe even find a better way of doing some things. Or at least to try a different perspective. And if nothing works, you can follow Black’s advice to Red and say, “Dammit, I’m mad”! Which she quickly pointed out is a palindrome – a word, sentence, verse, or number that reads the same backward or forward.

Since when does doing something backward mean you're doing it wrong?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red, still that straight-A student, has always tried to do things the “right” way, which has meant looking at things in a very traditional way; while Black, who doesn’t think like most “mere mortals” (as Red's fond of telling her) looks at things in a very different, or perhaps even “backward”, way.

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Empowering girls – one cookie at a time. Ok, maybe one box of cookies at a time.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: It’s that time of year when many people’s New Year’s resolution of eating better is challenged by the arrival of Girl Scout cookies; something that poses a problem for Red, while for Black, it's an opportunity.

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Two years ago, on MLK Day, Red learned the power and inspiration of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And the power of dreams. And as long as there's social unrest and social injustice in the United States (stop and think about the first word … as we’re supposed to be united), the more we can learn from him … as not only did he fight for equality for all, but his approach is proof of the power of peaceful protests.

For most of us, writing and delivering one powerful and/or inspiring thing would be a very difficult task. To be remembered for hundreds is truly amazing.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: There's so much one can say about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who led the civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968, and whose leadership was fundamental to the ending of legal segregation in many parts of the United States. But regardless of your position on segregation, it's almost impossible not to acknowledge, yet alone appreciate, how incredibly powerful and inspiring his words were and the impact they continue to have on the civil rights movement. But don't believe us. This goodreads post provides more than just a good read, it's a seemingly endless list of inspirational quotes while a great "refresher" course on Dr. King is available at History.com.