Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io


OK, so I'm curious. All these years you've managed to stay a size 2, yet how did do you make it through the holidays?


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


I have been a clothes horse for years – no, make that decades – so really cannot afford to let my weight fluctuate more than a few pounds.


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io


That makes sense, although it sounds obsessive. So, how do you resist delicious food when it's right in front of you?


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Easy. I live alone, so do not buy fattening foods that I would find "irresistible" or if I am craving something, I only buy a single portion.


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io


Clearly you haven't succumbed, as so many of us have during the pandemic, to treating yourself to comfort food. Anyway, sometimes it's out of your control. For example, the dozen delicious cupcakes that Kris sends each of us every year to celebrate the New Year.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


It is a very thoughtful gift as everyone loves cupcakes. In fact, a few years ago, when they arrived, I offered one to the porter who brought them up. The smile on his face was so heart-warming, I decided to share the balance of the cupcakes with the building staff … and everyone was surprised and happy. Funny how cupcakes can make people smile.


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io


So, every time someone gives you food you either don't want or won't eat, you give it away?


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


For the most part, yes.


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io


Well, that's honest. But don't you think knowing that would hurt the feelings of the person who sent it?


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


I doubt it. I cannot imagine Kris thinks I will eat all 12 cupcakes. With other gifts, I would hope the sender would understand, especially as when you give a gift it is the thought that counts. And, not only do I appreciate their gift, but they are making other people happy as well. There is a ripple effect.


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io


Valid point. I shared my cupcakes, too. Although I did eat more than I had intended as they were so good, and I had to try all the flavors. I made up my mind that I rather have them go to my waist than waste them.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Cute. Rationalize them however you want, as long as it is a conscious decision. Sometimes I just take a bite or two of something and then destroy the rest so I do not have to exercise any willpower.


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io


I remember you doing that back in the good 'ole days when we'd go out to eat. You'd have a bite or two of your dessert and if no one else at the table wanted the rest, you'd pour pepper all over it. The first time you did it, everyone thought you were crazy, until you explained it.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Well, in my case I would rather waste the food than have it end up on my waist. We all have our priorities.
CBS

Black has said, on more than one occasion, that having morning TV shows playing in the background while I work reduces my level of concentration. Although that may, or may not, be true (as a mom I just consider it yet another source of "white noise"), I still keep doing it. And I have to say that this week, I was so glad that I did, otherwise I'd never have realized that my sister, Black, and Dr. Fauci are both Vulcans.

Yes, I know that Vulcans aren't real (watching Star Trek with my dad is one of my fonder childhood memories, although I was never a "Trekkie"), but sometime in the last decade I was at the movies enjoying my popcorn while one of the recent Star Trek movies was playing … and I had a revelation. I realized that my sister, with her non-emotional and highly pragmatic way of looking at everything (and I mean everything – including relationships, if you can believe that) was Vulcan-like. Which explained so much, including why I always have to explain the "mere mortal" perspective to her. For her, emotions get in the way and prevent looking at things logically.

Fast forward to this week and the incredibly tragic news of the U.S. reaching 500,000 coronavirus deaths. Dr. Fauci was being interviewed by CBS This Morning, and I'll admit that I wasn't really paying any attention until I heard the doctor being asked,

Is there ever a moment when you have time to get emotional about this?

At that point, Dr. Fauci had my full and undivided attention. And I just had to laugh, and think of Black, when he replied, without hesitation,

No, I don't. And that's the point.

And then he proceeded to explain that it's not that he's a very cold person, but that you can't let emotions drive what you do. He emphasized the need to be empathic, but that you need to stay focused on the task at hand. By then, although the words were coming from Dr. Fauci, the sentiments might just as well have been from my sister.

And just as I've learned never to question my sister's unemotional, highly analytical approach to everything, I had to smile at the thought that now Black's not the only Vulcan that I "know". And respect.

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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

For Black, Valentine's Day is a reminder, a mindset, and a year-round approach to life. Based on death. Confused? Red was. Until Black explained her "logic", which gave Red a warm and fuzzy feeling as she saw how it could help her become her year-round best – not only for herself, but for others in her life.

Want to read other columns? Here's a list.

The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston

Let me set the scene (keep in mind I was a theater major). The Houston area, where fur coats appear on the "ladies who lunch" when the weather dips below 50, has been hit by an unprecedented winter storm that not only brings snow and prolonged sub-freezing temperatures, but also creates statewide power outages for millions. My extremely pragmatic sister lives in a high-rise that lost power early in the storm and, thinking quickly, secures a hotel room in Houston's only five-star hotel, which just happens to be down the street from her place. Less than 24 hours later, I too lose power, but living in a house that has a fireplace, well-stocked pantry, and a gas cooktop, just hunker down. My car's parked on the driveway so I can easily access it to charge my gizmos, which also gives me the opportunity (or really, excuse) to warm up.

And it's there, while texting with Black (who, for the record, rarely texts but at that point in time it was the only form of communication that worked), that the following conversation ensues …

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