I was always skilled and forthright with banter. Even when I was two… when I told the fire-and-brimstone preacher off. Prancing down the aisle to shake a fist in his face. In front of the entire congregation, I responded to his shouted messages, punctuated by fists in the air (I’m talented at mirroring, too). I took him on while the rest of the congregation cowed, according to the rules of my home. I spoke ‘truth to power’, in the common vernacular. I bantered back.

I’m told my father swiftly scooped me up and ran out. He likely didn’t paddle me because he busily stifling proud laughter. The chip didn’t fall far from the block.

Banter is like skipping rope at recess, knowing when to jump in. It’s all about timing, to join and/or take over a turn. It takes confidence, which I’ve always had in spades.


I cherish ensemble riffs, to engage in wordplay with a partner of equal sarcasm and wit. Repartee partners for life we become.

I’m extraordinary at ‘spar’. Men often think my husband has brass balls because he ‘handles’ me – ! HA

I was always good at banter¬†until it got me in trouble in sixth grade. I hadn’t yet discovered ‘talking to one’s neighbor’… but that chat during class isn’t what got me served on the platter of detention. While I thought it was banter, an on-topic riff, apparently the teacher cited it as back-talk. Go figure. While I knew there were rules, the banter was too good to be held in check.

I was always good at conversation and I liked it best when it was just me and my mom, my wise-cracking dad off at work. My mom gave me that confidence that underpins all. Stoked my brilliance, thirst for knowledge, using the teaching degree that she was denied use of as an obedient ’50s wife.

My mom gave me the vocabulary and my dad gave me the sass. Repartee partners for life.