Chapter 25: Banter

I don’t like conflict.

People start arguing, and I’m like:

Which is unfortunate, because I’ve just joined an all-dude fantasy football league, and they have precisely three core values:

  1. Banter
  2. Commitment
  3. Contribution

In that BCC-email-acronym order.

Men are from Mars, and women are confused by them

The thing is … I don’t do banter.

Me and my gal pals never just hang out and roast each other.

We’re into:

  1. Deep and meaningfuls
  2. Quality time
  3. Bridesmaids GIFs.

*Struggles to find anything funny about the acronym DQB … Googles … apparently it’s a nerdy game to do with dragons. What a triumph.*

To help upskill myself on what the sweet hell banter is, I did a very simple, obvious thing.

I asked.

“What is banter?”

Any my homeboys actually had some really good responses.

Well, minus the couple who thought the question was a weird power play of feminine wiles, so I clearly already have them beat and abstained from answering.

Their answers ranged from …

The Tweetable:

“I would say banter is a discussion with the intent to entertain at the expense of others.” – Hiro, League Commissioner

“When you’re bantering you can sort of take on a character and push that character to the extreme … The more absurd the thing is that you say, the more obvious it’s banter.” – Liam, Press Sec

“Banter is a way to make your match up for the week mean more.” – Taka, FLOTUS

To the quietly savage:

“I like banter cause I can be mean to people and they think I’m joking.” – Roy, Chief of Staff Salt

“I find it it fun cause I like to have a laugh. Also have to admit I love to see people shot down due to quality banter.” – Ropata, Chief Executive

And even some official “#bantz rules of engagement” from Karan, Head of Legal:

  1. Build rapport with your league mates (the better you know them, the greater the understanding of their limit and acceptance of said banter)
  2. Research the target of the banter thoroughly (have they claimed something in the past that lends credence to the banter)
  3. Make it funny and/or insightful
  4. Minimal self-depreciation/maximum ego
  5. Adopt a persona and build on it
  6. Play mind-games to break them down, but keep it above board
  7. Foster a rivalry
  8. Have fun.”

With all of this in mind, dear reader, I have a question for you …

Have you ever watched WWE?

Rivalries. Personas. Fake feuds. Entertainment.

Banter is basically that big wrestling energy.

Becoming ‘The Man’

I’m going to be honest with you.

For one emotionally-charged moment, as those first banter bombs fired at me from across the group chat, I did think of throwing the “Ross Finger” and bouncing.

But I couldn’t do it.

I couldn’t be that weak chick who left as soon as she was let into the big boys’ room just because it was difficult.

So I picked myself up, put on some It’s Britney, b*tch, and I thought:

What would Ruth Bader Ginsberg do?

Spurred on by my new spirit animal, the Notorious RBG, I started taking baby steps towards banter bad assery and defeating my fear of confrontation.

1. Remember who you are, Simba

Generally speaking, I dislike conflict for two reasons:

  1. I have people-pleaser tendencies, and I like to be liked
  2. I like people, and I don’t want to compromise relationships for the sake of getting to be “right”.

Which sounds very nicey-nice, but is actually pretty problematic, as in healthy relationships you should definitely be able to have disagreements without fundamentally rocking the relationship boat with how you view and value each other.

But that’s a therapy session for another time.

To help bust me out of this Swiss shell of neutrality, I had to have a “Come to, Jesus Mufasa” moment and remembered:

I’m a third speaker, damnit. 

Uh what, Kate? 

Oh yeah, I forgot – not everyone’s as much of a nerd as me. Let me explain.

I was in my high school debate team. 

Debate works by having two teams of three argue ‘for’ or ‘against’ a topic.

The earlier you speak, the more pre-prepared your speech is, and the less rebuttal (read: logically and articulately explaining why the other team’s argument is trash) you do.

I was third speaker, so 75% of my speech was rebuttal.

For someone who doesn’t like arguments, I’m actually very good at arguing.

And I do improv … so on the fly funny is kind of my jam.

And banter kind of is arguing + improv …

Oh my gosh … I’m about to kick some candy ass.

I also come alive for any kind of boxing or fighting sport. Which is neither here nor there, but I think probably embodies why this is my all time favourite quote:

2. Starting small

It sounds silly, but those first little banter battles on the Facebook Group chat would have me STRESS SWEATING.

Confrontation (even when it’s make-believe) makes me uncomfortable.

But the more I did it, and the more I overcame the temptation to have a little freak out, the easier – and funner – it became.

3. The Shark

Today’s #bantz was about comparing league members to different animals, and I was given the Tiger Shark along with this explanation and link:

Tim and I had some jibes at each other last week.

I think I might of done quite well.

I’m now so into banter, I accidentally burned someone at work yesterday. I need to reign it in.

What a fun, new problem to have.

That RBG spirit

Confrontation is my thing.

What’s yours? 

What makes you nervous, and shrink away.

Because I think you’re probably stronger than you think you are.

You tell that thing, ‘Not today, Satan’, and you walk towards it – not away.

You got this, girlfriend. Go get that RBG spirit, and go get your victory.

Kate x

Chapter 19: We started a podcast

I did a Rachel Hollis exercise with some friends recently where you visualise what the best version of yourself would be like.

What do you do for a job? What do you dress like? How are your relationships? What are your priorities? How do you feel? How much sleep do you get? What do you eat …? 

And then after imagining all of this – seeing it like a movie in your head – you quickly write it all down on a piece of paper, using “I” statements and as much detail as you can.

I really recommend giving it a go.

It’s a ridiculously helpful way of focusing in on what you actually want your life to be like, and then being big and brave and going for it.

Here are some of the things on my list:

  1. I am a famous writer
  2. I am a present, loving mum
  3. I eat fresh healthy food and regularly work out, and I feel amazing
  4. I set my own work hours
  5. I am confident and completely myself
  6. I influence people to believe in themselves and live their best lives, and to be kind.
  7. I make the world laugh.

Then we had to each look at our lists, and come up with a goal – just one – that would help us get closer to this bomb version of ourselves.

Get it, girl

My Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG, if you please) is to create a platform of smart, silly, fun, encouraging content.

Like what Leandra Medine has done with Man Repeller.

But more Kate-ish.

Which is difficult. And daunting. And exciting. And entirely achievable.

Kate, Media Mogul

I love podcasts. They bring me untold amounts of joy – like, Making a Murderer.

Kidding. I ain’t about that True Crime life. I live almost exclusively in the comedy section. See below.

Kate’s Top 5 Fave Podcasts:

  1. Jules and Sarah the Podcast
  2. Rise Podcast
  3. Fletch Vaughan and Megan
  4. Wobble
  5. Sports?

So when I was thinking about what I wanted to be a part of my platform, podcasts were FOR SURE on the list.

So I made one. Like a gangster.

I enlisted my husband Taka as Producer and Co-Host, and on Thursday night we sat at the kitchen table and chatted into a surprisingly phallic microphone about everything from our car being totalled by an ambulance, to the Netflix show Taka’s mum is currently obsessed with.

It was really fun, and we hope it makes you smile.

If you want to have a listen, we are now officially iTunes approved so you can find us there by searching Kate Takes Thirty (I’ve renamed it The Kate and Taka Show, but it’s just taking a little while to sync!), or listen online at https://thekateandtakashow.simplecast.fm/.

If you listen, please screenshot it and post it to your stories and tag or DM me at @katetakesthirty on Instagram! I. WILL. DIE.

You can also follow Taka at @takakauri.

Thanks so much for your support, guys. We will frankly be bloody beside ourselves if more people than just my mum listen (both because she’s supportive, and also because I talk about her confusion with “that’s what she said” … it’s a little rude …).

You are the best of all humans.

Lots of love,

Kate x

Chapter 6: Fantasy Football

I have recently entered a very strange world.

It’s called Fantasy Football, and it’s not as risqué or Micky-Mouse-in-a-wizard’s-hat as it sounds.

The “fantasy” part is just a reference to the fact that people create teams that aren’t real.

They’re a fantasy.

And it’s about football.

It’s Fantasy Football.

And I’m actually kinda into it.

Sports?

You’d be right in thinking that I’m not your typical demographic for a Fantasy Football fan.

  1. I live in New Zealand where our ‘people running at each other’ sport of choice is rugby
  2. When it comes to the Super Bowl, I’m really only here for the halftime show and the snacks
  3. I also don’t actually understand the rules of football per se … except that if you score in the 98th percentile for ‘protective instincts’ you should guard The Blind Side.

Some people would say that makes me a bad fit for a Fantasy Team, and to that I say:

I managed to wrangle the top two draft picks (Gurley and Bell), loved watching Hard Knocks (“It’s contagious brah”), and my team is currently 3-0.

*Flips hair*

I’m also a big Katie Nolan fan. She’s teaching me Sports?

But my secret weapon, and the real reason I’m playing Fantasy Football, is because of my husband, Taka.

Marital bliss?

Taka is what I would describe as a “Jock Nerd”.

He’s naturally athletic (what’s that like?), loves the NBA and NFL, and follows sports news like he’s the CIA (the man’s Twitter feed is insane).

We said “I do” on 14 January 2012 in Wellington’s Old St Paul’s Cathedral, and it was awesome.

Instagram
vs. Reality

My most memorably wedding day moments:

  1. Three of my most talented friends wrote and performed an amazing mash-up song featuring the musical stylings of Disney and Usher while we signed the registry
  2. The. Cake. There was enough of it to feed an army (or like, me), and it was RIDICULOUS
  3. That wind though. My veil literally flew off my head at one point
  4. Doing the ultimate pinky ring-finger swear to stick with my best bud and sexy man friend forever.

But you know as well as I do that a marriage isn’t about the wedding.

That’s just one dope day.

Marriage is your every day after that.

And as someone who’s been married for six and a half years, I feel (very un)qualified to give some advice on marital bliss.

‘Cause, everyone loves unsolicited relationship advice, right …?

  1. Talk about stuff. Stuff you’re happy about, stuff you’re worried about, stuff you’re annoyed about – talk about all the stuff. Disagreements and grievances (over serious, or kinda dumb but important things, like who’s doing most of the housework) are very rarely as bad out in the open as they are in your head. Just talk about stuff.
  2. Do fun things together. It’s really good and healthy to have your own hobbies and ‘you do you boo’ time, but it’s also pretty special when some of your best memories in life are with your spouse.
  3. And own the role. As a spouse you are your partner’s most trusted confidant, biggest supporter, lover, and best mate. You laugh with them, protect them, encourage them, and stand by them. And when that’s happening on both sides, marriage is boss.

No one gets it right all the time (because none of us are perfect). But if you do mess up – just say you’re sorry, try and make it right, and don’t be a dick.

I’m in my Fantasy Football League (we’re called The Twelve #christianlols) because of #2. Doing fun things together.

Showing a genuine interest in what your spouse is passionate about is always a solid move. Hence, I now not only know who Mike Evans is, but I’m genuinely thrilled he’s kicking ass this season. Shot, Mike.

Back to football

For those of you who came to read about make-believe sports team makeups, this section is for you …

My Team

kate fantasy team

I don’t know much, but I do know this …

  1. Team names should equate to PUNS, which is why I’m Mrs Tucker (a. Because cute, and b. Because Queen B/Mrs Carter)
  2. Bell is coming back, yo. I can feel it
  3. Don’t pick teams based on hotties. I chose Eric Decker based on his face, and a week after our draft he was dropped from his team. Eric is currently pursuing a career in reality tv, which coincidentally, he does have a face for.
  4. I went RB, WR, WR in my draft picks. I hear that’s a thing?
  5. OBJ, is so cool it hurts.

That is all. Fin.

What hobbies have you had a go at in support of your main squeeze?

Also – I’m pretty new to this blogging game, so if you did want to share your favourite post with your pals on the social medias that would kinda be the coolest thing ever. You can at me on Instagram @beforekateturns30. I’d really appreciate your help in spreading the lols.

Have an epic week.

Kate x