Walk a mile in my shoes I’ve often told others who view my outspoken opinions or blatantly honest insights as either offensive or outrageous.
My twin sister, Cindy Daniel and I earned the right to speak our minds by crawling over, under and often around any obstacle placed in our paths.
Survivors aren’t shy! Spoiled? Never! While it may appear to outsiders that we’ve lived a privileged life- it’s because we hide our painful past from others in order to protect is from being hurt again.
When couples come to me for counseling and complain about ridiculous minute issues that are “driving them to a divorce court” I’ve gotta tell ya that somebody needs to slap a little reality in their face, normally, it’s me.
At weddings and events with my sister, there are many who assume this fun loving twin sister of mine (who is usually the life of the party) can quickly change roles with my “bossy” personality when it comes to getting paid.
At one wedding, Cindy took a cowboy hat off a guest and instructed him to “pass it around until our fee had been met.” This was (of course) after the father of the bride informed us that he didn’t have any money left after paying the caterer. This event required that we provide all decorations, three photo DVDs and three sets of video CDs as well as a 4 hour round trip travel time. I was too exhausted to pull out my “bossy girl.”
Under normal circumstances, I’m often the bossy one for a number of reasons but mainly, because I’m forced to wear so many different hats and careful articulation of my schedule is required at all times. There are many aspects of this twin owned business that only I can do and while I would love to delegate these assignments, it is not a possibility that I could entertain.
Cindy’s role is to be the “party buddy” as well as the photographer and my ears to let me know if there is an issue I should address with either families of the wedding couple, a drunken guest or broken hearted boyfriend showing up to “ruin the day.”
The tiny Texas Twins aka The Little Pawners, Maryssa and Makenna Mahaney are the flower girls, ring bearers or ushers at many of our events and, ironically mimic many of our personality traits to such an extent that we call Makenna my mini me and Maryssa is Cindy’s mini me.
Makenna must have order and perfection while Maryssa is happy playing with children of the wedding party and having a good time. These tiny Texas Twins aren’t embarrassed to ask for their tips up front either and, ironically have never been “stiffed.”
I, on the other hand, continue to be baffled and embarrassed by the length we often have to go to in order to be compensated for services rendered!
Could it be that by creating an affordable alternative to ensure that anyone could afford a beautiful ceremony by offering low cost or no cost wedding and event services by taking trades and refurbishing them to cover the cost of the event have somehow “thrown” myself into the “Walmart Society” of consumers? Perhaps.
The demographics of this business and ethic diversity of our clients has many wondering if I specifically target minority groups. No, I do not. You see, I don’t have to because most of our clients couldn’t afford to pay traditional fees for a wedding officiant, event coordinator or funeral clergy and much less, photography or wedding cake.
The fact is, I welcome diversity and offer interfaith unions as well as catering to the LBGT community because I embrace my community and am just as comfortable with the Hispanic, Oriental and black communities and clients as I am with the Gay community.
I live in Fort Worth which is a Haven for cowboys and cowgirls along with many opinions on alternative lifestyles as well as mixed race unions and am often targeted by discriminatory hillbillies who view my affiliation with these clients as “non Christian” or several other things I shall not address in a public forum since statements similar are offensive to everyone, including myself or, my sister and our families.
Simply because I welcome clients from all walks of life shouldn’t make me a target, but rest assured, it does.
Had we come from a classic middle class background with the privileges of most children, I feel certain that I not my sister, would be the strong, defiant and often compassionate survivors known worldwide as the Texas Twins.
You see, we have been forced to earn everything we have in our lives. We have been dirt poor and we have been working since we were 6 years old.
I received a GED at 13 years old along with a “hardship drivers license” in order to work and support my family.
Good luck has not been a friend of mine or my sisters, hard work, perseverance and diligence have been the foundation that have built a successful business to address the needs of consumers struggling to feed their families.
How do we relate so well with our clients? The answer is easy, we have been where they are, we have paved the path of hard knocks and, hard luck.
This lifelong journey brought with it physically violent first husbands (for both of us) we didn’t realize that being beaten was abnormal and would suffer for years believing that fear of your spouse was not the exception, it was the rule.
I am an emergency crisis counselor and heavily involved in womens issues for good reason, I can relate to their situation. It’s difficult when you don’t have parents to help you- we were forced to rely on each other and, we escaped these marriages together as a team.
Overcoming poverty and violent marriages, our second marriages proved to be fatal as well. While my sister and I would have and certainly could have “beaten the hell” out of our second husbands, they were not stupid enough to try and beat us. Instead, they were philanderers both of them. Cindy’s second husband had an entire second family and my second husband, an “overlapping” relationship with Laurie Battersby of Ontario, Canada.
Low self esteem? Brother, you don’t know the half of it! Two husbands later (for both of us) our third husbands are nurturing, caring and empowering! The third time is a charm ya all, in successfully finding strong loving husbands, we were finally able to move forward and help others because you see, without them standing behind us and pick us up after we got “knocked down” by life and health issues, we overcame and we rebuilt our destiny together as a team.
The trauma and tragedies we suffered as a team, we faced as a team. Having a twin kept me sane and, ironically, kept me motivated. You see, after a child custody battle with my first husband that lasted for years and is now referred to as “the war” I was mentally and physically exhausted from being dragged through childhood trauma that included sexual abuse and abandonment from our mother who decided that $50 each was an appropriate “price for each child” so that she could go but heroin and “find herself.”
Most American families cannot afford a vacation, neither can we. Instead, we spend our money raising the tiny Texas Twins, Maryssa and Makenna Mahaney and investing in advertising to promote our business. My twin sister has raised these twin girls since birth and we have sacrificed luxuries for ourselves to provide for them the stability that we never had by being the parents we never knew.
So you see, “strong personalities” are often earned through sacrifice and struggle, not created from the imagination of an author. We earned our stripes and have often removed these same stripes to help a stranger, to make their dreams come true and, by being creative entrepreneurs- by turning “trash into treasure” by selling traded antiques , jewelry and more through our eBay store, Texas Twins Treasures to cover the cost of our “dream events.”
Do we have strong personalities, we probably do although we don’t completely understand they term. Are we eccentric? Perhaps but whoever said that a bit of flair and eccentricity was a bad thing probably led a relatively boring life. Are we survivors? You get your ass we are! Who else would have used ingenuity to create businesses that addressed the same issues we had while struggling with a weak economy and raising grandchildren without the benefit of child support? That’s right, the mother of the twins is in treatment (for drug abuse) the father, Michael Wayne Scherer Jr has never paid the $200.00 a month in child support for the twins.
Struggle? You don’t know the half of it, but by the struggles we’ve survived and by the clients we have met, we earned a stellar reputation of exceeding expectations and offering a beautiful wedding, funeral, event or religious ceremony with a la carte options, we have changed the dynamics of “only the rich” having gorgeous wedding photos and memories and, given others hope in humanity and, their community.
Had we never been forced to endure tragedies, we could have never embraced our triumphs! We laugh harder, we love endlessly, we live everyday as if it were our last, we are the people we’ve never met and, we tell it like it is because of the lives we’ve led.
What have you done for a stranger today friend?
Reverend Wendy Wortham
The Pawning Planners
Texas Twins TV