Everyday Is An Opportunity. Don’t Sleep Through Your Possibilities…

This morning while scrolling through LinkedIn and catching up, one of my favorite hilarious connections had posted something that (as usual) had me laughing. Military members with a sense of humor? On LinkedIn? You bet. 

I grew up in a military family and many of my relatives are currently serving in the military. My brother is a twenty year Navy veteran who has a few saucy jokes himself. I’ts difficult to offend me with harmless humor. 

As usual this morning, someone decided to be “offended” and comment on the post from a retired military connection on LinkedIn. Since not only I but over 300 other people found the post entertaining, I found myself wondering why a humorous post was so offensive to someone that they found the time to post a comment? Could it be to draw attention to themselves? One has to wonder. 

I’m calling 2018 “the year that everyone became offended about everything.” LinkedIn users need to lighten up or stop commenting on harmless posts that aren’t nearly as offensive as bikini clad half nude women or worse, a man being beaten at a gas station abroad or even animal cruelty. might find these posts offensive but, rather than commenting, scroll past them. I don’t stop and comment “why is this on LinkedIn?” Who made these folks the “LinkedIn police?” 

“This isn’t FB” is so common on the LinkedIn posts today that it no longer surprises me. If posts about God and Country offend you, do everyone a favor and don’t bother commenting. Often, the people using the “FB comment” find themselves to be “above the posted content” although they aren’t above commenting and drawing attention to themselves. Hmm. 

I’m as sick of political posts as everyone else is. In fact, I never post or comment about politics. Why? Because you will lose half your audience by doing so. “Common sense is like breath spray- the people who need it the most don’t bother using it but, get in your face anyway.” Others political views don’t always mirror my own but, I keep my opinions to myself. 

Most everyone on LinkedIn is selling something. I promote my connections on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, FB, Google Plus and other forums. After all, social media actually is tit for tat. This should be logical but for a few narcissistic folks it isn’t. Why? Because they are too full of themselves to spend the time it takes to promote others that’s why. 

When my son was young and didn’t get his way, he would announce “I’m defended.” Ironically, everyone who seems to be offended attempts to coerece the person who “has offended them” into defending themselves. Reminded of my toddlers tantrums years ago, I thought of the adults who act like children on social media. Do they realize this? No. Because they assume they are always right and everyone else is wrong. 

Last year, a post regarding one of my clients who happened to be pregnant garnered negative attention. 

Let’s revisit why she waited to get married shall we? Her husband was deployed in Afghanistan.My client didn’t realize her condition would make her a target for haters. Who would? While I deleted derogatory comments, more kept coming to such an extent that I became pretty agitated myself. Who were these people judging others that assumed their opinions would matter? Did they assume these hurtful comments wouldn’t offend the bride or groom? More importantly, did they care? 

Why do others use social media to either go on political rant, spew hate or judge others content? I have no idea but, I can assure you that such opinions give others insight on the person assuming that online bullying is okay. It isn’t. There aren’t any awards for people who think they “know it all.” 

Posting horrific content about animal cruelty or similar things is offensive to me and many others. Why are people posting these awful stories? Attention.

My Bride was beautiful and eloquent although she had been in a car accident less than two hours before her wedding. I handled officiating the ceremony and my twin sister helped me create lavender bouquets and bouteniers for the ceremony. My niece, Leigh Ann handled the photography. 

The ring bearer and best man were nephews of the bride and proud to be included in the ceremony which took place in the backyard of the brides mothers home. It was not only a “family affair” for my team but also for the couple with all of their relatives pitching in to make it a special and memorable occasion. 

 A few moths prior to my pregnant bride, I had posted photos and a blog regarding another bride who one LinkedIn person decided to comment was “the ugliest bride they had ever seen.” How on earth anyone can think such a comment is acceptable I have no idea but, I deleted the comment and blocked the person commenting. 

Ignorance speaks without intelligence. People comment on just about anything these days without having all of the facts because they believe their opinions are warranted. They aren’t. I can assure you that neither my pregnant bride or her husband cared about “her condition” in their wedding photos. Quite the contrary. The couple were thrilled with their photos and loaned floral designs from my inventory. 

My twin sister and I aren’t like “other vendors.” For people failing to research this fact, their comments regarding our diverse Client base are fairly surprising now and then. From Prison or Jail Weddings to bartering event services for clients who have no money to working upscale Events, our clients are a melting pot. 

Whether our clients are pregnant, LBGT, or one of them is incarcerated, missing teeth or something else that might make them “different,” anyone looking hard enough to judge our client bases can certainly keep their opinions to themselves but, choose not to. Why? I don’t understand the need to be unkind although I warily realize that it exists for a certain number of people. 

Cindy and I aren’t afraid to get our hands dirty refurbishing trades and we work together as a twin team. We often help clients no one else was willing to take on. We are friends to the friendless in certain situations because we are open minded. 

A large part of our success is our willingness to be open minded. While others may have “strong opinions” regarding Prison or LBGT marriage, we never have. 

In fact, prior to rebranding and expanding Texas Twins Treasures and Texas Twins Events to create the barter option through The Pawning Planners, more than half of our clients were LBGT. I have many friends in the LBGT Community and I can assure you that their loyalty is profound. Long before same sex marriage was legal, I performed Unification Ceremonies. By the time the ruling came through, Texas Twins Events was well known for being “friendly.” 

For the first few years, the loyalty of a community that embraced my Texas Twins Events Team kept us going. Even today, the community that welcomed us with open arms continues to send us referrals. 

That’s how you build a business folks by building relationships. Not by being narrow minded or judgmental. Don’t be surprised. Walmart doesn’t screen their customers and neither do other successful businesses. I have amazing clients from all walks of life who have become lifelong friends. 

One thing I’ve learned about the photographers “who screen clients” is that they don’t want pregnant brides or unattractive people. I find this to be one of the most ill informed decisions in the world but, their loss is our gain. 

It’s not uncommon for me to hear yet another horror story from someone viewed as being “different” turned away by other vendors.

A few months ago, one of my TDCJ Clients who had hired me to Officiate her wedding, saw that I was LBGT friendly and decided to cancel her wedding due to my diverse Client base.

Sure, I was shocked about this but, I’m not hiding my affiliation with the LBGT Community. Quite the contrary. I’m celebrating it and offer LBGT discounts alongside Military, Fire, Police, First Responders and teachers. Surprised? Don’t be. 

The TDCJ Client “didn’t believe in same sex marriage and therefore didn’t want me performing her ceremony because she was uncomfortable,” I was shocked and saddened by this “line in the sand.” I don’t pick and choose my clients. They choose me or anyone else on my team. 

Was I going to suddenly stop supporting the people who had supported me the past eight years over one client being “uncomfortable?” No. I wasn’t. Loyalty is a priceless commodity. If you ever find it, hold on to it with both hands. Loyalty is priceless in not only business but also in life. 

There are just as many people who “don’t believe prisoners should marry.” The irony isn’t lost on me. The fact that “my affiliation and acceptance of LBGT Marriage” was being used to fire me was disturbing and my sadness was based on the many LBGT couples who have told me “if you hadn’t helped us, no one would.” Many of them crying while telling me this. It’s tragic that anyone is treated differently to me. 

My clients are lifelong friends who I stay in contact with long after their booking. We are friends on social media as well. In fact when they plan a Vow Renewal, Baptism, Birthday Party or other event, they hire my team and I to handle everything. Our “be back” business bookings compromise a large part of our calendars year after year. 

I prefer to work with people who appreciate me. My time is valuable and so are my talents. At this stage in my life, I’m quite picky about taking on new clients due to my already burdened schedule that’s often booked out up to two years out. 
Whenever something surprises me, I call or text my twin sister when we aren’t already together. She’s my sounding board and an expert at lightening my mood when I read a hateful comment of email about our diverse clients. 

As usual, Cindy responded with yet another “spot on quote.” My sister has something to say about every situation and although I couldn’t understand why judgment is a part of life, it is for a few folks. God Bless Em. 
Choosing to marry an inmate and “being offended about LBGT Unions” is so rare that in three years of County Jail and Prison Weddings, I’ve only had the one “Client” who was offended or uncomfortable. 

The last thing I need to deal with is supporting my stance and belief that everyone deserves to find love and have love to someone who feels so strongly against my Client base that either he or she “is uncomfortable.” Such circumstances make ME uncomfortable. 

Most folks have no idea that I catch a lot of flack regarding Prison Weddings and opinions but, I do. If opinions dictated my decisions, I’d be hiding under a rock. I’m not. 

When I decided to rebrand and expand Texas Twins Events to include Texas Prison Weddings, I knew that it was possible not everyone would embrace my choice to become a TDCJ Officiant but, I didn’t care. Love is Love. What works for one couple may not work for another. 

Whether I’m at an upscale event or a barn, backyard, prison, jail, military base or other location, every client is treated as a friend. Bridal or groom photography for my TDCJ Clients allows them to celebrate their wedding day after leaving a Unit. 

People are unique. Their differences can and should be celebrated. From different cultures to different lifestyles, what makes one family different also makes them special. 

From tattooed brides to toothless brides to pregnant brides and everywhere in between, celebrating diversity rather than “singling people out for being different” should be acceptable but, for the few people who believe they are better than others, gazing into their own mirrors has somehow convinced them that they are better than everyone else. Ironic isn’t it? 

Posting hateful comments on social media has created a world of bullies who either don’t care how hurtful their comments are or they know and wish to draw attention to themselves anyway. The internet is chock full of posts that if you actually read the comments, would shock you. I do read the comments. Most others do as well. 

 “IF you CAN’T offer ENCOURAGEMENT to OTHERS, don’t EXPECT them TO be, your AUDIENCE for APPLAUSE.” 

“A BAD attitude IS as WORTHLESS, as a FREE self ESTEEM seminar, TO a NARCISSIST” God bless us all.

My twin sister is hilarious and creative. We decided to put her comic talents to work in order to help fund families with no money to book through Texas Twins Events or barter to offer in trade through The Pawning Planners. Without putting the effort into whatever you do, you won’t see results. 

Cindy is famous for her original and authentic Redneck Reality Quotes used on Pawning Planners Apparel. 

“WORK ethics ARE like COOKING, without THE right INGREDIENTS reliability, dedication and productivity, NOBODY gets FED.” 

Cindy Daniel

My twin sister has something to say about everything and, it’s always honest and thought provoking. 

Cindy is observant and reflective at the same time. My sister isn’t afraid to shed light on a few dark insights from folks that feel the need to blast their opinions on us either. 

Cindy and I have even taken on tasks that had nothing to do with event services over the years. Why? Because the folks contacting us didn’t have anyone else to help them that’s why. No friends. No family members. No one. These folks contacted the Texas Twins because “they heard we help people.” We do. We are often “helping” because no one else would. 

Cindy and I are the people we have never met. “Figuring it out” occasionally requires manual labor or getting our hands dirty helping someone else. Often that “someone else” is a stranger. Do we have a good time together? Absolutely. Finding creative ways to help others gave us a new direction in a journey to “change the wedding and events industry one family or barter at a time from Fort Worth, Texas.” 

While helping others, Cindy and I finally found time to spend with each other as well as our children and grandchildren. We were different while being determined. We were resilient and perseverant. 

What we weren’t was judgmental. We’ve met people who were but, their baggage didn’t affect our decisions. We have open hearts and open minds. Perhaps not all of our clients are “polished” or “have all of their teeth” but, what makes them different also makes them special.

For those folks who haven’t grasped the reality of “throwing rocks when they live in a glass house,” God Bless Em. They probably need all the prayers they can get.