The Fun of Going On Dress Up Dates

Not too long after we were married, my wife and I met some friends for a double date. We were doing the normal thing – dinner and a movie.

Before we left the house, for some reason, we decided it would be funny to dress up like nerds. I take that back. It wasn’t dressing as nerds as much as it was finding random, wild clothes in our closet that absolutely didn’t match.

We walked to the restaurant where we were meeting our friends and giggled as we saw people staring strangely at us.

After all, I was wearing big work boots, 80’s shorts, a dress up shirt, and a headband while my wife was wearing a mix of flip flops, leggings, leather pants, sweater, complete with a flashy red cape.

Yeah, we were nerds.

Our friends saw us and laughed. They also knew us well enough to expect such things from us. We ate dinner, watched our movie, and generally had a great night.

However, I can say that nothing would have set that night apart from any other dinner & a movie date unless we had dressed up. It’s the dressing up part that makes that night stand out in my memory.

dating2Get Dressed Up for Your Dates

When you go on a date, you need to think about dressing up. Naturally, it doesn’t mean you have to dress like a weirdo.

But taking some time to evaluate how you look makes a big deal with your overall experience. Even if you’re just going to a dinner & a movie, take a look in the mirror and make sure you’re ready to impress.

When you take some time to work on your appearance, you’re proving to yourself and, more importantly, your spouse, that you really care. You’re taking the time to put on a good show.

You don’t have to go overboard with it. Even just changing a shirt can do the trick to set a better tone for the date.

The point is to make a conscious decision about what you look like. Show your spouse you care by presenting them with a well dressed you.

Dress Up Date Ideas

With the above in mind, there are some really fun dates you can do when you make your appearance the focus. The following are some ideas of “dress up dates”.

Matching – this one is pretty low key but still fun. A matching date simply means wearing matching clothes. You see older couples doing this all the time.

This can be as easy as wearing jeans and red shirts. The goal is just to match and be obvious about it. It’s a bit cheesy for sure but this adds to the fun of it all.

Costume – you don’t have to wait for Halloween to throw on your favorite wig or clown costume.

One time when picking me up from the airport, my wife put on a crazy blue wig and covered her face with copious amounts of make-up. I laughed as she started yelling my name as I approached the baggage area. It got a lot of attention.

Dressing up in costume gives you permission to break free a bit. It allows for some anonymity even that you don’t normally enjoy while wearing just your Dockers and polo.

Event – dressing up for a particular event is pretty common but still really fun. Have you ever gone to an athletic event? It’s hard not to dress up with your favorite team colors.

If you’re seeing a movie with recognizable characters, why not dress like them? This combines the event date with the costume date. When the last Star Wars movie came out, we saw couples all over dressed as Han Solo and Princess Leia.

Suit and Dress – something happens when you put on a suit and a dress. It takes the date to another level. Usually if you’re wearing these clothes it’s because you’re attending a function that requires it like a gala, a night at the opera, or whatever.

While these can be fun dates, why not get dressed up just to go out for ice cream? It changes the whole atmosphere of the date and usually spices up the romance.

Bride and Groom – This date takes the whole suit and dress date to another level. It’s much, much more daring!

Ladies, open your closet and pull out your wedding dress. If you don’t have access to it, any white dress will do and wear a tiara or veil. Guys, pull out your old tux or a nice suit.

Then, once you’re dressed up in your wedding apparel, hit the town as a new bride and groom! You’ll be amazed at the fun reactions you get. You may even get a free dinner!

Dress Up and Have Fun

The point of dressing up is to have a more meaningful date. Most of all, it’s just plain fun.

Dress up for your next date. See what happens. Chances are very good it will make your date that much more memorable!


Author Sean.

Reprinted from Simple Marriage.

What About A Wedding Ring For Him?



Does your husband wear a wedding ring?  When women get engaged, they are usually given a ring.  Do men wear engagement rings?  You can find one for him at mens wedding rings at


Some believe that the oldest recorded exchange of wedding rings comes from ancient Egypt, about 4800 years ago. manring2Sedges, rushes and reeds, growing alongside the well-known papyrus were twisted and braided into rings for fingers an other decorative ornaments worn by the women in those days.

The circle was the symbol of eternity, with no beginning or end, not only to the Egyptians, but many other ancient cultures. The hole in the center of the ring also had significance. It wasn’t just considered a space, but rather a gateway, or door; leading to things and events both known and unknown. To give a woman a ring signifies never-ending and immortal love.

Before medical science discovered how the circulatory system functioned, people believed that a vein ran directly from the third finger on the left hand to the heart. Because of the hand-heart connection, they chose the descriptive name vena amoris, Latin for the vein of love, for this particular vein. Based upon this name, their contemporaries, purported experts in the field of matrimonial etiquette, wrote that it would only be fitting that the wedding ring be worn on this finger. By wearing the ring on the third finger of the left hand, a married couple symbolically declares their eternal love for each other.

The Roman’s also eventually adopted this tradition, but rather than offering a ring to a woman as a symbol of love, they were symbols of ownership. Women were claimed by Roman men with a ring.

Conventionally, the woman’s ring is presented as a betrothal gift by a man to his prospective spouse.  It represents a formal agreement to future marriage.

In western cultures, a wedding ring is traditionally worn on the ring finger. This developed from the Roman mans ring“anulus pronubis” when the man gave a ring to the woman at the betrothal ceremony. Blessing the wedding ring and putting it on the bride’s finger dates from the 11th century. In medieval Europe, the Christian wedding ceremony placed the ring in sequence on the index, middle, and ring fingers of the left hand. The ring was then left on the ring finger. In a few European countries, the ring is worn on the left hand prior to marriage, then transferred to the right during the ceremony.  However, present day, in some cultures and countries the wedding ring is worn on the ring finger of the right hand.

The “ring finger” symbolizes love of beauty, creativity, expression of self, relationship with others.   When two hearts, when two minds, meet and vibrate at the same frequency, there is marriage and rings are exchanged on the ring finger.


Now back to our original question.  Does your husband wear a wedding ring?


A December Wedding? Why Not?



Things to consider for a December wedding:

Can you get the time off from work?  How about the people that you may want to invite.  Will they be able to take time off before the holiday?

Not such a silly question.  Some positions in retail are usually not granted time off during the holiday season unless it’s an emergency.


It’s such a “busy” time of year for a lot of folks who are getting ready for the holidays.  Will they be able to take the time from their busy schedules?

Some people are consumed with shopping, food preparation, planning and church this time of year.  How will they feel about taking the time to attend a wedding?


Is your family heavy into gift giving and will they begrudge having to buy yet another gift?

If your family is heavy into gift giving, they may express concern about giving yet another gift in December.  If this is the case, and if it would cause family problems, just tell them they are not obligated to give a gift on your anniversaries.  Make sure they understand that the two of you have no gift expectations.


Rental facilities usually charge more for a wedding than other events.  You will have to book well in advance because you will be competing with private holiday parties.

This should not be a problem if you book well in advance.  If you are a late planner, then you might be out of luck getting the exact place you’d like to be.


What if the weather prediction is for heavy snowfall?

For those who live in cold winter areas there is always the possibility of a snow storm showing up unannounced!  Check the Farmer’s Almanac for weather conditions.  It’s not a guarantee, but it has been relied upon by many for decades.  Other than that, keep in mind that the weather could preclude guests from traveling.


If you do live in a winter area, all of your wedding pictures will be taken inside, unless you are a crew who loves the cold weather!

What kind of memorable photos would you like to have?  If you have a dazzling gown, you may have to deal with all inside shots, unless your wedding dress happens to come with a matching ski parka. You could brave the elements though and get some really romantic shots with a snowy background or on the ice.  If your photographer is a true artist – he may give you a romantic look because he or she would love to get some snazzy artistic shots with the snowy background!


Rings should be on sale!

The holidays reek of sales and bargains.  Find your special pair of rings at discounted prices.

Flowers for You?

What kind of flowers will you have?  Something to consider is that you may not be able to get as exotic as you’d like to with flowers.  During the winter season, you may have to deal with what is available.


It’s not all cons to having a December or winter wedding. 

Wedding dresses should be cheaper this time of year.

Photographers should be more readily available and thus less expensive.

If guests are coming to a hotel for the weekend, they can go skiing the next day!

Because this is not prime vacation season, most services should be a little more discounted.

You will be able to file married on your taxes for the entire year and the tax rate for married couples is much lower than it is for single people.


Love is always on time any time.  Maybe you want to avoid all of the hassles of a big wedding and do something small and intimate by going to a justice of the peace.  Or, asking a church minister to marry the two of you.  Depending on the laws of your state, all you need is a witness to make it legal.

So, if you are doing a winter wedding, we would love to hear from you.


Sherry DeGenova – A Kind and Gentle Hand

Sherry DeGenova, ACO



What kind of education or training is required to be an animal control officer?

It all depends on the town and state. Most require some type of animal related experience. I’ve been in the animal field since I was 14 years old. So I have just celebrated 30 years in the field of animals. I personally have worked in vet hospitals, pet stores, boarding facilities and animal shelters. I landed my first animal control officer job in Stamford, CT which required just animal experience in general and when I got my job in Hartford, they required at least 6 months in the animal control field.


Why did you decide to do this kind of work?

I feel I was born with the desire to work with animals. I cant ever remember wanting to do anything else. I was drawn to help animals. It has always been my passion. I remember finding my first cat when I was around 7 years old living under my back porch and convinced my parents to let me keep her. I had her until she passed of old age at the age of 17.

During my time of growing up, I had found my share of lost pets and rescued my share of injured wildlife. I remember my first wildlife rescue like it was yesterday. It was a black crow that I found with a broken wing at the end of my street. I called local vets for help and built a cage in my backyard and wrapped the wing so it could heal for a couple weeks. I would feed him and eventually took off his bandage. He couldn’t fly at first but everyday I would let him out of the cage and toss him slightly in the air.  Each day he got stronger.  One day I tossed him up and off he went. For as long as I could remember, “Blacky” came back and sat on our backyard fence and would crow. I’d come out and he would take bread from my hand.  One day, he just moved on.  I think that was the one moment in my life that I knew this was my calling. I went to college briefly to be a vet tech but realized that’s not where I belonged. I wanted to rescue them. It’s where I felt I could make a difference. From there I started to climb my ladder to where I am today.


Sherry playing with her dogs

Are people often surprised to see a woman doing this kind of work?

People are not surprised to see women as ACOs (Animal Control Officers). There are a lot of women who do this job just as there are many men. I think it comes down to what kind of person you are and what kind of compassion you have for animals. (I also have to say there are men and women who are in this field that shouldn’t be.)


The economy has been very rough for a lot of people these last few years. What differences do you see on the streets as you do your work?

Since I work in an inner city its always been a difficult scene on the streets. I deal with a lot of different ethnic backgrounds and people have different ideas on how an animal should be kept and treated.  Not just in Hartford but in many other cities, people don’t have a problem just leaving their animals behind when they move or tossing them on the streets when they don’t want them anymore. I think the biggest problem I see more now is people who truly want to keep their pets but struggle to feed them properly. It’s either the family eats or the pet. The pet gets what is left over. People are forced to chose their families over their pets. With seeing that being a bigger issue, I started a food drive for the residents in my city. I get donations of food and when people need a little help, they reach out to me and I help them by providing proper food, treats and toys for the dogs. I also collect collars and leashes and hand them out as well. I see so many people walking down the streets with their dogs on everything from shoe strings to extension cords.

I always have something in my van to help someone. People appreciate it and they realize that “animal control officers” are not the mean animal killing people that they think we are.

I next biggest issue is providing basic medical care for the animals. I try to direct people to low cost facilities and hand out applications to get free medical vouchers.


In the 70’s Dobermans were considered to be really bad, evil dogs. They received a lot of negative press in the media. Today, it’s pit bulls who are lambasted everywhere. What has been your experience with the pit bulls that you find out on the street?

Sadly this is an over-bred breed and a very misunderstood breed. A lot of the wrong people have

Sherry's kids

this breed of dog and use it for all the wrong reasons. I spend a lot of time just trying to educate people about the breed and I spend a lot more time trying to protect the breed and enforcing laws that help to protect them.

There are no “bad dogs” just “bad owners” and it’s the dog that usually pays the ultimate price.

I have had my share of aggressive pit bulls but it doesn’t come close to the amount of awesome pit bulls I have been in contact with.

It breaks my heart to only see the bad stories being told about this breed when there are so many incredible, heartwarming stories to be told.


For certain you’ve had to deal with aggressive animals on the street. How do you do it?

My ability to handle the aggressive dogs definitely comes from my many years in the field. I have a great ability to read dogs eyes and body language. This plays an important part in my safety. When I’m the street, I NEVER let my guard down and I’m always on alert. I never go on a call without some type of protection. Luckily we have a lot of tools that help protect us. Its all about being smart and safe – NOT being a “Super ACO”.

An Old Pair of Jeans

Written by Betty Brown


♣This is for non married couples. When you’re in a relationship and you’re always the one left at home because they want to go visit “their” friends, then… that’s an old pair of jeans. When you’re the one who’s feelings are always put on the back burner just so they can feel happy, then… that’s an old pair of jeans. When you’re up at 1 or 2 in the a.m. and you’re not partying but instead thinking about an argument that happened earlier and they’re snoring…sleeping like a baby, then… that’s an old pair of jeans. What I’m getting at is those old pair of jeans are a pair you hold on to because when you first got them they looked damn good on you but now things are changing but you still hold on thinking… one day these will fit again. I’ve just go to change a few things about myself. NO! NO! NO! What you do is go out and get you another pair that fit you just the way you are! Change for yourself, not for an “old pair of jeans”. ♣

Be Careful Whom You Kiss: HIV/AIDS

Nancy J. Nelson, Ph.D.


                        Be careful whom you kiss.

                        Be careful whom you kiss.

                        Wish I could tell you what I feel and see.

                        Wish I could tell you what I feel and see.

                        I can’t prevent what’s certain to be.

                        I can’t prevent what’s certain to be.

                       His name is ….

                       His name is ….

                     And he’s trying to take your life.

                     Trying to take your life.*


African Americans have the highest percentage and continue to be fasting growing group in the U.S. who are HIV positive. African Americans and the poor are the least likely to receive the best known treatment for HIV.                   

                        His name is …., his name is ….*

Some African American men say they will never wear a condom. They tell us:

                         Come on, Baby, don’t you trust me?

                         You know you’re the only one I make love with.

                         I’d never, ever do anything to hurt my woman.

                         If I have to wear one, I’m leaving you.

 And we women love them. We don’t want them to think we don’t trust them. We don’t want them to think we don’t love them. We don’t want to hurt them. And we dread being alone.

                          And he’s trying to take your life.

                         Trying to take your life.*

A son watches his mother slowly waste away. She was once a very active, attractive woman who now cannot move and weighs only 70 pounds.  She can say nothing to him because she does not have the energy to speak. He gently touches the wisp of hair remaining on her head. There were no tears at her death, only a sigh of relief that she no longer suffers.

                        Wish I could tell you what I feel and see.

                        Wish I could tell you what I feel and see.*

A young man who is a heroin addict, an intravenous drug user, an ex-convict, learns he is HIV positive. In time he is a skeleton covered with brown skin He slowly grows weaker as the years pass. His mother waits and worries.

Ah, you say, I would never date a drug addict, especially one who may be a dangerous criminal. 

Would you date an African American male who is six feet tall, weighs 190 lbs, has a charismatic personality, holds you gently, and who writes love poems that make your knees melt?  

                    I can’t prevent what’s certain to be.

                   I can’t prevent what’s certain to be.*

How do you recognize a person who is HIV positive? Do you look for purple marks? Do you stare into their eyes to try to recognize a vacant look? What are the visible signs? Try as you may, you see none.

African American communities are being ravaged and attacked by an epidemic of AIDS. At issue is our lifestyle. At issue is our life. Although a number of AIDS cases can be attributed to intravenous drug use, too many of us- whether straight, gay, male or female – continue to have unprotected sex.

The AIDS rate among Black women is three times as high as that of among Latino women and more than 18 times as high as that among white women. Black women make up more than half of all women who have died of AIDS.

                         Be careful whom you kiss.

                        Be careful whom you kiss.*

Black women must get tested – twice – because the men who we loved and trusted, who we did not want to hurt, disappeared into the night, leaving us hurt and alone.

A young man learns he is HIV positive. He becomes a skeleton covered with brown skin. He slowly grows weaker as the years pass. His mother waits for him to die.

                        Wish I could tell you what I feel and see.

                        Wish I could tell you what I feel and see.

                        Be careful whom you kiss.

                        Be careful whom you kiss.*


* Be Careful Whom You Kiss – From: Your Arms Too Short to Box With God

By: Alex Bradford and Micki Grant


by Dr. Nancy Nelson

           We spent the day together drinking cold sodas, going for walks, and listening to music that lifted us to the clouds.  We had not touched, although I had longed to run my fingers across her bare shoulders; but I did not know how to touch a woman. As a refreshing breeze rustled the trees around the porch, she took me in her arms, pressing her body hard against mine. The rules I learned about love crumbled around me. While resting in her arms I declared if a woman loving a woman was wrong, I would be wrong all my life.

            With my hand resting lightly in hers, I followed her into the bedroom, onto the bed. Even though I had been loved by many men, I was like a virgin, frightened, excited, and trusting. I was a flower blooming, unfolding each pedal with care as her hands explored my body. The softness of her touch freed my mind from fear, allowing me to enjoy being with her.

            I marveled at the smallness of her body and the smoothness of her dark brown skin. The men I laid with were much bigger than I and had broad shoulders. Her body was smaller than mine and our height almost equal. Her lips did not swallow mine but shared the touch. Her tongue did not force itself into every corner of my mouth. Her small firm breasts were exciting to caress, to taste. We slept in each other’s arms, waking before dawn to explore, caress, and love again. I didn’t want to think of the morning hour that would separate us.

            I had loved and been loved by a woman. The memory of her touch would return to me for many years, causing my body to tremble and my heart to soften. The love society taught was wrong was so right that hot, humid August night.