Unique Ways to Find A Spouse

 Times have truly changed when it comes to dating and marriage. It used to be that you went to church functions or you met people through friends. The most popular, and still popular, Match.com is a leader in bringing people together. I can personally tell you that I met my spouse on Match.com and we’ve been together for 12 years and married for 3 of those years. The computers age changed everything. It gave you the ability to meet people all over the world. The new computer age didn’t just give you the ability to meet people in different countries, but it also allows you to meet people in your area that you maybe would have never met. Television has taken the step to meet people even farther, with shows like 90 Day Fiancé, 90 Day Fiancé Before The 90 Days, and 90 Day Fiancé The Other Way, and then there’s Love After Lockup, a show on Wetv, which shows another way to meet with the end result being marriage. These shows may seem crazy and you might just be saying, “Not me,” but these shows are uniting many couples for marriage.

90 Day Fiancé premiered in 2014

90 Day Fiancé is a TLC series about an American who goes across the country to meet the person he/she hopes to marry. The American has usually visited websites that are specific to what they want in a person, such as a Cuban dating site to meet a Cuban woman. The couple has just 90 days after getting a K-1 visa to decide whether or not to marry. The K-1 visa allows a U.S. citizen to bring his/her fiancé to the United States. The couples get to know each other mainly through FaceTime and texting. The couples are often of different ages and a few couples have a 20-year separation in age. They do get paid to let cameras into their lives from the time they start communicating through their whole courtship process. As noted previously, their communication is mainly through FaceTime and text messaging. What a way to get to know someone. The participants in the show are paid $1000 to $1500 per episode and $2500 if they appear in the tell all show at the end of the season. That sure seems like a cheap amount to put your emotions and life out there for public scrutiny. There is a 90 Day Fiancé casting group on Facebook for you to apply and get more information. You can go to Auditionsfree.com to get information about casting. The person going to the foreign country has to pay for traveling to the foreign country and the K-1 visa. This is not a cheap way to find love. The show does give you a look at the way other countries’ values in love and marriage are dealt with as well as the foreign person trying to understand the American ways. 

Love After Lockup premiered in 2018

Love After Lockup is another unique way to find the person of your dreams to marry. It brings together one person in prison and one person out in the free world. The person not in prison writes to or responds to letters from the inmate. It is through these letters that the communication grows into wanting to marry the person in prison and wait for him/her to be released from prison. The camera follows the couples as the prisoners are released and adjust to their new freedom. We get to watch the ups and downs of dealing with the prisoner’s restrictions and learning of how to maneuver the free life. The person who is not in prison usually takes care of all the prisoner’s needs, both in prison and once they get out. The participants are paid $2000 per episode and if they appear on Life After Lockup they get $3000 per episode. That’s not too shabby for a convict just getting out of prison. If you would like more information email to: LOVEAFTERLOCKUPCASTING@GMAIL.COM.

These ways of finding love might seem too far out to imagine, but to a person that’s looking for love, these shows offer a viable alternative. The participants in both shows are often of different races, religions, ethnicities, and ages. There hasn’t been a gay participant in either show, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. These types of shows highlight the fact that finding love is not easy, but some people will do just about anything to find that perfect somebody.

Fibromyalgia Sucks

I am 62 years old and have had fibromyalgia for the last 20 years. Fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disease. When I was first diagnosed, I was told it wasn’t lupus and no other information except to see a rheumatologist. That was the beginning of a life I didn’t want. Then it was test after test and so many different medicines that it made my head spin. One day, about 15 years ago, I was out walking on my lunch break in New York and as I was walking, both of my feet started hurting. I mean, they hurt like I was walking on glass. I struggled to get back to my job. I went to see the rheumatologist and my pain was given a name: fibromyalgia. I was somewhat relieved because now maybe I could get a medicine that would help me. I was wrong. I now know that I was having a flareup, which made diagnosing it much easier. It was tired of being a medical experiment. The years went on. Sometimes I could take the 90 minute ride to work, but there were plenty of times that I couldn’t motivate myself to get out of bed. It was a daily struggle. I got married and there were many times we would have to cancel plans because I just couldn’t go. I stopped making plans. It was better to be spontaneous. Fibromyalgia doesn’t just affect you; it takes a toll on each person that is close to you. My spouse is understanding, but I still feel bad because she didn’t sign up for this, being in the house most of the time. It got to the point that I just didn’t have the energy to go commute any longer, so I retired. She retired two years later and we moved to Florida. I thought Florida would be better because the temperature stays constantly hot. I would have a flareup every time the seasons changed in New York, so Florida seemed like a good idea. Wrong move. I forgot about the humidity, so I’m still in the house most of the time. I can’t take the heat. She tells me it’s okay, but I feel even worse now because we are both retired and we can’t do the traveling we wanted to do when we retired. There is no cure for this disease, so the most I can hope for is what I have right now. I take things one day at a time. When I feel good, we get out and just enjoy being out. It’s wonderful.

Fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disease that causes widespread muscle pain and tenderness. There are other symptoms that are also associated with it such as fatigue, low energy, trouble sleeping, headaches, and tingling in your hands and feet. Fibromyalgia usually affects both sides of your body, such as both of your arms or feet. This is one of the ways I know it’s not lupus, which I was diagnosed with later. 

Treatment for fibromyalgia once it is diagnosed is hit and miss. There are drugs for the pain, such as hydrocodone. There is medical marijuana, which I now use. The doctors here in Florida try to wean you off of pain medicine, with the marijuana taking the place of dosages of the pain medicine. My problem with medical marijuana is sometimes the marijuana is good and sometimes it seems like I’m just throwing money away. Tai Chi is supposed to help because of the gentle movement on the body. I tried yoga once and was in bed for two weeks from all of the poses that I put my body in. I have tried going to the gym many times and each time I end up in bed with a bad flareup. A flareup is when the disease gets ahold of my body and beats it up. I still try to exercise though, but very slowly and I time myself so I can gradually work myself up to at least 30 minutes of cardio. I prefer exercising at home so I can shower and lay down right after without driving anyplace. The plus about exercising at home is that I don’t have to get dressed, so I can look any way I want.

Relationships are hard. I know how I feel when I can’t do something. It’s very frustrating. But for my spouse I feel worse. We haven’t been to any support groups, but now I feel we should. We both need support to understand the feelings we have when a flareup occurs, which as I’ve gotten older, is more frequent. It’s important that you and your partner sit down and talk about everything about this disease. It takes a lot of understanding and patience. Thankfully, she has shown both. It might not always be this way, but for now, I’m just happy that she loves me and takes up the slack when I can’t do my part. I sometimes get mad and lash out at her for no reason whatsoever except I mad at this disease and she’s here. She’s learned to just let me be and I calm down after a while.

You know how your body feels and never let a doctor tell you it’s nothing. Fibromyalgia is hard to diagnose, and after seeing doctor after doctor, you might start to think that what you are feeling is not real. I went through that in the beginning, with doctor after doctor and trying this medicine and that medicine. I started to wonder if I was losing my mind. There is a doctor out there that can help you. You can only do what you can do. Don’t push yourself because that only makes things worse. Be good to yourself.

Stop – Stand Still – Raise Your Arms High above Your Head


We are in a crisis in this country. A crisis that involves our young African American boys. What is happening with our young boys is a problem that doesn’t seemed to be addressed by the people that are supposed to serve and protect. How do we protect that group of males when we can’t get an acknowledgement that there is a problem? How do we protect our young males when they can get shot whether they comply with police or not? What you see that’s happening in the streets is a war. A war that is between police and African American males that doesn’t seem to get any better, generation after generation. How do we get more color to our police departments when all you see and hear are negative words? There is nothing for African American boys to strive for in law enforcement. There is nothing that calls out for them to become part of the solution; a solution that as of now still eludes them. I have three grandsons and I fear that one day one of them might be stopped by a policeman. How should I tell them they should act when there are trigger happy cops that only see the color of their skin not the person inside that skin? There was a consensus in African American neighborhoods that to keep our boys safe they are taught not to run from cops, just stand still; don’t touch a pocket, don’t pull up your pants, just stand there. That is no longer what we can teach them because the wrong cop in the wrong mood will still get them killed. What can we say now? I’m not saying white boys don’t get stopped or shot, but the situation for them isn’t plastered in the media as frequently as what goes on with African American boys. Yes, I will admit that white kids are more involved in mass killing, however this is of their own doing. They aren’t being killed for sometimes doing absolutely nothing. That’s an apples and oranges comparison. Some will blame it on parents; that African American boys aren’t taught any better, they aren’t civilized, they aren’t disciplined, they have no respect for authority. The list can go on and on. I have heard people say that they deserve it because they weren’t going to do anything with their lives anyway. Cops these days are judge, jury and executioner because of the power that they have. What chance do my grandsons or any boys have when they can’t fight against a society that barely acknowledges their existence? Are African American cops so brainwashed by their white brothers in law that they forget where they came from? How do African American cops stand there and not do something to instill fairness in the very communities that raised them? Do African American cops just want to turn their backs on their brothers and sisters of color? It has become obvious that right now, at this time, when generations of children of all colors are supposed to be color blind, that this is not true. This generation of kids don’t stand a chance of making any change when they still see that the color of your skin still matters in this country. If they want to get ahead, they have to follow the status quo and not buck the system. This system has been passed down through so many generations that knowing anything different is a time well forgotten. Is there a solution? Yes; that solution is getting mental help for those cops that seem like they are racist. Racism comes out sooner or later in everyone in different forms. We have to reprogram our thinking. That will take a very long time. It won’t be easy but I see no other way. It has to start now. We can’t wait. I don’t want any of my grandsons in the newspaper obituary section because some cop didn’t see who they were, just the color of their skin. We have to do better. Not just parents, but this whole country. A country were immigrants flock but can’t police their own policeman. It’s sad, very sad. What will I tell my grandsons now if stopped? Stop – stand still and raise your arms high above your head. It might not change the outcome but I don’t know what else to say.

Is A Like Really A Like?


When you like someone that means you like being around the person and entertain the same thoughts and values of that person. The word like seems to have grown feet and marched in a new direction with the computer age. A like in the computer age seems to meet those same values as before, however the importance of a like has now grown in meaning. When you like someone’s website, you are giving that person the feeling that what they say has value to you. The person that you are liking gets a euphoric feeling of success in that they have reached someone with their thoughts. The more people that click on the like button, the more people you feel have accepted and agreed with you. The number of likes lets all that view your website know how other people have enjoyed your content. If there are no likes or very little likes to your website it makes it harder to get the next person to engage in your website. It is as if the number of likes validates your popularity to the public. When we put something out there that we want confirmation on, there is no better way than to get likes. You may not know the people that give you a like, however just this small gesture is a confidence booster. The bad side to this is the question of how do you really know whether the person giving the like actually read or engaged in your website at all? You don’t. There are people, usually family and friends, that give a like just to boost your website. They boost your website and in turn other people will stop to see what all the likes are about. When you give a like and don’t really care how good the article or website you are liking is, it only hurts the person whose website you like when it’s not an honest like. A like is like a review but it’s easier to show your enjoyment. A review takes time to write, while a like just takes the click of a button. The ease of clicking a button causes more people to click like on a website, even if they don’t have a clue what the website is about. The practice of ‘I give you a like and then you, in turn, are supposed to give me a like’ is absolutely wrong. First, why would you just like something to get a like in return? There isn’t anything honest about that. A like should only be given when you have honestly engaged and enjoyed the website or article. A like should not be automatic. I like a lot of things I read and websites I view, but that doesn’t mean they are ‘like’ material. I have seen where people are practically begging for likes because they need the validation that what they are doing has meaning. The problem is that most of the time they don’t care what you feel about their work, they just want a like. YouTube has views, which is similar to a like. The more views, the better the chance that some advertiser will want to pay you; the more likes, the more views, the more money. It’s always about money, isn’t it? When you like something, be honest about it. Don’t do it just because. Take the time to read, look at or engage the website. You never know, your like might help someone do something really great. Giving a false like might give that person a false sense of greatness that isn’t really there. Why would you want to hurt someone? Like everyone, I treasure when I receive a like, but I only want a like if it is honestly given. I appreciate any time you spend reading my blogs: Retirementanddogs.blog, Uniquethings.blog and blognewsmyopinion.com.
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Sneakers or Shoes – What Are You Wearing?

Sneakers have become a million dollar business. It is not just the big companies, such as Nike and Under Armour that are making money. Kids are making money by reselling their sneakers and even adding drawings and other items to sneakers to make them stand out in the crowd. I was recently introduced to Stock X, a sneaker website where you can buy or auction your sneakers. It is amazing when you realize that sneakers have separated themselves from shoes in the footwear industry. There are all types of people that wear sneakers, from the great-grandmother to the sports star. There are all kinds of sneakers for different needs, such as cross trainers, walking, sneakers that can track your steps and calories and Ecco. There are some sneakers that can cost a bundle of hundreds. That’s insane. Sneakers have seemed to replaced shoes for dressing up an outfit for occasions. People wear sneakers to weddings, funerals and anywhere else they might go. There is a certain comfort to sneakers that you just can’t get from shoes. Shoes, whatever happened to shoes? I think the most famous person was Imelda Marcos, who was the First Lady of the Philippines. When she fled her country, over a thousand pairs of shoes were allegedly found in her closet. That’s a lot of shoes! If you grew up in the 60s or 70s, you wore shoes to occasions such as Christmas, church and Easter. These shoes were usually patent leather. There were stores like Pay Less that sold shoes off a rack. Pay Less was very reasonable when you were poor. There were a lot of shoe stores that used the Pay Less model of sales to get people into the stores. It was less formal and more customer open. This model let people come in and get their shoes off a rack and try them on at their leisure. I think that’s when the realization arose that the shoe industry was in trouble. Sneakers were making their move slowly into being a force in the footwear industry. I grew up loving sneakers. When I was being shipped overseas to Germany in the late 70s, I took a suitcase with just sneakers in it. The airline consequently lost my suitcase and I was never to see those sneakers again. Now, there are all sorts of sports figures that endorse sneakers that sell for big money. There is a connection between a sports figure and his/her sneaker in that we, the customers, reason that by buying a certain sneaker we are all for that figure. Sneakers represent a style of cool relaxation. I’m a senior now, but I still love my sneakers; maybe not for the cool and relaxed effect, but just for comfort. I very seldom wear shoes now that I’m not working, but even to go to work I wore my sneakers and changed into shoes when I got to work. Shoes still serve a purpose, such as when you want to go on a date. There is something about sneakers that doesn’t seem right on a first date, but that too I feel is changing. It takes a lot of work to keep sneakers in pristine condition. When I washed my white Nike Air Max, I took the shoe laces out of the sneaker and put them in an old pillowcase. I washed them with borax and detergent and turned on the washing machine and hoped for the best. I was quite surprised at the end of the cycle, when I took them out of the pillowcase, they were white, like new white. My grandson told me to use an old toothbrush to clean them with, but I thought that was too much work. That’s when I decided to try the pillowcase method, and for me it worked. You can take away my shoes, but please leave my sneakers alone!

Throwaway People

We know of the people that we see on the streets that have been thrown away, by choice or circumstance. There are also throwaway people much closer to you, maybe in your very own home. These throwaway people can be given this label because we have mentally thrown them away. These people are isolated, just like the people you see on street corners or lurking in the dark shadows of the night. Who are these people? They are people who are ignored, bullied, abused, and isolated. Comparing these people to the homeless – they both need help. We, as a society, ignore throwaway people. We look at them and keep walking without a thought, but when you close your mind to those closest to you, you are doing the same as if that person was sleeping on the sidewalk. When we mentally throw away a person, it’s like they don’t exist. We ignore them. We turn our heads. We isolate them by not interacting. I feel that mentally throwing away a person is worse because these are the people you know and love. I often hear people say, “I tried,” or “I’m tired of trying,” when it comes to how they can mentally remove these people from their lives. The killings, to which we are becoming all too accustomed, could be the result of people been thrown away. The rapist could be the result of being mentally thrown away. The child bully could be the result of being thrown away. The reason I can say this is because we have the best babysitter in TV and video games. These things isolate our children, but parents throw their kids in front of a TV or a computer from an early age. The child grows up only interacting with a screen; it becomes a way of life. The child becomes an adult expected to live and act as an adult socially, but he/she doesn’t know how. The adult world shows no sympathy for that adult. When there are young people with weapons and stockpiles of ammo in the same house as the parent, I can only think that the child was mentally thrown away. When you have children killing themselves due to bullying and parental neglect, I have to think they were thrown away. I say this because no matter how tired you are and how many times you try, there is always something else you can do. It is hard to believe that there is nothing else. Can we honestly turn away from a problem that we ourselves might have created? The young person in your house who is on drugs – how can you throw them away mentally? The mentally ill child showing aggression – how can you mentally throw them away? The wife who is being abused – how can you throw her away? It’s way too easy to throw them away mentally. All you have to do is turn off the part of your brain that says, “I care, I love you,” and turn it into “I will not reach out to you.” All it takes is a flip of the switch in your brain and they are gone, even if they live in the same place as you and no matter the age. The answer to the problem is it’s not easy to keep that switch on when there are so many reasons to switch it to off. We, as a society, have to do something, and at this point anything is better than nothing at all. The heart and the brain sometimes have different approaches for how to deal with problems. Is one more right than wrong? I honestly can’t say. If you are waiting for me to give you a solution, then keep waiting. Honestly, I think each of us must take a look at our lives and ask ourselves: “Did I mentally throw away somebody rather than reach out to them?” I think you have to limit television, computers and video games and stick with it. You have give your time, which is not easy for a lot of people. We are so busy with our own lives that we swear we don’t have time. There’s always time! If it’s kids – you spend time, you listen, you relate, you be empathetic, and most of all, you keep that switch on. You might try having specifically designated family time each day. You can try family reunions, so you can get more of your family involved. These are just a few things off the top of my head. I just hope that we stop mentally throwing people away. And the next time you see a homeless person, don’t turn away, but show some empathy.