Wedding Wisdom – From a Teenaged Boy – Seriously

“I’m supposed to give tips on how to have a long and happy marriage – but honestly I’m too young to know what marriage really is. All I can say is: If my Dad turns out to be as loving and supportive a husband to Pam as he is a father to me, then we will all live a very blessed life” the under-aged Best Man lifted his glass of champagne as a tear welled up in the groom’s eye. The bride stood, stunningly sweet in her exquisitely laced soft pink gown and moved toward her 15 year old new step-son. They hugged. And the wedding guests applauded with sincerity and warmth.

Wow – what a weekend I’ve had. My own Prince Charming and I traveled to New York City this past weekend to attend a wedding of his former submarine buddy. While I did have to bring a little of my day job with me, we still managed to cram in three days full of love and excitement. And the Best Man toast was the most memorable 90 seconds of the trip.

I am so excited to share more of the details of the trip – the Sunday afternoon wedding reception rescheduled after the hurricane; the cab dash to find a Broadway Show; the reunion dinner of sailors who sailed Russian waters during the Cold War; and the hand in hand stroll through New York in the fall.

Can I beg for your patience as I catch up on life? I promise to share a piece of this adventure one NYC sized bite at a time. But today, I have a boss back home nagging to me to close a big deal.

For today, though, pay attention to the kids. They are smarter than we were – of this I am quite certain. I’m beginning to think if we took a little bit more time out of our busy lives to hear them, they may just share a couple of pearls of youthful hope that otherwise is overshadowed by the traditional arrogance found in teenage angst.

And thank you, Jim & Pam Mattiello, for letting us share a moment in time with you and your family.

Loving Regards,


Creative Cure for Boredom and Routine

I  must declare that I have found the most spectacular resource for Toad Kissers at all levels! Whether, my dear friends, you are an apprentice or have become a legacy toad kisser, is a must-use.

(if you are unfamiliar with your level, please revisit Finding Your Voice – a post from September)

This summer I’ve had some of the most amazing “firsts” that I can remember, and it is only getting better….

First Segway Tour
First Membership to the Botanical Gardens
First Opening night at the Symphony

And now I am looking forward to a Haunted Mansion to celebrate October.

Don’t these sound like simply wonderful ways to kiss a toad? Now I do have to admit
that my toad is truly a handsome prince, but I love discovering new adventures  with him. While we have mastered the art of toad kissing, we truly have not  settled in to becoming boring to each other.

Last night was the perfect fairy tale date with my handsome prince – front row and enter to the opening night of the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra. He and I sat hand in hand anticipating the sounds of Dukas, Dvorak, Gershwin and Saint-Saens. Not  that I have any strong familiarity with these composers – my experience is a couple of Music Appreciation classes and my Xirius XM Pops station in the car. I know enough to recognize the sounds of the composition but I couldn’t name an Opus to save my life.

As Maestro Donato Cabrera lifted his arms to his debut season, the sounds of the horn section boomed from behind us. The notes came under and through the seats as if to lift us right onto stage with the cellos. It was beautiful and overwhelming. Maestro  then turned his arms to the audience and invited us into his art by singing our National Anthem.

When thesorrowful sounds of Dukas came through the passion of the violin solo, I saw a tear mist into Prince Charming’s eye. That’s is! We’re hooked. We are in love with the Strings, the Wine and the Maestro. We are in love with the Symphony. Who’d
have thought Groupon could spark such a passion?

This morning as I board the plane on yet another business trip, I have the time to
reflect back to my traumas of the single-life. I remember how the thought of hang to suffer through another coffee date at the local Barnes & Noble made my brow tense and my stomach turn. While this is a pleasant way to meet a blind or semi-blind date, we all seem to busy anymore to really put any creativity to work.

Thus, my new love affair with Groupon!

Fellow toad kissers, imagine that you invite a love prospect to join you on a rafting
adventure during full summer bloom or even a Midwest Wine Tasting festival held
on a lake frozen over from the mid-winter sub-zeros. Don’t these ideas perk
your mind and therefore also your excitement?

For my married toad kissers, wouldn’t you be caught off guard if your spouse
surprised you with tickets to an Art Festival just to find a way to reconnect
during your chaotic lives?

And for my friends who have recently taken hiatus from kissing our amphibious little critters, how about a girls day at a spa, or a fishing charter on the Great Lakes?

Now what if I were to tell you that you can do all of these things using the power
of the commonwealth of toad kissers united?

That’s right, Groupon is my new favorite site that harnesses the buying power of the
masses to bring bargain bin prices on fantastic experiences! Thank you, Groupon, for sending such intoxicating suggestions for date night, family vacations, romantic scapes and other such luxuries.

So, fellow toad kissers and friends, go out and explore, and then watch how much more interesting you become to your love interests or friends. You never know, the girl you have been struggling to ask out might just be waiting to say yes to the first guy who offers her a guided horseback tour through the Shenandoah.

Collette’s Law of the Wooded Area

Note the “guided” description of the horseback tour – a critical law of toad kissing is to always have first dates in public areas and to have witnesses in whispering distance if venturing into the cover of the woods. If help is as far away as a scream, you should be certain that the person you are with can be trusted with the cheese knife in your picnic basket.