30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

Here is a great list of things you must stop doing before you can truly pursue your passion. So, if you are falling short in making your dreams reality, check out this list to see what you need to change!

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The Foreign Contingent

     Welcome to another installment of my “Mis-Matched to Miss Matched” series! The Match bachelors in this post were all born outside of the United States.
     Indiana’s state motto is “The Crossroads of America.” And apparently, we are creating quite the melting pot in Indianapolis. Diversity is a good thing for “Honest-to-Goodness Indiana.” If you know me, you know I love learning about new cultures and traditions.
     Many of you also know that my ex-husband is Indian. His family is from the Punjab region in India. Yes, we had an Indian wedding.
     Anyway…I was contacted by bachelors from fourteen different countries, including India, Pakistan, Greece, Lebanon, Iran, England, Japan and Canada.
     Somehow, I attracted all of the Indian men within a fifty-mile radius. And 99% of them were doctors. Amazingly enough, they were deep into poetry and spirituality. As a poet, that intrigued me, because, let’s face it, most men are not keen on poetry.
     The conversations were interesting, enlightening and intellectual. One of the guys was even Punjabi. He was thrilled beyond belief that I knew what that meant. However, there was an element lacking with each and every one—chemistry.
     So let’s move on to merry old England. The phone conversation with the English guy was so awful it was like pulling teeth. I started fantasizing about my own version of My Fair Lady. I would be a kind professor teaching this brute of a man how to become a real gentleman.
     The Iranian, a self-advertised non-smoker, had a smoker’s cough so bad, I thought he’d cough up a lung during our phone conversation. I felt compelled to lecture him on the dangers of smoking. But that would have required me to listen to him cough longer. Ugh.
     The Pakistani bachelor’s profile pictures portrayed a tall, dark and handsome man. He seemed nice on the phone, but I couldn’t understand him most of the time. He sent me pictures of flowers. He said it was his way of giving me flowers. Sweet. But I did not grant him a live date. I knew I would have spent the entire night asking him to repeat himself. That wouldn’t have been enjoyable for either of us.
     The Greek candidate passed the phone interview. In person, he was gorgeous. Perfect olive complexion, thick black curly hair and a smile that almost knocked me over. He walked with confidence and had a magnificent personality. But alas, he wanted babies. Lots and lots of babies.
     Why does God hate me?!? Why???
     Then there was the bachelor from Japan. His introductory email read: “Hello! Have you traveled to Japan? What kind of cooking do you like? Do you like sushi?”
     My mind answered quickly, “No, I haven’t. The kind of cooking someone else does. Sushi? Way to stereotype yourself.” Sheesh.
     His height was listed as 5’1”. I’m almost 5’7”. And I don’t wear flats. Even my flip flops are wedges. Talk about an odd couple. With my lowest heels being two inches, we would be eight inches different in height. He would look like my child, not my date. That’s all sorts of wrong.
     The Lebanese bachelor was great on the phone. In person, he literally looked like Andre the Giant. Albeit, he was a bit shorter at 6’6”. He was boorish and drank like a fish. I stopped counting after six mixed drinks in less than an hour and a half. I would have left sooner, but it took forever to get the food. Hey, a girl has to eat. The redeeming feature of the night was that the food was good.
     The French Canadian guy took the cake. Period. Hands down winner.
      “I would love to get to know you more better and see how it goes between us, I am mixed race, Dad Canada, Mum America. I lived in Canada all my life.”
     I laughed as I read it. But based on the rest of the email, I knew he was serious about the “mixed race” part. After the initial email exchange, he revealed that he was working in Africa. He would require me to move to Canada as soon as possible to help raise his young son.
     Move to Canada? To raise his son while he’s in Africa? Um, no!
      “I’m sorry, but long distance relationships don’t work for me. I wish you luck finding a match.”
     I figured that would be the end of that. Au contraire, mes amis.
      “I quite understand how you mean but I seriously do not see distance as a barrier in a relationship in as much as true love and affection till the end of time.”
      “I’m sorry, no.”
      “I believe things happen for a reason, a connection happens when the right person comes.”
      “I’m sorry. I will not move to Canada. I am not the right person for you.”
      “Just thought it would be a nice idea to know some things about each other, it will be my pleasure to get to know more about you and answer the following love questions.”
     There were thirty-eight “love questions” that followed. Thirty-eight! There were basic questions, such as, “What do you seek in a relationship?” But there were slightly ambiguous questions, such as, “Do you like public intimacy?”
     I wasn’t sure if he was asking about public displays of affection or if I liked having sex in public places.
     The very last question on his “love questions” list was, “Would you hit your man for any reason?”
     I wanted to answer, “Yes, if he repeatedly ignored every word I said and sent me a list of thirty-eight ‘love questions’ to answer even though I’m clearly not interested. In that case, I might have to smack him upside the head.”
     Instead, my reply to his “love questions” email was simple. “Non. Non, merci. Bonne chance à vous.”
     And that was finally the end of that. Maybe he just didn’t understand “no” in English.

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

My Review of The Book of Mormon

     I was thrilled to have a ticket for opening night of The Book of Mormon in Indianapolis. I had been looking forward to seeing this show for ages.
     When I told some friends I was seeing The Book of Mormon, they said they love going to the pageant every year.
      “Um, I’m not going to the Hill Cumorah Pageant. I’m going to The Book of Mormon. There’s an enormous difference.”
     The pageant is a wholesome family-friendly event, rated “G.” The Broadway show, which won nine (9) Tony Awards, gets a big, bold flashing neon “R” rating.
     For those unfamiliar with the Hill Cumorah Pageant, every year, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints puts on a grand show about their origin, near Palmyra, New York. I am including the link to the pageant, in case you are curious. Although I have never been, I have heard it is quite the spectacle and fun for the whole family. http://www.hillcumorah.org/Pageant/
     The Book of Mormon, on the other hand, is a religious satire musical about two Mormon missionaries sent to Uganda. Here is a link to the opening number that was performed on network television at the 2012 Tony Awards. I love the interaction with other stars, you will too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy5K8ApSzhI
     The Book of Mormon was written by the South Park guys, not the South Pacific guys. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are not Rodgers and Hammerstein. Although the latter might be impressed with the former’s orchestral score, they might have been appalled with the profanity peppered throughout the lyrics.
     I was not appalled. I was amused and entertained. I know…I hear gasping from all directions. I can feel prayers being offered up to save my soul. Sorry gentle readers, but I go to the theater to be entertained. I knew what the show was about before I bought my ticket. So, I was prepared.
     As I flipped through the Playbill, I noticed that the Mormons had bought three pages of advertising space. I thought that was awesome. They were not protesting or picketing, they bought advertising, which in turn supported the show. Obviously, they can take a joke. So, we should be able to as well.
     The Murat Theatre was jam-packed. I am guessing that the show was sold out. Unfortunately, the air conditioning was not working. So we were dying of heat. But the show went on!
     The performances by the cast members were stellar. Very high energy. You could tell they loved what they were doing. You saw it in their facial expressions. You heard it in the notes they sang. You felt it in the steps they danced. This troupe was having a blast. From what I observed, most of the audience members enjoyed it as much as I did.
     The satire and social commentary were sharp and in your face. Did some of it go too far? Yes. Could they have cut out all of the swearing? Most definitely. But then it would not have had the same impact.
     Parker and Stone are smart and witty creative geniuses. They are not about decency and decorum. They are about shock and awe. All of their works are over-the-top by design. They get people talking about controversial social issues. And that is the point. They are forcing a dialogue. In that, they have succeeded. Not to mention, they have made millions of dollars in the process. Good for them.
     If I still went to confession every week, this week’s session would start like this, “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. I loved The Book of Mormon and would definitely see it again.”
     The priest might give me five Our Fathers, ten Hail Marys and a Glory Be as my penance. But it would be worth it!
     Yes, I highly recommend this show, but only to people who are not easily offended. This show is not for ultra-conservative, deeply devout and/or religious people. The material is blasphemous and sacrilegious. If you will be making the sign of the cross or searching for your rosary beads when the “F” word and “God” are uttered in the same sentence, then do not go. I repeat, do not go.
     There might have been more “F” bombs dropped during this show than on any Sopranos episode, and I believe it rivaled the total in most Quentin Tarantino films.
     A dismayed friend could not understand how I enjoyed this performance. It was a clever artistic piece of work. Just because I appreciate a performance does not mean that I am going to stop believing in God or that I am going to run around swearing up a storm.
     I am Catholic, and I pray at least one rosary every day. But I can still laugh when something is smart and funny. And I never say the “F” word, let alone the “F” word and “God” in the same sentence. So, I think I’m good. But just in case, I’ll do my self-imposed penance anyway!

     For more information on The Book of Mormon, here’s the official link: http://bookofmormonbroadway.com/

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

Happy Father’s Day!

     What can I say about my dad? He is the most hardworking, loving and intelligent man I know. He would do anything in the world for me, my brother and my mom. He is a good man. Plain and simple. Of course, there are times when he drives us all nuts, but that’s part of his quintessential charm.
     Dad is the life of every party. When his blue eyes twinkle, God only knows what he’s thinking or what’s coming next. He is definitely not the most politically correct person you will ever meet, but he is one of the most entertaining. The songs he wrote for his coworkers’ retirement parties were legendary. He even had backup singers. And those backup singers accompanied me during the retirement song I wrote and performed for him.
     People who meet my mother for the first time usually start the conversation with, “We always wondered who could put up with him. Is he like that all the time?”
     She answers, “Yes, he is. We’ve been together for over fifty years. And I haven’t killed him yet.”
     However, there were times when we wondered if he was trying to kill us. His vacations were death-defying adventures. Seriously. If we didn’t come close to getting maimed or killed, it wasn’t a good vacation. He got several ideas from those nice people in National Geographic. That should paint you a better picture right there.
     Imagine if you will a 9-year-old and a 12-year-old and their parents, wearing regular sneakers, carrying no food or water, clinging to chains driven into the side of a cliff with railroad spikes, navigating narrow ledges to reach Havasu Falls at the bottom of The Grand Canyon. Oh, I forgot to mention that we also had heavy camera equipment around our necks. That crazy family was us. We have the pictures and video to prove it.
     Growing up, Dad was the cool dad. He rigged up a car stereo and 6×9 speakers in the garage, so we could listen to music outside. He would play oldies or rock, sometimes country. This was while the neighbor across the street was broadcasting Willie Nelson, or the soundtrack from Evita or the soundtrack from Les Mis.
     Don’t get me wrong, I love Evita and Les Mis now, but listening to those soundtracks as a child was depressing. So, thank God, Dad’s system was louder. To this day, he still cranks it up loud. Of course now that might be because his hearing isn’t what it used to be.
     When he would bring home a new car, the neighborhood boys would come over to “oooh” and “aaah” over it. They’d ask tons of questions that he was more than happy to answer. Then he’d spend the next two hours washing it.
     I think I volunteered him to be the DJ for my 8th grade ’50s/’60s sock hop. He lugged his record player, a slew of records, stereo system and speakers to the school. Everybody, including the teachers, had a blast. He even came up with a trivia game and handed out prizes.
     In high school, he took me to all of the Father/Daughter Dinner Dances. We danced energetically to the fast songs. And we serenaded each other as we danced to the slow songs. We were quite the pair!
     He was proud when I followed in his footsteps and went to GMI Engineering & Management Institute. (It was General Motors Institute when he went there.) I was mortified when I had to explain my Dad’s nickname for me to my college roommate. She answered the phone, and he thought it was me and greeted her, “Hi, Poozlet!”
     Yeah, don’t ask.
     On my wedding day, we were alone in the bride’s room waiting to walk down the aisle. I was nervous, and he was making jokes trying to calm my nerves. But then he got serious for a moment. He said, “I’m assuming your mother had the talk with you.”
     Oh dear God. Did he really just say that? I’m going to die now. Of embarrassment or something. I laughed. Mom and I had the talk when I was ten years old.
      “Yeah, Dad. We had the talk.”
      “Okay. Good.”
     I wonder what he would have done if I had said, “No.” I can only imagine!
     Mom and Dad came to stay with me when I had cancer. I remember waking up from surgery. Mom wore her usual cheerful caregiver smile. But Dad had what we now jokingly refer to as “Dad Face.”
     “Dad Face” is the look he gets when he wants to fix whatever is wrong, but is helpless to do so. Because ultimately, it is out of his control. It’s a very concerned, worried, loving look.
     Mom and I learned quickly that we had to assign him some tasks. That way he felt useful and accomplished something.
     When I was going through my divorce, “Dad Face” returned. Heck, for a while, Mom even had “Dad Face.” Actually, almost everyone I knew had “Dad Face.” Hard not to since I was sobbing at the drop of a hat.
     Anyway, now that Dad’s retired, he’s busier than ever. When he’s not out washing his cars or doing yardwork, he’s fishing. He frequently says, “A bad day of fishing is still better than the best day at work.”
     Mr. Catch and Release has said it enough times, we believe him. Plus, he does come back with some really interesting fish stories. However, it still boggles the mind. This is a man who is always in a rush and hates waiting in lines. Yet, he will spend hours, days and sometimes weeks fishing. Sometimes on the shore or in a boat. Most of the time in waders standing chest deep in a stream.
     Fly fishing is his favorite type of fishing. Although he sometimes uses corn. Niblets to be precise. From a can. Apparently, it works. He’s catching a lot of fish with niblets. Who knew? Niblets!
     And when he’s not fishing, he’s planning meals. Breakfast with his brothers, Old Farts luncheons (his words, not mine), and dinners with everyone else my parents know. Their social calendar is booked out for weeks. They are popular people. Well, I guess with him you do get a meal and a comedy act.
     Most of all, my Dad wants me to be happy and feel loved. I consider myself very lucky, blessed, happy and loved because I have him for a Dad. And no matter how old I get, I will always be his little girl.

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

The Dreaded Oil Change

     Bright and early this morning, I brought my vehicle in for an oil change. It was a scheduled complimentary oil change at a nearby auto dealership. I groan just typing the words. I hate having the oil changed in my vehicle. Even for free. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to do it myself. But I am a woman, going into an auto dealership, and all I want is a simple oil change.
     In my mind, I had already formulated the extra things they were going to try to convince me that I “need.” The air filter was an absolute given. Other items in the potential running were fuel filter, brake pads, system flush, A/C recharge, tire rotation, or the ever popular dissertation on tire wear and how all the tires need to be replaced.
     I was greeted by a friendly customer service specialist, Ray. He was a smiley, happy-go-lucky kind of guy. Not your typical specialist. Anyway, he was courteous and showed me to the waiting area.
     There were two other “guests” waiting already. They both ignored the television that had ESPN blaring. I brought a book to read, but the tv was so loud, I couldn’t concentrate.
     Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Pocono. So, my dad’s happy. But California Chrome’s owner was anything but happy. By now, most of The Free World knew that. I give him credit for not stringing together a long bunch of expletives on camera. Lord knows he probably wanted to. And I loved how his wife (she was standing behind him) was poking him trying to get him to calm down during the interview. Priceless!
     I was saved from having to hear the baseball updates by the sudden wailing of a high-pitched screeching alarm. It wasn’t a car alarm. It was the building alarm. The other “guests” and I looked at each other briefly. They went back to what they were doing. I looked around to try to identify the problem. I didn’t smell smoke or see a fire. And there was an exit door directly in front of me. So, I could escape if the situation warranted.
     A guy walked out of his office and looked around in all directions before returning to his office. A second guy did the same thing. A few moments later, my buddy, Ray, came from the service area and looked around.
     I said, “That alarm is really annoying. Nobody seems to be turning it off.”
     He replied, “Huh! That’s odd.” Then he walked off.
     A minute or so later, a salesman walked to the keypad near the front door. He pressed something.
     Nothing.
     From an office, a voice yelled, “Just press ‘Silence.’”
     The salesman yelled back, “I did! It didn’t work!”
     The office voice shouted, “It should have!”
     The salesman shouted back, “It didn’t!”
     Another salesman appeared. “Did you press ‘Silence?’”
     Salesman #1 replied, “Yeah. It didn’t work.”
     Salesman #2 grunted. “Hmmm. Should’ve worked.”
     Salesman #3 approached, carrying a cup of coffee. “It needs a code.”
     Salesman #1 yelled, “Does anybody know the code?”
     The faceless office voice responded, “I don’t know the code. Does Joe know the code?”
     Salesman #2 said, “No. Joe doesn’t know the code.”
     Salesman #1 stated, “Somebody has to have the code.”
     Salesman #3 replied, “Doug knows the code.”
     Salesman #1 asked, “Where’s Doug?”
     Salesman #3 shrugged. “He’s not working today.”
     Salesman #1 swore, “Jesus Christ! Does anyone else know the code?!”
     The faceless office voice offered, “Let me ask Ann. She might know who has the code.”
     Sorry, but this was hysterical. I tried not to laugh out loud. But I guess I could have because they wouldn’t have heard me over the stupid alarm! I was also wondering where the police were. This was the building alarm. The cops should have shown up by now. We’re going on twenty minutes. My home ADT system dispatches the police to my house. They arrive in less than five minutes. How I know that is a story for another day!
     Anyway, as you might have guessed, Ann knew the code. She took care of the alarm. Thank you, Ann. Although why she didn’t take care of it without prompting was beyond me.
     By this time, Ray was approaching me with my air filter. I braced myself as he started his spiel.
     “No, thanks. I’ll keep it for a bit longer.” It didn’t look that terrible. My furnace filter has looked worse.
     Ray didn’t argue. He continued, “The wipers are a bit worn.”
     I declined those as well.
     Then he did the unimaginable. He said, “Okay,” and walked away.
     I was confused. I was prepared to say, “No,” at least a few more times. Huh!
     After signing the paperwork for $0.00, I left, smiling! The entire process took thirty-four minutes. That was the best oil change experience I’ve ever had. And they threw in a complimentary comedy act too! Bonus!

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal