Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

hands in heart formation     Why can’t we all just get along?
     This question seems to be on everyone’s mind these days. Arguing and discord have taken over entire aspects of daily life.
     What happened to the concept of agreeing to disagree and moving forward? Instead, people want to create drama, and lots of it. It is totally unnecessary, divisive and destructive.
     I am not suggesting we all join a commune and sing “Kumbaya” all day. But can’t we have a dialogue without fear of retribution?
     For instance, I recently went to a Chevy dealership to have my car serviced. I sat in the waiting area reading through a manuscript when an older gentleman sat next to me.
     He greeted me, “Hello there, Miss Teacher.”
     I smiled. “I’m not a teacher. I’m an author. I’m reading through a draft of one of my books.”
      “That’s very interesting.”
     Then he asked the usual follow-up questions. We bantered back and forth for several minutes. Then, I returned to editing.
     The television was tuned in to a morning show. Someone mentioned the Pope.
     Then the guy next to me made a derogatory comment about Catholics.
     I said, “That wasn’t very nice. I’m Catholic.”
     In hindsight, I should have kept my mouth shut.
     He accosted me, “Well, they don’t teach you Catholics anything. I’m a retired Baptist minister. I know what I’m talking about. Your Bible is even wrong.”
     Ugh. Here we go.
     Defending my upbringing, I said, “I went through twelve years of Catholic school. In my opinion, I received an excellent education.”
     Shaking his head and wagging his index finger, he attacked, “I’m talking about religious education. All I know is that you people don’t know your Bible at all. And you certainly don’t know anything about religion because they didn’t teach you anything right.”
     Seriously? I just want to edit my pages in peace. Why can’t I do that? Because you opened your mouth, Suzanne. That’s why.
     At this point, two people who were seated near us got up and moved to another part of the waiting room.
     Chickens.
     I was now sitting all alone with this guy.
     Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.
     Trying to defuse the situation, I replied, “I understand that that’s your opinion. You are entitled to it.”
     Looking for a fight, he challenged, “I can prove it to you.”
     Heavy sigh.
     Almost daring me, he said, “You just have to answer a few questions.”
     My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
     I resigned myself to answering his questions because he was going to ask them no matter what anyway. And honestly, I wanted to prove the pompous ass wrong.
     With a gleam in his eyes, he questioned, “Are you ready?”
     Annoyed, I responded, “Go ahead.”
      “What’s the definition of ‘Catholic’?”
     I quickly replied, “Universal.”
      “Hmm. Okay, you got that one right.”
     I waited for the next question.
      “What does ‘ritual’ mean?”
     Happy the question was easy, I said, “It’s something you do over and over again.”
     Disappointed, he admitted, “You got that one too.”
     Of course I did. I’m not a moron.
     With an almost sinister look and tone, he asked, “Where do you go when you die?”
     “We were taught that if you’re good, you go to Heaven. If you’re bad, you go to Hell. But there’s also Purgatory. Some call it Limbo…”
     Interrupting, he yelled, “There’s no such thing as Purgatory! Show me where it’s mentioned in the Bible. You can’t. You know why? Because it’s not there! There’s no Purgatory in the Bible.”
     I don’t know about Purgatory, but I am definitely in Hell right now! How do I know? Because I’m sitting in an auto repair service waiting room defending Catholic teachings to a former Baptist minister. If that isn’t one of Dante’s circles of Hell, it should be!
     I countered, “You’re asking me questions based on what I was taught. So, I am telling you what I was taught.”
     Goading me, he questioned, “So do you believe everything you were taught? Even if it’s not in the Bible?”
     Friends, I am way too smart to answer that question.
     I stonewalled. “Purgatory isn’t mentioned by name, but some passages describe such a place. But it doesn’t matter what I believe. I am answering your questions based on your premise of that I wasn’t taught anything. Next question, please.”
     He demanded, “Tell me what you believe.”
      “I’m not going to argue with you. Next question, please.”
     Clearly not happy that I would not debate him, he asked, “What’s a cathedral?”
      “It’s a special type of church.”
      “Not good enough.”
     As I pondered what to say next, a male voice behind us shouted, “Purewal?”
     I have never jumped up from a chair so fast. I waved my hand vigorously. “Here!”
     The guy looked a bit startled at my reaction. No one is ever that enthusiastically happy to talk to a service technician.
     I swept up my belongings in both arms. Clutching my stuff against my chest to keep it from falling on the floor, I headed in the technician’s direction while bidding the retired Baptist minister a very hasty, “Adieu.
     The technician informed me they cleared out the trouble codes. However, they could not duplicate the condition.
     Of course not. So I’ll have to come back again.
     I can only hope and pray that former Baptist minister will not be there the next time I visit.
     I still do not understand why a perfect stranger felt compelled to antagonize me. He wanted a fight, and he was clearly disappointed that I would not argue with him.
     What is important to me is if you live a good life and are a giving, caring and loving person. Do no harm. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
     Instead of trying to find ways to divide and conquer, I ask you to find ways to include and unite. Love one another, and be good to one another. It’s just that simple.

     If you have questions about Purgatory, here’s a blog that goes into detail: http://www.catholic.com/blog/tim-staples/is-purgatory-in-the-bible

#loveoneanother #trytogetalong

Copyright © 2016 by Suzanne Purewal

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A Shape-Shifter, a Sex Addict and a Dominant Male Sign In To Match

     Many of you wondered if I cancelled my Match subscription. Yes, I did, for a little while. But like a moth to a flame, I went back. Some of the old faces were still there. But there was also a new batch of men from which to choose. So, today’s “Mis-Matched to Miss Matched” installment will be about the new breed of guys on Match.

     First up is a man claiming to be 50. However, he looked more like 65.
     In his first e-mail, he said, “Science and technology are also a substantial part of my life, I’m on my third 3D printer as well as having machining capabilities in my garage. I do have one minor abnormality I should probably tell you about antlers yep antlers thought they were horns but they fall off every spring. Kind of sucks in the fall I have to stay in, damn hunters. I like watching football so it’s not all bad. Right now I look perfectly normal but in a month or so they’re start to grow back. I’ve had people think there were tumors but nope antlers. It could be worse just ask my brother Rudy.”
     Do I want to know what he is making with those 3D printers? What’s frightening is that he actually wore out two of them, so he is on his third. Ponder that a minute.
     As far as shape-shifting into a reindeer is concerned, reindeers do not turn me on. If he had said he could morph into a unicorn, then that would have piqued my interest. I could have definitely made it work with a unicorn!

     The next unlucky bachelor was 60 and lived in Florida.
     “Your profile is very intriguing…but you might be too young and immature for me.”
     I agree with the young part. The insult on my maturity was uncalled for. Do women respond to that? Does anyone? Oh, the things I wanted to write! But I took the high road.
     I responded, “Thank you for your interest. But the age difference would be an issue. I wish you luck finding a match.”
     “Same to you. The age diff would likely be an insurmountable challenge. Maybe you will mature. Or not…likely.”
     I think I will call him a “verbal abuser.” That guy has issues. I can only imagine what insults he would hurl in person.

     The next bachelor’s profile stated he was 48. In reality, he was over 50. He admitted that during our first phone call. He said no one responded to him when he claimed his real age. He also told me that he had an additional child that he did not include in his profile. His older kids were teenagers. But he had a fling with a 20-something and now has a toddler too.
     He boasted about his high IQ and his accomplishments. His accomplishments were many, and I believe he will continue to contribute to his field of study and beyond.
     However, things went askew during the second phone call when he started telling me about his sex life. Brace yourself, people.
     He claimed to have had sex with over 300 women. No, that’s not a typo. He liked having a harem. Back in the day, he had approximately ten women in his harem at a time. They all knew about each other. So, in his mind, that made it acceptable.
     He stated, “I expect sex on the first date. My success rate is 87%.”
     Stunned, I answered, “I would never have sex with someone on a first date.”
     “Then you wouldn’t get a second date.”
     “That’s fine because I wouldn’t want to go out with someone who demands sex before we even know each other.”
     He bragged, “And I never use protection. I’m allergic to latex.”
     Disgusted, I replied, “I can’t even imagine all of the diseases you have or have had.”
     He shrugged it off. “Nothing that a pill or a shot in the ass couldn’t fix.”
     Repulsed, I said, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
     Then he admitted, “Well, I do have herpes. But everybody has herpes.”
     I argued, “No, they don’t! I don’t have herpes!”
     Nonchalantly, he commented, “It’s nothing anyway.”
      Oh. My. God!
     Then he decided to tell me the craziest thing he had done sexually.
     Trust me, it was bad. Really bad. Gross, disgusting bad. Bad enough to make my body involuntarily shiver as I covered my mouth in disgust. I am glad I heard it over the phone. I can only imagine what my reaction would have been in person.
     When I refused to meet him, he got really angry. I was worried of catching something just being in the same room with him.
     The next “conversation” was via texting. He proceeded to insult me at length and used statistics to justify his generalizations about me. He pontificated on and on about how I was the one with problems, not him.
     I argued, “You’re way off base. I’m not an ice princess nor am I mentally ill. I’m just not interested in being part of your wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am harem club.”
     Ignoring me, he continued, “I know my assessment of you is correct. I can base my conclusions on my experience. Since my sample size is so large, statistically, my results and conclusions are valid.”
     I pointed out, “But the women you attract are not a good cross-section of the entire female population. Your results are skewed because of it.”
     “No. I’m always right about women.”
     And that was the end of that.
     The irony was that I felt sorry for him. Several women in his life disappointed him early on. The trend continued, and in essence, broke him. He was unfulfilled and angry at the world. Believe it or not, I did say a prayer for him. He is never going to be happy travelling down the road he is on. I hope he eventually finds peace.

     The last bachelor in today’s episode was an artist.
     His first e-mail read: “Marry me.”
     Jokingly, I replied, “If you didn’t have dogs, I’d consider it.”
     “I don’t have dogs. It’s a typo.”
     Technically, it was not a typo. You have to pick a selection from a menu. If you do not have pets, you skip the section.
     Then he sent me a list of his deal breakers:

     “Heres my deal breakers….what are yours?
     1.) Alpha personalities (which are usually validated through tough ., hypervigilance, and worldly experience) then usually manifest out into a reactionary temperamental disposition which culminates in “not so good” communication, hurt feelings, and an emotional withdrawal from the gentle, nurturing, tenderness and understanding that a relationship needs to galvanize a good foundation.
     2.) Country Music (love the lyrics, don’t like the redundant “twang”) i.e. it’s too “traditional” and not “out of the box-ish”.
     3.) Tacky low-rent tattoos
     4.) Competitiveness
     5.) OCD ( obsessive-compulsive disorder
     6.) Manics and hypomania
     7.) A foul mouth (the “f” word etc)
     8.) Slow-progressive-placated functional alcoholism (when a person is slowly on their way to an addiction through self -medicating with liquor).
     9.) Anything KARDASHIAN. (The Kardashians represent a very self-entitled, self preserving, materialistic, ostentatious way to be as a human being.)
     Everything else I can work with …………….. giggles”

     I admit, I agree with most of the items on his list. However, the two that were issues for me were “alpha personalities” and “competitiveness.”
     He sent me a link to an article he wrote about women. He wrote, in part, “…one of the most revealing and toxic awakenings in our culture today: The emergence of the Alpha personality in women and it’s pervasive influence in the symbiotic growth of the union of woman and man.”
     Wow! And double wow! I just got thrown back to the 1950s. And the editor in me wanted to correct his errors, but I left them.
     I did not lose to boys on purpose when I was young, and I am certainly not going to start doing that now.
     I was taught to always do my best. That way you challenge yourself and others. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Not everyone goes home with a trophy. It also taught us sportsmanship and how to win and lose gracefully.
     The competitor in me could not resist responding to the notion of acquiescing at all times. I typed, “As far as being competitive goes, I won’t lose to a man on purpose. If a guy’s ego is that fragile, then he’s not for me.”
     I knew his reply would be negative because I was goading him. Oh, shame on me!
     “i really dont care for your statement … this tells me theres an unecessary competitive streak in you that im not gonna dig. ..take care”
     That is perfectly fine by me because the last time I checked, the year was 2016.

     I believe that some friendly competition is perfectly acceptable in any healthy relationship. Remember to always celebrate each other’s strengths and triumphs. Do not dwell on the negatives or weaknesses. Build each other up!
     To borrow the Army’s old slogan, “Be All That You Can Be.” Life is too short to do anything else.

Copyright © 2016 by Suzanne Purewal