I’m Not Like Other Guys

     This is the 6th installment of my Mis-Matched to Miss Matched series, and it’s dedicated to just one bachelor.
     Bachelor #27 and I shared so many interests, it was unbelievable. Every line I read, I smiled and nodded my head. And no pets! Thank goodness. The computer screen told me that we were a 100% match! Could this be possible? After all I’ve been through already, I hoped, and I prayed.
     I’m not revealing his age or profession for reasons that will become clear as you read on.
     After a few email exchanges, we spoke on the phone. His voice was velvety smooth, an easy listening radio voice for sure. That first phone conversation lasted two hours. It felt like mere minutes. We chatted like old friends who were catching up after not speaking for a few months.
     We met for dinner shortly thereafter. Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome displayed impeccable manners and was very complimentary to me.
     We had similar hobbies and the exact same taste in music. He was also a muscle car guy. A GM muscle car guy. Thank God he wasn’t a Ford or Chrysler guy. (No offense to Ford or Chrysler guys, but I know GM cars. I don’t know squat about the others.)
     Several dinners followed. We enjoyed each other’s company tremendously.
     Then one evening, he said, “We need to talk.”
     Oh crap. Nothing good ever follows those words. I braced myself.
     “There’s something I need to tell you.”
     Maybe his ex’s name is tattooed on him somewhere. Or he’s a convicted felon. A serial killer. Bodies buried in the backyard. I could be next. Mom was right! Or he’s married. Or an illegal alien. Or he works for the Mob. Or worse, he liked “50 Shades of Grey.”
     “I’ve wanted to tell you for some time now.”
     “Okay. I’m listening.”
     “I’m not like other guys.”
     At that moment, I flashed back to the beginning of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. Those were the words Michael said to his date before he turned into the werewolf. Oh crap.
     “I like ************censored*************.”
     Huh? I was speechless. Utterly. Totally. Speechless. For the first time in my life, I had no words. None.
     This man who I thought could be, “The One,” just confessed his fetish to me. Picture me sitting there stunned. Really stunned. Deer in the headlights stunned.
     Hopefully my mouth wasn’t hanging open. I don’t remember. But it’s fully in the realm of possibility.
     My mind tried to process the words he had spoken. So many questions raced through my mind.
     “Say something.”
     Here is the unfortunate question that popped out: “Does this mean you play for both teams?”
     Disappointed, he answered, “No. I’m straight.”
     “Okay.” Meaning, okay, I heard you. But I still didn’t know what to think.
     I don’t have a problem with this fetish, in general. It’s not illegal or immoral. And I consider myself an open and accepting person. I don’t judge people’s actions when consenting adults are involved.
     “Think about it.”
     There was no doubt in my mind that’s all I would be thinking about in the near future. The question remained, “Could I live with it?”
     I thought long and hard about it for a couple of days. I researched it on the internet. There were psychological explanations and justifications. All agreed it was a harmless practice. Apparently, it is more common than any of us would ever have imagined.
     I finally made my decision. I couldn’t live with it.
     I wanted to, because he seemed like a great guy, otherwise. We had so much in common. He treated me beautifully. Everything had been falling into place.
     But I couldn’t live with this one thing. It was too big. And he wasn’t willing to give it up.
     So, that was the end of that.
     When I told my mother I broke up with him, she couldn’t believe it. “What was wrong with this one? You said he was perfect.”
     “He had a fetish.”
     “Oh my God! Oh my God! Don’t tell me!”
     “But…”
     “No, don’t tell me! I don’t want to know what it is.”
     “It’s not horrible. I just couldn’t live with it. It’s not like he murders people or anything.”
     “No! Don’t say it! I don’t want to have nightmares!”
     “But…”
     “No! Don’t tell me!”
     So that, my friends, is why the fetish is censored. I do not want to be responsible for giving my mother nightmares. Since she loses so much sleep worrying about me to begin with, when she does fall asleep, I don’t want it to be nightmares about this particular fetish.
     I don’t want anyone he knows to find out either. It’s not like he broadcasts this to his family, friends and co-workers. He was a nice guy. It just didn’t work out.
     I think I’m going to watch the Thriller video now. Michael Jackson and Vincent Price—now there’s a perfect combination! Here’s a link to it, just in case you want to see it too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOnqjkJTMaA
     Stay tuned for the next chapter, “The Foreign Contingent.”

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

Saddle Up!

     I try to read my friends’ blogs as much as I can. And I have to admit I was quite surprised by one friend’s blog. “Why?” you ask. Because Michael wrote about me. It caught me completely off-guard. As I read it, I laughed, I blushed, and at times, I wanted to cry. Thank you, Michael!

     I received many emails and messages from guys wishing they were cowboys, based on my last “Mis-Matched to Miss Matched” episode. Several were laugh out loud funny. One guy wanted to take me line dancing and then saddle up and ride off into the sunset with me. Another wanted to be Roy Rogers to my Dale Evans. One even wanted to demonstrate his rope tricks. Um, yikes! No!

     Most mentioned riding off on horses. Apparently, they missed the part where I’m allergic to animals. I have two words – reading comprehension. Sheesh.

     Michael’s piece was by far the best thing I read regarding this subject. So, I am posting the link to it. It really is a must-read. Not because it’s about me, because it’s really, really good.

Here’s the link to “Dang!” http://moejoemojo.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/dang/

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

A Homecoming To Remember

     Recently, I was invited to speak at Career Day at my high school. I accepted the invitation immediately. The years I spent at Our Lady of Mercy High School were the best years of my life. So, I was more than happy to return and attempt to inspire today’s juniors and seniors.
     It was a fantastic experience, and a good time was had by all. I had the opportunity to reconnect with classmates and teachers and made a few new friends along the way. And I would do it again in a heartbeat.
     So, riding this “I Made a Difference” high, I jumped into my vehicle and headed back to “Honest to Goodness Indiana.” For those of you who haven’t heard, that’s the new tourism slogan for Indiana. Many residents thought it was a joke. Nope. The joke’s on Indiana. Seems to me, there should be a verb somewhere. You know, calling people to action. But what do I know? Anyway…
     After driving ten hours from Western New York to Central Indiana, I arrived home exhausted. Unloading the vehicle took another twenty minutes, partially thanks to my parents. When they heard I was having a garage sale, I ended up with several overflowing bags of unwanted stuff.
     I managed to heave my suitcase up the stairs. And that’s when I heard the noises. Scratching sounds. Weird echoing noises. Super sleuth that I am, I ended up in the laundry room. Thrashing sounds emanated from the dryer. Oh dear Lord. It’s 8:30 P.M., and there’s something in my dryer.
     The sounds were unnerving. Picture me standing there, hand over my mouth, staring at the dryer. That’s when I did a bad thing. I actually turned on the dryer. There was no way I was opening the dryer.
     Turning the dryer on made things worse. Whatever it was, I succeeded in pissing it off. Royally. I turned the dryer off. I didn’t want to burn it to death. That would have been nasty to clean up. Yuck. The noises got louder. I couldn’t take it and ran down the stairs.
     Okay, I might have been overreacting and freaking out a bit. I admit it. What to do? I called a nearby friend. I got absolutely no assistance whatsoever, not even a suggestion on who to call. Wonderful.
     That’s when I called in the cavalry—two former military guys who I’ll call Christopher and Dan, because those are their names. ETA – 45 mikes. For you non-military people, that means 45 minutes.
     In the meantime, Mom called me from Texas. You’ve got to love her timing. She’s visiting her best friend for two weeks. As I’m telling her about the creature, she laughs, remembering her own rodent/dryer story. Glad I was able to amuse her.
     Then I heard water running. Not the sound you hear when a toilet is leveling itself out. It was lots of water. Outside water.
     I opened the front door and looked out. Mind you, it’s 9:00 P.M. and dark. The yard light was out. (Mental note to replace the bulb.) I saw cars parked on the side of my yard. I heard voices. I put on my shoes and shut the door behind me.
     Mom yelled, “Don’t go out there! You don’t know who they are. They could be crazy people!”
     At this point, I didn’t really freaking care. I was tired. I was already dealing with a home invasion. And now, somebody was using my water.
     I ignored Mom and marched across the lawn. I shouted, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
     I startled the two teenage boys. “Um, we needed to wash off our cars. We drove in something smelly. We’re sorry. We didn’t think anyone was home.”
     Note they weren’t sorry for using my water. They were sorry they got caught.
     “Water costs money. Stop right now!”
     The one kid turned off the water and made a half-assed attempt to coil up the hose. Then they took off running to their cars and drove away.
     These boys had balls. The hose wasn’t even hooked up to the spigot. So, they dragged the hose to the spigot, hooked it up and used it. I wondered if they had been doing this the entire time I was gone.
     Anyway, I calmed Mom down just before the cavalry arrived. I hung up with her when they pulled in. She figured I was safe with the guys there, just in case those kids came back.
     Trust me, those kids aren’t coming back. I instilled the fear of God in them with my tone of voice. And they weren’t belligerent, they ran. They’re not coming back.
     I told the guys about the stupid kids. That’s when the interrogation began. What did the kids look like? How old were they? How tall? What color, make and models were the cars? Etc.
     Did I mention that it was dark and there were no lights? Both kids were shirtless, had dark hair, no clue on eye color, about 16 or 17 years old, my height. Black cars, newer, good condition, no clue on make or model, too far away to see in the dark. And no, I didn’t get the license plate numbers. I just wanted them gone. Sorry. I was a lousy witness.
     Time to get back to the original challenge. Christopher and Dan did not disappoint. They came armed with thick gloves, black garbage bags and a hunting knife that would have made Dexter Morgan proud. (For those of you unfamiliar with cable television’s Dexter, he’s a serial killer who murders other killers. He employs an impressive array of cutlery to get the job done.)
     They mounted the stairs. I stayed in the foyer. If whatever it was got past them, I wasn’t going to be in its path.
     The mission didn’t take long. The mystery invader fled the scene of the crime before they arrived. They did recover a bird’s nest from inside my dryer vent hose. They cleared it out and reconnected it. Since it was so late, they couldn’t replace the missing piece. So, they’d be back the next day to finish the job. I thanked them, and they were on their way. I turned the dryer on so the stupid bird wouldn’t come back that night.
     Bright and early the next morning, the unwanted bird returned. It was attempting to rebuild. I turned the dryer back on. A temporary, but effective, solution.
     The guys returned with the replacement parts later in the day. Of course, the ladder I had in the garage wasn’t tall enough to reach the second story. Time for Plan B. So, they removed the laundry room window and screen.
     Dan climbed out and balanced precariously on the narrow roof line to remove the old assembly and install the new one. And with the help of some duct tape, courtesy of Christopher, they achieved success! Great teamwork!
     Christopher then walked the perimeter of the house to inspect for any other suspicious damage or issues. He did find some and fixed every single one of them. I can not thank Christopher or Dan enough for helping me out in my time of need. Thank you, guys!

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

Doctors and Chemists and a Cowboy, Oh My!

     Welcome to the 5th installment of Mis-Matched to Miss Matched. I’m sure you’re wondering if I met a doctor who made house calls, or if I developed an organic relationship with a chemist, or if the cowboy was a stripper or an actual cowboy. There’s only one way to answer your questions. Read on!

     Perhaps it was time to have a doctor in the family. Bachelor #21 was a 45-year-old anesthesiologist. We agreed to meet for coffee. He was handsome and dressed like a professional golfer. But he showed up late. And he didn’t bother to text or call to let me know. A lady does not like to be kept waiting. Strike one.
     He asked me what I wanted to drink and got in line to order. When he returned, he had more than drinks. He purchased brunch. For himself. He didn’t offer me any food. He sat there eating in front of me. Strike two.
     The conversation wasn’t very stimulating. I actually think he could save hospitals money on anesthesia and sedatives by just talking to patients. Boring with a capital “B.”
     He asked how long I’d been divorced. I told him several months. I bounced the question back to him. He responded he wasn’t divorced. It was going to be too expensive. He was currently weighing his options.
     Well, I eliminated one option—me. Strike three. He’s out!

     Bachelor #22 was 50 years old and a surgeon. Another coffee date. However, this one arrived on time, in a black Mercedes. He had a certain air about him as he walked in. As we shook hands, I noticed his bling. Hard to miss it—thick gold chain around his neck, ostentatious rings and a Rolex watch.
     But as the Shania Twain song goes, “That don’t impress me much.” Sorry, but I’m more concerned with what’s inside a man’s head and heart than a flashy outer package. Always makes me wonder what they’re overcompensating for. Anyway…
     I sensed a God complex as soon as he started talking about his grand achievements. Don’t get me wrong, I admire people who accomplish great things. I just didn’t like how he bragged about them. Plus the fact that he wasn’t interested in me. When I told him that I had published a romance novel and a poetry book, I got that look. It’s the “Oh, you’re an artsy, fartsy type” look. I hate that look.
     It didn’t last long. He switched the conversation back to him. He loved to hear himself talk. I admired his perfect manicure as he chattered on.
     Fortunately, he had to get to the office.
     And I never heard from him again. Thank God.

     Fifty-three-year-old Bachelor #23 was a gastroenterologist. Some of my family members were thrilled at the idea of having one of those around. Seriously. My sister-in-law even told me that it didn’t matter what he’s like, I should “take one for the team.”
     Can you feel the love??
     We met for drinks. We had a great deal in common and were never at a loss for words. He was genuinely interesting.
     For those of you who know me, you know I only drink one drink if I will be driving later. One. Count it. One.
     “Have another drink.”
     “No, thank you. I only drink one drink.”
     “Oh, come on. Have another.”
     “No, thank you.” No means no!
     He yelled to the bartender, “Another drink for the lady.”
     I looked at the bartender. “I don’t want another drink. Can I have some water?”
     The doctor insisted, “Give her another drink.”
     “Don’t bother. I won’t drink it.”
     “Well, I ended up with the water and another drink.
     “You haven’t touched your drink.”
     “I told you that I wouldn’t.”
     “What’s the big deal?”
     “It’s not a big deal. But you’re making it one. When I say I’m not going to do something, I mean it.”
     “It’s just one drink.”
     I’m sensing major control issues. “I’m not drinking it.”
     “You should.”
     “No. Thank you for the drink that I did order. It’s time to call it a night.”
     He continued to contact me afterward. I told him to move on.
     Anyone who is that obsessed over getting me to drink something that I clearly don’t want has serious control issues. I can not even imagine what he would be like concerning important things. Yikes!

     I met Bachelor #24, an R&D Chemist, for dinner. The 50-year-old was interesting…on paper. In person, I felt like I was conducting an audit. If you’ve never been prepped for an audit, Rule #1 is: Stick to the facts. Rule #2 is: Do not elaborate.
     It was like pulling teeth. Some answers were one word. Others came in sentence form. Short sentences. I ended up talking most of the time because he wouldn’t.
     At least the food was really good. And I even had leftovers for the next night. So, it wasn’t a total loss.

     I gave another chemist a try. Number 25 picked the same restaurant as the last one. Wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or not. Nevertheless, I knew the food would be good. So, I met the 42-year-old for dinner.
     This guy didn’t have any problems talking. He never shut up. But it was all negative stuff about his ex-wife. The language he used was downright ugly. It was offensive to me as a woman. Granted, she might have been exactly as he described her. But I did not want to hear it. I’m certain the couple behind him didn’t want to hear it. The woman kept giving me looks. She even followed me into the bathroom.
     “That guy you’re with is a jackass.”
     “Agreed. It’s a first date.”
     “Hopefully your last too.”
     “Yes. As soon as the check is paid, I’m out of here.”
     “I’d leave now if I were you. Slip out the back door.”
     I laughed. “My sweater is on my chair.”
     “I’d forget the sweater. Leave now.”
     “It’s a really nice sweater. It took me forever to find it.”
     “Suit yourself.”
     Luckily, he paid the check while I was powdering my nose. I invented a friend emergency and made a quick exit.

     Gather around the campfire for Bachelor #26. I don’t know what it is about cowboys that intrigues us women. Maybe it’s the rugged look about them. Or the fact that they seem to be able to handle any problem that arises better than MacGyver. Or perhaps it’s that they have manners and tip their hats. Or maybe it’s just the tight jeans…
     Although this 50-year-old bachelor had a real job during the day, his passion was his ranch. Our phone conversation was so exhilarating; I violated my “no pets” rule. The tone of his voice was incredible. I had to meet the man on the other end of the phone. Despite the fact that he had dogs and horses.
     Ladies, he did not disappoint. This rugged, clean-shaven hunk of a man wore a black fitted cowboy shirt to highlight his toned upper half. His jeans were broken in in all the right places. And his boots were polished nicely.
     Big & Rich’s song, “Save A Horse [Ride A Cowboy],” played in my head. Goodness! Is it hot in here or just me?
     He was absolutely fascinating. The hours flew by. We were the last people in the restaurant. The waiter vacuumed around us. We took that as our cue to leave. It was a delightful evening.
     As a gentleman should, he walked me to my car. He leaned in, gave me a quick hug and kiss, and he was on his way.
     As I watched him walk to his car, my throat started closing up. I grabbed two Benadryl and my emergency meds out of my purse and swallowed them all quickly. I drove toward home (and the hospital), Epi-pen in hand. Just in case.
     The coughing and wheezing subsided after about thirty minutes. At least I didn’t have to use the Epi-pen, and I didn’t end up in the ER.
     It also meant that no matter how fantastic he was, or how well we got along, or how good he looked in those jeans, there was no chance of a relationship with this man.
     I told him the news. He said that he regretted not kissing me deeply. Dear Lord, if he had, I have no doubt that I would have ended up in the hospital. Although, that would have made one heck of a story.

     Stay tuned for the next crazy episode, “I’m Not Like Other Guys.”

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

Cast Spotlight: Anna Walker

Anna-300x271Today’s second spotlight is shining brightly on Anna Walker! Her story touched me deeply. And I’m sure it will impact you too. She has had more than her share of adversity. How she continues to handle it makes her an inspiration.

To learn more about Anna, check out her interview with event organizers.
http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/22/cast-spotlight-anna-walker/

And don’t forget to get your tickets!
https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Cast Spotlight: Michelle McNally

303380_2856344586711_515674413_nToday’s first spotlight is on Michelle McNally. She is one of our fantastic producers and directors. She lights up a room just by stepping into it.

To learn more about this talented blogger, check out her interview!
http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/21/cast-spotlight-michelle-mcnally-2/

If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, today would be a great day to do it. Today, 20% of ticket sales goes to Partners in Housing!
https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Cast Spotlight: Terri Spilman

Terri-225x300Today’s Listen To Your Mother spotlight is shining brightly on Terri Spilman! As event organizers accurately point out, her story rocks! Hers is yet another story that you do not want to miss.

To learn more about Terri, check out her interview with event organizers.
http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/18/cast-spotlight-terri-spilman/

If you still need tickets, buy them as an Easter gift to yourself!
https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Cast Spotlight: Suzanne Purewal

SuzanneToday, I get to shine the Listen To Your Mother spotlight on myself! My piece is about Mom and me. Some lines are so funny, I can hardly contain my laughter. So, I guarantee you will laugh out loud. I just hope I can keep it together during my performances!

I reveal several things in my interview with event organizers that I have never discussed before. So, if you want to learn more about me, click on this link!
http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/17/cast-spotlight-suzanne-purewal/

Buy your tickets today! They’re going fast, and you don’t want to miss out!
https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Cast Spotlight: Rebecca Hession

Rebecca_Hession_Headshot-280x300Today’s LTYM Cast Spotlight is on Rebecca Hession! I really loved Rebecca’s piece. And her blog is something else.

I guarantee that you want to be in the audience to hear what Rebecca has to say.

Here is her interview with event organizers.
http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/16/cast-spotlight-rebecca-hession/

Get your tickets today! They’re going fast!
https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Cast Spotlight: Marge Summers

Marge_Headshot-200x300What a pleasure it is to cast a spotlight on Marge Summers. Her piece was so hysterical, I couldn’t stop laughing. She had us all in stitches. I can’t wait to hear her piece again. Because who couldn’t use a good laugh?

Here is her interview with event organizers. http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/15/cast-spotlight-marge-summers/

If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, there’s still time!
https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Cast Spotlight: Kim Gummere

Kim-289x300

Today’s Listen To Your Mother spotlight is shining on Kim Gummere! She is a talented writer. I wish I could share the topic of her piece, but that’s against the LTYM rules. So, you will just have to come out to hear it in person!

Here’s the link to Kim’s interview with event organizers.  http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/14/cast-spotlight-kim-gummere/

If you still need tickets, click here. https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Cast Spotlight: Becky Wood

BeckyHeadShot1-199x300I am pleased to introduce my fellow cast member, Becky Wood! I was lucky enough to be paired up with her for our “getting to know you” session. Among other things, we learned that we both love chocolate, and we are allergic to cats. To learn more about Becky, check out her interview with event organizers. http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/09/cast-spotlight-becky-wood/

Get your tickets today! Prices go up from $16 to $20 on April 15th! https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Cast Spotlight: Kerry Rossow

Kerry_Headshot-300x300In my opinion, you can never cast enough spotlights. So, today, I’m featuring a second cast member, Kerry Rossow!

Her piece is laugh out loud funny! She is also a NW Indiana Listen To Your Mother alum.

Check out her interview with event organizers. http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/07/cast-spotlight-kerry-rossow/

Get your tickets now! https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Cast Spotlight: Kate Gehan

KateGehanHeadshot-300x199Today’s Listen To Your Mother spotlight shines brightly on Kate Gehan. Kate and I share an interesting geographic coincidence. We both grew up in New York and now reside in Indiana. Her piece is wonderful. I can’t wait for all of you to hear it. Here is a link to her interview. http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/04/cast-spotlight-meet-kate-gehan/

Come join us on Sunday, April 27th for one of our live performances. Get your tickets for $16 now. Prices go up to $20 on April 15th! https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Featuring Cast Member Stacy Gray

Stacy headshotToday’s Listen To Your Mother spotlight is shining on Stacy Gray. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Stacy on audition night. We were surprised and delighted to discover we both made the show. What were the chances of that, considering all of the women who auditioned? Here is a link to her interview. http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/02/cast-spotlight-stacy-gray/

Tickets are currently available for both shows for $16. But ticket prices will go up on April 15th to $20, so get your tickets now! https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Introducing…Amparo de la Peña!

Amparo_Headshot.jpg-300x254     Amparo de la Peña is the first cast member to be featured for this year’s Listen To Your Mother Indianapolis show! There will be two performances this year. They are on Sunday, April 27th, at 1:00 P.M. and 5:00 P.M., at the Indiana Historical Society.
     Although I can not reveal the subject of Amparo’s piece, I can tell you, I related to it personally. I guarantee many of you will too. I am looking forward to sharing a stage with her.
     Here is her interview with event organizers. http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/03/30/cast-spotlight-amparo-de-la-pena/

     Tickets are currently available for both shows for $16. But ticket prices will go up on April 15th to $20, so get your tickets now! https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

March Madness

     March Madness is in full swing here in Indianapolis. We’re almost down to the Final Four. The news reports claim that fans’ madness will bring in approximately $20 million to the city. That’s great financial stimulus. But not one dime of that will come from me. I will watch some of the games. I just won’t pay to do it.
     Warren Buffett and Quicken Loans won’t be paying up either. The $1 billion they offered for a perfect predicted outcome in all of the games in the NCAA Tournament is safe. But wouldn’t it have been something if there were contenders still in it? Oh well, there’s always next year.
     Despite the fact that I have lived in March Madness territory for twenty-one years, I have not developed the intense fever that prevails at this time of year. I’m sorry, fellow Hoosiers, but the sloppy, hot and sweaty basketball look just doesn’t work for me. On the other hand, I could watch football all day. Much better uniforms.
     I blame my primary lack of interest in college sports on my college, which did not have any competitive sport teams. Truth be told, I graduated from an institute—GMI Engineering & Management Institute. When my dad went there, it was called General Motors Institute. Picture a bunch of geeks and nerds studying. A lot. Hey, it is in the heart of Flint, MI. We didn’t have much choice. Walking to your car in the parking garage was a death-defying experience.
     I think there might have been some GMI intermural or interfraternal sport things for the jock/nerd combination guy. I didn’t really pay attention. I was busy studying and trying to figure out which boy to date. It was a predominately male student body. So, us girls had plenty to choose from. But I digress…
     My dad adopted Michigan State as his alternate alma mater. Go Spartans! My brother always roots for the University of Michigan. Go Wolverines! Mom and I aren’t sure if he does that just to annoy my dad, or if he just likes them for some other reason. Whatever the case may be, they both root against Notre Dame and Duke.
     Mom and I will root for Michigan State or the University of Michigan, if we’re watching. On the occasions when they play each other, Mom and I do our best to represent Switzerland.
     When I do watch the games, I root for the underdog. What they lack in alumnae funding, they make up for in heart. I love when the little, often ignored school beats a powerhouse. Those are games I can sink my teeth into. They’re fun and exciting to watch. And the press loves to feed us the heart-wrenching background stories of the players and their struggles. Talk about good reality television.
     Unfortunately, there aren’t any underdogs left. But both Michigan State and the University of Michigan are still in it. So, all I have to say today is: Go Spartans! Go Wolverines!

Copyright © 2014 Suzanne Purewal

The Old Bait and Switch

     This is the 4th installment of Mis-Matched to Miss Matched. You always hear men complain about women who post old pictures of themselves on dating sites. Well, I’m here to tell you, men do it too.
     Although I usually go for the nerdy type, I decided to throw caution to the wind and give Bachelor #15, a professional athlete, a try. He sent me a poem about rose petals and the morning dew before we met. Not bad, but not great. I gave him kudos for the effort and agreed to meet him.
     His profile stated he was 48 years old and a non-smoker. The pictures might have been from when he was 48, but he ended up being 58. And he definitely smoked. Why smokers think they can hide their smoking from non-smokers, I will never know. We know. We always know.
     I asked why he lied about his age.
     “Would you have agreed to meet me if I said I was 58?”
     “Honestly, no.”
     “That’s why I lied.”
     “Well, unfortunately, that makes me wonder what else you’re lying about. You lied about smoking too.”
     “So, you have trust issues?”
     “Only with people who lie to me.”
     “Everybody lies.”
     “No, not everybody does.”
     “You’re kidding yourself. Everybody lies.”
     “I’m talking about important things. There’s a big difference between telling a friend her butt doesn’t look big in her new dress when you’re already at a cocktail party and lying about facts, like your age, if you smoke and if you’re really divorced.”
     “I am divorced.”
     “So, one out of three isn’t bad in your book?”
     He smirked.
     “What if I had done the same to you?”
     He appeared annoyed with my question.
     “Seriously. What if I showed up and was ten years older than I said I was?”
     He muttered, “I’d be pissed.”
     “There you go! So, you don’t like to be lied to either.”
     He tossed back the remainder of his drink. “I’m not getting laid tonight am I?”
     Shaking my head in disbelief, I respond, “Not unless you pick up someone on a corner on your way home.”
     On that note, he got up, threw some cash on the table to cover our drinks and left.
     Strike three. He’s out!

     The next contender was a salesman who advertised his age as 49. He turned out to be 54. The ironic thing was that he looked better in person. A lot better.
     “Why don’t you have a more current picture posted?”
     “I figure if someone likes me heavier and with gray hair, then they’ll like me thinner with darker hair.”
     “So it’s like a test?”
     “Yes.”
     “Interesting.”
     “Interesting good or interesting bad?”
     “The jury’s still out.”
     “You’re funny.”
     I wasn’t trying to be funny. I was trying to figure him out. So, I asked him to tell me about himself.
     Big mistake. He droned on and on about all of the “important people” he knew. He dropped so many names that I tripped over them. But he didn’t have any stories about doing anything with them. Boring with a capital “B.”
     My theory is that he hangs out at St. Elmo’s on big event nights and introduces himself to everyone who walks in the door. That would explain how he “knows” the rich and famous.
     When he wasn’t bragging about the people he knew, he pointed out his designer clothes and how he only wore the very best. He proceeded to rattle off all of his favorite designers and stores.
     Okay, I’ll admit that I watch Project Runway. I’m familiar with high-end designers and fashion. I’ve shopped in the boutiques and stores in New York City, and I own a few nice designer items. But I don’t talk about them, ad nauseam. Sheesh.
     Bachelor #16 never got around to asking me much of anything. So, that was the end of that. The jury’s verdict is in: Guilty of being a boastful, materialistic, narcissistic jerk.

     Bachelor #17 was a 46-year-old entrepreneur who owned multiple residences in several states. We had a great deal in common. At 99%, we were almost a perfect match according to Match.com’s algorithm. He was a thin, handsome man, with a full head of black wavy hair and a smile that could knock you over.
     No coffee or drinks for this guy. He went straight for dinner. A girl has to eat, so I agreed.
     As I entered the restaurant, I searched for the dashing man in the pictures. Imagine my surprise when instead, I was greeted by an 80-pound heavier Mr. Comb-Over. The smile was still there. Thank God for small favors.
     After chatting for a few minutes, he revealed that his pictures were from ten years ago. All I could think about was shaving his head. The comb-over look is wrong on any man. Period.
     Our date went well. He was easy to talk to, and we had no shortage of topics to discuss. At the end of the evening, he insisted on buying my books. So, I signed copies for him, and we agreed on a second date.
     The second date went just as nicely as the first. He gushed over my poetry book. He even started quoting some of my work. How refreshing that a man was taking a genuine interest in me.
     After that date, he started reciting other people’s poetry to me over the phone. Then the texts started. Lots of texts. Late at night. First, it was rambling poetry. Then, it morphed into sexting. Obsessive sexting. I told him to stop. He didn’t. His sexting became more graphic. It gave me the creeps. I told him I was done and not to contact me again.
     He was hurt and didn’t understand why.
     I did not want to upset this creepy, obsessive, stalker kind of guy. So I told him he reminded me of my ex-husband and left it at that.
     He bought my story, hook, line and sinker, and left me alone. Thank you, God!

     Bachelor #18 was a doctor. We were the same age. Match decided we were a 100% match. Imagine my mom’s reaction being something like, “Oh, a doctor! I hope this one works out.”
     The doctor and I chatted on the phone and agreed to meet for coffee. Since I don’t drink coffee, I ordered hot chocolate.
     He was shier than I had anticipated. And he wore a Panama Jack style hat that he never removed. A wee bit eccentric, perhaps. But I’m used to eccentric. The conversation went pretty well, but he had to leave after an hour. We agreed to meet again.
     The next time, it was for a drink. And again, only for exactly one hour. My instincts were telling me something was rotten in Denmark.
     And sure enough, I was right. After some relentless questioning, he admitted he wasn’t divorced. He was meeting with me when he should have been watching his son play soccer.
     Slime ball. “So, you’re a liar, a cheater and a lousy father? What a sad excuse of a man you are. You’re despicable.”
     “And I guess you’re little Miss Perfect?”
     “I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m not perfect. But I don’t tolerate cheating, and I don’t date married men.”
     I wished that my glass had been full. I could have made a dramatic exit by throwing the contents in his face and storming out. Alas, there wasn’t a drop remaining. So, I just grabbed my purse and left.

     Bachelor #19’s profile indicated he lived in Indianapolis. We hit it off over the phone. He asked to meet somewhere around South Bend.
     “That’s almost three hours away. We can wait until you’re back in town to get together.”
     “Um. I live in Chicago.”
     “Your profile says you live in Indy.”
     “Yeah, I can’t find anyone nice in Chicago.”
     Really?? “Chicago is a huge city. And it has tons of suburbs. I think you need to try a little harder to find someone in your area.”
     “Nope. I’ve looked. There isn’t anybody.”
     Red flags are popping up everywhere. If this guy can’t find someone in all of Chicago and the surrounding areas, something is seriously wrong with him. “I’m sorry, but I don’t do long distance relationships.”
     “You could move up here. I’ve got a nice place. You could stay with me.”
     Riiiiight. Not on your life, buddy. I watch CSI and Criminal Minds. “I’m not going anywhere. Good luck to you.”

     A 28-year-old salesman was pitiful Bachelor #20. His profile stated he lived in Dayton, OH.
     “I’d like to meet you for coffee sometime.”
     “Sorry, I don’t do long distance relationships.”
     “I live in Castleton, IN.”
     “So, do you work in Dayton?”
     “I work in Indy.”
     “If you live in Castleton and work in Indy, why are you saying you live in Dayton?”
     “I don’t want my coworkers to see me on here.”
     “Why? If they’re on Match too, what’s the big deal?”
     “Idk. I’m embarrassed.” (Idk is “I don’t know” for you non-texting readers.)
     “That makes no sense. There’s no reason to be embarrassed. You need to update your city, or you are never going to find a match.”
     “I’m afraid they’ll make fun of me.”
     Wow, kid. You need to grow a set. “Forget about your coworkers. If they make fun of you, they’re not your friends. Change your city.”
     “I’ll think about it.”
     “You need to surround yourself with positive, supportive people. You need to do something to boost your self-confidence, or you’re going to get eaten alive out there. That pertains to your business and personal relationships. Whatever your story, you need to get your head on straight. It will make a world of difference.”
     “You seem nice and smart. Will you meet me?”
     “No. You’re too young anyway. Change your city, and hang out with positive people.”
     “Thx.”
     “You’re welcome. Best of luck.”

     The more dates and interactions I have, I realize that I should have gone into psychology. These guys need serious help.
     Here’s some free advice for everyone—be honest. It is the best policy.

     Oh well, back to site I go. Stay tuned for the next episode, “Doctors and Chemists and Cowboys, Oh My!”

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

See Me Perform Live On Stage!

     Yes, friends, I will be performing live! I am thrilled to be part of the cast of “Listen To Your Mother!” What is “Listen To Your Mother?” Well, click here to see what it is all about. http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/
     As you can see from their website, I will be reading my own original work on stage, along with thirteen other creative women.
     There are two shows on Sunday, April 27th. For show times, tickets and more details, click here:  https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

     Ticket prices go up after April 14th, so get your tickets now! Hope to see you there!

Saint Patricks Day, White Stripes, and True Colors

Did you know that Saint Patrick was supposed to have used a shamrock to show people how God could exist as a trinity? I’m thinking that message got lost somewhere along the way.

Michael’s post is educational and witty. I highly suggest reading it. Hey, I liked it enough to repost it.

Hope you enjoy the article as much as I did.

Have a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day!

MoeJoe Musing

I hate Saint Patrick’s Day.  It’s a monument to ignorant conformity and violent stupidity.  It was supposed to be a celebration of a legacy, a one-man campaign to lead others to God’s truth.  But instead, it is an annual excuse to drink too much, to revel, and to pollute the Chicago River, or whatever other waterway you live by.   When I was growing up, it was the bullies’ way to drag me, an unwilling participant, into a fight I didn’t care about.  As I’ve aged, Saint Patrick’s Day Parades have become less and less about Saint Anyone, and more and more a celebration of the Great American Pagan.
 
I grew up in a school where most of the kids wore green, without a clue as to what it meant.  And many of us were Protestant.  If I wore green no one would pinch me, if I didn’t wear green everyone would pinch me, and some of…

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Zeke and Bubba Go To Daytona

i     By now, many of you have heard about the six hour and twenty-two minute rain delay at this year’s Daytona 500. Others of you might even know that Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the race. What you haven’t heard is the story about Zeke and Bubba. It’s about two brothers and their adventures related to this year’s race. So, buckle up and enjoy the ride.
     Zeke and Bubba were vacationing in Florida with their wives. Being the avid NASCAR fans that they are, they decided to go to the Daytona 500. Their wives wisely spent their race weekend shopping.
     After bidding their lovely wives adieu, the senior citizen brothers drove toward Daytona. The first order of business was reserving their parking spot for race day. They paid $50 to park in a Five Guys restaurant parking lot near the track. Then they checked out the souvenir stands at the track before going to dinner.
     They arrived at the Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse woefully underdressed. Imagine them dressed in typical NASCAR race fan attire. Instead of turning them away, the hostess seated them in a “special” room in the very back of the restaurant.
     After dinner, they checked into their hotel, 30+ miles away. It was a Candlewood Suites property.
     The clerk asked, “Have you ever stayed with us before?”
     They responded, “No.”
     “Well, you have a standard room. There is no maid service for the weekend.”
     Dismayed, they replied, “Huh?”
     “Your room will not be cleaned during your stay. If you need something, like towels or toilet paper, you will have to come to the desk and ask.”
     “You’re kidding.”
     “No, sir. I’m not kidding.”
     Zeke inquired, “What about breakfast in the morning?”
     “We do not offer a continental breakfast. We do have a few vending machines around the corner. And there are several restaurants nearby.”
     Zeke and Bubba gave each other a look and shook their heads. They completed the check-in process and received their room keys.
     They located their room and flipped on the light. To their surprise, there was only one bed. It was not a king size bed. They weren’t even sure it was a queen size bed.
     Knowing every room within one hundred miles of the track was booked, they knew they were stuck. At least they were moderately close to the track.
     They decided to make the best of it and relax. Zeke commandeered the recliner. When he pulled the lever, the recliner went back, way back. Almost perfectly horizontal. That was the only position it offered. And the chair wasn’t level by any means; it leaned heavily to the right. He tried to shift his weight to level the chair, but it was like riding a surf board through a tidal wave, lying on your back. The waves were relentless. Tilting and rocking this way, then that.
     Bubba laughed at his brother’s misfortune as he sat in a swivel chair. He propped his feet up on another chair. He leaned back and within moments, he flipped over the back of the chair and crashed to the floor, hard.
     Zeke struggled to free himself from the tipsy recliner and rushed to his brother’s aid. “Are you okay?”
     Dazed, Bubba responded, “I think so.”
     Zeke helped his brother up, and they had a good laugh over it.
     They finally decided to call it a night. There was no clock in the room. So, they called the desk for a wake-up call. After getting ready for bed, they left the bathroom light on, in case nature called in the middle of the night.
     The bed was barely big enough for the two of them. Zeke joked that they could do a remake of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.”

     In the early hours of the morning, Zeke had to go to the bathroom. When he tried to open the bathroom door, it was locked. All of his pushing and pulling on the handle woke up Bubba.
     Bubba asked, “What are you doing?”
     “I have to go to the bathroom, and the door’s locked.”
     “Locked?”
     “Locked.”
     “How can it be locked?”
     “I don’t know. It’s locked.”
     Bubba got up and tried the door. “It’s locked.”
     “That’s what I’ve been saying.”
     After several more minutes of pushing, pulling and sticking various objects in the doorknob hole, Bubba slid a coin into the slot and unlocked the door. There was much rejoicing. And both were relieved, literally and figuratively.

     At 6:00 A.M., the wake-up call sounded. Zeke grabbed the phone on the night stand. It was dead. The phone across the room taunted him. (I’m imaging a curse word was uttered at this point.) Bubba got up and answered the other phone.
     Around 7:30 A.M., they drove 30+ miles to the Five Guys lot and parked. Then, they walked a quarter of a mile to the Cracker Barrel for a hearty breakfast. The restaurant looked like it had been gutted. The store part of the restaurant was non-existent. Long picnic tables stretched from one end of the building to the other. People were packed in like sardines.
     The hostess asked, “How many in your party?”
     Zeke replied, “Two.”
     “Name?”
     Always the jokester, he spelled, “E-I-E-I-O.”
     He watched as the girl actually wrote, “E-I-E-I-O.”
     Zeke apologized, “I’m sorry. I was joking.”
     The girl looked at what she had written and laughed.
     Zeke smiled and gave his real name.
     Once seated, they were handed the menu. There were five, yes, count ‘em – five choices. That was it. The choices were priced at $7 and $9. The only eggs you could order were scrambled. You couldn’t order toast or waffles. But you could have all of the grits and gravy you could eat.
     Zeke and Bubba were not fans of grits and gravy. Zeke ordered a $9 breakfast—a slice of sugar cured ham, hash brown casserole, three scrambled eggs and fried apples. He even managed to sweet-talk the waitress into bringing him sourdough toast. He was the only person to get toast that morning. He said, “It was de-licious!”
     Bubba got a $7 breakfast—sausage patties, hash brown casserole and three scrambled eggs.
     After breakfast, they walked back to the Five Guys parking lot and sat at one of the outdoor picnic tables. Zeke took a nap. Bubba read a magazine.
     Many of the area restaurants were closed and sold their parking spots for $40 or $50 each. So their options for lunch were limited. They decided on Panera. The “You-Pick-Two” deal had healthy choices for soups, salads and sandwiches.
     They entered the Panera and joined the line. The bakery items beckoned to them.
     Zeke said, “I don’t know about you. But I’m not going to waste any calories on soup or salad.”
     “Me either.”
     So, they ordered danishes, scones and other tasty treats.

     Riding their sugar high, off to the track they went, and they hiked to their seats. The first part of the race was enjoyable, but hot. Initially, they were relieved when the clouds rolled in. That soon changed.
     Bubba looked at Zeke. “I felt raindrops. Do you feel raindrops?”
     “Yup. We better head for cover.”
     Sitting on aluminum seats in the middle of a thunderstorm with tornado sirens going off was not good.
     They found shelter in the entrance of the men’s bathroom. And there they stood, for the next six hours. They were not about to give up their spots for anything. And they met a lot of interesting people, coming and going. (Sorry, Zeke insisted on the pun.)
     Eventually, the rain let up, and they were hungry. They forfeited their coveted spots in search of food. Remember, vendors were prepared for an afternoon event, not an entire day-long event. Two booths ran out of beer. One ran out of cheeseburgers. Another ran out of pop and foot-long corn dogs. They finally found a vendor with food—Philly cheesesteaks. But that vendor didn’t have drinks. Parched, they searched and searched for a vendor with drinks.
BhPZLZ0IAAA_f45     While quenching their thirst, they stood under some bleachers. It was raining, and they had no rain gear. Zeke came up with an idea. He approached a track worker. “Can you help a race fan out? It’s pouring, and I could really use one of those garbage bags.”
     The worker handed over a black garbage bag. Zeke poked a hole in the bottom for his head and poked out two arm holes. He and his NASCAR shirt would now stay dry. He ran back and told Bubba to get himself one.
     Bubba ended up paying a dollar for his rain gear. He was too embarrassed to beg for a bag. He only poked a hole big enough for his head.
     At this point, Zeke realized his Dale Earnhardt commemorative hat could get ruined by the rain. So he walked over to a souvenir stand.
     As he approached, the lady commented, “Nice poncho.”
     Zeke pressed his hands together in prayer and with a weird accent pleaded with the lady, “I have come to beg for a helmet.”
     It took her a second to figure it out. She laughed heartily and handed him one of her plastic bags. She mimicked his weird accent, “Here is your helmet.”
     “Thank you!”
     No one has ever accused him of not being resourceful. Zeke gleefully pulled the bag down over his head. Kids, don’t try this at home! It was clear, so he could see through it. But after a few minutes (and almost suffocating,) he poked holes only big enough for his eyes and nose, and proudly donned his helmet.
     Then the brothers headed back to the men’s room to get some paper towels to dry their seats. Not wanting to be seen carrying the paper towels, they stuffed them into the front of their pants. So, now picture them wearing their garbage bags with protruding bellies, and Zeke wearing his helmet.
     Toward the end of the race, they worried about getting clean towels and toilet paper for their hotel room. They realized they weren’t going to get back until after midnight. They didn’t think anyone would be at the desk. And they only had a partial roll of toilet paper left. And they had thrown all of their towels on the bathroom floor. Quite a conundrum.
     During their last visit to the men’s room, Zeke encouraged Bubba to grab some toilet paper. “What if there’s nobody at the desk when we get back? We don’t have enough toilet paper. We have to have toilet paper.”
     Bubba agreed. When they got back to the car, Bubba pulled out an industrial roll of toilet paper from under his garbage bag poncho. (You know the enormous rolls that weigh a few pounds each.)
     Zeke and Bubba laughed like school boys.

     At 12:30 A.M., they arrived at the hotel. And to their surprise, there was a lady at the desk. She eyed the enormous roll of toilet paper Bubba was carrying.
     Zeke quipped, “Don’t worry. It’s for our adding machine.”
     Bubba and Zeke laughed all the way to their room.
     Zeke gathered all of the dirty, wet towels and carried them to the desk. “We need towels.”
     The lady pointed. “I’ll meet you around back.”
     Zeke replied, mischievously, “Oh, I’d love to meet you around back.”
     The woman shook her head.
     He met her in the laundry room to get fresh towels, as Bubba yelled, “Don’t forget to get a roll of toilet paper!”
     Apparently, the gigantic roll was a bit unwieldy to manage.

     When they checked out the next morning, Bubba decided to leave the toilet paper behind, which probably bewildered the housekeeping staff. Then the men drove back to the other side of Florida to rejoin their wives.
     After the men relayed the tale of their weekend adventure, Bubba’s wife said, “Oh, you poor guys. You had so many troubles.”
     Zeke’s wife just smiled.
     The brothers exclaimed, “What are you talking about? We had a wonderful time!”
     And they meant it.

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

Searching For Mrs. Robinson

the graduate    Welcome to the third installment of “Mis-Matched to Miss Matched.” If you missed the first two installments, this series is about my adventures on the Match.com dating website. The subjects for this post were younger than most. I debated whether I should entitle this article, “Searching for Mrs. Robinson” or “Hot for Teacher.” Initially, I wanted to call this “Hot for Teacher.” But the more I wrote, the more I liked “Searching for Mrs. Robinson.”

     You could tell Bachelor #11 was trouble by his profile picture—an all-American boy with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. You know the kind—trouble with a capital “T.”  I refer to him as a “boy” because he was a 24-year-old college student, and technically, I am old enough to be his mother.
     “Came across your photo. Couldn’t resist. Please give me your number.”
     “Sorry, but I think you should look for someone more age appropriate.”
     “I don’t mind. Give me your number.”
     “Well, I do mind. You should find someone your own age.”
     “No, you’re what I’m looking for. You’d make a good teacher, I bet.”
     “I’m not interested in teaching you anything, except for, possibly, manners.”
     “That sounds kinky. Give me your number.”
     Sheesh. “I wasn’t trying to be coy. I’m not interested. Good luck finding a match.”
     “What’s coy?”
     “Find a dictionary and look it up.”
     “Are you a librarian? Do you wear those tight skirts and your hair up? I’d like that.”
     I’m sure you would. “I’m not interested. Good luck finding a match.”

     Next up was Bachelor #12, a 35-year-old consultant.
     “How are you? I am hesitant to reach out to you. Mainly because I am putting myself in a position to be ridiculed and/or rejected. But, my hope is that you will respect my candor and honesty, as opposed to being offended.”
     “Well, you haven’t offended me yet. And I appreciate candor and honesty. So, go ahead.”
     “I really haven’t been very active in the dating scene and/or on this site. So, I found myself wondering ‘why am I on this site?’ the other day. I truly couldn’t answer that question, lol. However, I think I’ve realized that I want something new, exciting, and…not boring. I want to meet a woman at least 5 years outside of my age bracket, who is interested in a professional, vibrant, intellectual, witty, younger man.”
     “You have piqued my interest. I don’t mind dating a younger man. So, that’s not an issue. And I definitely agree that a relationship should be exciting, not boring.”
     “Now, here’s the catch. I’m not wanting a serious relationship. Not dead-set against it, but just not prioritizing it. I am very focused on my career and have goals to accomplish (just as you do, I’m sure). In all honesty, I’d love to meet a woman who craves and desires a younger man…even if she’s never been with one. I have a feeling that ‘older’ women appreciate a younger man’s intimacy, so long as he is energetic, passionate, and unselfish….oh, and privy to what will make her feel ‘euphoric’. Actually, that last one should probably be a pre-req for both sides, lol.”
     Euphoric? Well, who wouldn’t want to feel euphoric? And when was the last time any man wanted to make me happy, let alone euphoric?
     I reread his reply again, just to make sure I understood him clearly. But, then I got distracted by the whole “energetic, passionate, unselfish” bit. If any woman deserved a man who was energetic, passionate and unselfish, it was me. Visions of satin sheets, rose petals and candles flooded my mind. Then, I read it again for good measure.
     I have to admit that was the best soliloquy I’ve read that boils down to, “I just want to have sex. And I promise you’ll enjoy it.”
     And while I attempted to entertain the idea of this euphoric opportunity for a split second, my mother’s voice was screaming in my head, loud and clear. “Are you crazy? Have you completely lost your mind?!?”
     Fear not, Mom. I want to be in a serious relationship, not be some young stud’s booty call. And in all honesty my friends, I did not want to endure the inevitable, extremely awkward lecture from my mother. So, you’re asking, “Why on earth would you tell your mother?”
     I wouldn’t have to tell anybody. If Mr. Booty Call lived up to expectations, I am guessing everyone who saw me or spoke to me would notice my new, improved blissful state of being. You know that state—you are floating on air, the sun is always shining and everything is happiness, butterflies and rainbows. Okay, maybe it wouldn’t be exactly like that. Although it might be worth it to test my theory! (Just kidding, Mom.)
     Anyway…I wrote back to Mr. Booty Call. “I am flattered. But I am not interested in that type of relationship. However, I must compliment you on how eloquently you expressed the bottom line. I’m sure there is a woman out there who will be happy to oblige.”
     “I sincerely apologize if I’ve offended you.”
     “You didn’t offend me. Dating sites aren’t for the faint of heart. I wish you luck finding a match.”
     “Thank you. I wish you all the best on this site and in your other dating endeavors.”

     Unlucky Bachelor #13 was a self-proclaimed virgin at the age of 30. He was a computer specialist. I know, cliché. But it gets even worse, so keep reading.
     “I would be honored if you would be my Padmé Amidala to my Anakin Skywalker.”
     Heavy sigh. “Sorry, but Anakin becomes Darth Vader. And I don’t feel like fighting any wars against the dark side. I wish you the best and may The Force be with you.”
     “You could be Princess Leia. I could be Han Solo.”
     He did not have a picture posted. So, unfortunately, at this point, I’m imagining he’s probably more like Jabba the Hutt. And I have a strong aversion to chains. And I would not be caught dead with a pair of Cinnabons covering my ears. “I’m sorry, no. I wish you luck in finding a match.”
     “I’ll be anyone you want me to be. Just name it. I have an awesome costume collection.”
     Oh yikes. I’m sure you do. I pity this kid. “I am not interested. However, in the future, when contacting other women, I suggest that you be yourself. Save the characters for later.”
     “OK. Thanks.”
     Call me old-fashioned, but I think you should know the guy’s name and perhaps meet him in person before delving into role playing fantasies and discovering whatever else he is hiding in his closet. This poor guy is going to need the full power of The Force behind him to find a woman.

     Oh ladies! I wish I could post Bachelor #14’s picture. He was a very handsome man. In his profile picture, he was impeccably dressed in a classic black tuxedo. That 28 year-old could have had a spread in GQ, or any other magazine his heart desired. He was absolutely, positively gorgeous and quite the catch for someone. An MBA wasn’t enough for him. He’s currently pursuing a law degree.
     “I would love the opportunity to speak with you.”
     Why couldn’t you be ten years older? “Thank you. But I think I’m too old for you.”
     “Please don’t dismiss me yet. I am looking for a mature woman. I’m not interested in needy, clingy girls. I’m looking for a woman who I can have stimulating…”
     Oh geez. Here we go.
     
“Conversations. I’m looking for a woman who I can have stimulating conversations with. Sorry. My finger slipped and it sent before I was finished.”
     Good recovery.
     
“I like intelligent conversations on a variety of subjects. I’m looking for a sophisticated woman who can hold her own and would make a good impression at black tie events, law firm events, symposiums, etc. You seem to have a wide range of interests, you’re educated and you’re very attractive. I need someone like you by my side.”
     Searching for smart arm candy, are you? Now that’s something that would be great on a resumé — Intelligent Arm Candy, well-versed in a variety of topics.
     
“Thank you. But this sounds more like a job than a romantic relationship. I am not the right woman for you.”
     “I’d like to object. I believe you are.”
     Seriously? You objected? “Sorry, you’re overruled. We are at different stages in our lives. Trust me; I know what I’m talking about. This is not open to debate. I wish you well.”
     “Thank you for your time. Best of luck to you.”

     At this point, I’ll take luck or The Force. Whichever works more quickly…

     Stay tuned for the next chapter in my ongoing saga, “Bait and Switch.”

 

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

 

 

World Cancer Day

CourageToday is World Cancer Day. And I am pleased to announce that I am 12 ½ years cancer free. When people asked me today how many years I have been cancer free, I’ve been rounding up to 13 years. That is what I posted on my Facebook Page. But for this blog post, I decided not to round. Perhaps because I need to express “the half.”

When we were children, we always gave our ages in halves. Back then, those milestones were important. As adults, we round. Sometimes we round up, other times, as with our ages, we round down. Of course some adults pretend to forget their ages, and others refuse to acknowledge them entirely. However, I just realized at this very moment, “the half” is important again.

It’s funny how something as basic as time becomes so critical, especially when one does not have much of it left. Or the perception of living on borrowed time comes into play.

I am one of the lucky ones. My cancer was caught early. The tumor was removed, albeit in multiple surgeries, but nevertheless, it was cut out of me. The radiation treatment afterward was otherworldly. In my opinion, the treatment and subsequent side effects were worse than the cancer. But I, like so many others, persevered. I moved forward, slowly but surely.

The scar left much deeper wounds than I anticipated. Due to the multiple surgeries, the incision did not heal properly. Even scar revision surgery did not work. For quite some time, all I saw when I looked into the mirror was that scar. I felt ugly and broken, exhausted mentally and physically.

People made unbelievable comments about my scar. “Frankenstein” came up frequently. One of the commonly used phrases was, “Well, it’s not that bad.” Never once did I ask anyone how bad my scar looked. So, the unsolicited comments made the situation worse. My brother thought their comments were as ridiculous as I did. He decided to mock them. He would joke, “Oh, it’s such a pretty scar!”

I have to say he made me laugh every time he said it. Thank you, Timmy.

Humor is how my family deals with adversity. And it helps. Tremendously. And it keeps everyone in the hospital wondering what we’re up to in our hospital room. And when the nurses and the rest of the staff started laughing, it would carry into other patients’ rooms. Laughter is contagious. And it is good for the soul. And that’s not just a line I’m trying to feed you. It works, and it’s a gift that keeps on giving.

I honestly don’t know how I would have gotten through those dark days without my loved ones and the laughter and mayhem they created. I can not thank my family and friends enough for their love and support, and the seemingly endless stream of “Get Well” chocolate.

Today, I am praying for each and every one of you who has been touched by cancer. I hope that you feel the love, peace, happiness and understanding that I am sending your way. All I ask in return is that you celebrate a part of each day with a little laughter, whether it is for a half an hour or a half a day. Because halves do count.

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

The Lewd, The Crude and The Ugly

good, bad, uglyThis is the second installment of my “Mis-Matched to Miss Matched” series. If you missed the first installment, this series is about my adventures on the Match.com dating website. Here is the next group of colorful, uncouth guys for your reading pleasure.

First up is my banter with Bachelor #6. His profession wasn’t listed. This 43-year old managed to pass the email phase, so we decided to talk on the phone.
In a strong voice, he said, “I’d like to meet you in person.”
“Okay. What day is good for you?”
“Well, I coach my son’s baseball team. We have practices or games every day.”
“I see.”
“You could come watch me coach the double-header this Saturday, and then I could come to your house, and you can make me dinner.”
Is he kidding? “You want me to watch you coach all day, and then make you dinner? Did I get that right?”
“Yeah. I’d make you dinner, but I’m living with a buddy until I get back on my feet.”
“I’m sorry, but that doesn’t work for me.”
With indignation in his voice, he asked, “Just because I don’t have my own place?”
“No. It’s everything else.”
“Whaddya mean?”
Wow! Where to begin? “I don’t know you, so there’s no way I’m telling you where I live, let alone cook you dinner. And spending an entire day sitting with strangers on hard bleachers watching you coach a bunch of 12-year olds is not my idea of a date. Shall I go on?”
“You’re high maintenance, aren’t you?”
“Not even close. We’re done here. Good luck finding a match.”
“Whatever.”

Bachelor #7 was a sales representative in Indy. His profile listed his age as 89 years old. However, his picture showed he was much younger. He was seeking women, ages 24-36.
He emailed me, “You have a fantastic smile. I want to get to know you.”
“Thank you. I am definitely out of your “Seeking Women” age range. And I can not have children. So, if you need to have children, then I’m out. If you’re still interested, let me know, and be kind enough to tell me your real age.”
“I’m 46. Let’s chat.”
“Ok. On the phone or in person?”
“U look a little innocent.”
That was an odd comment. Hmmm…“That innocent look is a result from 12 years of Catholic school.”
“I may be too wild for your taste. I may corrupt u. I did read fifty shades.”
Huh? I read it again. Oh, good Lord! I responded quickly, “I read the first book in the 50 Shades series. I am not into S&M or bondage. So, if you like it rough, you’ll need to look elsewhere.”
“Ok”
Yikes!!! Dodged a bullet there. Or at least handcuffs…

Moving right along…Bachelor #8 was a 35-year old in advertising.
“I’m looking for a woman who can handle me. You look like you could.”
“Not exactly sure what you mean by that. I’m not looking for a bad boy.”
“I’m a good boy most of the time. Trust me. I need a woman who can handle me. I’m enormous and I can keep it going all night long.”
Laughing as I typed, “With an ego that big, I’m surprised you haven’t hurt yourself by now. It must be tough dragging that bravado around everywhere you go.”
“Bitch”
Oh well, I’ve been called worse!

Bachelor #9 was 51 years old and worked in communications. Normally, I do not judge a book by its cover. But this guy took the creepy, scary, stalker troll look to a new level. He should have stayed under the bridge. God forgive me.
“You’re pretty. I want to meet you.”
“I’m sorry. We don’t have enough in common. I wish you luck finding a match.”
“I can like new things. Please meet me.”
“I’m sorry. No.”
“Really. I think you’ll like me once you meet me.”
“I’m sorry. No.”
“Give me your number and I’ll call you. I’ll change your mind. I’m sure of it.”
“No.”
A week passed.
“I see you’re still on here. You haven’t found anyone yet because you’re supposed to be with me.”
“Please stop contacting me. I’m not interested.”
“I’m very interesting in person. You will love me. I’m sure of it.”
“No. Please do not contact me again. I don’t want to report you.”
“You will regret not meeting me.”
I was regretting ever responding to him in the first place. He kept contacting me. But I did not respond to any more of his messages. I eventually reported him because he would not stop emailing me.

Bachelor #10 was 42 years old and worked in the entertainment industry. I agreed to meet him for a drink. He looked much different in person. And he lied about having animals. His shirt was covered with cat hair. So, I sat as far away as I could and popped some Benadryl. I honestly can not tell you what we talked about. I was too preoccupied with the appearance of his leathery skin. He must have spent every minute of every day in the sun, baking himself until extra crispy. And his mannerisms were beyond quirky. I kept thinking he looked and acted reptilian, like a Star Trek character.

I drank most of my drink. I just wanted to get out of there. As I got up to leave, he tried to hug me. I pushed him away. He looked hurt. Annoyed, I blurted, “You’re covered in cat hair. I told you I was severely allergic to animals.”
He replied, “I can fix that.”
Then, he did the unthinkable. He took off his shirt. So there he was – standing there in a white, “wife-beater” T-shirt. His scrawny, over-tanned body was covered with ugly, disturbing black tattoos. And I mean covered.
I rolled my eyes and shook my head. “Put your clothes back on.”
“But…”
“Sorry. I’m going home. Thanks for the drink.” And I walked away.
He actually had the nerve to contact me for another date.
Oh, hell no!

Then there were the bachelors who felt it necessary to send pictures of themselves. Yes, I am talking about those kind of pictures. Why? Why? Why? Why do men think it is appropriate to send strangers pictures of their genitalia? I do not, I repeat, do not want to see these pictures. I know politicians do it all the time. But these guys are not politicians. And I am sorry to say, but these men did not have anything impressive to be exposing in the first place.

My computer felt dirty after viewing those pictures. I really wanted to wipe the screen off with Lysol antibacterial wipes. Just even thinking about it now makes me want to clean something.

Stay tuned for the next exciting installment, “Hot For Teacher.”

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

Cooties and a Geography Lesson

sick ladyGoing to a doctor’s office on a Friday afternoon is something I dread. I dread it more when I am not a contagious type of sick and everyone else in the waiting area is coughing up a lung. I sat quietly, breathing shallow breaths in a corner, kicking myself for not wearing a mask. To pass the time, I fantasized about a doctor’s office that would have separate contagious and non-contagious waiting areas and examination rooms.

I was jolted back to reality by a sneezing woman across from me. It was obvious after spending a short time waiting that most people didn’t heed the memo to cough or sneeze in the crook of their arms, instead of spewing everywhere or into their hands. Seriously, what is wrong with people? Common courtesy is sadly becoming a thing of the past.

Anyway…The nurse called and ushered me into an examination room that I’m sure crawled with a wide variety of germs and cooties. She informed me that everyone was running late and someone would be with me as soon as possible.

I could hear the patients on both sides. The guy in the room to my right sounded like a barking seal with a smoker’s cough. He couldn’t catch his breath for more than a few seconds at a time. Could have been bronchitis with a dash of pneumonia, but I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on television. So what do I know? He was in and out rather quickly, and a screaming baby replaced him. Poor baby. I hate hearing babies cry the “I’m in pain” cry.

The guy in the room to my left kept complaining about being hungry. I heard a female voice tell him that he should have eaten lunch. Then he ran down a litany of foods that he wanted to eat. It ranged from a simple burger and fries to southern fried chicken and mashed potatoes to shrimp cocktail and filet mignon at St. Elmo’s. Okay, now I was hungry too.

As if the nurse read my mind, she hand-delivered a piece of tightly wrapped pumpkin bread from Starbucks. Normally, I would never eat in a doctor’s office. But, let’s face it, I had already been spewed upon numerous times. So, what the heck, I took it. I washed my hands thoroughly and unwrapped it. It was very good pumpkin bread. And it helped pass the time. I had been there almost an hour.

I heard someone enter the hungry guy’s room. Apparently, the nurse didn’t like him. He didn’t get any pumpkin bread. The woman said they were shorthanded, so she would be performing the ultrasound. She asked him to explain his issue. He said he had some pain on the left side.

She asked, “Where?”
He replied, “In my Netherlands.”netherlands2
“In your what?”
“My Netherlands.”
Silence.
“You know – down there.”

As I giggled, I want to yell out, “Nether regions!” But I refrained.

Cool as a cucumber, she replied, “Oh, I see. Your testicles?”
“Yup.”
“Okay. This gel will be cold.”
A few seconds later, he exclaimed, “You weren’t kidding!”

I tried not to get a mental picture, as I heard her ask, “Does it hurt here or here or …?”
After many minutes of “yes” and “no” replies, the patient asked, “Am I getting dinner after this?”

I burst into audible laughter. Oh my God, did he really just ask that? I could picture his wife/girlfriend shaking her head. Because that’s what I would have done.

The woman quipped, “That isn’t a service we provide, Sir.”

Although I didn’t know her, I liked her!

He laughed nervously. “I didn’t mean for it to come out like that. It’s just hard with you poking around down there.”
Silence.
“That was bad too, wasn’t it? I’m going to shut up now.”
“It’s okay, Sir. It happens all the time.”

This is as good as the entertainment gets in a doctor’s office.

His companion finally said, “We’ll go to Culver’s after.”
“Good, because I’m starving.”

Time passed, I heard arguing outside in the hall. Apparently, a patient wasn’t happy with the medication he was given and was trying to get something else. The doctor wouldn’t budge. I recognized her voice, it was the ultrasound woman.

A few more minutes passed, my door opened. The woman looked disheveled and exhausted. We exchanged pleasantries. I asked her how she was doing.
She replied, “I feel like I’ve been through a war. I’m tired of answering questions about Obamacare and dealing with insurance companies and difficult patients.”
I tried to reassure her, “Well, I won’t be giving you any trouble.”
She looked at me quizzically.
I winked. “Today, I’m Switzerland!”

Copyright © 2013 by Suzanne Purewal

Mis-Matched to Miss Matched

Slide2Welcome to the first installment of “Mis-Matched to Miss Matched!” In this blog series, I will describe my dating adventures with Match.com. The dating world has changed a great deal in twenty years. Not for the better, mind you. And I wouldn’t have believed some of these things myself, had I not lived through them.

Never in a million years did I ever think I would have to resort to online dating. But alas, I found that meeting men any other way was virtually impossible. Pun not intended. So, I bit the bullet and signed up for Match.com. I opted for the six-month deal with the guarantee that if I didn’t find anyone in that time period, I would get another six months free. That plan cost about $100. I figured it was a good investment, if I got a husband out of it. It took about an hour to complete my profile. Then, I went “live.”

I did not anticipate the barrage of likes, winks, favorites and emails. Monitoring and managing my account was a full-time job for the first two weeks. Apparently, that’s what happens with “fresh meat.” Unfortunately, many of the “wanna be” suitors looked like they lived in the back hills of Kentucky in an underground bunker with enough firepower to survive the apocalypse. I kept hearing banjo music in my head as I scanned the photos. Seriously. (My apologies to any readers who are gun owners, are from Kentucky and/or are bluegrass music fans.)

And don’t get me started on the shirtless pictures. Or the bathroom pictures. Or the blurry pictures. Everyone who has a cell phone has a camera. All they had to do was hand their phones to a friend and have him/her take a decent picture. Then again, perhaps these guys don’t have friends…that would explain a lot!

I did not respond to any of the likes, winks or favorites. I decided if a guy was too lazy to send me an email, he wasn’t worth my time. So I sorted through the email candidates. They ranged in age from 24 to 79. And they lived all over the country.

Here is a taste of what I experienced in my first week of email exchanges.

Bachelor 1 was a 27-year old sales representative living in Indianapolis.
Bachelor 1: “Your eyes are beautiful. I would love to meet you.”
Me: “Thank you. I’m flattered. But I’m old enough to be your mother. You need to find someone your own age.”
Bachelor 1: “I don’t mind. You don’t look old.”
Me: “But I am older. You’re young and good-looking. I am sure you can find someone your own age. There are some great places around town that have live music and attract people your age.”
Bachelor 1: “You are sweet and helpful. I really want to meet you.”
Me: “I’m sorry. No. I’m too old.”
Bachelor 1: “I like that you’re older. I could use a teacher.”
Me: “Definitely not. No. Look for someone your own age and have fun. I wish you luck finding a match.”
Bachelor 1:  😦

Bachelor 2 was a 49-year old model living in Kentucky.
Bachelor 2: “I am impressed with your beauty and intelligence.”
Me: “Thank you. I see you are a professional model. What type of modeling do you do?”
Bachelor 2: “All types of modeling. Do you have a full-length picture you can send me?”
Me: “I don’t have any full-length pics. The ones I posted in my profile are recent.”
Bachelor 2: “Your face is beautiful but I won’t talk to anyone unless I see a full-length pic. I’ve been disappointed too many times.”
Me: “I am about 5’7″ and weigh 130 pounds.”
Bachelor 2: “Thanks for that but I need to see how you carry it.”
Thinking to myself, This guy is a shallow jackass. Unfreaking real.
Me: “Well, I’m sure I would pass your test. But I have surgical scars, and I’m sure you’ll find those totally unacceptable. Good luck finding a match who meets your standards.”
No response from Bachelor 2. No surprise there!

Bachelor 3 was a 48-year old sales rep living in Indy.
Bachelor 3: “Wow! I want to meet you.”
Me: “Thank you. But my profile clearly states that I am severely allergic to animals, and I won’t date anyone who has an animal. You have two dogs.”
Bachelor 3: “So we could be perfect soulmates but because I have dogs you won’t meet me?”
Me: “Right. Sorry. I wish you luck finding a match.”
Bachelor 3: “Screw you. You look sickly anyway.”
Yikes! I’m sensing abusive tendencies and anger management issues.

I finally found one that passed the email test. So, Bachelor 4 gave me his full name and links to his business website, etc. So, I looked him up. He was a 45-year old millionaire, and I was impressed with his resume. I agreed to meet him at Panera for “coffee.” I don’t drink coffee, so I ordered a lemonade. Remember that impressive resume? That’s all that was impressive. He talked on his cell phone the entire time he was in line waiting to order. Then he texted the entire 40 minutes of our “meet and greet.” Well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why he was divorced.

So, back to Match.com it was for me!

Bachelor 5 was a 47-year old fireman living in Carmel.
Bachelor 5: “I see you love National Parks. We seem to have a lot in common.”
Me: “Sorry, but I’m allergic to animals. I wish you luck finding a match.”
Bachelor 5: “Wow!!! I’ve never been called an animal before. So how can you say that if you haven’t even met me yet?!?”
Me: “Lol. Nice sense of humor. But you have a cat, and I’m allergic to animals.”
Bachelor 5: “I knew what you meant. Just wanted to see if you’d type back. Best of luck to you.”
Me: “Thanks! The same to you!”

And that, my dear readers, is just the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned for the next installment, “The Lewd, the Crude and the Ugly.”

Mom’s Thoughts on Online Dating Part II

Ooops! I thought I had posted this the last time I updated it. Apparently, not. Apologies to Mom, especially since I’m starting a new series based on online dating. Plus the formatting is messed up. Can’t fix it for the life of me. Oh well. Apologies to you, my dear readers. I’m posting the first installment of my “Mis-Matched to Miss Matched” series tomorrow. Stay tuned!

After Mom read my last blog post, she asked me to clarify her position on a certain subject. So, here goes.

“I liked your post. It was funny. But I didn’t like how you ended it. I don’t want people to think that I condone sex outside of marriage. Because I don’t.”
“I know you don’t.”
“But all of the other people reading your blog don’t know that. Nobody should be having sex unless they’re married.”
“I know.”
“To each other.”
I laugh.
“Period.”
“I know.”
“It’s not right. Fix it.”
“Okay, Mom. I’ll write another post.”
“Good. Thank you.”
“It’s the least I can do. I wouldn’t want you to lose any sleep over it.”
“I have other things to lose sleep over. And you should put something in your profile too. That way those men won’t get the wrong idea.”
Heavy sigh and rolling of my eyes. “Mom, I can weed out those guys without a grand declaration in writing.”
“Some men are animals and just want sex.”
“I know. A lot has changed in the last twenty years. But that part has remained the same. I dealt with them before, I can deal with them again.”
“I just worry about you.”
“I know. Thank you. Don’t worry.”
“Of course I’ll worry. And I’ll say a rosary.”
“You and me both!”

Mom’s Thoughts on Online Dating

     This is not a typical Mother’s Day post. But, it does have to do with my Mom’s deep love and concern. I love her dearly for her advice and for wanting the very best for me. And sometimes, I find humor in our daily exchanges. Yes, I talk to my mother (and father) every day. Despite the 600 miles that physically separate us, we are a close-knit family. And I would not want it any other way. (The close-knit part, not the distance part!)
     The mere thought of me plunging into online dating has sent my mother into a bit of a tizzy. But for those of us over 40, let’s face it, we do not have many other alternatives.

     “I don’t like the idea of you doing this online dating thing.”
     I sigh heavily. “Uh huh.”
     “Did you see Criminal Minds this week?”
     “Yes.”
     “You saw what happened to those girls?”
     “Yes.”
     “I’d feel better if one of your friends set you up with someone.”
     “You know they tried. But the guys were all old.”
     “Age shouldn’t matter.”
     “In theory, I agree. But I’m not attracted to old men.”
     “They all weren’t that old.”
     “They were closer to your age than to mine. That doesn’t work for me.”
     “How will you know if these online men are who they say they are?”
     “I don’t. But that could happen no matter how I meet a guy.”
     “Don’t ever meet a man at his house.”
     “I know. I’m not stupid. I would meet him at a restaurant or some public place.”
     “One with good lighting in the parking lot.”
     Rolling my eyes, I reply, “Yes, one with good lighting.”
     “So how does this work exactly?”
     “Everyone fills out a profile with interests and stuff. Then some computer program matches us up based on our profiles.”
     “But they could lie and use someone else’s picture.”
     “Yes, they could. But that would be pretty stupid. And I wouldn’t sign up for a free site. I’d use one you have to pay for. That should weed out some of the riff-raff.”
     “I love you, and I just want you to be happy.”
     “I know. I love you too.”
     “Let’s change the subject.”
     “Okay. Thank you.” I am relieved.
     “So, did you see the segment on the news about The Villages?”
     (The Villages is a popular retirement community in Florida.)
     “No, I didn’t.”
     “Well, there has been a drastic rise in STDs among the residents. Since the women can’t get pregnant, they’re not practicing safe sex. The men are spreading venereal diseases around like wildfire.”

     And that’s my mom – master of subtlety!

Copyright © 2013 by Suzanne Purewal

Worst Pick Up Lines Ever

     My girlfriends and I love going out for dinner, drinks and dancing. We enjoy drama-free nights out with the girls. However, inevitably, we are approached by less-than-desirable men looking for a good time. Here are the worst lines we have heard recently.

20130406_13133910. My buddy and I noticed you from across the bar. I really love your spangly bracelets.
     Sure, it was my spangly bracelets that caught his attention. Not. I was wearing an outfit similar to one I wore for my professional photo shoot. So I had the romantic vibe going, including soft waves in my hair, flawless makeup and a hint of cleavage. Needless to say, after we stopped laughing, we sent him on his merry way. However, I gave him points for effort and creativity!

9. I think we would make beautiful music together.
     Not really a bad line, in and of itself. I gave him points for creativity. But when a guy old enough to be your father, wearing a zoot suit, delivers it, it is just creepy.
     “No, thank you. You’re not my type.”
     “What’s your type?”
     I wanted to say, “Someone who’s not my father’s age.” Instead, I rattled off a list.
     “I don’t like what’s on your list.”
     “You don’t have to. It’s my list.”
     “There are a lot of things missing from your list.” And then, he proceeded to tell me the attributes that should have been on my list.
     I reiterated that I was not interested, but he would not leave. However, within moments, I was saved. He had signed up to sing karaoke, and he was up. Thank you, God!

8. How’d you get that scar on your neck? Did you have a tracheotomy?
     What a jerk!
     “No, I had cancer. Great way to start and end a first conversation.”

white black jeans7. Nice jeans.
     Attention ladies! This is a “politically correct” way for a guy to tell you that you have a nice ass. Apparently, it has replaced the wolf whistle and other direct commentary that could be construed as sexual harassment. I did not bother to acknowledge his presence. But, to tell the truth, they were nice jeans. Actually, they were my favorite jeans, found at White House | Black Market. http://www.whitehouseblackmarket.com

6. My friend and I have a bet going. Are those real?
     Seriously?
     “Yes, my eyes are this color. I’m not wearing colored contacts.”
     “That’s not what I meant.”
     “I know. But that’s the only answer you’re getting.”

5. You’re hot. I’m hot. Let’s f***.

     Are you kidding me???
     “Oh hell, no!” Picture me rolling my eyes and shaking my head in total and absolute disgust.

drink - Copy4. What are you drinking?
     Okay, the question is not the problem here, it was the conversation that followed that did him in.
     “Ginger ale with cranberry juice.”
     He laughed and replied, “I want to buy you a real drink. Order something strong.”
     “Nope. This is what I’m drinking. I already had my one alcoholic drink for the evening. I’m the designated driver.”
     “That’s ridiculous.”
     “No.”
     “Come on. I want to talk to you.”
     “And you can’t talk to me unless I’m drinking alcohol? That’s pretty pathetic.”
     “It levels the playing field.”
     “I’m not interested in playing games. Go away, and grow up.”

3. You girls are gorgeous. Have you ever considered doing porn?
     This guy approached us from behind and put one arm around each of us. We immediately pulled away and told him to get away from us. Eeeewwwww! No matter how hard we tried, no amount of antibacterial wipes could make us feel clean after that.

2. I’m a single dad with four kids under the age of five. I’m looking for somebody to raise them for me.
     Well, good luck with that!
     While we were laughing, he explained he liked to cruise around on his motorcycle. He was searching for someone to raise his kids for him, so he can gallivant around the country. We suggested he hire a nanny.

1. I loved 50 Shades of Grey. How about you?
     “Hated it.”
     “How could you hate it? It was fantastic.”
     “The plot was ridiculous. It was poorly written and 200 pages too long.”
     “Come back to my place, and I’ll convince you otherwise.”
     “I can’t say ‘no’ strongly enough.”
     “I’ll have you saying ‘yes’ and begging for more.”
     “Not in your wildest dreams.”
     “I guarantee to make your wildest dreams come true.”
     “Really?”
     “Yes.”
     “My wildest dream is for you to leave us alone.”
     And with that, he called me the “B” word and left. Gee, if only all of my dreams were that easy to fulfill! 

     Despite dealing with unwelcome advances, my girlfriends and I will continue to go out and enjoy each other’s company. And, if nothing else, we will end up with some really interesting stories to share!

Copyright © 2013 Suzanne Purewal

Reflection – The Invisible “VAN”

invisible van     Today’s post was written by my friend and former colleague, Tim Conrad. He periodically sends out reflections to his friends and family via email. I wanted to share this particular reflection with you. It is humorous and insightful. So, with Tim’s permission, I am sharing his entire reflection here. Thank you, Tim!

     Driving into work the other day, I was thinking about something that my wife mentioned to me. She claims that our vehicle, our van in particular, is apparently “invisible” and it seems as though everyone is out to “get us”. You see, no matter where we seem to be going, no matter how fast or how slow, it is as if no one can see us. People are constantly pulling out in front of us, either to get to the other side, to change lanes so they can turn from our side of the highway, or just pull out so as not to be behind us. It feels like we need to tap (or slam) on the brakes to avoid a dented fender (at best) or a smashed front end with potential physical injuries (at worst?) every time. What is it that makes our van so unique?
     So, for the next week or so I became more aware than usual of how other people drive. I really wanted to know if my van was invisible! I was the 2nd vehicle in line at a stoplight and glanced at the driver next to me who was fiddling with his radio, the guy in front of him was watching the cars pass by, and the gal in front of me was putting on lipstick. Across the way a young driver was texting on his cell phone, a mother was yelling at her kids, a woman was putting on make-up, and a guy was shaving with his electric razor. Ok, when you witness 6 drivers out of 7 doing something other than driving, does that scare you? More than a little bit? I actually thought that the purpose of driving was to get you to a destination. To get to work, or to school, the shopping mall, or grocery store, something along those lines, not as something you did while you finished (or started?) some other task! Am I crazy? OK, I reasoned that since I observed this all while at the stoplight, maybe it was just their chance to take advantage of the “idle” time while their car wasn’t in motion. Maybe I was getting worked up over nothing.
     Well, as I was waiting at the stoplights in the days since then, I watched the drivers that were passing by in front of me. Well, imagine my surprise when I saw 2-3 more people trying to text while driving, several on cell phones, one trying to read a newspaper balanced on their steering wheel and even one driver with their visor down trying to put on mascara! YIKES! I will admit I saw more folks watching the road when they were moving versus when they were stopped at the red light, but this was more than disturbing. I was on the verge of a panic attack! Are we all really like that?!? Am I!?!
     It was at that moment that I was reminded of the following comment, “There are only two types of drivers on the road, slow-pokes who need to learn how to drive, and crazy drivers that need to watch their speed.” Of course the slow pokes are ALL of those drivers who drive much slower than we are driving, and the crazy drivers are the ones who drive much faster than we are driving.
     Sure enough, the next day I was running late and everyone seemed to be going 10 miles under the speed limit. I reached for my cell phone to call ahead to let them know I was running late. I hit every red light (or so it seemed) and was always waiting on someone to speed up (if I was behind them), or to slow down (if I was trying to cross traffic in front them). In my mind, they were all “idiot” drivers, if you know what I mean. And then it hit me, here I am being an “idiot” driver too!
     And then another thing hit me. People are not out to “get me”, and my vehicle isn’t “invisible”. People (including me) are worried about our own little world, our own little concerns and what we need to get done before we get to wherever it is we are going. We are not thinking about the others that are on the road, or about their concerns or their over-whelming problems. We are thinking almost 100% about ourselves, our task or mission at that moment in time. That really is it, isn’t it? Nothing more. Nothing less.
     But what if that weren’t the case? What if instead we all took our time to get from point A to point B, and worried about others doing the same? What if we were courteous to the other drivers out there ALL the time? What if we all drove within a few miles of the speed limit? What if all drivers’ eyes were on the road and were D-R-I-V-I-N-G instead of applying make-up with electric cell phone shavers wrapped in newspaper articles? I would imagine that most of the “idiot” drivers would disappear. What if WE personally, you and I, were to start being THAT DRIVER. What if we, when we encountered that “idiot”, would say a prayer for them, that they got to their destination safely, along with their passengers, and did no harm to others on the road? What if we, while saying that prayer, imagined that it was us driving too fast because we had a sick child in the back seat, or were told we would be fired if we weren’t at work within the next 10 minutes? What if we imagined that slow driver as our grandfather or grandmother on the way to the grocery store, or as a person lost looking for the turn that they may have missed? What if we, you and I, started to show compassion for those “idiot” drivers? What if…?
     So the next time you are out driving and you sense that the Holy Spirit is tapping you on the shoulder and you suddenly realize you are driving like a “slow-poke” or a “crazy-driver”, don’t be surprised if you see a guy driving a van who seems to be praying for you. Then again, maybe you won’t see him….
     I hope that together we grow in our faith, we help each other in this ultimate adventure, we strive to overcome all of the evil of the world and in the end we triumph as heroes gaining the ultimate reward, heaven.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Conrad

Slip Sliding Away

falling on ice     Sunday, February 10th, 7:30 a.m.
     I had just taken a shower, my hair was still damp. Wearing my dark blue winter coat, I headed outside to get the newspaper. It had rained overnight. I dodged the puddles on my sidewalk. The top of the driveway was wet. I continued to walk to the sloped part of the driveway, where unbeknownst to me, that part of the driveway was a sheet of ice – black ice. One moment, I was walking carefree. The next, both feet came out from under me. I was airborne and landed on my upper back. Then my head hit the concrete, as did the rest of my body. The dreadful noise of body meeting concrete is not a sound I will soon forget.
     The pain was excruciating. Although I could feel my fingers and toes, I could not lift my head or move my arms. I keep telling myself to breathe. But breathing brought pain as well. I could feel the cold now. My jacket was not fully zipped. And for some reason, I was not wearing my gloves.
     I heard a car approach. They stopped at the stop sign a few feet from me and then kept driving. As did a second car. Every car entering or leaving my neighborhood must pass my house. There is no way they did not see me. I was a dark blue blob in the middle of an off-white concrete driveway. Had I been sprawled in the snow, a person might assume I was making snow angels. However, there was no snow. And I was in the middle of the driveway. People do not just lay down on their driveways in the middle of winter for the heck of it.
     When I landed, my arms were positioned very close to my body. My right hand was next to my cell phone. Not sure how long it took, but somehow, I punched in 9-1-1 and hit the speaker button.
     The 911 operator assured me help was on the way. Within seconds, I heard the sirens. The firehouse is behind my house.
     The paramedics, Nathan and Van, get kudos for their efforts. Poor Nathan almost fell trying to reach me. He pinwheeled before regaining his balance.
     I pleaded, “Please don’t fall on me.”
     He laughed. “I won’t fall on you. But wow! This is slippery. No wonder you fell.”
     I thought to myself, Duh!
     They covered me with warm blankets. Apparently, my lips and fingers were blue. On their hands and knees, they strapped a collar around my neck and secured me to the backboard. However, the ice made any movement treacherous. So, after a brief discussion, they slid me down the icy driveway, on the board, until we reached the sidewalk. They apologized as tears streamed down my face.
     I will not name the hospital because I was not thrilled with the service. Normally, the service is better, but I was not the only black ice victim that morning.
     The nurses wanted to cut off my jeans.
     Oh hell no. “These are my favorite jeans. Don’t cut them. I’m sure you can get them off.”
     “We’ll try. But we might have to cut them.”
     “I can move my legs. I can’t move my arms.”
     “We’ll give you some pain meds and then try.”
     “Okay. Thanks.”
     The drugs barely took the edge off. Not good.
     They removed the jeans with minimal effort while discussing the best way to hook me up to everything.
     I volunteered, “You can cut my sweater off. I don’t care about the sweater.”
     “Well, we just need to get your bra off for the scans and X-rays.”
     “The easiest way to do that is to cut off my sweater.”
     “Nah, I think I can get the bra off without removing your sweater.”
     “Really. I don’t care about this sweater.”
     “I’ve done this a thousand times.”
     But I thought, This is a bad idea. She’s going to kill me.
     She pulled on my sweater to get a look at my bra. “Oh, it’s a Victoria’s Secret bra. I’m positive I can get it off without cutting anything.”
     “I’m sure it would be easier if you cut off my sweater.”
     “I can do it without removing it.”
     “I know it can be done, I’ve done it myself. But it’s going to be difficult since I can’t move my arms to help you.”
     “Don’t worry. I can do it.”
     Not wanting to be classified as “combative,” I stopped arguing. I was amazed at the elasticity of the bra straps, but alas, they still were not elastic enough. She wrenched my arm and pain shot through me like tongues of fire.
     Tears flowed again as the nurse triumphantly pulled the bra through the arm of my sweater. “See? Piece of cake.”
     Worst cake ever.
     After taking my vitals and information, the nurse confirmed the name and phone number of my emergency contact before sending me for a CT scan. The technicians transferred me to the table with several jerking motions which only increased my discomfort. Then I was returned to my room and left alone, with no call button and no way to reach one. Finally a technician came in to say I needed X-rays. The petite X-ray tech was going to try to transfer me to the X-ray table by herself. I adamantly told her not to touch me until she had help. The other tech was not much bigger. With great effort, they moved me.
     I prayed to God for strength. The pain radiated through my back, up my neck and down my arms. I had to keep reminding myself to breathe.
     For the second set of X-rays, they rolled me on my side and told me to hold that position. Well, if I was not already paralyzed, these women were sure to complete the job with all of the pushing, tugging and twisting.
     I was moved for the umpteenth time and returned to my room. I asked the nurse for more drugs and if my emergency contact was coming.
     She said, and I quote, “You didn’t tell me to call her.”
     “Are you kidding me?”
     “No. I am not allowed to call unless you specifically tell me to call. Do you want me to call?”
     For the love of God and all that is holy. “Yes. Please call her now. And please get me some drugs.” 
     So, after being alone for seven hours, my loved ones arrived.
     The CT scan and X-rays showed no broken bones. So, around the eighth hour, they removed the neck collar and discharged me. Never mind that I could not lift my head yet and could barely move my arms. The doctor said I needed to drug myself up really good, and eventually I would regain mobility.
     When I got home, I expected everything to be the way I had left it in the morning. The little things were, however, the paramedic who retrieved my purse had turned off the television and all of the lights. Apparently, he knew I would not be back right away.
     It took almost two weeks for me to regain mobility. Although, it still hurts a great deal to move in certain directions.
     I owe an enormous debt of thanks to my friend who checked on me every day, not only to bring me food, chocolate, my mail, and yes, that cursed newspaper, but to make sure that I was really okay. I feel truly blessed.
     So let this be a lesson to all of you! Beware of black ice!
     And if you ever see a person sprawled on the ground, stop and ask if they need help! A little kindess can go a long way.
     As for me, I will avoid my driveway like the plague as my recovery continues.

Girls’ Night Out

    While I was home for the holidays in Rochester, New York, I went out one evening with a few girls from high school. In our dresses and high heels, we decided to try a new, fancy little restaurant. To protect the identities of my friends, I will call them Mary, Callie and Sam.
    That night was an escape for all of us. Mary had been tending to her sick children the entire week. Callie had spent the day with a broken toilet and a less-than-pleasant plumber. Sam had just finished her twelve-hour shift at the hospital. And honestly, I was dying to get out and have some fun. Don’t get me wrong. I love spending quality holiday time with my parents. But sometimes, a girl just has to have some non-family fun!
    The perky blonde hostess, in her size zero black dress, escorted us to a dimly-lit table near the window. As we sat, Perky handed us our menus and rattled off the day’s specials.
    As she walked away, Mary muttered, “I hate her.”
    In stereo, Callie, Sam and I agreed, “We all hate her.”
    Mary sighed. “I used to be that size.”
    Sam piped in, “Mary, you’ve lost over forty pounds. You look fantastic!”
    We all agreed. Mary smiled.
    And that was the end of the negative talk. We drank, ate and laughed as the trees beyond the window sparkled with white Christmas lights.
    When the waitress asked if we wanted dessert, we held out our hands for the dessert menus. Sam and Callie decided to split a warm brownie topped with vanilla ice cream, smothered in hot fudge and whipped cream. Mary and I devilishly opted to share a crêpe filled with Nutella® and topped with chocolate sauce, Grand Marnier® and raspberries. Hold the whipped cream.
    As we waited for our desserts, I decided to visit the ladies’ room. Mary joined me, because we always go in pairs. To our surprise, it was a one-person bathroom. Although it was a new restaurant, it was retrofitted into an old building.
    Anyway…I offered to wait for Mary. She said not to bother, so I returned to the table. After a few minutes, my cell phone buzzed. It was Mary’s number. The text message read, “911!”
    I laughed, and texted, “LOL.”
    It was answered with, “NO! I really need help! NOW!!!”
    My mind raced with all of the possible female emergency scenarios, including a wet foot. Maybe she tried to flush the toilet with her shoe, and she slipped. Not knowing what type of help she needed, I grabbed my purse. If you have not seen my purse, it’s more like an overnight bag. It is stocked with all sorts of essentials. I bought the gigantic thing to carry copies of my books with me everywhere I go. But I digress…
    A line had formed. I walked to the front of the line and knocked gently on the door.
    “Mary? It’s me.”
    The door cracked open. Mary yelled, “Get in here!”
    I squeezed through the small opening and shut the door behind me. She appeared slightly disheveled. Her hair was okay, but she was perspiring. And her dress didn’t fall properly.
    “What’s wrong?”
    Mary hiked up her dress and turned away from me. She pleaded, “Help me!”
    I saw what looked like black sleek sea creature strangulating her thighs and rear end. One cheek was partially encased. The other cheek was slightly suspended by the black material bunched under it. I desperately tried not to laugh.
    She sighed. “Spanx®. I can’t move it.”
    “Do you want it up or down?”
    “Up!”
    “Okay!”
    This miracle product was bunched mid-tush. Honestly, the view wasn’t pretty. And I could not budge it.
    “I think I’m going to have to roll it down and try to yank it up with one big tug.”
    “I don’t give a damn how you do it, just do it!”
    I swear that thing was made out of indestructible, flexible steel. It was even hard to roll. I pulled down. Her underwear came along for the ride.
    “Sorry.”
    Frustrated, she pulled her underwear up.
    “Okay, Mary. I’m going to pull up on the count of three. So, suck in.”
    On three, I pulled. The top stretched and elongated, but it hardly budged. “You have got to be kidding me! How did you get this on at home?”
    Mary admitted, “John did it for me.”
    I studied the problem, hands on my hips. “I think you might need a bigger size.”
    “No! This is the perfect size!”
    “But you can’t get into it without help! This is nuts.”
    “Just help me already!”
    I zipped my mouth and unzipped my purse. I reached in and located a pair of blue nitrile gloves.
    Mary watched as I put them on. “What are you planning on doing with those?” she asked, a bit wary.
    “This thing is similar to compression stockings. They tell you to use gloves to get a better grip. I’m hoping it will work. Turn around.”
    “It’s worth a shot.”
    I shimmied the Spanx® up to just below her derriere and gathered all of the material into my gloved hands. I positioned myself with a wider stance than normal and hoisted with all of my might. I pulled so hard that Mary hopped and lost her balance. She grabbed for the sink vanity.
    I couldn’t help it. I started to laugh. At first, Mary was upset. Then, she started to laugh too. And we couldn’t stop. Here we were two grown women in a ladies’ room trying to pull up a freaking pair of Spanx® and failing miserably. We laughed heartily to the point of tears.
    The Spanx® rested mid-buttocks at this point, creating a Continental Divide of sorts. Still laughing, I told her to hold on to the vanity and to brace herself. I was determined to get those Spanx® up, if it was the last thing I ever did.
    I yanked as hard as I could. Mary’s feet left the floor again, but this time, the Spanx® cleared its hurdle.
    “Oh my God! Thank you!”
    “You’re welcome! Can you breathe?”
    As she smoothed out the front, she replied, “A little.”
    “No one is going to believe this.”
    “You can’t tell anyone.”
    “I am a writer. This is too good not to tell.”
    “Oh God!”
    “Don’t worry. I won’t use your name. But this is hysterical!”
    “Glad I could provide you with writing material.”
    Mary and I checked our makeup. All of those laughing tears caused our eye makeup to smudge. After we touched ourselves up, I opened the door. We were greeted with questioning and annoyed looks by the women standing in line.
    We smiled as we walked past them and returned to our table.
    “We thought you both fell in,” Callie commented.
    Mary answered, “Nope. Just a little wardrobe malfunction.”

Copyright © 2013 by Suzanne Purewal