My Dad: Wildlife Whisperer

P1030366Bighorn Sheep

     If you missed the first vacation installment, this adventure took my parents and me into Montana and Canada—Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, Yoho National Park, Waterton Lakes National Park, Kootenay National Park and Glacier National Park. The majority of the time there was no Wi-Fi or cell phone coverage. So, we were on our own.
     My dad has taken gorgeous pictures over the years. He won several contests for his work, deservedly so. This requires going the extra mile to get the perfect shot.
     He will blaze his own trail when the official one does not give the best view of whatever he is attempting to capture.
     He will stand on the edge of a precipitous cliff with stones giving way. He will venture through brush without batting an eye. Rocky mountainsides pose little challenge. Continue reading

Mission: Impossible – a.k.a. Vacationing With Mom and Dad

P1020956 Lake Louise

     “Your mission, Suzanne, should you choose to accept it, is to accompany your parents on a vacation into the wilderness. You will be responsible for their well-being and returning them home safely. At times, they will ignore you and will perform acts to thwart your efforts. However, you must persevere. There will be no Wi-Fi or cell phone coverage. So, you are on your own. This message will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Suzanne.”

P1020968 Lake Louise

     I hear you saying, “Come on, Suzanne. How bad could it be? It’s a vacation!”
     Clearly, you have no prior knowledge of our family vacations. Unless we were in peril and almost died at least once, it was not a good vacation.
     Seriously. Continue reading

The Foreign Contingent

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

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal