Not So Helpful Dating Advice

advice

     Hello, friends! As my quest for a boyfriend continues through my “Mis-Matched to Miss Matched” series, many of you have offered well-intentioned advice. I appreciate that you all care enough to make suggestions. However, I believe some of the suggestions are slightly off the mark.
     The most common advice I have received is:
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Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

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

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

#loveoneanother #trytogetalong

Copyright © 2016 by Suzanne Purewal

Will You Be My Valentine?

download     Recently, my parents started cleaning out their basement. As a result, I received a few bags of what I will call “stuff.” In one of those bags, I found all sorts of treasures. No, nothing that would make me rich monetarily. However, they will provide a wealth of blog article topics.
     Appropriate for this time of year, I discovered stacks of Valentine’s Day cards. You know—the kind you trade as kids. They were from Kindergarten through 4th grade.20160208_104652
     And before you think this should be the beginning of a hoarding article, we are not hoarders. We are pack rats. There is a big difference. And our stuff fit neatly in the basement.
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     As I reflected on these tokens of friendship, I read the names on the back of each card. I tried to remember all of those friends. Some were from school or Brownies. Others were from my neighborhood.
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     I laughed at how the handwriting improved over the years too. Barely legible Kindergarten scrawl to 4th grade cursive writing. Thank you, Sister Mary Carmel, for teaching us to write in cursive.
     Sister Mary Carmel wore the complete habit. I clearly remember one June day when the boys were rolling up their long-sleeved shirts, due to the heat.
     Sister said, “If I can be dressed this way and tolerate the heat, so can you. Roll down those sleeves.”
     Amid theatrics and heavy sighs, all of the boys rolled down their sleeves.
     Okay, back to the Valentine’s Day cards. The girls tended to decorate the envelopes with hearts and smiling faces. The boys just stuck to names, plain and simple. I was amazed that there were not many duplicate card designs in a single year. Obviously, there were a couple. But overall, each card was unique.
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     One of my favorites was a paper doll that you cut out and dressed in paper clothes. Hey, don’t judge me. It was the 1970s. Times were simpler then.
     In addition to the discipline and guilt taught in Catholic grammar school, we were also taught the importance of including everyone, so no one was left out. During the year, some of the kids teased me and called me, “nerd” or “teacher’s pet.” However, I still received a Valentine from each and every one of those kids. At the end of the day, we were all still friends.
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     Once we entered our dating years, Valentine’s Day became less about friends, and more about the subjects of our romantic affection. Naturally.
     Fast forward to present day. Primarily, adults buy things for their significant others and their kids. Which reminds me—Thank you, Mom and Dad, for the Valentine’s Day card. I just got it in the mail. It’s very pretty. And I love you, too.
     The question I pose is this: Why don’t we acknowledge our friends on Valentine’s Day anymore?
     We have ample capacity to love our significant others, parents and children as well as our friends. So, why not share the love with our friends?
     We can partially blame advertisers who bombard us with ads urging us to buy gifts for our significant others. I have not seen a single ad telling me to buy Valentine’s Day gifts for my friends.
     Many unattached people dread Valentine’s Day. All of the fanfare and hoopla are huge “in your face” reminders of their single status. As if single people need a reminder. We do not need reminders, people. We know.
     Some lonely hearts resort to throwing anti-Valentine’s Day parties. I’ve seen invitations that declare, “Love Sucks,” “Love Bites,” and “Love Stinks, Let’s Drink.”
     Well, in my opinion, those parties just create a lot of negative energy. So, that’s not for me. Instead, I look forward to February 15th, when chocolate is half-price.

     What I am challenging you to do this year is to remember your friends on Valentine’s Day.

     I am not saying you have to run out and buy everyone flowers, candy or a card. Although those would be nice, and I would never turn them down. But a simple text, phone call or shout out on Facebook could really brighten someone’s day.

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     Be a good friend this Valentine’s Day, and share the love!

Copyright © 2016 by Suzanne Purewal

My Review of The Book of Mormon

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

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

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

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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