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

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

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

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