A Not So Glorious Quest

     Today, my significant other wanted to cook dinner in a crockpot. While he is an expert with this cooking device, I have never used a crockpot. But I am an expert at minimizing messes. So, the crockpot needed a liner. At least, that’s what my friends told me. So, I went to the store in search of crockpot liners.
     Initially, I thought Lady Luck was on my side. I got the first parking spot, next to the handicapped spot. Bonus! This was going to be a quick in-and-out shopping experience. A piece of cake.
     As I entered the store, there was an enormous display of crockpots of all makes and sizes. I thought it was weirdly coincidental. But alas, the display lacked liners. But that was okay. I figured they would be in the paper products aisle with the aluminum foil and oven bags. So, I made a beeline for the paper products aisle.
     When I reached the spot where the liners should have been, the shelf was empty. Everything else on that shelf was fully stocked. An employee was behind me.
     I said, “I’m looking for crockpot liners. Do you know if you have any more?”
     She replied, “They took them and put them up front. Look in the baking display.”
     I thanked her and headed for the baking display. There were no liners to be found.
     Another employee asked, “Can I help you?”
     “I’m looking for crockpot liners.”
     “Did you look in the paper products aisle?”
     “Yes. The lady there told me they should be here.”
     “They’re not.”
     Duh. “I know.”
     “Let me see if there are any in back.”
     My mind decided to start singing, The Impossible Dream.

     To dream the impossible dream
     To fight the unbeatable foe
     To bear with unbearable sorrow
     To run where the brave dare not go

     After several minutes, I knew she wasn’t coming back.
     In the meantime, I counted four endcaps that had crockpots on them. Four endcaps! What’s the deal on crockpots? Why was every make and model on sale? Was this God’s way of taunting me? Or was I on an episode of The Twilight Zone?
     I trudged up toward the front of the store. I wasn’t ready to give up yet. They were pushing crockpots hard. Those liners had to be somewhere. And by God, I was going to find them!

     This is my quest
     To follow that star
     No matter how hopeless
     No matter how far

     I approached an older employee who was stocking the Christmas section. She looked as if she was a seasoned employee. No pun intended! And I wanted to slow down Christmas from coming to the store. I mean really! It’s November 2nd. Anyway …
     “Excuse me, can you tell me where the crockpot liners are?”
     “Did you look in the paper products aisle?”
     ”Yes. The lady there told me they were in the baking area. They weren’t.”
     “Hold on. Let me check.”
     She proceeded to use the radio clipped to her blue smock to ask if anyone knew the whereabouts of the crockpot liners.
     The first response: “Check the paper aisle.”
     I sighed heavily.
     The second: “Check the baking display.”
     I rolled my eyes.
     Thirdly: “We’re out. We don’t have any.”
     I threw up my hands in exasperation.
     The radio chatter ceased.
     She said, “Sorry. Guess we don’t have any.”
     I thanked her and walked away. But I was not done yet.

     To fight for the right
     Without question or pause
     To be willing to march into Hell
     For a heavenly cause

     I walked around and searched every single display in the front of the store. And dum-da-da-dum! Success! I found the stupid liners on a display between two registers.

     And the world will be better for this
     That one (wo)man, scorned and covered with scars
     Still strove with her last ounce of courage
     To reach the unreachable star!

     Thrilled with my victory, I skipped back to the lady in the Christmas section. “I found the liners. They’re between two registers two aisles over.”
     She smiled. “Glad you found them.”
     The song, Celebration, by Kool & the Gang, came on the radio on the drive home. I cranked it up and sang along. Hey, I was happy after all of that.
     I walked in the door and proudly handed him the box of liners. “You won’t believe what I had to go through to find these.”
     Sheepishly, he said, “Um. I didn’t wait. I started already without one.”
     Oh, my God! Are you freaking kidding me?
     Without uttering a word, I walked away. At that moment, only extremely colorful language would have come out of my mouth. And being the good Catholic girl that I am, and since today is All Souls Day, I thought it best to keep my mouth shut.

Copyright © 2017 by Suzanne Purewal

With the exceptions of excerpts from “The Impossible Dream”
From the Man of La Mancha
Music by Mitch Leigh, Lyrics by Joe Darion

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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

The Sound of Silence

P1030771
     Hello, friends! Welcome to another “Mis-Matched to Miss Match” episode. I know you were hoping this would be a good news post because I have not written in some time. Sadly, that is not the case.
     The subject of today’s blog is a handsome 42-year-old professional. He was downright yummy. He was intelligent and funny, and we hit it off wonderfully. At the beginning, he was attentive and eager to please. He even sang to me while we slow danced. I was in heaven. It was a romantic dream come true! Slow dancing and singing! Just imagine it! Continue reading

Finding My Way

     The last poem I posted, Harvest Day, was written during the darkest time in my life, my unexpected divorce. That’s right, it was worse than going through cancer. Not to minimize the hell that cancer was, because that ordeal was horrible. I knew I would beat cancer. But I did not think I would survive the divorce. I couldn’t sleep or eat. And although I lost a lot of weight, I do not recommend divorce as a weight-loss program!
     Eventually, I climbed out of the pit of despair and rejoined the land of the living. I wrote Finding My Way during that arduous climb.
Continue reading

Harvest Day

     In honor of National Poetry Month, here is one of the poems I wrote in Fall 2011. I wrote this poem, Harvest Day, on one dark day early in my divorce journey.
Continue reading

Drunk and Drunker

dont drink and drive
     Hello, Friends! Welcome to the ongoing saga of “Mis-Matched to Miss Matched.” Today’s dating tales of woe concern two men and their love affairs with alcohol.
     The first bachelor passed the email and phone call tests. When I met him, there were a few red flags, but he seemed fun and easy to talk to. So, against my better judgment, I went on several dates with him.
     He declared that he was working out 4-5 times a week, was living a healthy lifestyle and was going to lose more weight. He had already lost 100 pounds.
     Although I did not observe him making healthy food selections, it was his drinking that bothered me. He did not stop at one or two drinks.
     If you have been following me through this journey, you know I am a one-drink person when I am out, and I am the designated driver. I will not get into a car with someone who is legally drunk.
     During our last date, I met him at his favorite restaurant. This place carried a special type of wine just for him. I learned that on our first date. That was a red flag, but I chose to overlook it.
     He greeted me with a hello kiss. Then he proceeded to tell me how sick he was and how horrible he felt. The congestion in his chest was terrible. He held his chest and coughed. It sounded like bronchitis to me.
     Backing away, I reacted, “Yikes, no more kisses for you until you’re well.”
     He replied, “Oh, you’re one of those.”
     One of those? If you mean people who don’t want you contaminating them with all of your respiratory infection germs, yes, I’m one of those. Be considerate. Good Lord!
     I sighed as I sat across from him.
     Then he coughed and coughed, without covering his mouth.
     I am sure I cringed as I shifted to the right. At least that way he was not coughing directly on me. I mentioned that he should be coughing into his elbow.
     Eventually, he covered his mouth with his hand. But then he wanted me to hold that hand.
     Are you trying to get me sick on purpose?
     Thank God I had antibacterial wipes.
     While he enjoyed his third glass of wine, he saw I was agitated. He asked, “What’s on your mind?”
     Oh, buddy, you just asked the wrong question. I don’t think you really want to know. I’m thinking I’m going to catch this plague you have. And your drinking is bothering me. But since you asked…
      “The amount you drink bothers me. Every time we’ve gone out, except one time, you’ve had a lot to drink. Not just one or two glasses of wine, but multiple glasses. I’m concerned.”
      “I’m not an alcoholic.”
      “Do you drink every day?”
      “I usually don’t go out during the week.”
     Not sure what that had to do with the price of tea in China, I replied, “Well, I won’t ride with a person who’s legally drunk. If you’re always going to drink like this, I will always have to drive.”
     Defensively, he argued, “I am not drunk! Do I look drunk? Do I act drunk? Am I slurring my words?”
      “No.” Because you have built up a tolerance.
     He continued, “My friends drink hard liquor. I drink wine. It’s better. We’re here every Friday and Saturday night drinking at the bar. They drink hard liquor. I drink my wine.”
     Every Friday and Saturday? Drunk is still drunk, dude. Any cop will tell you that. So will a blood alcohol test.
     I stated, “It doesn’t matter what you’re drinking. Alcohol is alcohol.”
     “It’s just wine. And now you’re making me uncomfortable and self-conscious.”
     “Sorry, you asked, and I had to say something because it’s making me uncomfortable.”
     Dismissively, he responded, “You’re making something out of nothing. I’m not an alcoholic. You don’t drink wine, so you don’t understand.”
     What’s there to understand? Wine contains alcohol last time I checked.
     Then he stopped the waitress and asked her for another glass of wine.
     Are you freaking kidding me? Way to show me you don’t have a drinking problem.
     She emptied the contents of the bottle into his glass. This was glass number four.
     As he drank, I got the “you’re not the boss of me” look and vibe.
     I shook my head and ate my dinner.
     I am not trying to be the boss of anybody. But drinking and driving is a serious issue. And I do not want to be with someone who drinks to excess all the time.
     Then he said, “Next you’re going to tell me I can’t ride my motorcycle without a helmet.”
     Heavy sigh.
     Annoyed, I said, “No, you can do whatever you want.”
     Obviously, because nothing I say matters anyway.
     After he drained his glass, he asked the waitress for yet another glass.
     She answered, “I emptied the bottle last time. Do you want me to open a new bottle for you?”
      “Yes.”
     If you are counting with me, this was glass number five.
     Finally, dinner was over.
     After that evening, my texts to him were short.
     He texted, “So I’m assuming by your lack of communication and enthusiasm, you’ve lost interest and can’t get over my evil wine drinking ways.”
     You guessed right! That and your complete disregard for my welfare by spewing all over me and for not understanding why I would not want to put my life into the hands of someone who was legally drunk.
     I wrote, “You disregarded my concern completely. I understood finishing the glass in front of you. Then you had her open another bottle. And you got defensive and dismissive. I can’t handle being with someone who drinks 5 glasses of wine in that short amount of time and disregards my feelings.”
      “Actually it was 3 glasses and that hardly makes me an alcoholic…I wasn’t trying to dismiss you by ordering another glass but I was trying to make a point that I’m 52 years old and I’m pretty set in my ways.”
     I was not going to argue about the number of glasses or about anything else for that matter. I was drinking water and clearly counted five glasses of wine.
     So that was the end of that!

     A friend attempted to help me in my quest for “Mr. Right.” She invited a friend, an extremely wealthy businessman, to meet us for drinks and a light dinner. We were sitting at the bar when he showed up three sheets to the wind.
     Obviously, that was extremely disappointing, in and of itself.
     And did I mention that he looked older than my parents? So, he had nothing working in his favor.
     I was polite at first. But after I had heard the exact same story for the third time, I was mentally done. I tried to ignore him the best I could, but he kept hanging on me.
     I caught the eye of a young, handsome guy a few seats away. I gave him my “help me” look. He laughed and looked away.
     Damn!
     Without another option, I disappeared to the ladies’ room. And I stayed in there entirely too long. When I returned, “Tipsy” was sitting in my chair.
     Thank you, Jesus!
     I quickly sat next to the handsome guy.
     He looked up at me and smiled.
     I smiled back. “I need you to save me.”
     “I know. I saw the look.”
     Exasperated, I threw up my hands. “But you didn’t save me.”
     “Trust me, we’ve got your back.”
     “Who’s ‘we’?”
     “As soon as you left for the bathroom, I watched your drink. I was convinced that guy was going to put something in it.”
     “Really?”
     “Yes. He looks like that kind of guy. A real creeper.”
     I laughed.
     He continued, “And the bartender is watching out for you too. And the piano guy hasn’t taken his eyes off you all night.”
     “Good to know I’m covered. Thank you.”
     “Don’t mention it.”
     He wore a wedding band.
     Of course, the gorgeous ones are always married!
     I said, “I know that you’re married, and I’m not hitting on you. I just need someone to talk to until he leaves.”
     “No problem.”
     We had a nice conversation. And when his wife and teenage daughter showed up, he introduced me to them. He explained the story. His daughter got wide-eyed when he said he thought the guy was going to drug my drink.
     Glad I could provide a teachable moment. Hopefully, she’ll remember this when she goes to parties.
     This nice family even asked me if I wanted to join them at a booth for dinner.
     “No, thank you. I don’t want to intrude.”
     “If you change your mind…”
     I shook their hands. “Thank you.”
     My friend and Tipsy went out to smoke.
     The bartender said, “You look like you could use that dessert now.”
     I nodded. “Yes, please.”
     I ate my chocolate dessert and talked to the bartender and the pianist.
     Finally, it was time to leave.
     My leather jacket was on the back of the businessman’s chair. He insisted on helping me with it.
     As he slipped on the coat, he commented, “Oh, the leather is so soft.”
     Then he reached around and grabbed my right breast.
     Let me tell you something, dear readers. I have never, ever hit anyone. But at that moment, I really wanted to hit him.
     It took every ounce of strength I had within me not to hit him.
     I hear you screaming, “Why the hell not? Hit him! Slap him! For God’s sake, knee him!”
     I was almost a head taller than him. He had been drinking steadily since he walked in. So, he was drunk as a skunk and unsteady on his feet. And I knew that if I hit him, his sorry geriatric ass would go down hard, very hard. And with my luck, he would have broken a hip. Then he and his army of lawyers would have had me arrested.
     Friends, I would not do well in jail. Not for a single minute.
     Instead, I will let karma take care of him. He will get what’s coming to him in the end.
     In the meantime, I might kill him off in one of my books. Or not. I guess you will have to buy my next novel to find out…

If you or a loved one has a drinking problem, please get help. Here are a few organizations that can help you on the path to wellness.

AA http://www.aa.org/
Al-Anon http://www.al-anon.org/
SADD http://www.sadd.org/

Copyright © 2016 by Suzanne Purewal

Calling All Indiana Authors!

Greetings Fellow Indiana Authors!

I am the coordinator for the Local Authors Booth at the 67th Annual Christmas Gift & Hobby Show, Wednesday, November 9th – Sunday, November 13th, 2016. We still have author slots available.

The show will be held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, West Pavilion, 1202 East 38th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46205.

This venue has been very successful over the years for local authors to sell their books.

You may sign up for as many time slots as you wish. The prices are: $75 per author, per time slot. The fee includes a linen-covered 5 ft table, one chair, storage space, the website feature, an author’s badge, an exhibitor helper’s badge, a parking pass, and two tickets for friends/family. The badges and parking pass are good for free entry for the entire five days of the show. If you need an extra chair, there is a one-time $10 charge.

If you are interested in participating in this event, email me at purewalpublishing@gmail.com, and I will send you the application form.

Although I will accommodate as many authors as possible, there is limited space.

I look forward to working with you! If you have any questions, please contact me.

Thank you!

Suzanne Purewal