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

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