Meet Artist Suzanne Walker and Her Exquisite Pysanky Eggs

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I met Suzanne Walker at an event this year. I was impressed by her artistic talent and phenomenal attention to detail. While purchasing one of her beautiful eggs, I asked if I could interview her for this blog. So, here we are!

Suzanne Walker is definitely pursuing her passion — creating Pysanky eggs.

What got you started?
When I was about 12, my mom got me the book, A Summer to Die, by Lois Lowry. In the book, the protagonist blows out two eggs and then paints them with watercolors. I did that for years. And I mean YEARS. My mother still has lots of painted eggs from when I was younger. Then, when I was in my early-30s, I saw an egg in a friend’s house decorated in the Ukrainian style. I was flabbergasted. I asked my friend how the egg was made, and she said, “Oh, you know … the wax and dye method.” I had no idea what she was talking about. A couple of years later I was in a gift shop, with my mother, and we found a kit for making pysanky. My mother bought it for me, and I made my first pysanka (very poorly) that very day.

Who or what serves as your inspiration?
I don’t really need inspiration to do eggs anymore. I think originally I was inspired by the perfection, intricacy, and temporary nature of the eggs. I say temporary nature because these eggs are so fragile, and they can break very easily. I’ve learned to mend them sometimes, but sometimes they are beyond repair. Every time I finish an egg, I am egg-cited to remove the final wax and reveal the bright colors and detailed design underneath. That “reveal” moment can be wonderful, disappointing, surprising, or (as often happens) can be a learning moment. Just getting to that reveal moment inspires me to do more eggs.

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Can you describe your creative process for us?
Making pysanky requires a technical process and a creative process. The very basic technical process is as follows (this is greatly simplified): empty an egg shell, and prep the shell with vinegar; draw some guiding lines on your egg with a pencil; apply wax using a special heated stylus to the egg in all the places that you want the egg to remain its natural color (usually white). Now it’s time for dye. Dye the egg a light color; we’ll say yellow. Apply wax again on all the areas that you want the egg to remain yellow. Dye the egg another color; we’ll say orange. Apply wax again on all the areas that you want the egg to remain orange. Repeat with other colors. Your final color, which usually ends up looking like your background color, even though it’s the final color you’ve applied, is usually the darkest color. You do not have to apply wax over this color. By now the egg should have a fair amount of ugly wax on its surface. Remove all that wax with a heating method and the design that you’ve been building underneath the egg will be revealed.

The creative process is the process of deciding what designs to use. Pysanky is full of ancient symbolism. One of the things that I love about pysanky is that it pre-dates Christianity, so it can give us a glimpse into the life of an early people who thought that pysanky held charm, luck, and protection. That being said, I will put anything on an egg. I usually have a list of eggs I need to do, whether they are to celebrate a special event like a wedding or to celebrate a holiday like Halloween. I like to use both old-timey symbols and more modern designs on my eggs. For example, I make have been making eggs to commemorate the Indy 500 for the past 3 years. This was certainly not done before Christianity.

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Did you receive any training or take any classes?
I have not taken any training from anyone. I have read several books about pysanky … my favorite being Helen Badulak’s, Pysanky in the 21st Century. Her book helped me solve problem and think about the technical side of making an egg. YouTube videos and other websites are also very helpful.

What is your biggest challenge?
Finding time is always a challenge, but my biggest process challenge is to take my time at the beginning of an egg. The first lines that I write on my egg are the basis for the whole design. The division of the egg needs to be straight but above all else, balanced. If I can get the egg divided equally from the very beginning, then the end design will look much more amazing and professional.

Is this something you see yourself doing in the foreseeable future?
Yes. I really hope that I can continue writing eggs for the rest of my life. For me it’s “me-time.” It’s meditative. It helps me deal with the world. Sometimes I make eggs to commemorate terrible events, however, lately the terrible events have been coming fast and furious, and that just becomes depressing. Making an egg helps me honor and remember.

Do you have other creative interests that you would like to explore?
I have a half-written novel in a drawer. I’d love to get that done one of these days.

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Do you teach others how to do what you do?
Yes! I’ve done two classes and one lesson. It’s hard to find time to plan these out, but I really enjoy teaching others how-to. I’m set up to give lessons for up to 16 adults now, so feel free to reach out to me if you are near Indy and want a class. Pysanky requires the use of a lit candle which is why I don’t mix kids and adults. I can teach kids as young as 8, but they need to be in smaller groups.

Do you do this full-time or part-time?
I do this part-time. I tend to do a lot in the months leading up to Easter. Sometimes I’ll have a summer that seems full of eggs. I’m quite busy from Oct-Dec with family and travel, but I usually manage to squeeze a few eggs into my schedule.

Do you have a favorite or special piece in your collection?
I have several eggs that I love and will never part with. My first pysanka is technically very poor, but it was my very first one, so I’ll never give it away. I like my Halloween eggs a lot. I have one that I made after the 2016 Brussels bombings that is very special to me.

Where can we find you?
I have a “show” that I do in the fall.  I sell at “Shop ‘Til You Drop” at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church up on 106th street, in Carmel, IN, the third weekend in October. I’d like to do a show in the spring as well (looking for an indoor, well-attended craft show).

Otherwise, you can find me via my website — www.pysanky.net. I was pretty lucky in snagging that one.

Thank you, Suzanne Walker, for sharing your talent with us!

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Friends, pictures do not do these eggs justice. They really are exquisite! The egg I purchased was an ornament egg. It’s hanging on my Christmas tree. My apologies for the flash spots on the egg. Despite the flash spots, you can see the intricate detail and what a gorgeous shine it has to it.

I highly suggest buying some eggs to display in a lovely bowl, or to adorn your Christmas tree, or a loved one’s tree. They make great gifts for those hard-to-buy-for people. And they can be displayed throughout the year.

And you can learn to make your own precious keepsakes by taking one of Suzanne’s classes! How awesome is that?

Check out her beautiful collection and class opportunities on her website:  www.pysanky.net

#pysanky

Author, Poet and Humorist, Suzanne Purewal

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     I will be appearing at the 67th Annual Christmas Gift & Hobby Show, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, West Pavilion, booth #303. I will be signing books every day of the show, running from Wednesday, November 9th through Sunday, November 13th.
     To honor our active duty military members, Veterans and first responders, I am also donating a portion of this month’s book sales’ proceeds to the Save A Warrior Program.

     What can I say about myself that you don’t already know? You know I’m a cancer survivor. I got downsized from my job several years ago. And the trilogy of doom was rounded out with that unexpected divorce.
     But I am still standing, despite the efforts of all of those evil doers! Obviously, I was meant to follow a different path.
     What path that is, I have no clue. There were a few times when I thought I knew. But time after time, I hit a major construction zone and was sent on yet another freaking detour because the bridge was out.
     I hated construction orange before this odyssey began. So imagine how I feel about it when I see it now!
     Portions of this journey have left me exhausted. It’s the nature of the beast. Walking uphill, both ways, in a blinding snow storm will do that to you. So will moving your parents from New York to Florida when you live in Indiana.
     I initially had grand writing plans for this year. But you all know that life happens while you’re making other plans. And that is exactly what happened to me.
     If you missed my posts on my family vacation and moving my parents, then scroll down to read them. You will laugh yourself silly.
     If you are short on time, the gist is that my parents are determined to kill me. And because I am a good daughter, well that and because of Catholic guilt, I let them keep trying.
     But you already knew that I was a glutton for punishment because I persist with online dating.
     But seriously folks, I continue on this strange and unpredictable journey because I can’t wait to see what happens next. And I am hopeful that you will stick around to experience it with me!

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     Last year, I released my latest romantic suspense novel, Challenging Destiny! It is the sequel to Embracing Destiny. The exciting adventure continues with some of your favorite characters – Sara Taylor, Joe Lazaro, and everyone’s favorite Italian mother, Rose Lazaro.
     Sara Taylor’s life is finally coming together. She feels at peace. However, Joe stumbles across a clandestine operation. Any leak would put him and his loved ones in danger. Still reeling from his discovery, a secret from Joe’s past rears its ugly head. Then the unthinkable happens – the worlds collide. Will this battle bring Sara and Joe closer together? Or will they become collateral damage in the fallout?

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     My first romantic suspense novel, Embracing Destiny, follows Sara Taylor – a woman standing at a crossroad. An unexpected event sets her on a journey. Outside forces intervene, and danger lurks in every shadow.

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     My poetry book, From 14 to 41, contains soulful poems that capture the essence of life. A blend of love, loss, whimsical and inspirational pieces, readers are drawn in as the raw emotions leap from the pages.
     My blog, the one you are currently reading, Pursuing My Passion, is an outlet for my unique storytelling style, sense of humor and sarcastic wit. The most popular posts are from my “Mis-Matched to Miss Matched” dating series. The entries are all true stories based on my online dating adventures.

     In other news, I am the coordinator for the Local Authors’ booth for the Annual Christmas Gift & Hobby Show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. So, if you are an Indiana author and would like to participate next year, please let me know. As soon as this year’s show closes, I will be accepting applications for next year’s show.

Click here to purchase my books. I can sign and dedicate them prior to shipping. Right now, you can enjoy free shipping! So, get those Christmas gift lists started!

Kindle versions of Embracing Destiny and Challenging Destiny are available on Amazon

You can leave book reviews on:
FB: Suzanne Purewal, Author Page
Goodreads: Suzanne Purewal on Goodreads

The Sound of Silence

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     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

Not So Helpful Dating Advice

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     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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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.
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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.
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The Midwest Blues

     In honor of National Poetry Month, I will post some of my poems.

     This is a poem that I wrote for the Noble Writers’ Group. Each month there is an assignment. This assignment required us to write about a man and a woman meeting for the first time. We also had to use the words airplane, tractor, ocean, city and coast. And for some reason, I wrote it from the man’s point of view. Enjoy!

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The Midwest Blues

While I was riding along on Bessie, my old trusty tractor,
I came across a beauty of a woman. I had to swerve, so I didn’t smack her.
She gasped, “Oh my!” And I pulled over to the side.
She smiled and kindly asked if I could give her a ride.
“Sure ‘nuff. Where to my fine, fair lass?”
“To the closest city where I can order a tall, cool sassafras.”
“I know just the place. It’s up yonder, beyond the hill.”
“Get me there quickly, and I promise you a memorable thrill.”
I threw Bessie into gear and wished she would sprout wings.
Along the way, the temptress whispered in my ear unrepeatable things.
I delivered her as promised to the Land of Good and Plenty Grill and Bar.
After quenching her thirst, she stormed the stage and commandeered a guitar.
She grabbed the microphone and then she did boast
About how big of a music star she was on the West Coast.
“I opened for Jefferson Airplane and was a backup singer for Billy Ocean.
And here I’m stuck in the Midwest amid the cornfields and Amish in Goshen.”
Then she started to sing and her voice was the sweetest I’d ever heard.
And when she strummed the last chord, no one spoke a word.
However, the applause was thunderous and filled her with delight.
She approached me and said, “I promised you an unforgettable night.”
We disappeared and true to her word, for the next hour she rang my bell.
The devil’s in the details. However, a true gentleman doesn’t kiss and tell.

Copyright © 2011 by Suzanne Purewal

A Shape-Shifter, a Sex Addict and a Dominant Male Sign In To Match

     Many of you wondered if I cancelled my Match subscription. Yes, I did, for a little while. But like a moth to a flame, I went back. Some of the old faces were still there. But there was also a new batch of men from which to choose. So, today’s “Mis-Matched to Miss Matched” installment will be about the new breed of guys on Match.

     First up is a man claiming to be 50. However, he looked more like 65.
     In his first e-mail, he said, “Science and technology are also a substantial part of my life, I’m on my third 3D printer as well as having machining capabilities in my garage. I do have one minor abnormality I should probably tell you about antlers yep antlers thought they were horns but they fall off every spring. Kind of sucks in the fall I have to stay in, damn hunters. I like watching football so it’s not all bad. Right now I look perfectly normal but in a month or so they’re start to grow back. I’ve had people think there were tumors but nope antlers. It could be worse just ask my brother Rudy.”
     Do I want to know what he is making with those 3D printers? What’s frightening is that he actually wore out two of them, so he is on his third. Ponder that a minute.
     As far as shape-shifting into a reindeer is concerned, reindeers do not turn me on. If he had said he could morph into a unicorn, then that would have piqued my interest. I could have definitely made it work with a unicorn!

     The next unlucky bachelor was 60 and lived in Florida.
     “Your profile is very intriguing…but you might be too young and immature for me.”
     I agree with the young part. The insult on my maturity was uncalled for. Do women respond to that? Does anyone? Oh, the things I wanted to write! But I took the high road.
     I responded, “Thank you for your interest. But the age difference would be an issue. I wish you luck finding a match.”
     “Same to you. The age diff would likely be an insurmountable challenge. Maybe you will mature. Or not…likely.”
     I think I will call him a “verbal abuser.” That guy has issues. I can only imagine what insults he would hurl in person.

     The next bachelor’s profile stated he was 48. In reality, he was over 50. He admitted that during our first phone call. He said no one responded to him when he claimed his real age. He also told me that he had an additional child that he did not include in his profile. His older kids were teenagers. But he had a fling with a 20-something and now has a toddler too.
     He boasted about his high IQ and his accomplishments. His accomplishments were many, and I believe he will continue to contribute to his field of study and beyond.
     However, things went askew during the second phone call when he started telling me about his sex life. Brace yourself, people.
     He claimed to have had sex with over 300 women. No, that’s not a typo. He liked having a harem. Back in the day, he had approximately ten women in his harem at a time. They all knew about each other. So, in his mind, that made it acceptable.
     He stated, “I expect sex on the first date. My success rate is 87%.”
     Stunned, I answered, “I would never have sex with someone on a first date.”
     “Then you wouldn’t get a second date.”
     “That’s fine because I wouldn’t want to go out with someone who demands sex before we even know each other.”
     He bragged, “And I never use protection. I’m allergic to latex.”
     Disgusted, I replied, “I can’t even imagine all of the diseases you have or have had.”
     He shrugged it off. “Nothing that a pill or a shot in the ass couldn’t fix.”
     Repulsed, I said, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
     Then he admitted, “Well, I do have herpes. But everybody has herpes.”
     I argued, “No, they don’t! I don’t have herpes!”
     Nonchalantly, he commented, “It’s nothing anyway.”
      Oh. My. God!
     Then he decided to tell me the craziest thing he had done sexually.
     Trust me, it was bad. Really bad. Gross, disgusting bad. Bad enough to make my body involuntarily shiver as I covered my mouth in disgust. I am glad I heard it over the phone. I can only imagine what my reaction would have been in person.
     When I refused to meet him, he got really angry. I was worried of catching something just being in the same room with him.
     The next “conversation” was via texting. He proceeded to insult me at length and used statistics to justify his generalizations about me. He pontificated on and on about how I was the one with problems, not him.
     I argued, “You’re way off base. I’m not an ice princess nor am I mentally ill. I’m just not interested in being part of your wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am harem club.”
     Ignoring me, he continued, “I know my assessment of you is correct. I can base my conclusions on my experience. Since my sample size is so large, statistically, my results and conclusions are valid.”
     I pointed out, “But the women you attract are not a good cross-section of the entire female population. Your results are skewed because of it.”
     “No. I’m always right about women.”
     And that was the end of that.
     The irony was that I felt sorry for him. Several women in his life disappointed him early on. The trend continued, and in essence, broke him. He was unfulfilled and angry at the world. Believe it or not, I did say a prayer for him. He is never going to be happy travelling down the road he is on. I hope he eventually finds peace.

     The last bachelor in today’s episode was an artist.
     His first e-mail read: “Marry me.”
     Jokingly, I replied, “If you didn’t have dogs, I’d consider it.”
     “I don’t have dogs. It’s a typo.”
     Technically, it was not a typo. You have to pick a selection from a menu. If you do not have pets, you skip the section.
     Then he sent me a list of his deal breakers:

     “Heres my deal breakers….what are yours?
     1.) Alpha personalities (which are usually validated through tough ., hypervigilance, and worldly experience) then usually manifest out into a reactionary temperamental disposition which culminates in “not so good” communication, hurt feelings, and an emotional withdrawal from the gentle, nurturing, tenderness and understanding that a relationship needs to galvanize a good foundation.
     2.) Country Music (love the lyrics, don’t like the redundant “twang”) i.e. it’s too “traditional” and not “out of the box-ish”.
     3.) Tacky low-rent tattoos
     4.) Competitiveness
     5.) OCD ( obsessive-compulsive disorder
     6.) Manics and hypomania
     7.) A foul mouth (the “f” word etc)
     8.) Slow-progressive-placated functional alcoholism (when a person is slowly on their way to an addiction through self -medicating with liquor).
     9.) Anything KARDASHIAN. (The Kardashians represent a very self-entitled, self preserving, materialistic, ostentatious way to be as a human being.)
     Everything else I can work with …………….. giggles”

     I admit, I agree with most of the items on his list. However, the two that were issues for me were “alpha personalities” and “competitiveness.”
     He sent me a link to an article he wrote about women. He wrote, in part, “…one of the most revealing and toxic awakenings in our culture today: The emergence of the Alpha personality in women and it’s pervasive influence in the symbiotic growth of the union of woman and man.”
     Wow! And double wow! I just got thrown back to the 1950s. And the editor in me wanted to correct his errors, but I left them.
     I did not lose to boys on purpose when I was young, and I am certainly not going to start doing that now.
     I was taught to always do my best. That way you challenge yourself and others. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Not everyone goes home with a trophy. It also taught us sportsmanship and how to win and lose gracefully.
     The competitor in me could not resist responding to the notion of acquiescing at all times. I typed, “As far as being competitive goes, I won’t lose to a man on purpose. If a guy’s ego is that fragile, then he’s not for me.”
     I knew his reply would be negative because I was goading him. Oh, shame on me!
     “i really dont care for your statement … this tells me theres an unecessary competitive streak in you that im not gonna dig. ..take care”
     That is perfectly fine by me because the last time I checked, the year was 2016.

     I believe that some friendly competition is perfectly acceptable in any healthy relationship. Remember to always celebrate each other’s strengths and triumphs. Do not dwell on the negatives or weaknesses. Build each other up!
     To borrow the Army’s old slogan, “Be All That You Can Be.” Life is too short to do anything else.

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

When Will I Be Loved?

broken-heart-clip-art-635689     Whether you prefer the Everly Brothers’ version or Linda Ronstadt’s version of the song, the question remains the same—when will I be loved?

     Originally, this was slated to be my very last “Mis-Matched to Miss Matched” article. I even completely cancelled my Match subscription. But, life happened as I was making plans, and I had to change the title, the content, and sadly, the ending.

     First up was a bachelor who proudly proclaimed he was into minimalistic living.
     I replied, “Okay. I can deal with that. I don’t need a bunch of electronic gadgets or toys. I’m content with what I have now.”
     Then he declared, “I will never live in a house again. Ever.”
     At first, I thought he was kidding. I laughed. “But if the woman you married had a house, then you could move into her house.”
     “No. I will never live in a house again, no matter who owns it.”
     Huh? He can’t be serious. “So, you’d rather pay rent and have nothing to show for it? Even if you have a viable alternative?”
     “I’m committed to minimalistic living.”
     At that point, he showed me a picture of the living space in his apartment. There was one chair and a lamp. That’s it. Nothing else. I’m assuming there was a bed somewhere. Perhaps not.
     I commented, “There’s no place for visitors to sit.”
     “I don’t want visitors. Ever.”
     Shaking my head in disbelief, I said, “I have visitors a few times a year.”
     “No. I won’t allow visitors.”
     “It’s just my parents.”
     “No. Visitors don’t ever leave.”
     “My parents do. They have busy social lives. They don’t want to stay here.”
     “No. No visitors ever.”
     “They’re my parents.”
     “No. No exceptions.”
     Then, he finally admitted that he was unemployed. That might explain the whole minimalistic living thing. It was more out of necessity than principle.
     Don’t get me wrong, I believe there are times in one’s life where living in an apartment or a condo makes sense. I’m not at that point yet. I like the peace, quiet, and privacy of a house. No noise from upstairs or downstairs neighbors. I like independent living. Thank you, very much.

     My next suitor was a daredevil and a party animal. He was the most ruggedly handsome guy I had agreed to meet thus far. He entertained me with lots of stories about drinking, drugs, and death-defying feats. I could have done without some of the drinking and drug stories. However, the daredevil stories were fascinating. I was impressed he’d lived this long. But I am not looking for Evil Knievel.

     The gentleman who followed was the polar opposite of Mr. Knievel. He was nice, polite, and conservative. But he was as boring as they come. I do not go on dates to hear myself talk. I want the guy to tell me about himself, engage in a conversation. How can I get to know someone if he does not speak? He was the king of awkward silences. Check, please!

     Next up was a bachelor who had interesting ideas concerning food. He was thinking about becoming a vegetarian. That’s fine with me, although, I would not become one myself. Granted, I do not eat a lot of meat. But every once and awhile, I need a nice juicy steak!
     As the conversation progressed, he said, “If we live together, you can’t have chocolate or sweets in the house.”
     Wait. What? I can’t have chocolate in my own house?
     I pictured myself sneaking out of the house under the cover of darkness. I would wear a black trench coat and escape to a clandestine meeting with a perfect, medium-cooked filet mignon and a warm, gooey, decadent chocolate dessert.
     My car’s glove box would be under lock and key. I would have installed a temperature controlling device to prevent my Hershey’s bars (with almonds) from becoming misshapen melted blobs. Oh the humanity!

     Lest I forget, let me throw in a not-so-random observation. Fall must be the time of year for men to be exhausted and take mandatory naps. Three, count them, three different guys fell asleep during dates while watching movies. I am not referring to a quick head nod. I am talking about deep sleep, complete with snoring. Hard to discuss the movie afterward when one of us slept through it. Anyway…

     Late in the year, I thought I had finally found “The One.” He was everything I had dreamed about and prayed for. He was good-looking, kind, fun-loving, generous, and financially secure, among other things. And did I mention he was hot? God had finally answered my prayers.
     I liked his kids, and they liked me. And I quote, “She is the best one we’ve ever met.”
     High praise coming from a teen and pre-teen. When they hugged me, they meant it. They were not giving me the “I’m being forced to hug you” type of hugs. They were great kids. Everything was picture perfect.
     The two of us went on a vacation. It was fantastic, and we had a great time. Or so I thought.
     A few days after we returned, he called me on the phone and broke up with me. Just like that. Out of the blue. No indication of any issue or problem prior to the phone call.
     He said, “You didn’t do anything wrong. You didn’t say or do anything wrong. It’s me. I haven’t been in a relationship in a long time. I thought I was ready. But I’m not. I’m sorry.”
     Stunned and dumbfounded, I asked, “Do you want to slow things down and not see each other as much?”
     His answer was plain and simple. “No. I just want to end it. I’m sorry.”
     I will spare you the crying details and the amount of Kleenex I went through.
     So, here I sit with a broken heart. Again.

     As I mentioned in the beginning, this was intended to be the last article in my dating series. I completely cancelled my Match membership because we had discussed marriage.
     I apologize to you, dear readers. There’s no way for me to make the last section funny and entertaining. Because it’s not.
     However, I am choosing to look at the bright side. The relationship was wonderful while it lasted. And I got a really great vacation out of it.
     So, I will leave you with the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson: “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

Copyright © 2016 by Suzanne Purewal

Introducing My Romantic Suspense Novel—Challenging Destiny!

Slide1     The wait is finally over!

     I am pleased to announce that my romantic suspense novel, Challenging Destiny, is being released on Saturday, October 10th!

     Buy it in person or online at http://www.suzannepurewal.com.

     Challenging Destiny is the sequel to my first romantic suspense novel, Embracing Destiny. The exciting adventure continues with some of your favorite characters—Sara Taylor, Joe Lazaro, and everyone’s favorite Italian mother, Rose Lazaro.

     Sara Taylor is taking control of her life. Happiness abounds as she finalizes the plans of her dream wedding to her longtime love, Joe Lazaro. Sara’s life is finally coming together. For the first time, she feels content and at peace.
     Joe Lazaro wants nothing more than to spend the rest of his life with his true love, Sara. However, he stumbles across a dangerous undercover operation. Any leak would put his life in peril as well as the lives of his family members and friends.
     Still reeling over the clandestine discovery, a secret from Joe’s past rears its ugly head. Then the unthinkable happens—the worlds collide.
     Will this battle bring Sara and Joe closer together? Or will they become collateral damage in the fallout?

     There is only one way to find out!

     Buy your personalized, autographed copy of Challenging Destiny during its debut signing event this Saturday.

Saturday, October 10, 2015
9:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.
Hamilton East Public Library
5 Municipal Drive
Fishers, IN 46038

     If you can’t make the event, here is a list of more signing events coming up.

Saturday, October 24, 2015
10:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
Shop ‘Til You Drop
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
3500 W. 106th Street
Carmel, IN 46032

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 – Sunday, November 15, 2015
66th Annual Christmas Gift & Hobby Show
Wednesday and Thursday, 10:00 A.M. – 8:00 P.M.
Friday, 10:00 A.M. – 9:00 P.M.
Saturday, 3:30 P.M. – 9:00 P.M.
Sunday, 10:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
Indiana State Fairgrounds
West Pavilion
1202 East 38th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46205

Saturday, December 5, 2015
8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Cornerstone Christian’s Christmas Breakfast & Bazaar
3717 E 300 S
Kokomo, IN 46902

     I will be adding more events before the end of the year. So, check the Calendar Page for future dates. If you can’t wait, you can buy it online at http://www.suzannepurewal.com.

     I am thrilled to be able to share this second book in the Destiny series with all of you. And I am busy writing the third and final novel of this series, Manifesting Destiny. It will be released in 2016!
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     Thank you to my family, friends, and my loyal readers! You have made it possible for me to keep pursuing my passion and following my dreams!

Copyright © 2015 by Suzanne Purewal

It’s Hard to Be Arm Candy

     Welcome to the next installment of “Mis-Matched to Miss Matched.” Today’s story involves a bachelor about whom you have already read. I believed he was worth a second chance. However, that chance was short-lived. It was nice while it lasted.
     In life, timing is everything. Right now, he admitted his schedule is not conducive to dating. That is a gross understatement. And so, he broke my already-wounded heart.
     I will not say anything bad about him. He is a great guy, and he apologized. We are still friends. So this article is more about my experience at this party than about him.
     I never revealed to him how I felt. So, it might surprise him if he reads this. As the saying goes, if you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. But, hell, I write a blog, so I have to write something!
     This bachelor and I attended a large social function together. The food was fantastic, and the live band was really good.
     As the event progressed, everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time. Everyone except for me, that is.
     Let’s say this event was industry-specific. And honestly, it is a field in which I have little interest. Normally, I would make small talk. That’s easy enough to do, right? People are people. Lord knows I can talk about anything. However, the other attendees were not into small talk. They were laser-focused on their field. Period.
     When I was introduced to people, they seemed disinterested since I was not part of their “inner circle.” The only question I received from a few of them was, “Do you have any children?” When I answered, “No,” that was the end of the conversation. Seriously. End of conversation. They turned to engage someone else in a discussion. Time is money. Money is time.
     What planet am I on that the only question anyone wants to ask me is that one? I have no children. Ergo, I am not worth talking to. Yikes!
     I have a lot to offer, thank you, very much. I have plenty to say and have a myriad of great stories, just ask me something else. Anything else!
     I felt as if I had developed a superpower instantaneously—I became totally invisible! Since I did not add any perceived value, I was not worth their time.
     Mind you, I had an opinion of what they were discussing, but since I was not a player, my opinion would not have mattered. So, I kept my mouth shut. Picture that if you can.
     For some time, I smiled and paid attention to the discussion. However, as time wore on, I surrendered. I allowed my mind to wander as I smiled and nodded at what seemed appropriate times.
     I watched a child torment a bug in the grass. I saw an older man nod off, only to have his wife poke him and wake him up. I watched one of the waiters fill cups of lemonade and iced tea and line them up on a table. He dutifully replaced them when a guest would walk off with one. There were twenty-one cups. I wondered why he did not choose an even number.
     I spotted a trail that went off into a wooded area. I desperately wanted to slip away and explore where the path led. But I decided that would be in bad form. Instead, I remained glued to my seat.
     Then, I counted the tent poles and estimated the tent to be approximately 1300 ft x 40 ft. I did not hazard a guess on height because of the varying heights from the edges to the center. If I had a pen and paper, I might have been able to figure it out mathematically. Not. I was not that bored!
     In all of my forty-six years, this is the first time I have ever been excluded to the point that I felt like arm candy.
     Good Lord, being arm candy is a tough job! I had no idea! And I didn’t even suffer through a boob job, tanning sessions, liposuction, or Botox injections.
     As a child, my parents always told me I could do anything. Well, I learned in first grade that I would never be a gymnast or an athlete of any kind. Obviously, over the years, I discovered other things I could not or would not do. Being arm candy just got added to the list. Pole dancer is on that list too. But I will save that story for my next blog article.

Copyright © 2015 by Suzanne Purewal

My Big, Fat Greek Tragedy

MasksComedyTragedy     If there was any doubt that my life is a Greek tragedy in the making, this episode of “Mis-Matched to Miss Matched” should solidify the notion in everyone’s minds.
     This installment’s bachelor is a well-known businessman in this area. So, all I will say is that he was in his early 50s and had blond hair and blue eyes.
     Initially, when he contacted me, I turned him down. One of the descriptors in his Match profile did not sit right with me. And I explained in my reply that descriptor was why I was turning him down.
     He wrote me a long email in return, clarifying his position and dispelling any incorrect impressions I had. His arguments were good ones. So, I agreed to talk to him.
     We talked and hit it off. We wanted to meet. However, he was in Florida vacationing with his kids. We would meet when he returned. Despite him being on vacation, we spoke every day.
     Then, my dad had a heart attack. So, I was driving to New York as this intriguing man was about to drive back to Indiana.
     God just loves messing with me.
     My potential suitor understood, and we kept talking on the phone.
     Finally, we were in the same city at the same time. So, after talking for almost three weeks, we met for dinner. We got along splendidly. Our likes and dislikes were the same in just about all areas, including politics and religion. That, in and of itself, was amazing.
     He grew up on the East Coast, just like me. Loved to travel. Loved live theater and musicals! Yes, musicals! Where had he been hiding all of this time?
     Well, most of the time, he was working, networking or attending his kids’ activities. He had the busiest calendar I had ever seen. He could not plan out more than a week ahead because meetings and events were constantly being added to his schedule by his assistant and his kids. But he swore he would make time for me. And he did try.
     In the days that followed, we talked for hours on end, about everything and anything. The conversation never got stale or boring. The more we got to know one another, the more perfect we seemed for each other. The similarities were uncanny.
     Drinking and smoking were not issues. Awesome!
     His children were older. Another bonus.
     He had no pets and had no intention of ever owning one. Thank you, Jesus!
     Pinch me already!
     Anyway, everything was going pretty well until it was time to meet his friends. That’s when the bottom dropped out.
     While Mr. Seemingly-Perfect did not have any pets, every single one of his friends did. These friends were his work colleagues as well as his personal friends. He spent almost all of his time with these people. And from what he told me about them, they were the best friends a person could ask for. I’m sure I would have agreed.
     But the conundrum was that they all entertained in their houses. You know, where the animals lived.
     If you have not read my previous posts on the subject, my allergic reaction to animals is anaphylactic. So, I can not be around animals. Extended exposure to them could literally kill me.
     Meeting his friends out at a restaurant would have been fine. I suggested that. But in the long run, that would not have been feasible or sustainable, as they all loved to entertain at their homes. Each had an elaborate backyard oasis, fire pit, and/or boat, etc.
     Then there was his buddy’s lake house. I absolutely love lake houses because I love sitting by a lake, looking out at the water and listening to the water lap up on the shore. And there’s nothing quite like watching the sun rise or set over the water.
     That’s one of the biggest things I miss about living in New York. I really miss being close to a large body of water. Growing up minutes from Lake Ontario was a luxury I did not fully appreciate until I moved to Indiana, land of small, man-made lakes. But I digress…
     Alas, there were always animals at his buddy’s lake house. The owner brought his pets and allowed everyone to bring their pets too. Well, just shoot me now and put me out of my misery.
     I could not in good conscience ask him to pick between me and his friends. He’s known some of them for over twenty years. If I kept him from them, he would become resentful. And I would feel guilty.
     And if he always went over to his friends’ houses and to the lake house without me, I would become resentful. And presumably, he would feel guilty.
     We discussed the situation rationally. No compromise was suitable, and he picked his friends.
     I will not lie. I am extremely disappointed. But let’s face it; I could never compete with them, the lifestyle to which he had grown accustomed, the boats and the lake house.
     How pitiful is that? We can’t have a relationship because of other people’s pets.
     Heavy sigh.
     Animals are truly the bane of my existence.

Copyright © 2015 by Suzanne Purewal

Dysfunctional Dates Abound

dysfunction     This is another dysfunctional installment of my online dating series, “Mis-Matched to Miss Matched.” Polite social interaction appears to be going the way of the dodo bird. There is no good way to ease into this, so, let’s jump right in!

     The first bachelor, a 54-year-old IT professional, passed the email test, but failed the phone conversation test miserably. During the course of the conversation, he brought up the subject of sex.
     He clearly stated his view on the subject, and I quote, “By the third date, a woman should be ready to give up the goods.”
     Where do I start with this? Even if this guy bought me three very expensive dinners at St. Elmo’s, I would not consider that appropriate criteria to have sex.
     And goods??? I’m sure he would have wanted the entire package of “goods and services.” Let’s face it, in the sex department, the goods aren’t quite as enjoyable without the accompanying services.
     Nevertheless, this girl and her “goods and services” are worth a lot more than three dinners, even if decadent desserts are included!

     Next up was a 52-year-old executive at a large company in Indianapolis. He actually passed the phone interview, but live, he was a completely different person.
     I have nicknamed him, “The Negative Bachelor.” The restaurant was too warm. The fire made the air too dry. He asked the waiter questions about the precise origin of the seafood. The poor kid had no idea.
     Dude, if you want the salmon, order the freaking salmon.
     Then he substituted the sides. Not because of an allergy or health reason, but because, “the chef obviously doesn’t know how to pair sides with entrees.”
     When the food arrived, he complained that his potatoes were too lumpy. The carrots were too soft, the squash was too hard. His chardonnay was not as good as the chardonnay he had last week.
     My mahi-mahi, wherever it was from, was fantastic. I loved my lumpy mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables.
     To my surprise, he insisted on ordering dessert. Why? I don’t know. He did not enjoy the rest of the meal. So, I did not understand why he wanted to perpetuate the experience. He ordered cheesecake.
     Guess how that turned out.
     It was not as good as the cheesecake he had had in New York City the previous month.
     I gazed into the fire, which under different circumstances might have been romantic, and attempted to drown myself in the chocolate dessert I ordered. It was delicious. I scraped my plate to savor every drop of chocolatey goodness. Alas, not even the chocolate could make up for the bad company.

     A well-intentioned friend set me up on a blind date with a guy she knew. He was my age, and he looked okay in a picture she showed me.
     He walked into the restaurant wearing a baseball hat, chomping on a piece of gum. The hat never left his head. And the gum chewing was distracting, to say the least. Finally, he took the gum out of his mouth. My praise to God was short-lived.
     There are a myriad of things you can do to dispose of chewed gum. You could dispose of it prior to meeting your date for the first time. Or, you could excuse yourself to the men’s room and throw it away in there. Or, you could dispose of it in a napkin.
     Did he do any of those? Unfortunately, no.
     Instead, he removed the gum from his mouth and stuck it on the side of his drinking glass. Then, he proceeded to play with the gum like it was Silly Putty. And when he was finished eating, wait for it — he put that same piece of gum back into his mouth.
     I can only imagine that the look on my face mirrored the utter and complete dismay and disgust I felt. Too bad no one took a picture of me. It would have brilliantly captured that Kodak moment for sure.

     Moving on to a seemingly, happy-go-lucky bachelor of 50 years. He readily admitted that his mood was due to his habitual pot usage.
     Ugh. “I don’t do drugs, and I don’t want to be around anyone who does.”
     “I’ve been doing it for as long as I remember. But for you, I’d give it up.”
     Uh huh. “Sure.”
     Then with his next breath, he said, “You should try it though. You’ll like it. It will make you more creative.”
     I refused, “No. I have no desire to. Never have, never will. I’m creative enough.”
     “It will make you more creative than you ever imagined. You don’t know what you’re missing. All the great artists do it.”
     “I’m not missing anything.”
     “You know, sex is only good if you get high beforehand.”
     What??? “If you have to get high to enjoy sex, you’re not doing it right.”

     So far this year, there has been a plethora of overbearing, controlling bachelors. All of the men were in their fifties. Yeah, I was on an older guy run for some time. I ran out of forty-somethings without any pets. I am not sure if the over-fifty statistic has anything to do with it, or if it was just coincidence.
     The common theme was the men telling me all of the things that I should and/or need to do. Here are a few, in no particular order.

     “You need to learn to play golf.”
     “I’m not really interested in golf. I have other interests. It’s great that you play golf with your college buddies so often.”
     “You need to learn. I play golf, so you need to play.”
     “We have different interests. We don’t have to do everything together.”
     “Yes, we do.”
     Thinking he was joking, I laughed and responded, “No, we don’t. But I could drive the golf cart.”
     Sternly and slowly, he said, “You’re not hearing me.”
     Oh yes, I am, Mr. Control Freak. Yikes!

     “You should join my gym. It’s the best one in the city.”
     “I exercise at home.”
     “That’s not good enough. You need to join the gym, so you can get buff.”
     “I’m happy with my body the way it is.”
     “You have areas of your body that need improvement.”
     Excuse me???
     I will be the first one to admit my body is not perfect. But I do not need a man telling me that my body needs improvement on a first date.

     “You should wear higher heels.”
     “I’m comfortable in these.”
     “I like higher heels.”
     Then you wear them. “These are the highest ones I have.”
     “You need to buy higher ones. You’d look sexier.”
     I laughed, “Trust me, I wouldn’t. I am not graceful in four-inch heels.”
     Looking at me very intensely, he whispered, “Babe, your feet would never touch the floor. Ever.”
     Not exactly appropriate first date conversation. And I hate being called, “Babe.”

     “I want to throw you on the back of my Harley and head down to Brown County.”
     “Brown County is beautiful, but I don’t ride motorcycles.”
     “You just need to try it.”
     “Already tried it. I rode on one once. I didn’t like it at all. I won’t do it again.”
     “I’ll change your mind. Guaranteed.”
     “Sorry, you won’t. I like road trips in a car. Those are fun – rain or shine.”
     “You’re just a stuck-up bitch, aren’t you?”
     Heavy sigh.

     These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Time and time again, polite conversation is nowhere to be found. And men continually attempt to pressure me to do something I am not interested in doing.
     Why do these men feel as if they have to force women to do or like everything they do? I am sure Dr. Phil has done plenty of shows on this subject. But it still baffles me.
     I do not try to force my interests and hobbies on anyone. I would never dream of it. We are all individuals. We do not have to be identical on everything.
     Potential mates should have similar mindsets. That way, we can appreciate each other’s likes and dislikes to discover things to do together as a couple.
     The problem with online dating algorithms is that they can not analyze mindsets. Hence, my ongoing conundrum.

Copyright © 2015 by Suzanne Purewal
     

Just Say, “No!”

no     Welcome to my first 2015 installment of my online dating series, “Mis-Matched to Miss Matched.” According to online dating statistics, January 4th is the biggest sign-up day for their sites. That gave me a new glimmer of hope. Although, so far, Indianapolis’ bachelors seem to be singing the same old song – same tune, just different words.

     The initial contact email from one guy read, “My view of your profile indicates we are a 97% match. If we were any more alike, you would have strong biceps and I would have boobs.”
     I have to assume he thought I would find that funny. He guessed wrong. I could not find words to reply. I take that back. I did have words. I just did not want to engage him in conversation. Any guy that uncouth in an introductory email did not deserve a reply.

     A retired sales executive, who was out of my desired age range, contacted me and said he did not have pets and thought we were a perfect match. His profile indicated he was a cigar aficionado and ultimate sun worshiper. So, I had my doubts.
     Among other questions, I inquired, “How often do you smoke?”
     He replied, “I don’t smoke. Well, occasionally, a stogie and of course pot.”
     Of course pot???
     This is not Colorado or Amsterdam, the last time I checked. This man was in his late 50s. He was not some punk kid or Olympian gold medalist, Michael Phelps.
     “I don’t do drugs and will not date anyone who does. So if getting high is part of your life, then this is where our conversation ends.”
     And that was the end of that.

     The next bachelor’s email claimed he was a gemologist from New York City. He went on about how the family business takes him all over the world.
     Not interested, I replied, “You live over 700 miles away. So I’m not sure why you’re looking in Indiana. Logistically, it doesn’t make any sense. I’m not looking for a long distance relationship.”
     “If I find the right woman, I shall relocate to be closer to her or even live in the same house with her.”
     Oh, I bet you would like living off of a woman, wouldn’t you?
     “No. Best of luck to you.”
     “It will interest you to know that I have been thinking of you all day and I really want this to work between us and as of the distance that shouldn’t be a problem because like I said earlier that I shall be relocating closer to you. All what I need now to bail myself out of financial struggle is just 25,000 dollars and I have 21,000 already what I need is 4000 can you help me YES or NO no long mails and explanation.”
     “NO!”
     Wow! It’s bad enough that he was trying to swindle me out of money, but to demand an answer immediately, with no explanation, that’s so ridiculous. Apparently, he was an impatient thief and did not want to waste time if he wasn’t going to get a payoff. I hoped I would not hear from this scammer again. No such luck.
      “Why the silent? A friend in salt lake want to transfer me money into account but I can not access my account here so I was thinking if they can transfer the money into your account when you get it, you will send it to me using western union the amount is about 5000 or 6000 can you help me? I need money urgently here in Turkey to get out of here.”
     Turkey can have you!
     The fatal flaw in this scammer’s logic is that the friend could send the money via Western Union. I think it could be a ring of foreign thieves because the English in the initial communication was good. It went downhill with each subsequent exchange. Who knows.
     It worries me that some people might be gullible enough to fall for this scam. I reported him, but his profile and any trace of him were gone.
     Beware of low-life scammers! They are everywhere!

     After talking for the good part of a week, I went to dinner with a project manager from the south side of Indianapolis. I liked that he preferred talking to texting. I found that encouraging. When we met, I realized he was a little bit country, and I was a little bit rock and roll. He seemed uncomfortable and out of his element at the restaurant. But he was polite, and we had a nice time. I was hemming and hawing about whether to go on another date with him.
     The following day, I received a text from an unknown number.
     “Why the f*** do you have my f***ing number saved? Get out of here and leave me and him’s relationship ALONE. Bye now.”
     It was followed by an emoticon of an expressive hand. Use your imagination.
     Huh? Nice mouth! And me and him’s??
     I felt bad for the poor, functionally illiterate woman with the cheating boyfriend.
     Believing it was a wrong number, I replied, “I have no idea who you are or who you’re talking about. I think you have the wrong number.”
     No response.
     About an hour later, I got a call from the guy. “I’m sorry, but I’m not over my ex. Just wanted to let you know. I’m gonna take myself off Match. I shouldn’t date until I’m over her. Sorry.”
     Are you kidding me?
     Maybe it wasn’t a wrong number after all. I could not believe it. The more I thought about it, the more pissed off I became. He used me to make his ex jealous. Wow! That was a new low.

     The next bachelor also liked talking on the phone. We met at a café. He appeared nervous and claimed he had butterflies in his stomach about meeting me or possibly it was a lactose intolerance problem. Okay, no big deal.
     However, about an hour into our conversation, which was pretty one-sided, he departed for the bathroom. Upon returning, he announced he was really sick, the “I need to spend the day in the bathroom” kind of sick. He confessed he had been ill since the previous day.
     I wished him well, literally, and we parted ways.
     What kind of person shows up sick to a first date? It was a complete and utter lack of respect and common courtesy.
     People, if you are sick, stay home and reschedule!
     He contacted me days later to say that he did not remember anything about our date or what we discussed. He said he remembered he liked me and my cleavage, but that was all. He wanted another date.
     Um, no. My cleavage and I think not.

     I have no rational explanation for why the men in this area are so relationship-challenged. If anyone has a theory, then I’m all ears. Better yet, if you know of a decent single guy, send him my way. The Law of Averages dictates there has to be some decent guys out there somewhere!

Copyright © 2015 by Suzanne Purewal

Fifteen on 1/5/15 Giveaway

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     What a wonderful way to start off the New Year! One lucky person will win 15 books by some breakout stars of 2014.

     Enter to win, December 22nd through January 1st. Click here to enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway

     Wondering about the books that you could win?

Insidious by Aleatha Romig
One to Hold by Tia Louise
Last Resort by Kate Roth
Blue Falcon by Tia Catalina
Heartless by Vanessa Marie
Soundless Silence by M. Katherine Clark
Good Karma by Donya Lynne
Waking the Beast by Lacey Thorn
Revealed by Britni Hill
Embracing Destiny by Suzanne Purewal
No Stranger by Anya Breton
For Nicky by A.D. Ellis
The Cheyenne Bride by J.J. Devine
Intoxicated by Jeana E. Mann
Ember’s Center by Jillian Jacobs

     Read all about them by clicking on the links below:

Insidious by Aleatha Romig
http://www.amazon.com/Insidious-Tales-Dark-Aleatha-Romig/dp/0991401182/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419077581&sr=1-1&keywords=insidious

One to Hold by Tia Louise
http://www.amazon.com/One-Hold-Tia-Louise/dp/1494469170/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419077616&sr=1-1&keywords=one+to+hold+by+tia+louise

Last Resort by Kate Roth
http://www.amazon.com/Last-Resort-Desire-Book-ebook/dp/B00MQF5LNI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419077668&sr=1-1&keywords=last+resort+kate+roth

Blue Falcon by Tia Catalina
http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Falcon-Tia-Catalina/dp/0990663817/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419077722&sr=1-1&keywords=blue+falcon

Heartless by Vanessa Marie
http://www.amazon.com/Heartless-Chasing-Hearts-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00JOVREWS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419077758&sr=1-1&keywords=Heartless+by+vanessa+marie

Soundless Silence by M. Katherine Clark
http://www.amazon.com/Soundless-Silence-Sherlock-Holmes-Novel/dp/0990991504/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419077798&sr=1-1&keywords=Soundless+Silence+M%2C+Katherine+Clark

Good Karma by Donya Lynne
http://www.amazon.com/Good-Karma-Strong-1/dp/1938991052/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419077844&sr=1-1&keywords=Good+Karma+donya+lynne

Waking the Beast by Lacey Thorn
http://www.amazon.com/Waking-Paranormal-Shapeshifter-Romance-Awakening-ebook/dp/B00JDVWOT2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1419077886&sr=1-1&keywords=waking+the+beast+lacey+thorn

Revealed by Britni Hill
http://www.amazon.com/Revealed-Western-Palm-Britni-Hill-ebook/dp/B00NLRXP6U/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1419077924&sr=1-1&keywords=revealed+britni+hill

Embracing Destiny by Suzanne Purewal
http://www.amazon.com/Embracing-Destiny-Suzanne-Purewal-ebook/dp/B009JU0GJW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1419077981&sr=1-1&keywords=Embracing+destiny+Suzanne

No Stranger by Anya Breton
http://www.amazon.com/No-Stranger-Anya-Breton-ebook/dp/B00HHIRORA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1419078016&sr=1-1&keywords=No+Stranger+Anya+Breton

For Nicky by A.D. Ellis
http://www.amazon.com/Nicky-Torey-Hope-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B00K02F42M/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1419078046&sr=1-1&keywords=for+nicky+by+a.d.+ellis

The Cheyenne Bride by J.J. Devine
http://www.amazon.com/Cheyenne-Bride-Western-Romance-ebook/dp/B009OUXZX6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1419078084&sr=1-1&keywords=the+cheyenne+bride+j.j.+devine

Intoxicated by Jeana E. Mann
http://www.amazon.com/Intoxicated-Felony-Romance-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00HGVPIGC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1419078169&sr=1-1&keywords=intoxicated+by+jeana+mann

Ember’s Center by Jillian Jacobs
http://www.amazon.com/Embers-Center-O-Line-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00QUAB5QW/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1419078208&sr=1-3&keywords=Jillian+Jacobs

Featuring Romance Author, Morgan K. Wyatt

IMG_5285     Today’s spotlight is on romance author, Morgan K Wyatt. She will be appearing at the 65th Annual Christmas Gift & Hobby Show, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. She will be signing books on Sunday, November 9th, from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

     Here is the teaser for Morgan’s latest release, The Soul Mate Search:

     Nina can’t control love in her ordered universe. It has eluded her until a mysterious fortune teller, Helena, reveals she’s already met her soul mate. Three times in fact and has only four times remaining before he passes from her life forever. A magic crystal ball allows her to see what he looked like several years ago, but no address. Helena warns her if she forces the meeting it won’t happen. Tony’s life has hit a major rough spot with Sheila kicking him out of his house when he discovers her in bed with another man. If that wasn’t bad enough, she spreads rumors that she’s afraid of him because he’s abusive. What did he do to deserve this? All he ever wanted was to love one woman until he died. At this rate, he’s destined to die alone. It will take magic to meet his soul mate.

The Soul Mate

     Morgan was raised on a steady diet of superheroes, believed she could fly at a very young age. After using trees, barn lofts, sliding boards, and even a second story window as launch pads, she found her flying skills were limited to fast and downward. By the age of nine, her dreams to be a superhero needed some modifications, which caused her to turn to writing and horseback riding as alternatives to flying.

     At the age of twenty, she had another chance at superhero greatness as being one of the few female soldiers trained for combat. The fact that women will be able to serve in combat soon indicates that all the witnesses to the grenade incident have retired. The grenade incident didn’t prevent her two sons or daughter-in-law from enlisting in the service. Having different last names probably helped.

     Morgan recently retired from teaching special needs students to write full-time, instead of in the wee hours of the night. With the help of her helpful husband and loyal hound, she creates characters who often grab plot lines and run with them. As for flying, she prefers the airlines now.

     To learn more about Morgan K. Wyatt and her work, check out all of her websites and blogs:

http://www.morgankwyatt.com

http://www.facebook.com\AuthorMorganKWyatt

Twitter  Goodreads  Pinterest  Amazon

www.datingafterfortyeight.blogspot.com

www.frugaldivatellsall.blogspot.com

www.lowcarbbeliever.weebly.com

www.writerwonderland.weebly.com

Fright or Delight?

     My quest to find a good, decent man is becoming epic in length. But I refuse to give up! So, here is the latest and greatest in my “Mis-Matched to Miss Matched” dating saga.

     There once was a man who was prolific in poem and prose.
     He had a quick wit. Let’s meet. Why not? Who knows?
     Alas, his memory was lacking, he called me by the wrong name,
     Despite me correcting him over and over. How totally lame.
     Was this other woman his ex-girlfriend or an ex-wife?
     I cared not, for I was cutting him out of my life.

     The next eager bachelor was an eHarmonious man
     Who unfortunately decided to try a product to self-tan.
     Since he was not an Oompa Loompa, orange was an awful hue.
     Why he did not realize this while looking in the mirror, I have no freaking clue.
     However, it was his obnoxious behavior that upset me the most.
     Being rude and insensitive caused him to end up as a jerk in this post.

     Then there was a guy who promised me a special surprise.
     When the big reveal occurred, I could hardly believe my eyes.
     If I was watching a horror movie, I would have yelled for the girl to run.
     Touring ramshackle buildings buried deep in the woods is not my idea of fun.
     Any chemistry that might have existed was extinguished pretty fast.
     What a huge letdown after being psyched up for an absolute blast.

     After each date, to Mom, the obligatory email I did write,
     So she wouldn’t be pacing the floor half of the night,
     Worried that I was dead in a ditch or suffering an even worse fate.
     “Home safe and sound.” Another zero of a date.
     “A total waste of makeup,” is what I eventually would type.
     It sums up the evening well without painfully boring details or hype.

     So that, gentle readers, is all I have to tell.
     Perhaps the month of October will cast an enchanting spell.
     Could the eclipse of the blood moon help me find my “Mr. Right?”
     Or will it bring more ghouls and goblins to give me an awful fright?
     Those are the questions that I seek the answers for.
     Stay tuned, my friends, you never know what’s in store!

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

It Finally Happened!

     It finally happened! About two weeks ago, I received the most unbelievable message on Match.com. It was short and to the point. I read it twice before it sank in. I just could not believe my eyes. But there it was staring me in the face. It read, “0 Matches Found.”
     Yes, I accomplished the seemingly impossible feat. I exhausted all of my possible matches on Match.com. Even with my extended search range of 100 miles and age range of 35 to 55, there were no matches. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
     I hear you saying, “Well, you’re being too picky.”
     No, I’m not. I’m giving a 20-year age range within 100 miles. All hair and eye colors, all body types, except obese, all religions, and a college degree.
     It appears my primary problem is that almost everybody in this state has indoor pets. Over half of my supposed matches were eliminated due to a pet situation.
     Granted, some guys say they will get rid of their pets. But I still couldn’t go into their houses. They would have to rip out the carpets, replace their furniture, clean the house’s ductwork, etc. So, let’s face it, not many men would go through that or have the financial means to do so.

     Not to be deterred, I thought I should try another dating site. So, I signed up for Christian Mingle. Their questions were quite different than those found on Match.

     Would you engage in premarital sex?
     Is my mom running this site?
     Do you believe that the only reason to engage in sexual relations is for procreation?
     Um, no.
     How often ideally would you want to have sexual relations? The answers ranged from “every day” to “never.”
     I plead the Fifth on my answer to this question.
     I am sensing an anti-sex theme here. Seriously? Never? If you want to remain eternally celibate, you should look into becoming a Catholic nun or a priest. They need new recruits.
     Moving on…I particularly loved the questions that revolved around my children, especially since I don’t have any. There was no way to bypass the questions. So, I had to base my answers on the imaginary children that I don’t have and never will have.
     Other questions asked about the woman’s role in the home. Those questions pissed me off. It upset me to think that there are women who are acting subservient to men. That’s an entire blog post in and of itself.
     I found one useful question: How is your timeliness?
     I am always early. If you are habitually late, then you will be literally and figuratively wasting my time. Do us both a favor, do not waste my time.
     There were so many absurd questions, I wish I could share them all. But one of my favorites was: How do you feel about wearing fashionable clothes?
     Oh, just throw a burlap sack over my head, and I’ll tie it around my waist with some twine, thank you. Itchy is all the rage this season!
     The more questions I answered, the more I felt I was falling down a rabbit hole, and I was positive I would end up in Wonderland. Remember, Wonderland was royally screwed up.
     After suffering through the questions and filling out the profile, their system told me I had zero matches. I laughed out loud. No kidding. So, I went to the search feature and altered some criteria. Ten guys popped up. I recognized six of the guys from Match. The others had no pictures. I do not communicate with guys who do not post pictures.
     After five days on this site, I wanted to shoot myself. I did searches to cover anyone breathing and with a pulse within 100 miles. There wasn’t anyone remotely close to what I was looking for in a partner. The majority of profiles had no pictures, and the men lived in rural areas and very few had graduated from college.
     The system sent me profiles to view. Most of the men lived in Illinois or Ohio. Sheesh.
     I was done. So, I called to cancel. The best the girl could do was downgrade my account to one month instead of the original six. Wonderful.
     Obviously, some people have found that site successful. I am happy for them. Sorry to say that I was not one of them. Based on my experience, I would never recommend Christian Mingle.

     Since that went so poorly, I joined eHarmony. So far, that site is a dud too. I had no matches again. But this site will not let you search for people. Their computer does the work and sends you matches.
     Really, there is no way to search. Instead, you keep answering questions. I answered 290 questions. Yes, I answered that many. I’m just sitting on my couch watching television on a Saturday night, so why not?
     I got messages saying, “So-and-so is just outside of your parameters.”
     The majority of men were from other states. Not neighboring states like Illinois or Ohio, but states such as Texas, New Jersey, Florida and California.
     The ones that really astonished me were incompatible based on our answers. If we answered 67% of the questions differently, we are not a match. But those were the profiles the computer kept sending me.
     This service was the most expensive. And this was pissing me off. So, I wrote their Customer Service people a nasty-gram.

     “You only send me ‘matches’ who are outside of my parameters. What is the point of answering all of the questions if you ignore them when matching people? I’m getting ‘matches’ when over 50% of our answers differ. Those aren’t matches.
     And I am not interested in anyone who lives out of state. You repeatedly send me guys who live all over the country. How can I get you to stop sending me people who live out of state? It’s ridiculous. I’m not looking for a pen pal. I’m looking for a mate.
     So far, this service has been a waste of time and money. What are you going to do to make this a better experience for me?”
     And I waited. I am not sure what type of response I was expecting. I just wanted to notify them that their computer algorithms sucked, and I was not happy. Less than twelve hours later, I received a response.
     “Our goal is to find matches for you that are compatible with your unique personality in deep and important ways. We do this by using the results of your relationship questionnaire to screen for individuals based on the 29 Dimensions of Compatibility.
     We understand that you won’t feel a connection with all of your matches. Although we put a lot of emphasis here in the early stages of being matched with someone, establishing chemistry only accounts for a portion of what makes a relationship last and is only something you can determine once you get to know someone. We caution you from trying to make such an early assessment from just the match detail information.
     Please be assured that you will no longer receive matches outside your distance setting.”

     I wish I had a pair of hip waders to trudge through that pile of BS.

     Just when I thought all hope was lost, I received an email from Match. Apparently, since all of the kids in Indiana have gone back to school in the last two weeks, there has been a considerable influx on the number of new Match members.
     So, for now, I’m back to the bachelors on Match. Gentle readers, I know you enjoy these posts, but nothing would make me happier than to have a reason to stop writing them. Wish me luck!

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

Ten Signs You Are Attracted to an Emotionally Unavailable Person

After reading this article, I knew I had to share it. For those of you who are searching for your soul mate just like I am, you need to read this. It will only take a couple of minutes. But it could give you that little push (or the big shove) you need to get out of a one-sided relationship that you have been reluctant to let go.

Ten Signs You Are Attracted to an Emotionally Unavailable Person

By Dr. Judith Orloff, psychiatrist and author of The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life

A soul mate must be willing and available to have a relationship with you. If he or she is unavailable, this is not your soul mate at the present time. A confusing part of being attracted to unavailable, commitment-phobic people is that the emotional or sexual chemistry can feel so strong. You accept behavior that you’d never tolerate in friends. Why?

The electricity can feel so incredible and rare, you may mistake intensity for intimacy. You make compromises you wouldn’t typically consider in order to give the relationship a chance. Still, connection or not, you must take a sober look to determine if someone is truly available for intimacy.

Hear this: Not everyone you feel a connection with, no matter how mind-blowing, is your soul mate. You can fall for someone who is totally wrong for you, as unfair and confounding as that reality can be.

For a relationship to work, a soul connection must go both ways. Even if the intuitive bond you feel is authentic, it can remain unrealized. Just because someone might’ve been your soul mate in previous eras  doesn’t mean he or she is right for you today. Perhaps the person can’t or won’t reciprocate or is simply oblivious, a frustrating irony you must accept.

Don’t put your life on hold for unrequited longing. Love that is destined can never be stopped. How do you avoid getting entangled in dead-end or delusional relationships where you see someone in terms of how you wish them to be, not who they are? To start, here are some red flags to watch for. Even one sign warns you to be careful. The more that are present, the more danger exists.

10 Signs of Unavailable People

1. They are married or in a relationship with someone else.
2. They have one foot on the gas pedal, one foot on the brake.
3. They are emotionally distant, shut down, or can’t deal with conflict.
4. They’re mainly interested in sex, not relating emotionally or spiritually.
5. They are practicing alcoholics, sex addicts, or substance abusers
6. They prefer long distance relationships, emails, texting, or don’t introduce you to their friends and family.
7. They are elusive, sneaky, frequently working or tired, and may disappear for periods.
8. They are seductive with you but make empty promises — their behavior and words don’t match.
9. They’re narcissistic, only consider themselves, not your needs.
10. They throw you emotional crumbs or enticing hints of their potential to be loving, then withdraw.

At first, some of these signs may be more obvious than others. It’s tricky: we tend to show our best selves in the honeymoon stage of a romance. It can take time for a person’s unavailability to emerge. That’s why it’s eye-opening to look at a partner’s relationship history. Who he or she was previously with reveals volumes about their capacity for intimacy now. Beware of rationalizing, “I’m different. This person would never be that way with me.”

I don’t care how mightily someone blames the blood curdling horrors of an ex for a relationship’s demise; this person played a role too. Being able to admit that or trying to understand the reasons for making such a terrible choice is a positive sign. Playing the victim is not.

To find true love, you want to avoid getting involved with anyone who can’t reciprocate your affections. If you are in a toxic, abusive, or non-reciprocal relationship, withdraw even when your passion is strong and says “stay.”

 

Surrender book cover

Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest book is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life, upon which this article is based. Dr. Orloff, an assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Oprah Magazine and USA Today.

A Handful of Mixed Nuts

     Welcome to yet another crazy blog post about the Match.com men. This is my eighth entry of my “Mis-Matched to Miss Matched” series. The email exchanges never cease to amaze me.
     The first man up was a retired bachelor, at the upper end of my range age. His profile picture screamed Hannibal Lecter, sans straight jacket.
      “I had a dream about you last night. I couldn’t stop kissing your neck. I think it was the musk oil and your soft skin creating a sweet spot I couldn’t resist! Do you think that is a typical guy thought, or is it possible that women really are special to me? Just wondering… CyberCasanova.”
     What the ??? Typical guys do not think this way. Musk oil? Who talks about, much less dreams about, musk oil? As far as being special goes, maybe the kind of “special” that is tonight’s dinner entrée with fava beans and Chianti.
     I don’t know about you, but that was entirely too bizarre for me. There was no, “Hello.” Or even a, “Good evening.” I can not believe this guy thought that was an acceptable introductory greeting.
     I replied, “Honestly, I found it to be forward and creepy since we don’t know each other. I wish you luck finding a match.”
      “I think you misinterpreted my comedic style email about a thought experiment of how men think when we see a pretty girl and react with romance laden thoughts of love and affection as if we fast forwarded through courting to a point in the relationship where friendship develops into partners.”
     Huh? A comedic thought experiment? You have got to be kidding me. I didn’t find any of it particularly funny.
     It has been said that there is a fine line between genius and insanity. This guy seemed to have crossed that line.
      “It didn’t come across as comedic. You might want to rethink your approach. Best of luck to you.”
      “We are what our genes say we are and if it’s a smiling, happy, pretty girl that lifts us to happiness to want to live another day, then the Cosmos has set forth profound physical laws and properties to help ensure the survival of our species. A gentleman knows to look but not touch unless given permission. The Devil doesn’t make us, the Cosmos does. You’re probably just another fake profiler that doesn’t know the difference between E=mc2 and their hat size. Just sayin’… CyberEinstein.”
     You’re freaking nuts! And obviously, the Cosmos is slacking big time, because you’ve survived this long.
     I loved his slam on my integrity and intelligence. I think I will refer to him as “CyberNutJob.” And the Cosmos did not make me say it, nor did the Devil. I did it all on my own without consulting my genetic code or altering the space-time continuum.

     The next bachelor did not want to take “no” for an answer. He was within my age range. However, we had nothing in common based on our profiles. Absolutely positively nothing.
     Every picture posted was shirtless. And most were old pictures. They looked like Polaroids from the ’70s. His profile and his emails were written in all capital letters. So, he was lazy on top of everything else. I apologize for the caps, but I want to give you the true essence of the exchange.
      “JULIET…LET ME BE YOUR ROMEO.”
      “We do not have enough in common. I wish you luck finding a match.”
      “ROMEO NEEDS YOU…I’LL COME TO YOU….I PROMISE I’M AS GOOD AS ADVERTISED…ONLY 10 TIMES BETTER!”
      “No, thank you.”
      “ROMEO CAN’T BE ROMEO WITHOUT YOU.”
     I did not reply.
     Two days later, he sent, “I KNOW…YOU SAID NO…I DO RESPECT THAT…BUT I TRUELY BELIEVE YOU MISSED JUDGED ME.”
     No, I definitely did not. All I want to do is correct your grammar, spelling and punctuation.
      “You do not respect me because you keep contacting me. My answer is no.”
      “I DO RESPECT…BUT COULD YOU TELL ME WHY…MAYBE I’LL LEARN SOMETHING. BE NICE.”
     Oh my God! Seriously? Okay, buddy, you asked for it. And I’ll try to be as nice as possible.
      “No, you really don’t respect me because you insist on making me justify my answer. You are not my type, and I am not attracted to you. You have cats. You smoke. You want children. You have so many grammatical errors in your profile, I lost track. You indicate that you will become violent when defending loved ones. You posted shirtless pictures only. And last, but not least, you refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer. Nothing you say will cause me to change my mind. Please do not contact me again.”
     Well, you know he did. But I ignored him, and he eventually went away. Ugh!

     The next bachelor was a retired lawyer. He was well out of my age range.
      “Good looking, sometimes charming, generally well-behaved lawyer calling.”
      “You have a dog, and I am severely allergic to dogs. I wish you luck finding a match.”
      “Pity. Outside of my dog we are a pretty good romantic prospect. I’m as pretty as you, and as smart, creative, sophisticated and wealthy as you’ll find in these parts. Don’t rule me out on the onset.”
     Friends, he was not as pretty as me. Not even close. God forgive me, but the way he styled his red hair made him look like a clown. Not quite Stephen King’s, It, clown, more like a circus clown.
      “My reaction to animals is anaphylactic. So I can not be around them or people who own them. Best of luck.”
      “I have a solution! No hugging, kissing, or ETC. pending the occurrence of at least one of the following:
     1) You become uncontrollably driven to hug, kiss, or etc. with me so as to suffer a bad reaction notwithstanding.
     In your freaking dreams!
     2) You become gradually (and miraculously) acclimated. (I GROW ON YOU)
     You would grow on me like a flesh-eating disease!
     3) You take a Sudafed or other effective medication. (I will pay for testing and treatment- ha ha)
     Over-the-counter meds don’t work for anaphylaxis, moron.
     4) I take a ridiculously thorough bath beforehand. (You can watch!)
     Yuck!!! I shudder at the mere thought. You could not pay me to watch.
     5) My poor dog dies.
     I pity that dog for having to put up with you.
     6) We give it a CAREFUL AND JUDICIOUS TRY.
     Oh sure, because you’re not the one risking your life. Easy for you to say, “Let’s give it a shot.” You’re not the one who could die.
     Let’s meet for coffee, sweetness, I promise you won’t get the hives!”
     Not if you were the last man on earth!
     Life with this guy would consist of one idiotic, never-ending argument after another. Talk about exhausting.
      “I am not persuaded by your arguments. Anaphylaxis is not like a regular allergy. There is no medication I can take to avoid it. I am sorry, but my answer is still no. I wish you luck finding a match.”
      “I know perfectly well the effects of anaphylactic shock. It is after all, an allergic reaction, which is not unique to yourself. Changes in your physical environment could ameliorate the symptoms. In addition to physical factors, the power of the mind cannot be ignored and can produce remarkable things.”
     Sure! Let me just mentally will my throat not to close and miraculously stop myself from dying due to the lack of oxygen. Gee, why didn’t I think of that before??? If it was that easy, I would have tried it with the cowboy from a few posts back. I would not waste my newly-discovered superpowers on the likes of you.
     I did not reply because I knew he would keep arguing. He sent four more emails. I ignored each one.
     Then, a short time later, he sent the same initial email to me. But another quickly followed. It read, “Oops forgot! You’re the anti-dog screwball, never mind.”
     As I shook my head in dismay, a little voice beckoned to me. Behold! It is a jar of Nutella® calling my name. Mmm…hazelnuts – the kind of nuts a girl can truly love!

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

My Listen To Your Mother YouTube Video

     Here’s my YouTube video from Listen To Your Mother! My original title was, “Mom’s Thoughts on Online Dating.”

     Feel free to leave comments on the YouTube site, here on my blog or both!

     You can also view all of my fellow performers’ videos. It was a joy to be part of such a talented cast. Just click on this link. https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5oPQWgVdsDk-vfoa2dAKVEeUtO7KdvDD

     Enjoy!

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

Happy Father’s Day!

     What can I say about my dad? He is the most hardworking, loving and intelligent man I know. He would do anything in the world for me, my brother and my mom. He is a good man. Plain and simple. Of course, there are times when he drives us all nuts, but that’s part of his quintessential charm.
     Dad is the life of every party. When his blue eyes twinkle, God only knows what he’s thinking or what’s coming next. He is definitely not the most politically correct person you will ever meet, but he is one of the most entertaining. The songs he wrote for his coworkers’ retirement parties were legendary. He even had backup singers. And those backup singers accompanied me during the retirement song I wrote and performed for him.
     People who meet my mother for the first time usually start the conversation with, “We always wondered who could put up with him. Is he like that all the time?”
     She answers, “Yes, he is. We’ve been together for over fifty years. And I haven’t killed him yet.”
     However, there were times when we wondered if he was trying to kill us. His vacations were death-defying adventures. Seriously. If we didn’t come close to getting maimed or killed, it wasn’t a good vacation. He got several ideas from those nice people in National Geographic. That should paint you a better picture right there.
     Imagine if you will a 9-year-old and a 12-year-old and their parents, wearing regular sneakers, carrying no food or water, clinging to chains driven into the side of a cliff with railroad spikes, navigating narrow ledges to reach Havasu Falls at the bottom of The Grand Canyon. Oh, I forgot to mention that we also had heavy camera equipment around our necks. That crazy family was us. We have the pictures and video to prove it.
     Growing up, Dad was the cool dad. He rigged up a car stereo and 6×9 speakers in the garage, so we could listen to music outside. He would play oldies or rock, sometimes country. This was while the neighbor across the street was broadcasting Willie Nelson, or the soundtrack from Evita or the soundtrack from Les Mis.
     Don’t get me wrong, I love Evita and Les Mis now, but listening to those soundtracks as a child was depressing. So, thank God, Dad’s system was louder. To this day, he still cranks it up loud. Of course now that might be because his hearing isn’t what it used to be.
     When he would bring home a new car, the neighborhood boys would come over to “oooh” and “aaah” over it. They’d ask tons of questions that he was more than happy to answer. Then he’d spend the next two hours washing it.
     I think I volunteered him to be the DJ for my 8th grade ’50s/’60s sock hop. He lugged his record player, a slew of records, stereo system and speakers to the school. Everybody, including the teachers, had a blast. He even came up with a trivia game and handed out prizes.
     In high school, he took me to all of the Father/Daughter Dinner Dances. We danced energetically to the fast songs. And we serenaded each other as we danced to the slow songs. We were quite the pair!
     He was proud when I followed in his footsteps and went to GMI Engineering & Management Institute. (It was General Motors Institute when he went there.) I was mortified when I had to explain my Dad’s nickname for me to my college roommate. She answered the phone, and he thought it was me and greeted her, “Hi, Poozlet!”
     Yeah, don’t ask.
     On my wedding day, we were alone in the bride’s room waiting to walk down the aisle. I was nervous, and he was making jokes trying to calm my nerves. But then he got serious for a moment. He said, “I’m assuming your mother had the talk with you.”
     Oh dear God. Did he really just say that? I’m going to die now. Of embarrassment or something. I laughed. Mom and I had the talk when I was ten years old.
      “Yeah, Dad. We had the talk.”
      “Okay. Good.”
     I wonder what he would have done if I had said, “No.” I can only imagine!
     Mom and Dad came to stay with me when I had cancer. I remember waking up from surgery. Mom wore her usual cheerful caregiver smile. But Dad had what we now jokingly refer to as “Dad Face.”
     “Dad Face” is the look he gets when he wants to fix whatever is wrong, but is helpless to do so. Because ultimately, it is out of his control. It’s a very concerned, worried, loving look.
     Mom and I learned quickly that we had to assign him some tasks. That way he felt useful and accomplished something.
     When I was going through my divorce, “Dad Face” returned. Heck, for a while, Mom even had “Dad Face.” Actually, almost everyone I knew had “Dad Face.” Hard not to since I was sobbing at the drop of a hat.
     Anyway, now that Dad’s retired, he’s busier than ever. When he’s not out washing his cars or doing yardwork, he’s fishing. He frequently says, “A bad day of fishing is still better than the best day at work.”
     Mr. Catch and Release has said it enough times, we believe him. Plus, he does come back with some really interesting fish stories. However, it still boggles the mind. This is a man who is always in a rush and hates waiting in lines. Yet, he will spend hours, days and sometimes weeks fishing. Sometimes on the shore or in a boat. Most of the time in waders standing chest deep in a stream.
     Fly fishing is his favorite type of fishing. Although he sometimes uses corn. Niblets to be precise. From a can. Apparently, it works. He’s catching a lot of fish with niblets. Who knew? Niblets!
     And when he’s not fishing, he’s planning meals. Breakfast with his brothers, Old Farts luncheons (his words, not mine), and dinners with everyone else my parents know. Their social calendar is booked out for weeks. They are popular people. Well, I guess with him you do get a meal and a comedy act.
     Most of all, my Dad wants me to be happy and feel loved. I consider myself very lucky, blessed, happy and loved because I have him for a Dad. And no matter how old I get, I will always be his little girl.

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother's day 050816

     It seemed appropriate to write about the mothers in my life on Mother’s Day. If you’ve read my dating series, “Mis-Matched to Miss Matched,” you’ve already met my mom. She’s a great woman who only wants the best for me. Today, I would like to introduce my grandmothers—Victorine and Jacqueline. Continue reading

I’m Not Like Other Guys

     This is the 6th installment of my Mis-Matched to Miss Matched series, and it’s dedicated to just one bachelor.
     Bachelor #27 and I shared so many interests, it was unbelievable. Every line I read, I smiled and nodded my head. And no pets! Thank goodness. The computer screen told me that we were a 100% match! Could this be possible? After all I’ve been through already, I hoped, and I prayed.
     I’m not revealing his age or profession for reasons that will become clear as you read on.
     After a few email exchanges, we spoke on the phone. His voice was velvety smooth, an easy listening radio voice for sure. That first phone conversation lasted two hours. It felt like mere minutes. We chatted like old friends who were catching up after not speaking for a few months.
     We met for dinner shortly thereafter. Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome displayed impeccable manners and was very complimentary to me.
     We had similar hobbies and the exact same taste in music. He was also a muscle car guy. A GM muscle car guy. Thank God he wasn’t a Ford or Chrysler guy. (No offense to Ford or Chrysler guys, but I know GM cars. I don’t know squat about the others.)
     Several dinners followed. We enjoyed each other’s company tremendously.
     Then one evening, he said, “We need to talk.”
     Oh crap. Nothing good ever follows those words. I braced myself.
     “There’s something I need to tell you.”
     Maybe his ex’s name is tattooed on him somewhere. Or he’s a convicted felon. A serial killer. Bodies buried in the backyard. I could be next. Mom was right! Or he’s married. Or an illegal alien. Or he works for the Mob. Or worse, he liked “50 Shades of Grey.”
     “I’ve wanted to tell you for some time now.”
     “Okay. I’m listening.”
     “I’m not like other guys.”
     At that moment, I flashed back to the beginning of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. Those were the words Michael said to his date before he turned into the werewolf. Oh crap.
     “I like ************censored*************.”
     Huh? I was speechless. Utterly. Totally. Speechless. For the first time in my life, I had no words. None.
     This man who I thought could be, “The One,” just confessed his fetish to me. Picture me sitting there stunned. Really stunned. Deer in the headlights stunned.
     Hopefully my mouth wasn’t hanging open. I don’t remember. But it’s fully in the realm of possibility.
     My mind tried to process the words he had spoken. So many questions raced through my mind.
     “Say something.”
     Here is the unfortunate question that popped out: “Does this mean you play for both teams?”
     Disappointed, he answered, “No. I’m straight.”
     “Okay.” Meaning, okay, I heard you. But I still didn’t know what to think.
     I don’t have a problem with this fetish, in general. It’s not illegal or immoral. And I consider myself an open and accepting person. I don’t judge people’s actions when consenting adults are involved.
     “Think about it.”
     There was no doubt in my mind that’s all I would be thinking about in the near future. The question remained, “Could I live with it?”
     I thought long and hard about it for a couple of days. I researched it on the internet. There were psychological explanations and justifications. All agreed it was a harmless practice. Apparently, it is more common than any of us would ever have imagined.
     I finally made my decision. I couldn’t live with it.
     I wanted to, because he seemed like a great guy, otherwise. We had so much in common. He treated me beautifully. Everything had been falling into place.
     But I couldn’t live with this one thing. It was too big. And he wasn’t willing to give it up.
     So, that was the end of that.
     When I told my mother I broke up with him, she couldn’t believe it. “What was wrong with this one? You said he was perfect.”
     “He had a fetish.”
     “Oh my God! Oh my God! Don’t tell me!”
     “But…”
     “No, don’t tell me! I don’t want to know what it is.”
     “It’s not horrible. I just couldn’t live with it. It’s not like he murders people or anything.”
     “No! Don’t say it! I don’t want to have nightmares!”
     “But…”
     “No! Don’t tell me!”
     So that, my friends, is why the fetish is censored. I do not want to be responsible for giving my mother nightmares. Since she loses so much sleep worrying about me to begin with, when she does fall asleep, I don’t want it to be nightmares about this particular fetish.
     I don’t want anyone he knows to find out either. It’s not like he broadcasts this to his family, friends and co-workers. He was a nice guy. It just didn’t work out.
     I think I’m going to watch the Thriller video now. Michael Jackson and Vincent Price—now there’s a perfect combination! Here’s a link to it, just in case you want to see it too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOnqjkJTMaA
     Stay tuned for the next chapter, “The Foreign Contingent.”

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

Saddle Up!

     I try to read my friends’ blogs as much as I can. And I have to admit I was quite surprised by one friend’s blog. “Why?” you ask. Because Michael wrote about me. It caught me completely off-guard. As I read it, I laughed, I blushed, and at times, I wanted to cry. Thank you, Michael!

     I received many emails and messages from guys wishing they were cowboys, based on my last “Mis-Matched to Miss Matched” episode. Several were laugh out loud funny. One guy wanted to take me line dancing and then saddle up and ride off into the sunset with me. Another wanted to be Roy Rogers to my Dale Evans. One even wanted to demonstrate his rope tricks. Um, yikes! No!

     Most mentioned riding off on horses. Apparently, they missed the part where I’m allergic to animals. I have two words – reading comprehension. Sheesh.

     Michael’s piece was by far the best thing I read regarding this subject. So, I am posting the link to it. It really is a must-read. Not because it’s about me, because it’s really, really good.

Here’s the link to “Dang!” http://moejoemojo.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/dang/

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

Doctors and Chemists and a Cowboy, Oh My!

     Welcome to the 5th installment of Mis-Matched to Miss Matched. I’m sure you’re wondering if I met a doctor who made house calls, or if I developed an organic relationship with a chemist, or if the cowboy was a stripper or an actual cowboy. There’s only one way to answer your questions. Read on!

     Perhaps it was time to have a doctor in the family. Bachelor #21 was a 45-year-old anesthesiologist. We agreed to meet for coffee. He was handsome and dressed like a professional golfer. But he showed up late. And he didn’t bother to text or call to let me know. A lady does not like to be kept waiting. Strike one.
     He asked me what I wanted to drink and got in line to order. When he returned, he had more than drinks. He purchased brunch. For himself. He didn’t offer me any food. He sat there eating in front of me. Strike two.
     The conversation wasn’t very stimulating. I actually think he could save hospitals money on anesthesia and sedatives by just talking to patients. Boring with a capital “B.”
     He asked how long I’d been divorced. I told him several months. I bounced the question back to him. He responded he wasn’t divorced. It was going to be too expensive. He was currently weighing his options.
     Well, I eliminated one option—me. Strike three. He’s out!

     Bachelor #22 was 50 years old and a surgeon. Another coffee date. However, this one arrived on time, in a black Mercedes. He had a certain air about him as he walked in. As we shook hands, I noticed his bling. Hard to miss it—thick gold chain around his neck, ostentatious rings and a Rolex watch.
     But as the Shania Twain song goes, “That don’t impress me much.” Sorry, but I’m more concerned with what’s inside a man’s head and heart than a flashy outer package. Always makes me wonder what they’re overcompensating for. Anyway…
     I sensed a God complex as soon as he started talking about his grand achievements. Don’t get me wrong, I admire people who accomplish great things. I just didn’t like how he bragged about them. Plus the fact that he wasn’t interested in me. When I told him that I had published a romance novel and a poetry book, I got that look. It’s the “Oh, you’re an artsy, fartsy type” look. I hate that look.
     It didn’t last long. He switched the conversation back to him. He loved to hear himself talk. I admired his perfect manicure as he chattered on.
     Fortunately, he had to get to the office.
     And I never heard from him again. Thank God.

     Fifty-three-year-old Bachelor #23 was a gastroenterologist. Some of my family members were thrilled at the idea of having one of those around. Seriously. My sister-in-law even told me that it didn’t matter what he’s like, I should “take one for the team.”
     Can you feel the love??
     We met for drinks. We had a great deal in common and were never at a loss for words. He was genuinely interesting.
     For those of you who know me, you know I only drink one drink if I will be driving later. One. Count it. One.
     “Have another drink.”
     “No, thank you. I only drink one drink.”
     “Oh, come on. Have another.”
     “No, thank you.” No means no!
     He yelled to the bartender, “Another drink for the lady.”
     I looked at the bartender. “I don’t want another drink. Can I have some water?”
     The doctor insisted, “Give her another drink.”
     “Don’t bother. I won’t drink it.”
     “Well, I ended up with the water and another drink.
     “You haven’t touched your drink.”
     “I told you that I wouldn’t.”
     “What’s the big deal?”
     “It’s not a big deal. But you’re making it one. When I say I’m not going to do something, I mean it.”
     “It’s just one drink.”
     I’m sensing major control issues. “I’m not drinking it.”
     “You should.”
     “No. Thank you for the drink that I did order. It’s time to call it a night.”
     He continued to contact me afterward. I told him to move on.
     Anyone who is that obsessed over getting me to drink something that I clearly don’t want has serious control issues. I can not even imagine what he would be like concerning important things. Yikes!

     I met Bachelor #24, an R&D Chemist, for dinner. The 50-year-old was interesting…on paper. In person, I felt like I was conducting an audit. If you’ve never been prepped for an audit, Rule #1 is: Stick to the facts. Rule #2 is: Do not elaborate.
     It was like pulling teeth. Some answers were one word. Others came in sentence form. Short sentences. I ended up talking most of the time because he wouldn’t.
     At least the food was really good. And I even had leftovers for the next night. So, it wasn’t a total loss.

     I gave another chemist a try. Number 25 picked the same restaurant as the last one. Wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or not. Nevertheless, I knew the food would be good. So, I met the 42-year-old for dinner.
     This guy didn’t have any problems talking. He never shut up. But it was all negative stuff about his ex-wife. The language he used was downright ugly. It was offensive to me as a woman. Granted, she might have been exactly as he described her. But I did not want to hear it. I’m certain the couple behind him didn’t want to hear it. The woman kept giving me looks. She even followed me into the bathroom.
     “That guy you’re with is a jackass.”
     “Agreed. It’s a first date.”
     “Hopefully your last too.”
     “Yes. As soon as the check is paid, I’m out of here.”
     “I’d leave now if I were you. Slip out the back door.”
     I laughed. “My sweater is on my chair.”
     “I’d forget the sweater. Leave now.”
     “It’s a really nice sweater. It took me forever to find it.”
     “Suit yourself.”
     Luckily, he paid the check while I was powdering my nose. I invented a friend emergency and made a quick exit.

     Gather around the campfire for Bachelor #26. I don’t know what it is about cowboys that intrigues us women. Maybe it’s the rugged look about them. Or the fact that they seem to be able to handle any problem that arises better than MacGyver. Or perhaps it’s that they have manners and tip their hats. Or maybe it’s just the tight jeans…
     Although this 50-year-old bachelor had a real job during the day, his passion was his ranch. Our phone conversation was so exhilarating; I violated my “no pets” rule. The tone of his voice was incredible. I had to meet the man on the other end of the phone. Despite the fact that he had dogs and horses.
     Ladies, he did not disappoint. This rugged, clean-shaven hunk of a man wore a black fitted cowboy shirt to highlight his toned upper half. His jeans were broken in in all the right places. And his boots were polished nicely.
     Big & Rich’s song, “Save A Horse [Ride A Cowboy],” played in my head. Goodness! Is it hot in here or just me?
     He was absolutely fascinating. The hours flew by. We were the last people in the restaurant. The waiter vacuumed around us. We took that as our cue to leave. It was a delightful evening.
     As a gentleman should, he walked me to my car. He leaned in, gave me a quick hug and kiss, and he was on his way.
     As I watched him walk to his car, my throat started closing up. I grabbed two Benadryl and my emergency meds out of my purse and swallowed them all quickly. I drove toward home (and the hospital), Epi-pen in hand. Just in case.
     The coughing and wheezing subsided after about thirty minutes. At least I didn’t have to use the Epi-pen, and I didn’t end up in the ER.
     It also meant that no matter how fantastic he was, or how well we got along, or how good he looked in those jeans, there was no chance of a relationship with this man.
     I told him the news. He said that he regretted not kissing me deeply. Dear Lord, if he had, I have no doubt that I would have ended up in the hospital. Although, that would have made one heck of a story.

     Stay tuned for the next crazy episode, “I’m Not Like Other Guys.”

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

Cast Spotlight: Judy Miller

Spotlight-PHOTO-for-Jude_1483-300x180Today’s spotlight is shining on Judy Miller, one of our fearless leaders! And it just so happens to be her birthday. So, Happy Birthday, Judy!

You are going to love Judy’s piece. I didn’t expect it to impact me as deeply as it did. You must hear it for yourself. Here is a link to her interview.
http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/23/cast-spotlight-judy-miller-2/

Get your tickets online. If you wait to buy them at the door, you must pay by cash or check.
https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Cast Spotlight: Anna Walker

Anna-300x271Today’s second spotlight is shining brightly on Anna Walker! Her story touched me deeply. And I’m sure it will impact you too. She has had more than her share of adversity. How she continues to handle it makes her an inspiration.

To learn more about Anna, check out her interview with event organizers.
http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/22/cast-spotlight-anna-walker/

And don’t forget to get your tickets!
https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Cast Spotlight: Michelle McNally

303380_2856344586711_515674413_nToday’s first spotlight is on Michelle McNally. She is one of our fantastic producers and directors. She lights up a room just by stepping into it.

To learn more about this talented blogger, check out her interview!
http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/21/cast-spotlight-michelle-mcnally-2/

If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, today would be a great day to do it. Today, 20% of ticket sales goes to Partners in Housing!
https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Cast Spotlight: Terri Spilman

Terri-225x300Today’s Listen To Your Mother spotlight is shining brightly on Terri Spilman! As event organizers accurately point out, her story rocks! Hers is yet another story that you do not want to miss.

To learn more about Terri, check out her interview with event organizers.
http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/18/cast-spotlight-terri-spilman/

If you still need tickets, buy them as an Easter gift to yourself!
https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Cast Spotlight: Suzanne Purewal

SuzanneToday, I get to shine the Listen To Your Mother spotlight on myself! My piece is about Mom and me. Some lines are so funny, I can hardly contain my laughter. So, I guarantee you will laugh out loud. I just hope I can keep it together during my performances!

I reveal several things in my interview with event organizers that I have never discussed before. So, if you want to learn more about me, click on this link!
http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/17/cast-spotlight-suzanne-purewal/

Buy your tickets today! They’re going fast, and you don’t want to miss out!
https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Cast Spotlight: Rebecca Hession

Rebecca_Hession_Headshot-280x300Today’s LTYM Cast Spotlight is on Rebecca Hession! I really loved Rebecca’s piece. And her blog is something else.

I guarantee that you want to be in the audience to hear what Rebecca has to say.

Here is her interview with event organizers.
http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/16/cast-spotlight-rebecca-hession/

Get your tickets today! They’re going fast!
https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Cast Spotlight: Marge Summers

Marge_Headshot-200x300What a pleasure it is to cast a spotlight on Marge Summers. Her piece was so hysterical, I couldn’t stop laughing. She had us all in stitches. I can’t wait to hear her piece again. Because who couldn’t use a good laugh?

Here is her interview with event organizers. http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/15/cast-spotlight-marge-summers/

If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, there’s still time!
https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Cast Spotlight: Kim Gummere

Kim-289x300

Today’s Listen To Your Mother spotlight is shining on Kim Gummere! She is a talented writer. I wish I could share the topic of her piece, but that’s against the LTYM rules. So, you will just have to come out to hear it in person!

Here’s the link to Kim’s interview with event organizers.  http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/14/cast-spotlight-kim-gummere/

If you still need tickets, click here. https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

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

Cast Spotlight: Kerry Rossow

Kerry_Headshot-300x300In my opinion, you can never cast enough spotlights. So, today, I’m featuring a second cast member, Kerry Rossow!

Her piece is laugh out loud funny! She is also a NW Indiana Listen To Your Mother alum.

Check out her interview with event organizers. http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/07/cast-spotlight-kerry-rossow/

Get your tickets now! https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Cast Spotlight: Kate Gehan

KateGehanHeadshot-300x199Today’s Listen To Your Mother spotlight shines brightly on Kate Gehan. Kate and I share an interesting geographic coincidence. We both grew up in New York and now reside in Indiana. Her piece is wonderful. I can’t wait for all of you to hear it. Here is a link to her interview. http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/04/cast-spotlight-meet-kate-gehan/

Come join us on Sunday, April 27th for one of our live performances. Get your tickets for $16 now. Prices go up to $20 on April 15th! https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Featuring Cast Member Stacy Gray

Stacy headshotToday’s Listen To Your Mother spotlight is shining on Stacy Gray. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Stacy on audition night. We were surprised and delighted to discover we both made the show. What were the chances of that, considering all of the women who auditioned? Here is a link to her interview. http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/02/cast-spotlight-stacy-gray/

Tickets are currently available for both shows for $16. But ticket prices will go up on April 15th to $20, so get your tickets now! https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Cast Spotlight: Caroline Hoy Myers

Caroline_headshot-300x300

     Today, I am honored to feature Caroline Hoy Myers! She is another fellow LTYM Cast Member.

     I was totally blown away by Caroline’s piece. And I can’t wait for you to hear it as well. Her story touched my heart and my soul. Here is the link to her interview. http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/03/31/cast-spotlight-caroline-hoy-myers/

     It seems fitting to feature Caroline today, because today is her birthday! Happy Birthday, Caroline!

     I sincerely hope you join us for an afternoon of wonderful stories and tales about motherhood. Get your tickets now! They’re selling like hotcakes! https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Introducing…Amparo de la Peña!

Amparo_Headshot.jpg-300x254     Amparo de la Peña is the first cast member to be featured for this year’s Listen To Your Mother Indianapolis show! There will be two performances this year. They are on Sunday, April 27th, at 1:00 P.M. and 5:00 P.M., at the Indiana Historical Society.
     Although I can not reveal the subject of Amparo’s piece, I can tell you, I related to it personally. I guarantee many of you will too. I am looking forward to sharing a stage with her.
     Here is her interview with event organizers. http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/03/30/cast-spotlight-amparo-de-la-pena/

     Tickets are currently available for both shows for $16. But ticket prices will go up on April 15th to $20, so get your tickets now! https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

March Madness

     March Madness is in full swing here in Indianapolis. We’re almost down to the Final Four. The news reports claim that fans’ madness will bring in approximately $20 million to the city. That’s great financial stimulus. But not one dime of that will come from me. I will watch some of the games. I just won’t pay to do it.
     Warren Buffett and Quicken Loans won’t be paying up either. The $1 billion they offered for a perfect predicted outcome in all of the games in the NCAA Tournament is safe. But wouldn’t it have been something if there were contenders still in it? Oh well, there’s always next year.
     Despite the fact that I have lived in March Madness territory for twenty-one years, I have not developed the intense fever that prevails at this time of year. I’m sorry, fellow Hoosiers, but the sloppy, hot and sweaty basketball look just doesn’t work for me. On the other hand, I could watch football all day. Much better uniforms.
     I blame my primary lack of interest in college sports on my college, which did not have any competitive sport teams. Truth be told, I graduated from an institute—GMI Engineering & Management Institute. When my dad went there, it was called General Motors Institute. Picture a bunch of geeks and nerds studying. A lot. Hey, it is in the heart of Flint, MI. We didn’t have much choice. Walking to your car in the parking garage was a death-defying experience.
     I think there might have been some GMI intermural or interfraternal sport things for the jock/nerd combination guy. I didn’t really pay attention. I was busy studying and trying to figure out which boy to date. It was a predominately male student body. So, us girls had plenty to choose from. But I digress…
     My dad adopted Michigan State as his alternate alma mater. Go Spartans! My brother always roots for the University of Michigan. Go Wolverines! Mom and I aren’t sure if he does that just to annoy my dad, or if he just likes them for some other reason. Whatever the case may be, they both root against Notre Dame and Duke.
     Mom and I will root for Michigan State or the University of Michigan, if we’re watching. On the occasions when they play each other, Mom and I do our best to represent Switzerland.
     When I do watch the games, I root for the underdog. What they lack in alumnae funding, they make up for in heart. I love when the little, often ignored school beats a powerhouse. Those are games I can sink my teeth into. They’re fun and exciting to watch. And the press loves to feed us the heart-wrenching background stories of the players and their struggles. Talk about good reality television.
     Unfortunately, there aren’t any underdogs left. But both Michigan State and the University of Michigan are still in it. So, all I have to say today is: Go Spartans! Go Wolverines!

Copyright © 2014 Suzanne Purewal

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

See Me Perform Live On Stage!

     Yes, friends, I will be performing live! I am thrilled to be part of the cast of “Listen To Your Mother!” What is “Listen To Your Mother?” Well, click here to see what it is all about. http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/
     As you can see from their website, I will be reading my own original work on stage, along with thirteen other creative women.
     There are two shows on Sunday, April 27th. For show times, tickets and more details, click here:  https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

     Ticket prices go up after April 14th, so get your tickets now! Hope to see you there!

Zeke and Bubba Go To Daytona

i     By now, many of you have heard about the six hour and twenty-two minute rain delay at this year’s Daytona 500. Others of you might even know that Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the race. What you haven’t heard is the story about Zeke and Bubba. It’s about two brothers and their adventures related to this year’s race. So, buckle up and enjoy the ride.
     Zeke and Bubba were vacationing in Florida with their wives. Being the avid NASCAR fans that they are, they decided to go to the Daytona 500. Their wives wisely spent their race weekend shopping.
     After bidding their lovely wives adieu, the senior citizen brothers drove toward Daytona. The first order of business was reserving their parking spot for race day. They paid $50 to park in a Five Guys restaurant parking lot near the track. Then they checked out the souvenir stands at the track before going to dinner.
     They arrived at the Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse woefully underdressed. Imagine them dressed in typical NASCAR race fan attire. Instead of turning them away, the hostess seated them in a “special” room in the very back of the restaurant.
     After dinner, they checked into their hotel, 30+ miles away. It was a Candlewood Suites property.
     The clerk asked, “Have you ever stayed with us before?”
     They responded, “No.”
     “Well, you have a standard room. There is no maid service for the weekend.”
     Dismayed, they replied, “Huh?”
     “Your room will not be cleaned during your stay. If you need something, like towels or toilet paper, you will have to come to the desk and ask.”
     “You’re kidding.”
     “No, sir. I’m not kidding.”
     Zeke inquired, “What about breakfast in the morning?”
     “We do not offer a continental breakfast. We do have a few vending machines around the corner. And there are several restaurants nearby.”
     Zeke and Bubba gave each other a look and shook their heads. They completed the check-in process and received their room keys.
     They located their room and flipped on the light. To their surprise, there was only one bed. It was not a king size bed. They weren’t even sure it was a queen size bed.
     Knowing every room within one hundred miles of the track was booked, they knew they were stuck. At least they were moderately close to the track.
     They decided to make the best of it and relax. Zeke commandeered the recliner. When he pulled the lever, the recliner went back, way back. Almost perfectly horizontal. That was the only position it offered. And the chair wasn’t level by any means; it leaned heavily to the right. He tried to shift his weight to level the chair, but it was like riding a surf board through a tidal wave, lying on your back. The waves were relentless. Tilting and rocking this way, then that.
     Bubba laughed at his brother’s misfortune as he sat in a swivel chair. He propped his feet up on another chair. He leaned back and within moments, he flipped over the back of the chair and crashed to the floor, hard.
     Zeke struggled to free himself from the tipsy recliner and rushed to his brother’s aid. “Are you okay?”
     Dazed, Bubba responded, “I think so.”
     Zeke helped his brother up, and they had a good laugh over it.
     They finally decided to call it a night. There was no clock in the room. So, they called the desk for a wake-up call. After getting ready for bed, they left the bathroom light on, in case nature called in the middle of the night.
     The bed was barely big enough for the two of them. Zeke joked that they could do a remake of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.”

     In the early hours of the morning, Zeke had to go to the bathroom. When he tried to open the bathroom door, it was locked. All of his pushing and pulling on the handle woke up Bubba.
     Bubba asked, “What are you doing?”
     “I have to go to the bathroom, and the door’s locked.”
     “Locked?”
     “Locked.”
     “How can it be locked?”
     “I don’t know. It’s locked.”
     Bubba got up and tried the door. “It’s locked.”
     “That’s what I’ve been saying.”
     After several more minutes of pushing, pulling and sticking various objects in the doorknob hole, Bubba slid a coin into the slot and unlocked the door. There was much rejoicing. And both were relieved, literally and figuratively.

     At 6:00 A.M., the wake-up call sounded. Zeke grabbed the phone on the night stand. It was dead. The phone across the room taunted him. (I’m imaging a curse word was uttered at this point.) Bubba got up and answered the other phone.
     Around 7:30 A.M., they drove 30+ miles to the Five Guys lot and parked. Then, they walked a quarter of a mile to the Cracker Barrel for a hearty breakfast. The restaurant looked like it had been gutted. The store part of the restaurant was non-existent. Long picnic tables stretched from one end of the building to the other. People were packed in like sardines.
     The hostess asked, “How many in your party?”
     Zeke replied, “Two.”
     “Name?”
     Always the jokester, he spelled, “E-I-E-I-O.”
     He watched as the girl actually wrote, “E-I-E-I-O.”
     Zeke apologized, “I’m sorry. I was joking.”
     The girl looked at what she had written and laughed.
     Zeke smiled and gave his real name.
     Once seated, they were handed the menu. There were five, yes, count ‘em – five choices. That was it. The choices were priced at $7 and $9. The only eggs you could order were scrambled. You couldn’t order toast or waffles. But you could have all of the grits and gravy you could eat.
     Zeke and Bubba were not fans of grits and gravy. Zeke ordered a $9 breakfast—a slice of sugar cured ham, hash brown casserole, three scrambled eggs and fried apples. He even managed to sweet-talk the waitress into bringing him sourdough toast. He was the only person to get toast that morning. He said, “It was de-licious!”
     Bubba got a $7 breakfast—sausage patties, hash brown casserole and three scrambled eggs.
     After breakfast, they walked back to the Five Guys parking lot and sat at one of the outdoor picnic tables. Zeke took a nap. Bubba read a magazine.
     Many of the area restaurants were closed and sold their parking spots for $40 or $50 each. So their options for lunch were limited. They decided on Panera. The “You-Pick-Two” deal had healthy choices for soups, salads and sandwiches.
     They entered the Panera and joined the line. The bakery items beckoned to them.
     Zeke said, “I don’t know about you. But I’m not going to waste any calories on soup or salad.”
     “Me either.”
     So, they ordered danishes, scones and other tasty treats.

     Riding their sugar high, off to the track they went, and they hiked to their seats. The first part of the race was enjoyable, but hot. Initially, they were relieved when the clouds rolled in. That soon changed.
     Bubba looked at Zeke. “I felt raindrops. Do you feel raindrops?”
     “Yup. We better head for cover.”
     Sitting on aluminum seats in the middle of a thunderstorm with tornado sirens going off was not good.
     They found shelter in the entrance of the men’s bathroom. And there they stood, for the next six hours. They were not about to give up their spots for anything. And they met a lot of interesting people, coming and going. (Sorry, Zeke insisted on the pun.)
     Eventually, the rain let up, and they were hungry. They forfeited their coveted spots in search of food. Remember, vendors were prepared for an afternoon event, not an entire day-long event. Two booths ran out of beer. One ran out of cheeseburgers. Another ran out of pop and foot-long corn dogs. They finally found a vendor with food—Philly cheesesteaks. But that vendor didn’t have drinks. Parched, they searched and searched for a vendor with drinks.
BhPZLZ0IAAA_f45     While quenching their thirst, they stood under some bleachers. It was raining, and they had no rain gear. Zeke came up with an idea. He approached a track worker. “Can you help a race fan out? It’s pouring, and I could really use one of those garbage bags.”
     The worker handed over a black garbage bag. Zeke poked a hole in the bottom for his head and poked out two arm holes. He and his NASCAR shirt would now stay dry. He ran back and told Bubba to get himself one.
     Bubba ended up paying a dollar for his rain gear. He was too embarrassed to beg for a bag. He only poked a hole big enough for his head.
     At this point, Zeke realized his Dale Earnhardt commemorative hat could get ruined by the rain. So he walked over to a souvenir stand.
     As he approached, the lady commented, “Nice poncho.”
     Zeke pressed his hands together in prayer and with a weird accent pleaded with the lady, “I have come to beg for a helmet.”
     It took her a second to figure it out. She laughed heartily and handed him one of her plastic bags. She mimicked his weird accent, “Here is your helmet.”
     “Thank you!”
     No one has ever accused him of not being resourceful. Zeke gleefully pulled the bag down over his head. Kids, don’t try this at home! It was clear, so he could see through it. But after a few minutes (and almost suffocating,) he poked holes only big enough for his eyes and nose, and proudly donned his helmet.
     Then the brothers headed back to the men’s room to get some paper towels to dry their seats. Not wanting to be seen carrying the paper towels, they stuffed them into the front of their pants. So, now picture them wearing their garbage bags with protruding bellies, and Zeke wearing his helmet.
     Toward the end of the race, they worried about getting clean towels and toilet paper for their hotel room. They realized they weren’t going to get back until after midnight. They didn’t think anyone would be at the desk. And they only had a partial roll of toilet paper left. And they had thrown all of their towels on the bathroom floor. Quite a conundrum.
     During their last visit to the men’s room, Zeke encouraged Bubba to grab some toilet paper. “What if there’s nobody at the desk when we get back? We don’t have enough toilet paper. We have to have toilet paper.”
     Bubba agreed. When they got back to the car, Bubba pulled out an industrial roll of toilet paper from under his garbage bag poncho. (You know the enormous rolls that weigh a few pounds each.)
     Zeke and Bubba laughed like school boys.

     At 12:30 A.M., they arrived at the hotel. And to their surprise, there was a lady at the desk. She eyed the enormous roll of toilet paper Bubba was carrying.
     Zeke quipped, “Don’t worry. It’s for our adding machine.”
     Bubba and Zeke laughed all the way to their room.
     Zeke gathered all of the dirty, wet towels and carried them to the desk. “We need towels.”
     The lady pointed. “I’ll meet you around back.”
     Zeke replied, mischievously, “Oh, I’d love to meet you around back.”
     The woman shook her head.
     He met her in the laundry room to get fresh towels, as Bubba yelled, “Don’t forget to get a roll of toilet paper!”
     Apparently, the gigantic roll was a bit unwieldy to manage.

     When they checked out the next morning, Bubba decided to leave the toilet paper behind, which probably bewildered the housekeeping staff. Then the men drove back to the other side of Florida to rejoin their wives.
     After the men relayed the tale of their weekend adventure, Bubba’s wife said, “Oh, you poor guys. You had so many troubles.”
     Zeke’s wife just smiled.
     The brothers exclaimed, “What are you talking about? We had a wonderful time!”
     And they meant it.

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

Searching For Mrs. Robinson

the graduate    Welcome to the third installment of “Mis-Matched to Miss Matched.” If you missed the first two installments, this series is about my adventures on the Match.com dating website. The subjects for this post were younger than most. I debated whether I should entitle this article, “Searching for Mrs. Robinson” or “Hot for Teacher.” Initially, I wanted to call this “Hot for Teacher.” But the more I wrote, the more I liked “Searching for Mrs. Robinson.”

     You could tell Bachelor #11 was trouble by his profile picture—an all-American boy with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. You know the kind—trouble with a capital “T.”  I refer to him as a “boy” because he was a 24-year-old college student, and technically, I am old enough to be his mother.
     “Came across your photo. Couldn’t resist. Please give me your number.”
     “Sorry, but I think you should look for someone more age appropriate.”
     “I don’t mind. Give me your number.”
     “Well, I do mind. You should find someone your own age.”
     “No, you’re what I’m looking for. You’d make a good teacher, I bet.”
     “I’m not interested in teaching you anything, except for, possibly, manners.”
     “That sounds kinky. Give me your number.”
     Sheesh. “I wasn’t trying to be coy. I’m not interested. Good luck finding a match.”
     “What’s coy?”
     “Find a dictionary and look it up.”
     “Are you a librarian? Do you wear those tight skirts and your hair up? I’d like that.”
     I’m sure you would. “I’m not interested. Good luck finding a match.”

     Next up was Bachelor #12, a 35-year-old consultant.
     “How are you? I am hesitant to reach out to you. Mainly because I am putting myself in a position to be ridiculed and/or rejected. But, my hope is that you will respect my candor and honesty, as opposed to being offended.”
     “Well, you haven’t offended me yet. And I appreciate candor and honesty. So, go ahead.”
     “I really haven’t been very active in the dating scene and/or on this site. So, I found myself wondering ‘why am I on this site?’ the other day. I truly couldn’t answer that question, lol. However, I think I’ve realized that I want something new, exciting, and…not boring. I want to meet a woman at least 5 years outside of my age bracket, who is interested in a professional, vibrant, intellectual, witty, younger man.”
     “You have piqued my interest. I don’t mind dating a younger man. So, that’s not an issue. And I definitely agree that a relationship should be exciting, not boring.”
     “Now, here’s the catch. I’m not wanting a serious relationship. Not dead-set against it, but just not prioritizing it. I am very focused on my career and have goals to accomplish (just as you do, I’m sure). In all honesty, I’d love to meet a woman who craves and desires a younger man…even if she’s never been with one. I have a feeling that ‘older’ women appreciate a younger man’s intimacy, so long as he is energetic, passionate, and unselfish….oh, and privy to what will make her feel ‘euphoric’. Actually, that last one should probably be a pre-req for both sides, lol.”
     Euphoric? Well, who wouldn’t want to feel euphoric? And when was the last time any man wanted to make me happy, let alone euphoric?
     I reread his reply again, just to make sure I understood him clearly. But, then I got distracted by the whole “energetic, passionate, unselfish” bit. If any woman deserved a man who was energetic, passionate and unselfish, it was me. Visions of satin sheets, rose petals and candles flooded my mind. Then, I read it again for good measure.
     I have to admit that was the best soliloquy I’ve read that boils down to, “I just want to have sex. And I promise you’ll enjoy it.”
     And while I attempted to entertain the idea of this euphoric opportunity for a split second, my mother’s voice was screaming in my head, loud and clear. “Are you crazy? Have you completely lost your mind?!?”
     Fear not, Mom. I want to be in a serious relationship, not be some young stud’s booty call. And in all honesty my friends, I did not want to endure the inevitable, extremely awkward lecture from my mother. So, you’re asking, “Why on earth would you tell your mother?”
     I wouldn’t have to tell anybody. If Mr. Booty Call lived up to expectations, I am guessing everyone who saw me or spoke to me would notice my new, improved blissful state of being. You know that state—you are floating on air, the sun is always shining and everything is happiness, butterflies and rainbows. Okay, maybe it wouldn’t be exactly like that. Although it might be worth it to test my theory! (Just kidding, Mom.)
     Anyway…I wrote back to Mr. Booty Call. “I am flattered. But I am not interested in that type of relationship. However, I must compliment you on how eloquently you expressed the bottom line. I’m sure there is a woman out there who will be happy to oblige.”
     “I sincerely apologize if I’ve offended you.”
     “You didn’t offend me. Dating sites aren’t for the faint of heart. I wish you luck finding a match.”
     “Thank you. I wish you all the best on this site and in your other dating endeavors.”

     Unlucky Bachelor #13 was a self-proclaimed virgin at the age of 30. He was a computer specialist. I know, cliché. But it gets even worse, so keep reading.
     “I would be honored if you would be my Padmé Amidala to my Anakin Skywalker.”
     Heavy sigh. “Sorry, but Anakin becomes Darth Vader. And I don’t feel like fighting any wars against the dark side. I wish you the best and may The Force be with you.”
     “You could be Princess Leia. I could be Han Solo.”
     He did not have a picture posted. So, unfortunately, at this point, I’m imagining he’s probably more like Jabba the Hutt. And I have a strong aversion to chains. And I would not be caught dead with a pair of Cinnabons covering my ears. “I’m sorry, no. I wish you luck in finding a match.”
     “I’ll be anyone you want me to be. Just name it. I have an awesome costume collection.”
     Oh yikes. I’m sure you do. I pity this kid. “I am not interested. However, in the future, when contacting other women, I suggest that you be yourself. Save the characters for later.”
     “OK. Thanks.”
     Call me old-fashioned, but I think you should know the guy’s name and perhaps meet him in person before delving into role playing fantasies and discovering whatever else he is hiding in his closet. This poor guy is going to need the full power of The Force behind him to find a woman.

     Oh ladies! I wish I could post Bachelor #14’s picture. He was a very handsome man. In his profile picture, he was impeccably dressed in a classic black tuxedo. That 28 year-old could have had a spread in GQ, or any other magazine his heart desired. He was absolutely, positively gorgeous and quite the catch for someone. An MBA wasn’t enough for him. He’s currently pursuing a law degree.
     “I would love the opportunity to speak with you.”
     Why couldn’t you be ten years older? “Thank you. But I think I’m too old for you.”
     “Please don’t dismiss me yet. I am looking for a mature woman. I’m not interested in needy, clingy girls. I’m looking for a woman who I can have stimulating…”
     Oh geez. Here we go.
     
“Conversations. I’m looking for a woman who I can have stimulating conversations with. Sorry. My finger slipped and it sent before I was finished.”
     Good recovery.
     
“I like intelligent conversations on a variety of subjects. I’m looking for a sophisticated woman who can hold her own and would make a good impression at black tie events, law firm events, symposiums, etc. You seem to have a wide range of interests, you’re educated and you’re very attractive. I need someone like you by my side.”
     Searching for smart arm candy, are you? Now that’s something that would be great on a resumé — Intelligent Arm Candy, well-versed in a variety of topics.
     
“Thank you. But this sounds more like a job than a romantic relationship. I am not the right woman for you.”
     “I’d like to object. I believe you are.”
     Seriously? You objected? “Sorry, you’re overruled. We are at different stages in our lives. Trust me; I know what I’m talking about. This is not open to debate. I wish you well.”
     “Thank you for your time. Best of luck to you.”

     At this point, I’ll take luck or The Force. Whichever works more quickly…

     Stay tuned for the next chapter in my ongoing saga, “Bait and Switch.”

 

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

 

 

Featuring Author Debi Hurt

debi cook book     Today’s Pursuing My Passion spotlight shines brightly on author, Debi Hurt. In addition to creating Pen It! Magazine, she has published five books, including a children’s book and a cookbook. Debi is a wonderful resource for fellow authors, teaching classes, conducting workshops and hosting conferences. She has several exciting projects in the works!

When did you start writing?
     I think I have written since I could write!  My grandmother used to read me stories when I was very small, and eventually I started telling her the story back without even knowing how to read….and I would embellish! LOL.

What is your favorite type genre to write?
    I like to write poetry and children’s books. I like fiction, but I think it is probably the hardest for me to write. Probably because I mainly read non-fiction.

Where does your inspiration come from?
debi3   
I like to sit somewhere where there are lots of people, have a pencil and paper and just listen to conversations. You can get some great inspiration that way. Also, I love the books “The Pocket Muse.” There are two of them and they are awesome!

You organize many workshops and classes. When and why did you decide to help others with their writing?
    
I don’t think I “decided” to help others. It just transpired that way. I have always been a “nurturer” my mom calls it, and I love to help others. Writing is a passion and when I see someone else with that passion, it is my natural inclination to help them. I’m a real “people person.”

You publish PenIt! Magazine and Heritage Magazine. Tell me a bit about them.
    Pen It! Magazine is a bi-month E-Magazine for Writers (and readers alike). It started out as a published magazine, but has since gone to an E-Zine because of the huge expense involved in printing and mailing of magazines. Pen It! Magazine has a wealth of information for writers:  Articles on writing, poetry, short stories, information on local authors’ books, author of the month, and much more. This is our 4th year and I am very proud of it. Since it is now an E-Zine the subscription rate has been significantly decreased from $40.00 a year to $15.00 per year. debi pen it

     The Heritage Magazines are published individually for people who have researched their heritage and want to put it in a magazine-style publication, so that they can share it with relatives. I have done several of these and they are a great keepsake.

What has been your favorite project to work on?
  
I love working on the Workshops/Conferences that I promote. They are fun and I get to meet so many new/upcoming authors and make some lasting friendships. The one I sponsored at The Crump Theatre was really great. It was October, 2012, and we had a great turn-out.

Who are your favorite authors/books?
   
For someone who reads mostly non-fiction, my favorite author is a fiction author:  Jonathan Kellerman. He writes the “Alex Delaware” novels. They are about a psychologist/sleuth! I like them because they are continuing characters. I have been reading his books since the 80s. I am also a big Shakespeare fan! I saw a play when I was 14 (The Taming of the Shrew) through school and I was hooked!

Tell me about the books you’ve written.
 debi donnie dachshund  
The Daring Adventures of Donnie the Dachshund is my children’s book. It is about a little dachshund who thinks he is the “Big Dog on the porch” until his owner brings home a little puppy. I hope to write at least two more books in the series.

     The Quest for Shireman is my young adult to adult novel. It is about a young girl (14), Olivia Shireman. Her father passed away a year ago and on the anniversary of his death, she takes a horrible fall from her horse. She wakes up in another land where she finds that her father may be there, searching for something he lost. She makes wonderful friends and begins her quest to find her father.debi shireman

     Recipes from a Country Cook is my cookbook. They are all my own recipes and are just down-home cookin’ style!

     Ride the Spirit Horse is a collection of my poetry and short stories.

     Writing Creatively is my most recent book. It is a “how to” book on Creative Writing taken from the classes that I teach. I teach creative writing via one-on-one Email classes and have taught at the Mill Race Center in Columbus, Indiana.

What can we expect next from you?
     March 15th I will be doing a Conference on Publishing your book as an E-Book at the Bartholomew County Library in Columbus…and I hope to hold an Authors/Vendors Spring event.

     My sixth book, The White Sofa, will be out some time this year. It is a suspense novel about a young artist who has a nervous breakdown and the psychologist who works to bring her back to sanity.

To find out more about Debi Hurt, the latest Pen It! Magazine contest, and her upcoming events, contact her at: Debih7606@frontier.com.

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