Friday, February 3, 2012

The story of my dot com

I've recently been asked why I named my business The Sweet Talker, as in The answer is complex, yet simple. Being a professional writer and editor was a devious little plan I started orchestrating since I was a wee little human, sporting jelly shoes, tie-dyed T-shirts and obsessively listening to Michael Jackson's new album, Thriller. It was a rebellious scheme, I tell you! A slap in the face to my traditional East Indian-descended roots! I was supposed to be a doctor or an engineer, or even a nurse would have been acceptable, but not a ... wordsmith! NO!

Then, almost as fast as kids grow up in soap operas, within weeks I was a teenager with raging hormones and unanswered questions about life. Would kissing a boy really get me pregnant, just like I was taught to believe? I didn't want to take any chances, so I skipped the evil kissing and did other things ... Boom! Got preggo, entered motherhood at 18, got married, started college and a new job, all within months. Damn those sugar-coated words. I was misled! How was I to know "kissing" meant everything but kissing. Two kids and one diagnosis of autism later, I was living out of my folks' living room, divorced, beginning single motherhood, debt, more debt, more unanswered questions about life and depression. Clean slates aren't always totally clean. When someone is in this state of mind, sweet talk feels euphoric. A trap, indeed. I fell for all the wrong guys and ended up with an ego covered in duct tape, the only thing strong enough to hold the broken pieces together.

Over the following decade, I learned a whole lot about people. I would always fall for the sweet talkers. Some guys will say just about anything to separate those knees, and it takes a strong-willed woman to win that battle. Not all friends are genuine. I won some; I lost some. Chose to keep some and delete some. Relatives, same pattern. I saw that some would cheer me on in my face but speak differently in my absence. Another set are there but don't even acknowledge me ... until they need something. Suddenly, a small talk fiesta begins, followed by sweet talk. Again, sweet talk can lead one straight into a brick wall, if not careful.

I have taught myself not to dwell too much on people and their behavioral politics. Instead, I exercise caution, choose friends wisely, embrace all the kindness that's shown to me and give it right back. But sometimes, a display of kindness and concern is yet another trap. Like those kiosk people at the mall, they'll snatch you by the collar and drag you to their domain, if they could be sure you wouldn't punch them in the face. You're showered with compliments and then told that you would look EVEN better if you bought their lotion. In my bouts of unemployment, I found myself giving the sweet talk in the form of resumes, cover letters, applications, phone calls and interview chatter. Sweet talk is everywhere. It gets people what they want. Think about that.

I've learned to separate people in to three types:

  • The one who has a comment or complaint about everything.

  • The one who has to question everything?

  • And the aggressor who has to tell other people how ridiculous they're being and point out the obvious, not caring much whose feelings get hurt!

Which character are you?
Are you a period, question mark or exclamation point personality?
I'm definitely a period.

After all those lessons were learned, observations made and broken feelings healed, I had an epiphany one day during spring break of 2010. I found an old email from the guy who caused me the most pain of all. Every other word was "honey," "baby," "sexy," "sweetie," "babes," "love." I got so furious, I said out loud, "F***ING sweet talker!" And the imaginary light bulb appeared above my head! I hurried online to look up the name, and by the grace of Divine authority, TheSweetTalker was available in a dot-com! How was that possible with such a common phrase? I have no idea. It just leads me to believe that it was destined for me, just sitting there waiting for my moment of realization. That's how life works. People get what is meant for them. Take or leave it, that's my belief. My life has been nothing less than a legacy of proof.

So, there you have it. My dot com was born, and here I am today. I have since married a winner who treats me like the empress I am. I have the greatest friendships I could have ever imagined. I wrote my first book, a novella, hence the name of this blog. And I help people every single day to make their verbal and written communication the best it can be. I plan to save the world one syllable at a time. Thank you for joining me in this quest! =)

And as Amanda Hocking advised on Erin Burnett's show last night, "Ignore the mean people." Thanks, Amanda. Will do!


  1. Love it! Well spoken and very insightful. Made me question myself. I think I am a . unless I have a couple of glasses of cabernet in me, then I become a ? or a ! Love your writing and can't wait to read your book.

  2. And looking forward to our lunch date tomorrow! The meeting of two great minds! LOL.

  3. Thanks, Courtney! LOL. I think we all have a little of each punctuation mark in us, haha. I'm excited about our meeting-of-the-great-minds reunion tomorrow too! :)