This purling stuff has been frustrating. I kept feeling like I was all thumbs. Then last night (about 4 a.m.) I slowed way down and took it step-by-step. Suddenly a neuron fired off, and I think I got it. Once I angled the tip of my right needle (Continental style) down and towards me a little bit, things suddenly started coming together for me.
In fact, my practice swatch has now transitioned from stockinette to K2 P2 ribbing. When my knitting sensei/wife first explained how to do ribbing, I thought she said K2 P2 the row then do the same for the next rows.
After a few rows, I said "Honey this doesn't look like ribbing to me." She looked at my work and chuckled. "After you do a row of K2 P2, you then do a row of P2 K2 and then alternate between the two."
And by golly once I started following instructions, I had ribbing! Woohoo!