Posted by Ilana Angel
My blog is about being single, a mother and finding love over the age of 40. I enjoy writing the blog very much. It’s cathartic and while when I started I thought I would write once a week or maybe twice, I’ve been writing every day. There is always something to talk about or something to share. Sometimes when I’m writing I actually laugh out loud at the things I say and other times I can feel sad, inspired, nostalgic or happy. It really is a representation of what my life is like now and I’m proud of it.
I don’t regret anything I’ve written and I love it when I get feedback from all of you. It’s nice to hear what you think, your shared experiences, your encouragement and your criticism. There are so many of you who have become “regulars” that I feel like we’re on this journey together. It is because of this connection that we have, which includes what I thought was an authentic care and interest, that I am simply flabbergasted that not one of you wrote to tell me to STOP when I mentioned I joined JDate yesterday. Really? Not one of you could take the time to tell me to run for the hills? I thought we had something special.
When I logged onto my computer this morning I had received 6 flirts and 19 emails. It sounds like a lot I guess but all it really is, is sharks smelling fresh blood in the water and swimming close. As I’m sorting through all the notes I can’t help but think to myself, “What were you thinking?” When I said I was going to give it 30 days and see what happens, could I have been just kidding? Could we all pretend that my blog from yesterday was all a big joke and can I take it back?
Let’s review: I got emails from a man who is in late 60’s and lives in Florida, a man who is 27 and lives in San Francisco, 4 men who have posted no picture which is a pretty good indication that they are married or in prison. I got an email from a man who is 52 and asked that I not be put off by the fact that he has never been married and lives with his mother and a man who I actually dated about 6 years ago and he has absolutely no idea who I am. I got an email from my girlfriend’s ex-husband who wrote that he always thought I was cute and someone wrote to ask if I go out on a date with him will I blog about it later.
Of all the emails and flirts that I got there were a couple that I thought had potential until I looked closely and discovered that one lives in New York and the other one has been separated for 3 months and is “getting his feet wet”. It’s not like I’m surprised or can even be disappointed. It is what it is and I went in with my eyes open. I must be patient, take it all with a grain of salt and have hope but no expectations. I’m going to look at it as a challenge. Can I get through the next 29 days without pulling all my hair out or throwing anything at my computer? I believe I can and I will.
I am going to go out on at least one date a week for the next four weeks. Yes I am! I am going to prove that if you are willing to put in the work, you can sift through the dirt and find a diamond. By dirt I mean compulsive liars and by diamond I mean someone who I would want to go on a second date with. A very realistic goal don’t you think?
I will embrace the madness today. I will try to forgive you all for not having my back and telling me to get out. I will keep an open mind and be kind to those who have shown interest. And though I imagine it will be a bit of a struggle as I step onto the JDate Hell Train, I will remember to keep the faith.
9.12.09 at 11:51 am | Ask An Angel has a new name!
9.10.09 at 12:39 pm | At what point does one let go of the past in. . .
9.9.09 at 11:19 am | My Blog is going to have a new name tomorrow!
9.8.09 at 2:06 pm | Is there any situation where double dipping. . .
9.7.09 at 12:57 pm |
9.6.09 at 11:37 am | Mike Fleiss has still not called me. Enough. . .
August 30, 2009 | 12:33 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I try really hard to live my life without regret because it’s such a horrible feeling. The hope is that I will learn from every experience and accept that I make the choices I do for a reason. I believe that even though lessons are sometimes hard to learn, if I view them as opportunities for growth then regret rarely creeps in. Now all this sounds lovely in theory but this morning none of it is true. I am filled with regret over a decision I have made yet I can’t quite seem to allow myself to undo what I have done. I have broken a promise I made to myself and it does not feel good. I really just cannot believe I would allow this to happen. I shall pray for strength as I have done the unimaginable. Yes it is true people, I rejoined JDate.
To clarify, JDate is a great thing. My last two long term relationships were with men I met through JDate so I know it can work. It’s not the idea of JDate that is troubling to me, it’s the knowledge that it’s going to take a lot of work and time and energy to see any results. I just took a look around and the faces are all the same, mine now included. I see men I dated in the past, men my friends have dated, men who were once married to my friends, men who wanted to date me and I rejected, men I wanted to date and they rejected me. In the 5 minutes I could stand to look around there were only a few faces that seemed to be new since my last visit almost two years ago.
The filtering process for online dating is exhausting. With my work, my son starting back at school and my writing I don’t know how I can possibly do it. I know you will find this hard to believe, but I happen to know for a fact that some people who date online LIE. Shocking I know! It takes so long to sort through the lies. The top three types of lies are 1) The “he is not really hurting anyone, he’s just trying to work it all out and bless him for trying lie”. This would be something simple like saying he was 5’10” when really he is 5’7”. 2) The “he read my profile and is now emailing me with all the right trigger words based on his false knowledge of me which makes me think he has a lot of potential” lie. This is someone who studies your profile, finds ways to weave himself into what you wrote which is instantly romantic but must immediately be translated into the fact that he is only looking for a booty call and he’ll be gone faster than he appeared. 3) The “I am looking for a real relationship and am so ready for love and you so get me and I’ve been hurt and you are the first woman who seems to understand” lie. These men are married, or in relationships or need a green card or are writing you from prison.
Oy Vey! I’ll be fine. If there is any truth to the third time is a charm rule, then it’s possible I could meet my last boyfriend this go around. It could happen. It really could. I could meet the man of my dreams on Jdate, there could be world peace, no child would ever be hungry and I could one day weigh 125 pounds. Anything is possible! I just need to go into it with my eyes, mind and heart wide open. No expectations. I will give it 30 days. A drop in the bucket in the big scheme of things and all it really requires of me is some time and an unwavering desire to keep the faith.
August 29, 2009 | 2:28 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I got divorced when my son was 6 months old. (It’s a long story for another time.) While it was a hard decision to end my marriage, it ultimately was the best thing for me and therefore for my son. In terms of my boy, it was the best choice I could have made because in setting myself free I was able to be a happy woman which allowed me to be a happy mom. Every situation is different of course and what worked for me would not work for everyone. My son has grown up with two homes and while he talked about us all being together as a family when he was young, he has no sense of drastic change to his life which sometimes happens when you get divorced and the children are older.
I sometimes look back and wonder about how my life would have been different if I had gotten remarried quickly. I was so focused on being a mom that it never occurred to me that I should spend time dating or finding a new relationship. If I had, maybe I would have gotten married again or had more children. It’s impossible to know how our paths would have been altered if our choices had been different.
There are a lot of things that are hard about being a single parent. There are struggles with time and money. Having to deal with the other parent and new partners they may have. The separating of holidays plus the stress of going to school and doing homework, all while shuffling back and forth between two locations, is very hard for both the children and the parents.
There are so many things that we can pinpoint as the toughest aspect of divorce. For me, the saddest thing about being a single mother is the pictures. I have provided my son with a wonderful life. We have travelled and seen things together that are so special and will be memories of a lifetime for my son. The thing is, there are very few pictures that document us doing them together. I have boxes and files full of pictures of my son and all that he has been blessed to do. I am a big picture taker and when I go through them I remember so vividly the adventures we have taken together. In the end though, they are pictures taken by me of my son with the occasional one of us together where I asked a stranger to take a shot.
If I could go back I would have been more conscious of the fact that I needed to have pictures of us together. Last night I went to services at my temple where I was honored by my Sisterhood for the work we did this past year. I have such lovely pictures of my boy on this special night but there is not one of us together. It’s such a shame. I’m going to try to break the habit I have of taking just pictures of him and focus more on having people take them of us together. For those single parents who are reading today, do the same. Stop and ask strangers to capture the moments you have with your children. You will be so happy you did.
My son will look back on the photos and remember the trips and the laughter and the fun and I know he knows I was there. They are memories that are so special and for that I am grateful. In the end it’s not necessarily the life I imagined for myself but in more ways than not, it is the perfect life. I love my son. I love every step we’ve taken together and even though I’m not in the pictures, I was there. When I see his smiling face looking at me from the photo, both he and I know that the reason he smiles so brightly is because I am the one holding the camera.
Have a peaceful and restful Shabbat. Take a picture of your kids and when they look at the camera know that you are there in the moment with them, sharing and laughing and keeping the faith.
August 28, 2009 | 5:19 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
It’s amazing how life can change in an instant. It only takes a split second for things to be turned completely upside down. No matter how hard we try to have all our ducks in a row and plan for the future, can we ever really be prepared for the shock of surprise?
The friend I’ve been nursing back to health took an unexpected turn and had to be rushed to the hospital. It’s been a crazy 72 hours of tests and surgery and overall scariness. Thank God she is much, much better and after some frightening moments, it would appear that she is now out of the woods and on the path to health. I am so pleased this chapter ended well and that a happy ending is in sight.
I was not prepared for the turn of events this week. From the perspective of the emotions I would feel or the physical effects of stress and no sleep, I was just not prepared. I was also not prepared for a trip to Cedars Sinai! I was about to spend 48 hours in a buffet line of yummy doctors, nurses, technicians and pharmacists and I was wearing an old pair of jeans, a t-shirt and was covered in my friends bodily fluids. Not really the look I was hoping for. That said, my bra and panties were a matching set! My mother always told me that a lady matched her undergarments and I always have. I was tempted to march around in my undies just to show they were pretty and to distract attention from my fluid decorated couture.
You can buy insurance, have a will, make arrangements and let everyone know what your choices are for yourself. You can do all this and still not ever be prepared for a shocking change. I am left with a great appreciation for my friend and her strength. For her family who are solid and loving. For my son who is the reason I do everything, for my family who give my life color and for my friends who are the most wonderful people I know. I want all those that I love to know it. I LOVE YOU.
If you are sad, lonely, bitter, afraid, alone or insecure, we have all been there and it will be ok. If life is great and you are surrounded by love and support then hold on tightly and enjoy each moment. Life is unpredictable and that is both fabulous and a little scary because our time is not guaranteed. If you have been at battle with someone in your life, extend your hand. For those who see the hand, accept it. Life is a miracle and we must all do whatever we can to live our best life possible and at the same time, allow those around us to do the same regardless of whether we know them or they are a stranger. For those who need it, want it, or have been waiting for it, my hand is extended.
To my friend who has struggled this week, I’m so thrilled that you are going to be ok. I love you with all my heart. You are brave and strong and beautiful. At the end of the day, when faced with an unexpected challenge, all we can do is smile, brace ourselves for a shock and keep the faith.
August 27, 2009 | 12:04 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
How is it possible that whenever you are feeling down on love, no matter what station you tune to on the radio, no matter what the time of day, no matter if it’s English or Spanish, you get a melancholy love song? And furthermore, how is it possible that when you get the one song that can put you over the edge, make you roll your eyes, shout out “Really?” and immediately change the station, the next stop on the dial is inevitably playing something by Air Supply?
As you know, my friend had surgery this week and has been recovering at my home. I met this friend through an old love of mine. I never really liked her if the truth be told because while for her he was just a friend, he always loved her and it was hard for me because I thought he was the great love of my life and deep down I believed that she was his. In having her with me this week and the intimacy that comes with taking care of someone, I am seeing him for the first time though her eyes and he looks different. I loved him as he loved her and she did not love him as he did not love me. It’s not complicated or particularly sad, it’s just life. There is no rhyme or reason to who we love or why and no explanation for who loves us or why. I tend to spend a lot of time wondering why things happen like they do and she has shown me this week that it does not matter. In the end we all love each other in the ways we are able and are better people for having walked the path together because we all learned and grew and are happy now. Regardless of how a relationship begins or ends, love remains the same. In her being here to heal she has helped heal me.
I will be sad when my friend leaves. It’s been a pleasure taking care of her and our friendship is now based on her and me and no longer has ties to the past. She is my friend and even though she is too young to even know who Air Supply is, I love her anyway. By love her anyway I mean is she kidding? She did not know who Air Supply was and when I showed her “I’m all out of Love” on youtube, she pointed out that it was released in 1980 and she was born in 1982. Come on! She is closer in age to my son than to me. It’s just not right.
I am grateful that I was able to accept her hand when she extended it in friendship and not allow my ego to interfere. Finding light in a place where you thought there was only darkness is a lovely reminder of why we should always keep the faith.
August 26, 2009 | 10:25 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I am taking care of a friend for a couple of days who has had some surgery. I love her very much and she is doing great. We are heading to her post-op visit this morning and I was going to write a note to say that my blog would not be posted until this afternoon. I normally blog early in the morning and if it’s not up by 10 am my die hard readers will write to ask if I’m ok and then inform me that they are waiting. Which I must tell you, is awesome!
As I sat down to write of today’s delay, I read that Senator Ted Kennedy has passed away. It is a loss for the country and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I think I’m going to take today off. My stories can wait until tomorrow. I’m going to take care of my friend, think about my wonderful father, of blessed memory, who looked so much like Mr. Kennedy and I am going to remember a man who never lived a day of his life without keeping the faith.
August 25, 2009 | 8:53 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
1) Why has Mike Fleiss not called me? It’s been almost a week since I declared to the world that I love him and the magic that is created in his mind and still no call. I thought for sure he would invite me for lunch if for no other reason than to get some sincere fan worship. I have given him some of the best Monday and Tuesday nights, of some of the best years of my life, and I think at the very least a single red rose would have been in order. Mike Fleiss, you should find me. Don’t be afraid.
2) My son told me that I was beautiful yesterday. He did not want anything and I did not look particularly beautiful in a pair of boxer shorts and a t-shirt, but he was sitting on the kitchen counter watching me make dinner and as I adjusted my ponytail, he told me I looked beautiful. It was a moment I will always remember because it was sincere and it made me feel beautiful.
3) I still have not heard from Mike Fleiss.
4) How is possible that when a man says he will call you, he thinks that the call can be placed at any time up to and including 14 days after he says he will call? When you say you are going to call someone, is there not a limit to the number of days that can pass before the call is made? I think it should be a maximum of 3 days. If it’s going to be any longer, then I think “I will call you” needs to be changed to “I’ll be in touch”. I’m going to teach this new crazy way of thinking to my son and his friends in the hopes that maybe the next generation of men can break the vicious cycle of women waiting by the phone. Not to worry “Carrie”, he will “be in touch” soon!
5) I want to give a shout out to my friends “Michelle and Jeff”. They are the cutest and funniest couple that I know. I am inspired by how they live their lives with grace and kindness and they are simply a hoot to be with. They dated for a long time before they got married and many of her friends and family, myself included, told her she should walk away because he was taking way too long to profess his undying love for her. Thank God she listened to her heart and not to our crazy ramblings. She loved him and hung on knowing it would all work out for her as she wanted, and it did. I aspire to have what they have. I love how they love each other. I love them.
6) I still have not heard from Mike Fleiss.
7) I think one of the greatest things that I do for myself is take 5 minutes every day to sit quietly and breathe. I listen to the air going in and I let it out slowly and deliberately. I focus on my blessings and all the things that I am grateful for. I imagine dancing at my son’s wedding, spoiling my grandchildren, having lunch with Mike Fleiss, visiting places I still want to see and reminding myself that life is wonderful and every moment matters. I recommend it to anyone who needs to recharge their batteries for it is one of the easiest ways to keep the faith.
August 24, 2009 | 11:22 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
At a pool party yesterday my friends all had plenty to say about my recent trip into Datingville. My “go to single guy friend Ari” certainly had a lot to say about the turn of events and I was surprised that some of it hurt my feelings. Not in a “why is he being so mean and hurting my feelings” kind of way, but more in a “is that really how you see me” kind of way.
I don’t think that searching for love should be at any cost. There are so many people who say they don’t want to be alone yet make no effort to meet anyone. On no level is my desire for love about filling some emptiness within me. While I believe that love can find you, I also believe that we live in a busy world and I will increase my odds if while I’m waiting, I’m also looking. There is something romantic about someone who has loved and lost and is willing to love again. That said I am not desperate or trying to force a square peg into a round hole. I don’t put myself out there because I love dating but rather because I am looking for my Beshert. I would rather go out on a hundred dates to find the right man than date three men and take the best of the bunch just to have someone. I’m not going to get lazy and settle. No one should ever settle.
I look at my life and my son and I know my blessings are abundant and there is nothing missing. If my life remained exactly as it is now, I would continue to feel blessed. It is because my life is so rich that I want to share it. Not to make it better but to make it fuller. Having a man in my life will make my life different because it adds companionship, romance and grown up elements that I feel are essential.
I have been hurt and yet I don’t allow it to block my path. It has added some hurdles but they can be overcome and I’d rather have a few blocks in my path to jump over than just stand still with no movement because I have become complacent. I’m not into games or lies or pretending to be something I’m not. I believe that we must be our true selves from the very first phone call, not just the first date, as that is what will get us a second date not the promise of being someone better once I know I can trust them. I will go all in and take the risk. I think the mark of a true romantic is when hope trumps fear and cynicism is left out all together.
Dating is difficult. It takes time and you have to invest in it and that is difficult for someone like me because I move slowly and have a rather extensive vetting process. I am very cautious and careful to not introduce just anyone to my son. When he spends time with his dad is when I date so my time is limited and valuable and I need to plan out how I use it because when he is home he is my focus. There is a huge leap and jump between dating for a single girl and dating for a single mother. Regardless of what the differences are however, what is required of everyone, male and female, is that we be brave.
I like it that I’m open and hopeful. It’s not about finding prince charming or a knight in shining armor as much as it’s about just riding off into the sunset with someone. My desires are based on romance not fairytales and in the end both Ari and I will find love in our own ways and in our own times. We will remember back on this time and laugh at how we both made our way to our Besherts. Of course I will get there first, but don’t worry Ari because I will wait for you and you can come over for dinner with me and my new husband anytime you want and we will support you and your vision of love magically coming to you on the wings of a unicorn with a full orchestra playing in the background.
As always I am keeping the faith but today I’m going to hold it a little closer as I am keeping it for both of us.