Posted by Ilana Angel
Yesterday was a draining day. After dating “Richard” for a few weeks and beginning to think he was great, I got a call from his girlfriend of a year and a half asking who I was and why my number appeared so often on her phone bill. It was shocking. I spent about 30 minutes just staring at nothing unable to understand how it was even possible. I then spent about 10 minutes wallowing, eating ice cream and deleting every email from Richard off of my computer. Only 40 minutes invested and it was over. 3 weeks and 40 minutes.
When all is said and done I was gracious and a lady and my father, of blessed memory, would have been proud of me. Thank God I am one that proceeds with caution so I have no regrets in terms of my behavior. As for Richard, it is unfathomable to me that a man could be so deceitful. I put in a few weeks and am hurt so I can’t even begin to wrap my head around this poor woman who has invested so much time in a relationship that is built on lies. In the words of Maya Angelou, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” I am confident this is not the first time he has shown her his true colors but I pray for her that it will be the one time she respects herself enough to get out.
I am hurt and somewhat embarrased that I did not see that Richard was really a Dick. (No pun intended.) There is nothing I can do about it now so I’m going to just move on. I have decided to set two goals for myself. 1) My blog is going to have 300 members by the end of the year. You must join me on EveryJew.com and then become a member of my blog. Invite your friends to join our social network which will unite us and make the world feel a little smaller and more connected. I have met great people from all over the world who have registered and it is lovely. 2) I am going to meet my new boyfriend in time for him to be my date for New Year’s Eve. There are only 3 deal breaking requirements. A) He must be Jewish. B) He cannot have a girlfriend. C) He cannot have a wife. Simple rules so that should not be hard to follow.
If you are single and interested in meeting me, let me know. If you know someone you think might be a good match, let me know. If all these Jews can’t join forces to help one girl find a date for the new year then we’ve got a problem. If it takes a village to successfully Yenta, then EveryJew.com is now our village and I’m standing by.
Life can be complicated and disappointing but when we’re thrown down we need to get back up. Some things require us to stay down longer than others but the important thing is that eventually we get back on our feet. I have a great support system with friends who have become my family and a family that I am honored to call my friends. I have a son who reminds me every day of what a joy and gift it is to be his mother and I have a respect for myself and others that allows me to experience tremendous joy. Life goes on and I will become stronger for each opportunity I am given to keep the faith.
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August 22, 2009 | 1:10 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I am generally an optimistic and trusting person. I choose to believe that people are inherently good and will give them the benefit of the doubt unless they show good cause that I shouldn’t. Lately however I find myself becoming a little more cynical, which is heartbreaking. When someone tells me that I can trust them I immediately wonder if I can. If someone feels the need to say it, I question if it’s simply a statement or a red flag. I am not always comfortable with the feelings that “trust me” invokes. When you start dating someone new, at what point can you really trust them?
Those of you who have been following my blog have a pretty clear view that I think single people finding love at this stage of life are walking uphill. I put myself out there in a completely open way with no hidden agendas. I am approaching my search with an open mind and an open heart and I can’t help but feel a little crushed when people don’t offer the same. It’s not because I’m stupid or naïve that it’s hurtful, it’s because I am honest and have feelings.
Last night someone who I thought I could trust let me down. In the big scheme of things it’s not a huge deal. The world did not end, there was no bloodshed and the sun will eventually come out again this morning. It is disappointing however to put yourself out there and have someone not appreciate it. I’m going to assume that it was not deliberate or intentional because that is how I am, but with that said, it still really hurt and has left me with questions that will go unanswered which is both hard to understand and sad. I will hold my head high, remain a lady and wish “Richard” and his “girlfriend” all the best.
So I’m heading back to the drawing board. What I thought held promise is now apparently not worth any further investment which is really horrible because there was a window of opportunity where it could have been explained. I write every day about how important I think it is to keep the faith. For me faith is everything. In times of great sorrow or divine happiness I am better able to accept what is happening if I hold my faith close. After this unfortunate turn of events my blog today will not end with my keeping the faith but rather with a message to those who are lost, struggling or treating others unkindly or without honesty, I hope that you will find your faith.
August 21, 2009 | 11:13 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I am 43 years old. (That hurt a little bit.) I can remember quite vividly when my mother turned 35 and thinking how I thought she was so old at that moment. My dad threw her a party and everyone seemed so lame and very old.
While I would of loved to have been a mom at 22, I had my son at age 30. When my mom was 30, she had 4 kids. Based on my childhood memory it would appear that I am quite old. Alternatively, I can choose to believe an article I once read in Cosmo which stated that 40 was the new 30. Let’s go with that.
The biggest age difference between me and someone I’ve ever dated was 5 years. For me it’s a bit of an odd feeling to be older than my partner and I’m not sure why. I don’t think that with 5 years being my maximum age difference I qualify as a “cougar”. I believe that in order to be technically thought of as a cougar the man needs to be more than 10 years younger than the woman. While I personally would not date a man 10 years younger than me, it must feel great for a woman to have a much younger man on her arm. That’s got to be good for the ego. Interesting however that is applies to women only. No one ever refers to men as cougars. I have one friend who thinks that an older man is “sophisticated”. Really? Women are crib robbing cougars and men are sophisticated? The unfair part is that a man could be 20 years younger than a woman, get married, stay married until she passes away at 90, then at 70 get married again to a younger woman and still have a baby!
If I put the question of age into play for my son then it becomes a little more intense. If he went out with a woman who was 10 years older than him I would lock him in his room. If he wanted to go out with someone 10 years younger than him, I would call her parents and tell them to lock her in her room. It certainly matters more when people are young than when they’re old. There is a huge jump, and some jail time, between 15 and 25 yet there is nothing really wrong with the difference between 43 and 53. No matter what the age is now, if there are 10 years between two people then at one point one person was learning to drive while the other one was in kindergarten.
At the end of the day is age really nothing more than a number? Sometimes it feels like finding love is harder than getting struck by lightning or winning the lottery. That said, I love long walks in an east coast rain, I buy lottery tickets every week and I’m actively searching for my Beshert so I figure something has got to happen eventually. We need to open our eyes and embrace the fact that love will be found and we may find it in someone in a different age group. Regardless of whether the man I meet is young or old, he will be a surprise which is always a lovely way to get a gift. Shabbat Shalom everyone. For those who are searching for love, I wish you well and remind you to keep the faith.
August 20, 2009 | 12:47 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Why is it that when someone asks me for my advice I can see their issue clearly and tell them what my opinion is and how I recommend they handle the situation but when it comes to myself I am unable to decide anything?
I always have an opinion. I can sit back and keep it to myself but if the invitation is made for me to share it, look out because I’m going to share. I can be supportive, sympathetic, comic relief, counselor, friend, mother, cop, lawyer, devil’s advocate or mediator. Whatever you need me to be I can be. Even if you think you need one thing but really need another, I can give you what you want and still give you what you need. I am able to do this for everyone but myself.
I’m a very confident and strong woman. By strong I mean I am a survivor and independent. That said, I’m also vulnerable and a little gun shy in terms of a relationship. I don’t trust myself fully in terms of my decision making capabilities and I’m not good at walking away from relationships. My problem is that as long as I can remember a time in the relationship when it was good, I will try to make it work, even if I know deep down that it won’t. It takes a lot for me to walk away. That may mean that I’m stupid and naive. It could also mean that I am romantic and hopeful and having gone through a divorce already, just want to ensure that I give it 100%. It’s hard to tell and impossible to know.
I have my fourth date with “Richard” tomorrow. Fourth date! It’s been a long time since that happened. He is really lovely. He is funny and smart and cultured and really, really, really mellow. He sees through my bravado and is supportive. While he is certainly cautious in terms of his own feelings, he works very hard to allow me to have my insecurities and roll with it. I truly think that regardless of what happens in terms of a romance between us, we will be friends. That is a great feeling to have and at the same time is a bad thing because in my mind it gets me off the hook if I want to bolt because I can justify that it’s ok because we’ll be friends.
I love how he loves his children. He has one child who is quite young. When my son goes off to college, and by college I mean medical school, his youngest will just be starting middle school. As I begin the next phase of my life he will be beginning the stage I’m in right now. Is it silly for me to think about this stuff? I should be focused on the fact that I enjoy his company. Am I sabotaging myself? One hopes that when a relationship ends you learn from it and move on. I think that is only the case when you end the relationship yourself. If you walk away from someone you are in control and bouncing back is easy and generally quick. When you are the one who is left, it’s debilitating and recovery is slow and painful. Will I allow my fear to get in the way of embracing a future that could be bright?
I have friends who think I’m a little too honest with my blog in terms of opening myself up to complete strangers. I suppose it’s true on a certain level but if you look at the big picture, I’m struggling. I’m struggling to find my voice and my way. I’m struggling to recover from a broken heart and bruised ego. I’m struggling to find peace and joy and happiness in the romantic area of my life. I’m struggling to embrace the fact that I am middle aged and still have a lot to share with a man and that it’s okay to be more than just a mother. To share it all here does not bother me. There is strength in numbers and I while I can’t see you, I feel you out there and I suck up your support. There is no reward without risk and so in putting myself out there, I have discovered that I am not alone and so the reward has been worth the risk.
I am certain I will find my way. I am keenly aware of what my issues are and will tackle them head on. I believe in love. I believe in myself. I believe that there is a knight in shining armor who can fix what is broken. I believe that he may already be in my life. I believe that I can learn how to use my past to build a better future if I simply keep the faith.
August 19, 2009 | 12:51 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I have decided to use my blog today to profess my love for a complete stranger. While we have never met, I love this man. In my fantasy he will read my blog, realize I am fabulous, not a crazy stalker and invite me for lunch to hang out and talk shop. He is the ultimate yenta and a genius. The things he creates are fascinating to me. So please indulge me as I selfishly use this forum to publicly announce: I LOVE YOU MR. MIKE FLEISS.
I am not ashamed to admit that I simply love reality television. I watch a lot of it. I TIVO most of it, flip through a lot of them but actually watch most. My beloved Mr. Fleiss is the mastermind behind The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, More to Love and High School Reunion. I am hooked on these shows and not only watch them, but find myself becoming invested, having an opinion and caring about the people who are featured. If admission is the first step to recovery then my name is Ilana Angel and I am addicted to reality television.
Last night I watched More to Love. (Tuesdays at 9:00 pm on FOX) I love this show. It’s about a big guy, Luke, who is looking for love with big girls. Luke is interesting. By interesting I mean he is a bit of a pig. He’s got a lecherous vibe which is weird because he’s just a regular guy and it’s unexpected. He is charming and adorable but working these ladies and it’s incredible. He makes out with them in front of each other which takes balls in my opinion. The girls are all heavy and have issues with self image and their honesty in putting it all out there is both inspiring and heartbreaking. I feel for them because they are all just looking for love and their struggles are just like the women of The Bachelor, they just happen to be heavy. Some of them are lovely and normal and some of them are train wrecks and I watch each week waiting for the crash. Last night Lauren went home and I actually cheered. This chick was a freak.
I also love the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise which airs on ABC. It is seriously good television people. I felt bad for Jason last year. I also felt bad for Molly because for her the show actually worked the way it’s supposed to but she got caught up in his mistake and in the end lost her fairy tale princess celebration. While she found love, she must be a bit bitter and angry that it happened like it did. As for the Jillian series, I despised Ed from the moment he arrived. He’s a pig and she should dump him quickly. I am amazed that after all this time the “stars” of this show have not realized that if they really do want to find love, then whoever they are certain they are going to pick, they should switch to the other one at the last minute.
Who are you Mike Fleiss? Are you Jewish? I’m thinking you are so it begs the question: why are there are not more Jews featured on your shows and why when they are Jewish, are they not open and out and proud about it? We need to talk dear Mr. Fleiss. I can appreciate the success of your shows and that Jews are not necessarily going to bring in the numbers across America, but let’s get some quality Jews on your shows. By quality I mean regular great people who are proud and open about their Judaism and not stereotypes of what America thinks Jewish people are. I know lots of great singles so perhaps I could sit in on some casting. Maybe there should be a yenta episode where I tell the chosen one what my gut says, which is always spot on. I’m just saying.
So my darling, call me. Let’s have lunch. Even the busiest of television giants needs to eat and nothing is better than lunch with a little hero worship thrown in for fun. You are brilliant and I’m a fan. I am a concerned Jewish woman in terms of your casting, but first and foremost I am a fan. I will continue to watch your shows with delight and fascination. I am waiting for you sweetie. I shall hold my breath in anticipation and know the call will come as long as I keep the faith.
August 18, 2009 | 11:22 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
My son has been on holiday with his dad for the past 11 days. He will be home on Saturday and even just writing that here makes me want to scream I’m so excited. I miss him so much that it actually hurts. Last night the silence in my home was so deafening that I ended up sleeping in his room just so I could somehow feel closer to him. He calls and checks in to see if I’m okay and when he called yesterday he asked if I had any good dates while he was gone and if there was anyone he needed to check out for me. This kid is seriously adorable.
My son and I talk about everything. I mean everything. He has been raised to respect me and trust me and knows that I will keep his secrets safe and he will always be my top priority. We have a perfect friendship but he is very clear that I am his mother first and his friend second. He is compassionate and kind to both his friends and strangers and will always extend a hand to those less fortunate than himself. He looks out for me. It is very sweet how he “protects” me. He has been the man in my life for his entire life and the thought of bringing another man into our inner circle is exciting and terrifying for us both.
My son has a fabulous group of friends. They are all charming and funny and while he has been away they have checked in on me to make sure I’m ok and managing with him gone. They write me on Facebook with funny messages and comment on what I write myself. They are all handsome, smart, talented and delicious boys. I don’t remember boys being this great when I was 13 years old. If only I was twenty years younger, and they were 20years older, I’d have a crush on these boys. I say this of course in the totally cute Jewish mother kvelling over her son and his friends point of view, not any creepy, weird mom kind of way!
Just as I did when I was 13, right this minute there are young women who are dreaming about meeting wonderful men when they grow up. They want them to be kind and funny and smart. They want them to be supportive and gentle. They can imagine getting married and having children and raising them in Jewish homes. The girls that are lucky enough to meet my son and his friends are going to be blessed to be loved by them and will have hit the jackpot.
If 50% of people find happiness in a marriage then I will happily never get married again to ensure that my son is the 50% of our family who will succeed. He is becoming a glorious man and there is a very lucky little girl out there who is dreaming about her future right now and has no idea that the fantasy man she is developing in her head is being raised right now in my home. All I need to do is stay on track with the goals for my son and all she needs to do is keep the faith.
August 17, 2009 | 1:37 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
When you are in the beginning stages of dating I think there is a lot of thought and effort that goes into selecting what you are going to do. It’s easier to choose an activity when you are in a relationship because it’s more of a negotiation. When it’s a boyfriend we say what we want, he says we just did that, we say fine and suggest a movie, we pick a chick flick, he refuses and wants an action picture, we remind him we just saw one, he says our choice is too painful to sit through, we bat our eyelashes and use our charm to talk him into it, he goes kicking and screaming reminding us that the next movie pick is his, we get to the theater annoyed because he’s been complaining for an hour, we watch the movie, he cries and can’t believe how moved he was by the romantic story, he then wipes his eyes and talks for two weeks about how it was the dumbest movie he ever saw and we owe him. It’s so easy!
On a recent first date we went to a movie and dinner. Classic. It was an artsy and fun short film festival that was very low key so we could chat between films and it allowed us to talk and be social. We then went to CPK for dinner. Now restaurant selection is very important in the early stages of dating. Italian is out because it can be messy and the meals are always too big and if you’re starving and eat it all you’re a pig and if you only pick at it so you don’t look like a pig, you look like you don’t eat which is even more unattractive. Italian is out. Sushi is my favorite meal but sushi can be tricky because there are a lot of opportunities to eat really disgusting things so you need to know each other well enough to be comfortable enough to say that you are not going to eat anything gross and have it be ok. Early dinner dates need to be at neutral places where they have a wide selection of options including the perfect first date choices of salad or fish.
It’s important to note that when you and/or your date have young kids the dating process is slightly different. In these cases we tend to talk on the phone a lot more because we don’t as many free evenings. Think of dating with kids as being similar to dating in dog years. Every one date for someone without kids is the equivalent of three dates for someone with young kids. If we use this theory, then my recent second date was actually our fourth date so I felt safe enough that sushi would be fine. We had spoken on the phone so much and gotten to know each other, so I felt comfortable telling him what I thought was gross, what I would not even allow him to eat in front of me, let alone try it myself, So sushi was perfect and we had a great meal. The meal was so good in fact that I think it actually made me lose my mind for a minute therefore agreeing to our third date being a hike. A hike!
OK. Listen to me, I exercise every day. I’m not a fanatic about it but it’s important to me and varies from a daily walk that can be anything from two miles to ten miles. I also hike up Runyon Canyon between one and three times a week. For those of you who read my blog regularly, you know that I complain the entire hike. I hike with a group of friends and they are all troopers and push me on and it’s like going out with a bunch of personal trainers. I feel so accomplished when I’m done and I’m building up my strength and stamina for the climbing. Distance is not an issue but climbing is the enemy. Again, please note that I said I “exercise”. I did not say that I “worked out”. Knowing this about myself, why would I ever agree to a hike? Maybe it was the great second date, maybe it was his beautiful green eyes, maybe it was me feeling brave. Maybe it was a moment of temporary insanity.
Whatever it was, we went for a hike up Temescal Canyon yesterday morning. His 6’2” stride is jamming up the mountain and my 5’3” baby steps are struggling to keep up. He was a doll and supportive and I thought it was romantic that each time it looked like my next step might be my last, he would stop to show me a plant or a tree or a bug so I could catch my breath. When we stopped at one point to look at the view and he leaned over to give me a kiss I was so taken by the entire experience that I didn’t notice that he had his hand on my back while I was sweating as if I had just eaten a bowl of habanero peppers. I made it to the point he had planned for us to get to which was a great thing.
Like I do when I go with my friends, I felt proud to have made it and inspired to try it again. It helped that at one point a young couple walked by us and the girl, who was about 24 and a size 0, was huffing and puffing and her boyfriend was pushing her up the hill. Whoever that girl was, I love you. It also helped that while I was dragging myself along not sure if I could finish, and worried about my breathing and my sweating, this delicious man looked at me and I knew that even when I was uncertain, he was keeping the faith.
August 16, 2009 | 3:15 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I have a certain “type” of man that I tend to be attracted to. He is first and foremost Jewish. In terms of the physical, he is tall and bald with light eyes. He is funny, understands sarcasm and has a brilliant sense of humor and silliness. He has a love of children and Judaism and he thinks I am the greatest thing since sliced bread. I like a man with an edge. Not necessarily a bad boy, but a man with a history and a life. I love a man who has the ability to share his stories with others, both the good parts and the bad. My type is kind and aware and while he is not religious, he is spiritual and in tune with a higher power.
What’s so interesting to me is that as single people we all seem to have very clear types, yet we are still single so perhaps the trick is to not buy into what we think our types are, but rather look for something else. We must try to erase our ideas of what our type is from our minds, so that by changing things up a bit, we will perhaps stumble upon someone unexpected.
I want to meet a man who will make it clear how he feels about me without my having to fish. He will think I’m funny and not be intimidated by my sarcasm and strong personality. He will allow me to be vulnerable and share my own stories and history without fear. He will be wise and evolved enough to not judge. He will think I am beautiful just as I am. He will hold my hand, stroke my hair, laugh with me, and not think I’m crazy for being so in love with my cat. When I stumble and make a mistake or do something that hurts or offends him, he will forgive me and not hold a grudge. We will live and laugh and learn and grow. When we fall we will quickly get back up be stronger. He will be focused on building a future not reliving a past. This is the type of man I hope to meet.
Well I had my second date with “Richard” last night and I am happy to report that he is proving to be someone unexpected. Our time together is comfortable and easy and has an organic flow. Of course it could all be a mirage and by date three I might want out pull my own hair out to make it end quicker. One never really knows and I must trust both myself and him. I believe that God will guide me. I believe that good things come to those who wait. I am also learning that if you are able to remain hopeful, sometimes even better things will come to those who are able to be patient and regardless of how long the wait is, manage to keep the faith.