Posted by Ilana Angel
Eleven years ago I was working at Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. During that time I worked with a man on a few events. I never met him in person, but we had fun on the phone, and he was a great help to me. He was lovely.
About a year and a half ago, after my boss at the Jewish Journal read one of my blogs about a particularly bad date, and he suggested I go out with a guy he knows. He was Jewish, rode a Harley and my boss vouched for him being a good guy. The date never panned out.
A few days ago I was feeling frustrated with my dating through JDate. I cannot get a date to save my life. I write to men and get responses back that my blog is great reading, but they don’t want to go on a date because they are not interested in getting written about. I am praying there is a man out there who is strong enough to take on both me and my blog.
It’s tough because I want to meet someone to spend time with, and am convinced he can be found on JDate, but as a blogger who shares her life on a Jewish website, finding love on another Jewish website turns out to be near impossible. Jewish geography is not so great.
I decided after several weeks of nothing happening on JDate that I would do a test. I activated my profile on another dating site for a 4 hour period. In that time I got over 100 people looking at me and 12 emails. I wrote back to one man, sent my number and then deleted my profile.
The gentleman called me and we have a nice chat. This is where it gets weird. It turns out he is the guy I knew eleven years ago at the Shoah Foundation. I had never met him so I had no idea what he looked like. It’s such a small world that years later he would write me on a dating site.
Even stranger is that he is also the same guy my boss at the Jewish Journal thought I should go out on a date with. What are the chances that a) I would meet this man in person because of an online dating site and b) that he would the same guy my boss wanted me to meet. Very weird.
We met yesterday for a coffee. At one point when I was waiting for him, a man came in looking around for someone and I thought if this is the guy I am going to stab myself in the throat with my straw. There is a moment of panic when you see someone in person that you met online.
I eventually found him and was pleasantly surprised. He looked like his pictures, was charming and funny. It was nice to meet and talk about our history. It’s a small world and six degrees of separation is possible with everyone. It felt like I was meeting an old friend.
Our conversation was very nice, but somehow not as easy as it had been on the phone. I could not get a read on him in terms of his body language and it was a little odd. I went into the date thinking he dug me and wanted to meet me, but left the date thinking he was not that interested.
Maybe he was tired or nervous. Maybe he was not physically attracted to me. I don’t know. I thought he was great and while I’m not sure it was a love connection, I would want to get to know him better and spend time with him, but I don’t think it was mutual.
I hate dating. It’s stressful and exhausting. I never leave a date thinking I was not good enough or pretty enough. My self-esteem is off the charts. I do leave however feeling disappointed when it doesn’t go well because I know I will need to do it all again if I want to meet “him”.
I don’t know if he will call me. In the end I didn’t impale myself with a straw so that is a blessing. My Beshert is out there. Maybe I’ve met him already or maybe I will stumble upon him when I least expect it. Either way, I will stay hopeful and focus on keeping the faith.
5.19.13 at 5:43 pm | JDate should be more of a mensch.
5.17.13 at 5:27 pm | I am never going on another coffee date.
5.14.13 at 4:36 pm | Love needs a kick in the ass.
5.11.13 at 12:44 pm | My Mom gets the day off because this one is on me.
5.9.13 at 4:10 pm | Love s certainly a game, but it does not need to. . .
5.7.13 at 7:41 pm | Some questions simply cannot be answered.
5.14.13 at 4:36 pm | Love needs a kick in the ass. (592)
5.17.13 at 5:27 pm | I am never going on another coffee date. (361)
5.19.13 at 5:43 pm | JDate should be more of a mensch. (251)
September 12, 2010 | 11:13 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I love my son. Love, love, love him. From the moment he was born, he was perfection and has never given me any trouble. He never caused problems or gave me anything to worry about. He has always been a good kid and I feel very fortunate.
He never went through the terrible twos, never had issues at school, and has always had wonderful friends. Good kids with cool parents so when he went out with friends I was never concerned. Then he became a teenager, and things shifted.
I worry about things now in a way I didn’t before. There are things teenagers deal with now that are scary. Drugs, sex, bullies, the Internet, drinking, and massive amounts of homework. With high school comes the hope of college, and every assignment and grade matters.
I trust my kid. I sometimes don’t believe everything he tells me, but it’s okay because I know he stretches the truth not to get himself out of trouble, as much as to protect me. As hard as it is to admit, there are some details that I just don’t need to know.
Last night we had our first test. My son wanted to sleep over at the house of a kid I’m not a fan of. There is some behavior with this kid that I find worrisome. The fallout is that I will not allow my son to go to this kid’s house.
Yesterday my son went to Universal Studios. They ended up running into a ton of friends and ultimately hooked up with the boy I am concerned about. He called me from the park to let me know everyone was going to sleep at this kid’s house and could he go too. I said no.
Everyone was going to sleep over and I would not let my son go. I felt bad about it for about ten minutes. I actually almost caved and let him go. In the end I stuck to my guns, and told him no. I took him out to get dinner, hung out at home, and had a great night together.
He understood why I said no and rather than complain about it, he said he felt confident that one day it would all pass and I would allow him over there. Actions speak louder than words and he knew it needed to be earned not just given. I was proud of him that he got it.
I am going to make decisions he is not going to understand. Some will piss him off and make him so mad at me he says things that hurt my feelings. As long as I don’t waffle and stick by my decisions, my hope is that even if he does not agree, he will respect me for standing strong.
I hope he remembers all the things I do that he hates, and then when he is a father and faced with the same situations, he will think back and see I was a good mom and made the right decisions. My choices about my son are never about being right, but about being a good mom.
It turns out not everyone slept over. Some parents opted out and only one of his friends ended up there. He was convinced he was missing out on a life altering experience. Instead he slept at home, had a fun night with me, and actually hugged me and said thanks.
With five and a half years of teenager life to go, I hope we make it out unscathed. There will be ups and downs, so hopefully through it all we will love and respect each other. In the end, we will be grateful we survived the teenage years, thankful we were able to keep the faith.
September 11, 2010 | 8:47 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I am working on losing a few pounds and it’s hard. I’m dieting, but not to get skinny as much as to get healthy. At this stage of my life I have learned to love and embrace my body. I’m a fabulous size 12. I own it and rock it. I am looking to lose the weight so that I am here for my son.
I hike every Saturday morning with a group of friends. They are really wonderful people and while they all breeze through various canyons around Los Angeles, I drag my ass up complaining and gasping for breath. They patiently wait for me and encourage me like a bunch of trainers.
I also just joined a weight loss competition and it’s fabulous. There are ten of us in the contest and this is how it works: each girl paid $25 to be in the competition. We all got together for brunch, paid the entrance fee, got weighed and had our weight placed in a sealed envelope.
At the end of twelve weeks, whoever has lost the highest percentage of body fat, wins the $250 jackpot. Since we are all different sizes, and have different goals, it’s based on percentage lost, not weight, just like on the biggest loser. I knew a couple of girls before the contest, but met most through the group and they all rock.
There is some friendly smack talk being thrown around on Facebook, which is hilarious. It inspires me to keep working out, and watch what I eat. Getting healthy is a huge incentive, but beating the girls is a bigger motivator. I want that money and I’m going to get it!
It’s a fun thing to do. It’s good for your body and your soul. You will meet new friends and maybe walk away with a few bucks. Dieting is hard. Doing it with friends doesn’t make it easier, but it’s more fun. Will I win the jackpot? I’m eating a salad for dinner and keeping the faith.
September 6, 2010 | 8:42 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Even after Tony Soprano killed people, you still kinda wanted to be his neighbor. He was just doing his job, and it was nothing personal. That said, I think if Tony Soprano was a real person, he would get rid of these ladies of New Jersey because they are an embarrassment to his state.
I was going to go through the entire show and comment on it line for line but I can’t. It is painful to watch so writing about it would simply be unbearable. The bottom line is that this show stopped being entertaining and we cannot, and should not, believe anything that any of them say.
Sadly the most disgusting part of the show is Andy Cohen. He was charming and funny in the beginning. He appeared to be having fun with his housewives project and we were all along for the ride. He is now a money hungry, celebrity whore and it’s sickening.
Just when you think this show cannot get more disturbing, we see a commercial for the new season of the ladies of Atlanta. Seriously people, I just don’t think I can do it. I’m going to have to walk away. I will of course come back for New York and possibly Orange County but that’s all.
Andy Cohen has managed to take a really fun show and turn it into a train wreck. He’s an idiot. A brilliant idiot who is running all the way to the bank. I think it’s rather sad that he has sold his soul to the devil for a buck. He is watching lives fall apart and does not seem to mind.
Kim G. comes on and she makes my skin crawl. I think she plays dirty, is obsessed with being on television, and is the reason that things got so out of hand with the regulars. They were never going to all be friends, but Kim G. is the reason things got out of control and ugly so fast.
The recapping is a waste of time because it was not that interesting the first time we saw it. I have loved Caroline from the beginning but the rose colored glasses are now cracked. Caroline is a bully, Danielle is a sociopath, Jacqueline is a moron and Theresa is a pig. I’m done.
Oh. My. God. Just as I am getting excited about this show finally being over, they show a commercial for the housewives of Beverly Hills. I am so over the whole thing. The Beverly Hills women look pathetic and I’m mortified that they live so close to me. Not watching.
Back to New Jersey, Jacqueline sees the light and apologizes for everything she has had a hand in. Teresa sees a sliver of light also and says she never said anything bad about Danielle. Danielle says she is sorry and lets them know she will drop all litigation that is pending.
Danielle gets up off the couch, hugs Teresa and says she is sorry. She then hugs Jacqueline and tells her she is sorry. Finally she sits down and extends a hand to Caroline and tells her she is sorry. Important to note that I was having a glass of wine so I might have made this part up.
Sidebar: I think we’ve reached a point in our cyber relationship where I can be totally honest with you. This made me cry. I felt relief and joy and I took a sigh of relief. Whether it was real or fake I don’t care. It was great television and I lapped it up like a dog at the water bowl.
Instead of letting the show end with sunshine, Caroline is a total bitch and sucks the joy out of the moment. I lost all respect for her in the last ten seconds of the show. It was bound to happen. Will they be back? Will Danielle get her own show? I’m hoping no and keeping the faith!
September 6, 2010 | 9:15 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I was asked yesterday if I have a “type”. If you look at the last couple of men I’ve had relationships with, one could argue that yes I do. There were enough similarities between the two men that it would appear that I do have a type. The problem is that my “type” is not easily found.
I like a man who rides a Harley. Lots of men ride motorcycles, but there is something about a Harley that is special. It is iconic, sexy, and very manly. It is so much power and takes confidence to ride it with ease. If a man can handle a Harley, then maybe he can handle me.
I like country music. I like the stories that are told and I can relate to them. They are songs about our lives and I hear them sometimes and think they were written about me. I’m not wearing cowboy boots, or sporting a Stetson, but you can find it on my iPod and programmed in my car.
I love tattoos. I think they can be beautiful and are works of art. The rules on tattoos for Jews are different depending on who you talk to. The thought that Jews cannot be buried in a Jewish cemetery with tattoos is not true. There is a great article on Jews and tattoos from a few years back in the New York Times.
I actually have tattoos. Truth be told, I have six. They are all small, discreet and commemorate important events in my life. They are all beautiful, meaningful and important. None of them are frivolous or silly. They make me happy and are truly pieces of art.
I have had Jewish men tell me they can’t date me because of my tattoos. I always thought that was interesting. I’ve had a man tell me he thinks he is falling in love with me, then when he saw the tattoos, said I was not a good Jew and that he did not want to see me again. Interesting.
I like a bald head. I think there is something sexy about a man with no hair. I’m not sure why, but perhaps it’s because I think it takes guts to sport a bald head. It’s bold to be bald and I like that. Keeping up with a bald head is just as much work, if not more, than taking care of hair.
The question is: Are there any Harley riding, country music loving, tattooed, bald Jewish men? If you know of one, and he is single, I want to meet him. I know Jewish men with a couple of the things on my list, but I never met one who had them all. Maybe it’s an impossible list.
I like to think he is out there right now, listening to Garth Brooks as he cleans his Harley and gets ready for the High Holidays. He is walking around unaware that I am looking for him. If you know him, tell him to read my blog, let him know I am waiting, and keeping the faith.
September 5, 2010 | 3:59 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I met two really interesting men this weekend at Whole Foods. They were both random, both unexpected, and both lovely. I live close to a Whole Foods and shop there quite regularly because it is so convenient. FYI: the raw kale salad is my new favorite thing.
I’m in Whole Foods and I see a man across the produce aisle. I’m staring at him because he is simply stunning. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder of course, but in my eyes this man was divine looking. I was caught up in him and could not look away. He glanced over, saw I was staring, and smiled.
I turn away and continue on with my shopping while fantasizing about our falling in love. In the prepared food aisle, I am in line to get my kale salad when I see him come up the aisle. I stare again, he sees me again, smiles again and I’m embarrassed to be caught gawking. Again.
He walks over to me smiling and here are some highlights from our conversation:
“Hi. Do we know each other?”
“No. I was just staring because you are insanely attractive.”
“Wow. Well thanks. I’m Rob. You made my day.
“Hi Rob. I’m Ilana and you are the best looking man I’ve ever seen.”
“You are hilarious. Do you live in the neighborhood?”
“I do. Do you? I don’t think I’ve ever seen you here before.”
“I live up the street. Maybe you saw me but I was ugly that day.”
“That must have been it. You can’t possibly be this gorgeous everyday.”
“Would you like to grab a bite sometime?”
“I can’t look you in the eye because it’s intimidating so how could I eat?”
“Can you see without your glasses?”
“I’m as blind as a bat.”
“Take your glasses off so you can’t see me and we can hang out.”
And so began my friendship with Rob. He is smart, funny, and unfairly attractive. We exchanged numbers and went on our way. He called. We met for a drink, and then saw a movie. I adore him. He is a “normal” guy with a heart of gold and a kind and gentle soul.
I managed to hold my stomach in for five consecutive hours and it turns out that it was not necessary. He was attentive, completely unaware that every woman who sees him stares, and looked at me as if we were the only two people around for miles. He is Prince Charming.
Rob is delicious. I know he is reading this blog today so hello my new friend. You are a remarkable man and I’m so glad you caught me staring. I enjoyed spending time with you and I think you and I shall be friends forever. The rest we’ll figure out as we go.
On Saturday, I was back at Whole Foods. I went to buy my new favorite obsession, Greek yogurt. I approach the line to pay and as I get to the cash register, there is a man getting there at the same time. He tells me to go ahead. I thank him and start to unpack my basket.
He is tall, has elaborate tattoos on his arm, and eyes that were the most magnificent amber color. He commented on the yogurt and asked if I had tried the fig flavor. I tell him I had, loved it, and said I think the honey one is the best. He agrees, I pay my bill, thank him again, and go.
This morning I went for a walk in the early morning. I finished my walk and as I passed Whole Foods to go home, I decided to run in and get some fruit. I see tattoo man there and so I say hello. He says hi, we start chatting, one thing leads to another and numbers are exchanged.
Maybe tattoo will call, maybe he won’t. Maybe I’ll be brave, maybe I won’t. I had a perfect date with Rob and look forward to our friendship. The lesson learned is that people don’t always see us as we see ourselves. If we stop worrying about what they see, life gets interesting.
I never imagined I would go on a date with someone like Rob. He’s intimidating to look at because he is so handsome. At the end of the day he sees himself as a good person so perhaps that is what makes him so handsome. He is just a man looking for love like everyone else.
I am not the prettiest girl, the thinnest girl, or the smartest girl. What I am is a good person, with a beautiful and giving heart, a fantastic sense of humor, and an unending belief in myself. I think I rock and that is the message I send out into the world. It turns out that is attractive.
There is someone for everyone. If we open our minds and let our guard down, we can see the person who may be our Beshert may not come in the wrapping we are expecting. With no expectations the rewards are endless. Can love be found at Whole Foods? Let’s keep the faith.
P.S. I wanted to get a bottle of wine so the “wine guy” suggested something called Nero del Nago. I was concerned because it was only $5.99 but he said I needed to try it and not let the price fool me. If I loved it, score and if I hated it, it was only six bucks. Sounded fair so I bought it, and let me just say it is my new favorite and I highly recommend it.
September 2, 2010 | 11:57 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I have had a very long and trying week. Between the agony of my toothache, and the joy of my son starting high school, it’s been a little stressful. I am looking forward to the weekend. Not so much because it is a few days off, but because I am going to go to temple for Shabbat.
Shabbat eases my mind, calms my soul, and reminds me to breathe. When I go to Friday night services my entire weekend takes on a different vibe. For me, being in shul, surrounded by my faith, listening to the sermon of my Rabbi, and allowing the music to embrace me, feels good.
In my opinion, if services do not leave you feeling fulfilled and at peace, then maybe you are not at the right temple. So many of us go to a temple that we grew up at, or is close to home. As adults who are aware of the parts of Judaism we connect to, we owe it to ourselves to temple shop.
In Los Angeles we have a lot of choices. I have gone to a lot of temples to check them out and found a few that are really great. I have been to some where it took all my strength to not fall asleep. Some Rabbi’s inspired me to learn and think, while others made me want to bail in the middle of services.
Faith is important to me. I don’t think you need to go to a house of worship to have a belief in God. Regardless of what religion you practice, he listens. Where you pray does not determine if your prayers are answered. I don’t go to temple to be with God because he is with me wherever I am. Faith is personal and the right temple gets that.
I go to temple to learn. A sermon can inspire me to be think, feel, reflect and feel gratitude. My life, while blessed, is complicated. I have a lot of things going on, both good and bad, and sometimes I lose site of today because I am too busy worrying about tomorrow.
Temple puts things into perspective. I am happy there. It gives me the strength to fight through my messes, and the ability to enjoy my blessings. If you are not inspired to embrace faith at your temple, then find a new one. The right temple will enhance your experience and make it easier to keep the faith