Posted by Ilana Angel
I had dinner on Saturday night with my friend Anjelica. Next year we will celebrate our 20th anniversary, and I love her. I don’t think there is a person on the planet that knows more of my secrets, dreams, and fears. She is the keeper of my stories, and my longest love affair.
We got together for dinner and shoe shopping which was great because she’s been traveling for work, and visiting her daughter at college, so we needed to catch up. As we sat together at a popular and very busy restaurant in the valley, we started to see a date night pattern forming.
Anjelica’s dating life is much different from mine. She prefers to date men much younger than her, and does not want to get married. She does not have a need to be with someone all the time, and prefers a relationship with space so she can live her own life separate from being a couple.
There were a lot of older men out for dinner with younger women. Some of the men were attractive, and some not so much. All of the men however, were out with attractive women, and all of those women were younger than the men. So much younger, that we noticed.
We did not see any younger men with older women. There were a few men out on their own but they were glued to baseball reacps on the bar television. Then there was Anjelica and me, looking around and trying to figure out how the hell dating worked in your 40’s.
There was one man in particular, who was in his 70’s, and somewhat frail, who was out with a gorgeous woman who had so much work done it was impossible to know her age, but I guess somewhere between 30 and 60. She was beautiful, and he needed a nurse. How does that work?
At 45, men my age are married or dating 20 year olds, younger men want kids, and older men are not attractive to me, so who am I supposed to date? How did this happen? What do women do when they wake up one day and realize they are ready to date, but there is nobody to date?
I spoke with my friend Danielle over the weekend and she is having the same issues as I am. She is 44, living in Vancouver, super smart, very beautiful, and not having any dating luck. She dates, and truly makes an effort to meet men, but so far nothing. Why is this happening?
I went out with Rachel today doing some leg work for her wedding this coming summer, and we spoke to a store owner who told us that the only reason men get married is to have someone take care of them, and if they can take care of themselves, a wedding is out.
I told him I was alone and looking, and he told me alone was good. He went on to say that if I had a list of things I was looking for in a man, and that man was not looking for me, then the list did not matter and I should find a way to enjoy being alone, incase that is where my path leads.
Assuming he is right, and being alone is how my life plays out, does that mean I will never find my beshert, or that I will never have sex again? If it’s about sex, then I am pissed at my parents for raising me to be a lady, because casual sex might be my only option, and it’s not an option.
My friend Dani is not into having sex with anyone she is not in love with at this stage of her life, and I’m on the same page really. Sex is easy, and as great as it can be, having it mean nothing is hurtful so it’s easier to just not bother. It turns out slutty chicks have got it made.
It’s not even about being slutty as much as it is about being open. Open to an active sex life is a great thing, and in your 40’s, apparently a necessity, which means I might need to get another cat. Being alone is not bad, but being lonely, not so much. Life is meant to be shared.
The question is who do we share it with? I have my friends, family, cat, and beautiful child. I am happy to share my life with them, and one day, if its meant to be, there will be a man in the picture too. Will he be my husband or a nursing home attendant? I’m keeping the faith.
5.24.13 at 7:07 am | Burning myself has shown me I am burning out.
5.23.13 at 3:17 pm | Dating, divorce, death, and marriage, all require. . .
5.22.13 at 6:34 am | I am forever touched by this young man.
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.
5.23.13 at 3:17 pm | Dating, divorce, death, and marriage, all require. . . (359)
5.19.13 at 5:43 pm | JDate should be more of a mensch. (354)
5.14.13 at 4:36 pm | Love needs a kick in the ass. (282)
October 15, 2011 | 12:47 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Last night I went to Friday night serves at Beit T’Shuvah in Los Angeles. The choir was killing it, and I was with my pal Rachel and her fiancé Luke, whose dad is in town, so it was a good night. My son opted to stay home as he was preparing for a test and the rest of his weekend was booked solid, so he used the night to study.
As I sat in services getting my Shabbat on, the text messages started to come in. It started with a, “Call me when you can.” Followed two minutes later with, “Mom, hope services are great, call me when you can.” A minute later, “Mom, sorry to bother you, but can you call me when you can.” Thirty seconds later came, “CALL ME ASAP!”
I rushed out and my heart was racing. He is almost 16 years old, and even though I know he is fine on his own, in the 10 seconds it took me to get outside, I completely freaked out that I left my baby at home by himself. As I was heading out, I got my car keys ready and was prepared to head home right away.
My son answered the phone and I immediately started screaming, “What’s happening? Call the police! I’m on my way! Momma’s coming!!!” He told me to calm down and began to explain there was an “ant problem” in the dining room. He had to tell me about the ants three times before I was able to understand what was going on.
He had gone into the kitchen to get a drink and saw a few ants crawling along the floor. He sprayed them with Windex, and looked to see where they were coming from. He then discovered “millions” of ants in the dining room, flooding in from what looked like the floor. He was overwhelmed by the massive amount of them.
Here’s the thing, I hate bugs. Seriously, bugs gross me out and if I’m going to be completely honest, they scare me. Ridiculous I know, but if I see a spider I flip out. A cricket or a grasshopper, and it’s all over for me. Wasp, bee, fly? Forget about it. I will scream as if I have seen a ghost. Bugs are not welcome in my home.
I am very clean and neat so the thought one ant, let alone millions, walking through my kitchen is disgusting. I was anxious to get home to see what was going on, and at the same time did not want to go home and see what was going on. I let my boy know where the bug spray was, and told him I would stop and get ant traps.
When I got home I saw the ants were coming in from behind a light socket, and yes, there were a million of them. They were walking, in a lovely line, from the dining room to the kitchen, and after the initial shock at how many there were, and my desire to vomit, I put on my dishwashing gloves, got the spray, and began killing.
I was obsessed. I cleaned the wall, the floor, moved my china cabin to clean behind there, emptied my kitchen cupboards and cleaned under there, and put ant traps throughout the kitchen and dining room. As a vegetarian, killing animals makes me sad and uncomfortable, but I was on a rampage and the ants needed to go.
It made me sad to participate in such a mass killing on Shabbat, but there was no way around it. I barely slept because I had to check that I got them all. I imagined there would be retaliation and they were making their way to the bedrooms. I woke up this morning to clean it all again. and found two stray ants.
I placed them on a napkin and took them outside. If they could survive the massive amount of ant spray, they deserved to a new life outside. My fabulous feeling of peace and comfort after services, is now replaced with a feeling there are ants crawling all over me. I hate bugs, and am on high alert that they may return.
After a few days of insane heat, LA has cooled off so maybe the ants will be more comfortable outside. If any managed to survive my massacre, I hope they are telling their friends to stay away from “that bad place”, which is my dining room. It may be Shabbat, but I am prepared to kill again, so the ants should be keeping the faith.
*** Beit T’Shuvah’s Sisterhood is holding their annual HOLIDAY BOUTIQUE on Sunday, November 13th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Stop by and do some fabulous holiday shopping!
October 13, 2011 | 11:19 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Wishing you all a joyous Sukkot.
May your lulav be well shaken, and your strog be aromatic.
All my best to you and your families.
October 11, 2011 | 2:37 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
It is being reported today that “a brief window of opportunity has been opened that would possibly lead to Gilad Shalit’s homecoming.” Is it possible that after more than five years they are sending this soldier home? The thought of it is almost too much to bear because if it does not happen, the disappointment will be massive. If it is true however, the prayers of a nation and her people, will have been answered.
I pray for this young man every day. He was 19 went he was captured, and is now 25, which is both painful and remarkable. It will be a wonderful blessing for him and his family if he is permitted to return home. I pray the story is not only true, but that it will happen quickly. This morning I heard a deal was being discussed, and I am now hearing it has been signed and he will return home within days. Amazing.
Come home Gilad.
We are keeping the faith.
October 11, 2011 | 10:30 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
Today is National Coming Out Day. The gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities have my support on this very important day. I hope those of you who are contemplating coming out, have the love and support you need to embrace who you are, be proud, and be free.
The day will come when sexual orientation does not determine how we view each other, and does not invite judgment, but rather acceptance. To young people who are struggling, I believe in you and am sending you love, compassion and strength. Life is good, and it gets better.
In a world where we can list a million things to not only worry about, but be frightened by, who people are having sex with should not make the list. Unless you are having sex with George Clooney. That should always make the list. Even if I were a man, I’d want to be on that list.
To my friends who have come out and are living free, rock on. To my friends who are not yet out, it’s cool. You will do it when you are ready and when you do, I will love you then, as I do now. Tons. This is an important day, so be kind, be open, be aware, be compassionate, and keep the faith.
October 9, 2011 | 2:45 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I love my friend Rachel. We met at Temple and over the past three years have become very close. She is Canadian too, so what’s not to love? Rachel knows every prayer and every song, from every Jewish holiday. I like to think I know my stuff, but this chick rocks when it comes to being Jewish.
She gives me tremendous comfort. I can be having a good day, and talking to her makes it better, and if I’m having a bad day, she puts it all into perspective. She is smart, funny, supportive, kind, and refuses to take any crap from me. She forces me to be the best that I can be, no excuses.
I went into the high holidays a little off my game. It’s a time of reflection and atonement, and I look forward to this time of year. For 2011 however, I found myself heading into this special time with sadness. I did not embrace the holidays as I normally do, and it was frustrating, as I’m not sure why.
For weeks leading up to Rosh Hashanah, I found myself questioning my faith. Was I Jewish enough? Was I being my true Jewish self? Was I providing my son with enough Judaism in our home for him to define himself as a practicing Jew? All my questions were causing me to feel sadness.
As I struggled to understand my life, I was helping my friend Luke prepare to ask his girlfriend to marry him. Luke is one of the sweetest men I have ever known. He is kind and never says anything bad about anyone, and he loves his girl, my dear friend, Rachel. Rachel and Luke are a wonderful couple, and their getting married makes sense. After weeks of shopping, Luke chose the ring. It is spectacular, and after looking at so many, when he saw the one, he just knew. He looked at it and immediately wanted it to be Rachel’s ring.
Luke was nervous, anxious and completely charming as he plotted his proposal. I was questioning faith, but helping Luke get ready for this huge step, I found my thoughts about love changing. I have been searching for love and the passage of time has left me a little jaded. I discovered through Luke that love is grand whether it’s yours or someone else’s. Luke called me the morning of the proposal to ask if he should take the ring out of the box and present it, or leave it in and open it old school. That simple question made my heart skip a beat.
Love is wonderful, and to see it in the life of my friends is great. I am not jealous, I just appreciate it. When you are searching for love, seeing it in others, especially people that you love, makes you believe that it is possible. My love will come because love exists. It’s just that simple. Luke proposed on Friday afternoon, and Rachel said yes. When I saw her at Kol Nidre services and she ran over and hugged me, I held on tight. It was as if she was transferring part of her happiness to me, so I could share in her joy, and have it until I found the same joy for myself.
I sat at services with Luke, Rachel and my son. I love Kol Nidre, and I was happy to be there, but I was not feeling any huge spiritual moment. It was just nice, and felt more obligatory, than meaningful. Services ended, my fast began, and I headed home with my son. I woke up Saturday not wanting to go to temple, but of course I went. I took a seat with Luke and Rachel, and waited to feel something. As I sat next to Rachel, listening to her sing every word, and recite every prayer, I began to cry. It was as if the floodgates opened and I could not stop.
The Rabbi was talking and it was as if only he and I were in the room. He spoke to me directly, and I heard him. I was sobbing at this point. I cried and released all of my pain and sadness. It felt as though my body were cleansing itself of all my doubt. I stood there and let it all go. As the congregation stood to sing and pray, my tears fell and I felt a connection to God. It was as if he came and held my hand. He was always there of course, I was just not in a place to hear him. I was so worried about not hearing God, that I forgot to talk to him so he could hear me.
As I watched the Rabbi, I felt blessings wash over me. He put me in a place to speak to God, and I am grateful. I ended the holiday with a feeling of love for my faith. In being a witness to the love of Rachel and Luke, I was able to open my own heart, and reconnect to God. I broke fast with Luke and Rachel and it was lovely. I was happy to share in their joy, but in the end more than being happy for them, I was grateful. It turns out I needed a love story in my life. I thought it was mine I was waiting for, but it was theirs that restored my faith.
Faith is about more than religion. Faith means hope and trust, belief and forgiveness. I went into the holidays complacent, and I left fulfilled. I don’t know what it was about that moment that allowed me to get clarity, but not knowing is part of what makes it magical. I needed God and he came, as he always has, and he let me know that I am never alone, and he watches over me and my son. I am looking for love, peace, joy and hope. The blessing is that they are all in me, so I don’t need to look very hard, I just need to keep the faith.
October 6, 2011 | 8:54 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Meredith Kercher was 21 years old when she was murdered. As a mother, I find her death especially heartbreaking. As my son inches towards college, I imagine I will want him to call me everyday and let me know he is safely in his room so I can go to sleep. Meredith was safely in her room when she died.
As we approach the 4th anniversary of her murder, I find myself thinking about her a lot. Whatever role Amanda Knox had or did not have in the murder of Meredith is of no real interest to me. She is free. I understand she has had a difficult four years but her ordeal ends with freedom.
I cannot imagine how happy the Knox family is that they have Amanda home, and I cannot imagine how devastated Meredith’s family must be that after four years, they are now forced to start over, with no clear answers about what happened to their beloved Meredith. It does not seem fair.
Amanda Knox is world famous, while Meredith is just a footnote in her story. Time will tell what Amanda decides to do in terms of telling her story to the press, or in a book, but I hope and pray that while she is getting rich telling her story, she has the decency to remember that Meredith died.
I shall think of Meredith often as my son gets older. She was young, beautiful and accomplished. I pray that the world remembers the brutal death she suffered, and that we don’t forget that justice for Meredith is important, and long overdue. Meredith Kercher matters.
To the Kercher family, I am sorry for your loss. Meredith was a lovely girl and I shall carry her in my heart, and pray that you find peace. As we approach the sad day of November 1st, I am thinking of you, remembering Meredith, and keeping the faith.
October 5, 2011 | 9:30 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Mr. Jobs passed away at the young age of 56. He was a visionary who changed the world in a profound way. Though not that savvy when it comes to technology, I know about the things he created, and how they changed the world. While I cannot share details of the global impact of his work, I can tell you how he changed my life.
I use my iPod to exercise so I can be healthy and watch my child grow up. I use iTunes in times of great joy and sorrow to connect to my feelings through music. My iPod holds the song I danced to at my wedding, and what I cried to when my marriage ended. The song we played at my both dad’s funeral, and at the birth of my child.
I used my iMac to create the video tribute to my son that I shared at his Bar Mitzvah, and I use it everyday to stay connected to my family in Canada. This computer is where I write my blog and connect to the world. I won’t bother trying to explain how much I love my iPhone, or that it is surgically attached to my body as a lifeline.
I did not know Steve Jobs, but I imagine I would have liked him very much. I am sending my condolences to his family and friends, and I wish them peace at this difficult time. I’m not rich, or fancy, just a single mom, whose life has been made better because of a man that I did not know, yet admire and respect very much. It is a sad day.
Steve Jobs will be in the history books alongside Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. He changed the world for the better, and I am blessed to have been able to have his work be a part of my life. Rest in Peace Mr. Jobs. There will never be another mind like yours, but maybe someone will come close, if we keep the faith.