Posted by Ilana Angel
I am in a dating slump and frankly have no real interest in getting out of it. I had a date last week that was completely uneventful, and when I came across someone online I thought looked interesting, it turned out he was a reader of my blog and while a fan, was not brave enough to risk being written about, so he passed on a date, but wanted to be friends.
He’s sweet enough and we’ve begun emailing which is nice I suppose. I’m not really looking for a pen pal, but he is smart and funny so maybe I can fix him up with a friend. One never knows. I want to share my life with someone and so I like to think that I am going to keep myself open and send out the right energy, but these days I just really don’t care that much.
By not care that much, of course I mean I really care about it. People say when you are not looking for love is when you will find it, while others say you will never find love unless you are looking for it. There is no right way to look for love, or rules about how love will find you. The focus for single people should be to be happy so we are ready when it comes.
This blog is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I love it and it matters to not only me, but also a curse because it really does impact how I date. Men are afraid of it when I tell them, but not telling them up front would not be cool. If a man wanted to date me and not be written about, all he has to do is ask. I do not write about the men who asked me not to.
There are enough things to worry about when dating without having to bring a blog into it. In addition to the blog being a roadblock, the holiday season is coming. Hanukkah is easy because for me it’s a holiday for children, but New Year can be brutal. I’ve never really been one to go out on New Year’s Eve, but having someone to kiss is kind of a big deal to me.
Bringing in a new year is special because it is full of hope. Hope for love and joy not only for myself, but for my family. I am hearing from a lot of single readers that they are starting to feel stressed about being alone for the holidays. I feel bad when I get these letters because there is noting I can say to make them feel better, because the truth is it sucks.
I had 3 meetings yesterday. They took up my entire day and I was exhausted when I got home. I was running around and it was only when I settled into bed with a cup of tea and reflected on my day, that I realized something great had happened. I met someone that got me excited about life, which is a truly powerful gift to receive.
I met a total of 8 new people during my meetings. They were an eclectic group of characters and all will play important roles in my life in terms of both my work and my home life. There was one person in particular however, that left me feeling inspired and hopeful. I found myself listening and being excited about things to come, and it almost felt like a great date.
Sometimes you can meet a person who puts a little pep in your step and it’s a great thing. I woke up this morning, worked out, put on a super cute outfit, fixed my hair and am going to have a great day. I have been so buried under stress and work that I forget about how happy I am. This person reminded me that life is great, I am fabulous, and I need to put happy first.
I am not going to attract happy if I am not sending out happy. It occurred to me that meeting these people was like having a great date. I woke up thinking about them, what they said, and looking forward to something. I think it’s easy for women to sit and reflect about how things are not going well, but difficult for us to take the steps needed for change.
I don’t read my blogs once they are posted. I live these stories so reading them is not necessary, and to hear people talk about my writing is sometimes difficult because I write about my life, and if they don’t agree I can take it personally. What I discovered in my meetings yesterday is that people also take my writing personally, and that is wonderful.
I am excited about change today. Turns out that meeting these new people was even better than a date. I didn’t have to shave my legs, wait at a bar for a stranger, or sit though the painful interview process that is the world of dating. I do however get to enjoy the benefits of a good date in that I am strutting today because I got my happy back.
When life is hard, being single can be sad. When life is great, being single can be sad. As a single woman who is looking for love, the most important thing I can do for myself is be happy. I look forward to my next date because all great love affairs begin with a date. If we don’t approach our dating with this hope, we risk becoming bitter.
Sadly, I have no date in my future. Having just checked my online dating accounts, I predict it may be a while until I have a date, but it’s okay because yesterday was better than a date. I am blessed, and the holidays will come and go whether I get a kiss or not, so I must embrace my happy self, enjoy the glow that comes with hope, and keep the faith.
12.5.13 at 3:16 pm | Heaven has received a blessing today.
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November 30, 2011 | 8:48 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I like my boobs. I actually like boobs in general. I think they are pretty and important and I am rather proud of mine. Big or small, boobs are a beautiful part of a woman’s body and I take care of mine. I get them checked out regularly both myself, and by a doctor. I enjoy sharing them with others on occasion, and like to dress them up in pretty bras.
There are a million and one types of bras for every type of boob. If you are looking for a specific bra, I guarantee you it can be found. Just walking into the bra section of any major department store can be overwhelming because the selection is intense. No mater the size, color, fabric, level of support, or price range you want to find, there is a bra for you.
With so much available, from a million dollar Victoria’s Secret diamond bra to the dollar store variety, there is absolutely no reason I should see women walking around with their boobs swaying to the beat of their own drummer. Just as we are not allowed to drive without a seat belt, women should not be able to go out in public without wearing a bra.
I saw three women yesterday out and about without a bra on and its simply not cute. Big or small, perky or saggy, a boob needs a bra. Boobs are to be supported and in my opinion, a boob in a poorly fitted bra is better than a free boob. The jiggling on one lady almost inspired me to walk up and offer to buy her a bra. It was that bad people.
Don’t even get me started on the nipples. Listen, boobs are great and nipples are very special in terms of what they provide our babies, and they also play an important role in our sex lives, but do I really need to see your nipples when I’m at the grocery store? A bra can help cut down the blinding glare of nipples that are standing at attention.
While chicks are not my thing sexually, I can appreciate a beautiful woman and admire the female form. I have no interest in touching another woman’s boobs, but when I see a woman walking around the mall without a bra on, I find myself wanting to walk over, lift them up in my hands, and show her how much better they would be in a bra.
Just as there are meter maids giving tickets to those who have let their meters expire, there should be a bra patrol that walks around and takes women who are daring to go braless straight to the bra shop. I promise you that no matter how fabulous you think your boobs are, they will look better in a bra. Bras were unvented for a reason.
When we are young we can’t wait for our first training bra, then we get older and can’t wait to take our bra off at the end of the day. They can be binding and uncomfortable, but so can seatbelts. Boobs need bras so if you’re out and not wearing one, be prepared for me to feel you up to make a point. Don’t be alarmed. I come in peace. Just go with it and keep the faith.
November 26, 2011 | 12:44 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I’m not much of a shopper. I do like a good bargain though, and can appreciate the excitement of an all-nighter of shopping, but is it really worth it to spend an entire night shopping with millions of people to save a few dollars? I’m thinking not so much. For me Black Friday is more about an experience than an attempt to save money.
My son and his friends have decided they want to go shopping on Black Friday. Apparently buying shoes and jeans at midnight sounds like fun. If by fun they mean insane, then yes, I imagine it will be loads of fun. The interesting part of their plan is that I have been elected to be the driver on their adventure, and I never got to vote.
When I mentioned to my wonderful child that after Thanksgiving I would be tired, he informed me that as a vegetarian I would not be eating turkey, therefore not consuming any tryptophan, and so going shopping for a few hours would not be a big deal. I panicked when he said “hours”.
The plan is to leave at 10:00, find parking, which they estimate will take about an hour, then get in line and shop from midnight until about 8 in the morning, when I will buy them breakfast, then take them home for some much needed sleep. Could this sound any less appealing?
My son is really wonderful. He does not ask me for much really. He gets great grades, does not get into trouble, has nice friends that I love, is funny, smart, caring, sensitive, compassionate, and truly fills my life with joy. You can imagine my shock and surprise to learn that he is also crazy.
Does he really think I am going to get out of my warm bed in the middle of the night to go shopping? Yes he does, and sadly he is right. I will wait in a few lines, for a few hours, while he gets a few things, all the while wishing I was in bed. It will be exhausting and annoying. Yay!
It will make him happy though, which is always my goal, and more importantly I will have some ammunition. Example: Me: Can you go out to the car and get my bag?” Him: I’m too tired. Me: Remember the time I went shopping all night on Black Friday? Him: Okay mom, I’ll go get it.
Pathetic I know. At the end of the day my midnight schlepping will not be ammunition as much as it will just be a memory that we will have together, and for that reason alone I am going out on Black Friday. Dear Lord please let me survive this adventure. I am scared, but keeping the faith.
** Well we did it. We left home at 10:30 and headed to the outlet mall. We got there at 11:00 and found parking at midnight. We had 5 stores on our list and managed to get through them all in about 3 1/2 hours. We got everything we wanted, and while I was a walking zombie, it was fun.
We have a system and it works. I get in line, my son shops, and by the time he has everything he wants, I have made it to the cashier. We have done it for a few years and it’s our thing. He was very pleased with his purchases and I truly saved a lot of money on a lot of stuff.
Buying things for someone, especially a child, who is genuinely appreciative, is a blessing. It was pure joy for me and though I promised I will never do it again, I know we will be out there again next year, complaining, freezing, and having a wonderful time.
November 23, 2011 | 11:16 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Happy Thanksgiving. This holiday reminds us to give thanks and gratitude for the blessings in our lives. I try to be grateful everyday, but Thanksgiving is special because we are all being grateful together. Since this is my 45th Thanksgiving, I am going to share 45 things I am grateful for.
1. My remarkable son
2. Fiddles the cat
3. Afrin Nasal spray
4. George Clooney
8. Keeping the Faith
9. Keeping it Real
15. Modern Family
17. A good date
18. Being able to remember a good date
23. The Troops
24. Matzo ball soup
30. Red wine
33. Memories of my Dad
34. My mom visiting
39. Hugs from my child
Thanksgiving is a wonderful day and I’m looking forward to resting, cooking, laughing, and being grateful for the blessings in my life. Special thoughts and prayers go out to our troops who sacrifice so much for us to have this day. God Bless them all and their families.
I hope those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving have a holiday full of family, friends, and delicious food. Be kind to a stranger, help someone in need, hug your kids, get someone else to do the dishes, remember life is a blessing, and giving thanks is a way of keeping the faith.
November 19, 2011 | 4:23 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I wrote an article this week about random people telling me they love Jews. It bothers me when people tell me they love all Jewish people. I certainly don’t love all Jewish people. Nobody can love an entire group of anything, whether it is people, places or things, and it’s silly to think you can.
If someone does not like me, I’d like to think it has nothing to do with my being Jewish. You can think I’m a bad person, but don’t think I’m a bad Jew. If you don’t like me based solely on my faith, then you are an anti-Semite. If it’s for other reasons, then you are simply human.
It is offensive when people say I am one of the “good Jews”. What does that mean? Is the implication that Jews are bad people, but I managed to somehow not be? Is there a private club of “good Jews”? How do you qualify to make it into this elite group of chosen people?
Is it non-Jews who select whether or not you are a good Jew? Is it not just a passive aggressive way to be anti-Semitic? To be clear, it’s not just non-Jews who label the type of Jew I am. Other Jewish people have told me I’m not a good Jew. It’s hurtful, but also embarrassing.
Not embarrassing for me, but for my faith. Does questioning whether or not I’m a good Jew, by other Jews, not make them the bad Jew? Do I need to follow the laws of a book written thousands of years ago, to be able to call myself a good Jew? Don’t I get to decide that for myself?
What about when someone says I am a “bad Jew”. What does that mean? Good Jew, bad Jew, red Jew, blue Jew. A Jew is a human being first, and faith is part of who we are, not the one defining thing that we are to be labeled by. I am frustrated with people being so ignorant.
I appreciate that I label myself a Jew. I write about my Jewish life, that I only date Jewish men, and how I want my son to marry a Jew. I write for a Jewish website, and I invest time and energy into learning about my faith so that I can understand it better, not be better at it.
At the end of the day the world is complicated and it’s unfortunate so many of the problems of the planet are based on labeling. I am a Jew. Period. I am a human. Period. I am good. Period. Maybe more people would get that if instead of judging faith, they were keeping the faith.
*Thanks to my friend Jared, for inspiring this dialogue. You my friend are good. Period.
November 17, 2011 | 9:20 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I have written a lot of stories for JewishJournal.com. It’s been two and a half years of five to ten blogs a week, not including the stories I’ve written for the weekly Jewish Journal publication. That is a lot of material and when I go back and look through it all, I am both surprised and impressed by the shear volume. It’s a lot of writing.
Keeping the Faith has been a real joy for me. This blog has chronicled the life I share with my son, and shares my worldview on life, love, religion, sex, politics, and just about everything else. My son and I are very close, but when he is older, and has his own family, he will be able to look back at these entries and really understand who I am.
Keeping it Real is pure fun for me. I love reality television, and that I get paid to watch it is crazy. I would be watching even if it was not my job, and it’s a blessing that I love my work. There are a lot of reality fans who should perhaps be medicated, or incarcerated, but at the end of the day it’s all fun, and we’re all crazy for watching these train wrecks.
I have learned a lot about myself, my views, the world, and the people who just like me, are trying to live with faith. I have readers who have been with me from the very first blog, and share their opinions without fear. Whether I have a virtual relationship with my regular readers, or it’s a one time reader who gives feedback, their opinions matter.
If I have heard one thing over and over again, it is that apparently, everyone in the world loves Jewish people. Did you know this? It’s true. No matter what I write, people let me know they love Jewish people. Jews should not have a care in the world because they are loved. All of us. Each and every Jew in the world has fans so we can all relax.
I wrote that I thought it was wrong for the Dugger family to have 20 kids. I got emails telling me that the Duggers love Jewish people. I wrote that I thought Sarah Palin’s political views were scary, and I got hundreds of emails telling me Sarah loved Israel and all Jewish people. I wrote about Coach Paterno and was informed that he also loves the Jews.
Why is it that whenever I write about someone, and don’t agree with what they are doing or how they do it, I am told that I should be nicer because they like Jews? Newsflash, not everyone loves the Jews and furthermore, to say that someone loves “the Jewish people” is ridiculous. I am a Jew and even I occasionally have issues with my “people”.
I have two Jewish parents, was born Jewish, raised Jewish, married Jewish, and raise my son Jewish, yet there are many Jews who don’t think I am Jewish enough. I was once fired from a job with a Jewish organization for wearing pants to an event, not a skirt. I embarrassed the organization by not being a good Jew and they let me go. True story.
To say you like the Jewish people seems silly to me. To expect me to apologize for writing my truth because the person I wrote about loves Jews is ridiculous. There are good Jews and bad Jews and you can love the history of the Jews, but nobody loves all Jews. Does Michelle Dugger love both Barbra Streisand and Bernie Madoff? Come on.
Here’s the other thing, just because you like Israel or Jews, does not mean that as a Jew I need to like you back. Sarah Palin can wear a Star of David but I’m not voting for her. The Duggar family can pray for Israel everyday, but I still think having 20 kids is insane. Coach Paterno can support Jewish causes, but I still think he should be in prison.
Not everyone loves Jews and that’s okay, just don’t hate people because they are Jewish. You don’t have to like what I write, but don’t pull the Jew card with me. I am Jewish. I am also a mother, woman, daughter, sister, friend, writer, human being, and a Canadian. To name just a few things. My faith matters to me, but should not matter to you.
My Judaism is evolving. I am more religious now than when I was younger, and by religious, I mean that I am a student of my faith. I am learning as I go and taking away from my religion what I want, and what I need. I have a relationship with God and my goal is to better understand the religion that I was not only born into, but that I choose for myself.
Remember in the movie Jerry Maguire when Tom Cruise yelled into the phone that he loves black people? We all laughed because it was ridiculous. Nobody loves all Jews because not all Jews are good. We are people first, and so while I love getting comments on my blogs, I don’t care about whether Sarah Palin and Michelle Duggar like Jews.
My opinions will not change based on the opinions of others. It’s a cop out to say that you don’t like me because I’m Jewish. There are lots of reasons to not like someone but don’t say it’s because of a religion and don’t expect me to like everyone who likes my faith. Not everyone loves Jews, and that is okay. Jews are going to be fine, and we are keeping the faith.
November 14, 2011 | 9:37 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I spent Monday running errands, and travelled through Sherman Oaks, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and Los Feliz. I saw a total of seven sports cars, all driven by men, who if given the opportunity, I would punch in the face. Five of them were very attractive, two of them I never got a good look at, but all were really, really bad drivers.
All the men were distracted by their own reflections in the mirrors of their really beautiful cars. I don’t care about cars. I certainly appreciate a nice car, and good for them that they have such impressive wheels, but it is my belief that these cars are hiding something for these men. There is definitely a deficiency at play.
None of these men could drive. They were either too slow, too fast, on the phone, staring at themselves, or scoping out chicks on the street. Perhaps they are really short and feel a fancy car can make up for it? Might it be there is a small penis involved? Could they be going through a mid life crises? I wondered about these questions all day.
Out of the seven men in sports cars that I encountered today, I honked at 3, flipped the bird at 2, and cursed out the remaining 2. My windows were closed so they did not hear my screaming, and they were not paying attention to what was happening, thus the flipping of the bird was not noticed. As for the honking, it did not phase them.
Isn’t part of the joy of having a fancy sports car driving it properly? Is there any joy in driving your Bentley like you’re a 90 year old woman? Do you want to drive a sports car and have people look at you and think you’re an idiot because you can’t drive it? There should be a special driving test for men who want to drive sports cars to ensure they can handle it.
You don’t drive a sports car like you drive a sedan. I saw seven douchelords driving today and they all pissed me off. I could actually hear these cars whisper to me, “ Help me, this guy sucks!” A car like that has personality and when you put a loser behind the wheel, it takes offense. It was a stressful day driving around town with idiot bad drivers.
Now that I think about it, men who are really short or have a small penis, should be forbidden from getting a sports car. Seriously, help me to help you. No good can come from you driving a car you cannot handle. I’m sorry for your shortcomings, but stay off the road. You are pissing people off. Get a sedan, find a nice girl and keep the faith.
November 13, 2011 | 11:22 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
There was a retreat this weekend in Minnesota for single mothers. It was put on by the BAIS CHANA WOMEN INTERNATIONAL group. They are a predominantly observant group, but welcome and service women from all levels of Jewish observance. I had an opportunity to speak with a few of the women who attended the weekend and it was interesting, surprising, and comforting.
I have been a single mother for many years, and while it’s a difficult life to be sure, it is also rewarding beyond explanation. I am blessed to be a mother, and my child is the seed from which all my joy grows. I love him, and my greatest challenge in life is to separate my ex-husband from the father of my child. Hard since they are the same person.
How can I feel badly toward a man who gave me this amazing blessing? Can I blame him for not being a good husband, when he is a good father? If he was only going to be one thing, I would want him to be a good dad, and he is, so I should feel joy and gratitude toward him right? Easier said than done. I sadly have no respect for this man who I once loved.
Can you end your marriage and go through a bad divorce but still be a good Jew? Can you raise your children in a loving Jewish home when the man you thought would be your partner is no longer anything other than the father of your children? If your ex-husband decides to not live a Jewish life, how can we as women provide that life alone? Is it even possible?
I spoke with four great women who range in age from 37 to 57. They were open about sharing their experiences, and I took away some interesting points. In the interest of their privacy, I’ve decided to compile a list of things they shared as a group rather than single them all out. The religious community is a small one and I don’t want to make them uncomfortable.
When discussing divorce, trauma, heartache, sorrow, loss and being a single mother, they had a lot of perspectives to share. I was surprised that many at the conference converted to Judaism, or were born Jewish but became religious after marriage, or during the process of getting divorced. To me that speaks volumes not about Judaism, but about faith.
Faith matters, and while this article is focused on Jewish women, you can apply the lessons to any woman, of any religion. Faith is something that women can turn to in times of turmoil. For me, my faith is a safe harbor where I am embraced by God and I know the choices I made, although not always right, will be fine and lessons can be learned.
When speaking of the conference and faith, here are ten things these strong and inspiring women shared with me:
- Faith allows us to see good in even the most difficult situations
- Faith helps us weed through the drama and get to the basics
- Faith reminds us to be decent human beings
- Faith requires us to behave dignified when it comes to ex-husbands
- Faith asks us to find compassion for those who are hurting us
- Maintaining faith is an ultimate challenge when going through a divorce
- You cannot wait for life to get easy
- You must find joy in your life, and all it takes is looking
- You can’t control everything so let faith guide you
- Wasband is the newest way to refer to your ex-husband
In many ways I don’t have a lot in common with these women. In more ways however, we are fighting the same battles. They all have children, ranging in age from 3 to 28. They are all providing a Jewish home to their kids on their own. Some have been through traumatic relationships which included emotional, verbal, physical or psychological abuse.
What I learned from them is it’s going to be okay. My obligation is to make myself happy, because if I am happy, so will my son be happy. One woman has a special needs son, and she said he is the barometer to what is happening in her life. If she is calm and peaceful, so is he, and so is the house. He allows her to embrace faith and gather perspective.
Divorce is a very hard thing to go through, and in my opinion, more difficult when you are a woman. Just the hormones alone are enough to make you scream and become unhinged at every turn. The blessing though, is that as women, we can gather up our kids, feed off of the joy they provide us, and sacrifice everything to make their lives safe and happy.
I have always had faith. I may not always have been practicing religion, but there has always been faith, and it has always been based in Judaism. I made it through my divorce because of faith, and raising my son with a love, understanding and respect for Judaism is something I am very proud of, as I do it alone, without help from my wasband.
The women who went to Minnesota for the retreat are strong and wise. They may have times of pain and sorrow, but that’s okay. They remind us that with faith, all is possible. Rather than wait for God to help us, we must help ourselves and take comfort in his watching over us. I am proud to be a single mother, and will never stop keeping the faith.