Posted by Ilana Angel
I get my eyebrows waxed with regularity. By regularity of course I mean I never miss an appointment. I have dragged myself to my waxing lady when I was sick, pregnant, happy, sad, rich or poor. To be clear, it hurts in a profound way, for every single second that it is happening, but I have beautiful eyebrows and when I get compliments on them it’s worth it.
Getting eyebrows waxed is one of the things people talk about when they say it beauty is painful. When it comes to getting your upper lip waxed, the saying should be beautiful is excruciating. Seriously, it hurts, and people who say it does not have clearly discovered that having a drink and a Xanax before going to get waxed is a necessary and required thing.
I cannot wrap my head around bikini waxing. Why someone would want to wax their private bits is beyond my level of comprehension. If I am certain I will die from the pain of getting my eyebrows waxed, then I have no business having wax go anywhere south of the border. There is nothing appealing about that, which is why I have never done it.
By never done it of course I mean until now. In a crazy turn of events, when I went to get my eyebrows waxed, I was talked into getting a bikini wax. I mentioned to my waxing lady that I was going to Palm Springs for a weekend of rest and relaxation in the sun, by a pool, and she insisted I get a bikini wax. By insisted of course I mean she simply mentioned it.
She is less than 5 feet tall, Vietnamese, stunning, soft-spoken, and very, very, very sweet. Every time I say ouch during my eyebrow wax, she giggles, tells me I am funny, and keeps going. I honestly think that she believes it does not hurt and I am just kidding. It’s cute I suppose, if she thinks provoking me to punch her in the face is cute.
In a decision I regretted from the instant I made it, I ended up getting a bikini wax and let me just tell you, never again. Having a woman wipe hot wax on you, rip it off in a violent way, then giggle and keep saying, “it is so pretty”, then whisper in Vietnamese to someone who is in the other part of the shop, something I am certain is about me, is not fun.
Sidebar: How is it possible that she can whisper something so quietly I can hardly hear her sitting right in front of me, yet the person she is talking to happens to be two doors down will respond to her in a barely audible voice, only to have her respond in return? Every chick in my salon has bionic hearing and it is hilarious but annoying.
I just wanted to say I have a newfound respect for strippers, Playboy bunnies, high-end hookers, and all other women who suffer through this incredible pain. I have had a baby and let me just say, bikini waxing hurts more. At least labor gives you a baby. Waxing leaves you crying, unable to stop once you start, and the fear of knowing you will have to do it again.
I’m not writing about this horrible experience to over share, but rather to say to those who do it regularly, you are brave. I am cowardly and will never have another bikini wax. If I go crazy one day, and want to feel this unimaginable level of pain again, I will stick toothpicks under my nails. It won’t hurt as much, but will snap me into reality so I don’t do it.
The things women do for beauty are insane. Men should be thanking their lucky stars that they don’t need to suffer for their beauty. It really is not fair that we have to go through so much, and all men need to do is get out of bed for some woman to think he is fabulous. At the end of the day I have decided to draw a line in the sand in terms of my beauty suffering.
If my vajewjew could speak she would say, “Why?” How did we get to a place where a bald vagina was all the rage? Waxing was not an option back in the day. We went from natural, to landing strips, to Brazil, in the blink of an eye. I think we should return to a pain free vagina where women torturing it while telling you it’s pretty is not an option.
I will continue to get my eyebrows waxed. I will even do my upper lip. I will shave, pluck and prod whatever needs to be done in order to look and feel pretty, however I will not go through the pain and humiliation of a bikini wax. Never say never I guess, but unless there is a secret to making it not hurt, I’m going to pass. Will I stick to it? My body is 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. . . (365)
5.19.13 at 5:43 pm | JDate should be more of a mensch. (360)
5.14.13 at 4:36 pm | Love needs a kick in the ass. (268)
June 27, 2012 | 12:44 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
To the little girl who I saw get a spanking by her mother today, I want you to know that I think you are a wonderful person.
I have been thinking about you all day and I hope you know that you are strong, you are brave, and you are smart.
Keep the faith.
June 24, 2012 | 6:49 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
If you are going to date an Englishman, you have to like football (soccer). By like it of course I mean pretend you like it so as to impress him. I have been pretending to care about this game for months and it has been exhausting. It started out with my blatant faking of interest, but it has now transitioned into a true affection for the game.
I’m not sure when it changed or why, but I am now love the game and the players. I support England as a country, as much for my beloved Dad as my Englishman. I publicly support Chelsea for my Englishman, who is a diehard fan, and also because I am madly in love with Roberto Di Matteo, but I secretly cheer for Manchester United for my Dad.
I am a firm believer in prayer and I prayed for Chelsea to win since I met my Englishman, am happy to report they beat Liverpool in the FA Cup and Bayern Munich in the Champions League. I believe my prayers had something to do with it. By winning the Champions League, Chelsea automatically qualified for the European Championships next season, which is exciting for Chelsea fans.
Important to note that I believe the reason Chelsea did so well is because of my boyfriend, Roberto Di Matteo. I fell in love with Roberto and while I was on the fence about Roman Abramovich because he took so long to give my darling Roberto a job, I have forgiven him for being so slow, and now just want him to send me season tickets for my Englishman as payment for my prayers.
Today, in a game played in the Ukraine, the England national team lost to Italy in the quarterfinals of Euro 2012 and was eliminated. It was an exciting but crushing game as they played 90 minutes of regular play, 30 minutes of overtime, and ultimately lost 4-2 in penalty kicks. It was a sad ending and I could feel the heart of my Englishman crack a little as the dream ended.
I was certain my prayers would pull England through and it would be a sign that I needed to allow myself to go all in with the Englishman. I have been holding back a little because relationships scare me and my heart is fragile, but over the past few months I have compared him and me to football and the success of Chelsea, then England, would be our guide.
It’s ridiculous of course, but when you have been disappointed so much, you create silliness like this so that you don’t give up completely. As much as I have been beaten up by love, England’s national football team has brutally punched my Englishman. They have gotten close to championships many times but never sealed the deal, much like my past romances.
Sidebar: We watched the game today at my Englishman’s local pub and let me just say: yummy, yummy, ding dong. Men outnumbered woman 6 to 1 so if you are a chick who can fake a love of this game, then you need to march yourself down to a pub on football day and enjoy. Seriously, fix your hair and slap on some lipstick because you will be in heaven.
When England was about to start taking their penalty kicks I leaned into my Englishman and told him I hoped we would win and that my prayers would come true. He took my face in his hands, told me all of his prayers had already come true, then gave me a kiss. Just as I felt his heart crack at the loss, I could feel my heart mend at the sound of his words.
I have spent a lot of time remembering every painful hit my heart has taken, but I find myself thinking more about all the times the Englishman has made my heart flutter. In the heartbreaking loss for England, I saw love. Not only saw it, but felt it, embraced it, was not afraid of it, and am ready to let myself go and enjoy it. God Bless England!
Of course my prayers were never about asking God for something, but more about asking him to guide me. I wanted England to win because in my crazy female mind I convinced myself it would light my path. In the end God gave me what I needed, which was clarity. England may have lost, but my prayers were answered because God read through the lines.
I am not too thrilled with Italy for eliminating the boys of England, but I hope to kiss my Englishman on the streets of Rome one day. I also hope to sit in his favorite London pub and have John Terry, Ashley Cole, and Frank Lampard join us for a drink. That would be a perfect evening, especially if Wayne Rooney happened to also find his way to our table.
England is heartbroken today that their team was eliminated, but it was in their loss that I was able to see love. I faked an interest in football, only to discover a true enjoyment of the game and those who both play it and love it. I am now officially a Chelsea girl, a lover of football, a groupie of Roberto Di Matteo, and a girl who found love while keeping the faith.
June 21, 2012 | 5:11 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I had a conversation this week about sex and cheating that was fascinating. By fascinating of course I mean men are pigs. I think sex requires emotion to be good, but the man I was speaking with insisted sex can be great without emotion, and sometimes the lack of emotion can even make it better. It would have been hilarious had I not been speaking to someone whose opinion i value. When I told him he was in fact a pig, he laughed and said men and women are simply different and it shouldn’t be a big deal.
He went on to compare sex to sports which gave me an eye twitch. His theory was that having sex without an emotional connection was like watching a great football game without cheering for a particular team. Really? Sex is like a great football game? During football season there are a dozen games on just one day, so could a man sleep with a dozen women, not care about any of them, and have it all be great? His theory, while disgusting, makes sense if you remember men are dumb and don’t get it.
He shared that the emotional side of a relationship for him was not directly tied to sex. Laying with a woman and talking to her while caressing her hair was far more emotional than the act of sex. Men are a different kind of animal and I’m interested from the perspective that I am dating a man and also raising a man. I want my son to appreciate the benefits of sex with emotion but teaching him that may be impossible because he is a man and not wired that way. Men seem to have it a lot easier when it comes to sex.
I think sex is a wonderful thing, but requires emotion to be really great. I don’t need to be in love to have sex, but I do need to care about them on some level and have them care about me in return. Sex without emotion would hurt my feelings. My friend said sex is sex and love is love and one is not better than the other, they are just different. He thinks most men can have emotionless sex but it takes a certain type of woman to do the same. By certain type of woman of course he means robots.
Do all women need emotions to enjoy sex? Does even a hooker, who has sex for a living, have to have emotion of some kind to be able to do her job? Even if she is faking, is it the faking of emotion that makes her successful? Do men fake emotion when they are having emotionless sex? Do they tell women they don’t care about, that they care about them, in order for the woman to be more emotional and therefore better in bed because she thinks he cares about her? Can men even think this way?
Sex is complicated, but does it need to be? Would women have better sex lives if they didn’t think so much? Would men be more fulfilled if they thought about it more? Does having great sex with someone you don’t care about make you a slut, or just a grown up? Does having sex with emotion guarantee that it will be love? Should having sex, with or without emotion, only be with one person at a time? Can we sleep with many people at the same time and just be sexual and not whores?
I am fascinated by sex and what it means to people. We all want it to be good, but define good in different ways. I have had bad sex with men I cared about and I wonder if we were not sexually compatible or if I was not emotionally invested enough to care. I have old fashioned views of sex and sometimes I wish I didn’t. I think it would be great to be free enough to enjoy sex without any expectations. I suppose that would make me a man because I don’t know any women who can have emotionless sex.
These women surely exist, and I am envious of them. It must be great to be able to have sex for the pure enjoyment of it all, and not have it tied to your heart or your brain. I want to understand the emotions of sex better so I can enjoy it more. Could that be my problem? Perhaps if I didn’t try so hard to understand and label it, it could be better. I enjoy it of course, but I’m always thinking and that gets in the way of emotions, and my ability I relax, which is required in order to have great sex.
At the end of the day bad sex is sad, no sex is tragic, good sex is great, and emotional sex is perfection. I need to think less about what sex means and more about how it feels. Not how it feels emotionally, but how it feels physically. I’d like to talk to a hooker about this subject. I bet I could learn a thing or two from a woman in the sex profession. If you are a hooker reading this, how about an interview? I want to hear your take on sex, emotions, and if you can separate them and still keep the faith.
June 18, 2012 | 11:31 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I have been divorced for 16 years and in that time I have had two relationships I thought would last forever. One was an actual engagement that ended with my heart broken, and one was with a total douchelord who ripped young. He was my priority, I was building a career, and every second I was my heart out and stomped on it.
Not good at the time, but in retrospect truly divine blessings. I am 46 years old and so my dating life now is much different than when I got divorced at 30. I did not want to be in a relationship when my son was not working I was with him. I was lonely, but I built a solid relationship with him because of those choices.
It’s different for everyone of course, but I never wanted my son to think he was not number one. If I was not dating, I was not leaving him, and having it be just him and me gave him a sense of security. I decided when my son was ready for me to date he would let me know, and he did. When he was 10 he said go on a date, so I did.
When your heart has been broken it changes how you date. I don’t trust myself, I don’t know if I can trust men, and I don’t trust that I will ever be happy. I spend a lot of my time waiting for my heart to be broken which is tragic. I worry about everything, but with time I am hopeful I won’t blow it because I’m scared.
My son has no memory of his parents being together which is a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because he never says to me, “Remember when we were a family?” It is a curse because he has often asked, “Why can’t we all be together like a family?” He got the short end of the stick because of the choices his parents made.
I was a teenager when my parents got divorced, and an adult when they got back together. That’s a whole other blog, but I remember the pain of their divorce vividly and the joy of their reconciliation just as much. It was my childhood wish for them to be together and that they were together when my father passed is a blessing.
I was a little sad this week because I allowed myself to see my new and wonderful relationship through the eyes of others and it was hard. For my son, there is peace. It is nice for him to see me happy and with his newfound freedom of having his driver’s license and not needing me as much, he is comforted by my not being alone.
He felt bad when I was alone, resentful of his dad for being happy, and unable to fully embrace the new woman in his father’s life because he felt if he did it would be disrespectful to me. I felt sad that my son was tormented, but if we are going to put it all out there, I was also relived he was on my side and chose me, and that is horrible.
The fact is, when there is jealousy and a broken heart involved, it makes women crazy. I was jealous my ex found love first, and jealous another woman was living the life I thought we would have. My heart was broken that my son did not have a home with two loving parents, and broken that I could not make my marriage work.
I am a worrier and the truth is there is not a lot to worry about in my new relationship. We are good together. We laugh, share, and have great physical and emotion chemistry. He is unlike any man I have ever dated, and not really my type, which proves I wasted a lot of time with the wrong type. He may be my Beshert.
I have been here before and was crushed. There is no guarantee it will last so I need to not worry about it. We will be whatever we are supposed to be, for as long as we are supposed to be, and that must be enough. I cannot worry about what is out of my control. I can only love all involved in a way that makes them happy.
If I continue my relationships with the ghosts of past relationships in the way, I will never have peace and never relax enough to enjoy what is happening. I am happy. Truly happy in a way I have not allowed myself to be before because I have been guided by a broken heart, not a loving heart. I must choose hope over fear.
I don’t want to look back on my life and wish I had been brave. I want to be brave now. I want to love with an open heart, ensure everyone feels secure, and know that when the man I have fallen in love with tells me he loves me, I can believe him. I am scared but hopeful, worried but happy. I am also, above all else, keeping the faith.
June 16, 2012 | 10:44 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I love you.
I respect you.
I honor you.
I thank you.
I remember you.
I miss you.
I miss you.
I miss you.
I miss you.
I miss you.
I miss you.
I miss you.
I miss you.
I miss you.
I miss you.
Rest in peace Dad.
I am keeping the faith.
June 14, 2012 | 4:43 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
The USC Shoah Foundation Institute is a very special place to me. My years working there were the highlight of my professional career, but it was so much more. It is where I went through a divorce, raised my son, became a phenomenal mother, landed on my feet, embraced my faith, defined my relationship with God, and fought my demons. It was my home.
In 1994, after completing the film Schindler’s List, Steven Spielberg established the Shoah Foundation to collect and preserve the video testimonies of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust. Steven envisioned that the eyewitness accounts could have a profound effect on education, and survivors could be teachers of humanity.
My first job at the Institute was in the Quality Assurance Department. I supervised interviewers in New York, Canada and Israel, making sure they allowed the witnesses the best opportunity to tell their stories, in their own words, in an environment that made them feel safe. It was a remarkable job that allowed me the honor of watching many testimonies.
When I started there were 5000 interviews conducted, and when I left there were over 50,000, in 34 languages, from 57 countries. By the end of my time there, I was the Director of Special Events and oversaw the fundraising and special events for the organization. I travelled the world and met people who are still a part of my life today.
I did not know a lot about the Holocaust when I started my job at the Institute, but by the time I left, the Holocaust had shaped my life. The work we did back in the beginning was remarkable and I reflect on all we accomplished with both pride and amazement. I have a connection to faith that I don’t think I would of gotten had it not been for that job.
Last week I went to the Shoah Foundation Institute’s fundraising gala and it was a night I will not soon forget, for a lot of reasons. The work they are doing goes beyond the Holocaust. Their mission is to overcome prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry – and the suffering they cause – through the educational use of the Institute’s visual history testimonies.
That one man had this vision, and has taken it to the place it is now, is nothing short of a miracle. I am very proud to have played a role in Steven’s vision. Proud as a mother, a Jew, and a human being. There is still suffering in the world and the Institute is a living memorial of what was, what is, and what must be looked at and stopped. Now.
I encourage you all to visit the USC Shoah Foundation Institute online and learn about what they are doing. You do not need to be a Jew, but you do need to have a compassionate heart and a desire to change the world. I am not only a former employee, but also a member, as is my child. It is my honor to be a part of the legacy that began so long ago.
The event last week was fabulous. The décor was elegant and the food was divine. The honoree was Bob Iger who was gracious and charming. The host for the evening was Jimmy Kimmel, who was hilarious but appropriate. The entertainment was provided by Mary J. Blige and there are simply no words for her. Mary was perfection and I loved her performance.
The evening moved quickly and was entertaining, inspiring, thought provoking, and important. It was lovely to be included and my dedication to the mission of the Institute has been renewed. From the words of Steven Spielberg, to those of Stephen Smith, the Institute’s Executive Director, you could not be in the room and not want to make a difference.
2014 will mark the 20th anniversary of The USC Shoah Foundation Institute. It is amazing how fast time has flown by and also how much the world has both changed and stayed the same. The Institute reminds us to put aside our differences and focus on what unites us. We must be decent, kind, tolerant, and aware of each other.
As a mother I have raised my child to know about the history of our faith and while important, it is not enough. It is my obligation to teach him what is happening in the world, and for him to know that while our life is blessed and happy, our greatest joy will come in making change, remembering our history, and working to allow those in pain to keep the faith.
June 13, 2012 | 12:25 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Yesterday I flew to New York City. By flew to New York City of course I mean I ended up in a travel nightmare. I was taking a client’s child to the east coast to go to camp for 2 weeks. The plan was to fly her in, drop her to her best girlfriend, have dinner with my friends in the city, and come back on a late flight.
It made perfect sense. I have travelled with this wonderful child before, and these trips we take are a highlight of my job. This is a remarkably bright and entertaining child. She makes me laugh out loud, think about things, and like my own child, gives me hope for the future of the world and the kids who will run it.
I was picked up at my home at 4:45 am. We got to her home at 5:00 am and arrived at LAX at 5:30. We went to Starbucks to get some tea, stopped to get some playing cards, and ate a bagel while we waited for our flight at 7:00 am. We boarded, settled into a row all by ourselves and headed back east.
The flight was great. We did card tricks, played go fish, surfed online, read books, napped, and overall had a perfect flight. We landed at JFK 30 minutes early and life was good. We got into the car and made our way to her friend’s house, which is about 45 minutes away from the airport.
It was raining in New York, traffic was bad, and there were two accidents along the way. It all sounds typical and not a big deal, but the truth is it was a nightmare. Our 45 minute drive took just shy of 4 hours. Yes that is correct, 4 hours. We were both tired, frustrated, and not happy.
My young friend must have asked 50 times if we were there yet and it was not annoying as much as heartbreaking. It was hard to have to keep telling her we were delayed. She was tired, hungry, angry and yet excited to see her best friend, who was just as frustrated waiting for her.
Fourteen hours after i left home, we arrived at our destination and I must tell you, it was magic. The moment we turned the corner to the house the window opened and she began to wave. Nobody could see, but the sight of the house made her wave. It was a remarkable moment.
She was so happy at the thought of seeing her friend, that she started to wave so the second her friend saw the car, she would see her hand waving. It was a simple gesture, but so lovely and kind that I found myself getting emotional. I was delirious with exhaustion, but still touched.
Her friend ran out of the house, barefoot in the pouring rain, and they started to scream hello to each other. It reminded me of the scene in The Color Purple when the sisters see each other after years of separation and start to play together. I found myself clapping with excitement.
These girls talk on the phone daily, Skype like maniacs, have maintained a tight bond since one moved to the east coast, and have a pure and wonderful love for each other. It made me think about love, friendship and how we are responsible for the future by how we raise our children.
The mothers of these two little girls have worked tirelessly to help them maintain their friendship. Moving can be hard when you are a kid, I know because I moved around a lot as a child because of my father’s work. It is up to the parents to help kids stay connected with their friends.
We are responsible for the happiness of our children, and that a friendship is nurtured, when it would be easier to allow it to slip away, matters. These children will remember these times together, but also look back at the sacrifices their parents made in order for them to maintain it.
We spent 14 hours together, thick as thieves. She snuggled up to me to sleep, I played with her hair, we spoke about what great friends we were, and then, in the blink of an eye, she forgot my name and had absolutely no use for me. The moment she got out of the car I was forgotten.
The kids ran around together and the look on the face of the little girl’s mom was sweet. You could see her relief we had finally arrived, and pure joy at seeing the happiness of her daughter. Being a mother is a blessing and seeing people do it well is wonderful. These are great moms.
It was madness and peace all at once. The 14 hours of travel time was a distant memory and even though I was unable to see my friends for dinner because of tine, I got back in the car to go to JFK feeling happy to have been able to see the pure love of these two children.
That is when my nightmare continued. It was still raining, traffic was ridiculous, and the chances of my missing the last flight of the day were starting to be a real possibility. It was now 7:30 and rather than watch the clock tick away, I dozed off hoping time would pass quickly.
I woke up after 8:00 and we were still making our way to the airport. We pulled up to American Airlines at exactly 8:30 and my flight was at 9:00. I ran straight to security, thankful I had already printed my boarding pass. The line to get into the security check was massive.
I went to the front of the line and let the woman checking ID’s know my flight was leaving in 25 minutes. She told me no flights were being pulled and I needed to get in line. I am now on the verge of crying, my cold has kicked in full swing, and I have no time for dinner or a cocktail.
I finally make it to the front of the ID check line at 8:39. I tell the security guard that is directing people through the metal detectors that my flight is at 9 and she takes me to the front and rushes me through. I zip through the inspection, put my shoes on and start to run.
I have not bothered to put my belt back on so my pants are falling down, one shoe is only partially on, and I am now sweating, fighting a fever, and making my way to the gate, which feels miles away. I get to the gate and there is no one there. Could I have missed the flight?
I approach an airport employee and am informed my gate has changed. She tells me to start running and lets me know she will call and tell them I am coming. I am now crying, can’t breathe through my nose, am trying to keep up my pants, calling my Englishman, and carrying one shoe.
I get to the gate and the look I get from the American Airlines employees implies that I look like hell. They give me the feel sorry for you head tilt look, and usher me onto the flight. I am the last open to board and the flight is packed. People are staring, with pity, but still staring.
I make my way to the 3rd from last row and am seated by the window next to a large man. He lets me into my seat, smiles, then proceeds to pull a McDonalds bag from under his seat. He is going to eat a Big Mac and fries, on a packed flight, late at night, and I’m dying.
I start to cry, he looks at me, again with pity, and in an accent I hardly understand, offers me half of hisdinner. It was so sweet and generous that I was touched. By touched of course I mean as a vegetarian the smell of his burger almost made me puke on him.
I thanked him for being so kind, told him I was fine, wrapped my scarf around my face, and prayed for sleep. No such luck. The flight was long, I could not sleep, my phone had no power, so I had no music. I walked into my home 21 hours after I left and was beyond relieved.
It was a very long day and I may have developed a blood clot from sitting so long, but in the end I would do it again to have the joy of seeing the love these two young ladies have for each other. I saw pure love on this trip and for all our children, I am keeping the faith.