Posted by Ilana Angel
There are a lot of people talking about Brandi Glanville and her new tell all book. I have read the book and I laughed out loud and also felt her pain and distress. People are talking about it, which is good. What troubles me is that people are saying that she has compromised her children by writing such an honest look at her life. I want to jump in the ring and say that I don't think she has done anything wrong.
Being a mother is my greatest accomplishment, brings me the greatest joy, and defines who I am as a human being. I have written honest and raw articles about my struggles with marriage, divorce, fertility, dating, love, loss, and heartbreak. Am I a bad mother for sharing? No. When one has a platform to share experiences that can enlighten, help, entertain, or inspire dialogue, then are we not obligated to do so?
I was 25 years old when I got married, 30 when I had my baby and got divorced. I was so focused on being a good mother that I forgot I was a woman. I woke up one day to discover I was 43 years old and not sure what I was supposed to do. I was by myself, raising a boy to be a man, and there was no man in sight. I was alone and scared when I got divorced but I raised my son, and conquered my fear, but was still alone.
Brandi is not hurting her children by telling the truth. Brandi protects her children with the truth. If they were to read all the crap that has been written about her life by other people, including the whores who banged her husband and ruined her family, that would be hurtful. Brandi is being a mother and a woman and the transition from being married to single would be easier if women allowed themselves to be both.
People are hell bent on making this woman feel bad about her book and that is unfortunate. Brandi Glanville is a great mother, a good human being, and my friend. She is providing for her children and how she does that is none of our business. I share my truth everyday and my son, who is now 17, is proud of me. He may be embarrassed on occasion but it is not because of things I have written in my columns.
My teenage son is sometimes mortified by my wanting to hug or kiss him in public, but he is never embarrassed when I share a story about my life and our struggles and triumphs as a family. I have never claimed to be perfect, have made a lot of mistakes along the way, but I am a wonderful mother and all my choices are made with my son in mind. Brandi is the same way with her boys so let's cut the woman a little slack.
I have had moments of worry when it comes to my blog and my son. Am I breaking a confidence? Am I sharing too much? Will he understand? I worry that he will never fully comprehend the sacrifices, challenges and fears I have faced raising him on my own. All mothers, regardless of their relationship status, have the same worries. That is how motherhood works. I can only pray that I am doing it right.
For every difficulty I want him to one day understand, I want him to remember the good things more, and I know he will. Our life is full of laughter, trust, respect, joy, secrets, jokes, and memories. My blog, while certainly important, does not define our life together. Brandi’s remarkable young boys have a life with their mother that is wonderful and she is their focus, not her book. They are children not critics.
I look at my son and know I have done my job and done it well. He loves and respects me not only because I am his mother, but because I have earned his love and respect. He will one day make mistakes with his own children and some of those mistakes will be the same ones I made. Life is funny like that. My son will also be able to go back through my blogs long after I am gone and read the story of our life together.
I am proud of Brandi for being brave and I am proud of myself for being brave. In the end the only one who can judge my motherhood is my son and he shows me everyday that I am doing a good job. Instead of judging Brandi for her book, people need to just read it and applaud the strength it took to share her truth. In the end both Brandi and me are blessed because in our keeping it real, we are able to keep the faith.
12.21.13 at 9:03 am |
12.19.13 at 2:57 am | My son has a free schlepping service.
12.12.13 at 8:05 am | Well played my son. Well played.
12.11.13 at 6:58 am | I watch in awe and stare with envy at these. . .
12.5.13 at 3:16 pm | Heaven has received a blessing today.
12.3.13 at 3:05 pm | Every time I go into the kitchen I half expect to. . .
9.15.13 at 3:14 pm | I love you Russell Brand. (372)
12.21.13 at 9:03 am | (357)
7.25.11 at 5:38 pm | We need more Jews! (291)
January 23, 2013 | 6:55 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I was at a bar last weekend where everyone was a San Francisco 49ers fan. When San Francisco won the game to get them into the Super Bowl, people went nuts. I saw grown men crying for joy and it was fascinating. While I like the Super Bowl, I watch more for the commercials than the game, and I don’t really know anything about the 49ers other than a bar in Santa Barbara made a fortune off the drunken joy that their win brought last weekend.
When it comes to Chelsea football, or soccer, I am invested in not only the game, but the players. While I am still angry my beloved Roberto Di Matteo was fired for no reason, I believe in the Blues and I love to watch them play. Dating an Englishman has given me my newfound love for soccer and his unbridled love for Chelsea hs been passed on. By passed on of course I mean there was no other option in terms supporting a team.
My Englishman has loved Chelsea since he was a little boy and he knows their history like the back of his hand. My Dad was a Manchester United fan and while my boyfriend respects the memory of my father and knows he was a wonderful man, when it comes to football, there is no other choice and my loyalty to the team of my father is a thing of the past. We are officially Chelsea people and I now support a different kind of football even though I often call it soccer not football.
American football has a lot of great things about it, but soccer is truly where it is at, for a lot of reasons. For example, lets talk about uniforms. You can watch men in a bunch of gear that allows only the occasional glimpse of a nice tight ass, or can see legs that are so beautiful you want them wrapped around you. The legs of an English footballer are chiseled works of art. Plus in soccer, shirts are often removed for no apparent reason.
I like the chanting of the crowd in English football, but I also like the cheerleaders in American football. According to the Englishman, English football does not require “artificial support” because the crowd is good all on their own. When it comes to cheering on the crowd there is nothing like a group of Chelsea followers. I know every team thinks their fans are the best, and I agree that all football fans are amazing and carry a team, but the songs of Chelsea are awesome.
I rely a lot of my son and the Englishman to explain the rules of English football to me, but just because I don’t get the game, does not mean I don’t love it as they do. From Torres and Hazard to Terry and Lampard, I care about these men in blue. In learning about the team my favorite Chelsea player is legend Gianfranco Zola. I love everything about this man and how he played the game. He was classy both on and off the pitch.
Not all footballers are classy, which is also very entertaining. Reading about the pesonal lives of some players is like a soap opera. From drunken brawls to sleeping with each others wives, there are a lot of thugs and bad boys in football. The more I watch and learn about them, the more I realize I like a bit of a thug. If a bad boy is your thing, I guarantee you will fall in love with an English footballer or two.
Watching these men, who have played since they were little boys, is exciting. English football is full of history and stories. There are even fairytales in the game and it is those games that make this sport so much fun. Last year Chelsea won the FA Cup, which us fans knew they would, and it was magic. This year Bradford City is headed to the League Cup finals and it is remarkable. They are more than just the underdog, they are unbelievable.
There are different levels in English football, with the Premiership being the top rung. Bradford City is in the fourth level and yet they are about to play against Swansea, a Premiere League team in the League final. I had hoped they would play against Chelsea, but we got knocked out last weekend so now I am free to pull for the boys of Bradford City. They play to a few thousand people each game and now they will be at Wembley.
Wembley seats 90,000 people so can you imagine what that will be like for Bradford City? Amazing! I want them to win for every kid who plays soccer and dreams of being a professional player. I also want them to win because if they do, shirts will come off. I am routing for Chelsea always, Bradford City in their League Cup final, and the 49ers in the Super Bowl. Whether you support football or soccer, embrace your team and keep the faith.
January 21, 2013 | 7:05 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.
But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.
One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.
So we have come to cash this check—a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.
Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning.
Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.
We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.
With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
Remember. Learn. Keep the faith.
January 18, 2013 | 12:58 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
Today is my son’s birthday. He is the most wonderful human being I have ever known and it is hard to believe that the baby in this photo is now 17 years old. He is smart, funny, kind, thoughtful, talented, gorgeous, charming, and in my opinion, perfect. I am in love with this child.
I am thankful every day and feel blessed each time this young man calls me Mommy. As he turns 17, I find myself struggling with him getting older. He is my friend and my confidante, but he is first and foremost my baby. I do not understand what I will do when he goes to college.
I wake up knowing I need to take care of him, and I go to sleep happy that I was able to take care of him. He is my only child and my heart is wrapped around him. I not only love him, but I really, really, like him. He is so much fun to be with and he makes me laugh every day. He is magic.
When my son was little he would ask why I was his Mommy. I would tell him he was in heaven and God told him to pick a Mommy, he picked me, and so God sent him. He still remembers that story and it make me so happy when all these years later, he tells me is so happy he picked me.
I wanted to be a mother from the time I was a little girl. It was my dream to have a baby, and as I reflect on the past 17 years I am overcome with emotion. I hope I have done a good job. I know I made mistakes along the way, but pray when he reflects back, he is proud of me.
To my son, Happy Birthday my darling boy. I am so very proud of you and wish for you all of the things you wish for yourself, plus more. Thank you for loving me, respecting me, inspiring me, and forgiving me when I make a mistake. You fill my life with joy, and you are my sunshine.
You are my son, friend, teacher and the great love of my life. You are the reason I met the Englishman and I will forever be grateful for you telling me to go out with him. It is because of your encouragement to take a chance that we have built a new family with him and the girls.
I was able to find love because you love me, and I have peace because you calm me. Happy Birthday! I am so proud of you and cannot wait to watch your future unfold. Be happy, safe, aware, brave and kind. Know that I love you and everything is possible when you keep the faith.
January 13, 2013 | 8:29 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Ever since I was little I wanted to get married. When I tied the knot the first time it was a remarkable time in my life. I loved my husband, my parents walked me down the aisle, all my siblings were there, and my life was full of hope and promise. Even though my marriage did not last forever, I treasure the moment and look back at it fondly.
At the end of my wedding video my husband and me are on a balcony. The videographer asks us to give a message about the day and I said something about it being the happiest day of my life, and it would only be surpassed by the birth of my child. I said to my future children that I loved them, and they would be welcomed by two parents in love.
I remember the moment clearly and today, over 16 years later, I am so very thankful the message exists for my son. My only regret in life is that my marriage did not last. It was impossible for me to stay, but I wish I could have given my child a loving home with two caring parents who loved each other and gave him an example of a love he’d want for himself.
The Englishman is my third serious relationship of the past 16 years and my son is seeing me with a man who may be my forever. He sees his mother being treated with kindness, patience, and respect. He sees how a man should treat a woman, and he sees peaceful resolutions to conflict. We fight of course, but it is fair, respectful, calm, and kind.
I love the Englishman and our relationship is very happy. I feel safe, respected, and understood. He may be the last man I love and that is a lovely feeling. He loves me, but I want to get married again, and he does not. My dream is to marry actually, and his reality is to never marry again. We are both happy, but want different endings to our story.
I have found a great love and so I have to ask, does marriage matter? Can I live happily ever after without the fairytale ending? Should I have to give up my dreams? I am very aware of how hard it was to get here and I cannot imagine my life without him as my partner, but marriage matters to me and I am struggling with the knowledge that it won’t happen with him.
If he asked me to marry him tomorrow I would say no because I know it is not what he wants and it would only be for me. I want someone to marry me because he wants to, not because he fears he will lose me if he doesn’t. Marriage is hard and I will only do it one more time in my life, so I want to get it right and pressure cannot be a factor in the decision.
I am not looking to get married now, but I asked the Englishman if he would marry me before I turned 80 and he said he didn’t want to ever marry. I almost wish he would have lied because if he said yes I would have known it was coming at some point in the next 34 years so there would be no pressure. Bless him for being honest with me and himself.
I am not wasting my time with this man. Our time together is valuable and important. Our love is real and so not being together is not an option. That said, does one give up their dreams for another? Is it easier to give up a dream or try to start over and find someone with the same dream? At 46 years old, can I change my dreams and not feel compromised?
The truth is that not being with him would be the compromise because if we were not together, I would feel I had settled. I have had a big wedding and had a child with my husband. It didn't work out. I am not having anymore children, and if I were to describe the love i have now, without marriage, I would say it is the type of love that dreams are made of.
I have found and lost love in my life and finding it is harder than losing it. I am not letting this man go. I am also not letting my dream go. Life will go on and decisions will be made. I am happy. I value my dreams, trust my Englishman, and in the end I am smart enough to know love, wise enough to value love over a piece of paper, and brave enough to keep the faith.
January 10, 2013 | 8:17 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I have been back from London for five days. Five long and painful days. I have been struck with the flu and it has about done me in. On top of that, I am suffering from brutal jet lag. I cannot breathe through my nose, cannot sleep, and need a nap around 2 o’clock every afternoon. I’m miserable.
My son has also been sick and out of school, the Englishman is also suffering just like the both of us. The only good thing is we have been having lovely conversations each day at 2:00 am. By lovely of course I mean when we are not coughing, sneezing, and moaning, it is all very lovely.
My friend Jared told me that jet lag lasts a day for every hour difference from where you were. Based on that, London is 8 hours ahead of Los Angeles so I will be suffering until Sunday. Not cool. I am exhausted, achy, and more pissed off than I have ever been.
I was out of town for 14 days and hired a girl to cat sit for my delicious cat Fiddles, and her cat Gopher. Yes, I have a cat and my cat has a cat. I am proud to be a cat lady, I love these animals and I treat them with love and respect. They are my family and they truly matter to me.
My cat Fiddles is the best cat I have ever owned. She is very special. We adopted her when she was 9 months old. She spent her whole life living in a garage and it was love at first sight. She has a very special bond with my son and they instantly fell in love with each other. It’s magic.
She is like a dog in that she follows him around the house and meets him at the door when he comes home from school. She sits with him when he does his homework, and sits at his feet when he is at the dinner table. She likes to play fetch with her fake mice. She is family and we love her.
Our other cat is named Gopher and he is simply an asshole. He has been here for over a year and neither my son nor me have ever touched him. He is aloof, indifferent, and frankly, mean. He is also madly in love with Fiddles and so we have determined that he is actually her cat, not ours.
They spend a lot of time together and she is protective of him. He follows her around in the same way she follows my son. He does not like people, but he loves her and so while he is not a great cat to us, he is her baby and an important part of our family. A complete asshole, but still family.
I spoke with the highly recommended sitter and she was lovely and excited to do the job. We agreed on a price and a schedule so I was happy to have her be here with my babies. She came before we left to meet the cats, get the lay of the land, keys, and the instructions. All was well.
We left for England and I felt very comfortable that the cats would be well taken care of. I texted her from England and she told me things were fine and the cats were doing great. I had a wonderful holiday knowing the cats were fine and I didn’t need to worry or stress about them.
After 14 days we returned and when I entered my home my heart broke into a million pieces. These two cats that I love so very much, were suffering. They had not been fed in what appears to be 12 days. The girl came over only one time to see our cats. They had no food and no water.
The kitty litter was full and unusable so they had gone to the bathroom all over the floor. There was poop and vomit all over the place, probably due their being under stress. The animals must have thought we abandoned them and I was heartbroken. I started to cry.
Fiddles ran to us and literally jumped into my arms. She licked my face and started to purr like a jungle cat. Gopher, who we never see, came up and rubbed on my legs. I was not allowed to touch him, but when I sat with Fiddles on the couch, he came and sat by my feet. It was devastating.
I immediately called the girl to see where she was, and she was skiing. She said she had not been to my house in only two days and had planned to come that day. All lies. She was picking up my mail so by the postmarks still in my mailbox, she had not been to my home in over a week.
My cats could have died because this girl was selfish and stupid. She is an idiot and I am not sure what action to take against her. She endangered my family and I don’t take lightly to people who hurt my family. She never even told me she was sorry. She decided to text it instead.
She texted that she was sorry she let me down and lied about how many days it had been since she came. Her lies were insane and even when I proved to her she was lying, she still did not have the decency to call me, just text. I insisted she bring me my money and keys right away.
They keys and money were returned and then I received a text from her father. It read in part:
“No question, **** screwed up. I would have let her know I was disappointed and that I wouldn’t be able to recommend her to others in future based on those results. I would have asked her what she felt was fair and settled on some portion of the money returned. I think you are the one who should be most ashamed in this scenario for making her give the money back. You’ve got your money back you vicious bitch. You are to make NO further contact with **** - if you do I will consider it an ASSAULT. Your name is banned from my house forever. I will ignore any attempt you make to reply or to contact me. I am DONE with you, you ugly, malicious c***. Rot.”
Really? His stupid and selfish child could have killed my cats and I am vicious? He is mad because I asked her to return $150? What is he teaching his child that this is his behavior? I suddenly feel sorry for her. It would appear they value the money more than the life of these inocent cats.
I am shocked and heartbroken. Shocked that someone could be so unkind to innocent animals, and heartbroken that a child is allowed to put life in harm's way and the reaction of her paretns is to be angry about money and not mortified by the choices their child made. People make me sad.
My cats are going to be fine. A little dehydrated, lighter, and emotionally scarred, but we will love them back to health and hopefully they will forget this happened. Animal cruelty is a crime and should be taken seriously. To Fiddles and Gopher, we love you and are so sorry. You are blessings and for your recovery, we are keeping the faith.
January 6, 2013 | 7:28 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
It is over. After 2 weeks in London, we made our way back to Los Angeles. In some ways the trip felt like we gone over a weekend, and in others it felt like a lifetime. Trips to visit family are more work than vacation, and while there was stress, pressure, and a few tears, it was a vacation I will always remember.
I went to London with a lot of expectations. I wanted the Englishman's family to like me in a way that made them tell him he should never let me go because I am fabulous. He is 53 years old and so his opinion matters most, but I guess my silliness comes from insecurity that I will lose what took me forever to find.
I thought we would go to London and have 14 days of romance driving through the countryside, walking through the city, wining and dining ourselves into memories that when gathered, create a life together. In the end we spent our time living a real life, with a real family, and in doing so I saw a life that I really want.
My Englishman has a remarkable family. They love deeply and in learning of their history, I saw things that match my own family. There is love and respect, but also stress and complications. In seeing the man I love trying to make everyone happy, I saw sides to him I do not see in our everyday lives. Sides that are interesting.
Everyone wanted a piece of him and he was trying to please us all. His children, my son, his parents, his brothers, his nephews, and his girlfriend. We were all vying for his attention and quite frankly, it made us all a little bit nutty. On top of the tug-of-war, he had to deal with his oldest daughter becoming very sick during our visit. We spent 4 days at the hospital as she was treated for an infection and it was scary. This man that we all love was forced to deal with a bunch of adults acting like children while taking care of his baby. By bunch of course I include me. In the end I discovered things about him I did not know and would never have guessed.
My Englishman is a very special man. His loyalty to his family is solid, and his view of fatherhood and the two young women who call him dad is remarkable. He loves them from a place in his heart that is reserved for a daddy's little girls. His oldest daughter is 22 but when she became ill, she was his baby again. I sat in the hospital with this man as he looked after her and I thought of my own father. I spent a long time in the hospital when I myself was 22, and seeing him with her brought memories of my own dad crashing back. How blessed she is to be loved by him as I was loved by my father. Fathers like this are rare.
On any given day during our vacation someone was upset. There was lots of laughing, but also yelling and tears, some of it from me. I was in the middle of a family I did not know, felt I was finding my way more than I was being led, and it was stressful. In the end I had many people to hold my hand through it. I love these people. His parents, brothers, sister-in-law, nephews, and daughters love him as I do, and in the end the stress does not matter. I am not leaving with nothing other than memories of a life that is beginning. In spending time with these people I have clarity on the life I want with my Englishman.
This man makes me laugh. A real and authentic laugh that can only come from a place of joy. He makes me mad in a way that comes from a place of fear. He makes me think in a way that comes from a place of calm. He makes me dream in a way that comes from a place of hope. He is my life partner. I was so worried about expectations that I almost missed out on the experiences that mattered most. I spent 14 days with a family that embraced me enough to treat me as a member, not an outsider. They became my family in a very real way that would not have happened had my unrealistic expectations been met.
I had so much fun stumbling through two weeks with this family that I feel like they are now my family. I will call them and see them as I would my own family and that is the greatest gift I got this holiday season. Important to note: the diamond and pearl necklace and earrings were also a very nice holiday gift. The Englishman's daughter is feeling much better and she is going to be fine with some rest and relaxation. She is a very special young woman and I love her. Her sister sat on the plane next to me sad to go home, and my son smiled madly as the trip was a dream for him. How blessed we are to love these three children.
Family can bring out the best and the worst in each other. I was treated as a member of the family and I feel honored. I survived the initiation and could not be happier. Happy that my love took me to England and happy that in meeting his family, I saw who he really is because I saw where he came from. I love London and hope to live there one day with my Englishman. He is my friend, my teacher, my partner, my filter, and my love. He makes me better, crazier, funnier, and wiser. I am excited for the future and whatever it holds I know he will be there beside me, holding my hand, and keeping the faith.
January 1, 2013 | 4:55 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I am in London with my Englishman and we are having a wonderful time. His family is lovely. They have opened up their homes to my son and me and it has been great. I see the Englishman in a new light here. He is in his element, in the city he loves, with the people that matter most, and I love him even more here.
He is a remarkable and I have tremendous respect for how he loves his family. He is a brillinat son, brother and father. To clarify, nothing I have said to describe this family applies when they are playing Monopoly. When it comes to this game, these fantastic people are quite simply, certifiably insane.
We were at the home of the Englishman's litle brother who is married with three sons. There was another family with us and they were fabulous. A couple with two beaiutoiful daughters. Proper English people with killer accents and nice manners. They had no idea what was about to happen to them.
The Englishman suggested a "friendly" game of Monopoly after dinner. His brother jumped right in, as did his three sons, my boy, the two yound girls, and their father. Important to note the man joining the game and including his angelic children, is a detective with the Metropolitan Police in London.
It started inocently. The policeman was asked to be banker since it is common knowledge anyone in the immediate family of the Englishman is going to cheat. By immediate family of course I mean anyone who plays Monopoly with this group becomes family and will start cheating almost immediately.
Sidebar: An average amount of time to play Monopoly is an hour or two. This group will not play unless they have 4 hours set aside. By 4 hours of course I mean that needs to be the minimum every player needs to commit in order to properly experience the game. Their game, not a normal game.
I cannot properly explain how detailed the cheating has become for these people, but I will share a couple of the important adaptations they implement when playing.
1) They negotiate indemnity for themselves as part of purchasing property. For example, if I own 3 railroads and someone owns the one I am missing, they can sell me the railroad I need and negotiate that I give them indemnity so if they ever land on it, they don't have to pay me rent.
2) If I own 2 properties in a set and someone else owns the third, we can join forces and own the set together. We each have indemnity from paying rent if we land on it, we share in the cost of houses and hotels, and we share the money won when others land on the set.
Sidebar, if we own a set together and my partner runs into finanical difficulty, he does not need my permission to sell off the houses and keep the money for himself. Important to note that this happened in our game which caused a 45 minute delay and massive headache.
3) They loan money to each other through in an insane series of demands. If you land on a property and owe soemeone $1000, you can trade anything and everything you have as a loan against what you own and pay it back, with interest, when you have a positive cash flow.
Important to note that when the game starts, there is a 30 minute ritual/competition to see who can be the racecar. Apparently it is coverted by all and they roll dice, play rock-paper-scissors, thumb wars, guess numbers, and after someone wins 6 of the mini events, they are the racecar.
After 3 hours the policeman and his kids were sucked into the vortex and they became cheaters. There was screaming and extremne hand gestures as the innocent little girls became sharks. The policeman was a bit confused and appeared to actually be frightened.
This lovely detective, who is not permitted to carry a gun by law, sat in a room with my Englishman and his family and I could see him wishing he had a gun so he could take his own life rather than play Monopoly and watch his children jump over to the dark side.
I have learned a lot about my Englishman's family on this trip. Most of it good, some of great, and then there is Monopoly. It is the dark family secret that I feel both blessed to have been let in on, and also disturbed that they shared. I am scared.
I don't think I am permitted to write about the game of Monopoly and how it is played here, so there may be some fall out. I may be punished, or perhaps shunned, but it needed to be said. I'd loove to hear some of your family Monopoly rituals. Share the madness and keep the faith.