Posted by Ilana Angel
On Saturday I did not get out of bed until almost 9 in the evening. I got up, had a cup of tea, and went straight back to bed. I didn’t answer my phone except to talk with my son who was with his dad for a couple of days. I slept, read, prayed, and tried to get a little perspective.
I am a very blessed person. I am the mother of a remarkable young man who loves me not because he is obligated to, but because he genuinely likes who I am. I have a wonderful family, friends, and my father watching down on me to make sure I always find my way.
There are days however where seeing the sun beyond the clouds is difficult. Especially when it is only you who sees the clouds. I was worried all day about things completely out of my control. There are times you cannot turn your brain off and stop thinking about a million things at once.
I make a living writing about myself and others. I get the most satisfaction in writing about my own experiences. They are often funny, sometimes sad, and occasionally pathetic, but they are my experiences and my real life. I am a better person for sharing because you share in return.
I am blessed to reach a lot of people and when you share something that binds us, I am truly honored. I love my work, am lucky to get paid to do it, but some days I wonder if I share too much. The fear passes of course, but Saturday was an emotional day for me and I froze.
Rather than try to pinpoint exactly what was bothering me, or why I was sad, I just stayed in bed and it was rather liberating. I didn’t need an explanation or justification, I simply allowed myself to embrace that sometimes life can be overwhelming and we just need to stop and get some sleep.
I am a single mother who works full time and supports my child on my own. It is my greatest joy and my biggest challenge. My down time is limited and when you go, go, go you are inevitably going to get tired. Not take a nap tired, but stay in bed all day and have a good cry tired.
I woke up on Sunday feeling better. I went to yoga, got my nails done, bought myself a bottle of wine, and did not feel bad about doing nothing for an entire day. It is exhausting to be exhausted and taking a day to cry about nothing and everything is another way to keep the faith.
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. . .
11.30.13 at 10:42 am | "The only correct actions are those that demand. . .
9.15.13 at 3:14 pm | I love you Russell Brand. (432)
12.12.13 at 8:05 am | Well played my son. Well played. (398)
7.25.11 at 5:38 pm | We need more Jews! (238)
September 19, 2013 | 9:44 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I am not dating online as much as I am spending a few minutes each day writing men that I would never go out with, to tell them I appreciate their interest, but we are not a match. I wish them good luck with their search and while it is disheartening, I write back to all who contact me because I think it is important to be supportive of the process. I truly do appreciate when someone is brave enough to reach out.
I often wonder why the hell am I dating online, and when I think I cannot possibly stand it for one more minute, I am either so disgusted I get a good column out of it, or on very rare occasions I meet someone lovely who restores my faith. I chatted with a sweet man the other day. He was funny, understood and appreciated sarcasm, had a Jewish sensibility, and we had great banter. Then I met another man.
This new man made me want to impale myself. After our exchange I actually prayed chicks would do it for me because men are just not happening. This man wrote to say hello and ask me out for a drink. Important to note that his main profile picture is of him next to a blond woman who he has taken a marker to and blacked out her face. Not in an artful way to protect privacy, but more of an angry slasher way.
What was more surprising than his obvious anger, was the picture caption, “the Ex”. This man wants me to believe the only picture he had of himself was with his ex? By only picture of course I mean he has four pictures on his profile and three of them are with the blonde ex. When I asked him about it he said she was a bitch and I needed to focus on how handsome he was and not his ex, who again, was a bitch.
I thanked him for writing and wished him well. I was clearly dismissive and assumed he would move on. He then sent me an instant message that read, “I am having a sexual fantasy about you. How about drinks?” For the love of God. How is it even possible that this man was able to leap from my blowing him off to this message? I did not respond and blocked him from contacting me. I have to laugh about this right?
I date online because I am serious about meeting someone to share my life with and I figure it is as good a way as any other. I understand that not everyone is serious, and perhaps this man thought he was being funny, but some days it feels like I am wasting my time. He was not funny, and I don’t get why it has to be so hard. Perhaps online dating sites need to add a few options to the profile questionnaires we fill out.
In what people are looking for, why don’t they add “JUST SEX” as an option? There are plenty of people looking for just sex and it would simplify things. We know someone’s religious observance, but how about an option to clarify a personality? For example: 1) Douchelord 2) Mensch 3) Asshole 4) Schmck 5) Harmless. I know for a fact those options would help my search process, and suggest exes actually answer that one.
There should be a filter that does not allow pictures with an ex, no pictures in matching outfits with your pets, and no pictures that are over 10 years old. By 10 years of course I mean 1 year. It is not brain surgery, it is a leap of faith, and while I appreciate people lie when dating online, I have hit a wall and something has got to give. People lie all the time when it comes to dating so why expect this to be different?
I like to think people are inherently kind and only lie because they are lonely, not because they are trying to deceive. I hope men who pull the sex card do it because they think they think it is funny, not because they are perverts and deviants. I pray I am not wasting my time and if I am patient, I will eventually meet a nice man to share my life with. It will happen, and we may meet online, so I keep trying.
The chances of my ever being able to detect an asshole are slim I suppose. If I were going to learn that lesson I would have learned it already. The good news is that I am hopeful and still able to view online dating with kindness. Some days are a little harder to deal with, and the occasional cloud of bitterness appears, but overall I am kind, hopeful, and able to laugh. Love is worth it so I am keeping the faith.
September 18, 2013 | 7:58 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
When I saw Anna Angel’s name in the news headlines this week, I had to take a double look because for a second I thought it was my name. I have been haunted by this woman’s story and unable to sleep since reading about her. I cannot stop crying for this woman I do not know. This woman, who shares such a similar name, is in my thoughts and prayers.
Anna is 30 years old and lives in Tiffin, Ohio. She has five beautiful children, Domonic Fresch, 1, Trinitie Huey, 4; Sunshine Huey, 3; Stormie Huey, 5, and Tiara Angel, 6. Earlier this week they were at home with her boyfriend Timothy French, when their home caught on fire. Timothy, 25, along with these five precious children, were all killed.
Anna was at work when she was told of the fire, and rode her bike home to see what was going on. She was taken to the hospital to identify her babies and reports say she kissed each of one of her children goodbye. Friends are reporting that she is in shock. How does someone overcome such heartache? I am devastated for this woman and I wish I could help her.
Life is unpredictable and I am still unable to wrap my mind around the senseless killing of Jonathan Ferrell. Jonathan is a 24 year old young man who was shot 10 times while trying to get help after a car accident. He was unarmed when he was killed, by a police officer. I do not understand why he was shot so many times, or why he was shot at all.
Jonathan played football for Florida A&M University, and was working two jobs while he planned to return to school to become an automotive engineer. As his mother Georgia spoke to the press, she held Jonathan’s childhood Winnie the Pooh doll and it broke my heart. My son has a similar doll and had a Winnie the Pooh decorated room when he was a baby.
We will never know what really happened with this young man, but we do know that he did not need to die. This was s senseless killing and it hurts my heart not only as a mother, but as a human being. What is happening to our society that this can even happen? I think of Jonathan running for help and not understanding what was going on as he was shot 10 times.
Aaron Alexis shot and killed 12 people at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC. Jonathan Ferrell died while asking the police for help, and Anna Angel lost her 5 young babies and the man she loved, all in an instant. I cry for them, their families, and I cry for all of us that this is our world. I was overwhelmed by it all last night and went for a walk with my son.
We walked in silence for a little while and then we spoke. We spoke of Anna and her loss. We spoke of Jonathan and his life cut short. We spoke of the people who went to work at the Navy Yard, not knowing their lives would end. There are no guarantees in life and lives are altered every second of every day. We will move onto new headlines, but what about these people?
Last night I dreamt about Anna riding her bike home after she heard of the fire, and the panic she must have felt. I dream about Jonathan who must have felt such relief to have survived the car accident, only to die at the hands of police. I dream about going to work and what would happen to my son if I never came home. My belief in God is strong, but my faith is tested.
I will forever think of Anna Angel, Jonathan Ferrell, and Aaron Alexis, who is the Navy Yard shooter. I will think of them and cry. As I walked with my child I wept when speaking of Anna and my son held my hand. We spoke of the plans he has for his life I held on tightly and said a silent prayer that no harm comes his way. I pray for all of us today.
I wish I could hug Anna Angel and tell her it will be okay, but I don’t believe it will. I want to hug Jonathan’s mother and tell her to be strong, but strength will not ease her sorrow. I want to embrace the loved ones of every person killed in the Navy Yard because I know their names will be forgotten by the masses. I want to find a way to keep the faith.
Donations to Ms. Angel can be sent to:
Anna Angel Donation Fund
c/o US Bank
730 W. Market St., Tiffin, OH 44883
September 16, 2013 | 4:43 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Just when I think my dating life cannot get any stranger, it does. I have been chronicling my dating life for four years. In that time I have had the most horrific dates ever, along with a long term relationship, and I shared it all. From the man who arrived to our date drunk and threw up on my boots, to the man whose wife came in during our date to ask what was happening, I have written about it.
We have laughed and cried at how truly difficult dating can be, and the only reason I have not thrown in the towel and opened a cat sanctuary, is because your stories are just as bad as mine and I know I am not alone. No matter how old you are, what size you are, what city you live in, or how much you date, when you put yourself out there, there are going to be stories to tell because dating is unpredictable.
I recently got an email from a man online who seemed lovely. He was a little goofy, quite funny, and he wrote me an email that referenced what I wrote in my profile, so I new he actually read it. We emailed back and forth 2 times, then exchanged numbers. He is 51, divorced with adult children, works in finance, is 5’10”, and has a kind face. Our exchanges were funny and sweet, then he asked me out for a drink, so we made plans to meet after the holidays. He called to wish me an easy fast, and we touched base yesterday to make plans for the coming weekend.
Last night my son went out with friends so I decided to run some errands. I went to Starbucks to get an iced tea, went to put gas in my car, then I stopped by Whole Foods to get some dinner. As I was standing in line to pay for my salmon, I notice the guy I’ve been telling you about in line two cashiers over. He is holding flowers and a bottle of wine. I’m curious so I give him a call on his cell thinking it will be cute that I’m calling from the same place he is. I call, it rings, he sees who is calling, ignores the call, and puts his phone away. Not good.
I am now trying to hide because I am embarrassed. I’m looking away and trying to get out of there quickly. I am paying for my fish, look up as I am about to make my great escape, and as I glance up, he is at the front of his line, kissing a woman. Not a peck on the cheek, but a full on kiss my woman kiss. I’m not sure I would have been as brave had I not been having such a great hair day, but I was disgusted enough to walk over to him and say hello. I wish I had taken a picture of his reaction because it was awesome.
He said hello as the woman he was with waited to see who I was. I wait to see if he would say anything, but he didn’t. I decide to not let him off the hook so easily, so I introduce myself and say hello, I’m Ilana. She says hello and introduces herself, telling me she reads my column and thinks I am hilarious. I thank her, tell how her I appreciate it, she mentions a couple of her favorite blogs, I laugh, she turns to the man says, Honey, this is the writer I told you about with the blog. Honey? He is now a bit panicked and I am waiting to see what he is going to say.
It would appear she has forgotten I came over to say hello to him, and that we know each other. As he struggles with what to say, she remembers that I came over, and says, Wait, how do you guys know each other? He jumps into action and says we met in temple on Yom Kippur. Really? We are going to use the High Holidays as an out? I start laughing, he starts laughing to make it look like it is funny how we met, not funny that he is a liar. I then take the opportunity to ask her a burning question. I say, how long have you two been together?
She tells me they met on JDate and have been dating for a couple of months. She also tells me I need to give JDate some time becuase I will meet someone great too. I was going to tell him he should probably take his profile down, but I guess this blog will do the trick. He called me this morning but I didn’t answer, and he didn’t leave a message. The dumbass didn’t even wait 24 hours from the end of Yom Kippur to start building a list of things to atone for next year.
I feel bad for this girl, but maybe they are not exclusive and dating openly. I don’t know their situation and in the end it is none of my business. I am not writing to hurt her, or him for that matter, only to share that this sort of thing happens. Dating is difficult. Dating when you chronicle your dating life makes it harder, but entertaining. I have to laugh because at the end of the day it is funny. It was using Yom Kippur as his lie that grossed me out and made me write about it.
Men like this make me stronger, and clearer on who I hope to meet. They also make me want to give up sometimes, but those feelings pass quickly and hope trumps dispair. Dating can break us, but we must stay strong, not settle, and when we meet an ass, laugh it off. We are going to kiss a bunch of frogs, but if we are lucky we will be able to avoid the assholes. We are all in this together girls, and love will be found if we keep the faith.
September 16, 2013 | 7:28 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
Have you ever noticed when you go out to eat there are always couples and none of them are talking? I went to dinner last week with my son and we were surrounded by couples. Some wearing wedding rings, some not, but as my son and I talked and laughed our way though dinner, the four couples around us hardly spoke at all.
The married couple to the left of me did not speak , not one word, for 20 minutes. The couple sitting behind my son spoke about how good the food was, but that was it. The couple behind me were talking, but they were clearly having an argument, while the couple to my right were both on their phones the entire time.
It got me to thinking about relationships and marriage. A lot of my married friends do not have active sex lives. My single friends are having more sex than my married friends, and also having more sex than my friends in committed relationships. According to my unscientific poll, the key to having great sex is to stay single.
The great thing about marriage is that there is monogamy. Well, one hopes there is monogamy, but you have to wonder since so many marriages include infidelity. If we search for the safety of monogamy, are we kidding ourselves? Is monogamy an unrealistic expectation of any human being? I wanted answers and so I reached out to Dr. Limor Blockman.
I met Dr. Blockman for lunch and was totally surprised by her. She is a renowned Clinical Sex Counselor, educator, columnist, speaker and author. She holds a PhD in Human Sexuality, a Master’s in Public Health & Community Medicine, and a Bachelor’s in Psychology & Behavioral Sciences. She is soft spoken, warm and kind, with a slight Israeli accent.
Dr. Limor, as she is known, is very articulate. What is so fascinating about her is that she does not look as one would expect. Meeting her reminded me of the line in the movie “Working Girl” where the character Tess says, “I have a head for business and a body for sin.” Blockman looks more like she should work in porn than medicine, which is fantastic.
As we sat together she was admired by all the men, and shot dirty looks by all the women. I imagine it is quite interesting to have a brilliant medical mind in a body that demands to be looked at. People assume she is stupid, which is why she embarked on such an impressive education. She wanted to understand why human beings approach sex like we do.
Dr. :Limor is rather well known in Israel. She has hosted radio and television shows. She is able to view sex through her eyes as a woman, but also through the clinical mind of a doctor. To speak about sex with her is fascinating. The longer we spoke the more I was able to separate out my emotions and listen to her through my mind not my heart.
In speaking about sex and monogamy, Dr. Limor says that a life without passion is empty and sad. Humans are sexual beings and while passion comes in many forms, work and kids for example, touch matters and we are a species that benefits from it. The problem we have is that we often strive for what we are taught we want, not what we really want.
She says Hollywood is to blame for some of that, but also the moral compass that we are assigned as children. Sex is not taught to be a great thing that we can relax and enjoy, but rather as something that comes tied to love and marriage.The blurred line between lust and love causes confusion, particularly for women who are so driven by emotions.
We are taught that sex is to be meaningful and important, but we are not taught to enjoy it. Would love and relationships be more fulfilling if we were able to fulfill our sexual needs as a priority? Do we have a fear of being alone, which makes us forego sexual needs? When sex ends in a relationship, why do people accept no sex before trying to rekindle it?
Dr. Limor says the biggest mistake that women make is to fake it. Fake what? Anything! Don’t fake emotions, or ideas, or orgasms. In terms of emotions, if you are not in love, don’t say it. With ideas, if your partner has an idea or suggestions in terms of sex and you don’t want to do it, don’t. If you are not having an orgasm, teach your partner how to give you one.
Women are blessed with the ability to be orgasmic for long periods of time, and a frequent number of times, so if you are not experiencing it, you need to. Women can be so wound up in what our partners think of us, that we are often not ourselves in bed, not relaxed, and not getting what we want. We spoke a lot about orgasms before we even got to monogamy.
Dr. Limor does not think human beings are monogamous by nature, but rather by choice, and the choice takes a lot of work. Sex also takes a lot of work and the missionary position, with the same partner, over and over again, is not going to cut it. If you want monogamy you need to make sex great. I agree. Sex is a powerful bound and the better it is, the more powerful.
Dr. Limor said that we don’t meet our soul mates, but we do meet people we can make into our soul mates. That was a very interesting statement and while I have thought since I was a little girl that my Beshert was looking for me, how much easier will the search for be if you go into it knowing you can find a person and make them forever, rather than expecting it?
Speaking with Dr. Limor was truly a revelation. She changed how I not only see myself, but how I see her. She is brave and bold, and while I am too, she takes it to a whole other level. I found myself thirsty for her knowledge. I am a woman searching for love and a couple of hours with this woman enlightened me. Perhaps I have been looking for the wrong thing.
I view my romantic life through rose colored glasses, which has been both a blessing a curse. It is a blessing in that I am able to love deeply with trust and faith. It is a curse because when someone breaks your glasses, the shock is often impossible to overcome. I did not expect lunch with a sex therapist to give me such clarity into my heart and soul.
Dr. Limor understands how human beings think in terms of love and sex, and since she reads my blogs, she went into our meeting knowing quite a bit about me. She cut to the chase quickly and without pointing fingers or criticizing my choices, she allowed me to look at my love life and gently suggested that perhaps another path would reap better rewards.
I asked Dr. Limor to describe herself in three words and she chose open, passionate, and adventurous. She is all those things to be sure, but if I were to pick my own three words, they would be smart, warm, and aware. She speaks about love, sex, relationships, and purpose in a way that is not crude or intimating. Her words left me inspired to keep the faith.
September 15, 2013 | 3:14 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I have loved Russell Brand for a long time. I think he is funny, smart, wise, deep, spiritual, and oddly attractive. He is a bad boy, which is both sexy and intimidating. In the interest of full disclosure, if I could have dinner with any celebrity, he would be my choice. Furthermore, if I were to be stuck on a dessert island, or have a wild night of sex with a celebrity, he would be my choice. I only share this to give you an idea of how fabulous I think he is. Today I not only have a crush on him, but I think he is a hero.
On Tuesday night Mr. Brand was accepting an award from GQ Magazine at their Man of the Year Awards. The sponsor of the event was design house Hugo Boss. During his speech, Brand pointed out Hugo Boss made uniforms for the Nazi Party. He said in part: “If anyone knows a bit about history and fashion, you know it was Hugo Boss who made uniforms for the Nazis. But they looked fucking fantastic, let’s face it, while they were killing people on the basis of their religion and sexuality.’
When his speech was over Brand was kicked out of the party by GQ editor Dylan James. Apparently Mr. James told Brand what he said was offensive to Hugo Boss. Brand apparently shot back by saying what Hugo Boss did was very offensive to Jews. I am proud of Brand for what he said and while I understand it was not appreciated by the people at GQ or Hugo Boss, especially after Boss paid 250K to sponsor the event, I thought it was brave of my boyfriend.
As a bit of a history lesson, after World War II Hugo Boss was labeled a Nazi supporter. Important to note that he did not actually design anything for the Nazi party, only manufactured the uniforms. Boss served in World War I and opened his first clothing factory in 1924. That factory produced shirts for the National Socialist Party, which became known as the Nazis. He also made uniforms for the post office and the police, but in 1931 he actually joined the Nazi party.
Two years later, in 1933, Hugo Boss advertised that he was not only making clothes for the SS, but for the Hitler Youth, and the “Brownshirts”, which was part of the Nazi Party. The factory was known as having horrible working conditions and employed prisoners of war. There are stories from people who worked there telling harrowing tales of their time with him. While there are also stories that imply he had a compassionate heart, bad outweighed good.
Boss eventually had his status changed from "active" to "follower". He was fined, lost his right to vote, and was not permitted to ever run another business. Boss died in 1948 and though his was name tarnished, it did not stop his business, which is still successful today. Brand may not have been accurate in how he linked Boss to the Nazis, but in the end the subtle differences are not that subtle. The fact is Hugo Boss was a Nazi and got rich off of the Nazi Party.
What Brand said forces a dialogue and offers an opportunity for people to learn. What he said should not have resulted in him being kicked out of the party. Important to note that if you know ANYTHING about Russell Brand, you know he is going to say something that may possibly offend. Whoever decided to give him an award, live mic, and aim a camera at him should have known better. Don’t want surprises? Don’t invite Mr. Brand.
Brand's goal may not have been to garner respect from anyone, but he got mine. In a world where Jews are targeted with hate often, myself included, for someone to stand up and remind the world of the atrocities of Nazi Germany, matters. It matters not only as a Jew, but as a mother who wants a better world for my child. Thank you Russell. By thank you of course I mean if you ever want to have dinner, call me. I’ll be right here, keeping the faith.
September 13, 2013 | 1:56 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Tonight marks the beginning of Yom Kippur. Though I speak to God every single day, Yom Kippur is special because when every Jew prays at the same time it is a chorus being sent to God and that matters. I hope we are all inscribed in the Book of Life and have a year of health and happiness. May you have an easy fast.
I believe that if God leads you to it, he will lead you through it, and I pray your path is an easy one. If not, know you are not travelling alone. I pray we all have health and happiness this year and always. Thank you for being here with me. I appreciate you. God bless and keep the faith.
September 13, 2013 | 7:13 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I received an email this week from a man online that I am pretty sure was using a mug shot as his profile picture. The Internet is an amazing place and while the odds of finding love online are not good, it would appear that the chances of meeting a felon are great. For a woman who is afraid of doing anything against the law, I seem to attract men with criminal pasts.
I have dated two men I met on JDate who were both convicted felons. One for drugs, although he was 4 years sober when I met him, and one who went to prison for some kind of white collar trading thing. Both lovely men, both with an edge, both tattooed Jews. Jews are my thing, but finding Harley riding tattooed Jewish men who are not convicted felons is hard.
Maybe it is because opposites attract, or perhaps because I love the color orange, but felons dig me. Bless them. Here’s the thing, while I appreciate the interest, know it takes courage to ask out a stranger, and I will date a man who has a past, I am never going to date a man who uses a mug shot to meet women. Any woman who does, needs to stop. Draw a line.
Dating is hard and meeting someone online, if we are going to be honest, is dangerous. I don’t think about it because if I did I would never do it. You are sharing information about yourself, pictures, and you have no idea who is looking at it, but apparently it includes men in prison. Surely this man could have gotten a pre-incarceration snapshot from a friend.
Writing this is making me rethink how I date. I am a woman who takes precautions in all decisions I make, am a very protective mother, safe driver, and law abiding citizen who really does not take that many risks, yet I date online, which is a huge risk. I tell myself it is how dating works in this age of technology, but the truth is it scares the hell out of me.
I only date Jewish men, and I write 2 columns for a major online Jewish publication. How is it that I am dating freaks online when I have an entire Jewish community literally at my fingertips? I get set up a lot by people who read my blogs and get in touch so maybe that will be my focus moving forward. Time to step away from the mug shots.
I might need to change how I date, but I won’t stop dating. Some people say that when you stop looking for love it will find you, but I don’t believe that. You don’t need to be actively searching for love, but you do need to put yourself out there that you are open to it. I will meet my Beshert and perhaps he won’t have a mug shot. I’m keeping the faith.