Posted by Ilana Angel
I have been speaking with a gentleman friend recently about my last relationship, and opened up to him in a way that is both comforting, and disturbing. We have never met, or even spoken on the phone. He lives in Los Angeles, is divorced, a dad, Jewish, tall and handsome, yet we have never met. He asked me out on JDate years ago and I declined his invitation as his son was young and I was not interested in dating someone with young children. He is an avid reader of this blog and has been commenting on it for years. He is kind and gentle, and he gets me on a deep level through reading.
We have experienced similar heartache, and what he has managed to do over the past few years is get to know me with no judgment. He will often question what I write, but it is always about understanding what I mean, not judging. He is a lovely man. and while somewhat odd that we have never met, I have come to value his opinion. He is my friend, and last night we had a conversation that forced me to look at my past relationship. It has been over 3 months since the Englishman broke my heart, and so I am looking at our relationship through the rear view mirror.
I don’t think I have ever loved a man as much as I loved him. I loved him so much, I put his needs ahead of my own. I am a nurturing, giving, and unselfish partner in general, but it was on another level with him. I saw my future with him in it. I changed who I was for him, and while most of it was in a really good way, some of it was not. In staring in the rearview mirror, it is clear I spent over a year loving a man who was incapable of loving me in the same way. It turns out the man I revered and gave my entire heart to, was an asshole. It is that simple.
He did not set out to hurt me, and nothing was done with malice, but that does not mean he is not an ass. His treatment of me when we were together was kind, it is in his breaking up with me that he was an asshole. There was no kindness, compassion, or explanation. It was simply an email letting me know it was over, and that was it. I didn’t get to say goodbye, or thank you, or fuck you. After giving everything, I didn’t get the respect of him looking me in the eye and telling me he wanted something else. The lack of decency in how he broke my heart is shocking.
I have cried every single day since he broke up with me. Some days it is a single tear as I remember something he said or did, and some days I am a weeping mess on the floor. It is when I look in the rearview mirror that I get clarity and am able to stop crying. Sadly, all this time later, I still pray he will call me. Luckily I also pray that should he ever call, I will have the strength to not answer the phone. I miss him more than I should. He was my best friend and the loss is unbearable. It is as if he died and I got no closure, but he is actually fine.
I am sure he is happy, and I want him to be happy. I have not stopped loving him. I will love him always. I really thought that if we were to break up, we would remain friends, as our friendship was strong and important. In the end the friendship clearly meant something different to him than it did to me. My ego is bruised of course, but this is more about my heart than my ego. In fact, more than my heart, it is about my soul. When you meet someone who can see through to your soul, and they walk away from you, it is devastating.
He knows me so there is no way he cannot know the pain I have been in. Even with this knowledge, he still did what he did, the way he did, so the only conclusion I can reach is that he is an asshole. He broke my spirit. I will fix it of course, and I hate to give him power, but he broke me. In speaking with my gentleman friend, I see it sometimes takes a stranger to show you the way. He has been a lovely to me, when the Englishman could not. He taught me to look in the rearview mirror, which ultimately gives me the closure I seek.
It’s not really closure as I don’t think I will ever have that, but it has been helpful. When you spend so much time walking with someone, then realize you are walking alone, it takes a minute to get into a comfortable stride again. When you keep looking back, it is easy to misstep, trip, and slow yourself down. I am hopeful my glances in the rearview mirror will eventually stop, and that I will find someone new to walk with me. Time will tell. They say good things come to those who wait, and so I will wait, count my blessings, and keep the faith.
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. . .
11.29.13 at 1:56 pm | My nest will never empty as my son will always be. . .
9.15.13 at 3:14 pm | I love you Russell Brand. (414)
12.12.13 at 8:05 am | Well played my son. Well played. (397)
7.25.11 at 5:38 pm | We need more Jews! (226)
July 4, 2013 | 11:43 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.
~ William J. Clinton
From my family to yours, we hope you have a wonderful holiday with family and friends.
Be safe, have fun, and raise a glass to this great country of ours.
Our thanks and prayers go out to all those serving in the military, along with their families.
Your service and sacrifices are appreciated.
God Bless America.
Keep the faith.
June 30, 2013 | 9:15 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I had a medical situation this weekend and spent most of my time in the hospital. It was scary, and at the same time humbling. As I lay there alone, not wanting to alarm my son or family, I watched as they did an ultrasound of my heart. It was the first time I have ever actually seen my heart, and it brought me to tears. The heart is truly remarkable and although I write about my heart almost everyday, in seeing it, I understood her differently.
I watched my heart pump life through my body. I saw the movement of the valve, the flow of the blood, and I heard her working so hard. I was lulled by her rhythm and felt as though she was speaking to me. It was an experience I will never forget. I don’t often think of her in terms of how hard she works, but have always thought she was resilient, as she has been broken more than once. When I saw her though, it was a profound moment.
The heart is beautiful. There is frantic movement and sound, but it is like watching a prima ballerina dance to perfection. I have treated my heart kindly. I am careful what I feed her, make sure she gets exercise, and fill her with kindness and compassion. She has taken a few hits, but she never gives up, never gives in, and when people break her, she rallies to pull herself together. My heart has won every fight with my brain. She is tough.
I am fine, my son and family have been brought in on the situation and all is well, but it made me think about a day when I might not be fine. I have a will, life insurance, and a directive to take care of my body should I be unable to make decisions for myself, but nobody in my family knows where the papers are, or what my wishes are. It occurred to me that while I am certainly prepared, they are not, and that is not good.
I will take the time to make sure my family knows what my wishes are should anything ever happen to me. I will speak with my son about my desires for myself in terms of my life directive, my funeral, and my desires for my funeral. It is morbid and something I don’t plan on happening for many, many years, but in seeing my heart, I see my life, and I do not want to place the burden of the unknown on my child. I want him to be ready.
This is not about bringing attention to my medical issues, which are now fine, but rather to bring attention to the fact that it is not enough to prepare ourselves in terms of wills, insurance, and medical directives. We need to also prepare and educate our families. To remove the fear of the unknown is something we need to do. It takes the business out of death, which I think matters. Death is enough for a family to deal with.
Instead of fearing the end of my life, in preparing my family for what will happen one day, will bring me peace. In seeing my heart I want to embrace my life and make it as simple as possible. Limiting the surprise of life after death is all one can do because knowing about death is not something we get. It is not morbid, it is love. I love my child and when he is faced with the loss of his mother, I want him to not have to worry about legalities.
I feel blessed to be in good health. I watched my father die from cancer and seeing his health deteriorate was heartbreaking. In seeing my heart I thought of all those who have tried to break her. Her resilience has been displayed in epic proportions. I must respect her now as I have never before, and to not give power to those who hurt her. I need to take care of her as she takes care of me. With nonstop and never ending love.
To my lovely friend Lisa, who unexpectedly became my in case of emergency person, thank you so much. To my son, who cried as the mere mention of the word hospital, I love you and you do not need to worry. To my sister, who insisted I go to the hospital and stayed on the phone with me from Canada, I love you. To the lovely cardiologist who allowed me to see my heart, and spoke to me as a human being, not a patient, my sincerest thanks.
I am happy to be home and blessed that a stressful weekend ended well. Life is sometimes scary, but in the end I lean on my faith and count my blessings to get me through. I am a mother first, and a mother always, so my desire for health is not about just me. My son built my heart, and in watching her I saw a love for him I have ever seen before. To my heart, thank you. I see you, I feel you, I know you, and I am keeping the faith.
June 27, 2013 | 12:56 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I love Wendy Davis. Truly love her on levels that are deep, even though I only learned who she was recently. She is an amazing woman and I admire her. I do not like Rick Perry. I dislike him on levels that are deep, even though I know I am wasting my energy. Wendy Davis is good for women, while Rick Perry is bad for women. Rick Perry is bad for America, while Wendy Davis is making America better.
I could write about the political views of these two people, but I will leave that up to people who write about politics. I could write about the religious views of these two people, but I will leave that up to people who write about religion. I do not know these people. I have not met them, ever written about them, and have no real knowledge of their political records, religious views, or job history. So why write at all?
I am writing about them because not saying anything seems wrong. After the events of the past couple of days, to not share my opinion gives power to opinions I disagree with. Important to note that this goes beyond not agreeing with Rick Perry. People can disagree, and that is one of the blessings of living in America, but Mr. Perry is trying to violate the rights of women based on his religious beliefs.
In response to the filibuster of Ms. Davis, Rick Perry told his constitutes that Texas values life. Interesting that hours later, Texas executed a 52 year old woman on death row. Apparently they only value some life, and believe they are qualified to speak on behalf of God. Things took an unexpected turn when Mr. Perry decided he was going to get personal with Ms. Davis, which I can’t even wrap my head around.
Rick Perry: "Even the woman who filibustered the Senate the other day was born into difficult circumstances. She was the daughter of a single woman, she was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas senate. It's just unfortunate that she hasn't learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters."
Perry crossed a line when he spoke of Wendy Davis on such a personal level. His opinion of abortion is clear, but to comment on her unwed mother and teenage pregnancy is disgusting. Wendy Davis is not a hero because she was a single, teenager mother who went to Harvard and is working to change the world. Wendy Davis is a hero for giving a voice to the women of Texas, who are being told to be quiet. Rick Perry’s attack on her is an attack on all women.
In response to the idiotic comments of Perry, proving she is a classy woman worthy of our praise and admiration, Wendy Davis said: "Rick Perry's statement is without dignity and tarnishes the high office he holds. They are small words that reflect a dark and negative point of view. Our governor should reflect our Texas values. Sadly, Gov. Perry fails that test."
I get fired up when I see ignorance in government, which is probably why I rarely write about politics. In this case however, I feel compelled to say I am offended by Rick Perry. He is ignorant, and his words are not those of God. He is a hypocrite, using my government to push his faith, and I am sick of it. Rick Perry needs to get his morals out of my uterus because God is watching, and this is not how he wants us to keep the faith.
June 23, 2013 | 1:55 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
For the love of God, I honestly do not know how much longer I can date. It is required of course because I want to meet someone, but with each bad date I am one step closer to channeling my inner lesbian and dating women, or perhaps just getting a box of chocolate, a cat, and calling it a day. Are all single men my age group stupid? Are men so clueless that they believe lies will not catch up with them eventually?
I only date Jewish men. I write about it, talk about it, clearly state it in my online dating profile, and if people know anything about me at all, it is that Jewish is my thing. Being Jewish is how I define myself. It shapes my worldview, role as a mother, and connection to God. I love religion and believethat life is easier when you have faith, and faith does not need to be based in religion. It is just a belief in something.
I have faith in people, in myself, in the future, and in the lessons of the past. I define my faith through Judaism because it is where I am most comfortable, my most authentic self, and my happiest. Both of my parents are Jewish and even though I was born into this religion, as an adult I choose to be Jewish not because it is my only option, but because it is in my heart. Say what you want about me, but don’t mess with faith.
I have seen all kinds of lying on my dating journey. Men have lied about their height, weight, age, job, children, and marital status. I have learned to laugh at it most of the time, but it is frustrating, hurts my feelings, and frankly, pisses me off. There is simply no reason to lie. If you want to just get laid, are married, are a hobbit, or make minimum wage, there is someone out there who will love you, so be honest and you find that person.
I was written to this week by a man who is 52, works in real estate, is divorced with 1 grown child, and listed his religion as “spiritual but not religious”. I don’t need to be at the same level of observance as someone I am dating, but I do want them to be Jewish. I asked this man if he was Jewish, as I clearly state it is important to me, and he told me that he was in fact a Jew. He said he was not religious, but raised Jewish.
We met for a drink and he was lovely. He was charming and super funny, with a wickedly sarcastic sense of humor, which I love. After about an hour, we were having a great time, had chemistry, and were very comfortable. We ordered another drink and settled into a rhythm as we got to know each other. It was then that he told me he had a confession to make. I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t, so I told him to share.
He told me he thought I was great, did not expect us to get along so good, thought I was prettier than my pictures, quick witted, and both conservative, yet a little wild. He said that he felt there was something worth pursuing between us, and in the interest of full disclosure, he wanted me to know that he was not really Jewish. He just said he was because he did not think it would be a big deal if things were good between us.
Really? We are going to lie about God now? Of all the things men lie about, I now need to add religion to the list? Had he written me and said he was not Jewish, but felt we should meet anyway, I would have politely turned him down. My mother always told me not to play with matches unless I was prepared to deal with a fire, so I don’t put myself in a position where I might be faced with a fire. I am not a bad person, I’m just really honest.
I could write all day about faith and what it means to me, but this is not about faith, it is about men lying. Stop. I know that women lie too and I am certainly not implying that they don’t, but come on. Saying you are Jewish to meet someone is lame. I would have found out. Lucky for him and his penis that he came clean and I didn’t find out while the gold cross he wears on a gold chain was dangling above me and waving between my boobs.
That would have resulted in a little thing us Jews like to call circumcision. Oy dear! I thanked him for telling me truth, and was gracious and kind. By gracious of course I mean I told him it was a douchebag move. I also told him that while I was flattered, I was also horrified by the lie. My quest continues and I will keep calm and hope it gets better. I will find my prince eventually, and he will be Jewish, so I am keeping the faith.
June 19, 2013 | 5:12 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Flirting is one of the few things about being single that is fun. I love to flirt, and the truth is that when it comes to the art of flirtatious banter, I am an expert. Sexual banter? Again, an expert. Knowing the perfect time to twirl my hair, laugh, bat my eyelashes, and offer the right amount of chutzpah with simultaneous blushing, again, I am an expert.
I love to flirt. It makes me feel young and girlish and when a man knows how to flirt back, well that is perfection. Flirtation is a dance that comes easily and naturally in the beginning of a relationship, and though it takes a little work to keep it going once a relationship is in full swing, it never stops being fun. Unless you are dealing with a dumbass of course.
Today I was driving home from work and when I stopped at a red light, I looked around, as I always do, and saw the man stopped next to me was looking at me. He smiled, the light turned green, and so I went ahead. We were stopped next to each other a couple of lights ahead, and again he was looking at me, this time with a big smile and an open window.
I smiled at him, ignored the open window and looked ahead. He honked, so I looked over and he made a gesture asking me to open my window. He looked harmless, and I figured it was sweet of him to make the effort, so I opened my window. He said hello, I said hello, he told me I had beautiful hair, I thanked him, he asked if I was married, I said no, light turned green.
We drove on and I smiled because it was cute and rather charming. He pulled up next to me and asked for my name. I was now waiting to get onto the freeway and cursing the fact that 4 out of 5 lights on Franklin had all gone red as I made my way to the 101 Freeway. I turned to him and told him I had a boyfriend, but thanked him for being sweet.
He then proceeded to ask if my boyfriend satisfied me, and offered a list of things that he could do to me. My jaw dropped open, I’m sure I turned bright red, and I was speechless. I was so shocked by how vulgar he was that I couldn’t even close my window. I also had a brief moment when I thought if I actually did have a boyfriend, I would take notes.
Flirting is a great thing, being vulgar and aggressive is not. There was no need for it, and frankly it hurt my feelings because I was trying to be nice to a complete stranger as I thought his gesture was sweet, and in return he was a pig. By pig of course I mean he should be arrested as he is a deviant and quite scary. Still, I should have taken a couple of notes.
I am dating and it has been going okay. There is one man in particular that I am smitten with and so I’m laying low to see if there is anything there. What happened today has actually set me back because I was doing well, and now feel a little violated. You just never know who people are, and so rather than rocking my flirtatious self, I am now spooked and scared.
It only takes one schmuck to set a girl back, and if I am going to let a man set me back, it is certainly not going to be this douchebag. To the man who decided to ruin my day, I can only assume that the reason you approach women this way because of your freakishly small penis, which is hidden inside your car. You are a pig, and I wasted my kindness and decency on you.
Flirting is an art, and detecting a douchebag is a gift. I love to flirt and it has been a long time since I did, so it is truly a great thing to meet someone that makes me flutter and want to flirt. The lesson leaned today is that flirting while driving is not necessary. I am going to look ahead, mind my business, ignore the horns, and keep the faith.
June 17, 2013 | 7:49 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
Barry Manilow turns 70 day. Happy Birthday Mr. Manilow. Last night I went to see him perform in Los Angeles at The Greek Theater, and he was fantastic. I couldn’t tell if he was actually singing through the whole thing, but the slight delay in his voice matching the music would indicate he was not. He is nipped and tucked in a rather unfortunate way, but he is divine. He had a lot of make-up on, and there were a couple of times I thought he might break a hip, but make no mistake about it, this man and still sing, and he is a remarkable showman who gave us a remarkable show.
Barry was funny and charming, told stories, and engaged the audience in a way that made us feel like he was talking to each one of us personally. My favorite part was when he sang Mandy. They showed a video of himself in his 20’s singing at a piano, then he came out and did a duet with himself. It gave me goose bumps, and yes, I cried. As he went though his songs I was amazed that I knew all the words and sang along to songs I have not heard in a long time, but are forever etched into my memory. Barry Manilow is a genius, and it is hard to believe he is 70 years old.
The audience was young and old, gay and straight, and gay. Everyone shared love for a man who has been part of our lives forever. Barry spoke of how music and arts in his public school helped to shape who he was, and about his charity, http://www.manilowmusicproject.org, which helps bring instruments to schools in need. Last night was amazing, Barry Manilow is amazing, and I have amazing memories connected to this man and his music. As I sang along I took a trip through my own life, and was reminded that Mr. Barry Manilow has helped me to keep the faith.
June 15, 2013 | 6:32 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I love iced tea. I never drank it until I moved to the States, but ever since then I have been hooked. I recently discovered Pure Leaf and it is my favorite. I like the sweetened one and could drink it all day, everyday. I never keep it in my house because I worry I will figure out a way to attach it by IV to my arm as I am addicted to it.
This week I was stopped in traffic due to an accident and as I went to make a u-turn to get out of the mess, I found myself in front of a 7/11, so I decided to stop in for a lottery ticket and iced tea. As I walked in I noticed a man and his dog sitting outside with a cup to collect donations. I planned to give him my change on the way out.
I got my tea and lottery tickets, checking an old one I had in my wallet. I won $11 and was super excited about it. I never win the lottery so I took this as a sign I was getting close to hitting the jackpot and bought 2 more tickets, took my winnings and headed out. I stopped next to the man with the dog and said hello. He said hello back and asked if I could spare some change.
I admired his cute dog and told him I had just won the lottery and wanted to give him my winnings so he could buy lunch for him and his dog. I handed over the $11 and wished him a good day. He told me it was the most money anyone had ever given him, and he was grateful. I told him it was my pleasure to share my luck and wished him well.
I have always believed in tzedaka. I am also one who always talks to homeless people. You never know what the circumstances were that got them there, and I have always felt that if someone is brave enough to ask a stranger for help, they should be helped. I don’t care what they do with the money, and it is none of my business, so I give.
I drove home happy I could help someone, thrilled I won the lottery, and enjoying my iced tea. I got home, made dinner for my son, and never gave it another thought. A couple of days later as I was heading home from work, I saw the man outside 7/11 with his dog. I decided to stop in to get a tea, and a lottery ticket, since maybe he was good luck.
When I approached the door I asked the man how he was doing even though I knew he wouldn’t remember me. He immediately stood up and said hello. He went on to tell me he and his dog had a great lunch with the money I gave him and he was able to buy snacks too. I told him I was glad he was doing well, and he told me he had a confession to make.
He said he had used one of the dollars I gave him to buy a lottery ticket because he thought I might be good luck. He bought a scratcher and won $5.00. He then reached into his bag of treasures and pulled out a Pure Leaf iced tea. He told me he noticed it was what I was drinking when I gave him the money and he used his winnings to buy me one.
I started to cry. It was the sweetest gesture and I was touched by his gift, his memory, and his desire to thank me. The tea was warm as he had been holding onto it and waiting for me to come by again. He smiled at me with his toothless grin and told me it was the happiest day he and his dog could remember. It was a truly remarkable moment.
I thanked him for the tea and told him I was going to save it and put it in my fridge since it was hot, but I would go in and buy us both one. He told me he was fine and I had helped him already. He had no idea that he had helped me. I bought us both a tea, water for the dog, 10 cans of dog food, 2 sandwiches, and some snacks for my new friends.
I gave him the shopping and told him it was now one of the happiest days that I could remember. It is when we give freely that we receive things in return. It is Father’s Day and I am sad beyond measure that my Dad has passed. I often wonder what he would think of my blog, and my sharing of stories. I miss my Dad and know he would love this one.
In helping this man I was able to help myself. I always get a little sad around Father’s Day and I find myself thinking about my Dad and all the things he is missing. I dream about my Dad and I feel this man was sent to remind me of him. Life is complicated and busy, but if I can remember to slow down and take notice, I am given many gifts.
My dad would have done for this man what I did. I am my father’s daughter and to be reminded that he lives on through me is a wonderful gift to be given from a complete stranger. I give with no expectation of receiving, which is tzedaka. Because of this tzedaka however, I was given the priceless gift of feeling a connection to my Dad.
Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful Dad, Robert Angel, za'l. To all dads out there, I hope you have a wonderful day. To the troops who are away from their families, and to all the people who celebrate this day as a tribute to father’s who have passed, Happy Father’s Day. Be kind to one another, stay safe, and remember to always keep the faith.