February 20, 2012 | 11:21 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
My son get’s his hair cut at a barbershop that specializes in African American hair. He has full, thick, curly hair, and cutting it is an art form. He had his hair cut by the same woman for 14 years and then decided he wanted something new, so he selected this shop on his own. We go every few weeks and each time it’s me, my son, and a group of divine black men.
I don’t date black men. Not because of their color, but because I only date Jews and I have not come across black Jewish men in my search for love. In my hour long visit to the barbershop this weekend however, I may have actually fallen in love with a black man. By love of course I mean I met a man who was so handsome I found myself unable to speak to him.
Before we talk about him, let’s talk about the barbershop. It is fabulous. Men stop by to chat whether they need a haircut or not. There are stories, laughs, and a whole lot of respect. Everyone says hello ma’am with a bow of the head, and shakes the hand of my son as if they have been friends for years. It is comfortable and has a great view.
By view of course I mean the men I stared at for an hour were really very handsome. Not to mention the fact that my son gets the best hair cuts there. They cut his hair not only so it looks good when we walk out, but it is cut in a way that anticipates the curls coming in, so it grows out looking even better. These men know how to cut hair.
Since I figured I was going to blog about the experience, I asked a young man there is he ever dated white women and it led to a very interesting conversation. He told me that he had never been out with a white woman, mostly because he does not find them physically attractive. He spoke of his love of black women with the fluidity of a poet.
We were joined by another man who told me he dates women of all ethnicities. He did not want to limit himself in his search for love and has success with both white and black women. Important to note that he was really very attractive. He was tall and lean, with dimples and a slight New York accent. For a minute I could not hear what he was saying.
He asked me if I date black men and I told him I did not because I only date Jews. He told me that my goals should be love with no restrictions. He also told me that rather than worrying about what the faith of a man is, I should just be concerned with whether or not he has faith at all. He then told me he’d like to take me out for dinner.
My mother always told me I should not play with matches if I was not prepared to deal with fire. Me dating outside of my faith is like playing with matches. What if I went out with a man who was not Jewish, we fell in love, and he wanted a Christmas tree? It would cause problems so why start what I can’t finish. I am a practicing Jew and that is my life.
I politely declined his invitation and told him that as lovely as he was, I simply didn’t date outside my faith. Truth be told, he may have also been too good looking for me. He looked me in the eye when he spoke to me and it made me flutter. It was as if we were alone. I could not have held an articulate conversation with him had we gone out.
In the end inter-racial dating comes with it’s own judgment. I see human beings first, and color is never an issue to me. If there were two men in front of me, one tall and one short, one black and one white, I would describe them as tall and short first. I have raised my son to see humanity and not judge a person based on how they look.
I am searching for love and it turns out I have a type that has nothing to do with color. Maybe Drake is my dream man? Apart from the fact that I am old enough to be his mother, which is not cute, he really is quite fabulous. He is Jewish, black, and respectful of women. Drake is simply lovely, I like his music and who he is as a man.
When talking about the divorce of his parents at age five, and his childhood, Drake has said, “I had to become a man very quickly and be the backbone for a woman who I love with all my heart, my mother.” I love how he loves his mom. He went to Jewish Day School and had a Bar Mitzvah. This is a sweet Jewish kid who actually reminds me of my son.
He’s not my dream man, as much as he is a role model for my son. Drake is a decent human being who happens to be both Jewish and black. Should a man with similar values and upbringing be reading, and if he is old enough to be Drake’s dad, then he might be the man of my dreams because dating a mensch is how I roll. If you’re out there, call me.
I love going to the barbershop with my son. It was probably my last visit as he is driving on his own and will now take himself. It feels nostalgic of an easier time to be there with the men of the neighborhood and hear their stories. My son got a great haircut, and I was reminded that when it comes to love, I am keeping the faith.
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