July 2, 2012 | 12:00 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I spent the weekend in Africa. Africa, California that is. I am certain that in some African dialect, “Palm Springs” translates into “Africa”. It was 110° in the shade, which made it difficult to do anything. I went with the Englishman and we had high hopes for a weekend of rest and relaxation by the pool, but in the end by the pool was the last place we wanted to be.
We got cold drinks, lathered up in suntan lotion, and settled in our very comfortable lounge chairs. I think we lasted less than an hour and moved to the shade. That lasted another 15 minutes before we could hear the air conditioner calling us back into the house. The heat was oppressive and I felt like my ancestors crossing the desert to the promise land.
In Palm Springs, the promise land is the casino. I love to gamble. By love it of course I mean I might actually have a gambling problem. If I am winning I think it is a sign I should keep going and win more, and if I am losing, I think just another twenty bucks will win it all back. Going to a casino was a real test to my relationship because I was sharing my addiction.
We had a great time and it turns out I can control my addiction when needed. By control it of course I mean he controlled it for me. He took away my ATM card, wouldn’t let me slip $20 into every slot machine I passed, and gave me tips during blackjack that resulted in our winning. He was kind, supportive, and funny, with just the right amount of mocking.
It turns out I have a really wonderful boyfriend. This was our first time away without the kids and I saw him in a new light. Granted I was blinded by the sun, and had heat stroke, but this is a very special man. When you are alone with someone, with nothing to focus on but them, you can see them clearly and I am surprised by how much I like what I saw.
I am a complicated person. I over think, over analyze, over plan, and over romanticize. I have been alone for so long, and made enough bad choices, that I don’t always trust myself when it comes to men. I saw things a little differently while I was in Africa, and in spite of the insane heat, there was no mirage. I am a lucky girl to be loved by this man.
Sidebar: I have become a soccer fan and it was rough to have England knocked out of Euro 2012. To be honest I lost interest in the European Championships after England went home, but I’ve been writing about soccer so much lately that I want to take a moment to say Mazel to Spain who beat Italy in the finals. I’m happy for you, but not really. Go England!
I was so happy to be with my Englishman that I agreed to see a movie of his choosing. Important to note that when I let him pick the movie it was 112° outside and I was thrilled to escape the heat. In an attempt to be a good girlfriend, I went to see the Seth MacFarlane movie Ted. I’m not a huge fan of his work, but I went and I must tell you it was really funny.
To be clear, it was raunchy, perverted, dirty and crude, but it was also really funny, and I enjoyed it. There are a lot of offensive jokes, but if you are a woman who is able to channel your inner teenage boy, you will love it. If you are a man, there is no channeling required because you will think it’s hilarious. It’s a guy’s movie with just enough humor to keep girls interested.
I had a wonderful weekend and as I sit here and write about it I am smiling. I am happy to be back in the civilized temperature of 75°, happy to be home with my son, happy to have a short workweek, and happy to know that being alone with my Englishman gives new meaning to being alone. I am out of Africa, back to reality, and blessed to be keeping the faith.
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