Posted by Ilana Angel
When I was asked to write a Singles Blog for the website of The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles I was flattered and excited. I was frustrated with my dating life at this stage of my life and thought it would be an interesting experiment that would take me out of my comfort zone and open new doors.
I have a tremendous respect for the paper, the people who work there and the Jewish community. I have stood by my decision to date only Jewish men and have always managed to put myself out there in an honest and open manner. My goal has been to share and at the same time keep the faith and not lose my way.
This week has been eye opening. I have been attacked as a woman, as a mother, as a Jew and as a writer. I’ve been called vulgar names, people have suggested that I will be travelling to hell as a result of my blog and that I am damaging my child.
Some days I write and think that no one will read it. I live a small life and that this goes out to all corners of the earth is pushed to the back of my mind because if I really thought about it I might be too scared to write it.
It has taken off and grown and the number of people who read it, sometimes overwhelms me. I am grateful and thankful to the readers out there and especially to those to take a moment out of their lives to write me their comments.
I would venture to say that 99.9% of the people who read my blog do not know me. So for those people let me tell you this: I am a really wonderful person. I got married at 25 and divorced at 30 with a 5-month-old son. I left a bad relationship and built a good life for my son and myself.
I have overcome many obstacles. Some I’ve discussed here, some I keep to myself and some I’m trying to decide if I want to share. I am on a spiritual path in terms of my religion and strive each and everyday to learn about my faith and live a Jewish life.
I am sarcastic and cynical. I have the mouth of a sailor and occasionally speak before I think. I try to be a good friend and am loyal to those I love. I always support the underdog and never pass a homeless person on the street asking for money without looking them in the eye, wishing them well, and giving them a dollar.
I am a great cook, a wonderful housekeeper and have the driving skills of a New York City cabbie. I am funny, smart and quick witted. I need to lose 30 pounds. By 30 of course I mean 20 and want my friends to say if I lose 30 I will be a rake and only need to lose 10 so then if I lose 20 I will feel good about myself. I am scared of the dark, have read Little Women over 50 times and really beautiful hair.
I’m just trying to live a good life and be a good mother and raise a divine little boy to be a respectful man who loves himself, his religion and his life. I do the very best that I can and it’s not always easy and certainly not always a success. I try to trust myself and when I stumble and fall I get up and try again. I am both a tough broad and an overly sensitive woman.
I truly appreciate that you are reading my blog. To those of you who felt it was okay to attack me and my character this week, who felt it was ok to call me a bad mother and suggest my child was in danger, to condemn me to hell for sharing MY opinion about MY life, please allow me to send a heartfelt Suck It!
I wish you all a wonderful weekend and a peaceful Shabbat and for those of you who are sad, in the dark, and alone, I have been there and until you are able to do it for yourself, it will be my honor, on all of your behalves, to keep the faith.
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January 7, 2010 | 1:14 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
So a few weeks ago I wrote an article about Jews and the porn industry. I was fascinated by it because I didn’t think there were Jewish porn stars. One of the people I mentioned was Joanna Angel who is a Jewish girl who is a huge star in the adult entertainment industry.
Joanna Angel and I are not related and to be honest I’m not even sure it’s her real name. When I blogged about her she sent me an email to say hello and said she liked what I wrote. I thought it was very kind. If you’re reading today Joanna, Hello! I hope you had a nice holiday.
I get asked all the time if Angel is my real last name. It is. There are a lot of Jewish Angels actually. Rabbi Angel of London and Angel’s bakery in Jerusalem. There is in fact another Ilana Angel. She is a super sweet young girl in London and we are Facebook friends. She is also Jewish.
While I am not a porn expert, I think I can safely say that Joanna is not your average porn star. She grew up in Boston with an Orthodox Jewish Israeli mom and an American dad. She graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in English Lit. and a minor in film studies.
She is a hard-core porn actress. We’re not talking about late night Playboy channel stuff here. She is hard-core and so to my naïve mind, if someone were to know who she was, they would have to be familiar with her work right? That brings me to last night.
I’m online returning an email from a man on JDate when he sends me an instant message. I say hello. We are chatting and doing the first dance of surface questions and answers. Then, out of nowhere, he asks the question. The one question that changes everything. “Are you related to Joanna Angel?”
So now my mind is racing. Is he asking because he is a fan of her work? Is he asking because he read my article and wants an introduction to my new BFF? Is he a sex deviant? Is he testing me to see what my level of knowledge is on hard-core porn? I am shocked and stunned and don’t know what to do.
So I say, “I don’t think so. Where does she live?” He replies “She is an actress and I think she lives in New York.” Well there you have it. It was over before it even began. I told him I had to go, wished him well with his search and signed off within 10 seconds.
Not only are there Jewish porn stars but there are Jewish men who follow Jewish porn stars. I live in a tiny bubble of suburbia where there is no porn and no one does drugs or cheats on their spouse. I was born in the wrong era. I would have been the perfect 1950’s housewife.
Another potential suitor is cut down before he is even given a chance. To any men who are writing me to get to Joanna, not going to happen.
As for me, with each and every day the Internet becomes less and less appealing. I think it’s scary and overwhelming. I might not have a tough enough skin to navigate these waters and on some days, like today, it’s not enough to just be able to keep the faith.
January 6, 2010 | 2:07 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I am not ashamed to admit that I loved Conveyor Belt of Love on ABC. It was silly and ridiculous and fantastic fun. I think Keiko should have her own show. She was hilarious and when she told the guy “I want you to worship me”, I laughed out loud. I would rather watch this show for 48 consecutive hours than 5 minutes of Find My Family and it’s miserable hosts. I hope they do more. It was mindless entertainment and sometimes we need that.
I referred to my son as “delicious” in a blog and a reader wrote to say it was creepy. Is she kidding? I love my son and he is quite simply delicious. Sarah wrote to say this word should only be used to describe toddlers or babies and referring to a teenager as delicious was sexually inappropriate. Some people are just sad and that she took the time to write me such nonsense makes me sad for her. I was hurt when I read her comment and in the end all I can do it laugh at the absurdity of it and wish her well.
I don’t understand why I get emails online from men who live in another state. When they write from another country I assume it’s a green card thing and say thanks but no thanks but the guys who write from around the country and want to chat, I just don’t get. Especially when they list in their profile that they are not willing to relocate. Why are they writing? Is it silly to start up a conversation with a man in New York? Are we going to meet for coffee in Chicago? I just think it’s weird and those who do it and have found love, bravo. You are braver and far less cynical than I am.
I blogged that my teenage son had an opinion about who I dated and a reader wrote to say that I was sick and crossing the line in terms of my son’s involvement in my life. Who are these people? Reiner, you are a loon. I have a healthy and fantastic relationship with my child. If he has an opinion, about anything, I am going to listen and give it value. Just because he is a child does not mean he cannot have a voice. I think you should go on a date with Sarah. You two have a lot to talk about and clearly both have a lot of time on your hands to dedicate to each other.
I want to give a shout out to my new friend Ben who I met though my friend Andy. I was having a tough time having to deal with stupid people and he put it all into perspective. Thank you Ben.
Is it wrong that I every time my family calls from Canada to complain about how cold it is and how much snow they are getting I tell them I’m wearing a t-shirt and flip flops?
I was going to write a comment about Charlie Sheen but I learned my lesson after I wrote about Tiger Woods so I will bite my tongue and all I will say is Oy Vey!
Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to talking to you tomorrow. To Sarah and Reiner, good luck to you both and by good luck of course I mean get a life. I’m going to let all your rubbish go, take a deep breath and keep the faith.
January 5, 2010 | 2:22 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
After months of waiting The Bachelor premiered last night on ABC. I love this show and the hopeless romantic in me watches with an open heart and held breath that it will end in a happy ending. The cynical girl who lives just below the surface of my heart watches to see the train wrecks so she can say I told you so.
When Jake was walking around in his uniform with “On the Wings of Love” playing as the background music I could actually feel my heart flutter. It was great television and I was hooked within the first 5 minutes. The pilot gig is sexy and the uniform is delicious. Chris Harrison was, as always, a great host. Ryan who?
I was not a fan of Jake last year. He was a little boring and white toast for me but I’m a hardcore Jew lover so it makes sense I wouldn’t fall in love with him. The thing is, I really like him. He is lovely and kind and appears to really be looking for love. He has a Tom Cruise vibe and that could be both good and bad I suppose, but for me it’s all good.
I will go on record right now that my favorite girl after episode one is Tenley. I just loved her. She went in for the first kiss and I thought it was charming. That she put herself out there after being with only one other person was huge. I remember the first time I kissed a man after my divorce. I burst into tears. It was a very emotional thing and I felt both her fear and her bravery. Her divorce could be a turn off for Jake so we’ll see.
Vienna may be a transvestite and Michelle could possibly make perfect television. Even if you hate this show, Michelle makes it worth watching. She cried on episode one and you know that’s going to be just the beginning of crazy time. Elizabeth from Nebraska is stunning but has a hidden mean girl side so she may be a bonus train wreck. Ella, the single mom, is a loon. She is a hairdresser who had the most unattractive hair. I can tell she is going to crack. Can’t wait!
Some of these girls are beyond beautiful. I think Gia is so pretty that I can’t wrap my head around her being unlucky in love. Granted she has no personality and appears to not be that smart, but what I wouldn’t give to be in that body for a week. I’d get bored eventually so I guess that’s ultimately her problem with men but one week would be fantastic.
Ali with the sore throat is cute in a Sleeping Beauty kind of way and I think she will be around for a while. Valishia from Carlsbad listed her job as “Homemaker”. What does that mean? She had the best dress of the night which was the only memorable thing about her. Then there is Channy, who is also a tranny, and he/she had the most mockable moment with her landing strip comment.
When the girls were all surprised that they did not get the first impression rose it was hilarious. They seriously all thought it would be them. It made me wish my full time job was to write about this show, which reminds me….. Steve McPherson? Hello? Are you ignoring me? Call Mike Fleiss and he will tell you there is no point. Just call and get it over with. I’m waiting.
It is going to be a great season. At the end of the day whether you like Jake or not, it is worth watching because the women will be entertaining. For me, the train wrecks are fabulous and the cattiness of the girls is fascinating but the real reason I will tune in each week is for the opportunity to watch two people fall in love.
I believe in love. I hope Jake finds what he is looking for and that the girl he picks is his Beshert and not a wannabe celebrity like Melissa Rycroft. Don’t even get me started on her. I am thrilled for Jason and Molly and I wish them all the best with their upcoming wedding. He dodged a bullet on that one.
I will blog about The Bachelor on Tuesdays and I’m very excited because it will give me a nice break from the men who throw up on my shoes, don’t respond to my emails and write me from prison. This show, as corny and silly as you may think it is, appeals to my heart and reminds me to keep the faith.
January 4, 2010 | 1:50 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I cannot believe it is 2010 and my son will be 14 in 2 weeks. I feel like I just had a baby and now he is taller than me. He sat me down last week and told me I need to meet a great man and have a relationship. He was specific about the kind of man I should date and that it needed to happen this year.
It’s strange to speak to him about it because he is my child, but on the flip side he knows me better than anyone else and who I share my life with will also be a part of his life so it makes sense that he would have an opinion and should have a say in who I date.
His words were wise and mature and it was fascinating to be having such a well thought out conversation with him. He is starting to date and what is really interesting is that we are 30 years apart and have a lot of the same insecurities in terms of dating. It’s not any easier at 43 than it is at 13.
He said I needed to go online and write men instead of waiting for them to write me and then being disappointed because the ones who write are not what I am looking for. We went online and I wrote to 3 men that he approved. I wrote and expressed my interest and waited. It’s been a week and I’m still waiting.
I respond to everyone that writes me online. I will thank them for the interest and taking the time. Even if we are never going to go out, I still write to acknowledge them because I think it is the decent and kind thing to do. Do men not do that or is it just the ones that I write to?
Are men not sensitive enough to know a response would be appropriate? Do they not care that I put myself out there? If you are approached in person and not interested don’t you say thank you? Am I the only woman who responds? There is a complete lack of manners online and it’s a shame because it makes me not want to do it and yet I know it’s an necessary evil so in the end it’s just another sad thing about dating on the Internet.
My son is interested in a girl at school and I told him to ask her out to a movie this week as they have another week of winter break. It’s so cute that he told me to be brave but can’t quite get there himself. I will teach him to be a decent man and have dating manners so he is respectful.
It’s charming to be on this path with my son. I have not picked well in the past so maybe his help will lead me to love. His take on the last couple of men I was in a relationship with was spot on so I can and should totally trust him.
It will be interesting to see how it all plays out because in the past he has met men only after I was already involved and now he wants a say in who I become involved with and that will take me a minute to embrace because it’s a new approach.
I’m going to try to not be discouraged and will write men again online. I must expect that some will have manners and others will not. At the end of the day this is going to be my year to find love. I feel it coming so I need to be patient, remember my manners and always keep the faith.
January 1, 2010 | 7:45 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Happy New Year!
After 15 hours at Disneyland with my son and his friends last night, I simply do not have a blog in me today. Frustrating because there is so much to talk about! I’m just stopping in to wish everyone a year of health and happiness. I think it’s going to be a great year for me and that’s the best part of this day. On the first day of the year you can believe everything is possible because there has been no time to prove it can’t happen and that’s a great feeling. God Bless and I will see you on Monday. Shabbat Shalom.
December 31, 2009 | 12:17 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
New Year’s Eve is a wonderful day. You can, for a short moment, lie to yourself and truly believe those lies. You can promise that you will try to fix what has been broken, experience new things, better yourself, mend fences and live in a delusional state until you burst your own bubble.
I like this magical 24 hours and have been blessed to be able to accomplish at least one of my resolutions every year. In 2009 the one I stuck with was to stop eating meat and I am very proud of the accomplishment.
For my final blog of 2009 I have decided to publicly list my Top 20 List of resolutions, in no particular order, hereby inviting you to share in both my triumphs and failures:
1) Stop throwing away my hard earned money on JDate.
2) Lose 40 pounds and gain back only 20 so I lose the 20 I wanted.
3) Exercise because I love it not because I have to.
4) Study Torah.
5) Meet a Jewish man to share my life with.
6) Be a better recycler.
7) Forgive myself for my bad choices.
8) Forgive others for their bad choices.
9) Buy lottery tickets so I actually have a chance to win.
10) Don’t date men who have hidden girlfriends.
11) Don’t get another cat.
12) Keep a focused, not smothering eye on my son as he starts high school.
13) Stop dropping my iPhone every day.
14) Come to terms with the fact that Andy is gay and will never marry me.
15) Beat my son at a Wii game. Just once will do. Any game. Just once.
16) See more of California.
17) Do more yoga.
18) Learn how to make sushi.
19) Stop dating losers.
20) Stop allowing the losers I date to make me feel like a loser.
There you have it my friends. A hefty list to be sure, but there will be at least one resolution I accomplish and I feel confident this may be the year I master more than one.
I have learned a lot about myself through writing this blog and I thank you very much for reading. I wish us all health and happiness in 2010. Allow yourself to dream big because every once and a while dreams come true.
The one thing I will always do, with no resolution required, is Keep The Faith.
Happy New Year.
December 30, 2009 | 2:51 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I moved to the States in 1991 and my first girlfriend here was Jel. I had friends through my family or my husband, but she was the first person I met on my own and we became fast friends. We met at work and for the past 18 years she has been someone who always shares her honest opinion, no holds barred.
Over the years we have gone through times where we talked 20 times a day and others when life got busy and we went long periods without contact. We know each other really, really well and are both able to read what is going on with the other and no matter how much time passes, when we talk, it’s like two puzzle pieces coming together and everything snaps into place perfectly.
When we met, Jel had a very young daughter, was going through a divorce and I had been married for 3 weeks. We’ve been through marriages, divorces, the loss of our fathers, pregnancy, prosperity and penny pinching together. We have an unbreakable bond and will be friends until we are old and gray and one could argue that we are already old and gray.
For two people who are so close, we could not be more different. I am a hopeless romantic who believes in fairytale endings and Jel is the complete opposite. We hung out yesterday for coffee and shopping and got to talking about men and relationships and I could not stop laughing at her take on love. I pulled out my phone and start recording her because I didn’t want to miss a thing.
Here are some quotes from my afternoon with Jel:
1) A man can be a great friend, a great father or a great lover but it’s rare to find one man who can be all three.
2) At this stage in your life Ilana, you should stop looking for a husband and focus on finding a great lover.
3) I would like to have a great love life with someone who does not want to spend the night because I like to sleep alone and enjoy my solitude.
4) It is an unrealistic expectation, for both men and women, to think that one person can be everything you need.
5) If you want to talk about your day, call a girlfriend and do not bore the man in your life. He does not care.
6) If you want to have great sex, don’t share all the crap about your day because it will be better sex if he is focused on only you, not every detail of your life.
The most fascinating part of my day with Jel is that it took me 18 years to figure out she has a man’s brain. It’s a medical miracle and I think she should go on Oprah. She is a woman who lives her life thinking like a man and if I were man, I would be all over her. How rare to have all that messed up love perspective in the body of a smoking hot chick.
I love my friend Jel and so I will go out today and buy her a Josh Groban CD, a Harlequin romance and The Notebook on DVD. It should only take me another 18 years to train her brain to come to a woman’s side of romance. I know I can break her! All I need to do is keep the faith.