Posted by Ilana Angel
I like breasts. I like my own, and can admire others. I think they are remarkable from the perspective of using them to bond with my newborn baby, and remarkable from the perspective of incorporating them into my sex life. Boobs are important and should not be taken for granted, which is why I am constantly fascinated when women don’t respect theirs.
Today, as I wore my new pretty pink floral bra, I decided to take notice of the breasts around me. My boobs looked fabulous, know it, but that was not the case for a large group of women wondering around Beverly Hills. I found myself saying prayers for random boobs because there is torture happening all around us. Today I am here as a breast advocate. Pay attention.
I saw a woman with rather small boobs, but she had them in a bra that was clearly suffocating them in order to give them the appearance of oranges, when they were really grapes. I saw a woman with medium boobs, who was wearing a bra for small boobs, causing them to appear to be cut in half, so she was sporting four apples. Women need a lesson in bras and fruit.
I saw a woman who decided to forego a bra altogether, allowing her grapefruits to swing like monkeys from a tree. Another woman opted to tie a piece a string around her watermelons, which caused me to worry when she passed that I might lose an eye. You don’t put a Band-Aid on a gaping wound, and you don’t wear a tiny bra when you have big boobs.
The only time you should use string to contain breasts, is if you are tying up a chicken for Shabbat dinner. Breasts are important for a lot of women. They help define who we are, and if you think that is not true, ask someone who has lost hers. Breasts matter, as they should, and we need to respect them. Not just their health, but their daily lives, and bra needs.
Women owe it to themselves to get properly fitted for a bra. It will change how you look, and how you feel. Important to also note that unless you are walking down a runway during Paris fashion week, not wearing a bra is not an option. I don’t care how perky you are, get some support. To all the boobs in Beverly Hills, I hope relief is coming for you. Keep the faith!
6.18.13 at 8:55 am | This is going to be a fun night and I hope you. . .
6.17.13 at 7:49 am | He writes the songs that make the whole world. . .
6.15.13 at 6:32 pm | I was reminded of my father's spirit through the. . .
6.12.13 at 6:36 pm | I have shortened my list of requirements to just. . .
6.7.13 at 7:20 am | Getting your groove back is exhausting.
6.2.13 at 10:48 pm | My son has all the qualities I value in a man.
6.12.13 at 6:36 pm | I have shortened my list of requirements to just. . . (516)
6.18.13 at 8:55 am | This is going to be a fun night and I hope you. . . (348)
6.17.13 at 7:49 am | He writes the songs that make the whole world. . . (245)
April 4, 2013 | 9:29 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
Last night I went to the airport to meet a friend. I got there a little early so I stopped to get some gas. As I was pumping my gas a car pulled up on the other side of the pump. A man dressed in his pilot uniform got out and I was frozen for a minute. He was beautiful. Not just his uniform, but as a human being, he was beautiful. He had dark brown hair, dark brown eyes, and one rather prominent dimple on his right side.
He smiled as he got out of the car and I panicked and went into the store to get a drink. When I came out he was finishing up and looked over at me again. I said to him, “You are really beautiful.” He laughed and responded with, “Well hello, and thank you.” I giggled, may have twisted a piece of hair, and got in my car. He was standing there looking at me, gave me a little wave, and off I went. It was great.
As I killed time waiting for my friend, I was playing around on Twitter. I saw a tweet from @GodPosts that read, “If you are brave enough to say goodbye, God will reward you with a new hello.” I read it over and over again. I then read a tweet from @MarilynMonroeDC that read, “The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest.” I took these as a sign.
My Rabbi recently told me that God showers blessings on us everyday, and it is up to us to pay attention and catch the blessings. Sometimes our bucket is full, and other times we forget to pick up the bucket, and so blessings land around us and are not noticed. I have many blessings, but lately have forgotten about my bucket. Last night was a series of messages from God that I need to pay closer attention to my life.
This morning I spoke to the Englishman for the first time since we broke up, and it was wonderful. I love him. He is my best friend and I am not going to lose that friendship. He is a blessing in my life, and the life of my child, so while he is not my beshert, he is important, so I reached out. We had a lovely talk and everything is okay. I am going to find love again, as will he, and we will be happy for each other, as friends are.
Sunday is my birthday and I am going to mark the beginning of a new year with a new search. I am going to date, kiss a few frogs, get some priceless blogs, and meet a terrific man because I am a terrific woman. My friend Dannielle sent me a quote on Facebook that read, “Real men don’t date the most beautiful girl in the world, they date the girl who makes their world beautiful.” I cannot wait to meet that man.
And so the search begins. I’m single and dating, which sucks, but also has a silver lining. I have a wonderful son, a wonderful best friend, and a wonderful attitude. I am stronger, wiser, gentler, and kinder this time around. Life truly is a blessing and so I am going to put a smile on my face, be thankful for the lessons I have learned, polish up my bucket, start paying attention to the blessings around me, and keep the faith.
April 2, 2013 | 3:29 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I love my cleaning lady. Her name is Maria and I don’t know what I would do without her. She makes me happy and I look forward to her coming to my home more than any holiday. I am a very neat, organized, and clean person, but she is magic. She comes in and turns my home into a palace. She is brilliant at her job and if I ever lose my job, I will eat Top Ramon everyday if it means I can keep her employed. I really love and respect her.
Maria came to my home today and I just walked in and floated on air from room to room admiring her work. The thing is, I spent 2 hours yesterday cleaning my home so she wouldn’t think I was a slob. I did all my laundry, although she tells me she will do it, I went through my home and straightened up, put things away, and changed the beds. Why is it that I am cleaning up for my cleaning lady? Does anyone else do that?
Not only do I clean up in anticipation of her coming, but I don’t like to be home when she is here. I don’t want to be in her way, and I don’t want her to judge me. She never would of course, but I wonder what she is thinking as she cleans my home. I plan my schedule around her schedule. It is ridiculous really, but that is how I roll. I needed to get out of the house today so I made plans to meet an old friend for coffee.
I have known my friend “Lisa” for about 15 years. Our kids went to preschool together. When my son went on to Day School, her daughter went to a different school and we lost touch. There was never a falling out, we simply drifted apart because when your kids are young you are friends with the parents of your kids friends. I would see her occasionally but as our kids grew up we completely lost touch with other.
Lisa recently found my blog and sent me a message on Facebook to say hello and offer me support about my recent breakup. It was really very kind and I was immediately reminded of what a lovely girl she is. She also happens to be Canadian. I am proudly Canadian and there is just something about my people that is special. Canadians have a certain thing that I can’t quite explain, but if you are Canadian, you get it.
I have a Canadian flag tattooed near my bum so that no matter where I am sitting, I am always in Canada. My son has duel citizenship and although I have lived in America for over 20 years, Canada is home. My family is there, my lifelong friends are there, and my heart is there. I had not seen Lisa in over ten years but spending time with her was like being home. It was as if we had been together yesterday. I love this girl.
We talked about our kids, work, life, and Canada. She is a pistol. Our cup of coffee turned into 3 hours of therapy. It was all very cathartic. She made me laugh, made me think, and actually called me out on a bit of my crap. Being with her made me happy. We have a history together in terms of our kids and being Canadian, but it is also a new friendship as life is so much different now than it was ten years ago. We are now women.
We used to be young mothers raising our kids, but with our kids older, and life being complicated and consuming, we have experiences now that shift how we talk, what we talk about, and ultimately made us friends by choice, not the obligation that comes when your kids are friends. To Lisa, I freaking love you and you made my day. Not just because you got me out of the house for Maria, but because you are fabulous. You truly are.
I left Lisa and went to the mall. I have decided in light of my now being single, I was going to treat myself to some new bras and underwear. A great bra can change how you walk and talk, so in the interest of getting my sexy back, I thought rocking some sexiness under my current uniform of pajama bottoms and the Englishman’s t-shirt might help. I went to Victoria’s Secret to shop with an hour to kill before Maria was finished.
I stopped by Starbucks of course and as I was in line waiting for my latte, I checked my Twitter. I have a bit of a Twitter addiction and really look forward to hearing from those who follow me. Today however, was special. Today I got a tweet from a woman that I have loved for a very long time. I remember watching her on TV and wanting to be her friend. She was funny, sassy, quick witted, and super cool. She is Jackee Harry.
My Keeping it Real blog is all about reality television and my new favorite reality show is Married to Medicine. One of the stars of that show is a woman named Quad and when she speaks, her tone and attitude remind me of the divine Ms. Harry. I tweeted that Quad reminded me of Jackee and today Jackee tweeted back asking who Quad was. Really? I think I actually started clapping while in line at Starbucks. Jackee Harry!
I wrote her back of course and told her who Quad was, then let her know I thought she was divine. She tweeted the obligatory “xoxo” back, which I translated in my head to be, “Hi Ilana. You’re fabulous. Let’s meet for lunch and be best friends.” I just looked at her tweet again and without even realizing what I was doing, I clapped again. I really just think she is so great and I smile when I think about her. Jackee Harry rocks.
It has been a great day. I am currently rocking a gorgeous pink floral bra that makes me feel like a lingerie model, reconnected with my fabulous Canadian friend Lisa, and am one step closer to being best friends with Jackee Harry. I am doing good today and will be better tomorrow. I am a lovely girl and good things come my way all the time. The key is to pay attention, say a prayer, breathe deeply, and keep the faith.
March 31, 2013 | 9:27 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I broke up with the Englishman. Or perhaps he broke up with me. I am not really sure what happened, how it happened, or why it happened, but the fact is, it happened. It has been stressful because we have a relationship that is also a friendship. He is my best friend so the thought of that ending with the relationship is hard. God willing we will find a way to be friends one day, but not today.
My heart is broken. The end was not nice so my feelings are hurt. I truly believe our friendship will survive, but that will depend on me. He is much more forgiving than I am so it will be interesting to see if in time I can set aside my ego and forgive both him and myself. I have been crying, thinking, and praying. I pretty much kept it to myself and not really spoken to my friends or family about it.
I wrote a short blog about our relationship ending. The people who read my blog on a daily basis have always supported me and I wanted to share with them. It is odd I was willing to share my sorrow with these virtual people, more than my real life friends. In the end these people have held my hand, hugged me, wiped my tears, made me laugh, and reminded me that after darkness comes light.
My followers on Facebook and Twitter are lovely. They have been reading my take on reality TV for a long time, and about my journey through life for even longer. I share everything here and in some ways they feel like they know me and we are friends. Thank God they do because it is with their support I am not still in bed. They have rallied me through a tough time.
They refuse to let me feel sorry for myself. They took time out of their days to remind me I am a catch. A break up is ultimately a rejection and they helped me to see that rejection does not make you unlovable, it just makes you available for the right love to find you. It is through a group of strangers that I have found comfort, support, and ultimately friendship. They saved me.
My heart is cracked but still working. I know what I want out of a relationship and I will find it. There are no guarantees, but with each love lost I learn about me, which is the key to finding him. I’m not expecting Prince Charming, but charming is required. That brings me to my new charming friend. I got an email today from a lovely man and with his permission, am sharing it.
“I read your stories in the Journal. I am on a computer everyday even though I am 76 years old. You parted from your gentleman friend. I don’t watch the TV garbage you do but I read your stories and I am thankful I don’t. It is when you write about you I am interested. You are single and should not waste time. Life is short. You need to date right away so you can find a new man. I have been married for 51 years to the love of my life and we think you’d be a suitable partner for our accountant. He is a Jewish 50 Prince Charming. When you are ready you let me know and you will go out for dinner. You be ready soon because love should be yours. You deserve it.”
I wrote the gentleman back and sent him my phone number. His wife called me back as he felt it would be disrespectful for him to call a lady back. I am in love with them and look forward to meeting them for coffee. Not sure about Prince Charming, but I am flattered they want to set me up. What a blessing it is that I am able to share my “stories”, and in return be rewarded with kindness from strangers.
I don’t know when I will be ready to date, but when I am, I will approach it with an open heart. Dating sucks and I dread doing it again, but love is grand and if weeding through frogs is what gets me to Prince Charming, I am willing to do the work. I am a special woman and I will meet my match. I truly believe that. I have an army of friends on my side, and we are all keeping the faith.
March 27, 2013 | 10:22 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
It is with a broken heart that I share with you my relationship with the Englishman has ended. We broke up this week and my heart is shattered. He is a remarkable person and I am disappointed because I have never wanted, or worked so hard, for a relationship to work. My romantic heart is grateful for our time together, and my girlish heart hopes we find our way back.
He was wonderful and his kindness allowed me to uncover pieces of my heart I didn’t know existed. He has become my best friend over the past year and while I would like to think we will remain friends, the fact is I don’t believe you can be friends with someone you loved. When a relationship is over, maintaining a friendship is hard. It is truly a sad and confusing time.
I am going to be fine. I am a woman who lives a quiet and protected life, yet I share it here out loud, and I take comfort in knowing you are pulling for me and pray for my happiness. Thank you for listening, and supporting my journey. To the Englishman, you are very special and I wish for you all the things you wish for yourself, and more. You made my heart sing.
I will cry and struggle with the break up, but in time I will be able to look back on the happiness we shared and move forward. With each failed love affair one can only pray they are closer to finding their Beshert. Time will heal, God will comfort, and hope will remain. There are no guarantees in love so all we can do is take a risk, hope for the best, and keep the faith.
March 26, 2013 | 3:25 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I pray everyday. I wake up in prayer and go to sleep in prayer. A lot of time it is not a prayer as much as it is a conversation with God. I talk about what is going on so I can put it all out into the universe and hope it comes back in a way that makes things better. Lately I have been praying for change. I am traveling in circles and I need change to send me in a new direction.
I have been working on changes in my work and for the first time in a very long time I feel like I am close to my professional goals being reached. It has been slow and steady and while I know that can win a race, I am not in a race. I am simply ready for things to happen and feel prepared for the changes that will come when those things finally do come. God willing.
I have been patient as I watch others reach their goals. I have been patient as I saw opportunities come and go. I have been patient as I dealt with the consequences of making wrong decisions. I have been patient as I teach myself to change the things about me that I don’t like. I have been patient as I learn about myself and enter into the next phase of my life.
I am going to turn 47 in a couple of weeks and for my birthday I am praying for change. I want to value myself enough to know that I deserve everything. I want to believe that my dreams will come true, and not just hope that they will. I want to know that I am living my best life. I want to change things in my life to make room for changes to come into my life.
I can control my weight, so that is on my list. I can control how I treat the people in my life that I love, so that is on the list. I can control how I treat the people in my life who should not be, so that is on my list. I want to be an exceptional mother, daughter, sister, friend and partner to the people that matter the most to me, so that is on the list. Good thing I like lists.
I believe there are changes coming and I am excited. Even if the changes are not what I want or expect, I can only pray that I will learn something because knowledge is power, and power matters when you are facing the unknown. I don’t know what the future holds so all I can do is get ready and surround myself with people that I love, trust, and dream with.
Before people panic and think there are hidden messages in this blog, there are not. I'm just ready for some things to change, and so I am working on being excited rather than scared. I have been dreaming of these changes for a long time and cannot wait for it all to kick in. Not only for me, but for the people that I love and am anxious to share everything with.
Not everything needs to change of course because my life is blessed and I am a lucky girl. It is really just about getting ready because when change comes I want to be in a comfortable place in my relationships, in my body, and with my prayers. It is a scary and exciting time so I will continue to pray, hope change finally comes, and focus on keeping the faith.
March 25, 2013 | 9:20 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I have had a rough couple of weeks. I have been struggling to find my way and it has left me exhausted. I am worried and afraid about things that I have no control over. I’m not sure if it is my approaching birthday, the fact that my son has his own car and is out and about on his own, or the fact that I am simply emotionally spent and therefore misinterpreting things that are said to me from a place of frustration, rather than gratitude.
My spiral began when I started to read up on the rape case in Steubenville, Ohio. That social media helped convict two young men of rape was fascinating to me. It is proof of the power of a blog that a blogger blew this case wide open. I started to read because I was interested in the social media aspects of the case, but quickly became consumed with the story. The way the Jane Doe was treated broke my heart into a million pieces.
The 16 year old girl at the centre of this story has been disrespected and discarded over and over again. It speaks to our society that this girl is being blamed for ruining the lives of the boys who raped her. That this is how rape victims are treated is mind boggling to me. I am offended not only as a woman, but more importantly as a human being. People need to understand that rape is a word that covers all sexual assaults.
Rape is a violation and there are many ways in which someone can be raped. You can talk to a hundred rape victims and all their stories will be different in terms of what their experiences were, but at the core, the violation is the same. The emotions that come wtih being hurt this way are the same. Rape can mean a lot of different things and each definition is a form of abuse and should not be experienced by anyone.
The boys who were convicted in Ohio are the same age as my own son. I can sympathize with their families, but at the same time I question what was taught and not taught in their homes. My son is being raised to respect not only women, but himself. I know that people never think this can happen in their families, but I know what I have taught my child and he knows what is right and what is wrong. That is a fact.
I was the victim of a very violent sexual assault when I was 22 years old. I spent a year in and out of the hospital, and another year in and out of court, as I fought for my voice to be heard. The pain and torment was worth it when my attacker was convicted of kidnapping, forcible confinement, and rape. Many lives were altered with the conviction. Not only the lives of my family and me, but also for my attacker and his family. It is hard to leave Jane Doe behind.
In reading about Jane Doe in Ohio, I have had an opportunity to revisit my 22 year old self and I am really proud of her. I have never been shy about speaking my mind and standing up for myself and what I believe in, but my experience at 22 really shaped who I am now as a person and has provided me with a grace I never knew I would have. I am not writing to talk about rape, as much as I am writing to talk about hope for Jane Doe.
Today is the beginning of Passover, which commemorates the liberation of Jews, so as Pesach approaches I am going to liberate myself. My name is Ilana Angel and I was a Jane Doe. It does not define who I am as a human being. I survived a horrific experience, but I am thriving, strong, and I am wise. I am a wonderful person who has love and a full life. I am free of the label and believe that this day can come for every Jane Doe.
I want this young girl in Ohio to know she is going to be okay. She will heal from the humiliation, pain, and deep and crippling sorrow that comes from being Jane Doe. She will reach a point when she will find love, give love, accept love, and not question love. She will be all the things she wanted to be before she was labeled with the horrible status of Jane Doe, and she will take a special feeling of pride in each step she takes forward.
For those who celebrate Passover I wish you a happy Pesach and hope you have Seders full of love, laughter, and joy. I am going to mark the holiday by releasing the chains that label me what I am not. My life is blessed and many experiences have made me who I am. I will always keep Jane Doe in my heart and pray for all who share the name are able to experience their own Exodus to freedom. I pray that they lose the label and keep the faith.
March 24, 2013 | 8:25 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I love my home. I feel happy and safe here. I have created a comfortable space and proudly raise my son here. It is comfortable, casual, and inviting. I like to think it has good energy. I live here with my son and two cats. Fiddles is my son’s cat, and Gopher is Fiddle’s cat. Fiddles is the best cat in the world, and Gopher is an asshole. We are one big happy family.
Today my home was rocked by murder. I cannot wrap my head around what happened and the carnage is heartbreaking. Important to note that every single window in my home has a screen on it. I have a patio off my living room that is also screened in. I am not a fan of bugs and have done all I can to ensure that none fly in so all my windows and doors are on lockdown. Nothing gets in withuot my knowing.
I was horrified to come home to a murder scene. In my bedroom, at the foot of my bed, was a dead bird. I screamed and jumped on the bed, only to notice the bird’s head on the side of my bed. There were feathers everywhere and I started crying and screaming as I realized I was home alone. I said a prayer for the bird and left my room closing the door.
I was on the couch shaking when the murderers approached. Fiddles came out looking sweet, while Gopher came in looking like an asshole with guilt in his eyes. They were both asking for food as Fiddles rubbed her head on my leg. I was disgusted by them both and stayed on the couch waiting for my son to get home so we could start the murder investigation.
It took my son 15 minutes to clear the carnage. When he was done I used a sage stick to smudge my entire house. I could not look at Fiddles or Gopher because I was mortified by the killing. They both looked guilty, and both had the audacity to be annoyed with me that I did not appreciate the gift they left for me in my room. These killer cats are crazy.
I don’t understand how a bird got in and I feel so sad it died such a violent death. I am now living with killers and need to check my room, and bed, for presents they might leave me. I am spooked and not a happy girl that a murder went down in my home. I feel like I’m living with cat mobsters and need to sleep with one eye open while I’m keeping the faith.