October 20, 2009
Past and Future
Last night I got a look into the past and a glimpse of the future and experiences like that don’t come along very often. It was eye opening and I got up this morning determined to make some changes and by make some changes of course I mean I need to not get anymore cats.
The AMPAS is hosting a series featuring the short subject and feature documentaries that won Oscars and last night spotlighted the films of 1998. “The Personals: Improvisations on Romance in the Golden Years” and “The Last Days” are brilliant films and I was happy to be there to see them with my son.
The Last Days tells the stores of five Holocaust survivors from Hungary. I worked for the Shoah Foundation when this film was released and I spent a lot of time with the filmmakers and featured survivors. It altered my worldview, changed the type of mother that I wanted to be and made me a more aware Jew.
My son saw it for the first time and when it was over he said he understood me better. He then took the program from the evening and had Renee Firestone, a holocaust survivor and educator who is in the film, autograph it for him. He has known Renee for his entire life but it was as if he were meeting her for the first time.
Seeing The Last Days was a look into not only my professional past, but also the history of my tribe. It’s been an interesting week of responses to my blog and I’ve been attacked for my desire to marry a Jew and wanting the same for my child. This film showed me I don’t need to defend or justify my choices to anyone.
The Personals is about a group of senior citizens in New York City who are part of a theater group at a Jewish Community Center. They talk about dating and finding love when you are in your golden years and it made me laugh and cry. I saw myself in the movie 40 years into the future.
In one scene there is a lady in her apartment with her cat talking about how lonely she is. I looked at her, looked at my son, he looked at her, looked at me and we both burst into laughter and by laughter of course I mean I wanted to pull out my hair. She even looked a bit like me.
I often say how hard it is to meet people when you are in your 40’s but it would appear to be much harder when you are in your 70’s. What was so interesting is that listening to these elderly women was like eavesdropping in on a conversation between my friends and me right now.
At one point a 77 year old woman talks about a date she had and I swear that I met the exact same guy on JDate and we went out last week! Dating and sex has not really changed at all over the years. Women want love and men want to score no matter what their age is.
I recommend both of these films. One is a look at a painful history through the eyes of people who were there and brave enough to share and one is a look at love and dating through the eyes of people who are in their golden years, want to be in love again and fear being alone.
Nobody should ever die because of his or her faith, race or sexual orientation and nobody should have to die alone. There is someone for everyone and in some cases there are many people for someone and love can be found again after it has been lost.
I’m sitting on my couch, with my cat, in my pajamas writing my blog and actually have no desire to pull my hair out. Meeting my Beshert is going to happen. It will happen for all of us who are looking for it. All you need is hope, patience and the ability to keep the faith.