October 23, 2018

The Art of a Dinner Party

Last week I met a friend for dinner. Siggy was visiting from New Jersey and whenever she is here, she gathers her LA friends for a meal. It is wonderful and I have met some really great people over the years at her dinners. She is funny and smart and kind, and so are her friends, who have become my friends. Siggy’s visits are not as often as I’d wish, so each one feels special.

 

We met this week at Craig’s in West Hollywood. Sitting a couple tables away was Al Pacino and Leonardo DiCaprio, JLo and Arod, but our table was the fun one. We ate, drank, laughed, drank, caught up, and drank some more. It was fun and this time there was someone I hadn’t met before. Joey is a longtime friend of Sig’s and may be the kindest and most peaceful human I have ever met.

 

Within a minute of meeting Joey, he said he was having a dinner party at his home the following evening, and I needed to be there. He had an inviting and open energy, so I accepted an invitation to the home of a stranger. By the end of dinner however, he was not a stranger. He was my friend Joey, and I was loving being at his dinner party, especially since Joey is a talented chef.

 

The food was guaranteed to be delicious, and I had trolled his Instagram so knew I was in for a treat. There is an art to a good dinner party, and the truth is we don’t have dinner parties enough. By we, I mean my circle of friends. I cannot remember the last time I went to a dinner party. It is a lovely way to spend an evening and can be made even better when you attend with people you do not know, which is exciting.

 

There are not a lot of opportunities in the course of a day to chat with strangers at length. Important to note I actually do it all the time while dating, but that is different in that it is more like a job interview than a comfortable conversation. I love a nice dinner party, particularly when I am the only woman in a sea of attractive men, which was the case at Joey’s house. It was fantastic.

 

Joey’s home is fabulous and I felt embraced by my surroundings. He is newly married, but his husband was still at work so we began without him. Joey’s best friend Phillip was there, and trust me when I tell you this man needs his own show. There was a kind couple, two delicious and charming men, who just celebrated 18 years together, as well as a gentleman who came without his wife, who was traveling.

 

Liquor flowed, food was abundant, and the conversation was interesting, fascinating, compelling, and entertaining. This group of men have known each other for decades and you could tell. They have shared memories having been witnesses to each other’s lives for decades. To be invited to the table took on greater meaning once I understood the history they all shared.

 

As I sat at the perfectly set table, eating the perfectly prepared dinner, listening to the perfectly timed stories, I felt happy. It was a pleasure to simply be at a dinner party with interesting people. Writing is very solitary, and my day job is also solitary, so I tend to be a solitary person who chooses to stay in rather than go out, but I found myself being very pleased I accepted Joey’s invitation.

 

This dinner party brought to life a part of myself I have left alone for too long. It was wonderful to sit at a table of grown-ups and share stories. We didn’t talk about politics, or the epic problems of the world. Instead we escaped into the perfect dinner party talking about food and movies, sharing stories and history. It was a perfect evening because Joey mastered the art of a dinner party.

 

Joey is a wonderful human being. He is inherently kind, eternally optimistic, generous of spirit, and has not one drop of bitterness about anything that has crossed his path. He’s special and I’m honored to have been invited to his table. I love him, and his friends, and look forward to seeing them again because his dinner party reminded my jaded and bitter self to keep the faith.

 

Dating 101 – Laughing and Crying

My dating life is pathetic. I could try to sugar coat it to make me look better, or make me feel better, but the simple truth is that my dating life is pathetic. I want a man more than I need one, yet I don’t have one. I am in my sexual prime, yet not having sex. I have a blessed life to share, yet I am alone. It is pathetic, tragic, strange, unfortunate, and frankly unbelievable. I have been divorced for 22 years, my last relationship ended a year ago, and here I am, alone. Not for a lack of trying. I don’t date to date, but rather with the hope of meeting someone special.

 

I went on three dates last week. None of them went as expected, and I spent the weekend trying to figure out why. One has led to friendship, one was doomed from the beginning, and one was a surprise. All three have left me with questions. Sadly, the questions are more about me than them. What is it about me that attacks who I attract? I am very aware of what I put out into the universe, and so what comes back to me is confusing. I am a patient and kind woman who wants to love someone. Some of the men I dated were unworthy, while others weren’t attracted to me.

 

I am clear on what I want in a partner, just unclear on what he looks like. That is a good thing because it leaves my options open, but I am surprised he has not turned up yet. I have had long term relationships since getting divorced, and was even engaged a decade ago, but my choices have been right for me and my son. Charlie is now 22 and so my options have grown. I never wanted to have children from different fathers, so now that I am older and children are not on the table, it helps to narrow down the men I will date. I can’t imagine raising a baby now, plus my eggs are poached!

 

Important to note I am not passing judgement on women who have different children from different relationships, only that it was not something I wanted for myself. It was a personal choice, not a judgement, and while I would have loved to have had more children, it was the right decision for me. Now, back to my pathetic dating life. Let me tell you about last week. I laughed. I cried. I cried some more, and now I am laughing again. I am laughing because at the end of the day it is funny. My life is blessed and dating is not ever going to change that.

 

I met a man last week for a drink. He is 58 years old, Jewish, divorced, has 2 kids, and is a cancer survivor. He might be the funniest man I have ever gone on a date with. He seriously needs his own HBO special talking about his view of Donald Trump. He had me in stitches from the first minute we said hello. He was not only funny, but gracious, and had lovely manners. We shared two cocktails together and it was great. He had interesting ideas and views and we both spoke openly and fearlessly. He was wonderful to be.

 

When we wrapped up the evening I was unsure if we had a friend vibe, or a romantic one, but I thought it might be good to go out with him again to see what it was. He truly was a pleasure to be with and I wanted to be attracted to him because his personality was so terrific. Here’s the thing though, I don’t ever want to talk myself into someone, or feel like someone is talking themselves into me. There doesn’t need to be love at first sight, but there needs to be something that compels me to see them again. I am looking for a partner not a friend, so I try to tune into it so I am not wasting my time or theirs.

 

So, as I thanked him for a fabulous night, he took my hand in his, leaned in to kiss me on the cheek, and told me that while he thought I was a magnificent woman, he did not feel there was any sexual chemistry between us and he thought we should end up being the best of friends, and perhaps starting an I Hate Trump club. I started laughing and told him I was just wondering if I was attracted to him as a man, or just thought he had the best personality. He accused me of being desperately in love with him and making it all up.

 

He walked me to my car and we talked about how weird it was to love being in someone’s company, yet not being attracted to them. It was a fascinating conversation and when we got to my car, decided we should talk about it some more. We went into another bar, had another drink, and talked about relationships. He has been divorced for ten years and had one long term relationship that ended about 5 years ago. We spoke of being lonely and wanting to share life with a partner. In the end he was a male version of myself.

 

We were having the best time. We engaged the bartender and the other people at the bar, and it occurred to me we were experiencing something special. My heart did not flutter, and there was no flirting, but something special was happening. We hung out for another hour and then I needed to get home. He again walked me to my car and asked if a spark had been lit for me. I told him it had not, and he agreed. It was hilarious. He asked if we should kiss, and I was game, so we kissed, but nothing. There was no spark.

 

The good news is we’ve spoken every day since our date and met again. He’s a wonderful person and it is nice to hear a man’s perspective. There is no explanation why we’re attracted to some and not others. Perhaps I would’ve been attracted to him had he been attracted to me. I don’t know, but he is a keeper. He will be my friend and I truly hope he meets a wonderful woman. I genuinely want him to be happy and she will be a lucky girl. I can’t explain why that girl is not me after such a great time, but it just isn’t me.

 

My second date was with a man who I had people in common with. When he told me of the people we mutually knew, my gut feeling was to cancel the date. I have strong feelings about certain people and the mutual person we know is someone I love very much. He spoke unkindly about her and I wasn’t interested, but he assured me he knew her for a short time, a long time ago, so we made plans to meet for drinks. He is Jewish, divorced, again not nearly as tall as he thinks he is, and quite entertaining. He was handsome and interesting, but came with an agenda.

 

He wanted to speak about our mutual friend and was not flattering in what he said about her. When I didn’t want to talk about it, he pushed ahead to keep talking about her. He was yelling at me to listen to him, and I started to cry. It was awkward and uncomfortable. He was a bully and I did not appreciate how aggressive he was. He clearly had a plan to talk about our mutual connections. They were people tied more to his ex-wife than himself, and he spoke a lot about his ex-wife, so clearly there are issues he needs to work through.

 

After our rather abrasive exchange, I left and he told me to let him know I got home safely. I sent him a text letting him know I was home, and he sent a rather provocative and sexually charged text in return. It was very odd. This man was, for lack of a better word, broken. I am a nurturing soul and am attracted to things that are broken. In the words of my beloved Leonard Cohen, “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” I welcome cracks, seek the light, and will try to help. This guy however was not cracked, he was crushed.

 

It has taken me a few days and a therapy session, to understand our exchange.  I’m not even sure I understand it, but I’m not crying about it anymore. It was hurtful and in retrospect felt mean spirited. He used a weak connection we had to vent issues with his ex-wife, and that is shitty. I could be trying to blame him to help me recover from a rather embarrassing breakdown, but I don’t think so. He was unkind in his choice to discuss his issues on me. He doesn’t know me, he doesn’t really know my friend, and should have spoken to a therapist.

 

Three dates with rejections, laughter, and tears. I’m still standing, still hopeful, and thankful for vodka. Yesterday I had a date with my son. We went to see A Star is Born, (go see it) then had a fantastic lunch at Petit Trois Le Valley, (delicious and the Beauty School Drop Out cocktail was fantastic). Whenever I have a bad date, he restores my faith. He reminds me I am a good person and deserve one in return. He is also the designated driver so mommy can have a cocktail. Now I sound like a drunk. Which I’m not. Just a drinker!

 

I wrote about the third date yesterday. You can read it here.

 

I appreciate the kind replies I receive about my dating life. I have the best readers. You are in my corner and when you write with similar stories, I am sad for you, but thrilled to know it is not just me! I read every one of your emails and messages. You hold my hand when I am in the dark, and lead me to the cracks so the light can come in. I am thankful, grateful, and inspired by you. I am clearly aware that all of you are the reason why I am literally and figuratively keeping the faith.

 

Is age just a number?

I went on a date last night with a man who is 15 years older than me. He is charming, funny, handsome, young at heart, active, and has a Jewish sense of humor, which I find to be so attractive. He saw my profile online, said hello, I said hello back, and we chatted on the phone. From our first phone call he was concerned about the age difference. I assured him it wasn’t an issue for me and reminded him we were meeting for dinner not getting married, so we made a plan.

 

I was to meet him at the restaurant Saturday night, and come Saturday morning, the texting began. He was funny and playful and I found myself liking him before we met in person. By the time I got to the restaurant I was comfortable and looking forward to spending time with him. He looked like his pictures, which is always a good sign when online dating, He is a handsome man and has great teeth. He’s not quite as tall as he thinks he is, but was lovely, and a true gentleman.

 

We had easy conversation and he was open and honest. We talked about our children, past relationships, and the world we live in. He made me laugh, and think, and I found myself relaxed, which I rarely am on a date. Dinner was a couple of hours, then we decided to go out for frozen yogurt. He lives in my neighborhood so we picked up his dog and the three of us went for dessert. In the interest of full disclosure, there were two times I plotted about how to steal the fabulous dog.

 

Those who have been with me on this journey for the past decade know I am the queen of first dates. You also know I am really good at dating men who are strange, or perhaps should be in prison, but this date was different. I liked him. I felt like secrets would be safe with him. I felt like he would be a good man to have in your corner when chips are down, and the perfect man to have in your corner to witness the joyous things in life. He made sense to me, which didn’t really make sense.

 

I felt happy, and nervous, but mostly hopeful that I had met a person I would want to spend time with and get to know better. He drove me home, thanked me for a lovely evening, and hugged me goodnight. I kissed the dog, and went inside. I sent him a text to thank him for a lovely evening, and told him I would like to see him again. Sadly, he didn’t feel the same way, and said the age difference would be an issue for him, and ultimately for me. Of course he could have been using age as an excuse for just not wanting to see me again, but either way my heart sank for a second.

 

On a good note, I went out with someone older and it was a great date, so that is a lesson in terms of opening my mind and heart to finding love in unexpected places. On a sad note, I can’t help but feel I missed out on something with this gentleman. I am never, and I repeat, never, relaxed on a date, so this was a pleasant surprise. One I hope I experience again with someone wonderful, who feels it back. I wish this man the best of luck on his search and am sure will meet someone great Old and great.

 

I had three dates last week. One was with a man who is not even worth mentioning, one was with a man who made me cry, and one was with a man who felt I was too young for him. To clarify, the one not worth mentioning is totally getting a blog, I just need to stop laughing first. The one who made me cry is also getting a blog, I just need to stop crying first. The one who was worried our age gap was too big, well it’s a shame he didn’t figure that out before asking me out.

 

Sidebar: I appreciate he could have blown me off for reasons other than my age, but he just didn’t strike me as the kind of guy who would lie. If he thought I was unattractive or not interesting, he would have ended the date after dinner, instead of suggesting we continue on. I like to think the best of people, and want to believe people are inherently kind, so I am choosing to believe he didn’t want to see me again because I am younger, not because I am too ugly, too fat, or too stupid. Thank God I remain more hopeful than jaded.

 

I suppose becoming jaded is to be expected when one has been dating as long as I have. The good news is that I am miraculously not bitter.  I am however tired of the process, and if I am going to be completely honest, which I always am, it makes me kind of sad sometimes. My life is blessed and wonderful and I’d like to share it. It is a shame it has taken so long, but I remain hopeful. I am off to the movies and a lunch date with Charlie, so it is a glorious day and I am keeping the faith.

The Beckham Hotel, Essex

After five glorious days in London, I have arrived in Essex at Hotel Beckham. I love it here and sitting at the kitchen table with Victoria is one of my happiest places on earth. Victoria and David are as hilarious as ever and their three boys are divine. Growing up very fast, and all still very funny. These are my people and coming here is like coming home. I am sad to only have a couple of nights before we make our way to Scotland, but I will take what I can get.

 

Important to note, because I always get asked about it, I am not actually with the Beckham family, but rather with my friends Jenny and Spencer, along with their kids. They are my personal Beckhams in that they are the perfect couple, and being at their house is like being at a hotel. Better actually. They take very good care of me. There are slippers, room service, two snuggly dogs, a loving cat, endless bags of Skips, and the perfect cup of tea whenever I want it.

 

It’s been a year since I last checked in, and there have been a few changes. There is a new pool, oldest son can now drive, middle son has embarked on a modelling career, and youngest son is studying for his Bar Mitzvah. Still the same are Jenny and Spencer, the cutest couple I know. By cute of course I mean they’re so sweet that prolonged exposure can give you a cavity. I wish we were neighbors instead of being on opposite ends of the world, and I’d move tomorrow if I could, and seriously think about it often.

 

Today Charlie is going into London to tour a museum and see a play, while I hang out with Victoria. We will go grocery shopping, get our nails done, be ladies who lunch, visit her mom, pick up the kids from school, and go out for dinner. It will be a day spent as if I actually lived here and were her neighbor. The perfect day. I’m sitting at the kitchen table, having sent off the kids in their Harry Potter worthy school uniforms, having a cup of tea, looking at the English sun, counting my blessings, and keeping the faith.

 

 

 

‘Manifest’ Mixes Mystery, Drama and Spiritual Questions

Josh Dallas, Melissa Roxburgh, Jeff Rake, Executive Producer at the 'Manifest' Press Room (Photo by: Todd Williamson/NBC)

An airplane encounters severe turbulence midflight and lands safely. When the passengers disembark, they’re astonished to discover that five years have passed. This intriguing scenario is the premise of the new NBC drama “Manifest,” but it’s only one element in a series that creator, executive producer and showrunner Jeff Rake likens to “Lost” meets “This Is Us.” 

“It’s a serialized event mystery but also a grounded relationship drama,” Rake told the Journal. “I think people will see elements of both in ‘Manifest.’” 

Rake came up with the idea 10 years ago while on a family road trip. “I thought, ‘What if a family was traveling in two separate planes and one of them disappeared?’ I pitched it around town. Nobody bought it,” he said. Six years later, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished, “and my idea didn’t seem so outrageous after all.” When his series “The Mysteries of Laura” was canceled, he re-pitched the idea.

Although the pilot centers on passengers Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) and her brother Ben (Josh Dallas), “almost every episode presents a window into the life of a passenger we may not have met before,” Rake said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we meet some Jewish characters along the way.”

Michaela and Ben also represent opposite sides in an age-old debate: faith vs. science. “She believes that faith explains the mystery of the disappearance and return and the inexplicable things that are happening to them,” including the voices they hear compelling them to act, Rake said.

“Ben, on the other hand, is a mathematician, a man of science and is convinced that there must be an earthbound explanation for everything. In a very organized fashion, he starts breaking down who is and isn’t experiencing these callings, how they’re experiencing them and if there are similarities and differences. It’s one of the puzzles of the show but that question will be answered.”

Rake pointed out that although Michaela’s spiritual reference is the New Testament, “we’ll discover other people from other cultures and different faiths have their own explanations of what is happening to the passengers of this flight. Everyone in the series asks themselves the same question: how and why did this happen? We are not presenting one religious point of view, but offering the idea of faith in the most universal sense. It’s my intention that any person of faith has a way into this conversation,” he said.

“As a Jewish writer, I’m inspired by Jewish themes of redemption, second chances and tikkun olam,” he continued “We come to discover that the characters are flawed human beings who’ve been given a second chance, an opportunity to redeem themselves.”

Rake grew up in a traditional Jewish home in Los Angeles and hit the typical Jewish milestones: bar mitzvah, United Synagogue Youth, Camp Hess Kramer as a camper and counselor. He and his wife, Paulette Light, are founding members of IKAR, where her brother David’s wife, Sharon Brous, is the rabbi. Their four kids go to Camp Ramah, and the youngest will celebrate his bar mitzvah in February. “Judaism is a very important part of my life,” he said.

“I’m inspired by Jewish themes of redemption, second chances and tikkun olam. The characters are flawed human beings who’ve been given a second chance.” – Jeff Rake

Involved in speech and debate and drama in high school, Rake put creative interests aside to go to law school. Working for a law firm, he realized he’d made a mistake. He’d written a hip-hop musical about Elvis Presley and took a leave of absence from his job to mount the play at a theater in Hollywood. Soon after, “I quit my job and figured out how to write screenplays.”

He currently has a pilot in development with Warner Bros. for a Freeform show about a female assassin. “I’d love to get back to the theater some day,” he said. “I have a musical that I’d love to get off the ground. But right now it’s all ‘Manifest,’ all the time.”

Intricately plotted, high-concept shows are often hard to sustain and viewers are wary about getting attached to them. Rake acknowledged that fact but believes that “what ‘Manifest’ has going for it is it’s a triple hybrid: A combination of serialized event mystery, grounded relationship drama and procedural because there are closed-ended elements in most episodes that I think the audience will find satisfying as we inch along the mythology,” he said.

“Because we give a lot of real estate to emotional drama and procedure, it allows me to not have to burn through mythology so quickly. I think the serialized mysteries that haven’t worked petered out because they were so reliant on mythology that they had to burn through a lot of story very fast. That’s one pitfall we’ll be able to avoid.”

While the central mystery of the plane’s disappearance and return won’t be answered right away, “you have to turn cards over throughout the course of the series in order to make the audience feel rewarded,” he said. “A big card will be turned over in episode 13.” 

The initial order is for 13 episodes, with the option for nine more. “There will be goal posts along the way where we’ll make major revelations, but in every episode, there will be kernels of information,” Rake promised. “Putting aside the seemingly supernatural elements, I think the emotional drama is very compelling and reason enough to watch, but with the mystery, the procedure and the mythology, there’s something for everyone in this show,” he said. “I hope people will give it a watch and decide for themselves.”


“Manifest” premieres at 10 p.m. Sept. 24 on NBC.

Yom Kippur 2018

There is something about high holidays services, especially Kol Nidre, that brings me peace. I am a woman of faith and could listen to my Rabbi give a sermon all day long, but I feel like I am in the presence of God on this particular day. Perhaps it is because I am surrounded by a group of people and we’re all praying together, or maybe it is because my heart is open on this day. Open to all my emotions. Kol Nidre feeds my soul in important ways.

 

I like the cleansing that comes with Yom Kippur. I may not always be able to forgive those who hurt me, but I’m able to forgive myself for hanging onto the hurt, which then allows me to let go. If I have hurt anyone, I ask for your forgiveness and offer you a sincere apology. This day is not only about seeking forgiveness from others, but offering forgiveness to yourself. I go into Kol Nidre with an open mind. A mind that tells me I am starving and the fast hasn’t even started yet, but  know it is coming!

 

Yom Kippur is the one day of the year I feel completely free. Free of my demons, of which there are many, and free of the chaos that has been known to dance in my mind. I am able to tune out the noise, permit myself to have honest self-reflection, and simply be quiet with God. I will think about the past year, thank God for standing by me as I went through it, and pray for the strength to be brave, even when I don’t think am. It is a very important day to me.

 

I am not the type of person who looks for guarantees. Things happen, both good and bad, so I’m a roll with the punches kind of girl, but tonight there will be guarantees. Tonight I will search for forgiveness and it will come. I will pray for clarity and it will come. I will count my blessings, hold my son’s hand, pray out loud, and allow my faith to embrace me. May all of our names be inscribed in the book of life, may we have health and happiness, and may God guide and bless us. Thank you for being here and keeping the faith.

 

 

London Wedding Bells

 

 

A few years back I was lucky enough to cross paths with a lovely Scottish lass named Suzi. I loved her from the moment I met her. She is young, pretty, funny, kind, caring, and more than just my friend, she is my family. Suzi and I met while working for film producer Allison Shearmur. I was Alli’s personal right hand, while Suzi was her professional right hand. Suzi, Alli and I were the three musketeers and have a history that keeps us forever connected.

My wonderful sister/friend Suzi is getting married this weekend in London, and I am thrilled to be heading across the pond to watch her marry her beloved Fraser. Her happiness matters to me and I am happy to be sharing in her special day. We heartbreakingly lost our friend Alli in January, so I am taking all of Alli’s wishes for Suzi with me. Alli will be watching over our Scottish beauty on her special day and will be happy I am going on behalf of both of us.

London is my favorite city and this is the first time in years I am going for pleasure and not work. I cannot wait to be there and am excited my son is coming with me.  After all the wedding festivities, me and my boy are heading to Scotland. Neither of us have ever been, so to honor the bride we are going to visit her motherland. If Suzi is representative of what Scottish people are like, then I’m certain to fall in love with every Scot who’s path I cross.

I am very happy for my friend. She deserves nothing but joy. She is selfless and even though we live on opposite sides of the world, she has always made me feel like she is close by. She has lifted me up when I was low, and reminded me to count my blessings when I struggled to see them. She loves me, which makes me a very lucky girl. I cannot wait to hug my friend and see her dream come true. I love you loads Suz and cannot wait to see you in your wedding dress.

I remember sitting with Suzi and Alli in a pub in London, wondering when she would get engaged. To clarify, Alli and I wondered, and pushed, and obsessed, but Suzi was cool and entertained two crazy yentas. I am honored to be included and look forward to being in London I hope there is no rain. I also hope there is a ridiculously attractive bartender. A few drinks and he will be, so let the festivities begin. I am excited, happy, and keeping the faith.hope

 

Motherhood 101: Kvelling

My son told me he wanted to be an actor when he was four years old. He is now twenty-two and in the past eighteen years he has never wavered. Not one time. He has been focused on his goals and worked hard. There has been success and failure. There has been joy and disappointment. There has however, never been doubt. Being an actor is all he ever wanted to be.

 

It has been challenging as a mother to watch my child pursue a career in the entertainment industry. The highs are high and the lows are low. My son sees each booking and each rejection as a lesson. He’s stayed on his path with a slow and steady stride. I’ve thought his life could be easier if he made a different career choice, but I’ve never discouraged him from chasing his dreams.

 

He works hard and supports himself. He is motivated, dedicated, driven, and ridiculously talented. This week he accomplished two things he’s been working on for a very long time. He submitted a film he produced and co-stars in to the Sundance Film Festival. He also took a giant step forward as a comedy performer. Both accomplishments leave me keeling. I am very proud of my son.

 

He is a wonderful actor and can make me laugh like nobody else on the planet. The kid is not only funny, but has perfect comedic timing. He is kind and sweet, handsome and charming. He speaks of his successes not in money or praise, but in how he wants to take care of me. It is lovely and makes me proud of not only him, but myself. We are very close and I appreciate our relationship.

 

He’s been working hard to get to where he is and we’re celebrating and going on holiday. We leave Wednesday night after Yom Kipper for our favorite city of London. We will also visit Scotland for the first time, and I cannot wait. He is my favorite person and I treasure time with him. It is an exciting time in his life and having a front row seat is a blessing that comes from keeping the faith.

 

 

Lunch with Leann Rimes

Last weekend while my son was in Calabasas for work, he went out to lunch with a friend. I was hoping to join them, but couldn’t make it out there in time, so they went out to eat on their own. This is the text thread between him and me from that day.

 

 

 

Charlie – You’ll never guess who is eating lunch at the next table.

Me – Who?

Charlie – Guess

Me – Tom Cruise

Charlie – Really mom? Tom Cruise is eating in Calabasas?

Me – It could happen.

Charlie – It’s not Tom Cruise

Me – Oprah!

Charlie. Wow Mom. Oprah is not here.

Me – Who is it then?

Charlie – Guess

Me – Oh. My. God. CELINE DION!

Charlie – You’re not even trying

Me – Who is it?

Charlie – Leann Rimes

Me – Glad I’m not with you or I’d be arrested

Charlie – Hahaha

Me – Give her my love

Charlie – Love you

Me – Love you too

 

Cut to two days later when I had dinner with Charlie. We were chatting and he said he was surprised I hadn’t asked if he took a picture of Leann. To be honest, I had forgotten about it. Now that I no longer write Keeping it Real, she is not someone I think about. I wrote about her when it was my job, then when it wasn’t my job, I moved on.  He showed me a picture he took and she looked like she always looks, not particularly good.

 

My son then told me she must simply not be photogenic, because in person she was very pretty. He said she was tiny and pretty, while Eddie was tall and handsome. He called them “two good looking people”, and when he looked at Leann and she looked back, she smiled. He said they seemed like normal people, out to eat just like him.

 

I have never met Leann. We certainly have a long history together, but do not know each other. I wrote about her because it was my job, not because I was particularly interested or invested in her. On the flip side, she became very interested and invested in me, going as far as to have me escorted out of a concert by armed sheriffs because she felt threatened. Bless her heart.

 

At the end of the day I wish her well. I still think she is bat shit crazy, but I wish her well. I appreciate she smiled at my son and think it is sweet my boy thought she was pretty. I’m certain that had I been with my son at lunch, she would have had absolutely no idea who I was. I was never anything to her but someone to focus her crazy on while her husband focused his energy elsewhere. At the end of the day, if I was willing to write about her craziness, I have to be impartial and also write when there is good stuff.

 

So Leann Rimes is a pretty girl, married to a handsome man, living her life. Good for her. I am now, as I have always been, writing about her because I get paid to. I have no skin in the games she plays. I’m just doing my job, and when this blog is posted, I will stop thinking about her again. She will read it and of course obsess about me, which I think is fascinating, but that’s to be expected from someone who isn’t keeping the faith.

 

Curse of the Common Cold

My son was sick over the weekend and called to say he wanted to come home. I immediately made enough matzo ball soup for an army, and happily took care of him for 3 days. I laid down with him to watch TV, picked up all his used tissues, and sat with him as he ate soup while sneezing like it was his job. While I was of course sad he got such a bad cold, it was my pleasure to take care of him.

 

I love it when he comes home. I sleep better when he is here. Food tastes better when we are eating together. I laugh nonstop when he is here. I love him to bits and now that he is older and out on his own, I miss him so much it hurts. Do I sometimes sleep in his room just because? Yes. Yes, I do. He is my favorite human being. He is also the person who has now left me saddled with a cold.

 

He is thankfully now feeling much better, and by the end of the week will be back to 100%. I on the other hand, am sick. I cannot breathe out of my nose, and when I do manage to clear it enough to breathe, it feels like the breathes are firing straight into my brain. My throat hurts, I am achy, and I just want to sleep. That is sadly not an option until the weekend, so I am pushing through.

 

When my son got sick he received 5 Star treatment. I’m sitting on the couch, in the clothes I wore to work, wrapped in a blanket, trying to muster up strength to heat up a can of soup. I will end up passing on the soup, falling asleep on the couch, waking up in the middle of the night, eating crackers, making a cup of tea, having a little cry, falling back asleep, then getting up for work.

 

I’m hoping it’s a 24-hour-cold-not-really-a-cold-just-a-smidge-of-a-bug situation, but I fear I won’t get lucky on that wish. I have a cold, feel like crap, and have been unable to train the cat to make me soup or get me tissues. This too shall pass, but it’s rough. Being sick on your own is a blessing and a curse. There is nobody to judge my pathetic self, but also nobody to take care of me.

 

I wish my mom was here. She takes good care of me. She’d cook for me, play with my hair, draw me a bath, and tell me I look beautiful, even though we both know I look like garbage. I need to drag myself off the couch, take out my contact lenses before they permanently attach to my eyeballs, get a fresh box of tissues, and go to bed. I may be sick, but I am still keeping the faith.

Remembering September 11, 2001

On September 11, 2001, 2,819 people were murdered during the attacks on America. These are the names of the people who died on that horrible day.  Remember. Pray. Keep the faith.

Gordon M. Aamoth Jr. 
Edelmiro Abad 
Maria Rose Abad 
Andrew Anthony Abate
 Vincent Abate 
Laurence Christopher Abel
 William F. Abrahamson
 Richard Anthony Aceto
 Jesus Acevedo Rescand 
Heinrich Bernhard Ackermann 
Paul Acquaviva 
Donald LaRoy Adams
Patrick Adams
 Shannon Lewis Adams
 Stephen George Adams
Ignatius Udo Adanga
Christy A. Addamo
 Terence E. Adderley, Jr.
 Sophia Buruwad Addo 
Lee Allan Adler 
Daniel Thomas Afflitto
 Emmanuel Akwasi Afuakwah 
Alok Agarwal
Mukul Kumar Agarwala
Joseph Agnello
David Scott Agnes
Brian G. Ahearn
Jeremiah Joseph Ahern
Joanne Marie Ahladiotis
Shabbir Ahmed
Terrance Andre Aiken
Godwin Ajala
Gertrude M. Alagero
Andrew Alameno 
Margaret Ann Alario
Gary M. Albero
Jon Leslie Albert
Peter Alderman
Jacquelyn Delaine Aldridge
David D. Alger
Sarah Ali-Escarcega
Ernest Alikakos
Edward L. Allegretto
Eric Allen
Joseph Ryan Allen
Richard Dennis Allen
Richard Lanard Allen
Christopher E. Allingham
Janet M. Alonso
Arturo Alva-Moreno
Anthony Alvarado
Antonio Javier Alvarez
Victoria Alvarez-Brito
Telmo E. Alvear
Cesar Amoranto Alviar
Tariq Amanullah
Angelo Amaranto
James M. Amato Joseph Amatuccio
Christopher Charles Amoroso
Kazuhiro Anai
Calixto Anaya, Jr.
Joseph Anchundia
Kermit Charles Anderson
Yvette Constance Anderson
John Andreacchio
Michael Rourke Andrews
Jean Ann Andrucki
Siew-Nya Ang
Joseph Angelini, Jr.
Joseph Angelini, Sr.
Laura Angilletta
Doreen J. Angrisani
Lorraine Antigua
Peter Paul Apollo
Faustino Apostol, Jr.
Frank Thomas Aquilino
Patrick Michael Aranyos
David Arce
Michael George Arczynski 
Louis Arena
Adam P. Arias
Michael Armstrong
Jack Charles Aron
Joshua Aron
Richard Avery Aronow
Japhet Jesse Aryee
Patrick Asante
Carl Asaro
Michael Asciak
Michael Edward Asher
Janice Marie Ashley
Thomas J. Ashton
Manuel O. Asitimbay
Gregg Arthur Atlas
Gerald T. Atwood
James Audiffred
Louis Frank Aversano, Jr.
Ezra Aviles
Sandy Ayala
Arlene T. Babakitis
Eustace P. Bacchus
John J. Badagliacca
Jane Ellen Baeszler
Robert J. Baierwalter
Andrew J. Bailey
Brett T. Bailey
Tatyana Bakalinskaya
Michael S. Baksh
Sharon M. Balkcom
Michael Andrew Bane
Katherine Bantis
Gerard Baptiste
Walter Baran
Gerard A. Barbara
Paul Vincent Barbaro
James William Barbella
Ivan Kyrillos F. Barbosa
Victor Daniel Barbosa
Colleen Ann Barkow
David Michael Barkway
Matthew Barnes
Sheila Patricia Barnes
Evan J. Baron
Renee Barrett-Arjune
Nathaly Barrios La Cruz
Arthur Thaddeus Barry
Diane G. Barry
Maurice Vincent Barry
Scott D. Bart
Carlton W. Bartels
Guy Barzvi
Inna B. Basina
Alysia Basmajian 
Kenneth William Basnicki
Steven Bates
Paul James Battaglia
Walter David Bauer, Jr.
Marlyn Capito Bautista
Jasper Baxter
Michele Beale
Paul Frederick Beatini
Jane S. Beatty
Lawrence Ira Beck
Manette Marie Beckles
Carl John Bedigian
Michael Earnest Beekman
Maria A. Behr
Yelena Belilovsky 
Nina Patrice Bell
Debbie Bellows
Stephen Elliot Belson
Paul M. Benedetti
Denise Lenore Benedetto 
Maria Bengochea
Bryan Craig Bennett
Eric L. Bennett
Oliver Duncan Bennett
Margaret L. Benson
Dominick J. Berardi
James Patrick Berger
Steven Howard Berger
John P. Bergin
Alvin Bergsohn
Daniel Bergstein
Michael J. Berkeley Chic Burlingame 
Donna M. Bernaerts
David W. Bernard
William Bernstein
David M. Berray
David S. Berry
Joseph J. Berry
William Reed Bethke
Timothy Betterly
Edward Frank Beyea
Paul Beyer
Anil Tahilram Bharvaney
Bella J. Bhukhan
Shimmy D. Biegeleisen
Peter Alexander Bielfeld
William G. Biggart
Brian Bilcher
Carl Vincent Bini
Gary Eugene Bird
Joshua David Birnbaum
George John Bishop
Jeffrey Donald Bittner
Albert Balewa Blackman, Jr.
Christopher Joseph Blackwell
Susan Leigh Blair
Harry Blanding, Jr.
Janice Lee Blaney
Craig Michael Blass
Rita Blau
Richard Middleton Blood, Jr.
Michael Andrew Boccardi 
John P. Bocchi
Michael Leopoldo Bocchino
Susan M. Bochino
Bruce D. Boehm
Mary Catherine Boffa
Nicholas Andrew Bogdan
Darren Christopher Bohan
Lawrence Francis Boisseau
Vincent M. Boland, Jr.
Alan Bondarenko 
Andre Bonheur, Jr.
Colin Arthur Bonnett
Frank Bonomo
Yvonne Lucia Bonomo
Genieve Bonsignore, 3 
Seaon Booker
Sherry Ann Bordeaux
Krystine Bordenabe
Martin Boryczewski
Richard Edward Bosco
John H. Boulton
Francisco Eligio Bourdier
Thomas Harold Bowden, Jr.
Kimberly S. Bowers
Veronique Nicole Bowers
Larry Bowman
Shawn Edward Bowman, Jr.
Kevin L. Bowser
Gary R. Box
Gennady Boyarsky
Pamela Boyce
Michael Boyle
Alfred Braca
Kevin Bracken
David Brian Brady
Alexander Braginsky
Nicholas W. Brandemarti
Michelle Renee Bratton
Patrice Braut
Lydia E. Bravo
Ronald Michael Breitweiser
Edward A. Brennan III
Francis Henry Brennan
Michael E. Brennan
Peter Brennan
Thomas M. Brennan
Daniel J. Brethel
Gary Lee Bright
Jonathan Briley
Mark A. Brisman
Paul Gary Bristow
Mark Francis Broderick
Herman Charles Broghammer
Keith A. Broomfield
Ethel Brown Janice 
Juloise Brown
Lloyd Stanford Brown
Patrick J. Brown
Bettina Browne
Mark Bruce
Richard George Bruehert
Andrew Brunn
Vincent Brunton
Ronald Paul Bucca
Brandon J. Buchanan
Gregory Joseph Buck
Dennis Buckley
Nancy Clare Bueche
Patrick Joseph Buhse
John Edwards Bulaga, Jr.
Stephen Bunin
Matthew J. Burke 
Thomas Daniel Burke
William Francis Burke, Jr.
Donald J. Burns
Kathleen Anne Burns
Keith James Burns
John Patrick Burnside
Irina Buslo
Milton G. Bustillo
Thomas M. Butler
Patrick Byrne
Timothy G. Byrne 
Jesus Neptali Cabezas
Lillian Caceres
Brian Joseph Cachia
Steven Dennis Cafiero, Jr.
Richard M. Caggiano
Cecile Marella Caguicla
Michael John Cahill
Scott Walter Cahill
Thomas Joseph Cahill
George Cain
Salvatore B. Calabro
Joseph Calandrillo
Philip V. Calcagno
Edward Calderon
Kenneth Marcus Caldwell
Dominick Enrico Calia
Felix Calixte
Frank Callahan
Liam Callahan
Luigi Calvi
Roko Camaj
Michael F. Cammarata
David Otey Campbell
Geoffrey Thomas Campbell
Jill Marie Campbell
Robert Arthur Campbell
Sandra Patricia Campbell 
Sean Thomas Canavan
John A. Candela
Vincent Cangelosi
Stephen J. Cangialosi
Lisa Bella Cannava
Brian Cannizzaro 
Michael Canty
Louis Anthony Caporicci
Jonathan Neff Cappello
James Christopher Cappers
Richard Michael Caproni
Jose Manuel Cardona
Dennis M. Carey
Steve Carey
Edward Carlino
Michael Scott Carlo
David G. Carlone 
Rosemarie C. Carlson
Mark Stephen Carney
Joyce Ann Carpeneto
Ivhan Luis Carpio Bautista 
Jeremy M. Carrington
Michael Carroll
Peter Carroll
James Joseph Carson, Jr.
Marcia Cecil Carter
James Marcel Cartier
Vivian Casalduc
John Francis Casazza
Paul R. Cascio
Margarito Casillas
Thomas Anthony Casoria
William Otto Caspar
Alejandro Castano
Arcelia Castillo
Germaan Castillo Garcia
Leonard M. Castrianno
Jose Ramon Castro
Richard G. Catarelli
Christopher Sean Caton
Robert John Caufield
Mary Teresa Caulfield
Judson Cavalier
Michael Joseph Cawley
Jason David Cayne
Juan Armando Ceballos
Jason Michael Cefalu
Thomas Joseph Celic
Ana Mercedes Centeno
Joni Cesta
Jeffrey Marc Chairnoff
Swarna Chalasani 
William Chalcoff
Eli Chalouh
Charles Lawrence Chan
Mandy Chang
Mark Lawrence Charette
Gregorio Manuel Chavez
Delrose E. Cheatham
Pedro Francisco Checo
Douglas MacMillan Cherry
Stephen Patrick Cherry
Vernon Paul Cherry
Nester Julio Chevalier
Swede Chevalier 
Alexander H. Chiang
Dorothy J. Chiarchiaro
Luis Alfonso Chimbo
Robert Chin
Wing Wai Ching
Nicholas Paul Chiofalo
John Chipura
Peter A. Chirchirillo
Catherine Chirls
Kyung Hee Cho
Abul K. Chowdhury
Mohammad Salahuddin Chowdhury
Kirsten L. Christophe
Pamela Chu
Steven Chucknick
Wai Chung
Christopher Ciafardini
Alex F. Ciccone
Frances Ann Cilente
Elaine Cillo
Edna Cintron
Nestor Andre Cintron III
Robert Dominick Cirri
Juan Pablo Cisneros-Alvarez
Benjamin Keefe Clark
Eugene Clark
Gregory Alan Clark
Mannie Leroy Clark
Thomas R. Clark
Christopher Robert Clarke
Donna Marie Clarke
Michael J. Clarke 
Suria Rachel Emma Clarke
Kevin Francis Cleary
James D. Cleere 
Geoffrey W. Cloud
Susan Marie Clyne
Steven Coakley
Jeffrey Alan Coale
Patricia A. Cody
Daniel Michael Coffey
Jason M. Coffey
Florence G. Cohen
Kevin Sanford Cohen
Anthony Joseph Coladonato
Mark Joseph Colaio
Stephen Colaio
Christopher M. Colasanti
Kevin Nathaniel Colbert
Michel P. Colbert 
Keith E. Coleman
Scott Thomas Coleman
Tarel Coleman
Liam Joseph Colhoun
Robert D. Colin
Robert J. Coll
Jean Collin
John Michael Collins
Michael L. Collins
Thomas J. Collins
Joseph Collison
Patricia Malia Colodner
Linda M. Colon
Sol E. Colon
Ronald Edward Comer
Sandra Jolane Conaty Brace
Jaime Concepcion
Albert Conde
Denease Conley
Susan P. Conlon
Margaret Mary Conner
Cynthia Marie Lise Connolly
John E. Connolly, Jr.
James Lee Connor
Jonathan M. Connors
Kevin Patrick Connors
Kevin F. Conroy
Jose Manuel Contreras-Fernandez 
Brenda E. Conway
Dennis Michael Cook
Helen D. Cook
John A. Cooper
Joseph John Coppo, Jr.
Gerard J. Coppola
Joseph Albert Corbett
Alejandro Cordero
Robert Cordice
Ruben D. Correa 
Danny A. Correa-Gutierrez
James J. Corrigan
Carlos Cortes
Kevin Cosgrove
Dolores Marie Costa
Digna Alexandra Costanza
Charles Gregory Costello, Jr.
Michael S. Costello
Conrod K. Cottoy 
Martin John Coughlan
John Gerard Coughlin
Timothy J. Coughlin
James E. Cove
Andre Cox
Frederick John Cox
James Raymond Coyle
Michele Coyle-Eulau
Anne Marie Cramer
Christopher S. Cramer
Denise Elizabeth Crant
James Leslie Crawford, Jr.
Robert James Crawford
Joanne Mary Cregan
Lucy Crifasi
John A. Crisci
Daniel Hal Crisman
Dennis Cross
Kevin Raymond Crotty
Thomas G. Crotty
John Crowe
Welles Remy Crowther
Robert L. Cruikshank
John Robert Cruz 
Grace Yu Cua
Kenneth John Cubas
Francisco Cruz Cubero
Richard J. Cudina
Neil James Cudmore
Thomas Patrick Cullen lll
Joyce Cummings 
Brian Thomas Cummins
Michael Cunningham
Robert Curatolo
Laurence Damian Curia
Paul Dario Curioli
Beverly Curry
Michael S. Curtin 
Gavin Cushny
John D’Allara
Vincent Gerard D’Amadeo
Jack D’Ambrosi
Mary D’Antonio
Edward A. D’Atri
Michael D. D’Auria
Michael Jude D’Esposito
Manuel John Da Mota
Caleb Arron Dack
Carlos S. DaCosta
Joao Alberto DaFonseca Aguiar, Jr.
Thomas A. Damaskinos
Jeannine Marie Damiani-Jones
Patrick W. Danahy
Nana Danso
Vincent Danz
Dwight Donald Darcy
Elizabeth Ann Darling
Annette Andrea Dataram
Lawrence Davidson
Michael Allen Davidson
Scott Matthew Davidson
Titus Davidson
Niurka Davila
Clinton Davis
Wayne Terrial Davis
Anthony Richard Dawson
Calvin Dawson
Edward James Day
Jayceryll de Chavez
Jennifer De Jesus
Monique E. De Jesus
Nereida De Jesus
Emerita De La Pena
Azucena Maria de la Torre
David Paul De Rubbio
Jemal Legesse De Santis 
Christian Louis De Simone
Melanie Louise De Vere
William Thomas Dean
Robert J. DeAngelis, Jr.
Thomas Patrick DeAngelis
Tara E. Debek
Anna Marjia DeBin
James V. Deblase
Paul DeCola
Simon Marash Dedvukaj
Jason Defazio
David A. DeFeo
Manuel Del Valle, Jr.
Donald Arthur Delapenha
Vito Joseph DeLeo
Danielle Anne Delie
Joseph A. Della Pietra
Andrea DellaBella
Palmina DelliGatti
Colleen Ann Deloughery
Francis Albert DeMartini
Anthony Demas
Martin N. DeMeo 
Francis Deming
Carol K. Demitz
Kevin Dennis
Thomas F. Dennis
Jean DePalma
Jose Depena
Robert John Deraney
Michael DeRienzo
Edward DeSimone III
Andrew Desperito
Cindy Ann Deuel
Jerry DeVito
Robert P. Devitt, Jr.
Dennis Lawrence Devlin
Gerard Dewan
Sulemanali Kassamali Dhanani
Patricia Florence Di Chiaro
Debra Ann Di Martino
Michael Louis Diagostino
Matthew Diaz
Nancy Diaz
Rafael Arturo Diaz
Michael A. Diaz-Piedra III
Judith Berquis Diaz-Sierra
Joseph Dermot Dickey, Jr.
Lawrence Patrick Dickinson
Michael D. Diehl
John Difato
Vincent Difazio
Carl Anthony DiFranco
Donald Difranco
Stephen Patrick Dimino
William John Dimmling
Marisa DiNardo Schorpp
Christopher M. Dincuff
Jeffrey Mark Dingle
Anthony Dionisio 
George DiPasquale
Joseph Dipilato
Douglas Frank DiStefano
Ramzi A. Doany
John Joseph Doherty
Melissa C. Doi
Brendan Dolan
Neil Matthew Dollard
James Joseph Domanico 
Benilda Pascua Domingo 
Carlos Dominguez
Jerome Mark Patrick Dominguez
Kevin W. Donnelly
Jacqueline Donovan
Stephen Scott Dorf
Thomas Dowd
Kevin Dowdell
Mary Yolanda Dowling
Raymond Mathew Downey
Frank Joseph Doyle
Joseph Michael Doyle
Stephen Patrick Driscoll
Mirna A. Duarte
Michelle Beale Duberry 
Luke A. Dudek
Christopher Michael Duffy 
Gerard Duffy
Michael Joseph Duffy
Thomas W. Duffy 
Antoinette Duger 
Sareve Dukat
Christopher Joseph Dunne
Richard Anthony Dunstan
Patrick Thomas Dwyer
Joseph Anthony Eacobacci
John Bruce Eagleson
Robert Douglas Eaton
Dean Phillip Eberling
Margaret Ruth Echtermann
Paul Robert Eckna
Constantine Economos
Dennis Michael Edwards
Michael Hardy Edwards
Christine Egan
Lisa Egan
Martin J. Egan, Jr.
Michael Egan
Samantha Martin Egan
Carole Eggert
Lisa Caren Ehrlich
John Ernst Eichler
Eric Adam Eisenberg
Daphne Ferlinda Elder
Michael J. Elferis 
Mark Joseph Ellis
Valerie Silver Ellis
Albert Alfy William Elmarry
Edgar Hendricks Emery, Jr.
Doris Suk-Yuen Eng
Christopher Epps
Ulf Ramm Ericson
Erwin L. Erker
William John Erwin
Jose Espinal
Fanny Espinoza
Bridget Ann Esposito
Francis Esposito 
Michael Esposito 
William Esposito 
Ruben Esquilin, Jr.
Sadie Ette
Barbara G. Etzold
Eric Brian Evans
Robert Evans
Meredith Emily June Ewart
Catherine K. Fagan
Patricia Mary Fagan
Keith George Fairben
Sandra Fajardo-Smith
William F. Fallon
William Lawrence Fallon, Jr.
Anthony J. Fallone, Jr.
Dolores Brigitte Fanelli
John Joseph Fanning
Kathleen Anne Faragher
Thomas Farino
Nancy Carole Farley
Elizabeth Ann Farmer
Douglas Jon Farnum
John G. Farrell
John W. Farrell
Terrence Patrick Farrell
Joseph D. Farrelly
Thomas Patrick Farrelly
Syed Abdul Fatha
Christopher Edward Faughnan
Wendy R. Faulkner
Shannon Marie Fava
Bernard D. Favuzza
Robert Fazio, Jr.
Ronald Carl Fazio
William Feehan
Francis Jude Feely
Garth Erin Feeney
Sean B. Fegan
Lee S. Fehling
Peter Adam Feidelberg
Alan D. Feinberg 
Rosa Maria Feliciano
Edward Thomas Fergus, Jr.
George Ferguson
Henry Fernandez 
Judy Hazel Fernandez
Julio Fernandez
Elisa Giselle Ferraina
Anne Marie Sallerin Ferreira
Robert John Ferris
David Francis Ferrugio
Louis V. Fersini
Michael David Ferugio
Bradley James Fetchet
Jennifer Louise Fialko
Kristen Nicole Fiedel
Samuel Fields
Michael Bradley Finnegan Timothy J. Finnerty
Michael Curtis Fiore
Stephen S R Fiorelli, Sr.
Paul M. Fiori
John B. Fiorito
John R. Fischer
Andrew Fisher
Bennett Lawson Fisher
John Roger Fisher
Thomas J. Fisher 
Lucy A. Fishman
Ryan D. Fitzgerald
Thomas James Fitzpatrick
Richard P. Fitzsimons
Salvatore Fiumefreddo
Christina Donovan Flannery
Eileen Flecha
Andre G. Fletcher
Carl M. Flickinger 
John Joseph Florio
Joseph Walken Flounders 
David Fodor
Michael N. Fodor 
Stephen Mark Fogel
Thomas Foley
David J. Fontana 
Chih Min Foo
Godwin Forde
Donald A. Foreman
Christopher Hugh Forsythe
Claudia Alicia Foster
Noel John Foster 
Ana Fosteris
Robert Joseph Foti
Jeffrey Fox
Virginia Fox
Pauline Francis
Virgin Francis
Gary Jay Frank
Morton H. Frank
Peter Christopher Frank
Richard K. Fraser
Kevin J. Frawley
Clyde Frazier, Jr. 
Lillian Inez Frederick
Andrew Fredricks
Tamitha Freeman
Brett Owen Freiman
Peter L. Freund
Arlene Eva Fried 
Alan Wayne Friedlander
Andrew Keith Friedman
Gregg J. Froehner
Peter Christian Fry
Clement Lisa Frost A. Fumando
Steven Elliot Furman
Paul Furmato
Fredric Neal Gabler
Richard Samuel Federick Gabrielle
James Andrew Gadiel
Pamela Lee Gaff 
Ervin Vincent Gailliard
Deanna Lynn Galante
Grace Catherine Galante
Anthony Edward Gallagher
Daniel James Gallagher
John Patrick Gallagher
Lourdes Galletti
Cono E. Gallo
Vincenzo Gallucci
Thomas E. Galvin
Giovanna Galletta Gambale
Thomas Gambino, Jr.
Giann Franco Gamboa
Peter Ganci
Ladkat K. Ganesh
Claude Michael Gann
Osseni Garba
Charles William Garbarini 
Ceasar Garcia
David Garcia
Juan Garcia
Marlyn Del Carmen Garcia
Christopher S. Gardner
Douglas Benjamin Gardner
Harvey J. Gardner III
Jeffrey Brian Gardner
Thomas Gardner 
William Arthur Gardner
Francesco Garfi
Rocco Nino Gargano
James M. Gartenberg
Matthew David Garvey
Bruce Gary
Boyd Alan Gatton
Donald Richard Gavagan, Jr.
Terence D. Gazzani
Gary Geidel
Paul Hamilton Geier
Julie M. Geis
Peter G. Gelinas
Steven Paul Geller
Howard G. Gelling
Peter Victor Genco, Jr.
Steven Gregory Genovese
Alayne Gentul
Edward F. Geraghty
Suzanne Geraty
Ralph Gerhardt
Robert Gerlich
Denis P. Germain
Marina Romanovna Gertsberg
Susan M. Getzendanner
James G. Geyer
Joseph M. Giaccone
Vincent Francis Giammona
Debra Lynn Gibbon
James Andrew Giberson
Craig Neil Gibson
Ronnie E. Gies
Laura A. Giglio
Andrew Clive Gilbert
Timothy Paul Gilbert
Paul Stuart Gilbey
Paul John Gill
Mark Y. Gilles
Evan Gillette
Ronald Lawrence Gilligan
Rodney C. Gillis
Laura Gilly
John F. Ginley
Donna Marie Giordano
Jeffrey John Giordano
John Giordano
Steven A. Giorgetti
Martin Giovinazzo
Kum-Kum Girolamo
Salvatore Gitto
Cynthia Giugliano
Mon Gjonbalaj
Dianne Gladstone
Keith Glascoe
Thomas Irwin Glasser
 Edmund Glazer Harry Glenn
Barry H. Glick
Steven Glick
John T. Gnazzo
William Robert Godshalk
Michael Gogliormella
Brian Fredric Goldberg
Jeffrey Grant Goldflam
Michelle Goldstein
Monica Goldstein
Steven Goldstein 
Andrew H. Golkin 
Dennis James Gomes
Enrique Antonio Gomez
Jose Bienvenido Gomez
Manuel Gomez, Jr.
Wilder Alfredo Gomez
Jenine Nicole Gonzalez
Mauricio Gonzalez
Rosa Gonzalez
Calvin J. Gooding
Harry Goody
Kiran Reddy Gopu
Catherine C. Gorayeb
Kerene Gordon
Sebastian Gorki
Kieran Joseph Gorman
Thomas Edward Gorman
Michael Edward Gould
Yuji Goya
Jon Richard Grabowski
Christopher Michael Grady
Edwin J. Graf III
David Martin Graifman
Gilbert Franco Granados
Elvira Granitto
Winston Arthur Grant
Christopher S. Gray
James Michael Gray
Tara McCloud Gray
Linda Catherine Grayling
John M. Grazioso
Timothy George Grazioso 
Derrick Auther Green
Wade B. Green
Elaine Myra Greenberg
Gayle R. Greene
James Arthur Greenleaf, Jr.
Eileen Marsha Greenstein 
Elizabeth Martin Gregg
Denise Gregory
Donald H. Gregory
Florence Moran Gregory
Pedro Grehan 
John Michael Griffin
Tawanna Sherry Griffin
Joan Donna Griffith
Warren Grifka
Ramon Grijalvo
Joseph F. Grillo
David Joseph Grimner
Kenneth George Grouzalis
Joseph Grzelak
Matthew James Grzymalski
Robert Joseph Gschaar
Liming Gu
Jose Guadalupe
Cindy Yan Zhu Guan
Joel Guevara Gonzalez
Geoffrey E. Guja
Joseph Gullickson
Babita Girjamatie Guman
Douglas Brian Gurian
Janet Ruth Gustafson
Philip T. Guza
Barbara Guzzardo
Peter M. Gyulavary
Gary Robert Haag
Andrea Lyn Haberman
Barbara Mary Habib
Philip Haentzler
Nezam A. Hafiz
Karen Elizabeth Hagerty
Steven Michael Hagis
Mary Lou Hague
David Halderman
Maile Rachel Hale 
Richard B. Hall
Vaswald George Hall
Robert J. Halligan
Vincent Gerard Halloran
James Douglas Halvorson
Mohammad Salman Hamdani
Felicia Hamilton
Robert Hamilton
Frederic K. Han
Christopher J. Hanley
Sean S. Hanley
Valerie Joan Hanna
Thomas Hannafin
Kevin James Hannaford
Michael Lawrence Hannan
Dana R Hannon
Vassilios G. Haramis
James A. Haran
Jeffrey Pike Hardy
Timothy John Hargrave
Daniel Edward Harlin
Frances Haros
Harvey Harrell
Stephen G. Harrell
Melissa Marie Harrington
Aisha Anne Harris
Stewart Dennis Harris
John Patrick Hart 
John Clinton Hartz
Emeric Harvey
Thomas Theodore Haskell, Jr.
Timothy Haskell
Joseph John Hasson III
Leonard W. Hatton
Terence S. Hatton
Michael Haub
Timothy Aaron Haviland
Donald G. Havlish, Jr.
Anthony Hawkins 
Nobuhiro Hayatsu
Philip Hayes
William Ward Haynes
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Happy New Year

I am sitting on the couch, listening to my son coughing and blowing his nose. He has a horrible cold and the poor kid is suffering. He called me yesterday and said he was feeling worse than the day before, and needed to come home. I jumped into action and made a pot of matzo ball soup. He has been here for 24 hours of eating, sleeping, coughing, and blowing his nose. I am of course sad he is sick, but I am happy he is home. It feels great to take care of him.

 

He will always be my baby and I am not ashamed to tell you I sat in his room this afternoon for 15 minutes and watched him sleep. I stared at this remarkable young man, proud of who he is, excited about who he will become, and grateful to be his mom. It warms my heart that when he got sick he immediately wanted to come home. I have made the soup, spinach and mushroom kugel, apple and honey kugel, brisket, and potatoes. (The food is a bribe for him to stay longer.)

 

I love him so much it aches that he doesn’t live with me anymore. I miss him and so while having him here is heaven, when he leaves again the silence will be deafening. We raise our kids to be productive adults, but don’t think about the fact that when it happens, they leave home. Damn it! I worked 22 years to reach this stage of life, but it is hard. I miss him. Every Rosh Hashanah I say I’m going to be brave and embrace the stage of life I’m in, but this stage is hard.

 

With each year I make resolutions and while I honestly try to make change each year, this year feels different. This is going to be a great year. My son has produced a movie that will be coming out soon. I have been dating without expectations and with a sense of humor. I’m taking care of my body and soul. I am connecting to God, embracing faith, and mastering the art of the perfect martini. Life is good and I am blessed my son lives close and still comes home.

 

I always write people need to be brave and not only follow their hearts, but not settle for the things they get because they believe they are what they deserve. It is my turn to believe and embrace my own advice. I am going into the year knowing I deserve it all. I’m going to write more, eat less, pray more, and cry less. I’m going to find my bashert. He will be strong enough to not only let me be me, but strong enough to be himself. It will be a great year for us all. #impeachment

 

I wish you all a happy and healthy new year. I hope your challenges are few, but should you hit a bump, know I am here cheering you on. Be brave. This is your life and only you can live it. Do what makes sense to you, and what feels good to you. Have some fun. Have more sex. Have really good sex. Laugh. Often and out loud. Resist. Take a knee. Make a difference. Inspire change. Speak out. Go out. Everything and anything is possible if you believe, so keep the faith.

Dating 101

I went on a date this week with a man I met online. While speaking on the phone before meeting, we talked about religion. He referred to himself as spiritual, but not at all religious. He also said if forced to label himself, it would be agnostic. I told him I believe in God and was a practicing Jew. He said there were things about Judaism he thought were interesting, but was not a fan of organized religion as a whole.

 

I shared I would never have a Christmas tree, and he shared he hadn’t had one in over twenty years. I told him I like to go to temple for Shabbat services and celebrated Jewish holidays. He said he’d accompany me if he was there as simply someone to have by my side, and not to convert. It was an easy and open conversation. I’m trying to think outside the box, so we made a plan to meet for drinks. He is 55, divorced with one adult child, has a dog and a cat.

 

A Jew and an agnostic walk into a bar. They say hello, order drinks, and sit down for a chat. After five minutes of small talk about traffic and weather, the agnostic asks the Jew what she thinks about Jesus. The Jew replies that she doesn’t often think about Jesus. The agnostic then tells the Jew he “thinks about Jesus often and how he died for his sins”. The Jew reminds the agnostic that he said he was agnostic, and the agnostic tells the Jew religion and Jesus are not synonymous and can be separated from each other.

 

The Jew, also being a lady, then spends the next 30 minutes listening to the agnostic talk about Jesus. By talk of course he speaks of his hair, clothes, sacrifice, and most importantly, how Jesus didn’t want to ever be considered a Jew. The Jew tells the agnostic it was lovely to meet him and she enjoyed the drink, but she was going to have to head out. The parting words of the Jew are “take care’. The parting words of the agnostic are “Jesus loves you.”

 

I am a woman who gains strength through faith, so I would never judge someone based on what they believe. To each their own and I feel strongly that religion is personal and everyone can worship in whatever way brings them comfort. I am Jewish and I take comfort in private prayer and being with my tribe at services. That’s how I roll. I am not an expert on Jesus, but I am quite certain that even Jesus was confused by this guy and was shaking his head while watching our date..

 

My dating life has always been interesting, but lately it has taken a bizarre turn. You can’t make this stuff up, so I have to wonder what it is about me that attracts such dating. I would like to think it is because I am kind so perhaps these people simply need kindness. I asked Jesus about it, since he was clearly on my date with me, and he just laughed. He actually laughed out loud, told me he was sorry, then laughed some more. Sweet Jesus is awesome. Shabbat Shalom and Happy Friday. Be safe out there and remember to keep the faith.

Motherhood 101 – Dangerous Roads

My son got his learner’s permit the very first day he was able. He made an appointment at the DMV, found the driving school he wanted to use, and started to look for cars. He was excited to drive, and had saved his Bar Mitzvah money to buy a car. He had a plan and stuck to it. I was happy for him to have reached the milestone, but have been terrified from the first day he drove. That daily fear continues today and will be there for the rest of my life.

When I gave Charlie driving lessons he called me “Howler Mom” because he said I screamed like a howler monkey when he drove. I did. It is horrible when your baby starts to drive. He is thankfully a great driver, but it is not just your child you worry about when they take the car out, but rather the maniacs they share the road with. Driving is a big deal and a mom never stops worrying about it. I cannot really sleep until I know he is home safe. Driving is a major stress point that comes with motherhood.

Last week Charlie was driving on the 405 freeway and noticed a box spring in the middle of the lane next to his. A car came up on that lane and tried to avoid hitting it, but managed to clip the box spring, and sent is flying. The airborne box spring then crashed into the front of Charlie’s car. He is lucky he did not lose control of the car, or get in an accident, or have it go through the front windshield. He was shaken but safe.

His car was totaled, but thank God he is okay. The car that he bought with his Bar Mitzvah money, the car he has treated like a baby for 6 six years, is headed to the junkyard and he is sad to see the poor girl go. I have been on edge since it happened because you just never know what can happen. Things can literally come out of nowhere and change everything. The scariest part is that you can’t prepare for it.

This weekend I bought my baby a new baby. It is not the car of his dreams, but that is a car he will buy for himself one day. I bought him a safe and reliable used car, and he is both happy and appreciative. I am counting my blessings he is okay and thankful to his old car for keeping him safe. You just never know what will happen, so be safe out there. I am counting my blessings, saying thanks, and keeping the faith.

 

A Helping Hand

Yesterday as my son was leaving the house, he noticed a small bee sitting on the wall by the door. He didn’t pay too much attention to it as he was heading out, but when he returned about 30 minutes later, he saw the bee was still there. He wondered if it was dead, and took a closer look. The poor thing was alive, but clinging to the wall and clearly in some kind of distress, so my son decided to help.

He came into the house, got a tablespoon, added sugar and water, and went back to the bee. The poor little thing got on the spoon and began to drink the sugar water. It was truly amazing. I stared at this wonderful little creature, and also at my remarkable son, with awe. He held the spoon steady as the bee drank, then slowly moved the spoon to the counter so it would be still and the bee could drink calmly.

Charlie then took the bee back outside, set it on the ground, and left it there.  When he went back a little while later, there was no bee on the spoon. A bee was buzzing around, and he couldn’t know if it was the same bee, but I’d like to think it was. He hung around to let my boy know he was alright and thank him for his kindness. It was a beautiful exchange between man and animal. I have attached a video of the sweet, little bee drinking below.

There are humans who are simply unworthy of animals, then there are people like my son, who are blessed with love and respect for animals. I am touched by the kindness my son shows to all living things. He is a good man and yesterday not only did I know it, but so did a lovely little bee. Have a great weekend everyone. Shabbat Shalom. Show kindness and know that animals are also just trying to keep the faith.

 

Oh Canada!

I went home to Canada to surprise my niece for her birthday. I took the redeye last Thursday night, and came back to LA on Sunday. It was a wonderful, albeit far too short visit. Here’s the thing about going home though, even 5 minutes can feed your soul. I was surrounded by family, friends, nature, Canadian accents, and animals. I was in cottage country on Lake Simcoe, which is a glorious place.

I woke my niece up when I went in her room, and she simply stared at me, unsure what was happening. She then jumped up and hugged me like her life depended on it. She is a wonderful human being and I would love her even if she wasn’t family. I am very happy I went for the weekend. The truth is I would fly home every weekend if I could. There is no place like home, and home is Canada.

I played board games, read while relaxing in a hammock, watched the sun rise with a cup of tea sitting by the lake, and watched the sun set at a dinner table covered with delicious food and enveloped in good conversation and laughter. I tuned out the noise of life for a couple of days and slowed everything down. It was a terrific weekend and I was happy, which is a blessing often overlooked in the chaos of life.

Canadians are good people. There is inherent kindness and generosity. Not only that, but there is a genuine desire to talk to people. Whether you are at the grocery store, or sitting and waiting for your flight to be called, a Canadian will smile and engage in a way that is classically Canadian. I have lived in America longer than I lived in Canada, but Canada will always be what feeds my soul.

I cried when my brother dropped me off at the airport. Not a pretty tear down the cheek situation, but rather a bawling and gasping for breath type of thing. I flew home comforted by a bag of ketchup potato chips and a Coffee Crisp. When I miss my brother I will pull out my emergency stash of Aero, remember the weekend, and keep the faith.

 

 

 

My Future Life as a Gay Man

Last weekend I went to my friend Justin’s birthday party. We live only 15 minutes away from each other, but met through friend’s in Australia. We bonded quickly and have spent the past two Thanksgivings together with our Aussie posse. He is my go to friend when I need a pick me up because he always has a positive outlook. I love him very much. He is kind, funny, charming, and has a generous spirit. He is dependable and always ready with advice that is 100% spot on.

I have met wonderful people through Justin. He surrounds himself with lovely souls and has built a family of friends. When I walked into his birthday party I was greeted with kisses and genuine happiness to see me. What made it so special is that most of the people were strangers to me. Justin introduced me as his friend, which automatically made me their friend. I felt welcomed, embraced, and included.

I was a 52-year woman, surrounded by twenty something, handsome, and charming gay men. I was told I had great hair, pretty eyes, and fabulous boobs. I was welcomed into every conversation, and asked about me and my life. It was supportive and inclusive and I felt like I was in the gay version of a kibbutz. For anyone who knows what the community of a kibbutz is like, you will understand what a great feeling it was. There was something very Jew-ISH about the birthday party.

Important to note I would have made out with most of the men at the party, and a couple of the women, which is fun since chicks are not my thing. Some of the men were so beautiful I would leave the lights on and not focus on sucking in my stomach, just so I could focus on how handsome they were. Dear Lord. I left the party with a sore neck from all the head turning as I watched a parade of gorgeousness, mostly in Speedos.

I have decided I want to come back in my next life as an attractive gay man who is loved by his parents and living out loud. I loved being a part of Justin’s family and was happy to have a glimpse of what my next life as a gay man looked like. Can’t wait. To my darling Justin, Happy Birthday! I love you and was honored to be included in your celebration with your family of friends. I wish you a year of health and happiness. You make me happy and inspire me to always keep the faith.

Sorry. Not Sorry.

I recently said sorry for something I wasn’t really sorry for. I knew I wasn’t sorry when I said it, but in an attempt to avoid confrontation, I apologized. I shouldn’t have because I didn’t mean it and regretted saying it the moment it came out of my mouth. Now I’m stuck because I really want to take it back and for the person who received the apology to understand that not only am I not sorry, but the situation was their fault not mine.

No good can come out of my taking back the apology, and the truth is it will cause more problems than the fake apology, so I am trying hard to set aside my ego and not let it guide me, but it is really hard. When I make a mistake I will apologize with ease.  I have no problem saying sorry, but this feels quite different because  I am simply not at all sorry.

I wish I had paused to regroup and assess the situation before throwing the sorry out there, but instead I responded immediately without thinking it through. Elton John says that sorry seems to be the hardest word, but in this instance sorry was the easiest word to say and I wish it had been harder! I am going to pass on Elton with this one and go with Demi Lovato. Sorry. Not sorry. Not at all.

Important to note I am Canadian, so saying sorry is like breathing air. Canadians say sorry all the time and I would argue it is the most used word in Canada, beating out eh by a landslide.  We like to say sorry in Canada, and after almost 30 years in America, sorry is actually one of the few words I still say with a Canadian accent. I embrace saying sorry, except for this one time. I am not sorry.

Sorry is a very powerful word. It can mean everything, even when it really means nothing, as was the case with this particular sorry. The person who heard it took it as an admission of guilt, because that is what they needed to hear, so I am happy for them. By happy for them of course I mean I was not sorry! Can I keep quiet and let the sorry stick? I want to try so I am keeping the faith.

Bad Medicine at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center

On February 28 of this year I had ananterior cervical discectomy and fusion surgery on my neck at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank. The surgery was a success and I have been pain free since I woke up from surgery. I was not only blessed to have a great surgical outcome, but I wrote about my experience with the clergy at Saint Joe’s because they impacted my experience.

Chaplain Phil Kiehl and Rebecca Stringer from the chaplain’s office both came to pray with me. Phil said a prayer with me and my son before my surgery, and Rebecca came and prayed with me before I went home. They were kind, and loving, and I felt the power of their prayers. They both said prayers tailored to my faith, which I appreciated. The prayers mattered and have stayed with me. I felt lucky to have had such a wonderful experience, both physically and spiritually. Sadly my good feelings about Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center did not last very long. In fact, they went from good, to bad, to disbelief, and now I am angry. Angry and disgusted by what can only be described as unethical and unprofessional practices of Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center.

I have spoken to countless people at the hospital and after the last conversation I had with an employee at Saint Joseph’s, I am left with no other choice than to not only write about it, but hire an attorney because these people are lying at every level and one can only assume I am just a drop in bucket of lies. I am standing up for not only myself, but for those who are not strong enough to stand up. If they are billing me for thousands of dollars of services that were not provided, and I was admitted for less than 24 hours, what is going on with people who are there for prolonged periods of time, or those who don’t have health insurance? As for my insurance, that is another fascinating lesson with this surgery. Medicine is amazing, but it is also very dirty and money driven.

I received a bill from the hospital for $1859.76. There was no breakdown of what it was for, just a lump sum. I had already paid for the anesthesiologist and the surgeon, so I called the hospital to ask for a breakdown of the charges, what was paid by my insurance coverage, and what the balance of $1859.76 included. They provided me with a list of charges, but there was something fishy going on. They billed $7570.51 in pharmacy charges. I was there for less than 24 hours and the only things I took was 3 Vicodin and a package of Halls throat lozenges. They billed $1840.00 for physical therapy, and I never had any physical therapy. There was also a charge of $54211.01 for Medical Supplies and $62900.00 for the operating room. I accept being charged for what they provided, but they did not provide all they have billed for. Period.

The big issues I had however were with the pharmacy and physical therapy charges. I called the hospital and said I was disputing the charges and wanted them to be reviewed. I was transferred to a woman named Jenny Ritchie in the Business Office, and explained everything to her. She told me she was going on vacation and would call me when she got back in a week. She never called. I called her back three times and finally got a hold of her. She apologized for not being in touch and needed me to explain everything to her again. I told her the hospital would not provide me a breakdown of the pharmacy charges. I also explained I was being charged for physical therapy I never received. She told me she would investigate and get back to me. I never heard from her.

A couple of weeks later I receive a letter from Saint Joseph’s telling me they had investigated my bill and determined it was correct and the bill was now due. I called the Business Office but nobody would take my call. While waiting for a call back I received a letter from Wendy Katsiotis, who is a Supervisor with the Inpatient Physical Therapy Department. A woman I’d never spoken to. Her letter let me know she investigated my case and it had been closed. I’m not sure how it can be properly investigated without anyone ever speaking to me, so I called her to ask. I explained I never received physical therapy in the hospital.  I told her I met the physical therapist, but had declined treatment in the hospital as I have been doing physical therapy for a year and was good to go. She told me she spoke to the physical therapist on duty during my stay, and she assured her she not only consulted with me, but took me on a walk around the hospital floor. I assured her that was not at all true and never happened.  She told me there “were a couple people on her floor who she thinks would totally lie, but not the girl assigned to me”. So they lie, but not the girl who met me?

I explained I never received treatment and did not go for a walk. She then told me that I was too high to remember. Considering they charged me for $7000.00 of narcotics, that might make sense, but no. I told her it would make no sense to walk around a woman who was high and had a new neck. Ms. Katsiotis then asked me if perhaps I had an opioid addiction and could function while high. So I was clear, I reiterated that only some of her employees lie and they provide physical therapy to people who are high. She said yes, wished me well with my new neck, and that was that. I called back Ms. Ritchie and got through, only to be told it was my word against theirs and the case was closed. Oy vey with these people. I then called my insurance company to let them know what was going on.

The people at Blue Shield of California were lovely. I heard from Chrystal H., and Dani C., both in the Grievance Department. I then spoke to their supervisor Danielle, who listened. She said they would investigate the charges, but at the end of the day they had a contact with the hospital, so they were able to charge what they wanted and there was not a lot Blue Shield could do about it. I did not have physical therapy, I did not have $7000.00 worth of opioids in less than 24 hours, and there is simply no way that 20 hours at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center should be billing $152,061.52 when the anesthesiologist and surgeon were paid for separately. This is unethical business practices. They are lying and it shockingly seems to be completely legal. Not cool.

I have called the hospital and asked for arbitration of the bill. I was assured someone would call me, but that was 8 days ago and no call. Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center has billed incorrectly, call me an opioid addict, told me their staff lies, and never once called to ask me what happened during my stay. I can only imagine what they get away with when nobody asks questions. I am grateful and thankful my neck is doing great, but I am not paying the bill because it is a lie. Not only are they charging for things that didn’t happen, they’re smirking while they do it because they’re protected by a contract with the insurance companies. They’ve never come across someone like me however. Don’t mess with an angel, and buckle up when an angel is keeping the faith.

Dating 101: A Week in LA

I sometimes think I shouldn’t write about my bad dating experiences because at some point one cannot read the huge volume of shared information and not assume it must be me who is the problem. While occasionally embarrassing, it is only when I write about what I go through, and other women share what they have gone through, that I realize I am not alone. Dating truly sucks and one can only hope each bad date gets us closer to our last date. We must pray the last date comes when we find love, and not when we give up on dating.

I was contacted by five men this week through online dating. Here is a look into how it went.

Man #1 – “I was married for 30 years. The last 5 were very lonely. When the kids were all grown and out of the house I had the courage to put myself first and leave. I want to be happy for the last part of my life. I am going to laugh and enjoy things. I want to travel, not be told what to do every second of everyday. I want to wear what I want, eat what I want, and meet a woman who is open to a threesome and anal sex. I’ve waited thirty years to be this free. I am not sure I can find what I want in a Jewish woman, but I’d like to, and you seem really terrific.”

Man #2 – “For the record, I am actually 66 not 60. I didn’t want to limit who searched for me. The pics are from when I was 60 though, so I’m not deceiving as much as I am fudging a little bit. Hahahahaha.”

Man #3 – “I’ve read your blog. You are so funny. Wow. You have really had some colorful dates. Time for you to meet a mensch! If it turns out I am your Prince Charming can you get me free advertising with the Jewish Journal? You could be good for business!”

Man #4 – “You are a beautiful woman. Your eyes are stunning. Would love for you to send me a picture in your bathing suit then we can make a plan to go out.”

Man #5 – “I’m so glad you called. What was your name again? So glad you called. Who is this? What is your name? Hello? Have we met yet? Oh man, I’m a little drunk. Who is this?”

So….. I will be spending the weekend at home. I will indulge in a cocktail or two, maybe try a new recipe for something yummy, and enjoy the company of Fiddles the cat. There is always the possibility I will be contacted for a date, or perhaps I will reach out to a man for a date. There is also the possibility I will win the lottery or meet the man of my dreams in the booze aisle. Anything can happen so I am going to buy a lottery ticket, go to Shabbat services at Nashuva, and pick up some vodka on my way home. By vodka of course I mean vodka and tequila.

I am hoping for the best and fighting the urge to throw in the towel. It would be easy to get another cat and call it a day because dating is hard, but love is grand and sex matters, so we must remember good things come those who wait. I have been waiting a long time, but there is enough good sprinkled in with the bad to keep me hopeful. Dating requires hope, and vodka, so I am keeping a sense of humor and keeping the faith.

A Bad Day Only Lasts 24 Hours

I woke up at 5:00 this morning and from the moment I opened my eyes my day has been getting worse. Between family stuff, work stuff, pet stuff, and this oppressive heatwave, I am emotionally and physically exhausted, and the day hasn’t really even started. It has been such an epically horrible morning that the joy that normally comes when Friday rolls in is not there. The good news is that a bad day only lasts 24 hours, so the countdown is on towards a better tomorrow.

I am a person who was born with the ability to count my blessings. Not all people are, so I am grateful I have this important gift. I am not complaining because my life is good, but there are some days when I just want to through my hands in the air and scream. Scream and cry. Mostly cry because I am not much of a screamer. I happen to look pretty when I cry, which I am sure the cat is thankful for since she is the one who is comforting me. Thank God for this cat. I love her. I am officially a cat lady.

When one thing goes wrong, it is easy to pile everything else onto the one bad thing, and before you know you have created a pile of crap. It is silly, but I suppose human nature to let one bad thing spin everything out of control. I will sit and admire the pile I have built for a little bit longer. Then I will get up, dust myself off, knock down the pile, deal with the one thing that got it started, say a prayer, and focus on counting my blessings. Bad days happen, but thank God life goes on, and life is good. Amen.

I’m going to take a deep breath, wipe my tears, hug my cat, call my mother, and take comfort in the fact there are now only 20 hours left in this bad day. If you are also building an unnecessary pile of crap, I get it. You are not alone and it will be okay. Get through today and start tomorrow fresh. Your bad day only lasts 24 hours so there is an end in sight. I’m counting down the hours in the day and the hours until cocktail time. This too shall pass so I am keeping the faith.

Fake Dating 101 – Porn Addiction

I met a man for drinks on Saturday night. He was in his 50’s, employed, twice divorced, a father, and unfiltered in conversation. The time I spent with this man was interesting. By interesting of course I mean not even remotely interesting. I spent an hour with him and came home and cried. Dating is exhausting and I cried for no other reason that I was tired of the dating process. Important to note I only cried for a minute, but worth mentioning tears were shed.

We arrived to the bar at the same time, recognized each other at valet, said hello, hugged, and went to the bar. We made small talk about work and kids, then he said he was having a great time and would I like to move to a table for dinner. I wasn’t sure if we were a match, but he was pleasant and the conversation easy. I’m trying to date with an open mind and no expectations, so I agreed to dinner and we relocated to a table for dinner. We ordered dinner and to the best of my recollection, this was our conversation:

Him: Here’s a question…. Do you like porn?

Me: Did you just ask me if I like porn?

Him: Yes. I hope you’re not offended.

Me: It’s a rather bold question for a first date.

Him: First dates are about getting to know each other.

Me: You jumped from how old is my son to porn.

Him: Are you intimidated by sex and talking about it?

Me: Really?

Him: Porn can be a great addition to a relationship.

Me: Really?

Him: I think it is an important topic and it matters to me.

Me: I think we’re done.

Him: I don’t want to start something that can’t go anywhere.

Me: Whether or not you date me depends on if I like porn?

Him: Yes.

Me: I don’t think I’m the girl for you.

Him: I think it is a conversation worth having

Me: Then why not put it in your profile so it’s out there?

Him: It’s private.

Me: If it is private, why are we talking about it?

Him: I’m sorry.

Me: I’m going to head out, here’s money for dinner.

Him: I’m sorry, please don’t go.

Me: I wish you the best of luck with your search.

Him: My marriage ended because of my love of porn.

Me: Take care.

Him: I’d like you to stay.

Me: Goodnight.

I went home, made myself a porn star martini in honor of my date, and went to bed. It was a fake porn star because I didn’t have vanilla vodka, but I figured it would be okay to have a fake drink after a fake date. I have decided the man on Saturday night was not a date, he was a test. I enjoyed my cocktail and was sleeping by 10:00. The good news I passed the test. How do I know I passed? Because I am still keeping the faith.

Dating 101 – The 7 Year Itch

Last night I was contacted by a man online who said he’d like to take me out. He was 56 years old, Jewish, attractive, 5’10”, and seemed interesting. We emailed a couple of times, then I gave him my phone number because email is a painful way to meet someone. He called within about an hour and was charming on the phone, until he wasn’t. After the obligatory dating small talk, he decided it was time to be honest.

He began by letting me know he was actually 66. He assured me he looks 56 and said I clearly thought he was younger as I responded to his interest. I am not interested in dating a man who is 66 years old, so I simply told him that while I appreciated the interest, I wished him well with his search and was going to decline his invitation for drinks. He then told me I was a “silly young woman” who needed to be realistic.

He let me know that if I gave him a chance, I could fall in love and we could be together for the rest of our lives.  He then told me that in seven years he would be 73 years old and probably too old to scratch his seven year itch. Probably. He went on to explain in seven years I’d be 59, and undoubtedly would have no sex drive, so we would be perfect for each other and could enjoy our golden years.

I pointed out that he was 66, and suggesting I would be uninterested in sex at 59, didn’t speak well to a healthy sex life with him. He explained that women get “dried up” around 55 and men can have sex until they are 100 because they are more sexual beings. I reminded him he would not be interested in sex seven years from now, and he reminded me he said “probably”, not definitely. Dear Lord. I just can’t.

I wished him well with his search, shared that no good could come of his lying about his age, and told him he was a pig. Not necessarily in that order. I then hung up on him, made myself a cocktail, and went to bed with the cat. My dating life has always been interesting, but as I get older, it seems to be getting less interesting. I have a date tonight, which I am tempted to cancel, but I will go because I remain hopeful and am keeping the faith.

 

Dating 101 – Texting

I have said it before and I will say it again, I am not big on texting. Of course there are times when I text, but do not think it is a particularly valuable form of communication. I use texting for quick messages, or to check in, but having full blown discussion by text are not something I do or am interested in.  Texting is for kids. It is also a very bad idea when you are trying to date someone new.

There is too much room for misinterpretation. When you meet someone new you do not know the nuances of their voice, so you can read a text in a tone that was not intended by the writer. Additionally, if you have never met someone, but have exchanged number in the hope of talking, texting is simply stupid. I think it is also a red flag. If a man sends texts rather than call, one has to wonder why.

I do not trust a man who only communicates by text. I cannot think of why a person would not be able to find a minute to make a call. Even if the call is to say they are unable to talk, that call should be made. If he has kids, then he steps away from the kids and makes a call. It takes the same amount of time to text you can’t talk, as it does to call and say the same thing.

Important to note that when you know someone, and have or are starting a relationship, texting is fine because there is less of a chance of misunderstanding what is being written. I text a lot with my son, and my siblings, but we know each other, and we know that while texting is convenient at the moment, a call will follow. To just communicate by text is strange to me and I don’t do it.

I recently met a man online who is big on texting. So much so that 99% of our communication was done over text, and 50% of my texts were to tell him I do not like texting. He didn’t get it, and I kept waiting for him to get it, but he didn’t. He just kept texting. After two weeks, I just stopped responding and so he stopped texting. Two weeks? I know, pathetic.

There was something very compelling about him, and his eyes were so blue I was mesmerized, but I can’t help but wonder why texting was his thing. I thought maybe he had a wife, or a girlfriend, or perhaps a parole officer who is monitoring his phone log. I don’t know, and at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter. He likes to text and I don’t text, so that is the end of that.

Sidebar: When you are in a meeting at work, or at an event, or simply busy with life and cannot talk, getting a text from someone you are interested in is a great thing. Getting a flirty sex, or perhaps a sexy text, can make your day and start your heart fluttering, but those texts can only be good if they are accompanied by phone calls and real life interaction. One does not make sense without the other one. it’s not rocket science gentlemen.

I’m still dating and remain hopeful. I am honestly amazed it is this hard to meet someone I want to invest in. My heart is open, and I am putting myself out there, so it will happen. There will be a man who knows texting is not the only way to get in touch. Hopefully I’ll find him while I still have my own teeth and a healthy sex drive. I am 52, so the chances may be dwindling, but my odds are better if I’m keeping the faith.

Motherhood 101 – Travelling

My son Charlie is wrapping up a 17-day vacation in Japan. He is with one of his best friends, and they are traveling around the country not only seeing the sights, by experiencing the culture and meeting the people of Japan. They have encountered nothing but kindness and generosity. I am impressed with the beauty of not only the country, but her people. Thank you to this enchanting place and her residents for taking such great care of my son.

Charlie has taken me with him on his trip, which has been simply thrilling. Thanks to modern technology I have walked through the bamboo forest, seen a sumo wrestling match, watched a blue fin tuna auction, fed monkeys and deer, and lit a wishing stick in a Buddhist temple. I have been on a bullet train and strolled in the rain through busy and exciting streets. I believe seeing the world is important and am so happy my son is able to have these experiences. It really expands your world view to actually see the world in person.

Sidebar: Important to note that while I’m sure I sound like a supportive and loving mother when it comes to Charlie traveling, in the interest of full disclosure, you should know I am actually a crazy person. I track the movement of his flights and train rides, I ask him to text me when he is in for the night, and I have asked him 422 times if he has his epi pen with him.  Each time he goes away I relax a little bit more, but I am a Jewish mother through and through and the truth is there will ever never be a trip where I don’t worry and that will be not only with Charlie, but with his wife and kids too when come along. Luckily he takes it all in stride, humors me, and includes me in ways I haven’t even demanded. I am thankful he is such a good boy, and grateful for vodka.

I am sending best wishes to the people in Japan who are dealing with the heavy rains and flooding. I hope you stay safe. To my Charlie, enjoy the last few days of your wonderful trip. Be safe, have fun, eat strange things, be kind, take pictures, and be aware of how blessed you are to see the world. I am so thankful you have included me on your adventure. I really enjoyed Japan and can’t wait to see Scotland with you this fall. Travelling is a wonderful reminder to keep the faith.

 

 

Blogging 101 – Happy Anniversary

I wrote my very first blog for the Jewish Journal on July 9th, 2009. It is hard to believe I have been sharing my life here for nine years. When I started my son had just had his Bar Mitzvah, which was the catalyst that got this blog started. Charlie becoming a man changed how he viewed me, and how he viewed our life together. He turned 13 and immediately became concerned with taking care of me. I had been a single parent since he was a baby, and he felt his Bar Mitzvah marked a change in our relationship. He was going to be the man in my life.

He was very vocal about being worried about my being alone. At 13 he was looking ahead to a day he would be grown up and moving out, and he didn’t want me to be alone. He had a well thought out conversation with me, explaining that I needed to find a good man. He had clear ideas about what type of man it should be, and did not hesitate to share his opinions with me. It was sweet and kind and lovely. It was also daunting, intimidating, and stressful. There was now a clock ticking for me to find love and so I started to not only date, but blog all about it. I never could have known it would last this long, and am surprised it has.

There were good dates, bad dates, and nightmare dates. There was hope, love, and heartache. I have learned a lot about myself during the life of this blog. I became a better mother, a more grounded Jew, and an increasingly vocal liberal. By sharing my opinions about things, and inviting people into my life with Charlie, I discovered I was a great mother, and a decent and kind human being. I am a survivor of many things and have written with bravery and freedom. There is nothing about my life I have not shared here, and that is both empowering and scary.

I have often referred to this blog as a love letter to my son, and it really is. I have written with sometimes painful honesty about my life. I have no regrets about anything I have shared and am blessed beyond measure to have had people share their stories in return. I have built a family here of people who have become my teachers, friends, advocates, protectors, and cheerleaders. I have received real love and unbelievable hate. At the end of the day the good always outweighed the bad, and I know how lucky I am to have this platform.

Thank you to the Jewish Journal. They have encouraged me to share without fear. Rob Eshman is my hero and I will forever be grateful to him for bringing me on board. David Suissa is my celebrity crush and inspires me to write. My writing brings David headaches with demands to fire me. Important to note that every time I say Trump has dementia and his supporters are morons, there is a call to fire me, which only makes me want to mention Trump is a loser and his inbred supporters are garbage every time I write, even if the blog is not at all about Trump.

As I begin my 10th year with the Jewish Journal I am hopeful that this will be my last year. I have said I would write this blog until I found real love and got married again. I honestly thought that day would have come long before now, and thought I was close a couple of times, but here I am. Charlie is now 22 and currently on vacation in Japan. He calls me every day, and video chats me from places he thinks I would like to see. Yesterday we looked in amazement at the bamboo forest, walked along the flooded river, and fed monkeys and deer. I am truly blessed.

Thank you to my son, who is the love of my life and the most incredible person I know. Thank you for letting me write this blog and share our lives Charlie. You are an amazing young man and I am proud of you. Keeping the Faith is for you. I love you. To my readers, there are no words to properly express my thanks to you. You have held my hand for nine years and I am grateful for all of you. You make me laugh, wipe my tears, and embrace my voice. Thank you for reading and thank you for reminding me to count my blessing while keeping the faith.

 

My Immigration to America

When my son was a baby he went to daycare. I was a single parent who had to work, so while it broke my heart to not be able to stay home with him, I found the best possible daycare I could, and went to work. He did well and thrived with the lovely women who took care of him. It was very hard on me, but not so much for him as he was only six months old and unaware he was in daycare. One day when Charlie was a little shy of two however, I took him to daycare and he was not having it. He had what can only be described as a catastrophic meltdown.

I tried to calm him down, they tried to calm him down, and before long we were both crying and inconsolable. The owner of the daycare came and tried to help, but it was a mess. After about 20 minutes they literally had to peel him out of my arms. He looked at me while screaming his head off, calling for me, and his eyes begging me not to go. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown and spent the next hour talking to the owner of the daycare, telling her I was going to quit my job and Charlie would not be back. She told me it would be fine and said I should go to work.

There were no camera phones or video chatting back then, so I just had to leave, not able to see him or he would have lost it again. I waited out of sight for another two hours until he stopped crying. I then went to work and cried for the rest of the day. I could hear the seconds ticking away in my head like a time bomb until I was able to go get him. The recollection of that day for this blog makes me cry. I cry for my young self, newly divorced and raising a baby on my own, and I cry for all the mothers and fathers at the borders who are having their babies ripped away.

I had nightmares of my son screaming for a long time, and he was home with me. Imagine what the mothers and fathers at the borders are feeling not knowing where their children are. What are the children thinking while they are alone, on concrete floors, in cages, without their parents? It breaks my heart. I am devastated by what is happening at our border. Devastated as a mother and as an immigrant. I have been an immigrant 3 times in my life. Once when my parents left Israel after the war for England, and again when my family moved to Canada to build a life for us.

The third time was when I immigrated to the United States at the age of 24 to start my life over after surviving a violent crime. Important to note that I came here for vacation and never left. I stayed illegally for a year. Because I was from Canada, nobody batted an eyelash. I lived here in Los Angeles, worked illegally for cash under the table at a doctor’s office, and nobody ever asked me a single question. I then got engaged, got married, and was issued a Green Card. It was easy because of where I came from. I blended in and  would do it all again to have left Canada when I did.

I understand why these people are risking their lives to escape from their homelands. I understand it, and frankly I support it. I believe people should be able to start over in a place that is safe and welcoming. I would do the same thing if it meant I could give my child a safe place to grow up and pursue his dreams. As for the people who say they are all dangerous killers and rapists who are taking our jobs, I can only shake my head and feel sorry for you at the same time I want to punch you in the face. Trump and his cold, heartless cult followers are crazy.

I am embarrassed by this administration. I am worried about the people who are being detained. I want to welcome every single child waiting to be reunited with their parents into my home for a hug, a bed, and simple kindness. I want to hug every parent who is praying to get the children back in the same way I was hugged at daycare. I want to understand how it is possible that people support this president and his dangerous and clearly failing mind. There but for the grace of God my friends. One of the blessings that comes with being blessed, is sharing your good fortune. As a county we should welcome people to share in our random good luck of being here already.

I’m guessing some dumbass Trump supporters will read this and contact the authorities to have me deported. It’s happened before and it will happen again. I find it quite entertaining. Almost 30 years ago I was an illegal immigrant so if they want to come for me, come on. I’ll wait here for you. You can reach me at angel@jewishjournal.com. Oy to the vey with these people. We can do better America. We are better. The only shot in hell we have to turn this around is to vote. VOTE. My message to those who were lucky enough to build a life here, remember your journey and where your family came from. We are a nation built by immigrants. We are what makes America great, so use your voice to vote. Make the journey easier for those coming after us, so they can keep the faith.

Dating 101: The Trump Test

I cannot date a man who thinks Donald Trump is a good president. I simply cannot do it. I have tried, but at the end of the day it doesn’t work for me. Hands that voted for Trump do not deserve to touch my breasts. My boobs are fabulous, and Trump is a shmuck. Not happening. I can tell you I love this country. I am an immigrant who is living the American dream. My son was born here and I am blessed to call America home. My disgust for the president is about the man who is currently in the position, not the country. Donald Trump is truly dangerous.

This is not about my political views however. It is about my dating life. I am looking for my bashert. I believe he is out there and while some days I believe it more strongly than others, there is always hope. Remaining hopeful is the biggest struggle with dating because if you give up hope, you give up. I am currently dating online and in my profile I have written the following: Important to note that if there is anything about the current president that you are not offended by, we won’t be a match. It matters to me, so I put it out there.

Today I received an email from a man in Woodland Hills. He sent me the following note: what are you talking about? Trump is for Israel and Obama nor Hillary are. Trump moved US embassy to Israel on its 70th anniversary. Trump is for the Constitution. Hillary is not. How can you be against a president that recognizing enforcing the freedoms of the Constitution? Oy vey. Stupid is exhausting and I don’t have the time or patience to deal with someone this stupid. Does he think the US just put an embassy in Israel? I can’t.

I am trying to break old patterns when it comes to dating. I want to be happy and I am smart enough to know that I don’t know what my person will look like, or what he does for a living. I am looking for kindness, honesty, laughter, loyalty, and great sex. That’s my list and I am not willing to compromise on any of it. The Trump test is frankly pathetic, but necessary. I can’t respect a man who respects this president, and I’d rather be alone than with a Trump supporter. It is a blanket statement, but I am sticking to it.

I am writing this blog while I watch the new dating show The Proposal, which proves that my dating life is not that bad. The thirst is real and the desperation of some women is suffocating. It is also hilarious. At the end of the day it is a crap shoot and finding love can take a long time, but love and luck go together, so I hope I am lucky. The only thing I know for sure is that the man I fall in love with will not be a Trump supporter. To the charming man who wrote me today from Woodland Hills, I wish you well because life must be hard when you are so stupid. Bless your heart. I am laughing, hopeful, and keeping the faith.

Introducing my Son and The Father Complex

I have been writing Keeping the Faith for almost a decade. During that time, I have shared my life, including and most importantly, I have written about being the mother of a wonderful human being. Over thousands of blogs and columns, I have never once mentioned my son’s name. He has approved every word I wrote about him, but there have been no photos or words to say who he was. I have always been careful to protect his privacy because writing about me has been my job and my choice.

My son was 13 when I started to write for the Jewish Journal. He was a big part of why I started this blog, and the reason I am fearless with my sharing. It has been a love letter to him, and a documentation of my life as a single mom. It is a window into my heart, soul, world view, fear, hope, joy, and sorrow. It is a never ending search for things to help me keep the faith. My son doesn’t read every post, but one day he will, and he will understand the profound love I have for him.

My son is remarkable. Even if he were not my son, I would still think he is remarkable. He is funny and smart, kind and fair. He believes in equality and justice. He does not judge anyone based on color, religion, or sexual orientation. In fact, he simply does not judge. He is generous of spirit and works hard to make the world better, even if it means helping one person at a time. I am proud of him. I am impressed by him. I have watched him grow up and find his way. He is amazing because of me and in spite of me. I love him with every fiber of my being.

I never thought I would share my son’s name or face here. In fact, I was sure I wouldn’t. Until today. The funny thing is that many people who read my blog have seen my son, they just don’t know he is my son. He is an actor and has done a lot of commercials, guest stared on Nickelodeon, and been in countless student films. He is a talented actor, writer, and producer. He has perfect comedic timing and is a brilliant improv performer. He supports himself in his chosen profession and even though faced with rejection, has never given up on his dreams.

My son met his best friend in middle school, which means they have been best friends for as long as I have been writing this blog. They are like brothers. They both attended a performing arts middle school, then the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts together. They have been collaborating on projects since they met. The first time they performed together was when they sang Michael Jackson’s Black or White at an open house at middle school. They have been fiercely loyal to each other and always chased their dreams together.

Last summer they told me they were going to make a movie together. Not surprising, so I simply wished them well. Things have changed since they casually mentioned a movie in my kitchen. Since then they travelled across the country making their film. Today a trailer for the film The Father Complex was released. It features Tyler Cole and my son, Charlie Burg. The film is directed by Tyler and produced by Charlie. It is being released in partnership with Jaden Smith and his team at MSFTSrep. These boys have made a brilliant film and I’m proud of them.

I cried when I watched the trailer. I cried with pride at what they had accomplished. I also cried because I immediately understood that with this film, things would change. I will continue to write about my life, but my mentions of Charlie must be different now. With this film people will know I am his mother, so there is no more keeping it private. My son, Charlie Burg, will now be known on his own terms, by his own art, and his stories will be his to tell. I will watch his career with pride, finally sharing his accomplishments with all of you here.

It is my distinct honor to share the trailer for the film The Father Complex. It will be released later this year and I am excited for people to see it. It is a wonderful movie and I marvel at the talent of these two young men. It has been a blessing to have a front row seat to the process of making this film. To my beloved Charlie, this is the beginning and the end. The beginning of a wonderful new road for you to travel, and the end of your days being known as Snickerdoodle. Thank you for letting me share our lives here. I appreciate your endless kindness to me.

You never complained I shared too much. You never asked me not to post something. You stood up for me when trolls appeared. You held my hand when I shared personal and difficult things. You lifted my spirits through cancer. You promised me I would find love after my heart was broken. You never asked for anything when money was tight. You only ever asked me to spend money on myself when it wasn’t. You have been my child, friend, teacher, and inspiration. You are my heart. You are my sunshine. You are the reason I am keeping the faith.

 

Happy Father’s Day

I have been a single mom since my son was a baby. I was divorced before he turned one and while his father lives close by and has a relationship with our son, I raised this boy with no financial, emotional, spiritual, or physical support. My son is a wonderful human being because even though he has a dad, I have been his mother and father. Being a single parent is a remarkable job for remarkable people.

I taught my son to ride a bike, took him on his first fishing trip, passed on my faith, comforted him through loss, explained sex, taught him to respect women and himself. I encouraged him to follow his dreams and that no dream was impossible. He was raised to help those less fortunate and embrace everyone, regardless of the color of their skin, the name of their God, or who they love. He is a good man.

Being a single parent is as difficult as it is rewarding. I raised my son in a city where I had no family, so I created one. I leaned on my friends, temple, Rabbi, teachers, parents of his friends, and employers to help raise this remarkable human. I did not and could not lean on his dad. In looking back at my life as a single parent, I am proud of myself, wish it had been different, and am grateful for our life together.

When my son was one, my father sent me flowers for Father’s Day. He told me he was proud of me and said I was a great mom and a wonderful dad. It meant a lot to me that the man I loved and respected more than any other man in the world acknowledged I was doing everything and being everyone for my son. I raised a boy to be a man on my own so Father’s Day is interesting for me.

Life as a single parent is full of blessings. There is an us against the world connection. As single parents we cry harder, laugh deeper, worry more, and pray longer because we are alone. Life is loud because it is just you listening, and life is silent because you are by yourself. It is a life of sacrifices and rewards. I am a strong and proud single parent because the title makes me a super hero.

This morning my son made me breakfast and bought me flowers for Father’s Day, then he went to spend the day with his dad. He always makes this day special for me and I appreciate it. It makes my heart swell that he understands the roles I have played in his life and honors me, I am wishing a Happy Father’s Day to all fathers, and to all the mothers who are sometimes father’s too. Enjoy this day.

Happy Father’s Day those who have lost their dads and wish they were still here. Happy Father’s Day to sons of single mothers who are the men in their mom’s lives, and to the moms who are everything for their kids. Happy Father’s Day to men who are going to become dads for the first time, and dads who are raising their kids alone. Do right by your kids and respect the women who made you fathers.

To my own beloved father, Bob Angel, I love you and miss you every day. I want to call you and tell you what is going on and have you guide me. I will never be too old to need you, and I will never stop missing you. Your children love you and your grandchildren are perfect pieces of you, carrying on your legacy and keeping you alive. We love you Dad, and we know you are watching, so we are keeping the faith.