According to the dictionary, going on a date is a social event and does not have to be romantic.
This is how I found myself, last Saturday, on a date with my 25 years old daughter – will call her Jane – and 26 years old young women, an adopted daughter/friend that I met in Seattle – will call her Lori. Lori just had her first child and is not going out by herself or with her hubby so much anymore. Jane, on the other hand, is a burlesque performer, a volunteer in the Youth LGBTQ community and goes out a lot.
Although we all have partners in life, we decided that this is a Girls’ Night only. The decision made the situation a little weird, as Jane’s fiancée is a woman. We changed it to Hebrew Girls Night Out – which means that you need to be a girl and speak Hebrew to be part of the scene.
Lori was born and raised in Israel and has been in Seattle for a few years. Jane was born in Israel and was raised half of her life in Montreal and the other half in Seattle. Her Hebrew is amazing, as her mother — me — had “language fights” with her while growing up. This means, that at home Jane and her sibling had to speak in Hebrew, otherwise they were not listened to. A lot of fights took place, as both girls hated the idea and struggled with the language. But today, at the age of 25 and after a year of volunteering in Israel, Jane is fluent in Hebrew and this is our secret language. How cool is that?
Jane, Lori and I have a very special relationship that started two years ago, when we all met in a monthly Shabbat dinner in our local Beit Chabad and fell in love. The fact that I have friends, in my kids’ age, makes me always smile and feel very proud. This is one of my biggest achievements in life!
What do I mean by that? I was born to a very rigid family, which means that the parents are up there in the hierarchy and communication and relationships are identified by fear and respect. Those two things go together and do not disappear when you grow up. You might find yourself having a glass of wine with your father and mother on a family dinner event, but you will not ask your mother to join you out, with your friends for a drink.
I always wanted to be different from them, when it came to family relationships. When I had my kids, I decided to do everything I can to be a good parent but at the same time have a friendship level, that is out of my parental role.
I always talked to them like a mature person, even before they started talking. I would walk around the house in the middle of the night, with Jane in my arms as an infant, telling her that she has to go to sleep. We used to stand and look out of the window to a dark street and I would say: “The trees went to sleep, the cars went to sleep and the cockroaches went to sleep, now Jane has to go to sleep as well.” I know, awful, but it was summer and the cockroaches were part of our life in that humid hot weather. Jane was 4 months old and when the summer ended, I stopped using these sentences and moved to books and songs.
One night, a couple of years later, when Jane was about two and a half years old and a good talker for her age, I tacked her in bed and heard her talking to herself: “The trees went to sleep, the cars went to sleep and the cockroaches went to sleep, now Jane has to go to sleep as well.”
OMG… right? I left the room cracking up. But besides the laughter, I realized that it worked! All the time that I was talking to her and treating her like a real person who understands, were indeed imprinted in her mind.
I was always the mother but I was also human, shared my feelings when I was sad and upset and made sure that my girls are part of the healing processes in my life. The discussion was always adapted to their age and level of maturity, but it was there. If they wanted to say or share something, they knew they could do it with me, and things only got better with the years. Even in their teens – most of the time – we had a good communication going between us and I knew a lot of things that other parents would kill to know … or would kill themselves if they knew? I just listened and tried to be quiet – unless I was asked for advice.
Going out clubbing with Jane and Lori was one of the best evenings I had lately. We laughed a lot, ate a little, danced as much as we could and skipped between clubs and bars. I wish more parents will take the time to go on a date with their kids – that’s a higher level of parenthood for me and so much fun!
If you have kids that are old enough to drive themselves, tell us what did you do lately with your kids for fun?
According to the dictionary, going on a date is a social event and does not have to be romantic.
I will never forget Sunday, 4-28-2019.
It all started a little more than a year ago, Feb 2018 when Around Seattle in 80 Dates was published and my story became public.
A lot of people around me were involved in my life when I was living the stories. When I finally published the book many of them were surprised. I met a lot of people that had good stories and many of them declared on a regular basis, that “one day they will write a book”. They just “have to” and they are planning to. But it is hard to start – and finish.
When I was laid off from a company that I was employed with for fifteen years Mike #80 said: “That’s it, the universe is telling you something.” I had a bitter smile on my face when he said it. A lot of dreams were crashed the day I was laid off.
At that point in time, I was about to relocate to India for three years and Mike #80 agreed to join me. This meant that he had to quit a job that he loved very much and take the risk of relocating to a country that his professional future is not clear. India is not the best place for a blood bank technologist. But we were in love, living in India was a dream that we both had before we met and we decided that this is our chance. What will be will be – we are doing it.
Being laid off and losing the relocation dream was not an easy pill to swallow. The universe could have been nicer to me and my bank account. I still had to pay a mortgage.
“The universe is giving you the time to finish your book,” said Mike #80. Mike loved the stories I told him and kept saying that I should share them with more people – “so they can learn” he said. Everybody around us was online dating and we were a couple that ‘made it!’ We met online and our life changed.
Mike is a smart man, so I decided he is right – this is my chance to finish the book that I’m talking about for a year now.
Between job hunts, which is a full job by itself, I managed to sit down and write. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. The writing was natural and kept flowing. Mike used to come home, sit down and read what I wrote that day – he was and is the first person to read anything that I write and I take his feedback very seriously.
February 2018 – we were on a cruise to Havana when the book was finally published – which means it was available on Amazon. And then things started to happen. Standup comedy shows, storytelling events, meetups for singles all over Great Seattle, authors’ events, interviews, articles, and podcasts.
Do you think it was tough to write the book? You are right. It was hard, stimulating and emotionally challenging. I wanted to get through with a clear message to the people out there about dating: “You can do things differently and enjoy them. It works!” I also wanted to share stories with my own voice and have people enjoy reading a good book. And the feedbacks were amazing.
When I was approached by Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island I could not believe my good luck. I was offered a time slot, as part of the amazing and diverse shows that JCC is hosting.
Me? My own show? Where people pay money to see me? That was a crazy and tempting idea. I love challenges and this was a huge one – plan and execute a one-woman show all by myself. Oh, and then make sure that enough people are interested to come to see it and pay for a ticket.
Last Sunday – April 28th – is where a new achievement was made.
The show was SOLD OUT almost a week in advance!
I took the One Woman show and created a family show. My daughter and her soon to be wife started the event by playing and singing their own version to: “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” I continued with a short standup act that I wrote and from there we followed with an interview led by Paul Currington. Paul is a dear friend and also one of the major contributors to the storytelling world in Seattle. We met when I told my first story – 5 years ago – in his very successful storytelling meetup, Fresh Ground Stories – not less than a hundred people in each event, amazing crowd and all true stories. Love this man.
The fact that Mike #80 joined the final discussion and shared his own experience with the audience was the best way to end the show – I could not ask for more. Nobody wanted to go home, and two hours later we were kicked out of the room. Sigh. It was a wonderful event.
As I said – I will never forget April 28th, 2019. I shared one of my best moments in life on the same stage with the people who are my family and friends. They all provided their voice and together created a unique and interesting show that everybody in the room was fascinated and involved. I loved it!
I know, what’s next you are asking… what’s the next mountain you are going to climb?
I can only promise you that I’m working on a few new ideas and the most important one is a Screen Play! Around Seattle in 80 Dates should be on TV – this is how I feel.
Thoughts? Connections? Ideas you have? Do share 😊
Cheers, and wishing us all lots of peaks in life.