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Feb 14 2013

True Love is Spending Valentine’s in the Hospital with My Ex and His New Baby

By at 8:02 pm

hospital waiting room

When I was a kid in school, I was really into Valentine’s Day. I’d analyze each valentine my classmates sent me, searching for hidden romantic meaning (“He wrote ‘Love’ instead of ‘From’! HE LIKES ME!”). I’d be eager for Valentine’s Day every year, because this would FINALLY be the opportunity for the imaginary suitor of my dreams to show himself and make some grand gesture with roses, a boom box serenade, poetry or all three.

It never occurred to me that I’d find real love in knowing I’d be spending Valentine’s Day evening in the lobby of a hospital, sitting and waiting for my boys to visit their father, step mom and newly-born little brother. Those are my plans for this evening, and I’m surprised to find that they’re the best plans I’ve ever had.  Read the rest of this entry →

Valentine’s Day Contest Winners!

By at 11:30 am

my love conversation heartEarlier this week, we asked you how you met the love of your life for a little Valentine’s Day fun. And we must admit, it warmed our hearts to see our inbox filled with your stories of love.

We also noticed some trends that we thought were pretty interesting–like a lot of you met while volunteering (such mentsches!) or on AOL (hello, 90s), and a good number of you got married within less than a year of meeting your spouse. There were so many good stories that we didn’t just want to share one, so below you’ll find some of our favorites. Read the rest of this entry →

Should Jews Celebrate Valentine’s Day?

By at 9:33 am

heart shaped waffles for valentines dayI’ve never had a theological problem with Valentine’s Day. It was never a big deal in my family and my husband and I never really made a big deal about it in our relationship (though on Valentine’s Day 2004 he did give me TiVo. Best present ever!).  And since our kids all attended JCC preschools where it was not acknowledged, we didn’t even have to deal with it until our oldest started kindergarten at a public school.

And that is what got me thinking: is Valentine’s Day an appropriate celebration for Jews? Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 11 2013

Contest Alert: How Did You Meet Your Spouse?

By at 4:31 pm

valentine's day heartsLove (or anxiety, if you haven’t figured out a gift yet) is in the air as Valentine’s Day fast approaches this Thursday. In honor of this celebration of love, we thought it would be fun to travel back in time before diapers and sippy cups filled our lives with joy, back to the time when romance and dating didn’t come with a babysitter’s fee.

That’s right, we want to know how you met your one and only.

Whether through a matchmaker, Jdate, the bar scene or a chance encounter at the DMV (hey, it could happen) we want to hear your funniest, weirdest, most romantic or silliest stories of how you met your future spouse.

Send us your story between 100-200 words of how you met your significant other for the chance to win fame and glory (i.e.  publication on Kveller) and a copy of Brooklyn Love by Yael Levy, an orthodox Jewish romance novel about three young Orthodox women searching for love. All submissions should be sent to info@kveller.com with “Valentine’s Day Contest” in the subject line. Send them to us by this Wednesday, February 13th and we’ll announce the winner on Thursday.

Feb 14 2012

Romantic Heroes, Post-Marriage

By at 9:06 am
When a man loves a woman by alina adams

... he cleans up kid vomit.

Prior to marrying my husband, I published four romance novels. Since marrying my husband–thirteen years ago–I have published figure skating murder mysteries, non-fiction, and women’s fiction. But, no more romances.

My husband’s theory is that, since meeting him, no fantasy hero conjured from my imagination could live up to the comparison. (My husband has a very high–though, self-aware–opinion of himself. While we were touring potential kindergartens for our daughter, he said of one principal we met, “I like her! She’s even more arrogant than me!”)

He’s right. But, not in the way he thinks. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 11 2012

After Divorce, Finding Love

By at 12:15 pm

Whenever I hear that Rihanna song that starts, “We found love in a hopeless place,” I think of JDate. When I was filling out my JDate profile after my divorce, I knew exactly what I wanted in a new relationship: a guy my age who had never been married before. I wanted to start fresh. Never mind that I had two kids from my previous marriage. At 34, surely I was young enough that that wouldn’t matter. I wanted someone who lived in New York, the city I loved. And all of that was why I decided to lie.

It was only a little lie, I told myself, as I typed into my profile that I lived in New York. In fact, I lived in New Jersey, where I spent most of my time either working or chauffeuring incontinent people in car seats to nursery school. New York had a bigger pool of the kind of people I wanted to meet, I thought – people who wouldn’t give me a second glance if they knew I lived in the Sopranos’ state.

I dated rampantly, for lack of a better word. I was an equal opportunity dater, and dated everyone from Orthodox guys well versed in esoterica of Jewish law (I liked the kohen who told me that while he couldn’t marry a divorcee, there was hope for me yet. Since I was only separated, maybe my ex would drop dead, thus rendering me a marriage-eligible widow instead) to atheists who were, in fact, married (not separated. Married. Truly). I knew I’d gotten it wrong the first time, and there was some small part of me that knew that I didn’t know what I wanted. Something in me told me: if it’s not a good date, it’ll at least be a good story.

Fast forward two years. I see a guy online who looks somewhat normal. Contrary to one of my cardinal rules (‘Always let the guy email you first’), I email him. He responds. We talk on the phone.  He confesses that he had lied about his age on line to cast a wider net. I tell him I lied about my state of residence. He asks me if I would be willing to have more children. I decide he’s a weirdo and tell him, “Let’s meet for dinner first and see how it goes.” Hell, what’s one more date with one more weirdo? The guy then proceeded to show up for our date twenty minutes late. Nice. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 15 2011

It’s the Jewish Day of Love

By at 1:09 pm

It can be a rude shock to come home after a dreamy vacation, but it helps when that first Monday is Tu B’Av, the Jewish holiday of Love.

And yay! whoopee! goody! That’s today!

“Tu B’Av” literally means the 15th day of the month of Av, which corresponds to the full moon that usually wanders through the sky in all its shining corpulent glory sometime during August every year. If you had a glimpse of Her Silvery Majesty glowing amongst the stars this weekend, you might agree with the notion that our closest heavenly body is looking particularly stunning lately. Perhaps all that global warming is doing wonders for her complexion?

Peoples around the globe have always related the moon to fertility, sexuality, femininity and emotional fluidity, and Tu B’Av is a simple celebration of all that. It’s a pretty minor holiday by Jewish standards, with no real religious obligations or special foods or complex rituals—for 19 centuries the only acknowledgment of it was the omission of prayer of penitence during the morning prayer services. MyJewishLearning.com attributes it to a matchmaking festival for the unattached ladies of the Second Temple era, who would dress in white and check out suitors while dancing in the vineyards (how very Bacchanalian of our ancestors!)

These days it’s basically Israel’s version of Valentine’s Day, with a similar industry of gift-giving and partying down. Its popularity could have much to do with it taking place hot on the heels of last week’s very, very depressing “holiday” of Tisha B’Av, a fast day that’s the culmination of three weeks of mourning for the many hideous and awful things that have happened to the Jewish people on the Ninth day of Av throughout the millennia. Tisha B’Av is the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day of Judaism, and Tu B’Av is a fine way to remember that life can be effortless and lovely once in a full moon.

Even if you didn’t fast on Tisha B’Av or even remember to light a yahrzeit candle because you were up in the mountains without a cell phone or internet let alone a Jewish calendar and were called out later on your Facebook page by a religious friend for being a bad Jew, don’t let that stop you from swilling a little hooch and boogie-ing down under the full moon. After all, I—ahem—we can always repent on Yom Kippur. (Technically, Tu B’Av began last night at sundown and ends tonight, but heck, as mountain wisdom dictates: If the bottle’s already open, you might as well finish it.)

Of course, love and the moon are hardly bound by traditions or religion or even our own minds, so here’s a soundtrack that captures the simple joy of Tu B’Av by the Plain White T’s (none of whom are Jewish, despite attempts to find a few agreeable degrees of separation). Remember to sway to the rhythm of love today and all days!

The post first appeared on Jessica’s blog yoyenta.com. Check it out, you won’t regret it.

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