I’ll never forget the day that I subscribed to JDate; it was one of those sleepless nights when I couldn’t help but lament about my life. I felt miserable and lonely; it was hard to believe seven years had gone by since my divorce and yet I had been a single mother all this time.
Sensing a bit of panic on that particular night, I decided to try out the weird phenomenon of internet dating, the implication being that I had failed. Like a thief in the middle of the night, looking from side to side, as if to make sure nobody could see me, I registered online. I then began to surf the site. Instantly marveling at a sea of available men and the myriad of possibilities, I was totally hooked!
The next evening, while reading some profiles, my daughter looked over my shoulder and pointed at a particular photo. It was of an English guy. I told her that he lived too far to date. “Aw, but he’s so cute, even though he doesn’t own a dog,” she said in her eight-year-old naive frame of mind. Her criterion for a “good guy” (one who was nice to kids), was whether or not he owned a dog. Maybe the kid’s right, what do I know at this stage? I decided to write an introductory email to the Englishman. Maybe someone different was exactly what I needed; when my parents met, my father was living in England, and my mother lived in Israel. Thirty six years later they were still together.
I read his profile and laughed. I sensed a bit of bitterness in the way he described his overall experience with women. Two weeks had gone by and there was no response. What cheek I thought, he could at least decline politely as I had done with others. I looked at his photo again; he was the kind of handsome that I liked, the one who probably didn’t even realize it. I tried one more time and, voila, I finally received a response. He apologized for not getting back sooner; apparently he got an email alert, and saw my photo, but could not respond because he had not been a member anymore. It took about ten days to get reinstated, the way it used to be for people from abroad. He phoned me up immediately; from that moment on we became dependent on talking to each other daily. My friends joked about it, pointing out that in every photo I had of Greg, he never showed his teeth. And we all know about the English and their teeth!
Six weeks after our first conversation, I boarded a Virgin Atlantic flight heading for London. My father was shocked and disappointed by my actions. Greg’s family thought I was the lunatic from America coming to steal their son.
I couldn’t relax the entire flight. Once there, I got into a cab in the height of rush hour, and at a snail’s pace of 20 MPH, I finally made it to our meeting place at All Bar One in St. John’s Wood. I took a deep breath, and pushed the heavy doors open. I was speechless; he was even better looking in person than in the photos (this was pre Skype™ days), and when he smiled, he had nice looking white teeth! We kissed, and I melted into the chair. I could not believe how lucky I was to have met him. We were inseparable for the ten days I was in London. When my daughter finally met him, she smiled so widely. I knew he was the guy because they bonded immediately. A month later, I flew out again, this time to help him close up his business and pack up his home. We had made up our minds that we needed to be together and he would give Venice Beach a try. One month later, I was the one waiting for him at LAX.
We’ve now been married for seven years, and have a little four-year-old son. Recently, my father asked Greg to help him edit some footage he took of my late grandmother. My father forgot that at one stage of his video interview, he had asked my grandmother, Gertrude, what she had thought of “Ilana’s new love interest.” She said that Greg seemed like a very nice man, and noticed that Maya (my mother) also liked him, but my father refuted her optimistic impression saying (on tape) how ridiculous and impossible it was to conceive that anything would come of it since Ilana lived in Venice Beach, and Greg lived in London. It seems that, for a moment there, my father had forgotten how he had met my mother.
Ilana and Greg
Las Vegas, Nevada