About Me

My Photo
Haifa, Israel
Divorced and independent and still looking for Mr. Right in the back of the fridge.

Friday, May 2, 2014

"We've Got To Move this Refrigerator, We've Got to Move this Color TV"


I have done it again. Love evades me so I bought a flat screen TV. 

Last time I did it, it was instead of ice cream. This time the cache is full of the new summer flavors. 

As if it weren't enough that I feel heartbroken, I hate myself for my obvious and trite methods of consoling myself. Ice cream (obvious), shopping spree (trite).

I do however stand out from the lonely hearts crowd by going big when I need comfort. I buy major appliances. 

  • The one that got away warranted a garbage disposal.
  • The one that stood me up won me a small flat screen TV.
  • The date from purgatory replaced my dryer.
  • And now the misbegotten affection has hit the jackpot with the large flat screen TV, in front of which I will deplete the above mentioned cache while watching all seasons of Project Runway and imagine that it is I who gets Tim's hug of doom before being sent to clean up my space.
Suddenly the expression "Go big or go home" seems ironic. I have found the way to go big AND go home. 

Maybe I'm not that trite after all. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Rose By Any Other Name


I changed my name. 

As of February 2nd I am no longer Rosa Ziv, I am Rachel Rose Shalev. 

Carrying around my ex-husband's last name has been weighing on me for years. 12 years divorced, and the last 10 of them deciding on a new name while picking up the pieces of my life.

For years I had the last name Sarid in mind. It means survivor, or remnant, in Hebrew. I thought it was a very Zionistic name, and descriptive of my life. 

I mentioned the name to a woman I consult with on life's more ethereal issues. She replied, "Why do you want to just survive?" 

So years passed without an alternative - I must have been in survival mode longer than I thought. But in the last few months I decided on Shalev. Let's just say the name has some roots for me in Israel. But mostly it means Tranquil. 

Last name chosen, why not change the first name that seemed to be bothering the shit out of me recently. 

The name Rosa loses all its poetry in Israel. Not only is it reminiscent of a Moroccan grandmother (no offense to the wonderful Moroccan grandmothers, but I'm not one) it is the subject of a Yehoram Gaon song which everyone who meets me feels the need to sing, and then ask me during my last 29 years in Israel if I've heard it... The chorus starts "Ach, ach, ach, Rosa, Rosa, Rosa..." Somehow, it just doesn't make it to the list of names you love from songs. 

Determined to feel better about my name, I kept the name Rose, the grandmother for whom I was named, and armed with the Hebrew name Rachel from my youth, I changed my first name, too, to Rachel Rose.

I'll do something I never did in this blog and use the Hebrew, but I just have to show you why I chose Rachel, רייצ'ל over רחל. The Israelis among you will understand

Explanation out of the way, how does it make me feel? I walked out of the Ministry of Interior with my new name, smiling.  

I'm still getting used to it, as are others. Most people at work called me Rose anyway, but now they are having fun calling me Rach. I like it. 

I think that until I change my name in the bank, on my US passport and on Google, the transformation won't be total. 

  • Has it changed my life? Not in the last 3 weeks, but I certainly feel like I'm facing forward instead of carrying the burdens of the past. 
  • Do I still get lonely? Hell yes. 
  • Do I let it get me down? Once a week. 
  • Do I feel optimistic? I feel I am capable of change. 

Last year this time I pierced an extra hole in each ear because I needed a change and didn't have the money to move house. This year I shed some baggage. 

I believe that  2014 is my year. The year that great things will happen. 

  • The year that when I get dressed, I will have someplace to go. 
  • The year that when I need a hug, it will come from someone other than my kids.
  • The year that my mantras will manifest in reality.
  • The year that the universe will smile on me.
Wish me luck. 

Rachel Rose Shalev. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Pursuit of Butterflies

I've decided to donate my brain to psychiatry.
I would donate my hormones, id and libido but no one wants them.

Upon examination of my brain, someone very clever might finally understand what drives me to idiocy and self deprecation in my incessant pursuit of the wrong man. 

I hear that there are more women like me and that the literature on the subject is abundant, but I haven't read any of it because I would be forced to recognize myself and stop it. 

My attraction to the unattainable is teetering between the ridiculous and the absurd.

I've been told that even available - emotionally or otherwise - guys can be exciting, could keep my attention and would make the butterflies flutter. They did decades ago, but we were all available then. We married them, divorced them and the rest is history. 

There should be a speed dating event for us good ones -  women and men alike - those of us who like the bad boys and the bitches, respectively. We would speed interact with each other with kindness and attention and bore each other to death. When they finally scrape our corpses off the floor and donate our brains to psychiatry they will discover that we are basically fine human beings with a few scratches here and there, and a few wounds that never healed. 

At the very least, they will discover that we tried as hard as we could to do the ineffable right thing. Most of the time we managed. 

But once in a while we really missed those beautiful butterflies.