Christina DeRosa Make An Old Jew Very Happy

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My Christina DeRosa infatuation began the night I first laid eyes on her — at the Dec. 13 L.A. Direct Magazine Holiday Party.

I wrote:

Christina DeRosa
Has anyone written a book about the red carpet? It’s a cruel world. The powerful get priority. WireImage, WENN photographers up front, losers to the back.

B and C-list celebrities cozy up to the photographers to get coverage for their pathetic careers. The A-list treat the photographers with disdain.

When Christina DeRosa walks in, a pack swarms towards her…

"Does she know that we can see right through?" asks one photographer.

"She knows," says another.

Christina emails me from out of the blue Dec. 18:

I am thinking of writing, maybe not a book, but a short story on my experiences on the red carpet, especially the LA Direct Magazine Holiday Party where for the first time in my short-lived celebrity red carpet walking life, I truly felt like nothing more than a sheep in a flock getting ready for shearing. But, the shearing never occurred; rather the flash from your camera warmed me and made me feel loved. Yes, I know that my dress shows the beauty of my body whenever a strong flash from a camera of a professional photographer, like you and your colleagues goes off. And, I promise you that although now, I am a C or maybe B list celebrity, the day I will become an A list celebrity, I will never, ever, forget that professional photographers, such as yourself, by or in the back of the red rope, will have made me into the star that I can only dream of, now.

Thank you for making me look so good, posting my pictures and feel free to save this email and in a few years, when I will walk the red carpet and you will be handing me this email, I will be certain to stop and pose for you, just a little bit longer.

Dark storm clouds sail overhead Friday afternoon as I drive to Christina’s westside apartment. We’re going to squeeze in an interview before the Holy Shabbat.

I park half a mile away, not wanting to sully her pristine building with my tawdry old van.

I haven’t shaved in a week because I read Rabbi Meir Solveichik’s essay in February’s Commentary magazine about the place of beards in Judaism.

I wonder if Christina saw that article? If so, she’ll understand.

When she answers the door, she’s wearing my favorite dress.

I’m no longer caught up in a rip tide, sucked away by a vicious undercurrent, spiraling downward in a whirlpool of despair. I am the master of my domain, the captain of her heart. I am like Rene Descartes. I can examine my ship of philosophical outlook and tear away any rotten timbers and replace them with the cold hard steel of reason.

Now, don’t touch Christina. Nothing but a chaste hand shake. Look her in the eye. Nothing below the lips.

Maybe it’s ok to look at her neck. Oh, God…

Fumble for camera. Make small talk. Attach lens. Attach speedlight.

Ask her outside. Shoot her against the setting sun. Sing to self about the Shabbos bride coming over the Santa Monica Mountains. Don’t think about the shiksa. You are here for purely professional reasons.

I’m breathing on my lens. It’s getting smudged. Like my soul.

How is my mind like my camera? They’re both slow to focus.

Don’t worry about mechanics. Live in the moment. Feel. Breathe. Choose Christina, choose life.

Come my beloved. She is the wellspring of blessing. Long enough have you sat in the valley of tears. She will be greatly compassionate to you.

Shake yourself free, rise from the dust, dress in your garments of splendor.

Redemption draws near to my soul.

Rouse yourselves! Rouse yourselves!

Your light is coming, rise up and shine.

Awaken! Awaken! Utter a song.

The glory of God is revealed upon you.

Do not be guilty! Do not be ashamed!

Why be downcast? Why moan?

Your God will rejoice in you, as a groom rejoices with his bride.

Come in peace, crown of her husband, in happiness and in jubilation, amidst the faithful of the treasured nation.

Come O Bride! Come O Bride!

Must not launch into kaddish. Mustn’t grumble.

A virtuous woman, who can find? Her value is far beyond rubies.

Strength and honor are her clothing, she smiles at the future.

Christina’s smiling. She must be a woman of valor. She must be the future.

Many women have done worthily, but you surpass them all.

Love the way she tickles those ivories.

Oh good, here’s her friend Scarlett. No longer violating law against yichud.

"Shabbat shalom!" Scarlett tells me before disappearing into the bedroom.

Christina: "I always had the performer in me, the exhibitionist in me. I’d go to church and flash everyone in my little underpants. I was always an attention-grabber."

"I had a serious [black] boyfriend through high school. I wasn’t promiscuous. Then I moved to California and that all changed."

"You’re so bipolar as a kid. You’re happy one moment and sad the other. I was very happy, elated, ecstatic on the outside but on the inside there was hurt and pain. No one really knew what it was from. I suffered all through high school and some of college from an eating disorder (bulimia)."

"I was always concerned about my looks and my weight. I got really skinny."

Luke: "How did you overcome [bulimia]?"

Christina: "A lot of love. Acceptance of my self and my sexuality. I haven’t thrown up in over two years."

Luke: "When did you become womanly in your appearance?"

Christina: "I had big boobs in third grade. I developed early. I had my period early. Wearing a sports bra was the death of me, so uncomfortable."

"Even though I had my period early, I tried to erase that. I was in ballet and on toe and in marathons and running five miles a day. I was trying to do anything to get it away from me. It bothered me that I had it. I did research, I heard that gymnastics, ballet, not eating a lot, would help get rid of it. I wanted to get rid of what was not cool, not good, not Christina. That’s how the eating disorder issues came on.

"I wanted to do what everyone else wasn’t doing. When everyone else was eating cookies and milk during snack time, I wanted to eat carrots and celery. I wanted to stand out."

"I was in therapy for years."

"If I had time, I’d love to be in therapy now."

"I’ve always had dear friends… They’ve been a high point of my life. I’ve always put a priority on friends."

"I’ve become more spiritual. I’d love to go to Africa one day, to India, and spend months meditating there."

Christina says she’s never had a serious fling with drugs or alcohol.

"I get more high off of sex."

"The acting life is like a drug. It’s so up and down."

Luke: "What have the men in your life had in common?"

Christina: "The only thing I can think of off of the top of my head about every man I’ve been with, they’ve all adored sex and had a large sexual appetite."

"When I came to California, the number of people I’d been with had been kinda low. I wanted to raise it. I wanted to be promiscuous."

Luke: "Have any of your adventures been devastating to you?"

Christina: "Oh no. Even my first love, and I haven’t had many loves. I’ve had tons of sex… My first love, it was extremely disappointing to me when I found out after three years that he’d cheated on me. I wanted to slash his tires. Even though he broke my heart, I wouldn’t erase a moment with him. It was such a learning experience."

"My traditional stubborn Italian old-fashion New York parents would say horrible things [about Christina’s black boyfriend]. I was secretly dating him. I would have guys pick me up and pretend to be my date and then take me to the black guy’s house."

"My parents were in complete denial. That’s the Italian way."

"Even if my parents are screaming, ‘You’re going to wake up your grandparents from their grave!’, I’m still going to do what I want."

"It was like Romeo and Juliet. We were not allowed to see each other."

"My parents love The Sopranos, as do I."

Take quick bathroom break. It’s pristine (I could live here!) and filled with gorgeous photos of Christina. Whoa, there’s a topless one. Nice nipples. Mustn’t look. Mustn’t lust. Mustn’t complain. Must be strong. No time for onanism. Everything has a time and a place but there’s no time and no place for self-abuse.

Must be professional. Must be Torah Jew. Must think of England. Must think of Queen Mother.

Be quick. Efficient. Don’t make a splash.

There. Senses regained. Pressure relieved. Fly zipped. Professional face back on. Lust banished.

Must be strong for Israel. If I sin with a shiksa in Beverly Hills, then Ahmadinejad will drop a nuclear bomb on Jerusalem.

I mustn’t drop loads in shiksa’s bathroom. Could lead to nuclear war. Every sperm is a human life. It’d be mass murder.

Must be strong.

Mustn’t grumble.

Must be professional and look Christina in the eye.

We resume. She talks about her older sister, a flautist. "Even though she’d do some drugs and wind up in jail…"

Luke: "At least it was with white people."

Christina: "They weren’t gay."

Luke: "Are you straight or bi?"

Christina: "I don’t like to put labels on things. I’m sexual. I’ve experienced plenty of times with women. I’ve never had a serious relationship with a woman, I’ve just had lots of fun times."

"I act really different with a woman. I’m a lot more shy. With a man, it’s easy. It feels like less of a challenge. If I can get a woman to like me, I must be hot. If I can get a man to like, pfff."

"Men are like dogs. Women are like cats."

Khunrum emails: "Luke, you and Ms. DeRosa make a handsome couple. You’ve got the trendy stubble on the chin and your mouth guard is out. Go for it I say…get her telephone number. Be her Suitcase Rabbi."

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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