This conversation was promised in a prior blog – I always do what I say I am going to do, but sometimes it takes awhile. This move has not been easy, that is my excuse. I am overwhelmed with all of my stuff – the sheer volume and the flood of memories the forgotten possessions and images bring, unwittingly and unwelcome. I put everything behind me when I left Marin in 2014 and now, in some measure, it has caught up to me. But I bravely sort things out.
Although, my old friend and I were best buddies in our early days at the University of Alberta then reconnected some thirty years later and he was a huge supporter of my blog in its infancy – we had lost touch. I reached out to recently, initially inquiring to the health of his family and then we veered to other topics. I an email a couple of weeks ago – the subject line was Surprise!!!
Me:I admit there was a lag time between first email reach out and this one but many things were accomplished including penning the blog which has been voluntary cut back to once every two days not daily. I suppose the most surprising news is that I have become a Muslim. Upon hearing this my Primary Care Physician, who is most conservative. Walked around the office saying “No sex? No sex?” I had explained that as a Muslim one could not have sex without marriage and I am not married at the present time. Then, I laughingly questioned:
Me: When I first saw you some forty odd years ago did you ever think I would become a Muslim.
He: (laughingly) No, that was the furthest thing from my mind.
But he is happy for me and all (professionals and others) are as well.
Just so you understand the sex part – one cannot have sex outside of marriage in the faith and one must be a virgin when one weds. Prior relationships are obviated so I became a virgin again upon my assumption of the faith on October 20,2020. Marriage might be a bit difficult to arrange as husband has to be of the Muslim faith as well. I did have two marriage proposals from Muslim men in 2020 but neither worked out – nor will they. They live far away.
So life has turned out very different than anyone could anticipate – mostly because of the blog. You accurately predicated that it would change my life – but to this degree???? Thousand and thousands of daily readers the world over. Honest – as revealed by my statistics. Today is an IN day – going nowhere beyond the confines of my apartment which is why I keep well. Grocery shopping once a week and appointments only for the past nine months. Who thought I could have survived that but have. My PCP says I have never looked or acted better as I finally was forced to stop and smell the roses. He is correct. Alexis
He You became a Muslim! What led you there? What sort of study are you doing to deepen your understanding of the faith? What degree of fundamentalism are you keeping? So many questions?
Me: Wonderful to receive your questions – I feel so rewarded by your curiosity. It is a very long story, beginning with a Pakistani Muslim taxi driver in SF who became my Personal Driver (he mentioned on blog constantly. He had a Yellow Cab route but if I needed a cab, he came, on time and thoroughly reliable. I did not, nor do not have a car these days. So in an apartment in San Francisco but went to London to celebrate the recovery of my right knee surgery (right) and at my humble hotel met the Crown Prince of Dubai (aka the Sultan) (aka Fazza). A chance but meaningful encounter enhanced by my blog. So funny actually!! He fist banged me on the elevator – so incredible charming and look see how incredibly handsome he i. When I first encountered him I told him he was the most handsome man I ever had seen and showed him my blog. Two days later he met me in the lobby and said “Hi, its me the Sultan). Did not know who he was but had a badge that said Sultan. I volunteered to be his London wife on blog – as he can have many and I read the blog to him and then blushed. But actually never saw him again – despite return to London and the to Dubai as I went Air Emeritus and had to go through Dubai, stayed there a week. His inattention and broken promises broke my heart, he communicated strangely and indirectly over months. But on my next trip at the end of December met a family (huge) at the same hotel. I mistakenly thought they were the Royal Family of Dubai but they were the Royal Family of Qatar. Bonded totally with a 14 year old Princess and the 17 year old Prince of the Emir. Then learned, on March 5, 2019 to the horrors of the Ruler of Dubai – kidnap and abdication of two daughters and mistreatment of his sixth wife proven by a London High Court. I mistakenly thought that ‘my’ fourteen year old was his daughter and was terrified for her. Much relief to learn she was the daughter of the Emir os Qatar. In my horror of the Ruler’s actions spoke to Personal Driver about the rights of women under the Islamic faith and was so impressed with the wide range of rights coupled with protection and respect. So impressed and that eventually led me to the faith. Spoke to an Islamic scholar who told me what to do. Read the Quran and speak to Allah and when you decide you are ready – do it. I did. I am a an honorary member of Personal Driver’s family . He and his Parkistani wife and three children – two sons who are engineers and a daughter (18) who plans to be a doctor. They cook for me and treat me so well. Wife, daughter and son are now in Pakistan – have been there since the first of October. Returning the end of December with a handmade Hijab for me. I shall be most happy. You do know that I had no really family my whole life so this is a gift. More later. Please continue to ask questions if you wish. All of this is actually on my blog which has chronicled it all with quotations of the Quran etc etc. Alexis
Me: By the way – I am most observant. It is actually very easy and most rewarding. There are no degrees of fundamentalism – you are either a believer and follow the faith or you are not. Not actually that difficult – so much to learn, I will continue to read, will get my vary own Islamic scholar at some point to learn more. Difficult to find an English speaking one but the search is on. The daughter, conversant in English and the faith, will be instructing me on her retune as well. She is so sweet – gifted me with jewelry – inexpensive pieces but so treasured. I am most fortunate and consider myself blessed. The Islamic scholar ,and others, including and a member of the Qatar Royal family say that I was Chosen for many reasons but mainly my age at entering the faith etc. etc. etc. How very strange for me who was an atheist most of my life – staring at the age of 19.
I shall go back to Netflix and watch House of Cards. Fascinating program. ! Great to talk with you and we can chat by phone with my phone plan that gives me endless telephone calls to Canada for a mere ten dollars a week. Alexis
But now onto something completely different. New friends and acquaintances often inquire:
They: What did you look like when you were younger? Do you have any pictures.?
Me: No I do not – no idea where they might be.
Well, I do actually have many photos discovered amongst the massive treasures uncovered from the storage facility in Marin. I was surprised on many levels. First that I had so many photos and second that I actually was rather good looking – in fact VERY good looking, particularly in 1988 – when I was 45 according to my calculations – not good at math, please remember. My hair stylist at the time – August – was doing Before and After shots and I submitted myself to his skill and talents. You shall see the results of his efforts as a framed photograph will accompany this blog. It is clear that it is me but never do I recall looking that good. According to my calculations this occurred at some point during Marriage #2, the guy was rather nonobservant so that explains a great deal. Hahahah .