I went on a shopping trip with one of my closest girlfriends to an outlet strip mall shopping center. We often joke that we are soul mates and it is too bad that we aren’t both lesbians, because we wouldn’t need to look any further for a rewarding, passionate relationship. Alas, we are both heterosexual. She is a beautiful Iraqi Catholic, known as a Chaldean, who moved to the U.S. as a teenager. I am a first generation Slav. We are both multilingual, coming from two different backgrounds, but we are the closest of friends.
We always have a delightful time together. During out spending excursion, we had a lunch break in a pizza restaurant. We were seated in the bar area in a booth when we noticed two very handsome men come in and sit at the bar. They were opposite us and we couldn’t help notice their attractive, athletic figures and their chiseled looks. Within a handful of minutes of observing these two men, we realized that they were gay lovers. Their subtle body language gave the tell tale signs of intimacy. We giggled because we were slightly tipsy form our dirty martinis and remarked that it was a waste of such lovely man meat. We later flirted with a heterosexual waiter with kind eyes, and full beard.
Still a little intoxicated from our lunch, we went into the Guess store. We grabbed some outfits to try on. Some were absolutely ridiculous for women our age including; sequined sweatpants; gold, sequined skinny pants; and a white, pleather bustier.
As I was being led to the dressing room by the salesperson, I noticed that a women had laid down a rug and was praying in one of the dressing rooms. I recognized the prostration from what I have seen other Muslims do. I had seen the woman in the store earlier, shopping just as my friend and I had been. She had taken time out of her shopping to pray to Allah. Meanwhile I was in the dressing room next to hear trying to wriggle my legs into ridiculously undersized sequin pants without falling over. I was giggling to myself about the absurdity of it all.
I walked out of the dressing room, realizing that nothing fit and didn’t look remotely appropriate for a woman approaching middle age. The Muslim woman was no longer in the store. But, I reveled in the joy of living in such a diverse place. I am so blessed to be living in an area in the U.S. where there is such diversity of color, creed, and sexuality. And although I am not naïve to think that we all accept one another, we do tolerate one another; sometimes respectfully, sometimes not.
I love, truly love, living in a place where my best friend is Chaldean, I can lust after a gay couple, and later see a devout Muslim woman praying. I am grateful on multiple human levels of living in the home of the diverse.