It's been almost three years since I decided to move here permanently, and it must be said that one of the hardest things for me to deal with was the absence of girl friends of my own. I hung out with some females from my husband's group, but of course it was not the same. I found his people a little bit too serious, a little bit too straight, not able to laugh very easily.
I kept telling my husband that I missed the lightness of spirit of the Filipina. If you want a visual handle, think a gaggle of beautiful brown girls on a night out, in a café or a restaurant, telling stories in loud voices, laughing often, and even occasionally screeching in delight. That you won't find very easily in France. Actually there were times that when I attempted to screech, I was shushed.
"Les Françaises sont lourdes!" I would whine, complaining about Frenchwomen being hard to deal with.
Fast-forward to now, when how it goes in our couple is that my husband goes out mainly when I have organized something within my own circle. I have found my footing, and as is my nature I am again a very social animal with a very short list of real friends but a significantly longer list of great acquaintainces.
Even though this group is rarely rowdy and you would never really use the word "gaggle" to describe them, they do have a lot of other things going for them. You would not think of them as "girls," they're women. That means that they are stoic and stubborn, often opinionated and admirably strong, sometimes too practical for my taste, but at least always able to look at life without blinking and do what is necessary.
That may all sound very boring, but no. I like it. It appeals to the get-over-it-and-get-a-grip side of me.
And, oh, I do still screech in their company whenever the urge takes over me, and while my friends may not be making the same enthusiastic noises, they also do know how to laugh. Just not very very loudly.