I've traveled a fair bit and lived abroad. Never have I ever felt comfortable in any place I've lived until I have located three major things- "my" coffee shop (preferably with that barrista who knows me by name and whose life aspirations we discuss at length), good Asian restaurants, and a girlfriend. Think about your grandmother saying the word. This ain't your "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" girlfriend...I'm talking about a grrrlfriend. A soul-sister.
My four best friends live in different cities, respectively: 1,172 miles, 548 miles, 698 miles- oh, and one lives in a different country...so 3,000 miles away from me. It's hard. Being in a solid relationship with tickle fights, back-rubs, and regular hot, steamy eye-contact is fantastic. And I'd rather be sleeping here next to him than in 3/4 locations alluded to above. But as a woman, I can't live on eros alone.
Enter the friend-crush. And this totally can apply to guys too- I'm a gal-gal with good guy friends but I know you guy-gals are out there too. Gal-gal means that I live in woman-land. Most of my solid lifer friends are women;I excel at single-sex education; I am beyond comfortable in women-dominated professional and social activities. I *need* gal pals. Particularly in the face of This Man's Army and the men-everywhere phenomenon in this Army town. Seriously, this undisclosed location has a shocking predominance of (tall) dudes. Potentially coincidentally most of the local guys here seem to really work hard to be physically attractive. I can only speculate that there is a perception of competition when one is faced daily with what regular PT does to the average 18-24 year old male body.
My first friend-crush didn't work out. She was cool, a professional connection that didn't balk when I called my male fiance my "partner", but alas she lived too far away to stay in touch. As luck would have it a random MeetUp.com group turned up my first progressive Army-wifey friend- we bonded over shared activism- and she was the also the first person since I moved here to mention the LGBT community in passing conversation. It's a small world after all because my second Army-wifey friend is a north-easterner with family-friend connections who was my penpal before she moved here and we met in person. Bonus- she has excellent taste in bourbon. Now we all three of us write a blog together, and make cocktails together, and bitch about this ungodly awful right of passage (aka wedding planning) that we are also coincidentally embarking upon together...
And I'm happy. Philia- Ancient Greek φιλία, meaning friendship- reigns supreme.
photo credit SweetPerversion Etsy shop