After a great month of being a hermit, I decided I needed to shake things up a bit.
Then I realized that the Fourth of July was rounding the corner and I hadn't celebrated it for four years. Time to break that tradition.
Over the last few months, and particularly weeks, gringos have just been coming out of the woodwork in Saltillo. In April, I met a fellow gringo at our OXXO (convenience store) who lives a street away from us. He and his wife have been dividing their time between Saltillo and the US for 10 years--how have I not run into them before?!? Then a few weeks ago, not one--but two--new gringo families started going to the International Church. I've met one family. The other family has been slipping by me. However, I almost ran into them at the grocery store checkout. I think the wife/mom recognized me from church. She seemed to smile at me (we were a good 30 yards apart, so I couldn't be sure) and I was about to yell, "HEY--WANT TO COME TO MY FOURTH OF JULY PARTY?"
Then I decided that I didn't really want to be known as That Woman Who Yelled At Me At The Grocery Store, so I let her go about her merry way.
Then again, maybe I do want to be known as Crazy Gringa, as I met another half-gringo/half-Mexican family a few days later at the vaccine clinic (seriously, we're coming out of the woodwork). We exchanged pleasantries as we were leaving the clinic, "How long have you been here? Where are you from?", etc. It was on the tip of my tongue to invite these complete strangers to my Fourth of July party. Like me, she has been here since her marriage in 2007 (which she did not seem to think it was the amazing coincidence I thought it was, *sigh*). Unlike me, she had the air of someone who had an outside job (ie: engages in adult conversation on a daily basis) and yelling at them across the parking lot to invite them to my house might make me appear odder than I already appeared.
OK, maybe it doesn't take a "real" job to make that seem real odd.
But despite all my missteps, we did manage to gather some friends, both new and established, and we celebrated the US, in our own ways, 3 hours south of the border. I'm not usually one to be an organizer, but I'm glad I did. It turned out to be one of my favorite weekends of 2013.
On the other hand, with my Permanent Residence card en route, it been getting clearer to me that this odd focus I have on finding gringo/foreign friends is a bit skewed. Not that I don't love my international community here--I do, and I sure don't want to lose any of you! However, I do speak Spanish fluently and I do live clear across town from the "international" section of town, so having a clear preference for English-speaking friends seems a bit silly. (Which I don't know is a real preference. It's simply easier to make friends with others who don't already have family and scores of friends based on a lifetime of living here.)
So, in light of this, perhaps I'll host a posada at Christmas for my neighbor friends. And my gringo friends. It's a rather all-inclusive time of year.