She was the kind of woman who, if she didn't like that her husband was out at a tavern well into the wee hours of the night, would get dressed, put on her best earrings and brightest lipstick and go to the bar. She plopped herself down...not necessarily beside him. But with her laughter to the rafters, she could command the attention of the others there. Her quiet husband decided that perhaps it wasn't a good idea staying out later than he should have.
Over the years, my opinion of the woman mellowed greatly. I learned more about life and saw why my mother chose the other woman as a friend. The woman was hard-working, generous, kind to people she trusted, ready to stand up for herself when she believed she was cheated. And, yes, she had a laugh that rang loud, but she respected my mother's gentle spirit and toned it down around her.
And at her core, she had values that meant something.
That's a pretty good friend.
In some ways, my character Ella Etta is based on this spirit. A person who can spit in the wind and yet has an inner core of integrity...although Ella Etta's ethics are far worse than my mother's friend. Ella Etta might con a person out of a few dollars.
It was fun writing about her, and bringing a character to life that my mother's friend might like...although I think she would say, "She's too quiet."