A year in people #53 – Kim

My ex-husband had just started a new job. He came home one day and was telling me about his friend there, Rick. They had stuff in common like music and DJing and beer. I was pleased for him, as this meant I wouldn’t have to listen to his music and feign interest at a weekend.

After a few weeks, he uttered the words that people with partners sometimes dread “we should do a couple thing with Rick and his girlfriend. You’d get on with her.”

Why? Gaaaahhhhh. Stop trying to make everything a couple thing. Every new male friend he made, he’d then make it into a couples thing. No. Just go out with YOUR friend and do YOUR thing. I have my own friends and I’ll do my stuff. I won’t try and make you be best friends with all their boyfriends.

Why would I get on with her? Because the thing we have in common is our boyfriends are friends? That it literally sometimes the only reason.

But of course, I was a nice girlfriend, so I agreed. I can’t remember whether they came over to ours, or we went to theirs, but there was beer and wine and food.

After about an hour Rick and the ex fucked off upstairs to do DJ music stuff, leaving me and Kim sat in mildly awkward silence.

We headed outside for a cigarette. Hurrah! Something in common. As any smoker (now ex, by the way) will tell you, this is an INSTANT BOND. And BOOM, that was it.

Likely helped by wine too.

“Isn’t it annoying when you’re forced to do couple stuff? Oh, the men are friends so the women should be too.”

“GOD YES!”

“I didn’t really want to meet you. Couldn’t be arsed.”

“Ha! Me neither!”

We bonded over cigarettes, not really wanting to have met each other, a love of cheesy music and alcohol.

We were instant friends from that first evening. Over the years we’d spend many a weekend as couples, the men disappearing upstairs while we’d stretch out, drink wine and put the world to rights, before moving the coffee table to make a dancefloor. We’d literally dance for hours to cheesy pop, ‘our songs’ being MJ’s Don’t Stop Until You Get Enough and Build Me Up Buttercup.

She became one of my best friends. I organised a cocktail and bling night for her hen do, and she helped me set up for my wedding. We went to Barcelona and Rome for birthdays, and got very drunk on white wine on what will forever be known as “Schwine Night”. We had fun with fancy dress, painted the town red and just had a shit load of fun.

I got to keep Rick and Kim after my divorce. Well, not deliberately, but it seemed my ex-husband slowly dropped all his old friends. I didn’t. They were awesome to me.

Kids came along (for them), and I moved away from Lincolnshire. Our catch ups were fewer and further between, less wine and dancing, and more food, cups of tea and chat.

Now, I’m on the other side of the world, and life gets in the way. It’s been a long time since we’ve sat and drank wine together, but sometimes I video call her to say hello when I’m drinking red wine and she’s at work on a Friday morning.

I miss you lovely Kim x

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