Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Today I'm going to tell you about my friend Kim.

Today is Kim's 40th birthday.  I love her.

I met Kim in 2006, through a mutual friend that neither of us is friends with anymore.  We were all on each other's radar because of a local social networking website, and so even when meeting face to face for the first time, we felt like we had a history.  Kim instantly struck me as fun and kind and genuine; the years since have only solidified that first impression.

A few months after we first met, I found myself suddenly needing a place to live.  I was renting a room from a girlfriend who felt I was a bad influence on her child, what with my odd comings and goings late at nights and early in the mornings, and she gave me exactly 3 days to get the eff out of her house.  Oh, and did I mention that I'd recently lost my job?  So I was unemployed, and now homeless?  With no foreseeable income?

Kim had a room, well, two rooms, in the camel-back upstairs of her home.  And she'd been thinking about taking on a roommate.  And we got along swimmingly.  And she believed me when I told her I'd find a way to pay her rent.  And a sisterhood was formed.

I lived with her for 6 full months, and if Judge Judy is right about that whole "if you have property there, you live there!" thing, then I probably owe her a fuckton of back rent because I'm pretty sure I still have a corkboard and some pictures and a CD rack in her attic.  I managed to get a job at a liquor store a few weeks after moving in, and it paid me just enough to keep my car insured, my car note paid (sometimes even on time!), and Kim's rent up to date, even if it was a week late a time or two.

We would meet at the island in the kitchen at 2 a.m. on weekends, her coming home from a night out with friends, me getting off of the closing shift at the liquor store, both of us mostly not sober and often in the mood to continue the party.  We'd drink Busch Lights while surfing through her CD collection for songs that we both knew the words to and loved.  A hairbrush was Kim's microphone of choice; I just liked to pretend I was on stage and all ears were attuned to me, so no mic was necessary.

On weekdays, we'd meet at the island after work, for "Island Time", and drink our cheap beers, taking turns to be the one to walk to Mo's on the corner to buy cigarettes and 12-packs for our meetings.  Sometimes, we'd cook together, but mostly we lived together just as friends who met to hang out and have a good time.

Kim saved me back then.  If she hadn't trusted in me, who knows where I would've ended up.  Back at my parents' home?  That really was my only option, and I don't know how well my ego would've survived having to move back home twice in one year.  Kim trusted me, and opened her home to me, and loved me.  I love her.

I'd started dating Jimi a couple months before I'd moved in with Kim, and a few months later, we had reached that point where setting up house together was looming on the horizon.  I dreaded telling Kim; I didn't want to leave her.  I was afraid our friendship would suffer, and I knew I was going to miss her.  She understood, though, and did not allow me to become a stranger - she came to me!  She would come over after work and we'd have beers (I'm seeing a pattern here) and laugh and talk and annoy the piss out of Jimi with our cackling.  I love her so much.

In 2008, I'd gotten a promotion at work and the lady we'd hired to fill my newly-vacant position wasn't working out.  Kim had told me "If you ever have an opening at your work, CALL ME."  So I did.  I told my boss "I've got this" and I called Kim and was like "Um, I need you to come work with me, okay?" and after a surprisingly small amount of hemming and hawing, she did!  YAY!  Yay.  Yay?  Well, eventually, yes, of course, otherwise I guess I'd be here writing about what a bitch she is rather than how awesome she is, but, um, it's hard to work with your friends.  Spending a few hours together getting fucked up and laughing and having a merry old time is a little different from spending 9 hours a day in an office environment.  An office environment where one of you is required to "manage/supervise" the other.  And where one of you is pretty stressed at work all the time.  And the other is sensitive.

There have been plenty of blowups at work between me and my good friend Kimmie, but we've gotten through each of them, by being grown-ups and talking things out after our emotions have run away with us and then settled back down.  There have been plenty of tears and mean looks and angry emails, but eventually we always end up hugging and apologizing and going back to being BFFs again.  And then she'd come over after work and we'd have beers and laugh and talk about work and annoy the piss out of Jimi with our cackling.

Can I take a moment now to tell you about my favorite work story that involves me and Kimmie?  Why am I asking you?  I do what a want - this is my story!  Anyhow, picture it:  January 5, 2009 - a Thursday.  Kimmie's been working with me for 6 months or so, I've been there a year longer than her.  And for some reason, I decided around 6 o'clock that I was going to put on a good drunk, and I started drinking Sailor Jerry.  (Spiced rum, similar to Cap't Morgan, but 93 proof compared to the Cap't's 70.  And it tastes better.) Kim calls sometime around 9, and I end up talking her into coming over.  I warn her that I've only got the rum, so she brings a 12-pack.  We proceed to get rip-roarin' drunk.  She has a drink or two with my rum, but mostly sticks to her beer; I finished off the fifth, and then had at least one of her beers, maybe two.  Horrible idea, and you should never, ever do this.  We drank until we had nothing more to say to each other, and until we realized it was 5:30 in the morning.  We were due in to work at 8, and we made it to work.  And we were still drunk.  The rest of the day is a blur of vomit and shame.  Our boss didn't fire us, though.  For some reason.

My intention was to finish this last night after I got home from going out partying with Kimmie.  Obviously, that didn't happen, because here I am at 9:15 on the morning of Kimmie's Birthday trying to finish up this little ditty. 

And now it's 11:08 and I've still not posted this because it's still not ready.

I love Kimmie because she's one of the sweetest, most kind-hearted, honest, good-natured, genuine people you could ever hope to meet.  She's that friend who will help clean your house for weeks leading up to your 30th birthday party; she's the one who will hold your hand and cry with you when you accidentally hit a dog that runs in front of your car; she's the friend who will tell you things that you probably don't want to hear, but she does it only because she doesn't know how to lie.  Basically, Kim makes my life happier and better because she's part of it.  And I love her. 

Happy 40th, Kimmie.  I'm looking forward to drinking Busch Lights and cackling with you for the next 40.  :)


  1. Fabulous post! I am sure this brought her to tears...ti would me if I was her! Does that even make sense?! Oh well!

    Happy Birthday Kim!

  2. It did bring me to tears, actually. Nat is pretty dang awesome herself, and if I had a blog, I'd shout about it there.


Please don't make me cry.


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