The first time I noticed Kim Flanagan, I noticed her jeans. They looked great and I wanted them. We were in Calgary. As I walked behind her in the school corridor I realized her son was on his way in to my daughters class – perfect – I could corner her at the school lockers.
We’d never met, we were both relatively new in town, we were both sleep deprived and we were both in those early years of parenting. My initial nervous “Umm, Hi, I love your jeans” conversation starter, turned in to an hour long chat in the car park. In that hour I fell in love with Kim’s self deprecating humor and I made a friend for life.
We were both in baby and toddler mode, I was consumed with the Little Travelers and my days were spent negotiating nap times with grocery shopping, toddler music class and preschool pick ups. I was struggling to remember who the pre children Kirsty was, actually I was struggling to remember to shower and apply deodorant. I was tired, I felt stuck in a rut. There were days when G would leave for the office and I wanted to run after the car calling “take me with you – I want to go back to lunch and learns, conference calls and breakfast meetings”. Instead I’d walk back inside and spoon weetbix in to someone’s mouth while the Wiggles tried to wake up Jeff.
We’d both left careers behind, Kim was from a different city, I was a from a different country. We both had plans to return to work but worried about the logistics and the fact that we were beginning again, without any contacts.
Kim had a way of being able to pull an outfit together, not in a desperate housewives way, there was no big hair, high gloss nails or Jimmy Choos. Kim was groovy, she was comfortable, everything she wore seemed functional but cool – no Mum’s jeans. Fashion was definitely her thing. I wasn’t the only one who’d noticed.
Her own experience with being pregnant and emerging with a new body at the end of it, had got her thinking on how the process affects us as women. She wanted to start a website with a consulting business attached.
“Id love to start a site for woman to reclaim who they were. I want to give women permission to rock it, no matter the age, no matter the body. I’d love to inspire women to get their groove on, young or old, different body or the same body”
Can you see why I loved her?
Over time we both got to it. I went back to work, first part-time, then full time. She started to organize fashion events for women, real women. She went to people’s houses and performed “closet interventions”. She managed to be honest without being mean, people loved her. Then she got a gig on TV. The morning I switched on the television and saw a group of women from school acting as models on the breakfast show, I squealed out loud. Mothers from the 1st little travelers kindergarten class, even one of the grandmothers that worked in the tuck shop. They were all standing there while Kim talked about their outfits, everyone of them blushing while looking freaking fabulous. She’d done exactly what she said she was going to do.
It was Kim who pointed me in the direction of Miss Representation. She’s having a screening on February 3rd in Calgary. I would so LOVE to be there. Sigh.
If we were to believe the rubbish we see on reality TV and tabloid magazines, Kim’s business model should have never worked. You can’t have middle aged sized 12 women on the telly? If you believe 90% of what you see in the mainstream media, Kim and I should have never have been friends. We should have had a cat fight by the third episode.
If you get a chance to watch it, let me know what you think.