I first saw Simone* standing at the school gate as we waited for our kids.
She was so tall that it felt like she was almost double my height. So it was hard not to notice her.
As I watched her, my eyes moving from the friend who was talking to me, I knew immediately why Simone was standing apart from the other mums.
She stuck out like a sore thumb, not only because of her height, but because she was beautiful, in a Hollywood way. Beautiful, in the 1980s super-model kind of way. She was as classically good-looking as Pamela Anderson when she was in Baywatch.
So, the exact opposite of me.
She was wearing the tiniest denim shorts… and stilettos. Her quite obviously surgically enhanced cleavage was on display. At school pick-up – the horror!
She had a golden blonde mane of hair. Gucci sunglasses hid her eyes, but you could tell her bone structure was classically perfect.
I looked at her, and thought, she’s alone, not because she thinks she’s too good for anyone, but because she doesn’t think she’ll fit in with the other more ‘natural’ or ‘down-to-earth’ looking mums, like me.
That’s always been my weakness – an ‘underdog’. Admittedly, I’d never approached such a glamorous ‘underdog’, but that’s what I did that afternoon. I just went over and said “hi”.
And that’s the instant I started one of my dearest friendships. I discovered Simone was – and is – gracious, generous, kind, and funny.
She’s also very, very wealthy. Combine that with her aesthetic, and she’s quite the ‘package’ – and in a very obvious way. I didn’t think that could be a negative – until I was forced to consider other people’s perspectives.
There is one in every friendship group. So what is a Nicole? And how do you spot her? The Outlouders discuss…
To me, Simone was a new friend – lovely and interesting. And so I did what I’d do with any friend: I began inviting her to events with my other friends. Playdates, girls lunches, and even my book club.
Including her in things could have been a fateful mistake – because it eventually cost me a few friends. But actually, I’m grateful for introducing her to some of my gang, because despite how stressful the fallout was, it showed me who my true friends are.
In the time I’ve known Simone, she’s had about five million dollars worth of cars.