A good friendship is probably the most beautiful thing of all. Enschede Elaine van den Dolder and Kylie Smit know it (both 33) well. This year they have been friends for thirty years. What is the secret of their long and close friendship?
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“It’s typical for us that a lot of songs are rated as ‘Our Number,'” says Keyleigh. ‘They are all in our shared Spotify playlist ‘Key❤El’. Each song reminds us of a funny moment or a certain period. Which number is number one? Yes, from Usher. It reminds us of the time we went to the new market.”
The friendship between the people of Enschede goes back to the first group of the Prince Flores School – Alan Drakenstein. The two met in class and immediately stopped each other. When they both went to another high school – Keyleigh to AOC, and Ellen to Ichtus College in Bruggertstraat – their friendship grew stronger. Eileen: “We were really inseparable at the time.”
We drank tequila at De Poort van Cleves
During that time in high school, friends discovered the nightlife of Enschede. “De Poort van Cleves was our favorite pub,” says Keyleigh. “We played pool first and then drank tequila at Pub Remember – in the back of the store.” Eileen nod. “Yes, we only drank tequila there. Sometimes five in one night. Then we came home completely drunk. At eleven, because we were still young.” Then, laughing, “Don’t write how young she is, because my daughter is that age.”
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From market to new market
Zevende Hemel, Nieuwmarkt, Singers and Danspaleis also made the two unsafe in the evening. Sometimes even after they’ve been in the market together for a whole day. Eileen: “We worked in the market in Winterswijk for a while. Behind the fruit and vegetable stall. Then we got up at 4:30 and left in a pickup truck for Winterswijk. We had the most fun. Everyone was mad at us.” When they got home, they ate, showered, and prepared for a night out together. Keyleigh: “That was a great time.”
It’s good to see each other in this mother role
Elaine and Kylie now have children. Motherhood gave their friendship an extra dimension. “I didn’t have any kids when Eileen became a mother,” Keyleigh says. “I looked at her in admiration. When I became a mother, I could turn to her with tough questions. How do you keep all those balls high?” Elaine’s answer was always: No. Eileen: “You can’t keep up with all the balls. And that’s okay. Keyleigh is a much bigger perfectionist than me. It’s good to see each other in this mother role. When I saw her as a mother, I was so happy and proud. And the great thing is that our kids get along really well too, though of the age difference.
According to Elaine, the secret of their long friendship is that they give each other space, don’t judge each other and can be one hundred percent with the other. Keyleigh: “And that we have no secrets from each other. We really do tell each other everything.”
Not tequila, but wine
The two friends talk on average once a week. “Sometimes four times a week, sometimes not for three weeks. Everything is fine. We know everything is fine,” says Kelay. They do applications every day.
When the two see each other, they don’t wander into all the bars and clubs like they used to. “Now we agree to watch a movie together, then we turn it off after ten minutes because we talk a lot,” says Elaine, laughing. “But we can also sit next to each other on the couch with our phones within reach.” The two now come to downtown Enschede for an evening at the cinema, dinner or a drink on the terrace. Kelly laughs. “As long as there is wine.” No tequila? “No, we’ve had that time.”
Rollator and bingo racing
To many years of friendship! Eileen: “Our goal is to end up together in the nursing home, as two Benidorm bastards. People set off with sticks and things. And above all, do a lot of drum races and play bingo together. This is our dream.”