14 February

How to be a good (Derby) Wife

A Valentine’s blog by Coco De Maul

So, you’ve started Roller Derby, Congratulations!

What is this “Derby Wife” that you keep hearing so much about? Along with the kit and the name, is having a derby wife one of those things that you have to obtain in order to gain the full Roller Derby Experience?

How do we get a Wife? Is it someone that you are assigned, is there waiting list?!
The reality is much more simple, I’ll share my experiences.

Naturally in Roller Derby, as in life, you will find an affinity towards a person or people more than others. It’s human, we can’t have the same relationship with everyone we meet but as long as you don’t overvalue some at the expense of others then I’m sure you’ll be okay.

Generally, skaters tend to have a closer friendship to those that they began skating with, maybe they started Fresh Meat at the same intake or progressed to a new level within the league at the same time. Watching another persons skill level progress at the same rate as your own and being able to celebrate these milestones together. Passing minimum skills, your first bout, these emotive situations draw skaters together and cement friendships.

Other times, its someone we admire that we’re drawn to. It could be their skill or even their mind-set that draws us to them. It could start by skating against them at training, working together and learning from them. The more time that you spend with each other on the track, transfers to conversation off it. The conversation and skating builds trust and open communication which is the basis for any great friendship.

Then there’s common interests outside of Roller Derby that draw people together. Music, art, gaming, even day jobs!
Finally, there’s a friendship that’s a combination of many things, a mutual admiration and supportive relationship that just works but you’re not sure how exactly you first met.

A lift to and from training is where it really began, we had both skated a while but not really spoken to each other outside of practice. The car journeys became our time to chatter on, talking about skating, drills, roller derby and then eventually our real selves. We had a similar view on a lot of things but also could discuss differing views without argument. On the track, the trust and communication was a great boost for skating. We found ourselves pairing together lots, challenging each other and supporting along the way.

On New Years 2011, I sent a (rather drunk) message… “BE MY WIFEY??!!”

A Derby Wife is patient, but will tell me when I’m being a douche and I know she’s right. All her intentions are good towards me, never jealous or selfish but always invaluable. Challenging and congratulating, she is kind, open and beautiful. A Derby Wife is your best friend.

Do you have a best friend because it’s the done thing?
You have a best friend because you simply couldn’t be without them. You want to put a ring on it so they’ll never leave. If you have that, don’t let it go.

To Bunnie,
I knew we were meant to be when we both went for the cake tin after everyone else refused.
Love Coco x
Coco de Maul
Hellfire Harlots
Nottingham Roller Derby
derby wives
Derby wife
Derby wife I heart you