Huffpost UK Comedy uk
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Furquan Akhtar Headshot

An Ode to the Work Spouse

Posted: Updated:

"I love Girls, Girls, Girls, Girls; Girls I do adore" rapped Jay-Z in 2001.

That was before Beyonce got to him. I have never had a Beyonce intervention although let's all take a minute to think about how awesome that would be.

I do however have a work wife. In fact I have three and I think I'm in the process of marrying my fourth; which made me think of my work spouses from the past and the ways in which I must have proposed.

I met my first wife in 2007. I was at university in London when a blonde girl from the valleys (Not "The Valleys") was in an interview in Topshop. Her name was Lauren. She'd worked in a sister store in Wales but this was The Big Smoke so it took a while before anyone trusted her. Me on the other hand, I was 18 and had some made up title like "Coat Hanger supervisor". I thought I was the Dog's.

To this day I assure her that I put in a good word for her. I have no idea if I ever did.

Neither of us fancied each other. That's important as work marriages often start off like that. There can be a window where you transition from outrageous flirting to writing "Notes" on your iPhone out of platonic concern to see if they're okay in a loud club. Concern for general pitfalls of a night out not for how loud the music is. That would just be weird.

Her accent was so thick that there have been times where we have been having two separate conversations about two entirely different topics and yet still doubled over in laughter. I'm not really sure what that says about our intellect. I however, think that's the foundation of a good marriage. Seven years down the line and running for the bus together in Elephant and Castle is nothing but a memory but like Gwyneth and Chris; I still speak to her every day.

I met my second wife; Selina in a branch of All Saints in Manchester. I'd just graduated and I was convinced I was heading back to London. I'd been indoctrinated with thoughts of "standing on the right" and thinking that it was acceptable to pay that much rent. Apparently I was up myself in a different way by this point of my life and as a result I wasn't really on the lookout for any new friends. Then I saw her. She was Manchester's Beyonce but with Michelle Williams' voice. This time we bonded over a love of guilty pleasure music and fruit Mentos and after many nights on crowded dance floors and cheesy chips; I am now considered one of the family. Again I have no idea how any of this happened. She now lives in Reading and like Orlando and Miranda we share a love for pop stars but more importantly; I still speak to her every day.

I met my third wife Stacey-Lee on the set of Coronation Street. Well, the offices anyway. I was desk hopping and she was sat in my seat. I've not forgiven for that because it wasn't the beginning of a romantic comedy just a ball ache because I had to find another desk. I think she's the most bohemian of all my work wives and although she's now engaged I have to admit I thought she was pretty fit. Oh but how that window has closed. If I was in a room with just that window I would die from suffocation. Don't get me wrong she is class but in the words of Gary Barlow; "We've come so far...". She talks to me about bands I've never heard of and films that I'll never watch but like Tim and Susan; I still speak to her every day.

So what I've learnt is that there was no actual ways to land a work spouse it just happens. ( So you're in luck Vicky - it's just going to happen). However in reflection I've learnt a lot from my work spouses. So here's to the work spouse. Those rare people that make the time just fly by in bundles of in jokes, advice and laughter. And I'm sure if all three of my spouses were here right now they'd tell me to apply this effort into landing an actual girlfriend.