Brief History of Me - A Timeline
1976 - I was born late in the morning at an Air Force Base hospital in scintillating South Carolina. There was an audience of medical students gathered, and I’m sure they burst into spontaneous applause at my appearance. My parents were in their early twenties, and from that day forward referred to each other as “Mom” and “Dad”. By all accounts I was a happy baby. I liked people, I didn’t fuss a lot, and did silly tricks so that my parents would have more interesting baby pictures than their friends.
1977 - We moved to Hawaii and my parents decided to have another baby as soon as possible, so that I could have a playmate. We have pictures of my sister Alice emerging from the womb, umbilical cord still attached, covered in blood and screaming. Don’t worry, I’m not going to show you. Alice wasn’t quite as cute as me, and she cried a lot from her ear infections, but Mom and Dad seemed to love her anyway.
1980 - My father was next stationed in New Jersey, where Amber was born. She was a good, quiet baby. Our nickname for her was Amberlyn Monroe because of her blonde hair and the beauty mark on her face.
1981 - We moved to Pennsylvania and I started kindergarten. My folks went ahead and had a fourth baby, finally getting a boy this time, though they were so convinced that it would be another girl that they had the name “Stephanie” etched on our glass collection and monogrammed on towels. I remember my mother rocking in her chair, knitting over her pregnant belly, telling me where babies come from. We visited the hospital right after Andrew was born. Mom lay in bed recuperating from the operation to have her tubes tied, and I got to wear a paper mask over my nose and mouth.
1982 - I went to first grade in Oklahoma. We lived on a nice Air Force Base with lots of kids my age living on the same street. My best friend Donna was right next door. The stupid boy down the street burst the Easter Bunny/Santa Clause myth for all of us. I was too big for the bullies to beat up, so instead they made fun of me in class. The smallest kid in class, Jackie, was my very first boyfriend. Our teacher, Mrs. Nuchi, was rather strict but I thought she liked me until I got three demerits one day, which meant an instant paddling. She took me into the supply room and told me to grab the socks on my Brownie outfit before walloping my butt. Outraged, I walked home at lunch that day to demand that we sue the teacher. My parents were packing up the house for our next move and had no sympathy for my wounded pride.
1983 - We lived in England for three years. It was okay. In second grade I had some nice little friends named Cherry and Carrie. Then Carrie was in Aliens and when she came back no one spoke to her. I was afraid she would think I only wanted to be her friend because she was in a movie. We kept waiting for her to approach us first, but she never did.
1984 - Laura, the school thug, lived right around the corner from me, and she became my henchwoman. Other kids had been forbidden to play with her because she was large and violent and her parents were terribly permissive. I liked her, though she was a bit clingy, and with her to do my bidding I was the gangster of the third grade. Every day I would gather a group of girls together at recess and we would torment the boys I liked. It was fun.
1985 - My fourth grade teacher was Mrs. Vanjennians, an aging hippy whose bright red hair was usually tied in pigtails with orange yarn. She let us get away with a lot. I stayed late once a week to help clean the blackboards, and sometimes I would rearrange all the desks. Then I found a large paperback copy of The Swiss Family Robinson on her bookshelf. I positioned my desk to face the shelf in the back of the room and for the rest of the year I did nothing but read. In between other books, I would go back and reread The Swiss Family Robinson, which is still one of my favorites. All I wanted in life were my books. I refused to learn how to multiply and divide with the rest of the class. There was no more playing with my friends, and I ignored my siblings even more. I had to wear thick, plastic glasses and I grew uglier every day.
1987 – We left England, visited Dad’s family for a month on Long Island, then moved to Fort Walton Beach, Florida. As a big, ugly bookworm I was despised by all the kids at school. We lived in a condo on the beach for a year, which was really nice, then my parents bought their first house. A few doors down lived a girl named Melody, who became my only friend.
1989 – My parents got divorced and Mom moved us to Niceville. Dad soon remarried, and I gained two new brothers. At the new middle school I made some friends and learned how to wear makeup and dress like a normal girl. I stopped wearing my glasses in public and tried not to use words with too many syllables. I played bassoon in the marching band.
1990 – Niceville Senior High School. I was kinda cute. Learned to play saxophone freshman year, because marching with a bassoon is pretty retarded. I had a boyfriend named JJ for six weeks. We didn’t go on any dates, just made out in closets and locker rooms before he broke up with me for my lack of conversational skills. Dad and Stepmom had a baby boy, then moved to Germany.
1991 - As a sophomore I absolutely loved high school. That was the year that I wanted big hair, so I never brushed it. I crushed on lots of boys and kissed one or two of them. Failed algebra. Learned not to trust.
1992 - Got a job at Subway as soon as I turned 16. Had a crazy fling with my 23-year-old coworker. That was the year I played D&D with Audra and her older brother’s friends for a couple of months, which led to me making out with a whole nother 23-year-old guy, which led to my Mom going nuts and attempting to ruin D&D for every kid in Niceville. I’ll tell you all about that some time.
1992 - By 11th grade I totally hated school and would do anything to get out of it. Dated Missy’s brother Alec for a while and went to the prom with him, but I dumped him because he wouldn’t put out. Mom's boyfriend and his oldest son moved in with us.
1993 - Senior year of high school I was miserable, skipped class all the time and got in a little bit of trouble. Dated that idiot Flip for a year and finally lost my virginity. Met Justin in sixth period AP English class. By this time I was a knockout, to make up for my earlier bout of ugliness.
1994 – Graduated high school and started dating Justin. After the best summer of my life he went away to attend the University of Miami and we had a painful long-distance relationship for a couple of years.
1995 - I moved to Miami and completely failed to live as an independent woman. Moved back home and eventually broke up with Justin because the long distance thing was too hard. We tried to be friends, but his evil new girlfriend had moved into his dorm room and wouldn’t let him talk to me.
1996 – My Dad retired from the Air Force and moved back to Florida. I moved in with him and had a front row seat for the disintegration of his second marriage. After that Dad and I lived like degenerates until we got sick of each other. I started working at the bookstore in the mall, where I made some great friends and met my next boyfriend, Tom.
1998 – Dad kicked me out, so Tom and I got a place of our own in Crestview. It was a tiny little wreck of a house, but it was the only place we could afford that had a fenced-in yard for the dogs. I was working days at an insurance adjustment firm and nights at the bookstore and barely making enough money to live. I gained a lot of weight and bleached my hair so many times it turned white.
1999 – Leaving Tom to take care of the pets for four months, I moved in with my aunt and uncle in Orlando. My aunt made me into a new person with table manners, well-coifed hair, and a respectable wardrobe, and taught me how to find, get, and keep a job in the corporate world. I got a job making a very good salary at an accounting firm. Met Big D there. I bought a small house just before I turned 23, and two weeks after moving in I went back to pick up the dogs and cats and let Tom know he was no longer my boyfriend.
2000 – Quit the accounting firm when my wretched boss pushed me too far. Big D supported me for over a month while I looked for a job. Eventually found a great position in the marketing department of an engineering firm, which I still enjoy. Got in touch with Justin again and have had a lovely e-mail relationship with him ever since.
2001 – Joined 3WA.
2002 - Started an online journal. Met Abby Normal.
2003 – Can’t remember...