Poor Stevie: A Timeline
1986 – Born in country NSW. My parents take one look at my angelic face and give me a name, meaning “the feminine version of Stephen” in ancient Greek.
1989 – In another country town I get run over by a blind man and ride my trike into a ditch. I am left with a nose that resembles a Picnic, which is actually my favourite chocolate bar.
1990 – I start preschool. My passion for playsuits, cloudy apple juice and naps continues to this day.
1993 – I get busted for “trick or treating”, or demanding other kids’ food in the playground, and am pulled up by the arm to stand in front of the whole school. The image of the smirking flame-haired Kindergarten girl, who dobbed on me after she lost her Smarties to my rebel cause, remains seared into my retinas.
1996 – I am named a state finalist in Nestle Write Around Australia competition for my gripping novella”Where The Big Boys Play”. At the time, I was vaguely Christian and believed I heard the voice of God telling me I would win right before I did. I also prayed for a boyfriend and got one. Take that starving African kids! The Lord has better things to do!
1997 – I am named school captain of my primary school. In my spare time I play tenor horn and take singing lessons on Sundays with a bunch of Christian kids. Retrospect tells me my election victory may have been cruel prank.
1998 – I begin high school and wear plastic pegs in my hair ala Mai from Heartbreak High. Also pick up weird habit of showing my sister’s friends my pink bra straps. People do not want to be my friend. God stops answering my prayers.
1999 – I have my first kiss at a school disco. Boy goes on to tell others I tried to “eat his face”. I did not.
2000 – I try to learn the guitar with a friend. I only learn the opening strains of Hole’s Violet and Everlast’s What It’s Like.
2001 – I get braces to close a gap in my front teeth. I totally nab the hottest guy in school and things are looking up. He is a sweet God botherer, who gets worried when he thinks his mum may have seen me hold his hand. He skateboards and is in a band called Skankn 24/7. I love him, but we break up during rehearsals for Bye Bye Birdy. He goes on to lose his virginity. I do not.
2003 – I study for the HSC. I cry at Big W checkout after finding out I “only” scored in the low 90s. Someone punches me in the face, I wish.
2004 – I start university. I spot hot dude on my first day. Older sister tells me to stay away from him because he does a theatre degree and is guaranteed to have herpes. He goes on to become my husband.
2005 – I move into a share house where plants grow through the floorboards and mice roam freely. I exist on a diet of Sargent’s Pies and licorice allsorts. Housemates spend a lot of time waiting to use the bathroom.
2006 – I edit the university newspaper. During a bitter battle with the conservative student board, I write a blistering editorial under the heading “The pen is mightier than the sword” in the early hours of deadline day. The edition comes back and the heading turns out to be “The pen that is mighter that teh sword;;”
2007 – We move to Sydney. We acquire a yellow couch from J-man’s aunt. Vinnies go on to refuse to take the now-brown couch off our hands.
2010 – We get married and travel the world. Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight go on to star in a movie based on our time in Bulgaria.
2011 – We return to Australia. On the anniversary of the day we left, July 4, I wake up with conjunctivitis.