Monday, 2 July 2012

When I was...

I'm going to play a game. If you have a blog, you can play too! You start at birth and go through each year - relating the first fact about yourself or telling the first story that comes to mind about something that happened to you when you were each age. So watch me grow up in 1,668 words.

When I was born, my family consisted of my mum, my dad and my 2 and a half year old brother Seamus. We lived in Bundaberg. I rarely admit I was born there but when I do, I preface it with "Two good things came out of Bundaberg. Bundy Rum in 1888 and me in 1985."

When I was one, my family had just moved to Brisbane. My mother bought a milk run and my father was a tiler. My favourite toy was a carrot that squeaked.

When I was two I got bored of sitting in a car seat on the passenger seat of a milk truck all day so my mother let me kind of muck around in the cab. She also wound the window down to allow air to circulate while she drove. My mother maintains I jumped out the window. I maintain I was pushed. At least she drove back to get me.

When I was three my parents forgot my birthday. My grandmother remembered and called my mother in the afternoon.
"Aren't you going to even invite me around tonight?" snapped my grandmother.
"Why would I do that?" asked my perplexed mother who had only just found solace having sent me to my room for being naughty.
"Because it's my only granddaughter's birthday?"
"Oh... can you pick up a birthday cake on your way?"
Mum came into my room with the biggest smile on her face. "Guess what, Sammy? It's your birthday! Yay!"
I was three. What did I care. They had presents for me so it's not like they forgot I existed, but I still claim I am owed half a birthday, to be called in at my convenience.

When I was four I got stitches for the first time. I was at preschool and somehow fell over a chair and ending up splitting my lip pretty badly. It only needed one stitch so the doctor said to my parents, "we can pin her down and give her an anaesthetic or we can pin her down and give her a stitch. I bravely accepted the stitch without any anaesthetic. And by that I mean I fought, bit, kicked and screamed while my parents and two nurses held me down. I remember this. A few weeks later I fell over air while carrying glass milk bottles. That needed more stitches in my right knee. All I remember about that is a lot of blood.

When I was five I started school. I was so far ahead of the other kids that I was bored. I was not the sort of child to act out or cause trouble but I was still restless. The Education Department decided to skip me ahead a grade. My parents argued that I was too much of a free-spirited and anxious child to cope with moving. They also worried about the impact on my older brother at having his little sister suddenly in the grade below. The Education Department tried again the following year but my parents still said no.

When I was six I read anything with words on it. We would be handed the weekly reader books at the teacher's desk. I would have finished it before reaching my own desk and turn around to ask for another. They quickly decided that I would go to the library by myself to pick out small novels while they handed out the little books to the other children.

When I was seven I was obsessed with two things. My "boyfriend" Thomas Rookwood and dinosaurs. Imagine my sheer and unadulterated joy when he had a Jurassic Park birthday party and of course invited me, his "girlfriend". When the day finally came, my family went to my dad's football game. I asked Mum when the party was and if we could go home soon because I didn't want to miss the party. She told me it wasn't today, Saturday, and was instead on Sunday. I didn't believe her. I turned myself inside out with worry. She was adamant that it was Sunday and that I should stop fussing. Sadly, the seven year old was right. It was Saturday and I had missed the party. Deep down, I've never really forgiven her.

When I was eight my classroom desks were set out like a big U shape. I was at the very end of the U so I only had one classmate sitting beside me. His name was David Grice. He ate Clag glue. But every term the class had a sort of pop quiz elimination contest. The teacher would spin a wheel with all our names on it and the two people who came up battled to the death (in a game of wits). The loser would be knocked off the wheel. I won all four terms.

When I was nine I was in the same class as my brother. We had both come home from school at the end of the previous year, excited to be in Mr Waldron's 5/6/7 class because he was a family friend. Imagine our shock to discover we were both in the class. I was one of the six "independent learners" from grade five and my brother was one of the 10 year sevens chosen. It turned out to be really good for me. My brother looked out for me and stopped the guys from bullying me. He couldn't do much about the girls though. He couldn't make them include me and invite me to their parties. I also got to go on the year seven camp to Moreton Island because I had to go somewhere! As a timid child who was scared of the dark, having my brother with me was a great help. And he looked after me when I got seasick on the barge ride home. But I helped him too. We did the same exams and I would feel his eyes boring into me. I would peek at him & he would motion a question number. I would motion the answer back. Sometimes he needed help, sometimes he was double checking his own answer. Either way, it worked.

When I was ten my parents separated. I've repressed a lot of the time around this period. It's very hazy. To say I was traumatised was an understatement. It was also when I first developed my fear of death.

When I was eleven, I experienced my first crush. It was the new guy to our school. He had arrived from New Zealand the year before and joined the grade six class. I was still part of the 5/6/7 composite class so I'd only seen him briefly. But suddenly we were in the same class. There were too many grade sevens so a few of us had to join the grade six class again. He was one of the "smart kids" so suddenly I found myself sharing a desk with him. I thought he was so funny and nice to me. I liked that he was smart. I never made fun of his accent like the other kids because I imagined it hurt his feelings. But I wasn't the kind of girl that boys ever noticed. I had few friends at that school so one Monday afternoon I said to Dad, "I am never going back to that school. You can't make me!" And I didn't. I started at a new school the very next day. Everyone liked me and wanted to be my friend. Until the first weekend had passed when students from my new school spoke to students from my old school and learned that I was "the milk girl" and was not to be allowed to have many friends. I still struggle with feeling like that bitterly disappointed little girl...

When I was twelve I was walking across the oval with my friends and they were talking about periods. I had not the faintest idea what they were talking about so I tuned out and stared at Paul Newman's perfect sandy hair. (Pathetic, right?) They suddenly asked me if I had my period. I was unsure if "having a period" was a good thing or a bad thing but I decided lying would do me no favours. "No...?" I replied. "Sam, do you even know what periods are?" they asked, shocked by my ignorance. They proceeded to tell me tales of bleeding and cramps and medieval contraptions that somehow prevented you from bleeding to death or something. When all was said and done, it was all I could do to stammer, "but that might happen, right? I mean, it might not happen to me at all!" Turned out my friends were right. But by the time it finally did happen at very nearly sixteen, I had convinced myself that I was the Golden Child of periods, the Chosen One, destined to never suffer menstrual cramps. I was wrong.

When I was thirteen I had my first kiss. It was with Josh Barton. He'd asked me out at the swimming carnival. I think. I have a "love letter" where he proclaimed that I looked hot in a "bakinie". We dated for a few weeks and on the last day before Easter break, we met at the pre-appointed place, behind the science block. He then murmured those now immortal words "Should I have my plate in or out?" Afterwards, I ran screaming and shuddering to the bus to tell Bobby all about it! "It was like having living jelly covered in sand inside my mouth!" was the way I so eloquently described the passionate art of French kissing. It was foul. And he'd just eaten cheap Easter chocolate, which I despise. On the first day back from holidays, he gave me a dolphin necklace and a letter. I joked to Bobby that the letter was probably breaking up with me. It was. He was sick of being teased about dating the milk girl. Few guys ever dared to pay attention to me after that.

That's the first half of my life (years one through thirteen). I'll follow this up with the second half of my life  (years fourteen through twenty-six) soon.

Miss SAMawdsley xx

  • What are the big things you remember about your life?
  • Do you have your own blog? Why not play 'When I was...'


  1. Wanna bet that I had a more traumatic first kiss experience?

    1. I won't raise you, but I'll call. Show me your hand! :)

  2. Well, you may remember that I didnt get my first girlfriend toward the end of High School. Michelle, one of Sarah's friends. She was pregnant at the time, so I felt a little overwhelmed. She had gone to every place I had not, and so I made it clear that when we kissed, I wanted to be the one who kissed her, not the other way around (You may also remember I was hopelessly romantic and kinda stupid about these kinds of things).

    So, we were dating for about 5 or 6 weeks, and still the first kiss hadnt happened. It wasnt due to me not wanting to, I wanted to! I REALLY wanted to. I was just scared shitless. So one day after school, she was in my room and we were laying on the bed, and the sun was coming in juusssssst right and I thought to myself "Self, this is it. This is The Moment™. You wont get a better oppurtunity than this". So I leaned in, nice and slow... Got inches away from her lips... And pulled back quickly. -_-

    She was nice enough to not say a word, so I pretended as if though nothing happened. We kept chatting away while I raged internally at myself. Finally, I had enough. "Self... This is stupid. Its just lips on lips. Nothing special. Youve romanticised about this and got yourself all worked up over nothing... so get in there and kiss her!" So I swallowed my fear, leaned in... and jumped back again.

    This time, she smirked at me. She knew what was going on. I was so embarrassed. After another short break, this time with awkward silence, I pepped myself up once more. "Just GET IN THERE AND KISS HER" I said to myself. So I lunged in hard and fast, not giving myself time to back out. Unfortunetly, I misjudged the distance by quite a lot, and headbutted her quite painfully.

    This caused another, longer, pause while I shit myself, and she strattled on the border of laughter and crying, before I finally said "Im trying to kiss you..." (Don Juan... thats me) She told me she figured as much, and I rather uncermoniously leaned in for my first ever kiss.

    Unfortunately, Michelle was a pack a day smoker, and a constant coffee drinker, so it was very much akin to licking an ashtray, but at the time it sure felt magical and all that jazz.

    1. LOL @ ashtray kiss... I've experienced it when I was dating a girl bigger than me. At that time it seemed a huge difference: I was 16, she was 19.

      The day we kissed (not my 1st kiss though) she said (in a funny way...) she had something important to tell me, so I figured out that was an excuse to move in the other room all alone... so we left the company and entered an empty room.
      She took my hands and was about to speak when I decided to kiss her... WTF ... WTFsquare ... it was like trying to catch a metallic ball in an ashtray where a roach died suicidal.

      She wanted me to be the first to know that she had a piercing on his tongue. Unfortunately it took infection (home made)... I might have figured it out by the way she was speaking, but the testosterone was so high I didn't get it.

      and yes... first and last kiss to a smoker and/or girl with a piercing.

  3. I laughed so much I cried.
    Then I read it out to Dad.
    Then I linked it to Twitter.
    We're all laughing /with/ you, I promise! xx