Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Ashley had this really fun idea of doing a timeline of her life, showing what was going on each year in her life and the world. Of course, I have no shame, and am going to go ahead and copy her. As usual.

Mike Tyson makes his professional debut. USA for Africa records the charity single "We Are the World", later discovered and loved by one Sarah Denley Herrington, thanks to VH1's I Love the '80s. The FDA approves blood tests for AIDS, used since then to screen all blood donations in the United States. More notably, after fifteen years of marriage and five years of failed attempts, Rob and Sarah Ann Perry welcome their first baby girl- ME!

Iran-Contra Scandal- US leaders sell arms to Iran and then use proceeds to fund Contra rebels in Nicaragua. Lovely, gentlemen. Cary Grant dies. Heather Locklear marries Tommy Lee. Top Gun and "Take My Breath Away". Rob Perry contemplates writing a semi autobiographical book about his devotion to his new daughter. The book is entitled Orbiting Punky, Punky (or Sarah Denley) being the titular character.

ABC's chief Middle East correspondent Charles Glass escapes his Hezbollah kidnappers in Beirut, Lebanon, after 62 days in captivity. Pat Robertson and Jesse Jackson announce their intentions to run for the presidency. Michael Jackson releases Bad. I meet my first best friend when my sister, Ann Whitten, is born. I spend the remainder of the year insisting that my parents watch me "kiss her little pink head".

George Michael releases "Faith", also a fave (thanks VH1). Another George wins the race for the White House. Rain Man explores Savant Syndrome. Michael Jackson purchases a home in California and christens it "Netherland". I begin asking really hard questions and my parents struggle to find answers that ease my often troubled mind and satiate my curiosity. I start preschool at Broadmeadow. I adore my teachers but have a hard time with separation anxiety.

Serial killer, Ted Bundy, is executed via the electric chair. Students protest in Tienanmen Square. I am still at Broadmeadow. There is a boy in my class named Ellis. We will part for ten years, only to meet again as preteens. He will ultimately come to be my best friend, closest confidant, and Godfather of my daughter. Around this time my mom also fired the housekeeper that she occasionally let babysit us, after Cookie and I colored all over each other's bodies and she threatened to leave us by ourselves if we didn't behave, which had sent me into hysterics.

Nelson Mandella is released from prison. Mikhail Gorbachev is elected as the first president of the Soviet Union. The Gulf War begins. I have my first personal memory of of battling overwhelming anxiety. [We prayed for our soldiers in in preschool, and although I was never exposed to any news coverage, I had an active imagination and was overwhelmed by the images I created. I distinctly remember dreaming that my parents planned a trip to the war torn region and although they traveled in a Titanic like ocean liner, they shipped me in a box. Once we arrived, they continued their traveling in an RV, although I was forced to stay in the box. [(I have always been kind of into the RV, thing I guess. A vehicle with a potty seemed to be the epitome of luxe, to me and appeared each year on my Christmas list). I have no idea where this dream came from; I had the most stable upbringing you could imagine and my parents never did anything that scared me.]

Desert Storm rages on, my anxiety rages on, Super Nintendo is released and Freddie Mercury (of "Another One Bites the Dust" and "Bohemian Rapsody" fame) announces he has AIDS and dies in a span of two days. I start kindergarten at Saint Andrews Episcopal School, even though I did five year old kindergarten at Broadmeadow, because according to my five year old kindergarten teach I was not "emotionally ready" for first grade. My mom always says that in retrospect, had she known I would never be emotionally ready for anything that happened to me she might not have held me back, but so is the nature of life. My teacher, Mrs. Coker, was one of my all-time favorites-- worth every penny they paid for an extra year of private school.

Mr. Big recorded "To Be With You", one of the greatest rock ballads of all time. The first Anthropologie is opened in a renovated automobile dealership. I enjoy first grade. Except for the day during cleanup when my sweet teacher announced "Whoever is still behind the puppet theatre is going to sit out at recess" and I come out wailing. It wasn't so much that I had destroyed my perfect record of never getting in trouble in school, I just hated to disappoint her and my parents. It takes weeks of convincing to get me to believe I hadn't.

Rodney King testifies against LA police officers. Jurassic Park becomes the (at the time) highest grossing movie ever. An even better movie, called Sleepless in Seattle, also hit theaters. Conway Twitty dies. I thoroughly enjoy second grade and have another teacher I love. Cookie and I are best friends, as always. Our cat has kittens and my dad expands our "play house" (it was really a fort) in his workshop. I do make myself a "Dunce" cap and wear it to school one day, because I feel guilty over something. FAIL.

Lorena Bobbit is found not guilty (by reason of insanity) for um, whacking, her husband. Kurt Cobain commits suicide. My parents leave us with the grandparents and go see Forrest Gump. I feel rejected and am crushed that I was not allowed to go. We read Little House on the Prairie in my third grade class and I ask for an orange and a peppermint stick (among other things) for Christmas.

Mississippi ratifies the thirteenth amendment, becoming the final state to approve the 1865 amendment to abolish slavery. Toy Story, the first feature length film using entirely computer generated imagery, is released. O.J. demonstrates that the gloves do not fit and people buy it. I start fourth grade. I think this is where my love of reading almost became a problem. I read at least three books at the same time and sometimes my parents have to beg me to do other things. I also love "exploring" in the creek near our house.

A sheep named Dolly is cloned from an adult cell. Tupac (who always reminds me of my eighth grade Character Education teacher, who I remember saying in THE most southern accent "Ellis Purdie, Tupac Shakur is degraaaaaading toward women") is killed. I move up to the Middle School at Saint Andrews. I begin riding the bus and flirting with eighth grade boys. I cry in front of one because he doesn't like me. I beg my mom to let me wear make-up. She relents and tell the other moms who are judging her that "it washes off". I get my first real boyfriend and we kiss in the woods at a football game. He sticks his tongue down my throat and I gag and ask him why he did that. I fear that those moms thought I was very promiscuous.

Bill Clinton begins a second term. Tony Blair becomes England's prime minister. Mother Theresa dies. I realize my parents are thinking about sending me to a new school for seventh grade. They kind of act like it's partly my decision. Then they just decide. It's the only time I've ever felt betrayed by them. Looking back, they probably did consider my opinion.

The unibomber pleads guilty. Luke Woodam is convicted of shootings at Pearl High School. Monicagate- President Clinton pretends he doesn't know what activities constitute "sexual relations" My mom seizes on the opportunity to firmly explain to me that sex includes "regular" sex, oral sex, and anal sex. Enlightening. A great year for pop music (Aerosmith, Shania Twain, Cher). Around this time, I decide to rebel. Nothing to terrible, all things considered. Mainly I do things for shock value and to show I am not happy at my new school, Jackson Prep. I stop wearing make-up (a total reversal of my fifth grade self), wear mostly boyish t-shirts and jeans and take up talking like a sailor. I find Ellis and decide that he is my best friend and soul mate. When I confess my unrequited love to him for the millionth time at a dance, he seeks cover in the boys room and I go in after him. Thankfully, the chaperones are family friends and understand my misguided exuberance to be with the one I love.

SpongeBob premieres on Nickelodeon and Napster debuts. I go see American Pie with my grandmother (she was really funny about it). The Columbine shooting occurs and the group of guys I hang out with are all "looked into" at school. Someone actually does bring a gun to school and shows Ellis. Ellis calls me and we get him expelled (referred to by my dad as the day Ellis and I "saved Jackson Prep") I have not one close girlfriend. The guys I hang around with are, with few exceptions, wholly addicted to Internet pornography. They fail to see any reason to refrain from discussing any of what they've seen in mixed company. In fact, my naivete encourages it. This leads to a pretty unhealthy view of sex on my part. I start dating my first "real" boyfriend. I am convinced it is love (it was, in a way) and that it will last forever (no chance). My parents ere on the side of leniency and let us hang out in the guest house behind our house unsupervised. Nothing catastrophic happens, but it was not the best situation to be in. I continue to rebel and do things like making out with my boyfriend in the hall and dropping lots of F-Bombs. Yeah, VERY INAPPROPRIATE things. When the guidance counselor asks me if I am having sex [I wasn't], I shoot back at her "Why? Do you think I'm a slut?" I think it was one of the hardest years of my mother's life. I wish I could take it back.

Y2K. OMG. I get scared and freak out, but I think I kind of play it up in front of my then boyfriend, Ryan. Really dramatic. The final Peanuts comic strip is run, following the death of it's creator, Charles Schulz. Dubya wins the closest presidential election in the history of the United States. Ryan goes on a trip over the summer and breaks up with me when he returns. I am so depressed and literally can hardly go to school. I sleep on the couch every night. I met a new boy, Patrick. We drive around in his Jeep and listen to old school country music. He does competitive cheerleading, so I start. He goes to church, so I start. I meet a fabulous minister and youth minister and give my life to the Lord. I stop swearing for the most part. I don't let myself get into compromising situations with Patrick. I have a true sense of joy. It's a good year.

Wikipedia launches. Enron collapses. George Harrison dies. Crazy Muslim radicals fly aircrafts into buildings. Coach Jones cancels Biology and we watch the news the whole period. The U.S. goes to war. The summer after ninth grade, Patrick goes to France. I'm nervous that the situation from last summer will happen again. I end up falling for someone else, an older boy at the pool where I lifeguard. Patrick comes home. We date for part of tenth grade. He breaks up with me because he wants a "mature adult relationship", i.e. to have sex. I pursue the older boy, Scott, who happens to be a senior at Prep. Although he acted interested in the summer, he's not anymore. We're in a play together. In it, he's my uncle and has to catch me as I run across stage. During a rehersal, the director tells him to catch me differently; he's hitting me in the chest. I cry hot, embarrassed tears on stage. AWKWARD. I continue to do cheerleading and church; Patrick has stopped doing both.

Jimmy Carter visits Castro in Cuba. Terror strikes in Washington D.C. in the form of the Beltway Snipers. The summer before eleventh grade Scott and I are back at the pool. We hit it off again and go out for ice cream. I invite him over for a movie and we kiss afterwards. We start dating and fall in love. He goes to Mississippi College and I go back to Prep in the fall. We see each other every weekend. We are both very anxious, worrisome people. We create things to worry about. The relationship is so hard. I have to be the strong one much of the time. He breaks up with me. Twice. Once the week before prom. I cry a lot and am really depressed. I tell my mom I wish I was dead. Heavy stuff.

The Concord makes it's last commercial flight. Rush Limbaugh admits to using prescription pain killers. Californians recall Governor Gray Davis and elect Arnold Schwarzenegger. I go back to lifeguarding and my old friend, Peyton Herrington, is back from the summer before. We have always been "work friends", but with me having just finished my junior year of high school and he having just finished his junior year of college, nothing more seems appropriate. We run into each other at a concert my friends dragged me to one night when I was sad about Scott. He sways to the music with me as I cry. I feel nothing. Nothing but the start of a beautiful friendship. A life changing friendship. We call each other on the phone and talk most nights. He works three jobs, but when I need him, he comes over to my house at 2:00 am and holds me as I cry about missing my old boyfriend. We talk about all our dreams and fears. We hold each other a lot. We say we are hugging in a platonic way. For hours. Peyton goes back to school. I start my senior year. I do drama, and cheerleading, and I am happy. But, I still miss Scott. I am voted "friendliest girl" by my classmates. The year is not entirely void of pain, though. A little boy from my church is killed in a car accident and I am so upset by it. The following week, Ryan, my eighth grade boyfriend is also killed in an automobile accident. I am heartbroken; he was my first love. I know that seems debatable, since we were fourteen, but I'm a "call it like you see it" kind of girl (oh, you've noticed?) and I'm calling it love.

A whale explodes in Tiawan, while being transported through the town to a university for a necropsy. Ronald Reagan and Marlon Brando die. George W. is reelected to the presidency. Peyton comes home over spring break. We kiss. I kissed my best friend. I think "I have no chance of getting back together with Scott, now. I ruined the best friendship I've ever had. I am now falling for a guy who is not a Christian (oh, I didn't mention that? Yeah, Peyton wasn't a Christian at that point)". We hold off. God speaks to Peyton. He works through things. [I'm going to do a whole post about all this]. We date. But I don't want to be tied down my first year of college. So not exclusively. Except, it was exclusively. We say "I love you".

Katrina demolishes the Gulf Coast and New Orleans. I start my sophomore year at Mississippi College. I have no friends. Peyton and I talk about getting married. He gets me a really special Christmas present. He shows my dad a budget for after he gets out of pharmacy school. I've thought so many boys were "the one"; I'm still scared. Then I find friends. My first really close girlfriends I've ever had! I start to love the dorm. I still come home every weekend, though. Over the summer, I go on a month long mission trip.

Pope John Paul II dies. Over four million mourners travel to the Vatican. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) succeeds him. Junior year is fun. I'm actually active in the Social Tribe I rushed my freshman year. I enjoy being on campus. I love seeing Peyton on the weekends and once during the week. I even talk about living in an apartment with my friends for a year after college. There is a peace rally for Darfur in Washington D.C.. Peyton and I attend. By way of a Greyhound bus.

The final book of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is released and sells over 11 million copies in the first 24 hours, becoming the fastest selling book in history. Greece endures the worst heatwave in over a century. Peyton and I break up over the summer. It sucks. I meet my roommate and she becomes my best friend. In the fall, Peyton and I get engaged. We visit New York City.

Barack Obama is elected president. The Dark Knight becomes the second film in history (after Titanic) to cross the half-billion-dollar domestic milestone. I student teach. My grandmother, who was my one of my best friends (remember American Pie?), passes away in April. Coincidentally, I am trying to get off the prescription anxiety medicine I've been on for two years. I try to tell Peyton I cannot get married, let alone leave the country for our honeymoon. I do it, though. I get a job. I loose a job. I act super lazy and am tired all the time. We fight like cats and dogs. Being newlyweds is rough. There are some really dark days. Why am I so tired? Ohhhhh,'s an Annie Baby. Peyton realizes gestating is hard work, for me, anyway. Our relationship improves.

Barack Obama is inaugurated as the first African American president of the United States. I spend the year waiting to see some sort of "change", though he really doesn't seem to be doing much of anything. His wife and daughters always look super cute, though. We welcome our own daughter. H1N1 is declared a "global pandemic". Ann Peyton is EXPOSED (sorry Ash, I had to do it one more time). I go into crisis mode (totally kidding- it's ONE thing I really didn't panic too much over. I think Peyton put it in perspective for me early). Our marriage improves more. We learn to be husband and wife as we learn to be Daddy and Mommy. We embrace God's plan. We celebrate this life.

Annie walks! Annie talks! Annie runs and jabbers! [I don't know, friends, I'm assuming that's what will happen, and I can't imagine that there would be bigger events, though!].


Christy said...

I love this!!

You are precious.

Sarah Broadus said...

you are hilarious. i could try to do this but I am sure i have forgotten alot of details

Tiffany said...

Wow! I learned so much about you. This is really great. I"m working on one too. ~Blessings!

Mallory Pickering said...

Just read this for the first time! I LOVED it. Love reading about your adolescence. You should write a book about it.