Written by Kate Leaver


Life critic: friend win

In her regular column, Kate Leaver reviews life. This time, she’s got some really rather lovely things to say about watching friends achieve their life goals, even if we say so ourselves.

Kate and Rosie.

Kate and Rosie.

I have a friend. Her name is Rosie. Rosie Waterland, if we’re being formal. Rosanna Waterland, if we’re being really fucking fancy. You know those people who are just meant to be in your life for keeps? She’s one of mine. When, some day in the not too distant future, we as a human race are trapped in a never-ending season of Big Brother, I want her on my team. She’s a superlative human being.

But fate has been particularly savage with Rosie. She had a desperately unfair, traumatic childhood, separated from her sisters back in Australia and bounced between abusive foster homes like kids that nobody wanted (when, really, any family should be so lucky to have these girls in their lives).

She lost her father to alcohol, and watches as her mother holds on through bipolar disorder and addiction. It’s taken courage unlike most of us will ever know to survive, and to make an adult life.

Even through her horrific years, Rosie suspected that she might be destined for something great. That she would one day write an important book, go on Oprah, and use her story to demand compassion from a world that mishandles vulnerable children, even in developed countries. She just needed a little fame to help her get there…

Kate with Rosie's bookAnd circa 2013, she got it. Rosie found fame writing scathing, laugh-out-loud-till-you-can’t-breathe reviews of the TV show The Bachelor (you know the one – where 25 single babes compete for the affections of a former stripper who wants to find love on television). Nobody can be filthy and hilarious on the topic of televised polygamy like Rosie. It’s art, man. These reviews became legend in Australia, and Rosie, a feminist crusader to a mass of women who secretly wanted to reject pop culture’s treatment of women. Like pitting 25 of ‘em against each other for ‘love’.

And so, Rosie got her book deal. She wrote the book she was meant to write; there’s a copy of it sitting right in front of me. Her memoir The Anti-Cool Girl is the somehow-hilarious story of 28 years on this planet that started out brutally and only got worse. It’s a legit, proper, paper-bound Harper Collins book!

But let’s get real for a second – it’s pretty much also like holding your friend’s dream in your hands. That book is not just a collection of beautifully arranged words; it’s tangible proof that my darling friend Rosie lived a nightmare and survived to make jokes about it. I’m so proud of her, this is the only way I know how to express it.

The experience of watching a friend achieve her lifelong ambition through fucking awful circumstances? That gets five whole shining stars. Highly recommended – would do again.


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Written by Kate Leaver

Wandering Australian journalist, professional-level Harry Potter fan, occasional funny person, gelato enthusiast. Still worried about the state of Britney Spears' mental health.