Javajune's Blog

Someone once said… “Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.”

Diary of the girl next door

don't bother

Dear Diary,

If you are white, are a girl, have a family and look pretty ordinary than you just might be considered the girl next door. I never really subscribed to that theory or most other stereo types initiated by the middle class. Growing up middle class in a small town I felt protected, a little ordinary maybe but still protected. I never worried about whether there would be food on the table, a warm bed to sleep in and I never thought about violence of any kind. I wasn’t allowed to watch R-rated movies (which are more like the PG movies of today) and anything labeled adult conversation was not spoken in front of the children, ever!  I was a country girl from the mid-west and knew very little about life outside small town America. It was implied that I would finish school, get married and raise a family, whether I had a career or not was up for grabs.  Things were pretty simple and quite ordinary back then. I was considered the girl next door. I knew a lot of girl next door types and some were quite ordinary like me but then there were others that were anything but ordinary.  They might have been considered the girl next door at first glance but if truth be told their membership would be revoked in a heart beat. But the world was a little more polite back then (I’m talking the late 70’s- early 80’s)  and we lived by the golden rule of don’t ask- don’t tell. I’m not so sure that’s a good rule, well it doesn’t really matter because that rule has changed. Kids are no longer sweet & innocent until they arrive at adulthood and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a sixteen year old kid that hasn’t seen at least one R-rated movie.

So what happened? Is it a good thing that the girl next door doesn’t  exist anymore. Are we any safer now that our kids know what the world is all about both good and bad? What they don’t know can be googled  in 30 seconds, anyway. Although, I believe it’s dangerous to be too naive, fear invokes limitations on people.  They used to say “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” but today there isn’t much we don’t know. That theory was completely bogus anyway.

Now that this middle class- girl next door approaches middle age she kind-of, sort-of misses her bubble of innocence but then she also wonders what would have been if that bubble had never existed in the first place.  What if I’d known then what I know now…


October 14, 2009 - Posted by | confessions, me, rants | , , , , , , ,


  1. Oh I am SO liking your collage art, Junie! Isn’t it just a sad statement about society now, when someone as beautiful as Nicole gets plastic surgery! I love the time that I grew up in; 1950’s, baby boomer. My mom wore her black capri pants like Laura on Dick Van Dyke and her biggest worry about us wandering about the fields all day was to do a tick check when we got home. My kids think they had a good childhood too, so I’m just going to leave that one alone and not change their minds! **kisskiss** Deb

    Comment by Deborah | October 14, 2009

  2. To me the greatest change that has occurred in the level of innocence of kids in my lifetime has been made by the Internet. Things that I actually did not know existed as an integral part of life (e.g., homosexuality) back in the ’50s and ’60s when I grew up, are now known or easily knowable to every child old enough to do a Google search.

    I expect fundamentalists of every stripe are bitterly sad about what the Internet has wrought. Transmission to kids of the very narrow morality I grew up with in East Texas 40 years ago depends to some extent on the kids’ being unknowledgeable about the world. Once you know in some detail about the vast range of ways of life people can have, it is hard to cling to the idea that just one, rather demanding, one is The One ordained by God.

    Comment by nightman1 | October 19, 2009

  3. Or, to put it in many fewer words:

    “How ya gonna keep em
    Down on the farm
    After they’ve seen Paree?!”

    Comment by nightman1 | October 19, 2009

  4. There are still girls next door. Or at least people still use that phrase to refer to some omen that way. I don’t think the breed is entirely gone. But they are dwindling.

    Comment by Ricardo | October 25, 2009

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