Diary of the girl next door
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…
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