Riley has a friend named Gavin. This is usually not something I would write about, but it reminds me of a girl I grew up with. I have known her since I was 4 years old but only because circumstances made us know each other, not because we were friends. Don't get me wrong. I wanted to be her friend. She was always popular and pretty, but we weren't really friends.
I was friends with the girl who lived across the street from her and the girl who lived next door, so sometimes the above circumstances I was talking about would bring us all together for "play dates". They lived in a cul-de-sac. I did not live in that cul-de-sac. I lived a block or so away, but I could see the girl's house from my house. The girl was Audra. See, she even has that perfect name.
So, every time I hear Riley and Gavin I think of this "perfect" girl. We'll get to why in a moment. Since I was 4 years old I thought this girl had the perfect life.
Let's just run down the differences in our lives. So I thought.
My mom and dad fought constantly when I was in grade school up until they divorced when I was in 9th grade. Every one knew this. The entire neighborhood knew. The Mormon church we went to knew. Everyone knew. Her parents didn't even allow her to come to my birthday parties because of this. I remember one year she stopped by and gave me a gift and left immediately after.
Her parents never fought. There were 8 kids in her family and her mom stayed home in this huge house that was always clean and perfect and raised her 8 kids while her father worked at his law firm downtown. They held high positions in that Mormon church. They were the perfect couple.
She always wore the most stylish clothes. We shopped at Shopko. (Until I was older. I dressed okay, but didn't have nearly the selection.)
Her parents had a Cadillac. My mom drove an old station wagon.
Her siblings were popular. My siblings were my siblings. (Let's just put it that way.)
She drove a nicer car than my mom when we were in high school. I didn't even have my driver's license.
Her boyfriend was a popular football player. My boyfriend dropped out of school.
Her parents stayed married and she continued to live in that perfect house in that perfect neighborhood.
My parents divorced and I had to move with my mom and sisters out of our 4 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom apartment on a questionable side of town.
She was prom queen. I barely made it to prom because the loser boyfriend got high.
Then it happened. Her perfect streak broke and as time went on I learned more and more about how imperfect perfect families can be.
As it turns out, while being crowned prom queen she was also pregnant, but no one ever knew. Nor did we know after we graduated. We did know that her and her football player boyfriend broke up and he started dating her best friend. She went away for the summer. She was suppose to go away, have the baby and give him up for adoption. The last part didn't happen. She came back from her trip with a baby boy named Gavin Riley.
Later on I also learned that her dad was having an affair with his secretary. For years and years, I'm not sure when it started but we were still in school and it probably continues to this day. His wife knows.
So, having a long term affair is okay as long as every one keeps their mouths shut, but whatever you do don't have arguments in your home.
Anyway, I finally realized that life isn't what you think it is. No one is perfect. I have a harsh view of the Mormon church after growing up with all of these lies. This of course wasn't the only lie. The girl who lived across the street from Audra also had family secrets. As it turns out her father revealed he was gay and her parents finally divorced as well. After all of the kids had grown up and moved out, of course. He lived miserably for over 20 years and made his wife miserable all because being gay doesn't fit into the perfect Mormon life. One time my friend told me she came home after school and her mom was locked in her room. She later learned her mom was contemplating suicide.
How messed up is that?
My mom gets offended when I say anything bad about the Mormon church and I do not understand why. She tried to push that religion on me even after I moved out of her house. She had missionaries calling my phone. It made me so mad. She finally stopped. We don't discuss religion but every once in awhile she makes comments about how I choose to handle my life. Just little ones. Nothing major. And I just think what a bunch of hypocrites. Give me a break. I may not be religious and I may have live with my boyfriend who is not my husband and may have his baby out of wedlock (what a weird phrase) but we don't lie about our lives. I don't pretend. So whose better?
I don't know what made me think of all of this. I guess Riley was talking about Gavin yesterday.