I know on the inside that I'm quite a bit different than certain people may remember me, and I realized that my opinions and views of others may also not resemble the truth.
I will always remember that one of my guy friends had a HUGE crush on Brittany Spears. I promised him years ago, as part of a birthday present, not to tease him about it anymore, so I won't mention his name. He thought she was pretty and seemed innocent (even after that "I'm not that innocent" song). No matter what I do, there will be times when I see him as the high school guy who had raging crush on the latest blonde pop star. I promised to let it go, but with the news on Brittany the past few months, I've really wanted to call him up and say, "You had a crush on HER???" But I promised I wouldn't, and besides, he's got plenty of stuff he could call me out on.
Another of my friends...well, let's just say that our lives have some parallels, but my life is like the "light" version of hers. She grew up in a lower/middle class household. Mine was lower-middle class until about the fourth grade, I'd say. She has some of the same arguments with her mother that I have with mine, but her mother could quite possibly be certifiably nuts. And her views on religion and romantic relationships and the relationship between religion and romance are often quite in line with mine. For a long time, I viewed her as something of a role model because she could maintain her virtue and still be in a committed, long-term, loving relationship. I later learned that the reality was somewhat different than I perceived it, and the results of how things really were have been somewhat traumatic for her. I still haven't entirely reconciled the truth of her life with the image I had of it, but I know that I'm troubled by the reality.
I don't mind looking at that couple at church with the two crazy-haired boys and not knowing their reality. I can look at the image and be content to imagine my life as the slightly-frazzled mother who still manages to clean herself and the kids up and get everyone to church on time. I don't need to know what goes on in their house.
But with my friends, I tend to think that I know the truth.
It kind of scares me when I realize that there is so much I don't know about them.
And then, I cover myself back up with my warm, cozy little down-blanket of denial and go about my business.