Let me be honest. I'm going to be a snarky, judgmental bitch today. Are you surprised?
I'm going to share with you a true story even though I know you will initially think it's far-fetched. I promise you, it's true.
One year when I was in college, I went into a "blind" roommate situation. I was living in a rented apartment adjacent to my college. There were multiple people moving in and I only knew the girl I was sharing my room with. My roommate, and friend, was Jo who remains my friend to this day. She is actually a reader of Twenty Four At Heart. You may have read some of her comments in the past.
Jo and I were friends, the others were strangers.
As it turns out, one of my house mates was a girl named Tia. On our first day living together Tia hung a beautiful photo on her bedroom wall of a huge hotel perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean. It was spectacularly beautiful. I complimented her on it. She informed me that the beautiful hotel was actually her home. It was a house not a hotel. Tia is a member of one of wealthiest families in California.
There is a major city here in California named after Tia's family.
The year I spent living with Tia was very educational. Her family's wealth was beyond most people's comprehension. As a parent, I have told numerous Tia stories to my kids over the years. Tia has been invaluable to me as an example for so many things.
Tia was the only house mate who had her own, private, room. Tia had strikingly beautiful facial features, but was probably at least one hundred pounds overweight even as a 19 year old. Tia was the most miserably unhappy person I think I've ever met.
Tia did not know how to make her own bed. She had never done it herself because her family had an entire staff on hand to do things like that for her. She did not know how to turn on the stove or oven. Tia left her dishes on the sink counter. She maybe thought her maid would come for a visit and wash them? She had to be shown how to wash her own dishes. Tia did not know how to survive or function without her "staff."
Tia would sit in front of the TV watching soap operas and eating entire family sized rolls of refrigerated pre-made cookie dough in one sitting. (Gag!) She did this on a frequent basis.
Tia had no friends. She could not relate socially to anyone. She had been surrounded by adults and staff members her entire life and had no concept of how to make friends or socialize with her peers. One day Tia told me she had fallen in love. It turns out it was a boy she saw walk by and had never spoken to. And she never did. He never even knew she existed. She obsessed over him for months.
Once over a holiday break I needed to reach Tia. She was at home with her family. I called and talked to several staff members before she finally took the call. It turns out the President of the United States was arriving that evening for dinner and things were a bit chaotic at her house that afternoon. The fact that he was arriving was not a big deal to Tia. She took things like that for granted.
Another time Tia went into childish temper tantrums. She had been invited to learn to scuba dive by Jacque Cousteau's son at some remote, tropical locale. The event conflicted with college finals. Most of her professors allowed her to take her finals early, but one professor refused. He had a "no exception" policy. Tia flipped out. She called her parents. They called the university. She ranted "does he know who my family is?" a lot. The professor stuck by his policy. To this day I have great admiration for him. I can't even imagine the amount of pressure he got from her family and the university administration.
Tia personally owned several vineyards as a 19 year old teenager. She went to visit her vineyards once in awhile. I have a hard time picturing that still. What happens when a 19 year old multi-millionaire owner shows up to visit her vineyards in Napa? And she is not legally old enough to drink in California? I imagine the staff jumps through hoops for her.
Recently I was at the Money Town Starbucks with a friend. (I think I need to start a whole series about things that happen at the Money Town Starbucks.) My friend is a nice Money Town resident. She doesn't care that I make fun of her town and, in fact, she says it makes her laugh. Anyway, it turns out she knows Tia. I haven't seen Tia since my college days, but my friend has met her as an adult.
I have always wondered what happened to Tia. She would be easy enough to find based on the stature of her family, but to be honest I've never wanted to. I pictured some man taking advantage of Tia and marrying her for her money somewhere along the way.
Well, it turns out that Tia had an affair with a biker (?) and got pregnant. I got the impression it was a one night stand or something along those lines and (shudder) I don't care to hear the details. In any case, Tia is not married but she does have one child who is a boy. Tia chased after the biker and even followed him to another state, but apparently he got away.
The Biker Who Got Away. It sounds like a made for TV movie, doesn't it?
My friend tells me Tia's son is an incorrigible delinquent. I think she might have called him a demon-spawn. Are we surprised? She also said Tia is grossly obese, extremely disliked in her community, and a total shrew. Tia has no friends. Still. My friend prattled on telling me all about the adult Tia she knows. Tia sounds like the exact same person she was back in our college days.
I find the Tia story terribly sad. Her parents gave her everything, except whatever it is she really needed. She has, in turn, apparently done the same with her own child.
I was reminded of Tia when I read today's newspaper. This week the son of one of The Real Housewives of Orange County pleaded guilty to nine drug charges. He was sentenced to eight months in jail. No, he is not Tia's son, but there are so many similarities. It made me start thinking about the children who grow up in "highly privileged" homes. It made me wonder why these parents can't see their kids need something from them which is far more valuable than material possessions.
Comments will remain open on yesterday's Torturer Interview post through Sunday evening. Your questions for him so far have been absolutely hilarious.