Eva Smith grew up in the 1960s. She was forced to conform and was lucky to achieve her dreams considering how trapped she felt in her unlucky past. She found what she considered to be the good life.
Eva learned at a young age she did not like the idea of religion. She had an innate dislike for being controlled and judged which stemmed from a rigid upbringing. She was abused at the hands of her brother and her parents never did anything about it so she grew resentful and projected it into all aspects of her life around her. Conformity and authority were her prime enemies. Criticism never sat well with her and her stubborn nature became a defense mechanism to shield her from the darker nature of the people she grew up with.
During Eva’s early childhood she was forced to attend Catholic schools and praise the Catholic religion. Eva’s mother was an avid believer in the Catholic religion and sent all four of her children to catholic schools. They started in pre-school and continued all the way through high school. It was common in Eva’s St. Paul neighborhood to attend Catholic schools.
Eva obviously disliked the idea of learning about religion in school because of her experience there and lack of protection from authority figures. She wasn’t alone. She met her best friend, Linda, in high school. Linda also questioned the Catholic religion without receiving. As they grew up together, they both rebelled against the Catholic tradition. Eva and Linda would street race on Sunday morning with the boys because, in the late 1970’s, all of the police would attend mass so they weren’t likely to get caught. She said, “we knew we had an hour time limit so we could only get in four races.” Eva hated school ever since she was a little girl because she always questioned her teachers about religion and why she had to believe in it but never received answers that went beyond stern lectures.
In grade school, Eva and her classmates were forced to pray before every meal and recite the rosary multiple times a day, which Eva did not agree with. She felt suffocated. Throughout all twelve years of school, Eva was required to wear a uniform. She absolutely hated this rule. Eva and Linda would leave home with their uniform on and then change into normal clothes at school in the bathroom. “We knew we would be forced to change back into our uniforms and we had to talk to the principal so we would do this multiple times a month just to get out of class.” When it was time to graduate, Eva continued to want nothing to do with school. Catholic upper education seemed to be the only choice available to her. To go to a college and learn more about a religion she did not agree with was not something Eva wanted.
Eva looked back on her life and summarized her feelings about children being forced through a religious education. “I don’t agree with the idea of kids learning about a religion because being said to have a choice about what you want to believe in and then get thrown into a school where religion is pushed on you not just to learn but to follow without question, you begin to see that you are forced.”
She saw her escape. She was always interested in fashion and, more specifically, the hair aspect. Eva wanted to start working right away to get out of her parents’ house and away from the Catholic religion that stifled her life. She knew there was not much schooling involved and not a trace of religion at a trade school. However, her dream of escaping the Catholic religion abruptly came to an end. At the age of 19 Eva became pregnant by her high school boyfriend, Mark. Abortion was out of the question because of the Catholic disapproval as well as a lack of knowledge of her options. She was kept in the dark. Eva’s mother threatened her into marrying Mark even though she was not in love with him. Eva did not like the idea of getting married this young or raising a child but soon came to realize she...