Mira Jennifer Lee was born in Oxford, Mississippi on August 9, 1984 to Oliver and Evelyn Lee. Oliver worked at the University of Mississippi as financial aid counselor and Evelyn worked as a nurse at Baptist Memorial Hospital. The Lee family was a tightly-knit group and spent most evenings and weekends together, watching movies, and cooking out in the backyard.
Mira was instantly likeable and came home the first day of kindergarten with four new best friends and two boyfriends. She was described by her teachers as even tempered, sweet, and good at sharing with the other children. This perception of her continued throughout her school years. Mira was always known as the nice girl that everyone liked.
By her high school years at Oxford High School, Mira was a member of the band, playing clarinet and achieving first chair status by her junior year. She performed reasonably well in her coursework, not excelling by any means but trying hard enough to earn a bit of respect from her teachers. She maintained a solid B average without venturing into any advanced placement classes or other more strenuous coursework.
In her sophomore year, Mira began dating Tim Leland, a senior at Oxford High. Her parents were somewhat concerned about the intensity of the relationship, but Tim seemed like a good kid from a decent family. After he graduated high school, he began taking classes at Ole Miss with intentions of studying business.
Mira graduated high school and enrolled in classes at Northwest Mississippi Community College. She took some classes at the main campus in Senatobia and some classes at the local Lafayette-Yalobusha Technical Center. If they were totally honest with themselves, Mira’s parents were somewhat disappointed that she wasn’t attending a larger college like Ole Miss or maybe even Mississippi State. However, everyone assumed she would be marrying Tim soon enough and raising a family shortly thereafter. And if the truth be known, Oliver and Evelyn never really raised Mira for anything different than motherhood anyway. The Lee home revolved around family and church and not much more than that. For example, Mira probably couldn’t name the vice president or explain what Mississippi’s landmark legal decision against the tobacco companies was really about. She was smart enough, but those kinds of things just didn’t enter her world of Mama, Daddy, and Tim.
Like so many high school romances, however, Mira and Tim were not going to survive his indoctrination as a young man on the campus that produced the most Miss Americas in the country. Tim began going out more and more, drinking more, meeting girls, and Mira found herself left behind. She tried to keep up, to keep his attention by reading Cosmo and Glamour, talking to her friends and trying to make herself more sexy and exciting. She joined a gym and bought low-rise jeans and thongs. When she finally caught Tim and a Kappa Delta from Greenwood in the hot tub at his apartment complex, she felt humiliated by not just his betrayal, but the sheer predictability of it all.
Oliver and Evelyn closed ranks and tried to nurse their daughter as much as possible. Eventually Mira finished her coursework at the community college and they hoped she would pursue her bachelor’s degree at Ole Miss, but Mira decided to get a job. She went through a couple of secretarial and receptionist jobs before landing at a law firm working for Robert Pruitt and Gary Rayburn.
Mira’s hairdresser was very forthcoming with an analysis. According to the hairdresser and corroborated by her manicurist, Mira remains “the nice girl” but deep inside she is disillusioned with her “girl next door” status. She longs to be the bad girl, wants people to take her seriously and treat her with respect. She views herself as a work in progress, but she is always looking around for new role models. She careens wildly from wanting to be a Christina Aguilera sex kitten to a Hillary Clinton career juggernaut. She’s not sure how she should pursue her goals, her parents never pushed her in that fashion, but she knows she doesn’t ever want to be overlooked and taken for granted again.