A Book About Sorority Life: Snap, Snap**
I stayed up late last night, engrossed in the book I'm currently reading: Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities by Alexandra Robbins. Hush now, I hear you snickering....yeah, you! (Alright, maybe there is a reason I am reading it while Kevin is out of town...I get enough shit as it is!)
From an ethnographical perspective, it's actually quite fascinating. A slice of American culture, if you will. But maybe I am biased.
I did a brief stint in a sorority while I was in college. And when I say brief I do mean brief....I pledged, got initiated, went home for the summer, came back, hung in there for awhile, then "turned in my badge." This was all over the span of 6 months.
I don't regret it, nor am I ever embarrasssed to say that I was in one. I still laugh about some of the shit we did and keep in touch with some of my "sisters" (hi Shannon!). I can't say "sisters" with a straight face. This right here was the problem.
I rushed because some other girls I knew were and I knew some girls in this one particular sorority (G-Phi-B, baby!). It was the spring of my freshman year so I didn't have to go through the whole disgusting rigamaroll that is fall rush (where you go to party after party of each sorority to, in a sense, "audition."). I just went to the one Gamma Phi Beta rush party, they loved me and my big fat 4.0, I was offered the bid, and I took it--just like that.
This post could very well be essay-sized, but to make my point: I quickly found out that I was NOT cut out to be a sorority girl. Shit was CHEESY! I could not do any of it with any seriousness.....except drink and party. Now that I could do. I was also quite talented with all the sorority crafting....man, could I work the magic with that PUFFY PAINT!
All the ritual crap, the ceremonies, the stupid Greek Week shit, the songs, "Big Sisters"....it was all so contrived and lame. I mean, I guess we did have some fun making fun of it and we used to get high and go to chapter meetings, which was always entertaining (and disturbing). But the commitment expectations were crazy. I got in trouble with the "Standards" Chair for not attending enough events. My punishment was to stand up in front of the chapter meeting and explain what sisterhood meant to me. This was like, the worst thing they could make me do! I thought the sisterhood was a crock of shit! (I ended up reading a stupid poem about friendship).
Everything in Robbins' book happened to me. Though not to the same extent, perhaps. I never lived in a house (which would be worse than hell!) and my sorority was never quite so intense. But it was all there....the hazing, the sorority flower and colors, the backstabbing, the promiscuity, the binge drinking, the traditions, the secret handshakes and codes (which I could NEVER remember!), all of it.
Alexandra Robbins went undercover in this book to write about it all.....you should check it out, even if sororities make you want to barf. Seriously, it's interesting, compelling, and somewhat mindblowing.
**Snapping is the way sororities show their approval in meetings. As in, Rosie should be brought up on standards because she missed the Pike mixer and she smokes a lot of weed....SNAP SNAP.