Friday, April 19, 2013

TGIF -- random thoughts

It's been hard to concentrate on much this week.  Since Monday afternoon I feel like I have been glued to the news...Boston...then TX...then Boston again.  It's very real and very scary and very hard to process it all.

While I have a ton of mixed feelings about the item itself, yesterday presented a much needed distraction.  It came in the form of a profanity laden email from one of the chapters at U of Maryland.  I breathed a sigh of relief that it was not my chapter (cause lord knows they already provide me with enough to deal with as an alumna advisor) but then I watched as that email went viral.  People started emailing and texting me to see if I had read it.  Lots of posts and comments on Facebook -- not surprising since many of my FB friends are also Maryland grads.  It even got a mention on last night's Daily Show. 

It's an odd thing, because I really did laugh about it.  Some of my friends made comments to the same effect of "it's not so far off from things we said/did" and that's true.  No, I don't think we used the same derogatory remarks that this young woman did, but I am sure we were on par with what was behind it.  Funny thing about getting older and watching younger kids do (pretty much) the same dumb stuff me and my friends did at that age....we now have a little thing called perspective.  Well, actually there is that and there is the other issue of not having readily available wifi, instagram, Facebook and Twitter documenting our every move and word. 

I know at the time when I was in school, there were things that were so nonsensical or insignificant -- things like Greek Week, for example -- that totally consumed the day-to-day.  I mean the "asking period" for Homecoming and Greek Week at UMD felt like it rivaled a major political campaign.  We would be out at a bar or a party polling friends in other chapter's to see who was going to ask who.  When I try to explain this to anyone that was not in a fraternity or sorority (hell even people who were but didn't go to MD) they look at me like I am nuts.  And at the time, yes.  We were nuts to expend so much energy and time on something so trivial.  So there is a small part of me that identifies with that email author just a bit;  I remember what it was like to get so worked up about something totally stupid.  We just didn't send mass emails out about it back in my day.  To be fair....I think that was more because we didn't really have the capability, not that we wouldn't have actually done it. 

But after laughing about it, I did feel a bit sad because it is another piece of bad PR for sororities.  Well-deserved, as this young woman was stupid enough to put it in writing and hit send, but bad for all of us nonetheless. It stung. 

I had just spent last weekend in NJ to attend the wedding of a dear friend, who is also one of my sisters.  While all weddings are usually fun and a great celebration, the thing I enjoyed the most was spending time with my sisters.  Some I get to see often, some live far away and don't get to see nearly enough.  But being with them all together in one place....well, it really did me a world of good.

Thinking on it last night, I jotted down a quick note to two of them.  We had gone to Starbucks early on Saturday morning and got to just chat, enjoy our coffee and each other's company.  Something so simple but something that meant a lot to me. 

As dramatic and far reaching as it may sound, our Saturday morning at Starbucks, right before we saw our friend get married, well it meant the world to me.  In a nutshell, it's one of the reasons why my dopey ass goes back to volunteer at UMD.  I know what being a part of something like that can mean.  I know what it means to me.  I know the impact your friendship has had on my life. And I hope others can experience the same thing.

The sight of either of you doesn't ever urge me to break out into some spontaneous chant or song.  And I would never try and get you to do the "secret grip"...because I don't know that I remember it myself.  I don't look at you and see greek letters, or a logo or a symbol. When I I see you and get to spend time with you like we did on Saturday morning, it reminds me how much you both feel like home.  That it doesn't matter how old we are, or where we are in our lives, or where life has taken us since graduation. We will always be friends.  And it means so much more to me than I could put into words.  I don't care what it was that brought is all together, but I treasure what has come of it.  

So while I know I will still get comments and teased for my sorority membership (especially the fact that I still volunteer with them as an alum), I am still proud of my letters, and hope that lots of other young women can have the same meaningful experience I did. 


  1. My best friends were my "sisters." Still are after all of these year.

    On the email...I do think it is hysterical, mainly because I know we were written letters from our chapter, but they went more like "You all are acting like SLUTS" or something along those lines...

    1. Agreed. I can't look down at this girl TOO much because I could picture any of us doing something similar.

  2. My best friends are my sisters. I am still involved with my alum group and have served as an officer for years sadly I don't have as much time since going back to school.
    The email was funny having been there and had some of those thoughts. And I hate it that it went viral and what this girl must be going through.

  3. I saw that email. Unfortunately, it is my sorority :(
    Not my initiation chapter, but still. Totally embarassing. It's almost unbelievable that it's real.
    Don't you think?