Wednesday, July 14, 2004

born-again g.d.i.

i've been reading reviews of and hearing about pledged, a book about behind the scenes in sorority life.

there have been buzzes about the atrocities of greek life before. like the standard big-university, big-national sorority sister that i was, i dismissed the complaints, thinking, "my god, that would never have flown at my house. that's totally some local sorority that has no supreme governing body." from whom what i read and heard, this book deals with more than the unusual bad judgment calls. this book uncovers issues that plague almost any house: psychological ramifications of the selection process, racial and economic biases, phony philanthropic efforts, etc.

i'll prolly get the book, but it's preaching to the choir. looking back on my greek experience, i'd have to say that it was a waste of my parents' money. i am not friends with any of the women in my house anymore, mainly because the ones to which i was closest used me as the butt of all their jokes. a lot of my "sisters" were downright mean to me, and for some reason, i just took it. i now have neatnik tendencies that are seated in some anxiety [insert lemon/lemonade adage here]. a former friend and sorority sister of mine came to this same conclusion years ago, and i didn't get it. i tried talking her out of it. now that i can see it from a far, and she was right. it was a lot of needless, expensive, mean-spirited bullshit.

up until a few months ago, i was still getting the national publication -- i've since discontinued my subscription. i would flip through it and just wonder what the purpose was, what these people who are still so strong with their alumnae societies got that i didn't, and what the draw continues to be. i see my stupid real-gold pin studded with pearls [not cheap] and i get mad thinking what a waste it was. considering i rarely got dressed for chapter meetings because they occurred after dance team practice, i rarely wore it. people actually invested in ones with diamonds? why?

what was the point of it all? why do you value your greek experience? right now, i definitely don't think i will encourage my children to rush. it can be argued that, in some respects, i'm a night-and-day negative of my college self, but i just don't think i ever really knew what the whole point was.

...except a free ticket to mack with all the frat boys. ya got me there.

11 comments:

Jamie said...

P, you are so right about a lot of this. My senior year of college, it occurred to me that the house was really just a very small, very bizarre dorm, with overly greasy food, mice in the basement, and no available mirror space in the bathrooms. A few of my "sisters" became my very best friends, but I think that's only because we have enough wherewithal to look back and laugh about how stupid we were then.

Anonymous said...

Paula,
Ok, I figured out how to post if I post anonymously (This is Laurel, by the way.) Waste of your parents money? It costs money to be in a sorority? Now, I've heard it all. I never did like the Greeks, but now that I know they wanted cash too, YEACH....

p said...

yeah, you've gotta pay dues. what always struck me as odd was seeing a handful of people over the course of my college life pledge a house with more costly national dues [and, on every campus, more snob-appeal], discover they can't afford it, de-pledge, then re-rush to join a more economical house. kinda like not being able to afford to have certain friends or be in a certain family, no?

Blind Camel said...

Well, here's another opinion...

Sure, Greek Life was ridiculous, nonsensical, mean, etc. And yet I'm sure I learned more about myself and about how the world works in my fraternity than I did anywhere else at college. The lessons I learned in fraternity life about competition, cooperation, etc. have been the most valuable lessons for me in my professional life. Business is just one big Greek system, as far as I can tell, and Life is hard and unfair, too. I think I'll never find a Paradise where I'm not judged, where people aren't sometimes catty and insecure...so thank God I learned early on how to be myself and to be happy in the face of all that.

Free-market capitalism is a mess. Democracy is a mess. Marriages are messy and hard work. Religions are a mess. And yet I'm a free-market capitalist, a small "d" democrat, a marriage proponent, and a spiritual dude despite all the attendant mess.

I think the goal is embracing it all, the good and the bad of fraternity life, as one of the great learning tools that exists. GDIs aren't better or worse than frat boys and sorority girls, just different. But rejecting a big part of who you are and who you were...doesn't seem to serve anything.

p said...

in some twisted ways, i can say that being in a house gave me an invitation to the early 90's interpretation of the "full college experience" in that, basically, i got to party a lot and buy a lotta friggin' t-shirts [all of which are now rags i use to clean my house]. my experience with the greek system didn't afford me the parallels to real life about which you write. i don't see at all where being in a sorority has given me any more business savvy except that it seems to make me look less wonkish on a resume. didn't help my academic scruples -- my grades sucked but somehow i had the points to stay in. the philanthropies were viewed as just a big pain in the ass. only being around other affluent kids didn't exactly show me what real need was. how much do you learn about doing good for your community when a "philanthropy" is doing a buncha shots before perfoming a really sexist lipsynch show in the union ballroom?

i think something CAN be said for retrospect. i am not rejecting having been involved in a sorority because it's made me who i am today. uncomfortable, humiliating, pointless hemorrhaging of money can change a person in good ways and bad. would i do it again if i had the chance? maybe not.

asscher cut diamond engagement rings said...

Hi p,
During my search for information about 3 diamond ring stone, I found your Blog,
although this post isn't exactly what I was looking for, I like the topic and the way you wrote it. My interest goes out to 3 diamond ring stone related information, but I always admire a well written post.

asscher cut diamond engagement rings said...

Hi p,
During my search for information about baguette diamonds engagement rings, I found your Blog,
although this post isn't exactly what I was looking for, I like the topic and the way you wrote it. My interest goes out to baguette diamonds engagement rings related information, but I always admire a well written post.

best deal on loose heart shaped diamonds said...

Hi p,
During my search for information about best deal on loose heart shaped diamonds, I found your Blog,
although this post isn't exactly what I was looking for, I like the topic and the way you wrote it. My interest goes out to best deal on loose heart shaped diamonds related information, but I always admire a well written post.

Anonymous said...

Hi p,
this post is truly a nice piece of work!
While looking for more information about canadian wholesale diamonds,
I see so much rubbish, that I am glad to find a blog like yours.
My interest goes out to canadian wholesale diamonds related information,
but this post is a real inspiration for me.

baguette diamonds engagement rings said...

Hi p,
During my search for information about canadian wholesale diamonds, I found your Blog,
although this post isn't exactly what I was looking for, I like the topic and the way you wrote it. My interest goes out to canadian wholesale diamonds related information, but I always admire a well written post.

beautiful diamonds said...

Hi p,
this post is one of the really interesting blogs I’ve found during my search for info about anniversary diamonds. Although this post isn't exactly what I was looking for, I want to express my admiration, keep up the good work! While looking for more information about anniversary diamonds, I seldom see a good blog like yours.