Makes me think…
I know I should be working on my homework…and then my admissions essay for Michigan State University…and then my novel…but doing whatever the hell you feel like is just so much easier. *chuckle*
I’m sure I’m not the only one who can see certain faces on “People You May Know” on Facebook and start thinking about…whatever. So tonight’s topic is my Greek experiences at OC. (I probably covered this in depth last fall, so if you read that, please feel free to skip this.)
Note that the names and identifying symbols of each sorority have been changed. If I think a certain event might make that particular sorority identifiable, I’ll just leave a blank space. I’m sorry if the spaces take the fun out of things, but I don’t want any problems from anyone, either.
There are four sororities at OC: Tau Gamma (“Tau”), Kappa Lambda Pi (which is known by another, non-Greek name that I’ll simply refer to as T), Xi Delta Omicron and another that I can’t remember the name of. (It looks like it was turned into a colony after I left, because I no longer see it listed on the school website. I’ll just call it “Rho”.) There is also a co-ed organization, Beta Mu Zeta (“Beta Z”). In fact, Beta Z was once a national organization, but their charter was revoked when they began admitting men.
I’ll admit straight off that I had no association with the Rho sisters, save for the one or two I had classes with. I thought Rho was for “women of color” and by the time I was disabused of that notion, my heart had already been given to another sorority.
T, I only visited once. Even though one of my coworkers at the library was a T sister (and a friend of mine), I kind of got the impression that the T sisters were a bit snooty. I must have been one of the few that thought so, however, because the night I was there, T had the most sworn sisters present, (possibly) the most visitors and several alumnae. And, after I left OC, I learned that T had gotten the second-most pledges.
I visited Tau a couple of times, but they were a bit wild for my tastes. I was used to the national organizations at Western, with their talk of philanthropies and everything else, so I was surprised on my first visit when the Tau sisters (possibly) spent the whole time playing drinking games. (I use the qualifier because I left after the second game.) The second time, the alcohol wasn’t pressed on anybody, but the Taus invited _____, which shocked the shit out of me. Worse? Finding out that the Taus had had _____ along for the ride for many years. One of my friends at the library had been involved in the Greek system for a long time and when I told her about the _____, she said, “Oh…I was hoping they didn’t do that anymore.” (You knew that I was going to a Tau party, you knew the sisters were fond of having _____ in, but you didn’t warn me ahead of time?! Thanks, J!)
In the end, I gave my heart to Xi Delta Omicron. Something about them caught my eye from the very first. Maybe it was because their mascot is a _____, maybe it’s because their colors are _____ and ______, but I knew that Xi Delta was a sorority I wanted to know more about and whenever they announced a new event, I’d be sure to jump on it.
And I did. I had a lot of fun, too. It’s true that things fell apart in the end, but I cannot deny that the fact that I showed up for all but one Xi Delta event (including the final, pre-bid interview) means that I was committed and I knew that was where I wanted to be. (My mind had definitely pledged Xi Delta by the time homecoming was over…I was describing stuff that I had done with them over the weekend to a Greek-involved gentleman I was friends with and I kept saying “we”!)
The reason I decided to write this entry was to talk about Beta Z…because it was a Beta Z that came up in “People You May Know”.
Everyone I met had nothing bad to say about Beta Z. They were nice. They were fun-loving. They were all-inclusive. (They attracted a boatload of people from my hometown, as I eventually discovered.) They threw great parties. Once again, I seemed to be the only one who had problems.
The Beta Z “family” (for lack of a better word) had us go around to different rooms and each room had a theme. The theme of the third and fourth rooms run together in my mind…but that’s probably because they kind of ran together in real life, too. At some point, the family got started talking about rumors–especially initiation rumors. I won’t go into the rumors (they’re pretty nasty–and probably completely unsubstantiated); nevertheless, I think what bothered me is not that they wouldn’t stop discussing the rumors, but that they wouldn’t assure us that they would never engage in any such thing. It was all “we can’t tell you…wait and see”. Now I don’t know about you, but any group that won’t comfort you by saying, “Oh, we’d never do anything like that…don’t worry!” even if it is a lie, is not a group I want to associate with. Instead, the family members involved in the discussion hid behind their oaths and refused to budge a centimeter. It was like running up against a wall–frustrating and insanely scary all at once.
I don’t remember the rest of the conversation, but I remember getting extremely annoyed with the family–to the point of tears–accusing them of using their dues to buy friends and storming out of the house. I was so upset by what had happened at Beta Z that I swore off sororities forever…or at least up until I received the next invitation from Xi Delta Omicron, anyway.
As a Priestess of the Goddess, I can tell you that my Order, like so many other orders, traditions, clans, etc., has its secrets. And I, like so many other Pagans, am oathbound to keep those secrets. But I will never, ever hide behind my oath. If someone asks me, “Do the Priestesses push Neophytes down the stairs as part of their initiation?” I’m not going to say, “I’m not allowed to tell you. Wait and see.” because the seeker will think, “That probably means yes” and there is no way in hell that they’ll think for a milisecond about joining. But if I say something like, “I can’t answer that specifically, but I can tell you that we’d never do anything to hurt you.” then the seeker will be comforted.
I guess I’m kind of rambling here. I was going to add another part about a certain Beta Z sister, but that might lend to even more trouble.
Let’s just say that Beta Z has a sister that, if people I went to school with could see hir now, they’d think s/he was even crazier than s/he was before.
And I was pissed that when I saw hir at Beta Z, s/he treated me very coolly, as if I was a complete stranger. I almost started a coven with hir, for fuck’s sake…how can s/he treat me like a stranger?!
I bet s/he doesn’t even practice anymore, though. If s/he does? S/he’d probably give me some line about experiencing the duality of the gods better than ever. Because that would be just like hir.