When I started college in the fall of 1989, I had lived in Arkansas for only about 8 months. I still stood out like a sore thumb with my boy-short hairstyle (this was the era of the “Bow-Heads” after all) and my Northern accent.
When my roommmate, (a gorgeous Brunette from Texas with long, thick hair, designer clothes, and hair bows aplenty) was devastated by the rejection she experienced on Bid Day following Rush week, I did my best to cheer her up. I sympathized, but could not empathize. Joining a sorority was just a foreign concept for me and I could not, for the life of me, understand its significance or its importance to her and hundreds of other girls that fall.
So, imagine my surprise when I joined a “sorority” last month.
That’s right. A sorority. The LTYM sorority.
“Rush” consisted of writing and submitting a story on some aspect of motherhood. A live audition took the place of the house party where the committee looks you over and determines whether or not you are a fit. Then comes the “Bid Day”. In this case, anxiously awaiting an email inviting you to join and giving more details about “orientation.”
On a Tuesday evening in May, I met my fellow “sorority sisters.” Of course, some of them I already knew well, some I was merely acquainted with, while others were complete strangers. We nervously made small talk with one another while we sized each other up, trying to determine what our role would be in the group dynamic that was sure to unfold. I left that gathering not feeling particularly connected to the group, but still very much aware that these 14 women and 1 man were going to become important characters in my life. The ground work for friendship had been laid.
Another few weeks went by and we all gathered again, this time to share our stories for the first time aloud with one another. This experience was like what I imagine must be the equivalent of the endless nights of slumber parties in the sorority house. Baring your heart and soul as you share dreams and disappointments, confess your weaknesses, and Make one another laugh until the makeup runs and your side aches, all while pigging out on cheese dip, sushi, and chocolate covered strawberries.
Finally the day of the Listen to Your Mother Show arrived. We spent hours together primping in the large mirrors of the green room. We, of course, took the traditional sorority girl group party pic to mark the occasion. And then we waited for our moment to take the stage and make our debut. Afterwards, we were greeted backstage with cheers from our fellow sisters (and brother).
Like any great party, the night flew by in a blur. There are a few brief moments of clarity, but mostly we were just left with a feeling of euphoria and the wistful knowledge that we will never have THIS experience again.
So after being a self proclaimed GDI in college, I am now a proud member of the 2013 Pledge class of the NWA Chapter of LTYM. And I look forward to the lifelong friendships with these sorority sisters, seeing one another at reunions, and welcoming the future pledge classes to the Sisterhood of Motherhood.