This past weekend Charlie and I were invited to a super fancy-schmancy black tie wedding. The bride was one of his best students from his years at Broughton. She and her now husband are recent graduates of Wake Forest University and were both very involved in Greek Life on campus.
I should stop here and say that I am also a product of Greek Life at my undergraduate. I joined Kappa Delta Sorority in the fall of my sophomore year. I went through “formal rush” (which, if you know anything about rush, is intense both physically and emotionally) and was active in my chapter until I graduated in 2008.
Keep looking... verrrry back
Nowadays one might not look at me and think, “She was definitely in sorority.” I have morphed into an interesting blend of health educator, semi-hippy mommy, natural childbirth survivor (still so proud), clinical researcher, supposed-to-be active body, and wife, among other things. I don’t have one million monogramed items, nor do I dress Mary Margaret exclusively in smocked dresses, nor did I seek out that bankrolling husband. I knowingly married a high school teacher.
Maybe it’s because the couple was RIGHT out of college, but the wedding party of 22 (not kidding!) consisted of all sorority sisters and the groomsmen were almost all fraternity brothers.
* Side Note: One young female guest came up to us to compliment me on my singing-voice (guess who sings her hymns LOUD and CLEAR?) mentioned that this was her FIRST wedding ever. She did mention this after throwing back a shot, which she convinced the bartender to pour for the crowd.
I had one sorority sister in my wedding, but the rest were friends from before, during and post college. Honestly, I’m not really close with lots of my sisters. I have a few that I stay in touch with directly, and most of my sisters are Facebook friends whom I stalk on occasion and "like" their pictures.
What I got out of Sorority life, other than the ability to take a shot and sing the entire Greek alphabet, was how to be a lady. I learned how to dress from my still-close-friend Liz (who also introduced me to Charlie), the correct way to put on make-up, but, most importantly, how to make conversation and have confidence in speaking to others. As we prepared for Rush each year, we had a “How to make conversation” boot camp. We were told how small talk is done, how to look into people’s eyes, and did lots and lots and lots of practice. I have found that, more than anything, the ability to make conversation is one of the best skills anyone can have. Charlie and I have made close friends with strangers, mainly because we are both great at making conversation. As a couple, this makes life so much easier if neither is a non-small-talk person.
Will I encourage Mary Margaret to join a sorority when she makes it to college? I won’t discourage it; it was a formative time in my life and I owe a lot to it. It was also really helpful in showing me some of the qualities in men I didn’t want for a husband.
But that’s a whole separate conversation.