As I sit here thinking back over the past two days, I can't believe that I belabored my fashion woes while wandering aimlessly through TJ Maxx and Steinmart for several hours last week. Thankfully, I never made it to my old standby, Chico's. Generally, when I need a "look" in a pinch, Chico's is my "money solvable" option. My husband, Alan (the banker), taught me that nifty little phrase, "money solvable." I think that the term is particularly apropos when it comes to last-minute-full-price-desperation shopping at Chico's. Thankfully, last week I didn't take the time to make a pilgrimage to the mecca of cool, hip, and stretchy.
As it turns out, I've come to the stage in life in which I value the friendly faces and familiar laughter of my college friends more than their outer appearances. I can remember very little about what any of them were wearing. I am, however, still chuckling over the funny memories we shared. We reverted back to the familiar. "Donna Mo." "Boomer." "Garner."
"Remember when 'Miss Walmsley' (a "Black Member" of our sorority...the term has nothing to do with the color of her skin and everything to do with how much she intimidated us) made us hold a lit match while we recited the Greek alphabet?!" [In 1977, Black Members made us stronger, better pledges by making us feel like inadequate idiots. In 2010, their methods would be considered hazing.]
"Guess what! I actually saw Linda H. a couple of years ago in Austin!"
"Did you run and hide?"
"No, she was actually friendly!"
"She didn't ask you to name all of the active members from Plano who were majoring in either Education and Accounting?!"
"Nope! She treated me like a human being!"
We lamented the fact that in today's world wearing a shirt that says XO "Pledge" is considered hazing. We made cookies for members' boyfriends without so much as breaking a sweat. We considered it an honor to "NEVER chew gum or walk on grass" until we were initiated into the Sisterhood. Running across the street to greet a member by name was a rite of passage. Carrying a pledge book 24-7 became second nature to us. Those are the memories we hold so close. The common suffering of neophyte wanna-be's. They have bound us tight with a glue that keeps us coming back to each other year after year.
The conversation meandered through the forests of Ugly Pledge Dresses (Pledge Trainers were generally either Accounting or Biology majors - never Fashion Design.), Failed Finance Tests, and How Hard It Is to Actually Get Into a Sorority These Days. I told about how I got my rush picture made in the basement of Sid Richardson where my on-campus job involved making ID pictures with a Polaroid camera. I stood in front of the yellow backdrop and smiled while a student co-worker counted out 1...2...3 before snapping the shot. I didn't even have a XO "Rec" until Pref Day. If my dentist's wife hadn't been a XO alum, I just don't know what!
There was the obligatory critiquing of the Pigskin acts. "Their vocals were a bit off to say the least!" "Loved, loved, loved their backdrop!" "WE were the first to use the song 'Brand New Day' 30 years ago. These young kids have no idea! It is not a 'middle song!' They shouldn't be allowed to use it unless they can prove that they fully understand its power as the Big Bang ending song!" "And, can you believe that they didn't do any a cappella 3-part harmony?!" And, so on. And, so on. Having participated in both Sing and Pigskin 3 decades ago, we felt totally qualified to carefully analyze each and every act detail by detail. There was a moment of silence for the great acts of the days of yore. The KOT chimney sweeps. XO's Up the Ladder to the Roof. Nacho Man.
We laughed at the fact that it took the collective minds of at least 3 of us to come up with the names of the people who "looked sort of familiar." "Ohhh, wait a minute! I know this one! She was on the back row with me during Sing!" "Is it 'Annie-something'?!" "Hmm. Annie...Annie? Or, was it Becky?" Our mental hard drives boot ever so slowly these days.
Yes, I'm still smiling this morning. In hindsight, all I know is this. Next year when I go to Homecoming 2011, I am going to wear something green and gold. Our seats were smack dab in the middle of the Kansas State section. In a sea of purple and white, we Lackeys seemed to be nondescript spectators of a random sporting event. Instead of wandering around Steinmart next October in search of "flattering and chic," I'm going to be surfing the net looking for some in-yo-face green and gold plaid pants with a matching t-shirt and fun SEE-ME-FOR-I-AM-BAYLOR hat. None of my friends at the XO Breakfast will care what I wear. We'll be laughing so hard that my brown knit sock-monkey-style-Baylor-Bear hat won't matter to them at all.
|Still crazy...after all these years.|