Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Pledge Allegiance to The Fraternity

Alan and I spent the weekend in Waco with our Baylor boys, Bryce and Reed.  We celebrated Reed's 19th BD during one of his short breaks from fraternity pledging duties.  The boy wearing shorts and a t-shirt that we dropped off at Penland Hall in August spent most of the weekend in khakis, a white dress shirt, a tie, and a blue sport coat.  I noticed that his hair looked shorter than usual.  "Oh, yeah.  Mr. So and So (a frat active) said that it was too long and that I should probably get it cut."  Mr. So and So is now held in high regard by the parents of Pledge Lackey.

Here are some of the things that Reed has learned during pledging:
  1. How to tie a tie
  2. A man's belt and shoes should match
  3. Brooks Brothers no-iron dress shirts are amazing birthday gifts
  4. Being nice to the active's girlfriends is a good idea
  5. The fraternity takes great pride in it's 2nd highest on campus GPA
  6. Studying during study hall is important
  7. Being allowed to interview all of the frat brothers that live in the same house or apartment at the same time is a gift
  8. Texting his mom during study hall makes her happy
  9. His brother's apartment is a great place to take "sanctuary"
I had fun telling him about pledging back in "the day" which was comparable to walking-to-school-10-miles-uphill-in-the-snow.  Most of the following is now considered hazing:
  1. I had to carry a pledge book with me 24-7 or face the wrath of some greek goddess.
  2. Chewing gum and walking on grass were verboten.
  3. We had to go meet each member who would then send us on a pledge appointment or assignment which we would complete and then return for the member's signature of approval.
  4. Pledge assignments like "take a bubble bath" were much preferred to "make my boyfriend some chocolate chip cookies."
  5. Saying the greek alphabet while holding a lit match is pretty scary.
  6. Wearing a pledge dress on meeting day was an honor and a privilege.
  7. I'm still in counseling trying to work through my fear of "black" members - the ones who asked pledges to name all of the active members from Dallas or all the accounting majors or say the greek alphabet backwards.
  8. Running across the street to greet an active member (while staying on sidewalks) was really great exercise.
  9. Not being allowed into chapter meetings until we were initiated made those meetings seem really important to us.
  10. Entering a chapter meeting as a pledge to sing my original puppet song solo with my homemade puppet was terrifying.
  11. The fear of the chapter meeting puppet solos bonded our pledge class as we each, in turn, were reassured by the others that no one had ever died during a chapter meeting puppet song - that we knew of.
Those were some of my favorite days at Baylor.  When I get together with sorority sisters, we still laugh when someone mentions "Miss Walmsley."  Good times.  I'm happy that Reed is now creating these lifelong memories for himself.  

Pledge Lackey:
May all of your tests be open book this semester.
May your cowboy boots not rub blisters on your feet.
May your $9 Walmart watch keep good time.
May you remember that no-iron dress shirts are not no-wash.
And, may you enjoy each and every moment of this season of your life.


Anabeth said...

loved, loved, loved this.
perfect example of pledging.
let Reed know that I am here if he needs me. lulu.

Carolyn Lackey said...

Reed said he enjoyed visiting with you when he hand-delivered the thank you note... Yeah, right.


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