Putting the "MO" in MOFO since 2004

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Wednesday, June 22, 2005


My regrettable social experiment

When I look back on my checkered past, I have few regrets.

Do I regret falling backwards out of a port-a-potty in a drunken stupor at the first Lalapalooza concert exposing my friend Amy sitting on the toilet to THOUSANDS of people waiting in line to pee? Well, I did feel pretty bad about that once I sobered up.

Do I regret my Dorothy Hammel Haircut in the 9th grade? A little.

Do I regret not looking both ways before crossing the street after getting off a bus which led to me being struck by a Northwestern Bell van, flying 12 feet in the air and landing on my ass on my 13th birthday? Probably not the brightest thing I have ever done. I did manage to limp away from that mainly unscathed, but for the black and blue bumper impression on my left thigh.

Do I regret joining a Sorority? HELL YES!

I can’t believe I ever gave that organization one thin dime. When I was in college I lived at home with my parents, I had no money, I had no car, I took the bus everywhere and I worked 30 hours a week (I know.. .wah wah). My parents paid tuition and I was responsible for everything else. Books, transportation, beer and MY SORORITY.

It started out seeming like a good idea. I lived at home, I didn’t know a lot of people, and I wanted to get into free keg parties at the fraternities (being a little stupid I didn’t realize that the only association required for entry to a frat party was the absence of a Y chromosome). The women there seemed nice. A lot of them actually were nice.

Then the nice people graduated, leaving me with 2 classes full of not-so-nice, spoiled well dressed women who had no idea what it was like to pay your own bills. These people were horrified that you bailed out on pomping (sticking tissue paper in chicken wire a million times over to create horrendously ugly house-fronts for the homecoming parade that would fall down due to poor construction) because you had to go to WORK so that you could PAY FOR THE DINGETY DANGED SORORITY. These people told you during Rush that you weren’t BOUNCING AND CLAPPING with enough pep and enthusiasm. Bouncing and clapping are important skills. These were the ladies that ranked the rushees on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. They would refer “5 star girls” vs. “3 star girls” as if their opinion was the end-all reference point for the worth of a human being.

I used to wonder what was wrong with me. I never felt at ease during our Monday night meetings. My friends Jen, Holly, Becky and I would sneak out and smoke cigarettes in Jen’s Ford Fairmount Futura. I used to try to figure out what my problem was. Why did I feel so nervous and ill-at-ease during these formal dinners and weekly meetings with my SISTERS. Why didn’t I fit in? What was wrong with me?

I was asked to leave the sorority at one point because the balance I owed had grown too large. This was entirely due to my own financial irresponsibility. The president and the house manager (let's call one not very nice, and the other one husband-stealer of a pregnant cancer patient) thought I spent too much time at the house. Because I could not afford to live in, and commuted via the city bus, I often had to stay over-night for the required meetings. They did not like this, and felt I was abusing the system. I was called into the president’s room, where a panel of advisers from the house and from corporate was waiting for me. There were about 5 people lined up in the president’s room preparing to reveal my fate.

They informed me that I was being suspended. That meant that I was to leave the premises immediately, and I was not allowed to SET FOOT in the house or on the grounds until I paid my bill in full. I was shocked. Mortified. They had never done that to anyone. Ever. There had been people whose balances had been much higher than mine.

I was made an outcast in that instant. A Pariah. They had just locked me out of my entire social like. I burst into tears, hurt and confused. I was their SISTER after all. How could they be so cold? How could they DO that to me? Someone mumbled something about being let back in the house when my bill was paid. They all looked very uncomfortable with my pain. I blindly stumbled out into the hall and though my tears found my way to the bathroom, sat in a stall and cried. Then I took my banished ass to the phone where I called my parents to come pick me up. In all their sisterly concern, the “panel” had chosen night-time to ban my car-less self forever and my only other way home was the city bus. Late at night. In the dark. Nice.

So I was not allowed to visit my friends in the house that spring. I worked my butt off all summer to pay that bill. The treasurer at the time, let’s call her Ho-ho, was not one of my favorite people in the house. She was home for the summer and I had left a message for her to discuss my payment plan.

She called me back and left a message on the family answering machine. As sweet as pie, she answered my question and then hung up the phone but not quite ALL THE WAY. Unwittingly, she proceeded to have a conversation with someone about how she had no sympathy for people like me…etc. etc which was all recorded. By the time I got home from work my entire horrified family had heard the message in its entirety. They wondered why I was working so hard to get back to people like THAT.

So I worked all summer and paid my bill. Just to make a point to myself and to them. The president never welcomed me back. I don’t believe she ever said a word to me ever again. There were some pretty decent women in my class who made a point of saying during our bouncing and clapping practice sessions “Ummm… I don’t think Meghan knows this one. She was bonked. Kicked out. Remember? Someone should really teach it to her. “ Only to rub in their obvious discomfort regarding their treatment of me.

So I do have a few good friends from the experience. Jen had always been a friend. I never would have know Holly, Becky, Jen L, Jen T, Krista, or Emily if I had not been a part of that God-awful social experiment. In that sense I do not regret my membership.

What I do regret is that I felt something was wrong with ME for not fitting in. There are a lot of reasons why I felt apart and separate. I will just sum it up by saying I was probably not a stupid loathsome small-minded pretentious bitch. I think that’s mainly why I felt out of place.

Now when I start to feel out of place I stop and consider who I am surrounded by. The problem usually starts there

I also laugh aloud when I receive a letter asking for an alumni donation.


Blogger Rob Boshaw said...


1:28 PM  
Blogger Katie Burke said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:58 PM  
Blogger GraceD said...

Who ARE these BITCHES? Let me AT 'EM!. I'll slash the tires of their BMW convertibles! I'll take a big knife and slash through their Juicy Couture jog outfits! I'll...I'll...I'll.. force their feet into BIRKENSTOCKS!

Bitches. All of 'em.

That was cathartic. Such is the power of your brilliant entry. I better take a Xanax so I can take on the rest of your blog.

Thanks for visiting me. 'Certainly glad I visited you.

2:42 PM  
Blogger missjackie said...

I totally sympathize. I worked my way through college too and often found that I had to "miss out" on a lot of things as well, though I must admit ... it was never "pomping." :-)

6:39 PM  
Blogger Katie Burke said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:45 AM  
Blogger Katie Burke said...

OOPS - sorry about all the deleted comments here! I realized that my first comment could have gotten me in trouble, so I asked you to delete it ... then I realized I could delete it on my own, so I deleted both of them.

Anyway, all I want to say is that sorority bitches, and bitches of all persuasions, suck huge balls.

12:48 AM  
Blogger CombatGirl said...

And I thought it was just me who had that experience...not the money thing, but everything else. Much to the amusement of my "sisters", I worked at a gas station during my sorority stint ("That's SO funny!"). In retrospect, it is. They had really good drugs at the gas station.

7:02 AM  
Blogger mothergoosemouse said...

This post just dredged up a shitload of memories of my one year in a sorority. I think I will actually post about it myself and link back to you...

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who cares

3:39 AM  

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