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  #61  
Old 01-05-2010, 01:31 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Originally Posted by TriDeltaSallie View Post
But for someone outside of the south, it really is both fascinating and hard to comprehend. It's hard to imagine going to school and camp and college and socializing with the same group of people my entire life. I think of college as a time to meet new people and explore new opportunities. To have life so mapped out at such a young age just seems to somehow miss some of the joy of the unexpected and new. I think the part of me that likes new challenges and opportunities to explore would find the structure to be incredibly confining.
As others have said, this is hardly a Southern only thing. I'm from a very small town that is anything but Southern, and I saw things like this growing up, with my eyes being more opened when I got to college. We had a Christmas cotillion where women were "presented" the Christmas after their HS graduation. For a lot of people, college wasn't a chance for new opportunities or friends. It was someplace to go to get your degree and get out so you could come back to town. marry your HS sweetheart who you've stayed with all through college, and have a more white collar job, usually teaching in the school you graduated from or lawyering in your dad's firm. This is shown by the amount of people who transferred from Pitt main to the BRANCH of Pitt that was closer to town, so they could come home every weekend or even commute. (You usually do it the other way around.)

The staying close to your family part is nice, and it's nice to be around people you've known all your life and be able to go to the lawyer, doctor etc and not think twice about trusting them. However, it comes with a price. People think they're entitled to know all the facts of your life and don't understand how this could be offensive. If you do anything outside the pale, it's going to get talked about and not in a very discreet manner.

So anyway...it's not just a Southern thing.
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  #62  
Old 01-05-2010, 02:33 PM
tootiepie tootiepie is offline
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I will begin by saying that South Louisiana is very different from most parts of the south so maybe there are different attitudes. I am definetly not one of the social elite, just hard working middle class. In my small town there is a group of very elite people ( not just elite in our town but throughout the state). They have former govenors, and other state leaders, and business owners in the family etc. Most of these ladies were in sororites at LSU or other schools. Most of their daugters were also in sororites but I can not think of any of them that were in their mothers sororites. Maybe it had to do with the reputation of the soroirty and the daughters were seen as joining better groups, No one seemed to be upset they did not join their group. I can also tell you that none of these girls have come back to our town and married hometown guys. Again maybe they are seen as moving up the social ladder, as our little town is really dying a quick death.
I did come up with an older lady who semed to have an attitude about her sorority when we were looking for recs this summer. I didn't know her well but got her name from some friends, so I decieded to give her a try. All she could do was as no, She really quized me about my family and my daughters friends and connections. When I told her what sorority I was in she informed me that it was the only sorority she considered to be as good as hers. The whole convo really turned me off and we decieded to look for a rec from someone else.
This town is very seeped in old traditions and families but I have never seen that kind of attitude in any of them. Even though I can not compete with money or social status since it such a small town I do cross paths with these people a lot and feel that I do have a true pictures of them. Again maybe we are just different then other parts of the south.
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  #63  
Old 01-05-2010, 02:34 PM
als463 als463 is offline
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Originally Posted by tld221 View Post
random aside:

dont a couple of characters from Gossip Girl try to join sororities when they go to college? it seems so odd to me that folks in "high society" would be interested in greek life, as they have other social networks that are bigger status symbols in their circles.

and this conversation is still intriguing to me. i think this type of thinking trickles down to us "regular folk." for example, I know anytime i read about someone who has done something awesome (from being the "first so-and-so" to do X, to being honored by a foundation or your run of the mill feel-good public interest story) my first question is "Are they Greek? Who are they affiliated with?" It's silly, but it makes sense because that social circle is important to me.

tld221-I hope you don't feel crazy because you think that. I am the EXACT SAME way! I don't look at it like, "Oh, if this person is NOT Greek, they aren't that great..." I just think , "Oh, if this person IS Greek, he or she is representing his or her GLO very well. I also think about what university he or she attended and I get excited if I hear they attended Penn State (or another Big Ten school) or if I hear he or she is a member of a GLO (especially mine). I think that is a natural reaction. You hit the nail on the head!

My aunt, a devout Christian (and i use that term loosely), her question is always "I wonder what church they belong to." Because then that tells her who their pastor is, and for her, it further informs her opinion of said awesome person. Someone else in that situation may ask "I wonder if theyre ____________" with respect to race, culture, alumni status, or what have you. We like to categorize and stake claim. Internally we're saying "Oh, theyre one of us. Theyre good people then."
I love it! THIS!!!! Thank you for saying what I was thinking. It isn't a way of saying, "I"m better than you." Instead, I get excited when someone says, "Oh, you're a Phi Mu, I'm (either a sister or) a member of XYZ." I also get excited when people say they attended Penn State.
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  #64  
Old 01-05-2010, 02:57 PM
gee_ess gee_ess is offline
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You hit the nail on the head tld221 and Zillini! A very good explanation of how we "claim" our own and, regardless of the region, everyone goes through a similar process (getting into the right school or the right GLO).

At Arkansas, the emphasis is still on status. Despite the fact that all houses on campus are meeting quota and doing well (one still struggles some) the prevailing belief is that some houses are better than others and that you have done well to pledge any of those.
And, I am going to go a step further and tell you that top level sorority women who end up dating a guy from a lower level fraternity will often start the answer to "What fraternity is your boyfriend in?" with a disclaimer like, "His uncle was a AB at another school and really wanted him to join his house," or "He came to the university and knew no one! Otherwise he would have pledged another house."

This is where the pnms are coming from when they get on here and cry about being cut from "good" houses. It is THE NORM to be concerned with tiers and classifications. (Isn't this the same type of upset that occurs when Nancy Northeast doesn't get early admitted to Harvard but has to "settle" for Brown?)
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  #65  
Old 01-05-2010, 04:20 PM
ThetaPrincess24 ThetaPrincess24 is offline
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Originally Posted by DrPhil View Post
I think it needs to be said that those who announce their elitism so much are the bottom of the barrel of elite. The elite don't need to announce it because they are almost constantly surrounded by it. It's a given.
I say bravo to this comment! Even in my "podunk" neck of the woods there is a huge difference here between the "new money" and the "blue bloods" that have been around here forever. Their behaviors are so drastic and obvious it is comical.
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  #66  
Old 01-05-2010, 04:29 PM
Just interested Just interested is offline
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So right, ThetaPrincess24. That's why it is so much fun to watch.
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  #67  
Old 01-05-2010, 08:08 PM
exlurker exlurker is offline
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Originally Posted by Zillini View Post
Practically every year, especially since RFM came to be, I hear Greek Life say they received phone calls from angry/distraught moms whose daughter's life is ruined because ABC dropped them and something must be done to fix this! I've gotten similar calls from alumnae myself.

. . .
Perhaps those who are not from the South can grasp it like this. IMO it is similar to some of the Ivy League grads' mindset. Your family is filled with grads from Ivy U so you expect your child to go to Ivy U. You associate with, business network with, socialize with other Ivy U grads. You are able to join certain clubs/orgs due to your connections. Doors are opened all because of where you graduated from, not who you are as a person. You know the exact social status and business/economic rankings all other Ivy League schools and their grads.

You send your kid to the right pre-school, grade school, jr high, HS, camp, etc. You make sure they are involved in the right extra curricular activities. Maybe even hire tutors to get their GPA, SAT/ACT up to snuff. You do everything with the intention of building their resume/application in order to be accepted to Ivy U. (Of course assuming you don't have a gazillion dollars to donate to the school. )

If your kid doesn't get in or simply doesn't want to go there? Well their life will be ruined, won't it? They won't get the right job, live in the right area, belong to the right clubs/orgs, marry the right person, ...

And if they do get in , then what? Social “devastation,” social climbing, selectivity, etc. beyond Greek life at Princeton – the campus paper recently ran a few articles that are – allowing for differences – reminiscent of some of the comments, anxieties, and so on mentioned in this thread.

About the “devastation” of not getting into the desired eating club at Princeton:

http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2009/12/18/24808/

Excerpt:

[I] . . . Students who are white and are from high-income backgrounds are more likely to bicker successfully, as are members of Greek organizations and athletic teams . . . .[/B]

(“Bicker” is Princeton lingo for the recruitment - like process of seeking to be invited to join one of the more exclusive eating clubs.)

AND:
About sororities – as well as other organizations / activities – serving as “feeders” for eating clubs (that is, opening the door to more "advantages"):

http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2009/12/16/24769/
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  #68  
Old 01-06-2010, 05:45 PM
srmom srmom is offline
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I have to pass along a totally TRUE and hilarious thing that happened to me this fall (and it relates to this topic)

I was at a UT game in Austin, and I was washing my hands in the ladies room, when this darling little girl, 4 or 5-ish, came walking up to the sinks dressed in a little UT cheerleader outfit, so I lean down and say, "Are you going to be a UT cheerleader when you grow up?", and she looks up at me with the sweetest expression and says, "No, I'm going to be a Theta."

NO LIE! This obviously is a case where this little girl has been hearing all her young life from her Theta Mommy that this is what's going to happen when she grows up!! She will be well versed in proper rush etiquette by the time she's through elementary school!!

It was priceless, I couldn't wait to go tell the folks I was with!!

It must be a southern thaang , and maybe if I had had daughters, I would have been prepping them to be pi phis too!! (not only southern as I am reading the other posts - just a psychosis that is international) LOL

Last edited by srmom; 01-06-2010 at 05:55 PM.
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  #69  
Old 01-06-2010, 05:48 PM
DrPhil DrPhil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srmom View Post
I have to pass along a totally TRUE and hilarious thing that happened to me this fall (and it relates to this topic)

I was at a UT game in Austin, and I was washing my hands in the ladies room, when this darling little girl, 4 or 5-ish, came walking up to the sinks dressed in a little UT cheerleader outfit, so I lean down and say, "Are you going to be a UT cheerleader when you grow up?", and she looks up at me with the sweetest expression and says, "No, I'm going to be a Theta."

NO LIE! This obviously is a case where this little girl has been hearing all her young life from her Theta Mommy that this is what's going to happen when she grows up!! She will be well versed in proper rush etiquette by the time she's through elementary school!!

It was priceless, I couldn't wait to go tell the folks I was with!!

It must be a southern thaang , and maybe if I had had daughters, I would have been prepping them to be pi phis too!!
Adorable story.




But, I hate such brainwashing.
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  #70  
Old 01-06-2010, 06:00 PM
srmom srmom is offline
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Yeah, me too, it's kind of nuts. But, it was a really funny experience
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  #71  
Old 01-08-2010, 09:19 AM
gee_ess gee_ess is offline
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Love it! And I am picturing the whole exchange taking place with with a southern drawl!
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  #72  
Old 06-27-2010, 06:50 PM
carnation carnation is offline
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Great thread.
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  #73  
Old 06-27-2010, 08:04 PM
Blue Skies Blue Skies is offline
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Originally Posted by gee_ess View Post
(Isn't this the same type of upset that occurs when Nancy Northeast doesn't get early admitted to Harvard but has to "settle" for Brown?)
Oh heck no, it's the opposite (at least it was back in my day!) Brown was seen by Boston-area teens as being highly desirable, far more so than Harvard (Brown was J.F.K. Jr.'s alma mater.) They liked Princeton as well. In fact, they probably wanted to go to just about any Ivy League school other than Harvard for their undergraduate work. Even some non-Ivy League colleges such as Hampshire College were well-regarded. And if you really wanted to annoy your parents, you applied to Stanford. lol
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  #74  
Old 06-27-2010, 10:57 PM
Alumiyum Alumiyum is offline
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Originally Posted by Just interested View Post
To answer TriDeltaSallie, from what I've seen over the years, and this is just my observation, many moms from my part of the world anyway, would prefer their daughter go Top Tier, over their own group even their own chapter. I have seen it too many times. They call it finding the best fit for their daughter. It is moving up the social ladder. They have seen to it that daughter went to right HS, the right summer camp and I hate to say this, even the right church. This is certainly not everyone but it is enough to be noticed by those of us who work on Reference Boards. It is an amazing thing to watch as an observer to positioning that takes place. This is going to be an interesting thread.
We must be from the same part of the world. This sounds like the people I grew up around to me.
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  #75  
Old 06-27-2010, 11:17 PM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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I was actually thinking about this thread the other day. In reference to "brainwashing" at such a young age..

A girl who I went to school with and very much like, is basically having a baby as I speak (or type, rather). She's having a daughter. She had posted pics of the nursery her and her husband decorated and furnished, and there was a picture of the crib... with a ladybug pillow and blanket.

Someone, who I'm guessing is one of her sisters, commented on how much she loved the ladybugs. Mother-to-be commented back, "She's doomed to be an ASA from birth; her birthstone will either be a Pearl (June) or a Ruby (July), my parents already call her "ladybug", and her middle name is Phoenix.

The friend replied, "How perfect is all of that! She is absolutely meant to be a baby bug!"

Talk about pressure...
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