Square Life Round World

I'm navigating through this round world while living a square life, and it fits exactly as it should.

Sorority Initiation 26 Years Later – A Square Life Round World Moment 

on October 22, 2018

It’s been a few years since I’ve written anything. Hold up! That’s not entirely true. It’s been a few years since I’ve clicked the publish button on anything. However, I’m having a Square Life Round World moment and I need to talk about it. 

What exactly is a Square Life Round World moment, you ask? Allow me to explain. It’s any moment in which you feel the need to circle yourself out. What in the world does that mean? Circle yourself out is a phrase I picked up from my friend Christy. Hey, friend! I know she’s reading this. She may be the only person who’s reading this so super shout out to her! Remember Sesame Street, like old school Sesame Street? They had a segment in which you had to pick the thing which was different. I can still hear the song in my head. “One of these things is not like the other.” Likewise, do you ever have moments when you feel different than everyone else around you? That, my friends, is circling yourself out and is a Square Life Round World moment. 

I feel the need to clarify that I don’t always feel different and not all of my moments are Square Life Round World. The times that I do and the moments that are, though, are what inspire the title of my blog. Those are the moments that magnify my differences and give me a unique perspective to share. 

So what is this current Square Life Round World moment I speak of today? Sorority initiation. It’s been 26 years since my own sorority initiation, but I recently got the opportunity to attend one for the first time since I graduated, and I was elated. I think every sorority girl secretly dreams of the day when she gets to pin her legacy. I even had my pin made into a ring, which could easily be converted back to a pin should the need ever arise. However, since I didn’t have any kids, let alone daughters, I gave up on that dream many years ago. Still, somehow, here I was. My time had come. I was about to pin my legacy, except I wasn’t the mother. I was the aunt. 

I had my pin made into a ring, but it’s convertible back into a pin.

I hadn’t even considered that I might be about to walk into a Square Life Round World moment until I stepped into the staging room, a room full of mothers and sisters. If one woman asked me the name of my daughter, at least a dozen did. I got a few puzzled looks when I explained that I was an aunt. Even so, my name was on the list, and I was supposed to be there, gosh darn it!

As I listened to stories from the mothers of daughters who had grown up knowing they wanted to follow in their mothers’ footsteps, I began to wonder if I really was supposed to be there. My niece didn’t choose that sorority because of me. She wasn’t following in anyone’s footsteps, unlike the other legacies. I had been invited, but should I have accepted? Would my niece even want me there? I began to think about her Big Sister. Was I stealing her thunder? Sure, mothers, grandmothers and sisters are obviously allowed to, but are aunts?

See? I was invited! Really, I was!

“Does her Big know I’m here?,” I asked the girl managing the staging area. She replied, “I’m pretty sure. I mean, she knows she’s a legacy so she should know.” I wasn’t convinced. Is a niece even considered a legacy? Would her Big make that connection? 

I began to get really nervous. I had been looking forward to this day for weeks, since Bid Day. At the same time, I had just driven four and a half hours, and I was no longer sure I should be there. Her Big probably had no clue I was coming and was probably looking forward to pinning her. My niece definitely had no clue I was coming and possibly would rather get pinned by her Big. 

Judging by the look on her Big’s face when she saw me trying to get into place, I knew I was right. She wasn’t expecting me. She was gracious about it, however, and conceded her spot to me. I felt terrible, though. She looked confused and maybe even a little disappointed. 

My heart was racing. I didn’t want to ruin this moment for my niece. My instincts were right about her Big not knowing I was coming. What if I was right about my niece not wanting me there, too? 

Any thoughts of that were quickly erased when she turned around and saw me. Complete surprise and delight were all over her face as she exclaimed, “What?! I didn’t know you were coming!” She gave me the biggest hug I think I’ve ever received from anyone. I then pinned her. More hugs. Just like that, it was over. 

I didn’t see any of the other legacies’ reactions because I was too much in our own moment to notice. I can’t imagine any of them being more special, though. That one moment was well worth the trip.

After the ceremony was over, we were both so happy.

Yes, I was the only aunt in a room full of mothers and sisters. To my niece, it didn’t matter, though, and she’s the one I was there for, anyway. It no longer mattered to me, either. I had made my niece’s initiation even more special, and she had made my secret dream come true. Sometimes Square Life Round World moments turn out to be the best. This was one of those moments. 

Since it was such a far drive, I got a room for the night. I was amused to find that it overlooked Fraternity Row. That’s the ATO house right outside my window.

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