Her Mother's Daughter
by Barbara Lynn Terry
The following story is completely fictional, and is not intended to portray any real persons, living or dead; nor does this story portray any real university, sorority, fraternity, or educational structure. Should there be any person or persons who have had similar experiences that appear in this story, or there is any sorority or fraternity with these names, it is strictly coincidental.
Classes were over for the day, and I started back to my dorm. I always looked at the sidewalk, or the grass as I walked. The walk to my dorm took me past the Gamma Delta Phi sorority house, where my mother is an Alumni, and past president. That made it all the more sad for me, because I couldn't pledge my mother's house.
My name is Jean McMillan. I am five foot six, long brown hair to just past my shoulders, and sky blue eyes. I look like my mother in the face, and I have her natural contagious laughter. There is a bench just off to the side and across the walk from the sorority. I sit there sometimes and do my psych papers. Today was no exception. I sat down on the bench with one leg under me, and opened my psych book to the chapter we were discussing. I sat in such a way that I could catch glimpses of the sorority house from time to time; you know like when you look up like you're thinking of something.
But today though, I didn't seem interested in psych homework. I just sat there looking down at the grass in front of me. I was sad, dejected, and full of sorrow that I couldn't be a sorority sister, like my mother was. I got up, held my books to my chest, and walked to my dorm. After getting in my room, I set my books down, and just cried into my hands. I kept turning over and over in my head the archaic reasons as to why I couldn't pledge my mother's house. I was so wrapped in my own self pity, that I didn't hear my roommate come in.
"Hey Jean, why so sad?"
"Huh? Oh! Hi Paul. I'm s-sorry, but life just isn't fair. Not to me anyway."
"Why is that, Jean?"
"I was walking past the Gamma Delta house today, and I felt as though I belonged there, but I guess I don't quite fit the physical requirements."
"Why would you feel like you belong at the Gamma Delta house? That's a sorority, and you're a guy. At least I think you are."
He was trying to cheer me up by trying to make me laugh, but it didn't work. Paul was a decent guy, and I could always talk to him. We had known each other our whole lives, mainly; well from the time we were ten years old. He was six foot, and lifted weights. His sandy blonde hair was curly, and he was soft spoken.
"Well it's like this. My mother went here as a student, and she was a Gamma Delta, and is a past president as well. I just feel like I should be able to pledge my mother's house, is all."
"Have you talked to your mother about this? I mean she might be able to offer some solice as to why it isn't possible, I mean outside of the fact that you're male."
"I'm kind of afraid to say anything. I mean mom's okay and all, but I'm afraid she'd laugh at me, and tell me I'm stupid for even thinking such a thing."
"How do you know? I mean, you keep telling me that your mother is such a good listener, and that you could always talk to her. Why not talk to her about this?"
"I don't know, Paul. I mean, yes, she is a good listener, and I could always talk to her about things that bothered me, but this is different though."
"How different from all the other things that bothered you? Could you talk to her about the girlfriends you had in high school? Could you talk to her about the time you ripped the seat out of your pants? Could you talk to her about the night you went on a drinking binge when you were sixteen? Of course you could. So this is no different. This is the one thing you should talk to her about."
"Are you sure, Paul? I don't want her to laugh at me, or tell me that I'm stupid, or that I need help."
"Tell you what. I'll go with you for the holidays. Our houses aren't that far apart, and I could be there for moral support."
"You would actually do that?"
"Yeah Jean, I would actually do that. What are best friends for?"
Paul had the knack for always being able to give me the confidence I needed to face a situation. Like now, he gave me a somewhat confidence to be able to talk to my mother about this situation of my feeling like I belonged at the Gamma Delta house. It was still a month away from leaving for the holidays. In the meantime, I would try to just walk by the sorority without stopping, and see if the feeling would go away. After two weeks of walking past the Gamma Delta house, I sat on that same bench across from the sorority, and did it like I intended to. But actually it was absent mindedly done. I sat there with one leg under me, and doing my psych paper, when a girl sat down on the bench too.
"Hi," she said cheerfully. "I'm Kendra, and I'm a Gamma Delta. We have been noticing that you like to sit here and do your work. Is there a special reason why you always sit here?"
Kendra was beautiful, and she was a cheerleader. I don't think she could actually see my face, because I was looking down into my psych book. When I lifted my head to look at her, I had that sad look again.
"Yes there is a reason I sit here. This is on the way to my dorm room from the psych lab, and I sit here and do a little work."
"You wouldn't happen to have an ulterior motive in that slinky brain of yours."
"This is a bench, and I just happen to sit here to do a little work is all."
"Why are you sitting like a girl then? And why do you look like one of our past president portraits hanging along our stairwell? What exactly is your name?"
I think I have been found out. But what do I say? Should I tell her what I talked to Paul about, or should I just keep quiet? Oh well, they say you can never tell how cold the water is by standing on the shore, so here goes nothing.
"My name is Jean McMillan, and the reason I look like one of your past presidents, is because my mother Jeannette McMillan is a past president of Gamma Delta Phi. I just sit here and do some of my work because this is as close to my mother's sorority that I am ever going to get."
"But you look so sad when you sit here though. Why is that?"
"I can't tell you that, because you would just laugh at me."
"I promise that I won't laugh at what you tell me. I'm a Gamma Delta, and we don't tell things that are said to us in confidence. If you confide in me why you are so sad, I promise on my sorority pin that I will not tell a single living soul, unless you say I can."
"All right, but you gotta pinky swear."
"I'm sad because I can't pledge my mother's house. I have this strong feeling like I should pledge this sorority because that is where my mother was a sister. But I guess that's foolish, because I don't quite fit the physical."
"Well that is a problem, but not one that can't be worked out. Look Jean, we are having an open house here on Saturday, and everyone is welcome, including guys. There is no reason why you can't come to the open house, and see how we do things here at Gamma Delta Phi. Let me ask you this. If you could pledge Gamma Delta, would you seriously do it?"
"Oh yes! I would do anything to be able pledge Gamma Delta Phi."
"You do know if you could be allowed to pledge our sorority, that we have a strict dress code, and rules of behavior, and that you would be considered for all intents and purposes, a girl, and treated as such by us, the faculty, and other students."
"Like I said, I would do anything to be able to pledge my mother's house."
"All right then. This is someting that is not going to happen overnight, but with a little ingenuity I'm sure we can make it happen. Be patient sister, we'll get you in, one way or another, but we'll get you in. I do agree that you should be able to pledge your mother's house.
"There is one thing. When we have special events, and school functions, we wear formal or semi formal gowns, high heels, stockings, and of course panties, bras and slips. If you are allowed to pledge Gamma Delta Phi, you will be required to dress like the rest of the girls."
"I understand, and like I said, I will do anything to be able to pledge Gamma Delta Phi."
She smiled at me. I was being told that I could pledge as a sorority sister, one way or another. I wonder just what the other is. Oh well, this Saturday was open house at Gamma Delta, and they did that to attract pledges.
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