No one flinches when they learn I was in a sorority. Evidently I am “that girl” --- the one destined to wear letters, pomp and drink beer with boys. Unsurprisingly I’ve been asked once or twice if I liked “buying my friends” because I was paying money and dues to be a joiner. But I think, no matter what you do --- attend university, buy a house, open a J. Crew credit card, we’re all paying to belong to something (a college, zip code and rewards program).
And sororities are not only about boys and booze. By being a part of something bigger than myself I learned about my leadership skills, my limits, concern for my community and friendships that endure time and distance. I think that is why I continue to gravitate towards and flourish in women only service-orientated non-profits. I enjoy the structured camaraderie of volunteering, developing my skills, and seeing the potential in others. The fact that I made great friends along the way is an added bonus.
After the meeting I wave to catch Ainsley’s attention, she sees me, smiles and I walk over to her. She pulls her long wavy hair into a ponytail which shows off her perfect round face. Her fair skin is a striking contrast to her dark locks and gorgeous eyes. “Do you want to grab a drink?” I ask a little too hopefully because I literally see her teetering, wavering, debating, until finally she agrees.
We find a bar and drop our bags aside. Anywhere other than New York, two women in their 30s schlepping tote bags and over-sized purse might look like potential shop-lifters. In New York its how you tell the locals apart from the tourists.
And just like that our conversation catches a rhythm and we're chatting incessantly and almost finishing one another’s sentences. Why I don’t have first dates this great!?