I watched the 2011 version of “Footloose” tonight. I had seen it before, but I wanted to watch it again. Part of it was simply because I like the fun of the film, but I think a part of it was because I have been missing dancing so much in recent months. I had just determined to go out dancing, when the whole beginnings of the shutdowns were happening – I had even told people that I was excited about going dancing that weekend… I was quite bummed when it didn’t get to happen. Sure, I was excited that it meant I got to hang around the guy I liked longer, since the dancing wasn’t happening anymore…, but I was still bummed about the dancing’s being canceled… Besides, dancing is still part of my life, and it likely will be so for many, many years to come…, and the guy isn’t exactly on the road to be part of it, almost at all… so, anyway…
It’s so funny to me how things can change rather easily, when circumstances change – we kind of just accept what changes and roll with it, as needed. But, when we want to have change, it always seems so difficult to make the change happen ourselves… even if it is changing something about ourselves, and it is something we truly want, it often seems to be difficult to make happen… but, throw in some crazy event, like a natural disaster, and we willingly and easily adjust to a totally different way of doing the daily… I’ve seen it so many times with hurricanes in my life so far, yet so few times with self-inflicted changed… because it always seems to be an inflicted change, not something truly wanted, even if we do want it.
Anyway…, I’m kind of rambling here, so I’ll let it go for the night, I think.
No, one last thing:
In college, my third year, I attended regularly events hosted by this one particular fraternity. I was not part of any Greek Life groups, but I went to things hosted by this particular fraternity because of what the activities were – they were things that actually interested me, like pick-up sports games and other silly stuff. I had been invited by people in the fraternity, so I had not barged in nor forced my way in to the activities. I had begun to build relationships with various members of the fraternity… I even considered, long and hard, how I rather likely would have joined the fraternity, had I only been male and not female. That was how much I enjoyed the activities and the company and the environment as a whole.
One day, though, I was told by a member, in private, that I kind of needed to stay away some – it was inappropriate that I was participating in so much. Now, these were open activities – open to all students. But, they were only so on paper. They were actually for recruiting purposes. The fraternity doesn’t recruit females, so they didn’t want girls hanging around who weren’t the little sisters of the fraternity. ***As a note here, the only little sisters they had were from a particular sorority, and almost none of them were even interested in these activities, let alone athletically inclined… only the occasional little sister showed up, and never for long, and she never played any of the sports.
I was heartbroken and embarrassed. I had been so cautious and careful, always verifying that I was allowed and invited by a fraternity member to each event and activity I attended. And yet I still was told that I shouldn’t have been there, and that it was inappropriate that I had attended so much. What else could I have done? I did everything I could to follow rules and all of Greek Life, yet it did me no good.
Suddenly, I had no interest in being part of the fraternity, even in the imaginary life where I am a male instead of a female.
I don’t remember what exactly happened after that conversation – that oh-so-miserable conversation – but I think it was actually the same day that the next conversation happened…
You see, I think there was some event happening that evening, and I was supposed to attend it – several guys were expecting me and had personally invited or reminded me of it. I think I was a puffy-eyed crumple near one of the quadrangles on campus, when a couple guys from the fraternity came across me. They tried to figure out what was wrong with me, and encouraged me to come along with them to the event (to which they were at that time headed). I explained – with struggle – the conversation I had had, the one in which I was told, essentially, to stay away from the fraternity for a while.
Frankly, they were appalled. I don’t remember their words exactly, but I remember how they worked to convince me that the person who had spoken privately to me had been out of line – I had, in fact, done everything appropriately. I had always been invited, they reminded me – I was wanted at the activities I attended. And one guy’s opinion was not the opinion of everyone else. I loved them for their words…, but I think I didn’t entirely trust the fraternity again after that… I just remember feeling so shaky, inside and out. My world had been shaken. I had followed the rules, and I had still been hit with an earthquake, and slightly shattered from it. These two guys were super sweet to me, but the hurt was never erased. I think that’s because I believed it, what the first guy had said to me. Yes, there were some guys who wanted me, but I fully believed that several were of the same belief of the one guy… and they didn’t want me around. And why didn’t they want me around? I was neither a guy nor a member of their unofficially linked sorority. Because I didn’t have the labels, I wasn’t good enough for them.
I think I established for myself that I was done with Greek Life after that. I had never liked it much in the first place, but now I had reason to dislike it… and I did. The whole point of Greek Life was to bring people together (originally as drinking societies, but we won’t get into that right now)… and they had pointedly excluded me… me, a person who fit in beautifully to their events and activities, to their conversations and general atmosphere as a group… I had secretly hoped that I could become a little sister with them…, but they inevitably picked some girls who couldn’t have cared less about what the fraternity actually did, yet belonged to the right sorority and were besties with the current little sisters.
Anyway, that sucked… and I think I haven’t ever talked about that with anyone, aside from the two guys who tried to convince me that the one guy was being an a**hole, and that they really did want me around. I think it’s always been easier for me to believe that people want me not around than that they want me around. So, this event didn’t exactly help me get over that.
Ugh…. big sigh just now…
Okay, that’s all I care to say about all of that… I think I’m okay with leaving it all there and being done with it for now. 🙂