Why I’m Joining The Junior League

But in aggressively labeling myself a Daria type, and in my haste to be a cool, evolved person, I think I forgot that some of the things that people from my hometown tended to love actually seem pretty fun. I… kind of maybe would have liked to join a sorority. In college. I might have liked to go to a college where sororities existed. A little bit. I think I actually would have loved that in college. I would have liked the excuses to dress up and the planning and the ceremonies. I mean, they all sit in circles and light candles, and I don’t know what that’s about, but I loved The Craft! Prior to that  I kind of would have liked to do the debutante thing, even though I was reading Betty Friedan and Andrea Dworkin and had decided it was a really outmoded institution.

I also decided that I was never going to cook, because I wouldn’t be in the kitchen, so I think I took some of that a little too literally.

It’s not bad that I was so aggressively inclined to reject those things – I think all of us want to rebel against our upbringings a little bit – but I also think that there’s a certain point where you’ve grown up to an extent that doesn’t seem as necessary as it once did. You get to a point where you know who you are, and you’ve figured out which things you value, and you don’t need to grip to your identity as say a “Daria reading Democrat” to the exclusion of things that might be fun for you.

Maybe. Does everyone feel that way? Do you?

As I get older, I think more and more, that, providing your parents weren’t awful, what’s so bad about turning into your parents?

Maybe not that much.

And, you know, it’s a nice feeling. It’s a nice feeling when you feel like you’ve gotten far enough along in your life that you don’t have to spend a good quarter of your energy trying to prove that you are different from everyone you grew up with.

So, I like the idea of the Junior League. I do. I like the idea of women getting together to do good. I like the idea of a group. I like the notion of the sorority I could never bring myself to join. I’m probably not going to be great at working at Senior Citizen’s homes (really: if I was 100 the last thing I would want to do is hang out with someone as uncomfortably awkward as me) but I figure I can call people on the phone and strongly suggest that it would be a good idea to give money. I can hold a tennis racket in a really menacing, club-like fashion while I do. And pastries. I could probably help make pastries for events. In a kitchen. I’ll be in a kitchen while I prepare them. That seems like it will work.

And you know, perhaps some of them will be Daria watchers, too.

Share This Post:
    • Kimberly @ Twen-Teen

      I love Daria. That’s all.

    • Sarah!

      I have to admit, I regret not joining a sorority in college. I only didn’t do it because I thought I was Daria too, and that I was above all that. But I love drinking while dressed up? And it would be nice to have connections to people now.

      Also, the vanilla Lindts are pretty good!

    • kjon

      Wow, now this is freaky… I literally just sent Junior League of Denver my info on Sunday. And I didn’t join a sorority because I thought I was GDI (Goddamn independent). And I love Daria.

      Are we real people?

      • Jennifer Wright

        I’ve been avoiding saying this for obvious reasons, but I’m pretty sure we’re both just parts of a replicant hive mind.

      • Amy

        I just joined the Junior League of Edmonton a few months ago! It’s not a really well-known thing in Canada like it is in the States so it doesn’t have a reputation as anything other than a women’s networking group that does a lot of charity work.

    • Emily Chapman

      I am in a sorority in college and I basically was Daria as a wee tiny high schooler. My sisters dig my combat boots and it does give me an excuse to screen print my own shirts and drink in new and interesting places.

      My mother was less concerned about the Daria than she is about the sorority. Oh, strange rebellions.

    • mary

      Joining a sorority was probably the worst decision I have ever made. That was seven years ago and I still avoid close female friendships. Yuck.

    • Jamie Peck

      On the one hand, I appreciate your honesty about your reasons. On the other hand, I’m worried you’ll turn into a Stepford wife (w. well-argued justifications of course) and the half of you that enables you to be friends with people like me will disappear forevs. That said, I hope you learn to like volunteering. I’d do it with you if it weren’t the Jun-yah League.

    • MR

      You’ll fit right in – you always dress like that or have I missed something? From a guy’s perspective, I don’t think a woman should be afraid to dress like that – oh, and volunteer as side bar. But, not for Romney – up 2 pts in Florida, Ohio and Iowa, and 1 pt in Wisconsin in the latest polls. Can I talk politics with you when you eat your ‘tella? – I’ll let you decide if that’s before or after my donation. :)

    • Sam

      As much as I think organizations that require dues (as many Junior Leagues do) in order to do something that a person could easily do for free, like volunteer, are incredibly silly, the optimist in me thinks that it’s just good that people are doing…well, good.

      • Sam

        By the way, I don’t think the people receiving assistance from volunteers are upset or uncomfortable at the volunteers themselves; in my experience, they’re often upset simply because it can feel awkward, embarrassing, and deeply saddening to rely on other people because you presently are in a situation where you can’t be independent. I mean, yes, it sucks to prepare food in a hairnet all day or see people who are in pretty bad states, and it surely sucks more for the people who have to rely on this, but it’s still a necessary thing to exist right now.

        Volunteers are, unfortunately, integral given how terrible the economy is, the high rates of unemployment and homelessness, etc… so even if it totally sucks and isn’t an especially fun activity, it’s a good thing to do anyway! So I think it’s rad that you did it in the first place. :)

      • Astrid

        For the record, Junior League dues go towards volunteer training. Lack of volunteer training is why most volunteers volunteer once and never come back. Trained volunteers are also most likely to donate and do so on a regular basis.

    • Elizabeth

      I rejected the tennis lessons on the grounds that I hated tennis because it embarrassed me when my mother would pick me up from school in her shorty white tennis skirt.

      Now that I reflect on the fact that all the tennis she plays means my mother at 60 still has the legs for that shorty white tennis skirt, I kind of wish maybe I’d gotten into tennis.

    • EKS

      I plan to join JLB (Baltimore) in the next class. I started pondering it a couple years ago but it wasn’t the right time. Now that my husband and I are going to be here for a long time, I’m really looking forward to it. And like you and a few other commenters, I was into Daria in high school, and wanted to rush but didn’t. Have you joined a class yet?

    • Sun Connor

      Thanks for the post!
      I didn’t know much about the Junior League of Austin until a couple
      of years ago. For the past two years, I’ve done my own research and realized there were a number of opportunities within the organization to volunteer on committees and/or help women and children within the community. AND due to my “Social Awkwardness” it’s hard for me to volunteer on my own. I’d like to join the LEAGUE in an attempt to “Do Good” in our community. (and pastries!)