Aunt Margaret hangs up the receiver of the intercom and smiles at me eagerly. “Those are the girls from the Thetas. They can’t wait to meet you.”
As Aunt Margaret rushes into the foyer to meet our guests, I get an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. “I don’t know about this Daddy–”
“They just want to talk to you Pumpkin. Hear them out.” Daddy reassures.
I’ll hear them out. But I don’t think I’m going to like what they’re going to say.
Aunt Margaret strolls in followed by a pair of poised, polished young women. The curly haired café au lait colored Theta Sisters saunter into the room dressed in double–breasted pastel colored Chanel suits, pearl necklaces, Gucci purses, Church hats, and high heels with a confident stride. Meghan wasn’t kidding when she said these ladies are put together. I look down at my T–shirt, jeans, and sneakers and feel underdressed in my own house.
“Colleen, I’d like you to meet Marcia Duvalier and Abigail Montgomery. They pledged The Thetas last year.”
“Nice to meet you.” I greet as I shake their hands.
“We’re very pleased to meet you Colleen.” Abigail replies. “We really appreciate you taking the time with us to tell you about The Theta Sisterhood.”
I’ve always been told to speak articulately, but Abigail here speaks so well every word sounds exactly like it reads right out of a dictionary. It’s like she doesn’t have her own voice.
“I really appreciate you taking the time to come out to see me. So why would I want to join your sorority?”
Abagail’s eyes meet mine again and she smiles before she speaks. “The Thetas are an exclusive sisterhood dedicated to preparing young Black women like you and myself with the interpersonal skills we’ll need to compete with in our social circle. Our organization’s program is specifically tailored towards giving members of the families in our circles the social education they’ll need to maintain their family’s businesses and preserve their family’s wealth.”
So in other words A MochaTan Malibu Barbie social club. I’m still planning on sleeping in this summer. “Well, I’ve been getting a social education since I was six. What other benefits would your organization have to offer me?”
Abigail isn’t fazed by my indifference to her pitch. She smiles again before giving me her rehearsed response. “While you may have some training in etiquette and protocol, The Theta Sisterhood offers you an opportunity to be part of a network of Black women all over the United States who will support you in your academic and professional endeavors.”
“How many women are actually in your network?”
“The Theta Sisterhood boasts over two thousand members nationwide.”
“So you’re one of the elite eight?” Daddy asks.
“Unfortunately, The Thetas aren’t part of the National Pan Hellenic Council.” Marcia replies. “We’re an exclusive organization that prefers to operate outside of the African–American fraternal system.”
“And why don’t you operate within the African–American fraternal system? I ask.”
“We feel by operating outside of the National Pan Hellenic Council we can provide a better experience for our members.” Marcia answers. “Our sisterhood is a lot closer than most of the chapters in the elite eight.”
“So you tend to retain more members.” Daddy inquires.
“Yes. While many of the members of the elite eight have left their sororities over the years all of our members like your late mother and your aunt Margaret have maintained lifetime relationships with The Thetas throughout its nearly sixty year history.”
“The support your Aunt has given me over the past few months mentoring me has helped me tremendously in planning my future.” Abigail persuades.
Aunt Margaret smiles as she takes her cue to come in on their sales pitch. “And I’d like to offer you that same support when I sponsor you for initiation into The Thetas this summer.”
“Hold on. This summer?–”
“With the semester being over I think this would be a wonderful opportunity for you to network, build up your interpersonal skills and add some extracurricular activities to your academic experience.” Aunt Margaret chimes.
“I just came in the door from finishing sophomore year at NYU–”
“And the best time for you to pledge us is during undergraduate.” Marcia says. “It’ll help you smoothly transition into our network of contacts after graduation.”
“I’m just not eager to head back out to a sorority house on campus–”
The girls laugh. “The Theta House isn’t on a college campus Colleen.” Abigail replies. As I stated before, this is an exclusive organization. We’re not affiliated with any university.”
That doesn’t help with the sale. “So what’s with this sponsoring? Is there a sign–up sheet somewhere?”
Abigail and Marcia giggle at me. The way they snicker at me makes me feel like I’m being laughed at, not laughed with. “Sign up sheet?” Abigail giggles. “The Thetas don’t do signup sheets Colleen. All Theta Pledges have to be sponsored by family members.”
“With your aunt and your late mother both being exemplary members in good standing, you more than meet the qualifications for admission into The Thetas.”
“If your mother were still alive, she’d definitely want you to be a part of The Thetas.” Aunt Margaret says.
“Knowing Millie, she’d probably be sponsoring you herself.” Daddy chimes in.
Thanks for putting me on the spot Daddy. Nothing like playing the Mom card to guilt me into doing anything. And me being a good daughter, I’m going to honor the woman who brought me into this world in spite of my misgivings and reservations.
“I guess I’m pledging this summer.”I sigh.
“Great.” Marcia says as she and Abigail jump off the sofa. “We’ll be looking forward to seeing you at the Theta House this summer.”
I paste on a smile as I escort our guests out to the foyer and press the button for the private elevator. “I’m sure it’ll be fun.”
“Oh it definitely will.” Marcia says.
You are so going to enjoy the Theta House.” Abigail replies. “The foliage around the House is so beautiful this time of year. You’ve really got to see it.”
“Maybe I’ll take my car up.” I reply. “Are there directions in the invitation?”
Marcia and Abigail get on the elevator. “No, we’ll call in a few days to let you know when we’ll pick you up and take you to the house.”
“Besides we want to give you some time to get yourself ready. You really need to clean up those tatty nails.”
Not even out of the penthouse and the cat claws come out. Yeah, I’m gonna have some fun this summer.
The Thetas is available only on Kindle for this Summer! If you have Amazon Prime, You can borrow it for FREE!