Sunday, March 7, 2010

I didn't go to any DAR meeting...

The title is a line from Glass Menagerie. Most Southerners know it's a big deal for women of a certain age to join specific things once they're out of college, particularly the Junior League, the Womens' Club (when they age out of Junior League), and various hereditary societies.

Failing a Junior League chapter where I live (and an interest in that kind of thing, someday I'll share with you how I quit my debutante ball before it happened), my godmother, who is a "joiner" of the first water, made sure that I was quickly inducted into the Daughters of the American Colonists ("Darlin', it's more exclusive than the DAR...") just after I turned eighteen. I can count on one hand the number of meetings I have attended in the interim- one of those as the presenter, when I was finishing my M.A. in history- and most memorably, the one where I informed the assembled membership that I found the bylaws of the organization inherently racist. You can imagine how that went over.

I am also eligible for the Mayflower Society, First Families of Virginia, the Daughters of the American Revolution, Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Huguenot Society. Huguenots and FFV are the most difficult to get in, but I have clear documentation for all of the aforementioned.

What this boils down to is that my family (rather, my mother's family) has been in the Americas a very, very long time. My interest in this could fill half a thimble, yet my godmother insisted, and therefore, I'm in the DAC. Someday she may actually expect me to be an officer. That's gonna be a wild ride, because the answer will be a qualified, "No." I'm waiting.

She means well, and I do love her. Her other project, heaven forfend, is getting me married off before she dies. She is a 'big girl' herself and never, for that reason, expected to get married; having accomplished that hat trick, she is determined to do the same for me. Ergo, she is unaware that I'm dating somebody at the moment and we need to keep that and the whereabouts of any unattached heterosexual males of approximately my age and social background a state secret from her. One of the things we are definitely keeping from her is that Hopkins lives in the same city as she- as he will never get a nanosecond's peace if she figures it out. Her memory is like a steel trap, and she asks about him from time to time, to wit: "What ever happened to that little friend of yours who went off to school in Baltimore? The one that you were so crazy about..."

Ugh. That was about two and a half decades ago, but thanks for asking.

The Southern Matronly Marriage Mafia is on the scene, y'all. This is why I never tell her when I am seeing someone. She gets all wound up and it's twenty questions every five minutes about him until it just seems easier to dump the guy than answer the interrogation. Bless her heart.

1 comment:

Amy H. said...

Help Honey - my mother couldn't get me, but she has now taken over my 8 yr old daughter who is demanding to attend the geneological society meetings. She understands what the DAR is and wants to know why she doesn't have her own calling card, for visits don't ya know. Well, maybe she is lost to the legions of the south - but now I should just focus on my other two children. God love my mother - such a deary. Love your observations - can't remember if I paid the water bill, but can recite my family lineage at the drop of a hat - it was drilled into me since I was 8 or so. Wait, do I see a pattern??