So, in college, I was in a sorority. *(Duh.)* The best sorority, but that might just be my opinion. Had you known me in high school, you would have been very surprised that I joined, but really, I don't think I've made many choices as good as joining Phi Mu. Some of the lessons I learned in those four years were more important than ones that I learned in my college classes. I remember hearing how much you could learn from a sorority and thinking how stupid it was, but really, the things I took away from Phi Mu are used pretty much every day.
I used some aspects at work *(organizing, taking control, planning, being an appropriately social assistant, etc.)*, but it's become REALLY handy since I married my Marine.
Way back in high school, I didn't really care how I looked. I mean, I didn't *(usually)* go out looking like a bum, but I didn't really care. I got to college and Phi Mu taught me what a bad idea that really was. Now, don't get me wrong, I was not one of the girls who wore heels and pearls every day *(though I knew them, loved them, and did not judge them)*. I just took some pride in my appearance and managed to get out of bed just a little bit earlier to put myself together. This applies now, because - regardless of what some military wives nowadays say - my appearance does indeed reflect upon my husband. I am still not one of those girls who wears heels to the commissary *(though I do get excited for an excuse to wear my pearls)*, but I am certainly not one of the wives who thinks it is appropriate to wander base in my pajamas. As 1950s as it sounds, what I do matters to my Marine. When I represent my sorority, I want it to be a good representation. I don't want people to see me and go, "Oh my God, that is what a Phi Mu is like? Noooo thank you," any more than I want them to look at me now and say, "Whoa, she is a Marine Corps wife? Ew." I want to look nice for my husband and other Marine Corps spouses.
My sorority smile sure comes in handy too. You have to *really* know me to know if it's a fake smile sometimes. This is very handy when you are talking to that Marine who is telling for you the 208447038 time just WHY he and his girlfriend are fighting, or why the Marine Corps is better than whatever other branch *(What, like I need to be reminded?)* and you so don't care, but there's nowhere else to go, so what can you do? You don't want to be rude and tell him to shut up, so you plaster on that sorority smile and figure out your grocery list in your head. It's saved me many times.
And finally, and I think, most importantly, *(and yes, I am aware this seems to be set up like a college essay.)* is the ability to talk to a wall. Some of the new girls who show up at family readiness meetings or FRT sponsored events or even the shop BBQ just look terrified to even be there. We all know that feeling. It's happened to everyone, regardless of who you are married to. And it is so nice when someone with a friendly *(sorority?)* smile comes up to you and draws you out. I remember being the girl in the corner at the first FRT meeting I went to *(Am I the only one who says fart every time she sees that? Dammit.)*and NO ONE talked to me. It was terrifying. Going to anything where there is a nice spouse makes it so much easier. This is especially true when the friendly spouse is a married to a more senior Marine and makes the effort to those of us married to junior Marines. Takes away so much intimidation.
Anyway. I'm sure there are a billion ways Phi Mu has helped me be married to my Marine, but those are the most prevalent.
I wonder what else could have helped?