So recently, I was interviewed by a wannabe-Skull and Bones society that in the end decided not to tap me. The rejection destroyed my Ally McBeal Theory of Life, which was that I can get into anything I want if my outfit is cute enough. Left to mend my broken heart, I used the coping mechanism of the ages: The Sour Grapes Method.
I mean, come on. Do I really want to be in a society? Hooded black cloaks are so five-minutes-ago. And spending all that time in a windowless tomb would doubtless have brought on rampant Seasonal Affective Disorder. I mean, if I wanted the pasty sunless look, I could hang out in the basement of Connecticut Hall. Please.
And listening to biographies every week? Who needs it? My eyes glaze over when people talk about their day, let alone their whole life. I’m not sure my own bio would be that much more interesting. I’m from suburban New Jersey — not exactly the land of war and desperation that makes for good life stories. (Although I once yelled at someone for cutting in line at the CVS, and that got pretty ugly.)
As for childhood experiences, I don’t know what I would say. That my mother used to tape my bangs to my head in the morning to get rid of bed head? That I once powdered my kid brother’s face and dressed him in all black so we could pretend to be Wednesday and Pugsley Addams? That I kissed Danny Reichman for 33 minutes straight when I was 13 years old?
Sure, these are all good anecdotes, but they don’t make for a biography. I intend to have my biography fully written one day, to be sold in airports and on streetcorners. But that can’t happen until I accomplish either one of my goals — to marry the prince of a small oil-producing nation or to win a Nobel Peace Prize. Let me do that, work the college lecture circuit, be a guest voice on “The Simpsons” and then sit down to write my memoirs. All in due time.
Also, I saw “The Skulls,” and I know how corrupt societies are. I love my roommates, and even though they yell at me for being messy or playing “Evita” too loud, I would never want my society members to kill them if they tried to break into our tomb.
And all this elitism? Who needs it? Besides the fact I go to Yale and plan to join a monarchy one day, I’m totally repulsed by any institution that promotes exclusivity. I mean, sure, when I’m a princess I’ll wear my diamond tiara everywhere, including to the dentist, but that doesn’t mean I promote elitism per se. And sure, the Yale sticker on my windshield is so big I can’t see the cars behind me, but that isn’t because I’m bragging. I would never want to make anyone of another institution (read: safety school) feel bad.
So why would I want to participate in Tap Night? Just to show off? I’m not about that. Except for my dreams of a televised wedding with CNN coverage and a 21-gun salute for the birth of each of my children, I don’t think I should flaunt my privilege. Life should be about helping other people, not proving you’re above them.
That’s why I intend to know my fleet of servants inside and out. I’m going to remember their birthdays and send them personalized e-greetings, provided they have computers. They won’t even have to use the servant’s entrance of the palace — unless they’re really ugly, and I don’t want to see them, but that might hold for all visitors in general.
So for those of us who didn’t get tapped, don’t fret. We still have bright futures. Admittedly, they’re not as bright as the futures of Skullspeople. We may not get to eat at the table of power and privilege, but we can scavenge the crumbs from the floor like so many 18th-century street urchins.
And when I’m princess one day (after America becomes a constitutional monarchy) I’ll take over the societies and oust the existing members. Then I’ll fill the tombs with inflatable furniture and glow-in-the-dark geese from Urban Outfitters and invite the masses to come hang out with me in a new egalitarian utopia.
Nancy Levy is a junior in Pierson College.