Gradford College, was the elite college for socialites. All the upper class kids from the east wanted to attend and all the girls that could attend wanted to join the Delta, Delta, Epsilon sorority.
The Delta, Delta, Epsilon (DDE pronounced Dee DEE’s) was the sorority to be in. It was the high-class of the high-class girls and it wasn’t easy to get in. Samantha’s mom and grandmother were both DDE’s. What a great family tradition and Samantha’s mom wanted nothing more than for Samantha than to carry on the tradition.
Samantha was gorgeous. She was about 5 feet 8 inches tall, long legs and very fit, probably from playing volleyball and field hockey in high school. She had gorgeous thick chestnut colored hair with gold highlights that flowed just below her perfectly shaped breasts. Her hair had a natural bounce to it. She had the most beautiful complexion and dark hazel eyes. Her finger nails were long and natural, always manicured perfectly with a French manicure.
Samantha rushed several sororities, but always new which one she was going to pledge. She was highly recruited by many sororities but when she finally got the invitation from the DDE’s, she accepted in a moments notice. She was with eight others and they made up the fall semester DDE pledge class. They were warned that becoming a member of the DDE’s was not easy. They were the most difficult sorority to pledge and some of them won’t make it. The DDE’s knew they were the best and they were very selective about who became a sister. But once in, the DDE’s took care of you for life.
As pledging began the pledge rules started. Each morning started with the pledges waking up each sister as specified by a note taped to the door of the sister’s room. This was followed by fixing the breakfast of choice for each sister in accordance to the note on the door. The pledges had to abide to whatever the note said during this time and what they did was really up to the imagination of the sisters. Each night they had to clean the sorority house and each of the sister’s rooms. The house had to be immaculate. They also had to cater to the sisters that lived off campus. The pledges not only had to do their own homework, but if the sisters needed help or research member of the pledge class had to help… and it better be good. That was above all of the normal pledge activities – learn the Greek alphabet frontward’s and back, know everything there is to know about all the sisters and pledges and history of the sorority to name a few.
They also were responsible for planning the weekend social activities for the sorority. Here’s were Samantha’s trouble began. Even though she didn’t try, she was a guy magnet. Guys just loved her. They wanted to be around her, be seen with her. Her great looks, her down to earth sincere personality, nothing phony about her and let’s not forget, she was drop-dead gorgeous. At the sorority parties the guys would just flock to her. She was the most popular girl of not only the pledges but of the sisters too. Fraternities were asking for parties with the DDE’s specifically because of Samantha. No matter what Samantha did she was the center of all the guys’ attention. This was fine with virtually all of the sisters except one, Marybeth.
Marybeth was attractive enough. About 5 feet 4 inches tall, shoulder length honey blond hair with highlights and blue eyes. She thought she was (according to her) the cutest girl on campus and she acted like it. She was a big flirt and loved to tease the guys. She thought of herself as the ‘hot’ girl and the guy magnet. But that all changed when Samantha showed up. Samantha was now the guy magnet. All the guys now swoon over Samantha. Marybeth was now on the outside looking in. She couldn’t stand Samantha and what she did to her. She did everything she could do to make Samantha’s life as miserable during her pledging. At parties she would just glare at her. She vowed to get her, to get her somehow for ruining her senior year at college. She even tried twice to ‘blackball’ (kick out off the pledge class) Samantha for trivial things. But since Samantha’s mother and grandmother were DDE’s, Kathy, the sorority president, talked her out of it.
As the weeks went by the number of pledges became less and less. Some girls quit while others were ‘blackballed’. As hell week arrived the number of pledges was down to four and Samantha was still in. Hell week for the DDE’s terrible. The only time the pledges were allowed contact with a non DDE sister was when they were attending classes. All other time was spent at the house. At the house no one was nice to them. Questions were asked, rules were cited, work was to be done, sleep was deprived. Then on the last day the pledges all get a ‘makeover’ so to speak. Each pledge is assigned to a sister. They go with a sister and received a makeover. If the pledge obeys the sister’s wishes she is accepted into the sorority and gets a ‘DDE’ tattoo behind their right ear in the shape of a triangle. They then go to the swearing in ceremony and they all go clubbing with the other fraternities and sororities to finish the night.
This makeover is supposed to really to enhance the girl’s looks. At this point, if the pledges made it this far the sisters want them to look their best as a DDE. In the past the sisters have had pledges teeth fixed with veneers, corrected vision with laser surgery and they’ve even gone as far as reconstructing one girl’s nose. But, generally the makeover consists of a message, facial, manicure, hairstyling, maybe hair color and of course a trip to the tattoo artist for the infamous triangular DDE. The pledges no nothing of this though. They are quite concerned about this makeover and what it means to become a DDE.
Hell week went by very slowly. Again Marybeth picked on Samantha mercilessly. Finally, hell week was over except for the ‘makeover’ and ceremony. What a relief. All they had to do on ‘makeover’ Saturday was make everyone breakfast, make sure the house was clean for the ceremony and go with their assigned ‘makeover’ sister for their makeover. At breakfast the pledges would find out who their ‘makeover’ sister was. It would be in the note taped to the sister’s room door along with the breakfast orders.
In the morning the pledges were up early. They were anxious to get their pledging over with. They all rushed to check the doors and find out who their assigned sister was. Samantha saw she was assigned to Marybeth and wondered what that was all about, knowing Marybeth didn’t really like her. While serving breakfast to the sisters she was thinking how it might be Marybeth’s way of making up to her. After all, Marybeth has been extremely hard on her and now that she was about to become a true DDE, she probably wanted to make it up to her.
Breakfast was a breeze. The sisters were actually nice to them. Marybeth was even nice to Samantha and reminded her to tell all the pledges to meet in the living room at 11:45 for their final pledge instructions. They were to be dressed casual, but nice. Wear skirts and blouses or a casual dress but whatever they wore they should look nice.
The morning went by fast. At 11:45 the pledges and sisters gathered in the living room. Kathy looked at the four remaining pledges and congratulated them. They were all dressed very nice. They’re clothes, hair and makeup all looked great. Samantha’s dress was very feminine and emphasized her great shape and long legs. For these pledges the hard part was over. Only one more step to becoming a DDE. The makeover sisters stood by their assigned pledge.
Now Kathy began giving this afternoon’s orders, the final orders these girls would ever receive as pledges.
“You must go along with whatever it is your ‘makeover’ sister says”, she commands. “You have to agree with what she says. You must keep your mouth shut; you can say nothing all day to anyone. Not to your ‘makeover’ sister, not to any other sister or pledge, not to the person performing your makeover, not in the car, not anywhere or to anyone. Talking is an automatic ‘blackball’. Remember that. All you are allowed to do is shake your head to confirm or deny what your sister is saying. The next words that come out of your mouth will be at the ceremony tonight as you become an active DDE sister. She also tells them that as long as their ‘makeover’ sister agrees, they have all been accepted as active DDE’s once the makeover step is complete. Again, they are in as long as your ‘makeover’ sister agrees. With that the pledges start to jump and cheer.
“Quiet! Remember, you must get through this last activity first.” Kathy continued. “and ‘makeover’ sister has the final say based on how you’ve behaved. Don’t forget your goal is to be honored enough to wear the Tri-DDE.”
At that exact moment all of the active sisters turned their heads and moved their hair showing the girls the small triangular ‘DDE’ tattooed behind their right ear.
“Once that symbol, the symbol of the DDE’s is tattooed on you, you are a DDE for life and will be sworn in at tonight’s ceremony. Any questions?” No one raised their hands. “OK then lets begin, Good luck pledges and remember not a word until tonight”.
That being said, the other sisters wished the girls luck and sent them off with their ‘makeover’ sister.
Immediately Marybeth grabs Samantha’s arm and says, “come on Sam, we’ve got a busy day ahead of us” and hurries her to her car. As they drive off, she tells Samantha that she is so happy for her that they are going to get her DDE tat first. Samantha smiles one of the widest smiles you could imagine. Marybeth is truly trying to make up to her, she thinks.
At the tattoo parlor Marybeth quietly talks to the tattoo artist, Sandi. Sandi then asks Samantha to have a seat and lean forward. She then pins her hair up and Samantha feel an uncomfortable pricking on her neck and behind her right ear. Finally it stops and Sandi says, “All finished now Sam” and shows her work to Marybeth. Marybeth tells her how great it looks and pays her. Again Marybeth grabs Samantha’s arm, tells Samantha she can see them when her new look is complete and hurries her to the car.
As they get to the car Marybeth tells Samantha to get in the backseat. Tosses her a bag of clothes and tells her to put them on. It was nothing fancy, just a pair of old jeans, a white tee shirt, a jean jacket, socks and tennis shoes. Samantha proceeds to put them on, thinking all the time how she thought they were supposed to look real nice today. But, she just puts them on and keeps her mouth shut. Marybeth says nothing for the rest of the trip. After about an hour of driving they enter a small town and Marybeth turns into a small plaza.
“Come on Sam, time to get started with your new look”. I picked this place out special just for you.”
Samantha opens the door and gets out of the car. The salon looks quite simple from the outside. The name on the sign was ‘Donne’s Unisex Salon’ underneath the name it read ‘a Full Service Salon for Everyone’. The door opens with the jingle of bells getting the attention of the receptionist. She’s a woman in her late twenties and the thing that Samantha notices first is her short hair. It’s cropped spiky short on top with a short mullet in the back. The color is copper with deep red lowlights. Nice color Samantha thought, but I hope that cut’s not typical of the cuts done here. She also noticed pictures hung around the salon and they made her feel better. There were some men’s short cuts but mostly they were of very fashionable women’s cuts. Marybeth tells the receptionist that she’s already talked to Donne last week about an appointment and how this is a very special day for Sam.
Samantha proudly nods her head in agreement. This is truly a special day for her. Today she officially becomes a 3rd generation DDE.
The receptionist looks Samantha up one side and down the other. Gives her a big smile and goes back to get Donne. She comes back with a tall, thin, muscular woman in her mid-thirties with a short dark hair. Her hair color is a dark chocolate brown, cut quite short. The neck and sides are trimmed very close and the top was spiky at the crown, smoothed out and longer toward the front with a full bang curving just at her eyes. She’s very quite attractive, as was the style and it suited her perfectly.
She walks right over to Marybeth, just like Samantha isn’t there.
“So this is the girl we were talking about the other day”.
Marybeth just nods.
“She’s really ready”.
Again just a nod.
The woman then turns to Samantha and introduces herself as Donne. She then hugs her and tells her how proud she is of her and how she knows what a difficult decision it is she made. She knew exactly what she (Samantha) was going through and since her big day, she’s lived a much more enjoyable life and has never had any regrets.
‘What’s she talking about’ Samantha’s wondering. ‘Did she join the DDE’s?’
“I think we’ll start by cleaning that mess of your face. Come with me”.
‘What mess on my face? I took extra care with my makeup today’, Samantha thinks.
As they walk back, Samantha sees four salon/barber chairs but no other stylists. A few of the lights are burned out so it isn’t very bright and none of the chairs were facing the mirrors.
Donne points to a chair and asks Samantha to sit down.
“So today’s the big day. I made this exact same decision 8 years ago and have never looked back. You won’t regret it, I never have. I just wish I made the decision when I was a little younger like you. You’re lucky, you’re both very lucky.” Donne says looking at both Samantha and Marybeth.
Samantha just nods and smiles, not knowing exactly what’s she’s talking about, but knowing this is certainly a big day for her.
Marybeth adds, “We’ve talked about this a long time and I just can’t wait until it’s finished. We both can’t wait. Isn’t that right Sam?”
Samantha hates being called Sam, but just nods and keeps her mouth shut, wondering what the hell these two are talking about. Did Donne become a DDE?
Donne just smiles and raps Samantha’s face in a hot towel and tells her to relax. Her hands are then submersed in a warm creamy liquid and someone is messaging her shoulders and arms. This is very nice and very relaxing. Then she feels someone working on her finger nails. Samantha’s hoping they know what they’re doing because she has such nice looking long natural nails. The towel is then removed and Donne and rubs some sort of cream on her face, waits a few minutes and wipes it off.
“Wow, you look better already. What do you think Marybeth?”
“It’s a start and I love those nails” she replied.
Samantha’s head snaps down to see her nails. They were gone. No length, no color, just short, very short finger nails. She looks confused.
Donne then goes over and starts quietly talking to Marybeth. Her hands were moving, fingers were spreading, arms waving and points to pictures in a hair style book. Finally both Donne and Marybeth smile and start shaking their heads together in agreement. Donne comes back to the chair. She tells Samantha, one more time just how proud she is of her and asks her if she’s really ready for this.
Samantha gives a confusing smile and nods.
Donne then gives her a small kiss on the cheek and says, “OK, let’s get started then.”
Donne steps behind Samantha. The next thing Samantha feels is a hard tug on her hair and then schnick, nothing. Another tug, another schnick and nothing. Again and again – tug, schnick, nothing. Samantha’s starts to panic. She knows she can’t talk, but she’s got to know what’s going on. She tries to turn to see what’s going on in the mirror, but Donne firmly grasps her head and stops her.
“It’s better if you don’t look; I know it was for me. This is the worst part. When this is over it will be the new Sam sitting in this chair. The best thing for you to do is just sit there and relax” Donne told Samantha.
Samantha looks over at Marybeth with her eyes beginning to tear up thinking ‘sit here and relax, are you crazy!’.
“Honey we knew this part would be hard, but it will be fine. Just trust me. This is what we’ve wanted for a long time now, isn’t it?” Marybeth asks in a phony comforting voice.
Samantha just nods as her eyes well up even more.
Then a loud ‘plop’ and whine. Samantha practically jumps out of her seat. That’s followed by a strange sensation rising up the back of her neck. Again and again the same sensation. Then the same sensation on her right side and then the left. Finally, her long bangs are lifted off from in front of her face and ‘schick’, she sees long hair flutter down in front of her and land on the cape. They were gone, not to be seen again. Donne continues to spend a lot of time working on the top of Samantha’s head. Combing it, brushing it, that whining sound again. Finally, Donne steps away and admires her work and asks Marybeth what she thinks. Marybeth just smiles and says something about showing off Sam’s new tattoos.
“Isn’t that right’ Sam?”
Samantha just sits quietly and nods, the tears now running out down her cheeks.
“It’s alright Sam, this part is almost done and our dreams will be realized”, Marybeth says with that phony sympathetic voice.
“Oh, this is so sweet, and to think I’m a part of it”, Donne adds.
The next sensation Samantha feels is a warm cream being spread around her ears and neck. That’s followed by a scrapping in the same areas. Donne wipes off Samantha’s head, sides and neck and smears some kind of smelly paste on Samantha’s head and combs her hair. Then again she looks at Marybeth and tells her what a perfect look this is for Sam. Marybeth says she couldn’t agree more and that it’s time to reveal the real Sam to herself and the world.
With that Donne spins the chair around.
Samantha’s mouth drops open. What she sees looking back from the mirror is a young teenage boy, a young boy with real short hair. The sides of his hair are virtually gone and the top hair is standing straight up, what there was of it, and is as flat as an iron. It can’t be more than an inch to an inch and a half long or should I say tall.
‘My god, Oh my god – that’s me!’ again holding back from saying anything. Tears are now streaming more steadily down her face
Donne tries to calm her down explaining how she was shocked too, on her special day. And how this is the most perfect flattop she’s ever cut. She then grabs Samantha’s hand and rubs it over her crown. “Isn’t it cool how that feels?”
More tears run down Samantha’s face as she her hand touches what feels like toothbrush bristles on her head.
Donne continues explaining how this is such a perfect look for Sam, especially on her big day. She then picks up a mirror and turns the chair slowly and proudly explains every aspect of the cut to Sam.
“See how perfectly flat it is. From the top you can see there’s a landing strip. Your hair is so thick, it’s was perfect for a landing strip” she says as she moves the mirror to show Sam the top of her head. A patch (a strip down the middle of her head) is cut so close that it’s practically bald.
“You’re so lucky with that you have super thick hair. See how full the front is and it practically stands up on its own. But, I recommend you use a little ‘Butch Wax’ to make it stand up perfect. Here, you can keep this jar. See how perfect the sides and back blend into the top. They’re no more than a 1/4 inch anywhere and see how I shaved just enough around the ears and neck to show off your tattoos” she says, continuing to slowly turn the chair.
Through her tears Samantha sees the triangular DDE tattoo; her mother would be soooooo proud, she’s a 3rd generation DDE now. That thought stays with her for just for an instant. Then the reality of her new look returns. As the chair continues to turn she sees another tattoo. This one was right in the middle of her neck. Its letters. It spells out ‘S A M’ in big dark blue letters. She hates being called Sam, now it’s advertised on her neck for all to see.
“Let me be the first to officially congratulate you Sam, Donne continues and then plants a big kiss right on her lips. She then tells Marybeth how lucky she is to have someone like Sam and wishes them all the luck.
As Marybeth starts to pay, Donne tells her this cut’s on the house. She’s just honored to have been a small part of Sam’s coming out and that Sam’s always welcome to come back anytime for a free touch-up. She then recommends coming back every other week to keep up the crispness of the look.
Marybeth thanks Donne for being such an important part of Sam’s coming out and grabs Sam and helps her back to the car.
Samantha’s has finally stopped crying. Maybe from the shock of the ordeal or maybe she just ran out of tears.
As the car pulls out heading back to the sorority, Marybeth starts laughing.
“Well ‘bitch’ or should I say ‘butch’ how do you like your makeover? I’m thinking you won’t be steeling my boy friends anymore. No more cute little innocent Samantha. Now that you’ve ‘come out to the closet’”, Marybeth says laughing hysterically.
“You’ll be known as SAM now and you’ve got the tat to prove it. Wait until I tell the frat guys, how you surprised us all. I’m guessing your going to have more sorority sisters hittin on you now than frat brothers. Oh by the way, if you want to stay a DDE you’ll have to keep your new look until the new pledge class starts. Let’s see… that’s about 3 months from now. Oh, you’ll probably be used to it by then.”
“Oh wow, just think of all the time I’ve saved you getting ready in the morning. No more brushing tangles out of your hair, no more fixing your nails, no more sitting in front of a mirror putting makeup on. Boy and I do mean boy, you should thank me. I really did you a favor.” Marybeth gloated.
Sam just sat in the car and starts to cry again. Her beautiful hair gone and she had to keep it this way for god knows how long.
As they pull up to the house, Kathy sees the car coming and goes out to meet them. Her eyes nearly pop out of her head when she realizes that who she’s looking at was Samantha. Marybeth gets out of the car and introduces the new Sam to Kathy.
Sam just stares at the ground with tears running down her cheeks. As she hurries out of the car, Kathy walks over to her, rubs her hand on Sam’s head and puts her arm around her. She then gives Sam a little kiss on the cheek and tells her how fantastic she looks. Then she softly whispers in her ear, “Sam, I wish I’d known about the real you before. I would have never let Marybeth treat you the way she did. Now, let’s go up to my room, I’ll wipe away all those tears and personally welcome you to the DDE’s.” And with that, the two of them head up the stairs to Kathy’s room.