It was the final night of my bid to join a sorority at college. It was down to me and four other girls now with only one opening remaining for this year. At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to join as I submitted my pledge at my mothers pleading. She was a member of this sorority when she went to school here and she pushed me to join as well.
I attended the information sessions and the round robins. I found the more I got to know the sorority, and the sisters here, the more I wanted to join. I think my reluctance in the beginning was what hurt my initial pledge and this was why I was amongst the last 5 girls remaining for the final spot after all of the other girls had been chosen already. I was upset by that and wanted to make up for it.
We gathered in the main hall of the house, pledges on one side and sisters on the other. I sat with the other pledges holding my pledge-pin as I was really nervous. Jessica was addressing us in the main hall.
“You are gathered here because you are the 5 remaining pledges for this year to join our Sorority. We have only one remaining spot left for this year. Ask yourself ‘How much do you want to join this house and what would you be willing to sacrifice.’ As you know our house is involved in many charity organizations and we give a tremendous amount of money and volunteer hours to our charities each year. Tonight one of you will show us how much you want to join by sacrificing something of yours for charity.”
She held up a pair of haircutting scissors for us to see and opened and closed them a few times.
“For our final pledge of the year… One of you will have to sacrifice your hair. It will be donated to the Cancer Society to make wigs for children with cancer. We have also raised over $2000 for the Cancer Society and we will donate that money in your name for your pledge. This is the only way for one of you to join.”
She walked over to us waving the scissors in front of us.
“Ask yourself how much you want this?” She said opening and closing the scissors in front of us.
“Tanya,” she said to the first pledge. “Would you sacrifice your hair for children’s charity?” she asked her.
I looked over in Tanya’s direction and Tanya was nodding her head no.
“Tanya, you may leave, Thank-you for your pledge this year.” She was told.
“Samantha, would you sacrifice your hair for children’s charity?” she asked Samantha.
“How short?” Tanya asked as she reached up to feel her hair.
“All of it.” She told her.
“Nope.” Tanya said and she walked out.
“Beth,” she said to me, “would you sacrifice your hair for children’s charity?” she asked me.
I smiled and said. “Yes I would.”
“Good,” she said, “You may step forward then.” She told me.
I stepped forward to the centre of the hall.
Laura, would you sacrifice your hair for children’s charity?” She asked the next pledge.
“No.” Laura answered.
“You may leave.” She told her. “How about you Stacy, would you sacrifice your hair for children’s charity?”
“Nope.” Stacy answered and walked out as well.
“There it is then.” Jessica said. “We have only one pledge remaining. Beth, this is for a very good cause and it is the only way you can join this year. We have also raised over $2000 for this charity that will be sent in your name on behalf of the house. Are you ready for this.”
“Yes” I said.
“Good.” She said.
A couple of sisters came in with a chair and a table and set-up a few brushes and elastics on the table.
“Take a seat.” I was told and I sat down in the chair.
A few sisters gathered around me and started brushing out my long blond hair. They started making small sections in my hair and attached little rubber bands making small ponytails close to my scalp. I sat there quietly as a few of the girls kept sectioning off my hair and put little rubber bands into it.
“We will put 19 ponytails in your hair and every sister will get to cut off one ponytail each. As soon as the final ponytail is cut, that is when you will be officially a sister of Pi Delta Beta. Is that understood?”
I smiled and said, “Yes.” I was so happy I was almost a member, even if it meant cutting my hair.
I could feel the sisters putting more and more elastics in my hair and Jessica was counting them out loud.
“…..17, almost there sisters.” She told them. “Section this one into two sections and that should do it.”
I could feel them sectioning off the last sections in the back and attach the last 2 elastics.
“That’s 19. Are you ready Beth?” Jessica asked me.
I reached up to feel my hair one last time and I could feel all of the small ponytails all over my head. I ran my fingers through the length of one of the little ponytails and realized how long it was… it was really long.
I sat up with all my strength and confidence and nodded my head saying, “ I’m ready.”
Jessica approached me with the scissors in hand and reached for the top of my head. I could feel her grabbing for a ponytail right on top and in the front. I looked straight up to see her move in with the scissors and heard them close into my hair. SNIP.
The ponytail was released and she held it in front of me so I could see it.
“Oh My God,” I said to Jessica as she held my ponytail in her hand. It was so long and blond. Like 30” of hair. I let out a huge sigh of relief and started laughing.
“No turning back now.” She said as she placed my ponytail in the center of the table and she handed the scissors to another sister.
The next sister came up in front of me with scissors in hand and cut another one off on top just like Jessica did. She placed the ponytail on the table with the other one and passed off the scissors to the next sister in waiting.
I sat their smiling, almost laughing in hysterics. I couldn’t believe I was doing this. Each sister lined up and took there turn and I watched as the pile of my ponytails gathered up on the table. I reached up to feel my hair occasionally. If felt so amazing having it all cut off like this, I could feel it getting lighter and lighter as each sister came at me with the scissors.
It was almost over now with just a few ponytails remaining in the back. I tilted my head straight down to make it easier for the sisters to cut it. I could feel each of the last remaining ponytails being cut off in the back and I started to smile, excited in anticipation.
“Last one.” I heard Jessica saying and the last sister came behind me with the scissors and I could hear her snip the last ponytail off of my head.
“Welcome to Pi Delta Beta.” Jessica announced out loud.
Everybody let out a massive cheer and I started crying with joy. I got up and hugged Jessica. She rubbed her fingers through my head and laughed over all of the noise. “Now that wasn’t so bad?” she said
I laughed and said it was fine as I reached up to feel it as well.
“All for a good cause.” Jessica said.
I hugged each sister around the room as they each welcomed me into the sorority. I was glad this was all over now. We posed for pictures and I held up my ponytails to show my ‘sacrifice’ in the photos. After we made a huge dinner to celebrate our new house for the year. I was so happy to be the newest member in the house. My hair was a mess from being crudely chopped off but no one said anything. They all commented on how brave I was and that I did a good thing. Jessica said to just go and get it neatened up somewhere tomorrow.
The Next Day…
The next morning I woke up in my new bedroom in the sorority house. I was glad to be out of the Dorm now as the sorority house is so much more comfortable. I got up and sat at the dressing table in front of the mirror to inspect my hair. It was a huge mess.
It was cut very messy where the sisters had cut each ponytail off leaving well under 1” in length were each ponytail was cut. There were longer pieces all over from in-between each ponytail and it was patchy everywhere. I knew I was going to have to get it fixed somehow.
I reached for my cell phone and called my boyfriend Trevor. He didn’t know about this yet as I didn’t tell anyone. Only my sisters in the house knew about it. I called his number knowing he would be sleeping. It was Saturday morning and he didn’t have football practice today.
“Hello.” He said as he answered, he sounded sleepy.
“Hi baby, it’s me.” I told him.
“Hi.” He said as he was coming too.
“I have some news for you.” I told him.
“What.” He said.
“I got into Pi Delta Beta.” I said.
“Really! That’s great, Congratulations.” He said.
“There is one other thing.” I said.
“I had to cut my hair to get in.” I told him.
“What!” he said loudly.
“I had to cut my hair to get in.” I told him.
“I heard you the first time, cut it how?” he asked.
“Off.” I told him.
“What do you mean off, like gone?” He asked.
“Pretty much, yea.” I said.
“Holy Shit!” he said.
“Look, I need you to come get me, I’m at the sorority house. I’m going to need a hand today moving all my shit from the Dorm over to here.
“OK, OK,” he said. “ I’ll come and get you, I need to take a shower first.”
“OK, Thanks baby.” I told him. “I love you.” I said and I hung up.
Trevor and I have been together for about 6 months now. He is my first black boyfriend. I’ve never been with anyone like him before and I loved being with him. He is an amazing guy and a very talented football player, he was at our college on a football scholarship. We have become very close and we hang out together as much as we can.
I went downstairs to the kitchen and was learning to make my way around the house. The house is really big actually, an old mansion. It was beautiful and I was so happy to be here.
There were muffins left out in the kitchen and some coffee already made. I poured myself a coffee and grabbed a muffin and sat down. Jessica walked in as I was eating.
“Hey Beth.” She said with a smile. “How did you sleep?”
“Really well thank-you,” I said.
“Is the room comfortable?” She asked.
“Oh yea, I love it.” I told her.
“Good. Look, sorry bout the haircut last night, that one is a new one for us this year. We wanted to do something for charity. Each sister gave a money donation to the cancer society as well as your, well, very kind donation.”
“It’s OK.” I said as I reached up to feel my hair. “ It’ll grow back.” I told her.
“Good,” she told me. “I think you’ll need to get it straightened out somehow but it does look good on you for some reason. Short hair that is.” She said. “Well I’m off, enjoy your day and I’ll see you later.
“See ya.” I told her.
I finished breakfast and the doorbell rang. I knew that was going to be Trevor. I ran to open it before someone else did. I haven’t had the chance to introduce him to any of the other sisters yet so I wanted to show him around the house.
I opened it and Trevor was standing right there.
“Holy Shit.” He said when he saw me.
“It’s OK baby.” I told him.
“What do you mean, It’s OK… Look at you.” He said.
“Its just hair, and it was for a good cause.” I told him.
“What good cause? This house?” he said.
“No,” I said. “It was for a charity.” I told him.
“Charity!!! That’s a fucking hazing if I’ve ever seen one.” He said.
“It’ll grow back.” I told him.
“Yea I guess.” He said and he gave me a big hug.
He reached up to feel it for the first time.
“What a fucked up mess.” He said.
I laughed. “Yea, I guess I need to get it evened out some how.” I said.
“Evened out? He said. “You do that and you wouldn’t have any hair leftover!”
I invited him into the house and gave him the tour. I introduced him to a couple of the other sisters around the house. He liked the house a lot and was beginning to understand why I wanted this. We went out to his car to go back to the dorm to get the rest of my stuff. He gave me his baseball cap with his football team logo on it to wear to cover my hair for the time being.
We loaded up his car with the rest of my stuff and we started driving back to the house. We were driving through the main street in town and I was looking at the hair salons as we drove past them.
“Baby, do you think I should get my hair fixed somewhere.” I asked.
“I guess.” He said. “Where do you want to go?”
“I don’t know, I guess it doesn’t matter where.” I told him. “It’s so short any ways so I might as well go somewhere cheap.”
“Just go to the barbers.” He said.
“Yea.” I said.
“They would probably just do like a number 2 all over to even it all out.” He said.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“The clippers.” He said. “Number 2 is what I get on top and I fade my sides and back. A number 2 would be like my hair in the top but all over.”
“Oh.” I said. “But you have black hair.”
“I know my hair is different then you white folks, it is the length I am talking about. Look, My barbershop is just down the street if you want to go there. I could probably use a haircut as well.” He said.
“OK.” I said.
I had never been in a black barbershop before. I’ve seen them on TV and in the movies. There is such a different culture around them then what I was used to. We parked the car out front on the main street and walked towards the shop. The door was opened, as it was nice out that day. You could hear the music in the shop playing out in the street. It made for a really cool and relaxing environment.
We went in and took a seat on the bench and waited for a turn. There where 3 barbers working away on customers. Everyone was a black guy in there and I was the only white person in the shop. No one was paying any attention to me any ways so it was no big deal.
One of the barbers was finishing up with his customer. I was amazed at the work. They were fast with the clippers creating fades up the sides and back. I’d never seen it done before. I’ve only ever seen Trevor just after he got his haircut but never seen how they did it. I liked Trevor’s haircut a lot actually. It felt good just after a haircut and I liked the feeling of it.
The barber took the cape off his customer and showed him his haircut with a hand mirror. The customer nodded and got up and paid. He left the shop.
“Next” the barber called out.
”You going?” Trevor asked me.
“Sure.” I said and got up and took a seat in the chair.
I sled my baseball cap off to expose my hair.
“What happened to you girl?” The barber asked me in surprise.
“Oh.” I said. “It was for Charity.” I told him.
“Charity!” he said as he busted out in laughter. “What kind of Charity does that to a person?”
“It’s a long story.” I told him. “Look, can you straighten it out.”
“Straighten it out?” he said. “Only one way to straighten out this mess girl, and that is to go real short.”
“OK.” I told him. “Do whatever you have to.”
He flung the cape over me and tightened it around my neck with a cotton strip. He picked up a large pair of clippers and came around my right side and held the clippers up, over my head.
“You want it shorter up the sides and back or just evened out all over?” He asked before he started.
“You mean like a fade?” I asked him.
“Sure,” He said, “Like a fade.”
You can do a fade if you want.” I told him. “Sides and Back I mean. And longer on top” I said. I guess that was how I wanted it. I was caught up in the moment.
“Baby, you sure you want it that short.” Trevor asked from the bench behind me.
I nodded my head with a smile. “It’s this short already so I might as well.” I said.
“OK.” The barber said as he turned the clippers on.
I braced the arms of the chair as he moved in with the clippers. He placed the clippers on my forehead and pushed them straight back over my head. I watched with excitement as they made the first pass. He was quick to move in for a second pass and in no time the top was taken down to a number 2. He went up the sides and back with the clippers until it was a number 2 all over. I was relieved to see it now all one length, even if it was this short.
He put the clippers down and reached for a smaller pair of clippers. He came around behind me and tilted my head straight down. I heard the clippers turn on. They hummed a lot quieter than the other clippers. He ran them up the back of my head at my hairline creating the fade in the back. I sat there really relaxed at the sensation of how it felt. He tilted my head over to the left and came around my right continuing the fade over my right ear and all the way up to my temple. He came around to my other side and tilted my head to the right continuing the fade over my left ear. He turned the clippers off.
I tilted my head to the side to see my new haircut on me. I was smiling ear to ear at my reflection. The fade was really tight in the sides and back and my short blond hair blended really well with my skin tone. It brought out every feature in my face and extenuate my neck. I loved the way it looked. With the right make-up and dress I new I could really make this work.
He loosened the cape and removed it from me and showed me the back with the mirror.
“Awesome” I told him with a huge smile. I reached up to feel it. “That is so amazing” I said.
I got up and sat back on the bench to wait for Trevor who was now getting his haircut a couple of stations over. I watched as his barber finished his fade up the sides and back with the little clippers with amazement. These guys are true artisans in their craft. I couldn’t help but feel my hair up the sides and back and the short length on top. I loved it.
Trevor was finished and paid for both of our haircuts and we left. We went back to the sorority house and moved all my stuff into my new bedroom. The other sisters were amazed at my haircut. I told them I went to the barbers with Trevor to get it fixed. That was when they noticed we both had the same haircut and kind of poked fun at us. “What, was it a 2 for 1 special?” they joked.
I got dressed up that night and put some make-up on and a tight black dress, one of Trevor’s favourites. I wanted to go out to the clubs and go dancing, as it was Saturday night. I also wanted to show off my new look.
I showed off my dress and my hair to the other sisters and they were all impressed at how good it looked. I was really pleased as well. Never expected for things to turn out like this. Trevor came to get me and nearly fell over when he saw me.
”Damn girl, you look like a Supermodel.” He said as he came to pick me up.
“You like it?” I asked.
“You know I never thought I would but I do.” He said. “Your so hot, you could have shaved your head right down to the wood, and it would still look good on you.” He told me. I was so happy and I gave him a big hug.
I got a lot of attention from people who night out and got a lot of comments about my hair. I loved the attention from it. Trevor and I looked amazing together that night.
I let my hair grow out after but I never forgot the feeling of it being that short. In a year it had grown out into a bob. It was pledge time again. Jessica asked me if we should keep the haircut pledge in this year for the last pledge. I told her we definitely should. It was an amazing experience for me and I felt it should become a house tradition.