Every year of high school, I got an invitation to the smarty party. Otherwise known as the National Honor Society. I don't even remember what the criteria was to be a part of it every year, but every year my grades were good enough to get invited to the party.
We'd all go into the gymnasium that was decorated and set up for a dinner, and we'd get our certificates and photos taken. The best part for me, to be honest, is that I got a new outfit every year to attend "in style." [I say that lightly considering it was the late 80s early 90s.] We wore strict uniforms at my school so having an excuse to go shopping was the highlight.
Yep. I was the girl who loved the smarty party for the clothes.
Later in life, that attitude shone brightest when I took a trip to visit an old boyfriend of mine who was attending Notre Dame. My friends Nicole, Heidi and I had a great adventure getting very lost on our way home, which you can read about and laugh at us by clicking here. But there was a very big lesson I learned about myself that weekend.
I learned that I am not smart enough to attend one of their beer parties let alone their university.
Seriously, people. We had gone to the Penn State/Notre Dame football game earlier in the day, and it seemed like a normal college. We drank, we cheered, we won in the final moments, rushed the field and tore down the goal posts. It was exciting. It was nuts. It was fun. It was college.
And then we went to what appeared to be a normal house party. There was used, beat up furniture, there were kegs in the corners, there was fun and laughter. I was great until people started talking.
And the ramifications of political decisions.
Needless to say, I drank a lot and kept my mouth shut so as not to shame the good name of the University of Northern Iowa by admitting I was lost as soon as we handed over our money to get in the door.
But I'm glad I had that experience because now I know I'm not a dumb girl, but I also know what being smart is really all about. And because I know that, I have absolutely no shame in taking this moment to brag as any proud Auntie should by telling you all that
MY NIECE ANNA GOT HER LETTER OF
EARLY ACCEPTANCE INTO THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME.
And while I can take no credit for her academic achievement, I can tell you all that she was invited to the ultimate smarty party and when she shows up well dressed in a new outfit, that part will totally be my influence.
I'm a smidge proud.