Invitations to join academic honorary societies always struck me as somewhat more annoying than flattering. Many of them seem to exist merely to give college students another activity to put on their resumes in exchange for a modest fee. Needless to say, I didn't join a lot of honorary societies.
Yet, Friday afternoon I found myself signing a membership roll and trying not to giggle while learning a very strange secret handshake. What was different this time? Maybe it was because I'd actually heard of the organization before; because my dad's older sister was initiated decades earlier; because the chapter president is an ancient theorist from the physics department and the chapter secretary is one of my favorite English professors and associate dean of the honors college; or because the note inviting me to join included the proviso that the honors college would pay the lifetime membership fee if I could not afford it, making this a slightly less money grubbing operation. Maybe I just wavered and let my vanity get the best of me.
I'll have to swing by the honors college office to pay the membership fee on Monday. After accepting the invitation and resigning myself to wasting $55, I was informed that I could request reimbursement from my scholarship funds so membership in this organization will cost me nothing. That's very budget friendly indeed.
There's one little problem: I'm now tempted to spend the money on something even more pointless. Members of this honorary organization are allowed to wear a lovely little trinket. Given that I don't have a pocket watch that needs winding, it would serve no useful purpose, but I covet it nonetheless. A reprieve from wasting money one thing doesn't mean I ought to waste it on something else, and wearing the dang thing would probably get me labeled a pretentious twit. Still, I keep thinking about how for a mere $38 I could have the official watch key and a chain to wear it on shipped to me. Please remind me that I don't need any more shiny things or ego enhancers.