Monday, April 22, 2019

Etiquette and Pinning Sweethearts

Some of the “unwritten laws of etiquette,” like those for the “pinning” or “lavaliering” of college sweethearts, are passed on generationally in fraternities and sororities. “Ever since society allowed young people to see one another in a romantic setting, dating formalities have existed from gentlemen callers to today’s less formal art of ‘hooking up.’ Somewhere in between lie two levels of commitment familiar only to Greeks – lavaliering and pinning. Lavaliering is a Greek tradition born out of various dating rituals going back to a pre-Penn State era. An actual lavaliere is a necklace with the fraternity's letters on it. The level of commitment varies from fraternity to fraternity and school to school. Some fraternities don't recognize lavaliering, and others don't allow members to pin the women they date. But if a fraternity allows members to lavaliere their partners, it adds a more concrete commitment to the relationship than what existed in the past...” – Pictured above, a Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity pin- Quote from The Daily Collegian, 1992

“Pinning” is Social Security for College Students

Sometimes a mother is upset by the news that her daughter has accepted the fraternity pin of a college beau. But there are several reasons why this campus custom can mean much to the future happiness of the boy and girl involved. Pinning is a kind of social security in the years before marriage. Less binding and more private than an engagement, it is an attempt to find someone to depend on. 

For hundreds of years a woman could only be single, engaged, married, widowed, or divorced; pinning has created a new social status. You won't find the rules of pinning in the etiquette books, many parents have never heard of it; society doesn't recognize it; but those most concerned honor and understand it. – San Bernardino Sun, 1953

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

No comments:

Post a Comment