For the next issue, Tell us about your Big-Little Sister traditions. Reply in 75 words or less to TheEleusis@ ChiOmega.com. Include your first, maiden, and married names, chapter, and initiation year. Deadline: April 15.
Side by Side
How Did You Spend Your First Paycheck?
“How did you spend your first paycheck” is the Side By Side topic we’re
exploring in this issue of The
were plentiful and varied. Many Sisters paid the rent on their first apartment,
purchased home furnishings, made a down payment on a car, or bought clothing to
appropriately reflect their new professional status. Others acquired sports
equipment, jewelry, and designer accessories. Several splurged on gifts for
their parents and one Sister paid for her wedding. Enjoy reading how your
Sisters spent their first paychecks and discovering the generational
differences in purchases.
years are listed with our respondents’ chapters and schools.)
Karen Vannoy Smittle,
Theta/West Virginia U, 1963
Put half of my first paycheck
into a saving account for my husband and I to live on after we got married the
next year, 1967.
Patricia Lincoln Spence, Rho
Alpha/U of Missouri–Columbia, 1965
My first purchase with my
own money was a very cute paisley mini-dress. Thirty years later, my daughter
won a Halloween costume contest with it; she went as a hippie chick! I was
doubly offended: First, because she considered it a costume and second, because
Laura Hill Cantrel, Epsilon
Alpha/U of Oklahoma, 1967
My first paychecks in helped
me purchase a blue '66 Mustang fastback that followed me from Norman, Oklahoma,
to Fort Knox, Kentucky, and the cobblestone streets of Schweinfurt, Germany. I
sold it in Germany but saw in a year later, parked in the parking lot of a
German gasthaus. Knew it was my old car—the Chi O crest was still displayed on
the rear window!
Katherine Moser, Alpha Alpha/U
of North Texas, 1971
With my first paycheck, I
made a down payment on a Steinway piano; I’d just graduated with my bachelor’s
degree in music.
Kate Judge Longo, Pi Epsilon/Roanoke
My first paycheck went to
paying half of the rent on my first apartment in NY City, which Lois Sumpter,
Pi Epsilon, and I shared after graduation from college. At the time, each of us
had to spend one whole paycheck for rent. It was worth it, we had fun!
Nancy Brown King, Upsilon
Beta/Rollins College, 1981
First real job apart from
summers, a Gucci watch. I still have it from starting with my company 2 weeks
out of college, many moons ago. The jeweler was admiring it Saturday when I
replaced the battery. My company has undergone many changes over the 26 years I've
had it—does anyone stay anywhere that long anymore?—but the watch works just
fine, buy quality!
Jan Fulford Davis, Beta
Theta/U of South Alabama, 1985
A Liz Caliborne Purse. I got
it with my employee discount at Gayfer's in Mobile, Alabama. I loved that
Jennifer Fath Bousquet, Pi
Epsilon/Roanoke College, 1987
I got my first paycheck when
I was 15, I worked as a summer camp counselor-in-training and the first thing I
bought was a Walkman. Did I just show my age?
Cathleen (Cathy) Covington,
Omicron Alpha/Coe College, 1988
A Coach briefcase!!
Kim Opitz, Rho Beta/Drake U,
Paid my rent and bought
groceries. What else is a first paycheck for?
Kristin Lennert Murra, Rho
Beta/Drake U, 1988
I was still in high school,
so since I didn't have to pay for living expenses, I purchased a wicker papasan
chair with a forest green cushion (my high school's color) from Pier One. I had
that chair for 20 years -- although I did replace the green cushion for a more
neutral khaki one, and accented it with bright red pillows after I became a Chi
Denise Schwahn, Rho
Beta/Drake U, 1989
It was 1986, and I was 16. I
bought a great denim jacket with my first check. I still
have it, although I don't wear it.
Cindy Day Erwin, Phi/U of
Southern California, 1990
While not with my first
paycheck, after I accepted my first real job, I went to Tiffany's and bought
myself a little silver heart necklace. I figured a real job deserved real
Allison Daggs Hoffmann, Tau
Alpha/Ohio U, 1993
While it wasn't my first
paycheck, it was my first bonus check. I bought a Rolex watch and was so
excited. I still think of my accomplishment to this day when I look at my watch.
Carrie Perll Von Hoff,
Xi/Northwestern U, 1997
My first paycheck went to the
first payment on my white Ford Tempo. I loved being able to drive it!
Jessica Eddy, Rho Delta/U of
Texas–El Paso 1997
A Dooney and Burke purse.
Lisa Schilling Schiele, Iota
Zeta/U of Nebraska–Kearney, 2000
I can't remember the specific item I purchased
with my first paycheck, back in 2002, but I know that the first year of my new
real-world job helped pay for my husband's and my wedding. My parents
generously paid for many things of course, but we contributed a lot too, and
we're still married today 8 1/2 years later. We cherished the day for what it
truly meant and spent a modest amount on an extremely special day. We've
already shared the most amazing moments together and have many years to share
much more. I'm proud to have spent my first year's earnings on something so
special and on something I still have!
Jenn O'Connell, Phi Mu/Lehigh
Charles David, camel, suede
kitten heels in 2005. Still have them and wear them all the time.
Amy Louis Peeples, Theta
Kappa/Baylor U, 2000
My first paycheck came from
Chi Omega Fraternity. As I started my career as a national consultant in 2003 I
knew that I had to choose thoughtfully what clothes to wear. Even though Chi
Omega gave me a clothing allowance, one of the first things I bought with my
earnings was a red (cardinal) suit. Had to look the part sisters!
Meg Corbett Longo, Lambda
Beta/U of Rhode Island, 2002
I pre-ordered a Vera Bradley
Bucket Bag in Petal Pink!
Melanie Daily, Theta
Lambda/Wingate U, 2002
Dinner for my parents since I
was finally able to afford to return the favor.
Rachael Thomas, Epsilon Zeta/Stephen
F. Austin State U, 2003
My first paycheck helped pay
for my new car, had to retire the silver Mazda that got me through college but
broke down every time I drove home. I remember wonderful sisters giving me
Amy Wenzel Martin, Kappa
Zeta/Texas Tech U, 2004
I went on a huge shopping
spree to buy more professional clothing. I think J Crew did very well that day.
Kate Zielinski, Zeta Delta/U
of Nebraska–Omaha, 2004
My first real job paycheck
went to a set of golf clubs. I borrowed my mom's old clubs while I was studying
for the bar exam the summer of 2010. Going to the driving range with a friend
was the perfect way to relax during a stressful time. I was excited to begin
the sport because it is something I can share with my dad. It's a great way for
us to spend time together and he's a great coach. I felt so proud to have
purchased clubs for myself and that it was something to further my relationship
with my amazing dad made it the best purchase I've ever made!
Katie Dickinson, Lambda
Beta/U of Rhode Island, 2006
The first thing I bought with
my first paycheck was a turkey and cheese Lunchable! It was my reward to myself
for having started my first job at a New England grocery chain, at age 15, just
two days after having had all four wisdom teeth extracted! I was still puffy and
so embarrassed that it was too convenient that I was back on solid foods the
same day I got paid for the very first time!
Liz Rader, Psi Delta/U of
I saved most of my first
paychecks in my first job after graduating college so that I could buy a new
car for graduate school since I knew I would be traveling very far away from
home to go to the program I wanted. I successfully bought my car before my grad
program started this fall and was so happy I was financially able to afford to
Amanda Hansen, Beta
Beta/Washington State U, 2007
I bought a bed! Living in SF,
my rent and deposit drained all my savings. I slept on a blow-up mattress for
almost a month! It was worth it though... being financially independent and out
in the real world
Leila Green, Sigma
Lambda/Virginia Tech, 2007
I will never forget that
feeling! It all happened so fast - getting the job, finding an apartment,
moving in... But being able to write that first rent check, knowing it was
coming 100% from ME, not my Dad as it had for so many years in college, was
such a great feeling. I remember telling him how I felt that day and he said
that while he was sad that I wouldn't need him as much anymore, he remembered
feeling the exact same way when he got his first paycheck. However, he's still
managed to come through with some financial assistance when I needed him in a
Kerry Logan, Sigma
Alpha/Miami U, 2007
I put my first two paychecks
from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Metro New York and Western New York towards
a couch for my very own apartment! My first "big girl purchase" and
it is perfect!
Erin Gaudreau, Iota Beta/U of
I paid my rent. Gotta take
care of the necessities!
Karen Thompson, Sigma
Kappa/Austin Peay State U, 2008
My first purchase with my
very first paycheck was a brand new washer and dryer! I was so proud to make
the purchase all on my own!
Amanda Lewis, Eta Alpha/Oregon
State U, 2008
A new Coach purse!! I was
contemplating the amount I was about to spend on it, so I even called my mom...
She knew that paycheck was burning a hole in my pocket! I still have that
purse! :) great memories!
Melissa Vernon Harvey, Alpha
Gamma/Utah State U, 2009
I worked as a soccer referee for a youth
soccer program every spring from age 12 to 16. I put every penny away for those
years and bought a mountain unicycle.
Alyssa Stone, Chi
Lambda/Winthrop U, 2009
It was in between my
freshman/sophomore summer and I had gotten my first 'real' job as a lifeguard
at a waterpark. it was SOOOO awful!!! people would leave their children
unattended and were so rude. it was SO hot outside and we never had breaks. I
got paid and with my very first paycheck ever, i went straight to the bank to
deposit it, and then to the Macy's to purchase my first designer purse (coach)!
It was my PRIDE AND JOY and i stil have it! I probably will never part with it
because it is so sentimental to me :)
Libby Malone, Zeta Delta/U of
I used my first paycheck to
buy a pink iPod mini when I was 15 years old. I still have it, too!
Kayla Pickel, Mu
Gamma/Culver-Stockton College, 2009
In 2006 the first thing I
purchased was... nothing! I put it in my savings account for the thing I bought
with one of my last checks from that job in 2008, a new car!
Kaitlin Goertz, Omicron Kappa/U
of California–Davis, 2010
I took my very first
paycheck, cashed it, and put ALL of it into a massage package for my mom. She'd
been raising me for 16 years at that point. Thought she deserved to have money
spent on HER for once.
Bri Woodside- Gomez, Psi
Alpha/U of Oregon, 2010
I received my first paycheck
when I was 15 from working as a lifeguard. I went straight to the mall and
bought a hot pink coach purse. I still use it today, and every time I look at
it I remember how great it felt to be able to buy it with my own money that I
worked so hard to earn.
Alexandra Garcia, Eta Delta/U
of Florida, 2011
A Lilly Pulitzer dress!
Kelsey Guiot, Pi Delta/New
Mexico State U, 2011
A pair of UGG boots with my
lifeguarding paycheck (meaning I bought them in the summer). I wore them in the
house for months. I was only 16.
Ciara Murphy, Omicron Kappa/U
of California–Davis, 2011
I spent my first summer of
paychecks on a brand new Kitchen Aid Mixer, just like the one I grew up using
with my mom.