CUMMING, Georgia. At first, Tiffany Marie Shoemaker and Naomi Wingate were getting along fine at a Mary Kay Cosmetics party thrown by a mutual friend in this exclusive Atlanta suburb last Thursday night.
“Naomi has a little girl, and so do I, so we were kinda commiserating. Then we discovered we both went to Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, so we shared some fun memories of the good ol’ days!” Tiffany Marie says, smiling through artificially whitened teeth as she straightens her pleated skirt. The two showed each other pictures of their respective daughters, and were getting along famously.
Things turned sour when the two women told each other what sororities they had belonged to, however. “She’s a Tri-Delt, which is basically the biggest bunch of snots in the South,” said Naomi. “She’s a ‘Kite,’” said Tiffany Marie, the derogatory term for a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, a competing sorority.
Kappa Alpha Theta ”sisters” in mourning for dead sorority goldfish.
Tiffany Marie said Naomi’s daughter reminded her of a model from a farm implement catalog, and Naomi replied that Tiffany Marie’s daughter “looked like the Good Lord made her ugly and hit her with a stick.” Tiffany responded that Naomi was sweating “like a bitch wolf in heat,” and diplomatically suggested that Naomi stuff her Target handbag where the sun didn’t shine it was so tacky. When their hostess asked them to take their dispute outside, they did so, along with their “seconds,” two Junior Leaguers with needlepoint headbands who would assist them as they joined a growing number of women taking up a sport previously reserved for Southern gentlemen–dueling.
“Take that, you loathsome vixen!”
Since Tiffany had issued the final insult, Naomi chose the weapons from a standard menu; Salad Shooter, Aqua-Net Spray-On Gel or Pam Cooking Spray. The distance between the combatants was shortened from the men’s standard of forty paces to twenty due to the contestants’ lack of strength. “My momma wouldn’t let me play sports, ’cause she says chunky upper arms aren’t ladylike,” says Tiffany Marie.
Some Southern men say they view this latest feminist inroad into a formerly all-male preserve as troubling. “If the ladies are going to start shooting at each other, who are we gonna defend?” said Ashley Wilkes VIII. “It’s the only quality time guys get to spend together other than hunting, fishing, watching football, drinking, cussing, watching more football and smoking cigars,” he explained. “Oh–did I mention spring football?”
Naomi picks SaladShooters, and says she’ll risk her husband’s wrath for a few hair-raising moments of excitement as she contemplates the prospect of a slice of cucumber whizzing past her ear. “We’ve been cooped up in our air-conditioned kitty-boxes for too long,” she complains. “Why is it only the men who get to go outside and do stupid stuff?”