Monday, October 3, 2011

are you banging pans?

i should probably blog about this tomorrow night. or better yet, wednesday, when i've had an insufficient amount of sleep that will undoubtedly be more sufficient than what i've been getting.

one word: RECRUITMENT.

my freshman year of college when all my friends went through winter recruitment to join a sorority, i thought, thank goodness i'm not them. there are a variety of reasons for this.

1. it was the height of swim season. i wasn't even doing homework because i was focused on my sport.
2. i don't have enough cute party dresses, and of the ones i do have, they are not warm enough for a michigan february.
3. i've never been fond of hors devourers. (who decided that that was pronounced "or" "dervs"?)
4. it sounded like a bunch of crap, dressing up and going to things called "spreads" and "desserts" and spending all of your free homework time at sorority houses with girls that you didn't know wearing uncomfortable shoes.

greek life was not for me.

then suddenly there was this fall recruitment meeting for upperclassmen and i was like, mmmm sisterhood isn't sounding so terrible. so i went to the meeting and got ridiculously excited and realized, heyyy GREEK IS FOR ME.

i was so excited i called my mom, jumped up and down like a rabbit, and said, "I'M JOINING A SORORITY I'M SO EXCITED OH MY GOODNESS."


my father: that's great! when's recruitment?
my mother: are you sure? i know i was in a sorority but i don't want that influence your decision. are you really really sure? this is a big decision. can you afford it? do you know which sorority you want? what brought this on? have you talked to your brother about it?
my brother: HELL YES!!!!
my grandmother: now emily. i distinctly remember all of last year how when we asked you about sororities that you claimed, very vehemently i might add, that you did not feel like you were the type of person to join one.

thank you, grandma. i changed my mind.

so yesterday was fall recruitment. that entire week of crap with uncomfortable shoes and dresses and freezing your ass off in february and getting invited to spreads (or not getting invited and knowing that a sorority didn't want you), they crammed all of that into one day, and that day was yesterday.

as someone with general anxiety issues, i spent an hour on friday night freaking about my outfit. when i figured it out, i tried it on saturday morning. it looked terrible. after freaking out some more, i finally found something decent to wear.

sunday morning dawned dark and early: seven thirty wake up call. i was woken up by the beautiful NYANTS INGOYAMA BAGITHI BABA of the lion king broadway, which to me, promised a good day. when i really need good days, i wake up to that. while listening to the brilliant soundtrack, i shimmied into my business skirt and honest to goodness, put on makeup.

this is a rare occasion, my friends.

recruitment is a lot of walking in awkward clothing. i am already five foot nine. i do not need to wear hells to accentuate anything. so i was smart and wore my three dollar walmart polka dotted flats.

breakfast in jones auditorium was very reminscent of RA training: bagels, mini muffins and hugs. the best way to spread the cream cheese... paste it on with the back of a broken plastic spork. we sure were classy.

we were then divided, us upperclassmen awkward girls in skirts and dresses, into groups based on the color of our nametags. i lamented that my name, EMILY, in bright green writing, was in much better handwriting than i can ever hope to achieve. i was paired with four other girls, and i knew all of them but one. perhaps today was going to be okay.

it was very cold crossing the street to sorority row. we were going to alpha xi delta first, and based on the stereotypes that i had been accustomed to, my least favorite sorority. i shivered and skittered across the street to the second house with my group, trying not to trip over myself and really unsure of what i was getting myself into. the looks of blank terror on everybody else's faces were telling me that i wasn't alone.

then there was the noise.

each house was filled to the brim with the ENTIRE sorority, not just the girls who lived in the actual house. and boy were they excited.

as we neared AZD, there was screaming. screaming screaming and chanting chanting and then pounding pounding. these girls, dressed in their yellow shirts, were banging on the windows of their house and crashing pots and pans together and simply hollering and screeching. and then we got sucked into the house.

before i could even blink, about eight pairs of hands grabbed me and screamed, EMILY EMILY COME IN HERE and i was forced into the living room where about twenty screaming girls were perched on the furniture. i was shoved onto a sofa with lauren and then these twenty screaming girls began to talk all at once, shaking our hands, asking us where we lived, what we were involved in, AZD was the best house, and would we like food, dear god there's so much food, we absolutely had to eat it and be good guests.

then somebody whisked me upstairs into a room with a name and i sat on somebody's bed where more smiling maniacal girls were pumping my hands and asking me all sorts of questions and going on and on and on.

and so it went. room to room to room, new girls, same shirts, more handshaking, lots of smiling and laughing. internal terror. in every single room there was food that was shoved in my face, and in the basement i astounded half of the sorority with my lion king knowledge. if they give me a bid, i know it will be because of that.

we all went back to jones after forty-five minutes of this, skittering in the cold and holding ourselves. we were terrified. we grouped and whispered about the houses we had been to.

there were four more.

and so it went, house to house, each breaking at jones to huddle and discuss what we liked, what we didn't like.

five houses. three and a half hours. back and forth, pretty girls crossing the street and being mobbed by insane sorority girls all wearing the same shirts cheering and cheering and screaming and banging pots and seeing if they wanted us to join their sisterhood.

it was so overwhelming i thought i was going to die.

after i had been to all five houses, i had four hours to go back to the houses that i liked. there was one that i particularly enjoyed, and i spent a good three hours there playing party games and getting to know the sisters. there was another house that i liked too, so i spent the remaining time there eating cookies and bashing on twilight. (in that house, harry potter is a way of life. i appreciate this.)

i was too tired and too excited to eat dinner. i collapsed on my boyfriend's bed and took a fifteen minute power nap, had a seizure of greek life excitement (it truly was scary) and then realized with horror that i hadn't done ANY of my homework over the weekend and i had to get it all done in the next four hours before i turned the campus yellow for suicide prevention week.

i should be writing this on wednesday because tuesday night is bids bash. here's how this goes down.

if nobody calls me, that means that a sorority wants me. if somebody calls me and says, "hey, sorry, you didn't get a bid", then i'm probably going to curl up in my bed and cry for a little bit because i am too damn excited to join a sorority to be told no.

if nobody calls me, tomorrow night i meet with the rest of the recruitment ladies in a lounge. i select a small bag with my name on it and inside is my bid(s). i have an hour to decide which sorority i want to join and then i sign the bid.

after that we all cross the hall and have a big gigantic terrific party where i'll scream I JOINED THIS SORORITY and all my new sisters will scream something that will sound like SDLJFHGLJSDHFJLHSDJHGSLD WELCOME EMILY and they'll make me put on a shirt and we'll take pictures forever and ever and ever and i will end up being in a frame in somebody's bedroom in the sorority house.

i know which sorority i want to join. and i'm pretty sure they're going to give me a bid. actually, i think they have to because it's the same sorority that my mother was in back when she went to my college and dominated the field hockey team.

greek life. recruitment.

i am really too excited to breathe. i still have to get through the rest of my day today (four classes down, one to go, RA inservice tonight) and then through tomorrow (getting up early and doing more suicide prevention, going back to sleep, doing all of my wednesday homework) before bids bash.

i. cannot. wait.

so maybe greek life is for me after all. it certainly seems like it is.

i also have this distinct feeling that next year, when sophomores go through recruitment, i'm going to have a hell of a fun time banging on the windows of my sorority house and clanging pots together and screaming. screaming is kind of my thing.

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