Sunday, April 20, 2008

In which Greek Life fears me

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in ParisImage via Wikipedia

Freshman year of college is pretty much universally rough. Living away from home didn't bother me, and I adapted to the academics. I did suffer from the unfortunate coincidence of being enrolled in Introductory Philosophy the semester of 9/11 (cue the obnoxious existential crisis), and that was all compounded by the fact that I was having a hard time making friends. Most of the people I knew were forming those first-semester cliques that rarely last but at the same time are impenetrable while they do; I didn't fit in with the girls in my suite; most of the people in my classes were tight with the people in their suites. So I decided to rush a sorority.

I was told that in about four years, only one candidate had not made it into a sorority, and she had not bothered to participate in the process. Pretty inclusive group, don't you think?

In this process, the three sororities that were on campus at the time essentially advertised themselves to the candidates, giving us a sense of their personalities, values, and social habits. At the same time, they subtly judged the candidates in turn, looking to see exactly who would fit in best.

I was meticulous, carefully weighing each against the others, taking notes and asking detailed questions.

This process ended when the sororities announced which girls they were interested in. Each girl was issued invitations to parties thrown by the sororities that chose them; if all three liked a girl, she could attend up to two. After the parties, both girls and societies re-evaluated and made a final choice.

Does it surprise you at all that the day of this announcement, I got a phone call to warn me (for the sake of my feelings) that I had not received any invitations?

Oh, but I could be put in reserve and join up should anyone drop out and leave a vacancy! Please. You don't want me; I won't burden you with my presence. But why, I asked, did this happen? Was any feedback given?

It turns out the sisters were intimidated by my note-taking.

That's right.

My rational, sensible decision-making skills made them uncomfortable. Red flag, much?

In retrospect, the girls who were sought after by all three sisterhoods were the kind of girl I don't really get along with. In fact, my closest friends have always been guys. So this worked out pretty nicely, overall.

Except, I didn't exactly have high-status guys chasing me. Or, you know, guys, plural. There was one low-level stalker, but I've seen him at work on other girls and he has pretty low standards (those standards being: they have a conversation with him). But let's use a metaphor...You wouldn't go to the Lindt store for ice cream. You might be convinced they'd have amazing ice cream; you may really wish they had ice cream. But going to the Lindt store and trying to buy ice cream is just stupid. Won't do you any good. So even though it's inferior chocolate, you settle for Dairy Queen. And now, I'm engaged to a man who really knows how to appreciate a special edition truffle.

The good
Dude, are you kidding me? I intimidated the sisters! If that's not the best rejection I've received in my life, it definitely ranks in the top five.

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