After three to six years of wrecking your liver, dignity, reputation and GPA for the sake of your chapter, it’s tough to say goodbye and not return. You’ll want to stop back down a few times after graduation and see how the younger kids are doing down, though. What better time to visit the actives than at the beginning of fall semester when the house is still clean and people are eager to party?
Well, things will be a little different this time around.
The actives will be extra nice because they either want A. You to pick/buy up beer, or B. Donations.
Like clockwork, I got the same 8:00 p.m. solicitation for beer last night that I was used to getting every Friday and Saturday for three semesters. In terms past, it came by way of “we need someone with a car to get kegs because Kevin got towed again, Mitch’s car has frame damage from hauling last week, and Dustin can’t even fit a six pack in his Camaro.” Now, I get a “hey, we’re throwing a party tonight at the house. You should come by if you don’t work tomorrow. Also, can you get beer?”
The actives will be nice to you, but only because they usually want something. They won’t be so straightforward as to ask for money. But yeah, they want donations, or for you to bring them good beer. Like Sam Adams or some shit.
You’ll walk up to the house with little fanfare and you’ll walk into the house with even less fanfare.
Remember when you could show up to a party already in full swing and announce your arrival by kicking open the front door, a hard eight on each arm, and a pledge had a pitcher waiting in the foyer? Remember when you could jump over the porch railing and yell “daddy’s home?” Yeah, I remember those days, too.
Now, nobody will name drop you to get in. You lost your column on the guest list – the column that used to go 50 people deep, 90 percent of whom were girls. Actives who pledged while you were still a brother will still entertain you, but inside is a sea of new faces – some eager to make your acquaintance, more who just want to drink your beer and break your shit.
The freshman girls didn’t get any less sexy and you will feel uncomfortable leering at them.
Inevitably, you’ll strike up a conversation with a slutty looking maybe 19-year-old so you can prove to yourself you still have some game left.
Chances are, you’ll have no solid plan for this girl. In the diminutive chance she reciprocates your advances, you’re not going to walk halfway across campus to bang in her dorm with her roommate three feet away and you probably don’t want to fuck her in the back seat of your car or on a house brother’s radioactive futon.
After awhile, she’ll ask what year you are. You’ll tell her you graduated already and you’re just sad and lonely tonight. She’ll look at you with a mixture of intrigue, confusion, and disgust — like she just saw an animal shit at the zoo (or an animal get shot at the zoo). The conversation will fizzle out, and you’ll know what rock bottom feels like.
No one will know any songs you play.
Forget that Sammy Adams song everyone knows; it’s too old for the incoming kids. No one in attendance will know of the OCMS version of “Wagon Wheel.” “Friend’s In Low Places?” Not a chance.
As with every weeklong prelude to fall semester, no partygoers will know your school’s traditional songs right away, so no one will oblige in the usual sing-alongs. Imagine a WVU party full of the freshmen who couldn’t get into Pitt and no one’s singing along to “Country Roads.” It’s a brave new world.
You’ll leave the party by 1:00 a.m. to get a few real drinks and talk to other grownups.
Lukewarm, cheap beer just doesn’t have the same allure it once did when you hit alumni status. There will come a time during the party when your shirt is soaked in a 3:1 mixture of sweat and beer and you’re tired of shoving munchkins to get to the bar. You’ll just want A/C, a west coast baseball game, Jameson/Ginger Ale, pretty girls around your age, and a place to sit down.
That’s Okay. No one expects an alumnus to go the distance during O-Week and Syllabus Week parties. Once tailgating season begins, however, the parties will be on our terms..