“What the fuck is wrong with you?” That’s probably what at least one parent will be thinking or asking the first time their freshman comes back home. In August they sent away a sweet boy to pledge a fraternity and pursue a degree. In November they finally get their first look at the evolution of that boy. One day, four to six years later, that evolution will be complete and a fine upstanding gentleman will be standing in front of them. However that’s not what any parents will be seeing when their darling freshman fraternity man comes back home for the first time. Instead they will be greeted by someone who spent the last few months living like he was an alcoholic indentured servant in an upscale refugee camp.
The returning freshman has adapted to the lifestyle of his fraternity. His hard drinking, slam chasing, zero fuck giving existence makes him a one man culture shock. From the moment he walks in the door the differences are obvious. Where he used to casually flirt with his sister’s sixteen year old friends he is now shamelessly putting on a full court press…and they’re loving it. Later that night he will be buying them beer and locking down some well deserved car sex. Whether or not that pans out he will also be texting all of his old high school slams. Thanksgiving break is a week off for his brain, not his dick.
He will also be drunk, really drunk, and often. To his parents he will probably be shockingly drunk. They will wonder how an 18-year-old could possibly drink so much. Little do they know that nearly a full semester at school has trained his liver to take a beating like a 99%-er who unwisely throws an egg at a cop in full riot gear. If his drinking were a movie montage it’d be the one from Rocky IV. At the family party he will be out drinking the clan’s incumbent drunk uncle, a man with more DWI’s than children. His parents will watch as he comes back from the restaurant bar double fisting whiskey gingers, wondering both how he got the drinks and his impeccable taste in them. 4 AM every morning is an unwelcome wakeup call for his family as he stumbles in the front door from wherever the hell he was (probably out nailing the aforementioned high school slam).
No longer being a pledge the freshman will also feel on top of the world. In his mind Thanksgiving dinner is a feast honoring his triumphant return. After pounding whiskey all afternoon he boldly takes the seat at the head of the table and demands both turkey legs. He sits there like King Henry, swilling liquor and wine while gorging himself. All his family can do is watch in awe.
Out on the town he and his fellow high school friends who wisely made the decision to pledge a house are kings. JUCO GDIs who normally have their run of the bars in town watch with jealousy as their feeble reign over the area is commandeered effortlessly in a single night. Everywhere he goes is a high school reunion and he’s the best thing there, but he’d rather be somewhere else. As soon as he locates someone to slam he closes and is gone.
The freshman fraternity man returning home for Thanksgiving break is an entirely different person than the one that left. He’s faster, stronger, drunker. He’s a grown ass man in all the wrong ways. He doesn’t adjust to his new surroundings, he forces his new surroundings to adjust to him. It’s just easier that way. The next time he returns, for Christmas, no one will be caught off guard anymore. His parents will be prepared. His high school slams will be ready and waiting. His drunk uncle will have conceded his title. All because that first Thanksgiving break was the ultimate reintroduction.
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