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It’s a Wednesday in the second week of August and I’m sitting in an office in Austin, Texas, working – well, sort of. If you consider sorting through pictures of boobs and sending colorful death threats to a Twitter account made for the peacock that lives outside our office “work,” then yes, I’m working. In the end, it doesn’t really matter what I’m doing. What matters is what I’m not doing. I’m not 781 miles north of my Austin, Texas office, in Columbia, Missouri, where the University of Missouri’s sorority rush is taking place. It’s a Wednesday, which means it’s not just rush week at Mizzou, it’s the best day of rush week; it’s Sundress Day, and I’m not there to
drunkenly, obnoxiously, shamefully revel in enjoy it.
I’m not shamelessly staring at gorgeous freshmen strutting around with sweet, friendly smiles, and by now I assume very few, if any shreds of sanity left, as the heat and constant walking makes rush something of a cross between a Lily Pulitzer fashion show and the Bataan Death March. A Pi Chi will no doubt be reminding all the PNMs, “Remember girls, keep up! Stragglers will be shot! K?”
The first casualty of rush is innocence, and watching it die from a couch on a fraternity house lawn is pretty awesome.
I’m not drinking either, though I guess I could go grab a beer from the fridge. There’s really no excuse for not having a cold one. Still, beer is no Trops; the magical, frozen, alcoholic nectar that any good fraternity man in Columbia reaches for on a hot day, or a cold day, or any day, really. A day you don’t want Trops is day you aren’t alive. Dammit, this office needs a blender.
Rush week is a little bittersweet, too. All schools are different, but at Missouri, like many other universities, the girls, both freshmen and upperclassmen, are forbidden from hanging out at fraternities during the week. The guys, of course, know how to cope. There are always some attractive GDI girls out at the bars, plus, you know, townie strip clubs. It’s like a drought of sorts, insomuch as there isn’t anything moist around. And, like an old, weathered farmer staring out upon his fallow fields with his anxious young son, the older guys turn to the younger ones and reassure them, “We will get by, we always do.” Then they all drink twenty beers, hop into trucks, and hit the aforementioned townie strip clubs. Think of the strip clubs as a tits and ass soup line in the weeklong vagina depression that is sorority rush. Sure, like a soup line meal the strip club isn’t as satisfying and it might give you hepatitis, but you make do.
Even if the girls were allowed to hangout at fraternities for the week, the ones already in houses barely have time for anything else anyway. Between the skit rehearsals, perpetual panic attacks, planning ways to ostracize that sister who was SO awkward to that PNM today and now everyone’s talking about it, and finding the least mean way possible to explain to the quorum, “no fatties,” it’s a busy week. With tiers teetering in the balance, there’s no time to fuck around.
It’s a testament to how glorious rush is that you don’t even need to be hanging out with the girls to have a blast. One of my fondest memories was throwing a fiesta in our front yard. We all donned sombreros, decorated the porch with inflatable cactuses and piñatas, and drank margaritas out of solo cups as we shot cap guns into the air in celebration and
harassed conversed with the girls walking by, respectfully, of course. In retrospect, we should have gotten in deep shit for that. It was a perfect storm of mild racism, blatant disregard for alcohol policy, and miscellaneous jackassery. We were really firing on all cylinders that day.
Not that many fucks are given on a normal day, but with the girls too preoccupied to put up with our bullshit, things tended to get excessively stupid, which, as always, is a blast. This was perhaps best represented by one of our favorite activities: pledge jousting.
Then there is, of course, the very best part of rush week. The end. Bid day parties, where you finally get to meet all the girls you’ve been not so subtly creeping on, and, frankly, probably loudly discussing while they were within earshot.
Freshman Girl: Weren’t you the guy wearing the sombrero who said I looked like a Dakota Fanning but with a sweeter rack?
Guy: I don’t recall that happening.
Freshman Girl: Are you lying?
Guy: No, I mean I just literally don’t recall that happening. I was blackout for most of the week.
There are few things better than partying with one group of girls who have no idea what an asshole you are, and another who are just so relieved to see guys again and be done with rush that they don’t care what an asshole you are.
I watch those videos, and I see the tweets people send me, and I can’t help but hate being in the office this week. I should be on a couch, on a lawn, with a drink and without shame. Next year I’m going all Anderson Cooper on rush and reporting live from the scene. Why did I not think of that this year?!? DAMMIT! Now I’m just upset. I’m grabbing a beer and making the intern move the office couch outside. Maybe that will make me miss sorority rush a little less.