I’ve been sharing some of the new material I wrote for my book proposal; one of the first essays is my impression of Bid Day as a pledge. Later in the story, there is a similar essau that gives my impression of Bid Day from the other side — once I was recruitment chair. At that point, I had been doing the whole recruitment thing for a few years (and getting frattier and frattier).
I was so proud of myself; I ran an extremely successful recruitment. It wasn’t always easy, and after living and breathing the house songs, PNMs, dress checks, and good conversation topics for eight weeks, I was ready to be done. After removing my heels and super-little LBD after Preference, I stayed up all night eating junk food with Julia and waiting for our bid list.
The morning of Bid Day, on zero sleep, I celebrated our success by eating three pieces of leftover cheesecake and waffle fries, which I washed down with a Diet Coke the size of a kiddie pool. This promptly made me violently ill, so as the limo picked up the new pledges and our girls waited for them at the house with their new T-shirts and fabulous party, I was vomiting in the bathroom, missing all the fun. Our 150-year-old Southern advisor told me I was lucky. “At least you didn’t have to stick your fingers down your throat,” she said.
I wasn’t too upset about missing Bid Day. I had talked to most of the girls during recruitment, and anyway, it wasn’t like they were any different from any other new members I’d ever met. We always wanted to get the best girls, but the fact remained: the new hos were always the same.
The Lush. This was the girl who was cute, outgoing, and who we all loved during recruitment. Then during the first new member meeting, she’d start asking about social events. “So who is our tailgate partner?” “Where is date party this semester?” Before we could even say, “Bitch, you can’t even name the founders!” she was drunk and flirting with an older sister’s boyfriend. She was the one who couldn’t obey “dry week,” who called it “fucking bullshit” when we told her to stop drinking Jager before Serenades, and who was puking at the first date party. When this happened, the older girls would always turn to each other like concerned parents and ask, “Where did we go wrong?”
The Virgin. This girl was cute and maybe even had a boyfriend, but when the new pledges started talking about guys at their first sleepover, she’d confess that she was still a virgin. There were some times as many as five virgins in any given pledge class. It was always a head-scratcher. We’d think, “You’re hot, you make out with randoms, you binge drink several times a week…why the hell are you a virgin?” It was always slightly awkward for her at first, since she was surrounded by girls who at this point had landed in the hospital at least once for banging too hard, but everyone was always down with her cherry – at least until junior year, when it just became annoying and awkward. That was rare though; once the fledgling sorostitutes moved into the house, they started swiping their V cards rather quickly.
The Teetotaler. There were always one or two non-drinkers. We told PNMs during recruitment it wasn’t a big deal if they didn’t drink, and really, it wasn’t. But there was always one older girl who got really pissed off about this and seemed to hate the one who chose to abstain. She’s claim, “She’s not nice! I saw her on campus one day and she didn’t even fucking wave to me!” This was a lie; the older girl was just pissed that not everyone was a drunk like she was.
The Prude-Till-She-Drinks. This girl was usually rocking a polo and pearls so hard, we’d wonder if we could even swear in front of her. Then after a few rounds of flip cup, she’d start telling the frat guys how she loooooves making out with her girlfriends. She was the sorostitute equivalent of a drunken secretary, and it was usually just highly amusing. Except when it was annoying — for inexplicable reasons, this girl was also quite often the type to get drunk and start crying.
The Greek Freak. This girl was, from day one, OBSESSED with our house. In fact, “OMG OBSESSED!!!!” was all over her Facebook profile and her books, clothes, and dorm room were covered in our Greek letters. She’d tell everyone she met, “I knew from THE FIRST DAY OF RECRUITMENT THIS WAS THE HOUSE FOR ME!” She loved the sorority almost as much as she loved the color pink. The older sisters appreciated her enthusiasm and her willingness to get involved because we could so often take advantage of it and get her to help us with annoying tasks. Still, sometimes we just wanted to hose her down. And then politely remind her that wearing lettered flip-flops, T-shirt, hat, and bag was letter overload, and she needed to fucking settle.
The Crazy. This girl was very pretty, so everyone liked her at first. After a few weeks, her insanity started to show. Maybe she acted like a total freak at the first social event, or maybe we realized she lived in a weird dorm. Someone would realize they had a class with her and they would befriend her, only to discover she’d talk about strange or socially unacceptable topics on the walk home. She was just crazy. A lot of times the older girls freaked out, but crazies so often dropped out before they moved into the house. People like that just can’t sustain large groups and frequent social events for too long.
The Legacy. Most pledge classes had more than one legacy in them, and there were a few different types. In my experience, the Goodie-Two-Shoes Legacy was most common. This was the girl who was pretty and outgoing, but she was also overconfident because her mom lived in our very house. She was fond of saying, “Well, that’s not how they used to do it when my mom was here.” She’d point out her mom on the composite picture from the 70s every time we walked by it. She wore “vintage” letter gear and her mother’s pearls to constantly remind us she was a legacy. She was pretty and well-meaning so we gritted our teeth and just accepted it, even though deep down we just wanted to strangle her with her pearls.
The Slider. The slider was usually a little plain, or had a lame major, or spent too much time talking to the House Mom, but somehow she just managed to slide in. Like parents with a troubled teen, we’d start blaming each other. “Who talked to this girl?” “Who gave her a high score?” As recruitment chair, I was actually able to answer that question with facts, but I kept that info to myself, unless the person hating on the slider was a total bitch. Then it was fun to say, “You did. Second party. Don’t you remember?” The Slider was not a legacy, which made her presence more confusing/irritating to the bitchiest seniors. She would never, ever drop out, no matter how much anyone alienated her. And believe me, they did.
Every pledge class in every house was filled with these exact same girls. The only difference between houses, then, was the proportions. Some houses had more lushes, some houses had more sliders. My house was heavy on the Prudes-Till-She-Drinks. We were often called Catholic school girls gone wild, and considering how many of us came from private all-girl high schools and then discovered in college how much we liked sleeping around, I found that description accurate.