“Are you a brother here?”
It was a question I probably had heard at least 80 times that week, always from freshmen who weren’t sure whether to suck up to me or treat me like another random dude. They were interested in joining my fraternity, or at least secure their invite to getting free booze for the rest of the week. No hard feelings, we budget for that.
But this guy was different. He was dressed in a full suit, and held a deck of cards in his hand. I wasn’t sure if he was a genius, or a complete fucking weirdo.
“I’m a brother, my name is Kenny, what’s yours?” I usually wanted to tell these guys to fuck off and to bother someone actually on the bid committee, but maybe we had a gem here.
“Barney Stinson,” He declared matter-of-factly.
“I get it, the suit, the magic tricks, that’s funny,” I laughed, ever-so-fakely. “But what’s your real name?”
“Barney Stinson,” He once again declared, matter-of-factly.
It cleared up any confusion that I had.
Fall Rush Week is a magical time on college campuses where Greek Life runs the social scene. With no exams or assignments due in the near future, college is still basically a booze fueled summer camp where Monday and Tuesday are equally as poppin’ as Friday and Saturday. If you’re in a frat during rush week, freshman guys want to suck up to you, and freshman girls want to suck you off. It’s a shitshow largely fueled by cluelessness.
Freshmen don’t know any better. If you were like me as a freshman, you wandered the streets with your entire dorm floor and walked up to every house playing loud music. You asked the two dudes standing at the front if you could go in. They end up letting the 5 most attractive girls in your group in and send the rest of you packing. So once you finally get inside a house, it’s a blessing. This is so much better than when the high school lacrosse team threw down after raiding Carl’s parent’s liquor cabinet. Dancing girls, an unattended handle of fruit punch Burnett’s vodka, and you have no idea if you’re in Delta Sigma Phi or FIJI’s house. It doesn’t matter, the guys who live in this house are BROS, and you want to party with them for the rest of your college career.
Hundreds of people will come to your party during rush week, and they’re more than likely either not cool enough to hang out with you, or too cool to hang out with you. But they don’t know that yet, so you either want to scare them off by telling them how you had “unspeakable things done to you during your pledging,” or that there was “basically no pledge process at all.”
After refusing to reveal his real name,”Barney Stinson” was a clear case of, “guy you want to tell that your fraternity has the highest death rate for pledges, and that we were in the news for the Oklahoma chapter chanting the n-word on a bus.”
I watched “Barney” perform a card trick, was still not convinced he wasn’t a complete fucking loser, and then sent him off to fail at impressing other brothers. Probably so I could talk to some girls who wanted to make sure they could find alcohol tomorrow.
You don’t need to be a polo-sperries-croakies fratstar on your first day of fraternity rush. I still would never fucking wear croakies. I rushed in cargo shorts and thought that wearing a graphic tee was acceptable on a preppy campus, and burned all of my cargo shorts shortly after initiation. You’ll figure it out.
If you’re cool enough, a frat will bid you regardless of what crap you’re wearing. Just be natural and you’ll find the right fit. But if you’re trying to impress people, wearing a suit and doing card tricks is probably not a way to make friends with someone who’s house you snuck into.