"Darlas, I love you, too."
"We should totally have a Pi Phi reunion."
"Yes. We should. Totally."
Ready to reconnect with some good friends, we finally got serious this winter.
Serious equaled creating a Facebook page for my fellow alumni and throwing the idea of a get-together out there. Interest was overwhelmingly positive, so Darlas and I worked together to find a venue and plan a little soiree.
Allow me to backtrack a bit...
When I arrived at the big, intimidating University of Illinois several years (ahem, multiple decades) ago, all doe-eyed and naive and barely past puberty, I knew I wanted to participate in rush and pledge a sorority in order to meet friends quickly. My big brother paved the way for me three years earlier, convincing my parents that the best and fastest way to fit in socially at such a giant school was to join the Greek System. They conceded, making my request easier than a cakewalk. And Big Brother and his fellow fraternity brothers helped a sister out.
That fateful first night of my collegiate career, my brother not only introduced me to my future husband. He also provided me with some guidance on the eve of my first day of rush.
"Jennifer, I will never tell you which house to pledge. Only you can figure that out. But...some of the guys and I got together before going out tonight and came up with something to help you."
He handed me a folded piece of paper, his familiar left-handed scrawl outlining a list of sorts. At that point I honestly couldn't tell the theta symbol from the psi. Nonetheless, his advice was intriguing and marginally helpful. Those brilliant boys from Kappa Sigma categorized the sororities on campus according to the following:
- Biggest Bitch Houses
- Best Face Houses
- Biggest Geek Houses (e.g., won't party with us in football block because they are all home studying. On a Saturday morning. Lame.)
- Coolest Chick Houses
I kept that list folded and hidden amongst my rush materials, referring it to it often over the next several weeks. As I whittled down the list of potential new places to live and people to become friends with, one house stood head and shoulders among the rest. Because the girls were just so cool. And I wanted to be part of their coolness. At the last party, the president of that house offered a nugget of sage advice to me and the rest of the clueless rushees. "Pick the house where you can imagine yourselves brushing your teeth with the women around you."
And that, my friends, is one of the many reasons why I chose Pi Beta Phi.
Cheers to you, ladies! I had a blast seeing you all Saturday, and am thrilled to announce that Jeannie Gura is planning the next gathering.
Ring Ching Ching!