Alpha! Gamma! Epsilon!
My college roommate, aka “Satan,” had a dream. I have dreams too. I dream of large fields of marijuana where I can run and frolic, I dream that my writing will make money one day, and that my dog will finally figure out that he is not supposed to poop on my carpet. Yes, we all have dreams, but her dream was to join a sorority. I could never quite get a handle on her dream, and neither could my other roommate Chanda.
It was 1992 and we were living off the San Diego State campus in an apartment building we called Dormchester. We named it this because pretty much everyone from the dorms migrated to this particular apartment building. It was a medium sized complex with a swimming pool in the middle. I have a lot of fond memories of Dormcester. There were three of us living in apartment 107: Chandra, Satan and myself. Chandra was a very down-to-earth skater type chick. She was tall and skinny and had long blond hair. She usually wore saggy pants with the chain wallet and tennis shoes. She was from San Francisco and always knew about the newest rage in music before anyone else did. She was mellow and I liked her, still do. Satan was from LA. She was about 5’4 and had long red hair. She was perky and personable and usually my partner in crime. She was a business major and spent 90% of her time with her boyfriend. Me? Oh my. Back then I was a kook. I had blond hair and it was so permed I made poodles take a second look. I wore way too much make up and had long red fake fingernails. I was a theater major and also worked as a Corona girl. My job entailed going from club to club with the other Corona girls, wearing clothes that were way too small, and handing out keychains and autographed posters of ourselves to horny college guys. Hey, don’t knock it, it was a living.
Satan had talked about joining a sorority since we had become roommates in the dorm our first year at SDSU. I think what may have deterred her dream a bit may have been my lack of support. More or less I was a dick about this particular dream. I would ruthlessly make fun of the Greeks. Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t so against them that I wouldn’t go to the fraternity parties and drink their beer. They also usually had pretty good bands and the parties were huge. But whenever a fraternity guy would try to hit on me or make out with me they were usually met with a “Are you serious?” You see, Chanda and I liked fraternity parties; we just didn’t like fraternity guys. You could usually catch Chanda and me sitting somewhere with our backpack full of 40’s, watching the bands, and making fun of the girls. We often made up fake sorority cheers, like “Alpha! Gamma! Epsilon! I have got my scrunchie on!” But then there was Satan, dreamy eyed and longing for Greek letters and matching scrunchies.
Rush week came around again and Satan’s curiosity was killing her. I can’t remember which sorority it was that she wanted to join, but I remember they had a huge white house. Satan begged us again to sign up for rush with her. Honestly, I was kind of curious myself. See, the thing about sororities was, they didn’t throw parties like the fraternities did. What went on behind the closed doors of the Big White Sorority House was shrouded in secrecy. They were like virgin territory and almost everyone is dying to just get a peek inside their big white panties. Satan must have sensed that I was wavering, so she promised me that there would be free food and beer. I would do almost anything for free food and beer. And even though the Big White Sorority House was on the other side of campus, my current boyfriend, a really adorable, slightly depressed artist/drummer also happened to live right over there at the time, so it was a wash. I figured that I would have a sandwich and a few beers before I go see Kyle.
We got to The Big White House and Chanda had on her usual uniform: T-shirt, baggy pants, chain wallet, and bored expression. Satan was wearing jean shorts and a pink tank top and was so perky that she looked like a cheerleader who had just done an 8 ball of cocaine. I remember walking in and being a little taken back by the cleanliness of it all. The house was spotless and so were the girls.
“Hi!” said the perky sorority girl. “My name is Tiffany! If you girls will just put your name on these nametags right here we can get you started on the tour, K?”
Oh my God! They all speak in exclamation points! Satan must have given Tiffany some of her cocaine. I know she wants in here but I never thought she would stoop to this level.
So Chanda and Satan both put their real names down on their nametags. Me being…well me, I chose the name of “Beddy,” with two d’s. Beddy is my bar name. I love Beddy and she loves me.
Just then another girl who was obviously in on the coke action swooped me up and separated me from Chanda and Satan. “Hi! I’m Amber! And you are…?”
“Beddy. Two D’s,” I said as I pointed at my nametag. “What about my friends?” I asked Amber.
“Oh…they’re going in another group,” she told me. Amber then proceeded to take me upstairs and started showing me all the girls’ rooms. “Soooo, tell me about yourself! What’s your major?” she asked.
“I’m a theatre major,” I told her.
“Oh my God! You would be soooo perfect! You could totally help us with our homecoming skit!” She squealed.
“Uh-huh,” I said, wondering if I was going to have to mace Amber soon. I was starting to get a migraine. I don’t know if it was the lack of food, or the way that these girls ended every sentence in an octave only dogs can hear. I kept looking behind me and I didn’t see Chanda and Satan anywhere. Amber just kept introducing me to one girl after another and all I kept saying was “Beddy, with two D’s.” Without fail, each sorority girl had the same response: “What an interesting name!”
After I had met all the girls upstairs, Amber led me down another set of stairs and into a sitting room with a large TV. That’s when I saw Kristen and 3 other rushees. Shit! Not Kristen! She and I lived in the dorms together. She knew my name wasn’t Beddy. I quickly grabbed a large portion of my poodle hair and put it over my nametag. Thankfully, if I could just keep my head bent slightly to the left my hair would fully cover my new identity.
“Ladies, this is Beddy!” Amber proudly announced to Kristen and the other three girls. I’m so dead. This is where they kill me and make doilies out of my skin.
“Hi Beddy!” They all said in unison. Kristen looked at me a little funny but considering she and I never really talked in the dorms I was hoping maybe she didn’t really even know my name.
“Have a seat, Beddy,” Amber told me. Of course the only open seat was right next to Kristen. “We have a little video about our sorority we would like you to watch. It will give you a better idea of who we are.”
Video?? Come on. Haven’t I done enough in the name of friendship here? Where is my sandwich and free beer, damn it?
As the video started, Amber said her goodbye and gave me a little wink. I winked back. Why? I have no idea. I had to get out of there before I became one of them.
After the longest 20 minutes of my life was finally over, I was given a questionnaire.
Are you serious? Now I have to answer questions too? I looked down at this thing and I couldn’t believe some of the things they were asking me. Why did they care what my dad does for a living, and what tax bracket we were in? If they only knew I’m the daughter of a professional card player and…wait a second. Let’s be real here. I had already started off the questionnaire with “Name: Beddy.” I could be whoever I wanted to be. I decided that I was the daughter of a Senator from the great state of Delaware. Nobody knows anybody from Delaware. I gave myself 7 brothers and sisters, all of whom had been adopted from different countries. And I made my mom the inventor of the eyelash curler. My hobbies were skydiving, ice climbing, ‘round the world yacht racing, and playing the spoons.
After I filled out my form of disgusting lies, I was ushered into the dining room. Finally! Food? Beer? Nope. Mother’s cookies and some lemonade. Screw this, where’s the door? That’s when I saw my friends.
“Where the hell did you go?” Chanda asked me. I gave them the horrific play-by-play of my tour, concluding with the “Yay-go-team, go-go-team” video. Satan interrupted me. “VIDEO! What video?” Apparently, Satan and Chanda were taken on the much shorter version of the tour. Chanda, being Chanda, could have cared less and was happily munching on her cookies and lemonade. But Satan had daggers in her eyes, and they were pointed right at me. I gave them right back. She wasn’t the one who had to sit through that video and only get a handful of cookies in return.
“Would you like some lemonade, dear?” An older woman asked me while handing me some very pink, very non-alcoholic lemonade. I grabbed my two allotted cookies off the table in the center of the room as Amber told all of us “hopefuls” that we would be receiving calls either tonight or tomorrow to see if we made the cut. If we “made the cut,” we would then get the opportunity to get to know our future pledge sisters at a tea they were having in our honor. Tea? I had just about heard enough.
“I’m outta’ here,” I told Chanda and Satan, and headed for the front door. I said my goodbyes to all my new BFF’s and left The Big White House forever.
Once we got outside I looked at Satan and said, “I don’t know about you but I didn’t see any sandwiches or beer in there. That sucked!” Chanda nodded her head in agreement. “There’s a couple more. Maybe they’ll have food,” Satan said, trying to talk us into going to another Sorority rush.
“No friggin way,” I said.
“No way in Hell,” Chanda added.
I’m sorry. Maybe I should have been more supportive, but I had a cute boyfriend who had food at his house, and I was going there. Considering that Satan’s boyfriend and my boyfriend were close and lived in the same building, she begrudgingly went along. Chanda, Satan, and I got our bellies full, drank some beers and even smoked a little herb. I was a happy camper and Satan had forgotten all about the diss at sorority row.
Later that evening, the three of us walked into our apartment and plopped ourselves down on the couches. Chanda played the answering machine and there it was.
“Hi Beddy! This is Amber! We are happy to announce that we would like you to be a pledge of The Big! White! Sorority! House! The pledge tea will take place…” Blah, blah, blah. Chanda and I both laughed our asses off. As the night went on and no phone calls came for Satan, the joke got less and less funny. This was her dream, not mine. I had gotten a bid despite going out of my way to be an asshole during the entire process. But Satan really wanted to join the Big White House, and they had casually tossed her aside into the “Short Tour” group based on nothing more than a glance. They were assholes for rejecting her, but that didn’t make the sting of rejection feel any better.
Satan and I parted ways not too long after that. We had a falling out for many, many reasons. She ended up switching schools the next semester, and NO it wasn’t because of me. I have to wonder if she ever followed her dream. I know I’m still trying to potty train my dog, and I’m still writing. I did finally go to Jamaica and, thanks to a local “farmer” there, I was able to frolic in a giant field of weed. So you see, some dreams do come true.
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