I always take the joke too far. If there’s a line, I soar right over it. So it was only natural that when people joked about me rushing a sorority as a senior, I went home, paid the fees, and signed up.
Even though I was rushing as joke, I still took the actual process very seriously. I showed up to all the pre-rush meetings, attempted to make friends with my group, and agonized over the perfect outfit for the first day (the decision between jeans and leggings kept me up). As the first day of rush approached my only problem was that no one in my rush group liked me. I had assumed that because I was a senior they would all gather around me for my insider tips and Greek wisdom.
Instead they stayed away like my awkwardness was contagious. Because they all insisted on ignoring me, I would just sporadically leap into conversations without even turning around to face them. I’m pretty sure that even though they refused to show it, they appreciated my Wizard-of-Oz-like- advice on sophomore housing, the grossest dorm food, and hazing. I’m hopeful that one day I’ll overhear one of the freshman saying “that awkward-senior in my rush group did always say to stay away from quesadilla night at the dining hall.”
The first day of rush was everything I had imagined. I cracked myself up every time I got to tell someone I was a senior and gave them some new scenario for why I was rushing. My answers ranged between, “I just found out about Greek life,” to “I’ve been saving up dues for the past four years.” And then, right before I entered my 10th house, a representative from the Panhellenic council appeared and said that I was needed. I joked with her the whole way there, accusing them of ageism. And when I say we joked I mean I told jokes and she ignored me.
I was sat down at a table across from the council (which included ADULTS!). Everyone had their most serious faces on and I started to worry that at some point during the day I had blacked out and killed an entire sorority. I couldn’t imagine why else they were so angry with me. Then it began.
“Jenni, we’ve been informed that you’re making a documentary on rush. We need to know right now if you’re wired.”
I informed them I wasn’t, even though at that point I wish I had been. This would have been fabulous footage for my “documentary.” And even though part of me wanted to take the joke a little further and whisper into a pen “abort mission now,” I pinky swore to them that I was not wired.
While the United Nations of Sororities was interrogating me, every sorority was informed that the senior rushing was wired. While I at first laughed when I started getting the suspicious texts from greek friends asking if it was true, I soon realized that everyone now believed that I had purposefully betrayed them with my supposed hidden cameras.
So my joke took on a life of its own and I’ve now been accused of everything from a student newspaper expose to a Sundance documentary. It’s been almost two weeks now and even though I’ve stopped getting the point-and-stares (that’s THE senior) I’m still in amazement at how quickly my joke went so horribly wrong. At least I’ll be remembered after I graduate.
BTW, out of curiosity, I googled wires and discovered to be fully wired (not including the required van) cost around $37,000.