Last night I went to a frat.
Oh, excuse me, a fraternity. They get hinky about being called a ‘frat’, because this particular…fraternity does their drinking and smoking and trying-to-get-laid in a way that truly promotes the spirit of brotherhood. They are insulted by the word ‘frat’.
Fair enough. Starting over.
Last night I went to a fraternity. We got there at midnight thirty and stayed until well past two. Laura and I don’t typically go to loud places with lots of people and music and beer flying everywhere and girls who need more pants than they have, so it was kind of an experience. We had some good friends who like to spend time there every now and again, and we were more there for them (and for the Beirut tables) than anything else.
The whole thing made me feel like an old woman. The younger girls, sophomores and freshman, either skittered around giggling about how much alcohol they’d had or swam around the dance floor in liquid parodies of themselves, clinging to the necks of the men and coiling their limbs around each other while casting sultry glances towards the fraternity brothers playing beer pong across the floor. I stood in a corner and talked to my friends, shooting dirty looks every time a stray buttcheek got flashed beneath the hems of their glorified underpants.
It was admittedly nice to hang out with some new people. I’ve been very reluctant to make many new friends (or deepen the friendly acquaintances that I’ve already made) in the face of graduation, but there’s something about being cast off into the wide world that is bringing all of us seniors closer together. There are girls, especially in my sorority, that I’ve admired for years and never really hung out with, and I’m now suddenly finding myself with the undeniable opportunity to do so. Last night I chatted with a friend for two hours. She’s a bright, funny girl with a talent for cussing creatively and an underlying current of philosophic leanings. It was the sort of conversation where you don’t even want to say anything. You just want the other person to keep talking, because you want so much to see what they have to say. And now I know that we should’ve hung out more while we were in school.
Today I’m going to the beach with Laura and a couple of other sorority girls. One is a bit younger than us and knows EVERYTHING THAT EVER HAPPENED ON THE INTERNET, which is really impressive, actually. The other is a quiet girl (not to be confused with shy) who I’ve wanted to hang out with for years. She’s amazingly intelligent and responsible, but has a funny streak that winds through all that and pops up when you don’t expect it. She’s going to come with us to the beach and to see Star Trek and to have a few drinks with us tonight, and I’m all at once eager to get to know her better and scared that she’ll be as totally bodacious as I think she is, and then we’ll never hang out again.
Graduating is hard.
I think most of this new-friendness is the result of a sort of last-minute honesty. We are suddenly looking around and noticing all of the people who have listened to us from the beginning and have been waiting to say hello, but we’ve been procrastinating on it. And when we suddenly discover we’re being heard and we’re liked just as much as we like others, we begin to talk and out of that comes an immediate bond that’s lovely and inspiring and depressing and illuminating.
I think life is made of the things we say when we discover that somebody’s listening.
The weather at the beach is supposed to be gorgeous today.