Home and Deranged
Rush 2.0: Finding friends in the working world
Recently my best friend found herself in the news over a sorority rush e-mail gone awry.
As rush chair, she sent out a totally outrageous, hilarious e-mail to her sisters with very strict instructions about what attire would and would not be acceptable in her sight during recruitment week.
Name-dropping brand names, condemning “gross plastic shizz” and laying out strict guidelines about the use of satin (hint: don’t) sent her e-mail careening through Ivy League mailboxes and ultimately onto a handful of widely read national blogs.
Although it’s been a tick since I was in the thick of sorority rush madness (though our dress codes never went viral), I’ve found that courting new girlfriends in the working world can be something like Rush 2.0.
Rounding up a new pack of girls bears a striking resemblance to the Greek system: Trying to forge relationships in artificial environments (read: bars), dealing with crazy “legacies," and being pressured to make a good first impression.
Scouting out girlfriends in the post-graduate world is a daunting task, and often induces more anxiety for me than dating. Guys have it easy. They meet through mutual friends, work or perhaps a grown-man sports league, go out for a drink, and boom: They’re bros. Making girlfriends is another sport entirely.
One of my friends jokes that she hates girls by default that aren’t already her friends. We know she’s not entirely joking, but before we get into the demise of feminism and bemoan how women are our own worst enemies, let’s just admit it. Especially in the happy hour scene, we often look at each other askance, drinking in our competition along with our cocktails.
And once you’ve decided a fellow femme is less a threat than a potential bestie, how do you go about getting numbers? Inviting her out for your first girl-date? Do you go solo and risk the awkwardness, or do you “hot box” her — as it was termed during sorority recruitment — and descend on her with a group of friends, hoping she doesn’t get totally creeped out?
When I re-friended Steph — the starter dough (or mother sponge – see Wikipedia) of my Houston friends — we went solo. It’s imperative to make a good impression on these first girl-dates, lest they think your off night is standard. I’ve run a fairly successful rush in Houston, but puking in a cab on the first outing isn’t something I’d recommend. Blame it on the alcohol. Sweet-tea vodka is a cruel mistress.
I called Steph the next day and left a trembling voicemail: “Hey Steph, it’s me. (Caroline). I, uh, well . . . I totally understand if you don’t want to see me again.”
Little did I know that despite my gastrotechnics, she was enamored. While I wrung my hands over the botched date with my girl-crush, she was engaging her older sister in the most heated rush ritual of them all: Pro-con-pro. Pro-con-pro is essentially a timed shouting match over the merits of a potential rushee — someone always cries.
Alexis heard the story and was understandably hesitant to offer me a bid. Steph countered her with a rapid-fire listing of my finer points and in the end, I was in.
We've added some quality members since then and are growing strong. Alexis thankfully re-evaluated.
Now all we need is a house.