"ever forward"

Today, we did not realize, was Bid Day at American.  For those uninitiated into sorority culture, it comes after Rush, which is when prospective girls and sororities attend a massive amount of get-togethers in the attempt to find a good match with each other.  

Bid Day is a Big Deal.  It is when you find out which sorority picked you -- there is a complicated mutual matching process, but that is a post for another day -- and at a pre-arranged place, all the sisters gather and welcome you into the sorority.  There is, to be expected, a lot of screaming involved.  It was this particular screaming that caught our attention in the middle of "Colloquium: History of the United States 1865 - Present" because it was all around us and quite honestly, came out of nowhere.

It's a big class, and a significant chunk of them are girls, and I was the only sorority member there.  I realize that there is a nerd factor with History MAs that does not usually correspond on the Venn Diagram of Life with sorority membership, but it's not unheard of.   Still, everyone was rolling their eyes at "those sorority girls" and while I realize that's a typical response, I wasn't sure how to explain.  Of course, I mentioned that I was the only one there (laughing) but I couldn't really explain Bid Day. 

My Bid Day was fabulous.  There were only 4 of us, because we were the smallest sorority, and other groups had new member ("pledge" having all those connotations, it's no longer used) classes of 20-25, but we were 4.  We had to run the length of the soccer field, because that's where the Sigma girls were, but it was exhilarating, running all the way, and running right into screaming, hugging, happy girls who were so thrilled to have us.  Of course, I knew most of the girls at this point (and lived with some of them) but nonetheless it was wonderful.  

The next year, I helped at Rush and again, they had a low number of girls.  This was particularly painful, because we had worked so hard and met some wonderful girls.  But that's how the chips fall.  Everyone was depressed, and showed it on the field, before our new girls came out to meet us.   I realized then: Wow, they must have been sad last year too -- but I had no idea.  I had no idea that to get a class of 4 is a hard blow to the sorority, and painful doubly so because of all the other classes around you at that exact moment.  I just felt loved and so close to all my friends.

I was determined to not let the new girls feel this way.  We chanted and cheered until we couldn't scream anymore, because I wanted them to have the same experience that I did.  That welcoming sense, that love, that embracing (literally) that I remember as such a happy night.

So maybe I can convey what Bid Night means to me... but it's tricky.   

I can't explain that these bonds are deep, and the happiness I get when I think of the mini-sisterhood nights that I had with two of my closest friends, Jen and Hannah, while we watched Battlestar Galactica together.  It lives on, in our frantic emails back and forth between the three of us, trying to solve who the final Cylon was, and I love it.

Oh, and of course I texted cousin Jacqui, a Chi Omega here at American -- she sent back: "haha sorry we're so obnoxious."   Honestly, though?  It just made me happy.

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