An Ode To Dry Week

Dry week

It’s here.

After weeks of pretending that it wasn’t going to happen. After countless nights of giving zero fucks, and swearing up and down that you didn’t even care. It’s here. As the devil herself stands in front of you with a demented smile of her face, a little part of your soul dies. Here you are, at the hottest time of your life, and this bitch is trying to take that away from you. She clears her throat and the whole room goes silent. Unhappy tension fills the air and one hundred of your sisters shift uncomfortably in their seats.

“Welcome back, ladies.” She taunts, her voice dripping in power.

“As you all know, workshop week is a time to bond. It’s a time to work on our sisterhood and create a strong foundation on which we can add our new sisters.”

You stare down at your planner and look at the little sad face you had drawn on today’s date. It’s not like this is a surprise. You knew it was coming. But you got caught up in the thrill of summer adventures, unlikely hookups, and way too much tequila. When you moved into your new place a few days ago, you were so excited to catch up with sisters, visit your favorite bars, and color-coordinate your room that this didn’t seem like a big deal. But now it’s here. And now? Well now it does seems like a big deal. A really, really big fucking deal.

With a heavy sigh, you brace yourself for what is about to come.

Soooooo to ensure that we’re really concentrating on our sisterhood, it’s time to enforce the three B’s! That means, starting at midnight tonight until the end of recruitment, no boys, no booze, and no bars! In a few hours, we will officially be dry! Let’s enjoy this time to bond without those distractions!” She glanced around the room at the sea of furious faces. “Any questions?”

“Yeah, I have one.” A pissed off looking junior demanded as she stood up, not waiting for a response. “My boyfriend lives in a fraternity house. Does that count as no boys? Because two weeks without seeing him sounds pretty fucking dumb.”

A chorus of “yeahs” and woos of support rose up from the crowd of sorority girls.

“Wellllll” the heartless dictator standards chair started, “I don’t think the cursing is necessary. But you can obviously go to lunch with boys or something. Just for the next two weeks you can’t have men in our house, and unfortunately fraternity houses are off limits. So… yeah…” she trailed off, as half of the chapter fumed silently at the social death sentence she just dished out.

“Anything else? No? Okay great!” She stammers quickly, anxious to get off the stage. “Sooooo excited for recruitment! Thanks so much!” She adds, as she smiles a freezing cold grin and bounces back to her seat.

The tears well up in my eyes as I think about the next two weeks. No happy hours. No fraternity events. No shots of well vodka. No flirting with that cute bartender or having an excuse to eat thirty-seven pizza rolls at 2 a.m. I feel my big shift next to me, and notice her taking out a tissue and dabbing at the corner of her eyes. I glance over at her and she reaches to grab my hand. Giving it a gentle squeeze, she reminds me to be strong.

Together, we can get through this. I lay my head on her shoulder just as she goes to whisper in my ear.

“Let’s go stock up on wine after this.” She hisses, glancing around at the other bigs who are also trying to corrupt their littles, right on cue.

I glance over at her with surprise. “What about the dry weeks?” I scribble in the corner of my calendar.

Just as there’s a moment break between chapter speakers, my big, my mentor, and my lifeline in this chapter eyes my note. I watch a slow, small smile creep over her face as she grabs the pen out of my hand.

My heart pounds furiously as I watched her cross out what I wrote. In the margin above my self-made sticker labeling “Recruitment Workshop Week!” she quickly scribbles something. It’s the phrase bigs pass down to their littles every year around this time. A tradition almost as old as the organizations themselves, it’s the duty of the mentors to make sure their family tree knows the secret to sorority recruitment.

“Dry weeks only counts if you get caught.” I read in my big’s familiar writing. “So. White or red?”

Until we meet again, bars and bad decisions. Until we meet again.

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Rachel Varina

(yeahokaywhat) Aspiring to be the next Tina Fey, Rachel spends her free time doing nothing to reach that goal. While judging people based on how they use "they're" vs. "there" on social media, she likes eating buffalo chicken dip, watching other people's Netflix, and wearing sweatpants way more than is socially acceptable.

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