In my sorority, six seniors always live off-campus in a satellite apartment that’s passed down from year to year. This is good and bad. It is both a blessing and a curse. It’s been my experience that when you inherit this apartment (and by “inherit,” I mean sign the lease and start paying rent) you also inherit a history.
Not only did the apartment come with a couch, a TV, some old kitchen gadgets, and other cheap but durable furniture, it also came with an odd assortment of the ghosts of the sorority’s past. Our home is filled with things that were important to sisters, like a king-sized, double-funnel beer bong named Knees Please, a cookbook specifically dedicated to cupcakes, and one lone movie, Silent Hill, because someone didn’t deem it worthy enough to move on to post-collegiate life. Upon moving in, we also inherited the sorority mug of one long since graduated sister. We only know her as Mary from the class of ’87.
There is a coat closet dedicated specifically to “shit we don’t know what to do with,” including board games such as Fisher-Price’s Turtle Recall, recommended for ages three to seven, Trivial Pursuit from the ’80s — which, as children of the ’90s, we know nothing about — and a tattered box labeled “Sexual Trivia,” to name a few.
Another game in the mystery closet, which deserves individual discussion, is Drunk Jenga. My roommates and I were surprised to find it, because it wasn’t a typical Drunk Jenga set you could find in any collegiate house from here to Georgia. It’s stored in a creepy Walmart bag and the blocks are completely repetitive. At least five say “JACKIE DRINKS” and two say “You fucking lose, bitch.” But it’s fun to play, and it inspired us to make our own version. After months of wondering who the illusive Jackie was, we met her at Homecoming this year and returned the Jenga set to its rightful owner. After finding all of these items in my home, I’ve realized I can simply leave anything I don’t want to bring with me to my adult life here. Someday, some sister might want it.
Being the main off-campus apartment or satellite house also comes with a set of ridiculous and regular shenanigans we’ve come to expect. When alumnae are in town, we often wake up to find them on our couch, having snuck in sometime during the night. We’ve also woken up to alumni from other chapters, particularly our favorite fraternity, on the couch. They were welcome when Melissa, Ashley, and whichever other sister from the class of 2009 lived here, so why can’t they stay here now? In the end, Lord only knows how many people have slept on that couch.
Speaking of fraternity alumni who’ve welcomed themselves to our couch, they’ve also welcomed themselves to other parts of the apartment. One fraternity brother in particular has peed in our oven (albeit long before we lived here) and he’s sure to remind us of it every time he’s in town. We’re pretty sure the urine has been cleaned or baked out by now, but we choose not to think about it.
With all the surprise guests and gifts left in the oven, it should be no surprise that there is an assumption that our apartment is always dirty. This is perpetuated because we host all of our sorority parties, too. So, most of our sisters only see our apartment when it has 125 people in it, and one of them is always a freshman throwing up in the kitchen sink. But it’s not that dirty. We clean it up the next morning…or at least by the next afternoon. Whether or not the linoleum floor laid in 1972 will ever really be clean, though, is for God to decide.
Through it all, though, from people feeling entitled to our home, to the constant hosting of events, to the random items that we have no use for but wouldn’t dare throw away, it’s been amazing living here. It’s like a second chance to live at the house, but without the rules, and without the fifty other hormonal girls who all seem to be on their periods at the same time. Our apartment has character. It has tradition. And if the walls could talk, they’d say it’s been filled with love and true sisterhood from the start, and that is pretty damn cool..