This Frat Guy Took His Mom To Formal


Few things are more magical than senior formal. After years of being on whatever lame planning committee, getting the bad table, and having standards breathing down your neck, you finally get to live it up. The risk management chair looks the other way and the younger members adhere to you as you run to the bus, head up to the bar, or cut in line for food. It’s what we’ve all been waiting for as we accepted our bids into our chapters, and the only downside? Figuring out who to take.

For one recently graduated Univeristy of Central Florida student, it was a no-brainer.

John Stanton, a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon chose to take his mother to his final formal. His mother. To formal, the raunchiest night of the year. I asked him a little bit about his choice, the event, and how it all went down. Because the thought of my mom going to a senior formal makes me want to pass out. But for him? It was the best decision he’s ever made.


Formal was at the Rosen Centre in Orlando, so nothing too outlandish, unfortunately.

Having attended this exact formal I can say that it’s a nice hotel, and I can’t say much else due to memory. There are flashes of sneaking into the hot tub and drunkenly stealing snacks from the café but other than that, nothing. Still, a totally solid event that anyone would be terrified to bring their mother to.

Formal was pretty much the last thing I was ever going to get to attend as an active. I was the oldest person in the chapter at that point and I had more or less been there and done that with normal dates, to various degrees of success. So I figured that I would make my last ever formal actually memorable for not just myself but someone who had always been there for me through the highs and lows of my life.

Because yes, everyone has shelled out tons of money on a random date whom they don’t really care about. Not ideal for your final year. Your final year you want to bring the best. The most worthy. The absolute perfect date.

She [my mom] was understandably really surprised when I called her a couple of weeks before. But she kept a pretty open mind and got more excited as it grew closer. She had never met my friends/brothers before so I was just a little weary of, well, what typically goes down before/at fraternity formals.

The alcohol? The things worse than alcohol? The fact that all of your friends look like total assholes as they down a bottle of tequila before dinner? Yeah. We get it.

Not surprisingly, she was the center of attention when we went down to meet up with everybody. She was finally able to meet up with brothers and sorority girls who I had been friends with for years now, as well as all of the children that I had just initiated a few weeks prior (I was new member educator for my last semester). They, of course, were on their best behavior.

Feeling a bit misty yet? Grab some tissues, it’s about to get way worse.

She really enjoyed the night quite a bit. My dad had been in Afghanistan for the past six months so she doesn’t get out too much. She was able to get a glimpse of the parallels and differences between college life now and back when she was at the University of Western Ontario. Everyone had wanted her to attend the after parties up in the various hotel rooms we had but she had worked two 14 hour shifts leading up to formal so she was pretty dead by about 11. Unfortunately, it was not as wild as it could’ve been but she regretted not joining the morning after. All things considered, mom absolutely had a blast that night and everyone there was happy to have her attend. She was able to see how much I’ve grown over the last few years and I’m glad I was able to spend one of my last college moments with someone I will still be talking to decades from now.

Uh. #SonGoals? #MomGoals? #SeniorFormalGoals? The list goes on and on. And it made such a good impression, other guys in his chapter are thinking of doing it.

Also, some of my brothers said that they were definitely taking their moms for their senior formal as well. So it was pretty sweet to potentially start a new tradition in my fraternity. 10/10 would do again.

On one hand, there will be a few less lame girls being invited to formals out there. But on the other hand? These standup guys are asking the most important women in their lives to their last event in undergrad. Swoon. These are the type of men you find in fraternities. This the reason we rush, associate with, and join these organizations. Because they’re full of really fantastic people. Besides, John seems to have uncovered a secret that other guys are sure to use — you hook up with the guy who takes you to formal, but you marry the guy who takes his mom to formal. And if this wasn’t enough, John’s caption on his photo on Facebook (yeah, it’s his default) will literally kill you:

I could’ve asked a few girls to my last formal, but when I thought about spending it with someone I would remember for the rest of my life, the idea of bringing my mother seemed like a no-brainer.

I love you so much, Donna Stanton. More than anyone on this world.

Dead. More of this, boys. More of this.

Image Courtesy of John Stanton

Email this to a friend

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.

For More Photos and Videos

Latest podcasts

New Stories

Load More