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Two days. I’ll be back at Mizzou in two days to watch my Tigers take on the Florida Gators. I couldn’t be more excited to tailgate all morning before I head into the stadium, shitfaced, and once again drunk dial God with my barely coherent prayers, begging him to let my team win.
“Dear Got, pless juss let Maddy Muk throw like, free terchderns an be awesome. I swear I’ll giff a hundrit drollers to church an stop masserblating. Oh, an help my treminally sick uncle too. Fanks.”
(*Makes poor attempt at Sammy Sosa’s post home run “Thank you God” hand gesture, takes swig from flask in front of child, starts M-I-Z chant that no one joins.*)
– Drunk me, this Saturday, roughly 11:17AM.
One thing that’s always nice when you return back to your alma mater is to be reminded of your days in school. It’s a comfort to see that things haven’t changed all that much since you left. That’s why schools and alumni place so much value on tradition. Also, nostalgia sells. Those are like reasons 1 and 1A.
Sometimes, though, it’s not as comforting to see that there are things that haven’t changed at your school. For example: angry trolls writing obnoxiously biased, bitter, and baseless anti-Greek editorials in your school’s newspaper.
(*smiles, sighs, sips cup of warm tea, and wistfully looks at a picture of the Columns*)
Some things really don’t change.
The Maneater’s most recent incarnation of, “Hey fuck it, let’s rip on Greek Life for no reason,” actually comes in the form of a letter to the editor, so the opinions expressed therein aren’t a direct representation of the publication’s views, rather just something they likely agree with and were more than happy to publish.
The letter’s author, Ryan Berry, has been harboring some resentment towards Greek Life for a while, because, naturally, complete strangers are the source of all his collegiate social frustrations. After his recent trip to the Mizzou Homecoming Blood Drive, he could no longer keep his opinions to himself.
Letter to the Editor: MU’s social rift evident at blood drive
I donated blood today. It was great. I felt great. Everything was great. For the 26 minutes during which I reclined and gave my blood to an ALYX machine, all was hunky-dory.
Ryan gave blood! Seriously, good for you, champ. The Mizzou Homecoming Blood Drive is the largest multi-day blood drive in the country, yet despite that, participation from non-Greek Mizzou students is pathetically low, to the point where they should be ashamed of themselves, really. It’s not a Greek event; it’s a Mizzou charity event that non-Greeks mostly neglect. C’mon GDIs, you didn’t all just get piercings. And even if you did, be like G-Phi and LIE LIE LIE!
Of course, it’s hard to get a smug boner when you’re participating with the people you act superior to because you deride them for their supposed superiority complexes.
In all fairness to Mr. Berry, though, at least he donated.
After the procedure, I headed over to a loooooooong table that provided drinks and snacks in order to avoid, well, passing out. I sat, whipped out my phone and started reading an article from the AV Club. I assumed that one of the thirty-or-so female (all apparently in a sorority) volunteers behind the table would approach me and offer a drink like they are supposed to. I was wrong. I sat for about a minute, and decided I would have to initiate something in order to get a drink. I politely signaled towards a group of girls behind the table and asked for a bottle of water, and one of them complied. Thank god.
Whoa. Hold the phone. Stop the presses. Stable the stallions (is that a thing?) I, for one, am completely appalled that after you sat down at that table, avoided eye contact, and made zero attempt at interaction, these girls didn’t immediately wait on you hand and foot. The nerve! You had to, GASP, ask them for something?
Those bitches. Those stupid, inconsiderate, volunteering their time for a good cause, bitches.
This is like a homeless guy complaining about the service at a soup kitchen.
Not a big deal, I know, but what happened afterwards really got to me.
A man, let’s call him Handsome Fraternity Dude, takes a seat next to me, pulls out his phone just as I did, and intently starts reading something.
“Can I get you anything?” asks Sorority Girl #1.
“I’ll just have water, thank you,” replies Handsome Fraternity Dude.
Sorority Girl #1 immediately gets him a bottle of water.
“Do you want anything?” asks Sorority Girl #2. Handsome Fraternity Dude replies with an “I’m good.”
Sorority Girls 3,4 and 5 all ask the same general question over the next 2 minutes and receive the same response from Handsome Fraternity Dude. All the while, I sit there without a single one of the volunteers even looking my direction despite my being positioned in the seat directly next to Handsome Fraternity Dude
A less attractive person was ignored in favor of a seemingly much more attractive counterpart? In the words of Will Smith’s Captain Steven Hiller, “Welcome to Earth,” or, welcome to my night when a group of young oil lobbyists walk into a bar on West 6th in Austin. I just pack up my penis and go home, because those guys are going to frack everything in sight.
“Okay,” I tell myself, “I get it. I’m sitting next to a muscular, polo-clad man with perfect hair and a jawline sharper than the knives in my kitchen. Meanwhile, I’m over here losing my hair by the minute, pushing big glasses towards the bridge of my nose and wearing an old t-shirt that’s probably a size too big. I understand why he deserves more attention.”
You seem to have a firm grasp of both the mindset of 18-year-old girls and reality. We can end the letter right there then? Right?
I’m used to this type of thing, being ignored and whatnot. It’s been a part of my life for a long time
But the kicker during my 10 minutes at the snack table was when one of the girls, I think Sorority Girl #4, took my trash away without saying anything and without looking at me.
It’s like the voluntary service at this blood drive was trying to be inconsiderate. Listen, ladies, Ryan isn’t not paying for this kind of treatment.
This girl walked up to Berry, took his trash, and walked away. So that’s it? She’s just going to do her job quickly and efficiently and move on to the next task? Who would even want that sort of service?
I assumed that one of the thirty-or-so female (all apparently in a sorority) volunteers behind the table would approach me and offer a drink like they are supposed to.
Oh, right, Ryan Berry, from twelve seconds ago.
She made an obvious effort to fulfill her duty of taking my trash without making any sort of human contact with me.
Dude, Ry-ry, she’s cleaning trash and doing a job. How often do you chitchat with your busboy? Maybe you and your garbage man sit on the curb and share thermos of hot cocoa once a week, I don’t know, but I’d get him his own cup because he definitely has hepatitis.
Regardless, this girl, simply by virtue of you being near her, does not owe you a conversation. Also, how fucking oblivious are you? So far, by your own recounting of this incident, it seems that you have made exactly ZERO attempts to start a conversation with any of these girls, beyond asking for water. Maybe take the initiative, sport. Or do you actually believe the lonely, bespectacled, shambly, balding guy deserves the unsolicited attention of all the women around him? That’s only true on a playground, and even then that attention is generally of a protective and negative nature.
Trust me, taking the initiative with women is what you have to do when you aren’t handsome enough to be fawned over. Say hello, and then either say something funny or start telling lies. Or both.
In other news, I’m single.
Frustrated with this whole situation, I get up to leave, and as I push in my chair and put my phone in my pocket, Sorority Girl #1 asks, “Oh, do you need anything?”
“No thank you.”
I was invisible. For ten minutes I sat at that table, and I was completely invisible.
Yup, totally invisible. Except for that time right there when the girl saw your physical presence with her eyeballs and engaged you verbally.
You were sitting at the table playing on your phone, which is the universal (and by “universal” I mean “American”) signal for “Leave me alone, Candy Crush is more important than you, you dirty annoying stranger.”
Today I did something that I love: giving blood. Every time that I go and donate blood, I leave feeling great about myself and about my life. The ability to help others is something that simply makes me happy. Today, however, something that typically raises my self-esteem ended up making me feel like the most worthless piece of trash in that room.
Hey, you’re not trash. The girls picked up the trash.
I’m not trying to bash the homecoming blood drive, nor am I trying to bash the whole Greek system at MU.
This seems like a lie.
I just want to point something out: I’m a person too, and I did something I was proud of today. The last thing I expected was to leave the blood drive feeling horrible about myself.
YOU MADE NO EFFORT TO SOCIALIZE! GUHHHH. Stop turning your shyness and self-entitlement into a victimization. It’s not. By playing on your phone and refusing to engage first, put yourself in a corner, so to speak. At least your shyness did, anyway. You need to confront your own social shortcomings and say, “Nobody puts Berry in the corner.”
This has been a problem since I set foot on campus at MU. I never feel like I’m worth anything.
Did your award for being born get lost in the mail?
Nobody treats me or anyone else with respect.
Well that’s a quality unsubstantiated opinion.
The only way you can expect to get a friendly smile or the occasional “hello” is if you adorn yourself with pastel colors and Greek letters. I’m sick of it.
First off, pastel colors lend themselves to friendliness. Try not to smile at lemon chiffon colored shorts. You can’t do it. If Lilly Pulitzer had designed the Nazi uniforms instead of Hugo Boss, then 1) German soldiers would have been impossible to spot in Holland, and 2) we’d all be living under the ironfisted rule of a floral jackboot, because there’s no way you don’t let someone that friendly looking just come right on in.
Second, Greeks say hello to other Greeks because they know each other. Greeks also say hello to non-Greeks that they’re friends with. They don’t shoot a friendly greeting your way because you aren’t friends because they have no idea who you are, probably because you sat silently on your phone the last time they saw you. I live in one of the friendliest cities in the country, Austin, and I can still walk down the street and not once get a random hello from a stranger, BECAUSE WE’RE STRANGERS.
This is college, not daycare, even though it is in many ways incredibly similar to daycare. Either way, people aren’t required to be your friends. Nobody is going to make anyone play with you.
If you require me to be good-looking in order for you to talk to me, you’re out of luck. If you expect me to be part of the Greek system and resent my existence upon realizing that I’m a “god damn independent,” then that’s just too bad.
I’m going to rewrite that paragraph using the subtext I don’t think Ryan intended to be in it, but absolutely is there.
“If you require me to have enough self-confidence to be respected, you’re out of luck. If you expect me to be a part of social organizations and then won’t talk to me when I refuse to socialize, then that’s just too bad…for me.”
You don’t have to be good looking or Greek to make friends at Mizzou, though admittedly both help immensely, and the former helps anywhere in the world. To make friends you just have to be cool. Not high school “cool,” just cool. Cool, as in not the guy who writes whiny letters to the school newspaper about how he didn’t make any friends at the blood drive.
The social rift at MU is absurd, and frankly, it makes me sick to my stomach. I’ve learned, however, that there is absolutely nothing I can do that will change the way things are. I will forever remain invisible, and I will never be as good as Handsome Fraternity Dude.
That paragraph is the second most emo thing I’ve ever seen. This is the first.
I’ve given up on trying to fit in and be cool
To be fair, it doesn’t sound like you were ever really trying.
but to avoid being further degraded as I was today, I do have some Greek if anybody were to ask me my letters:
γαμώ τo σιήστος σου Translated: FUCK YOU
Yes, Greek Community, you detestable group of elitists who don’t extend your collective friendship to every single, solitary, shy kid who is in no way making an effort to interact with you. FUCK YOU. FUCK YOU for not putting in all the effort in socializing. FUCK YOU for being friends with your friends, and not random kids playing on their cell phones. FUCK YOU for allowing Ryan Berry to construct this elaborate excuse for his own social shortcomings.
Truthfully, I hate to rip on a fellow Tiger so much. I hope Ryan has friends and a fun time at Mizzou — I really do. But this slap in the face to Greek Life, to people who didn’t do anything wrong, is completely unnecessary, and it’s clear that the author is totally unwilling to admit any fault for his lack of social interactions, short of “not being handsome enough,” which is a fucking copout. Tell that to the jovial 300 pound dude everyone calls The Toad. That guy has a hundred friends, and he’s a repulsive human being.
I’m not saying the Greek community can’t be friendlier. There’s always room for improvement. However, everything in this letter was complete and utter bullshit, the voiced frustrations of someone unwilling to reach out, and upset that no one would extend the courtesy he would not. If the author is unable to initiate interactions with others in person, perhaps he would have been better suited extending an olive branch with this letter, instead of condemning. Unfortunately he chose the latter.
Here’s some advice for the author, and I’ll keep it in English: SACK UP.
[via The Maneater]