February 7, 2014

OVERHEARD: The Problematic Pick-up Line

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Overheard in Collegetown:

-“Are you in a sorority?”

-Girl answers yes or no.

-“Which one?”

– Freshman Fratstars

This is apparently the cleverest pick-up line since, “did it hurt when you fell?” I must have heard at least four freshmen–we will give the older brothers the benefit of the doubt–lead with the former as they began to navigate the fraternity life and the women that coincide with it. It may be a relevant question in getting to know someone or deduce mutual friends, but somehow I do not see it as a conversation starter. Presumably, guys agree and do not think this is a panty-dropping question, but then why do they ask?

Does a woman’s sorority determine her value as a potential date or her abilities as a conversationalist? My guess is no. In spite of this, her answer to “which sorority?” usually determines how the man will proceed. Either that, or it presents him with the opportunity to brag about his new fraternity. It is great to be proud of your new-found family; the problem is when a person’s greek affiliation is used as a basis of judgment.

Is there some sorority or fraternity overlord out there who judges what each house’s reputation is? Do all the women or men in a particular house fit one mold? I think we are all smart enough to answer both of these questions. A house does not define its sisters or brothers. The members define the house, and each member is an individual who exists outside of the organization. The house a woman or man belongs to should not define a stranger’s opinion. But it does.

Take a minute to think about the women or men you know. Do they have friends outside of their respective houses? Are they involved in other organizations on campus? My bet is yes. As a senior, I know that the question of,“which sorority?” shares no real insight in its answer. There are cool, pretty and nice girls in every house; you just have to talk to them. As I step down from my soapbox, I hope freshmen boys will rethink this approach. This question is a silly way to judge a woman and an even sillier way to pick up one.

Instead, here are some free and easy one-liners used by seasoned fratstars:

In Collegetown:

-“Hey.” (Shockingly effective.) I am guessing this is pretty obvious to most, but sometimes the simpler, the better. For extra points, you can tack on a compliment.

-“Hey, what’s your major?” (Are we back in rush?) I am not sure how effective this is for your long-term game, but after all it is Cornell. You might find a passionate hotelie.

At the Frat Castle:

-“Want to play a game?” (Who doesn’t like games with Jigsaw?) This is especially effective if you are good at games (get good at games). After all, Who doesn’t like to celebrate every little victory with a high-five or even a hug?

-“Want to see my room?” (Blunt and to the point.) This can be the first move or can follow a game. However, fair warning, this line does not always have the desired effect and can lead to a group of friends tagging along.

Get it together, new members.