The Do's and Don'ts of Having a Pinning

By Betch Ivy Carter

Despite what it looks like on the east coast, spring is coming. This is great news for everyone but especially Greek life betches. Because with the warm weather and sunshine, spring also brings back endless black dresses, Monday night drinking, and weekly roasts of girls you love to hate. That's right betches, it's pinning season.

For those of you who never got to experience the glory of a pinning, I'll break it down for you. Traditionally, a pinning is a pre-engagement for a Greek life couple. By presenting you with his pin in front of all his brothers, your boyfriend is symbolically putting you above his fraternity. Technically this also makes you a "member" of his frat, which means if you were pushy and desperate enough you could show up to chapter. Don't do that. Misogynistic undertones aside, a pinning started as a heartfelt tradition that usually indicated who would be the first girl in your pledge class to get married. Thank fucking God, that's no longer the case.

These days, a pinning is a very public, very ruthless, and usually explicit roast of the couple by their closest friends in front of their fraternity and sorority. It's supposed to be a surprise that gets announced before chapter on Mondays, but without fail one girl will open her fat mouth and tell everybody. Every girl in the house is supposed to wear black (to remind them that they're pathetically single) while the girl having the pinning shows up in a different color to further cement her status as the center of attention.  Then all members of both houses piles into a single room for what can only be accurately described as two hours of complete fuckery.

In order to be able to suffer (or in the case of the speakers, inflict) this kind of embarrassment, the entire pinning party usually shows up belligerently drunk. If watching blacked out girls hiccup their way through a speech about a couple's sexual history doesn't sound like your idea of a good time, I don't know why you even rushed in the first place.

The "ceremony" is followed by a fat party where the couple has to throw down enough money to get an entire fraternity and sorority drunk. This is no small feat. As a freshman without a fake, it was like a weekly Christmas. Everyone is hungover as fuck the next day and if the house chef takes pity on you, there will be a burrito bar at lunch.

Sounds like the best time ever right? That's because it is. However, if not planned or executed correctly, pinnings can go so terrible wrong. In this case, it's uncomfortable for everyone and your relationship will probably never recover. Here are some tips to help you out, so that when you inevitably break up with your college boyfriend no one can blame it on your shitty pinning.

1. Pick your speakers wisely

This is SO important. Like, I don't care if she's been your best friend since 2nd grade, if the bitch isn't funny do NOT let her speak. Or at the very least, ghost write her speech for her. Other thoughts to keep in mind when picking speakers:

- Does this girl lose the ability to formulate speech after 3 shots?
- How many unflattering photos of me does she have in her possession?
- Is she newly single and irrationally angry about it?
- Will she puke in her hands midst-speech? (despite what you might this, think is a pro, she will be the crowd favorite)

2. Do not get mushy

Despite the technical definition of a pinning, no one is here to listen to the saga of your love. They want to laugh at the embarrassing story of your first time, get drunk, and then hook up with someone at the after party. Keep the "vows" short and sweet.

3. When in doubt, buy more alcohol

Alcohol is the key ingredient to a successful pinning. It won't matter how stilted and awkward the ceremony is if there's enough vodka to make everyone immediately forget about it. If you're not willing to drop at least $400 on alcohol, then you shouldn't be having a pinning. In my experience, multiple jungle juice stations is the way to go.

4. Pinnings aren't for everyone

Just like not everyone can be in a sorority and not everyone can wear yoga pants, not every couple can have a pinning. It's the sad truth, but you have to be a fun, popular pair for it to really work out. Or at the very least, a hot mess. Nobody wants to sit on their ass for two hours in a hot room listening to stories about a couple who spend their weekends watching Lord of the Rings together. Like, congrats on finding your kindred spirit, but you're boring. If your closest friends can't come up with more than three embarrassing stories about your drunken antics, you probably just aren't cut out for the pressures of a pinning.

Side note: if you're a quiet couple but happen to be members of two houses that are super close, then you are the exception to this rule. They really just want an excuse to have an unofficial function at your expense.

So get your black dresses ready and your Tuesday mornings cleared, because the actual best time of the year is about to begin. Just remember, all is fair in love and pinnings. Pictures of you puking on your laptop from freshman year will absolutely resurface. Nothing is sacred.




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