These stories raise certain at least two obvious questions. First, why is it called a “formal”? Any event where people are barfing and crapping in public sounds pretty darned informal to me. If this kind of behavior is considered appropriate for “formal” occasions, what godforsaken depraved behavior can be expected at informal events?
Second, how much of the attention given to these stories is based on the fact that sororities, and not fraternities, were involved? More than 30 years ago, Animal House got huge laughs for its depiction of a degenerate fraternity. Talk to any parent of a fraternity kid and you will see that the movie isn’t that much of an exaggeration. Fraternity kids drink heavily, do stupid stunts, and trash their fraternity houses, and people shrug and say “boys will be boys.” Stories of unruly fraternity activities are “dog bites man” stories. We tend to expect better conduct from sensible sorority women, however — which is part of the reason why the escapades of the boozy sorority sisters at Miami University are getting national attention.
Last night a cell of severe thunderstorms rolled through central Ohio and knocked out power in our neighborhood for hours. It was our first true summer storm of the season, with all of the hallmarks of the same: fierce winds, a torrent of rain, heavy thunder and lightning, a quick, sharp drop in the temperature, and the low moan of the “serious weather” siren in the background of it all.
There is something awesome and majestic about summer thunderstorms in the Midwest. As Kish and I looked out our windows last night, we saw the winds bending our backyard trees and bushes almost to the breaking point, making the trees shake like believers at a revival meeting. The storm dumped so much rain so quickly that water pooled up even on our brick patio and flower beds. We heard the crack of lightning, felt the low, grinding throb of cascading thunder vibrating the ground, and heard the staccato beat of the gusty rain drumming against the outer walls. Through it all, the sky had that sickly yellow color that always seems to accompany a severe storm. We were very glad to be indoors!
This morning, Penny and I ventured out to assess the aftermath of the heavy weather. Although the storm seemed violent, it didn’t appear to do to much damage in our immediate neighborhood. A few branches were knocked to the ground and leaves and other tree debris were scattered across the roads and walking paths, but no big trees were down. The sky was clear and blue, and world felt cool and well washed.