We have a good thing going here at Princeton — even years after you graduate, you can come back and be an underclassman again for a weekend in May, reveling in all the debauchery that entails, at Princeton Reunions.
But it’s relatively hush-hush, you know? Sure it’s a huge party, but we manage to keep the degree of insanity under wraps and come out looking like… well, like we went to Princeton. Our little secret, yeah?
Until this month’s issue of GQ came out, which features an exposé of last year’s Reunions — you may have already seen a Google Docs scan of it making rounds on a couple listservs (which we’re technically not allowed to link to here, what with copyright and all). The piece, by Troy Patterson ’96 and titled “The Smart Man’s ‘Jersey Shore’” (cringe), makes Woodrow Wilson roll in his grave:
Who fuckin’ tonight? Who fuckin’ tonight? Who fuckin’ tonight? An older guy — identifiable by the pattern of his orange-and-black blazer as an ’84 — wiggled his head to the groove, bald spot mirroring red light. A girl in a white miniskirt rocked out by back-kicking with a bandaged ankle while swinging on crutches. Behind the cage for the sound engineer’s booth, a kid pissed in a cup, tucked himself in, popped his collar, and briefly humped the nearest girl. This was the warm-up night for an elite bacchanal, the perennial blowout kegger of the Ivy League.
Patterson covers, in quite some detail, the events of his weekend, from the drinking games to the random hookups to the disturbingly old groups of men chugging and booting to the eventual 5 AM binge-and-dance in the Terrace taproom, all in drunkenly staggering prose. The piece is worth reading, if only just to step back and realize how bizarre the annual tribal ritual really is.
Secret’s out, I guess. Does that make us look bad?