Wednesday, October 03, 2012


On Saturday night, I traveled back in time and attended the best party in the history of college parties: Mallard Ball.

Now let me just clarify: As an advisor, I was there as a chaperone. Which meant I was in a t-shirt and jeans, not camo. For the first time in my adult life, I wanted to stick out. In that in the event anyone got a tap-tap-tap on the shoulder, I wanted them to know immediately that I was someone who meant business.

Let me also clarify what a Mallard Ball is. Each semester, sororities have a handful of socials and one semi-formal or formal. At my alma mater, socials were with other organizations and/or dates and were usually in town. Therefore semi-formals/formals were special because they were usually out of town but were always just your sorority plus dates. Then there's Mallard Ball, which is the exception: it's like formal because it's just your house, but that's not even the best part (sorry, sisters). EVERYONE IS IN CAMO!

Now it's not like yours truly had trunk after trunk of camo to dig through when Mallard Ball rolled around. Remember when I said once that my favorite Halloween costume EVER was when I wore scrubs and tennis shoes, borrowed my best friend's mother's stethoscope and called myself a nurse? I am ALL about being comfortable, especially while trying to dance. Obviously we would get all dolled up if not in costume for socials and formals but we were in JEANS at Mallard Ball. Cozy, comfy camo. Nice, warm, sensible overalls with pockets to hold your stuff. No strapless, no stilettos, no boas or wigs or crazy shambley* getups. It was, quite truly, the best of both worlds.

AND as if that isn't amazing enough, have you ever heard of Trotline? Best country cover band ever, and that's coming from someone who lives in Nashville. I had never heard "You Never Even Call Me By My Name" before my first Mallard Ball, and by my senior year I knew it by heart.

My freshman year was my chapter's first Mallard Ball ever. Our social chair got the idea from UGA but I am not positive that's where it started. It was always the week before the Georgia game which meant once school started, we had weeks and weeks to look forward to it.

The house where I am an advisor wore lots of camo and there were even a few bright yellow and orange ducks (even though mallards are green and grey). They too have their Mallard Ball at an outdoor venue: we had the Auburn covered arena, but they had smores. Toss up!

A shout out to all my lovely sisters and handful of lucky gents who put on their best green and beige, hung a left at 280 and got a little dusty underneath the Auburn moon. It was the best of times.

*Sources my collegiates tell me that shambles/shambley is the new sketch/sketchy. Get on board.


  1. For us old folks...would that be shambley with a sham-blEE or a with bit of flair like sham-blAY? You know, just so I can keep up with my oldest daughter.

  2. There is a good chance I wore my 2001 Mallard Ball long-sleeve tshirt last night and gave a full explanation of the funnest night of the year to Samford ADPi's our age. Their response; "dang....we should have done it like that!"

  3. I didn't know the first year was with your pledge class! I just always thought it had been around forever I guess. Good, good times.


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