Posts Tagged ‘play’


These are days you’ll remember
Never before and never since, I promise
Will the whole world be warm as this
And as you feel it,
You’ll know it’s true
That you are blessed and lucky
It’s true that you
Are touched by something
That will grow and bloom in you

These are days that you’ll remember
When May is rushing over you
With desire to be part of the miracles
You see in every hour
You’ll know it’s true
That you are blessed and lucky
It’s true that you are touched
By something that will grow and bloom in you

These are days
These are the days you might fill
With laughter until you break
These days you might feel
A shaft of light
Make its way across your face
And when you do
Then you’ll know how it was meant to be
See the signs and know their meaning
It’s true
Then you’ll know how it was meant to be
Hear the signs and know they’re speaking

To you, to you

:: 5:30AM Saturday ::  Stumbling our way to the Club 16 after party – stumbling not so much for the drunkeness (note to self: a champagne hangover is much kinder and gentler than any other kind of hangover), but because stilettos and cobblestones are not a good mix – we picked up an ’04 alum who got lost on his way to the hotel.  Or rather, he decided to follow us.  The guy was drunk as a skunk, and self-reportedly “living the dream.”  Upon closer inspection, living the dream turned out to be unemployment in London.  The only minor glitch was that he was also broke because the hedge fund he worked for went belly up.  

The guy was very eager to know all about who’s hosting the coolest parties and what the hook-up scene is like.  Answer: (a) Tavers hosts lots of parties.  Some of them are cool and (b) Seriously?  Do 37 yo’s care about this stuff?  I wouldn’t know.  Or I’m being coy.  No, really.  I don’t know.

He followed us to Club 16 and proceeded to sit slouched on the couch, fading in and out, leering lustily at girls in tight dresses who still hadn’t gotten all of their dancing out of their systems by 6AM.  It makes you wonder where one goes that wrong.

It also makes me worry that once I’m done with INSEAD, I’ll be desperately trying to relive these days.  What if my 5 year scenario doesn’t pan out, and rather than come back to Fontainebleau in 2014 with my 3-yo “fertility twins”, I’ll still be trying to score some 29yo talent?  Shudder.  

I’m just now starting to appreciate why you keep hearing – in all sincerity – that this is the best year of your life.  Never again will you have this little responsibility, this many friends in one place, this level of camaraderie with people your age.  It’s extraordinary that while the world is falling apart around us, we’re chugging champagne and humping to Jay-z (yeah… classy!) at the XVI century Chateau from which Napoleon bade farewell to his Old Guard and went into exile in 1814.

Leaving university was so incredibly hard.  I graduated from undergrad in the middle of the post 9/11 recession (though we did just learn that 9/11 had a very small macroeconomic impact and it was the burst of the dot com bubble that had caused the brief recession).  Our senior year career fair happened the week after 9/11 and the indoor 2 story hockey rink and track and field gym used for the occasion was nearly empty.  All the booths had been set up the usual 300 consulting, engineering and finance firms that came to recruit the nation’s biggest nerds.  In the end, about 30 companies showed and most of them had no idea of the ramifications of the terrorist attacks on their recruiting plans.  I remember leaving the career fair and going to my dorm to research graduate programs.  

The grad school admission process was an ego validating experience – and one that will keep my parents always wondering ‘what if’ I had gone to Hopkins for a PhD.  Instead I chose a cop out Masters’ program with the possibility to continue for my PhD.  The entire grad school experience was the failure that I wrote about for my INSEAD admissions essay.  I realized that I hated the isolated, repetitive nature of research.  What I did instead of research was focus on going to the gym religiously (I had some killer abs in grad school…sigh…), spending lots of time doing ceramics, spending every Friday at the Symphony matinee and doing way too much JDating.  I don’t think I mentioned that last part to the adcom at INSEAD.

I have JDate to thank for meting Jon the Pervert.  To my family’s chagrin, this may have permanently turned me off from dating my own people.  The reason I call the guy Jon the Pervert is because it later turned out that Jon had been cheating on me the entire time we were together.  Namely, he was trawling for sex on Craigslist.  “I have tickets to the ballgame in Section X.  I want to take a blond with DD breasts.  Send me a picture.”  You can’t make shit like this up.  Jon eventually got what was coming to him, but that’s a much longer story, and one that doesn’t cast me in too lovely of a light.  So I can tell it to you over a beer (or 5) sometime.  Or ask my talent manager.  

Jon spent 6 months destroying my self-confidence and then unceremoniously dumped my ass a week before graduation, the day before I was packing up my apartment to move to the ‘burbs, and two weeks before I was starting my new job – compounding the anxiety I was already experiencing because I was leaving school.  Moving out of town was stupid move #1.  About two weeks into my new job I got lost on my way home and found myself driving across the bridge by the school – the one told me, “You own this town” – and bawling my eyes out when I realized that I was no longer a student.  (Yeah, I cry easily…)  

For the next four years, I lived vicariously through friends who also stayed in grad school – (didn’t “quit” as my grandma calls my failure to get a PhD) – and found every excuse I could to come back to school to attend conferences, speak on a panel, serve on a alumni fundraising committee, be an industry mentor to a senior design class.  Now at INSEAD, as a club officer, I’m often fielding calls from Alumni who want to come back to speak about their company, share a case study of their startup, install solar panels on the roof of the Plessis Mornay (in a town that gets 75 days of sun a year).  

Somehow I think I might be one of those people in a year.


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good housekeepingWhen I have a particularly stressful day, I come home and chop the shit out of some garlic or mandoline slice the hell out of some fennel. And then I feel at peace with the world. I learned the basics of cooking from my mom. She’s an amazing cook and incredibly calm and confident in the kitchen, and I try to emulate her behavior when I’m hosting a dinner party and sweating the details. At INSEAD, I don’t have the energy to be the hostess with the mostest very often (I cook regularly for my housemates, but have only hosted two dinners in the last four months, as compared to my usual biweekly rate), so maybe I shouldn’t take it so personally when one of my friends said that I “just don’t look like someone who’d know her way around a kitchen.” I console myself that another friend said, “you’re such a good cook. You’ll be married by the end of the year if word gets out.” Um… let’s hope it doesn’t.

[Mama, Papa, don’t read on, ok?]

Last night my roommate walked into the kitchen to find me sauteing some courgettes while wearing three inch stilettos and a tiny black dress. The scene was very 1950s Good Housekeeping. He took one look and busted out laughing hysterically. I was trying out an outfit for the Iberian Week party and then realized that I was hungry. Though after I finished cooking I discovered that I couldn’t actually eat a bite and still hope to breathe in the black dress. So the courgettes are still sitting in the fridge.

I did not expect to find myself single at INSEAD. When I got to campus in early January, despite the hick-ups that the boyf and I experienced in -13C-filthy-covered-in-dog-shit-everything-is-closed Paris over New Year’s (namely: his selling out and taking the train home two days earlier than planned), I was still introducing myself as happily-attached. I had decided that the polite thing to do was to bring up your partner about 3-5 minutes into a conversation with a new person in order to signal to the other party that you’re being friendly because you’re a friendly person, and not because you find the other person dreamy. That’s the protocol anyways.  It didn’t fool you, who let me borrow your jacket during the orientation week circle jerk/team bonding exercise.  You’re dreamy.

Then, as I’ve covered previously, the relationship was no more. In terms of Hall’s Model of Frictional Employment, I am currently unemployed (as contrasted to my student status at INSEAD = out of the labor force). If I spend at least 45 minutes per week entertaining the idea of my next “employment”, I will remain classified as unemployed. If, on the other hand, I become discouraged and stop looking, or go crazy and become institutionalized, I’ll be considered out of the dating equivalent of the work force. The play force? [Um…. get it?] I’ll agree with my favorite MGE professor that there are no monetary unemployment benefits to being single, but I’d argue that the intangible benefits are new-found free time, the energy to stay out dancing until 5AM, smiling more, lack of drama.


Now, unfortunately the majority of men on this campus don’t even realize that I’m a woman. Wearing clogs and hoodies all winter probably didn’t help with that. I’m guessing I’m not even on the much-talked-about-but-never-seen spreadsheet of available women. (Makes the world spreadsheet sound kinda dirty.)

However, being unemployed without making an idiot of myself might prove difficult. Taking on a talent manager was the first step, though that might turn out to be more of a liability.

[Right in front of me] “Hey what about him? Oye, amigo, are you single?”

“No, dude, I’m married.”

[I’m off to chop some garlic, but this post is to be continued…]

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