Harvard Hedge Fund Event

I planned to meet a friend at a Harvard Hedge Fund event who works for a major nonprofit organization.  Everybody shows up for it whether they’re in the industry or not—it’s like a big B-School garden party.  Come to think of it, I don’t know what a hedge fund is.  So, where did that name come from?  That large bush that surrounds the “masters of the universe?”  Or is a “hedge” a small malicious animal with sharp teeth—like a rat, trained to point fingers…or claws.  I didn’t want to come, but I figured there would be good shoes, cute guys, and shrimp.   I arrived early and we were not allowed to touch the drinks.  And there were no cocktail franks.  So, I had to survive the famine until after the panel discussion.  I walk toward the auditorium of the investment firm where the event was hosted, and signed a non-disclosure before I entered the inner sanctum.  I sit in my seat and inhale the scent of leather and power.  People are a whirl of Wall Street black and grey, furiously checking their BlackBerries.  The atmosphere is hushed and private—even reverential.  And it should be…

Some of the people in the room probably make more money than a small county, come to think of it.  We civilians in the audience are fascinated to be near this tidal wave of cash.

The moderator takes the microphone, “Nothing we say here is true.”  All the speakers nod silently.  The audience bows in reverence.  Each guru takes his turn delivering a market recap and prophesying the year to come.  We take notes hoping the wizardry will rub off.

The terms blurred…derivative…long position…Whatever.  When do we eat!

Fingers pointing, but all innocent.   They’re all good.  Right?  Like Lloyd Blankfein at Goldman Sachs who is doing “God’s work.”  What a relief.  And he’s just a blue collar guy.  I have shirts with blue collars too. 

The words echo,”Madoff was not one of us.  He was a broker/dealer.  He never would have received external clearance.

The room nodded.

There was no shrimp at the reception.  Only fried chicken.

Cyber Snoop

I’ve noticed that dating and interviewing for jobs are very similar.  But what do YOU think about “Googling” a potential date before you’ve even met them?  Does it really give you some kind of competitive advantage over drinks?”    I don’t know.  Personally, I think it’s unromantic and downright mercenary!  Do  you  think someone has the right to review all the details of your life , before you’ve both been severely inebriated together?  Now that’s romance!  Should a potential dating candidate (in the name of transparency) hurl , “I FacedBooked you!  I guess you graduated high school when you were 9…?” 

Maybe I am old fashioned,  but I believe in these times of  “the meet-up” , “the hook-up”, and “ the cybersnoop”, one should just let things unfold the natural way!

The New Date

We stare into each other eyes.  There is chemistry.

He asks:

I noticed on Linked-In that you’re a marketing strategy consultant.  What do you do all day long?

(Perhaps I should wink and say I will “do you!” )  That would make me popular.  I eat a pretzel.

“Do you own or rent?”  (Referring to my apartment. Not my body parts.)

(“Oh, of course I own.” I lie.  I shove a cracker with cheese whiz in my mouth.  And what about you?)

“I live in hospital housing.” he smiles.

(What does that mean?  Is he a doctor or an in-patient?)  I twirl my hair seductively in case he’s a doctor.  Damn.  I should have “Googled” him!”

He  circles back to the apartment. “When did you buy?”

That’s a very important asset question.   He’s also trying to figure out the capitol gains for when he moves in, divorces me, and claims ownership of my apartment.  Smart.  He must be an MD!

I smile coyly, “I can’t tell you that since I’ve frozen my age.”

He points at me with a a pretzel, “Got Ya!”

“It’s the new math.  Got it?”

“Where does your mother live?”  he asks.

“Not with me.  But I’m a good daughter.  I visit her every week. ” My smile is frozen.

“What is her address?” he commands as he puts his hand on my leg.  That is his way of eliciting secret information from me.  I stare blankly.

“Does she rent or own?” he continues.

” I don’t remember” I say weakly.  He senses huge capitol gains and squeezes my leg.  I start to stand, and he grabs my arm.

“Wait.  We’re just getting to know each other.  When did she buy?”  Just a few more questions.”  He pulls out a crumpled list.

“I noticed you only worked with American Baby for one year?  How come?”

“How many pairs of shoes do you own?”

“Do you have long term care insurance?”

“Do you believe in decorating for the holidays?  If so, with what?”

(How do you want me to decorate you, honey?)

“Do you believe in “Soul Mates?”

“How much money do you make?”

“What do you think about ME!!!”

“Tell me about the perfect relationship.”

“I really like your orange jump suit.  What did you DO to get it?”

I say:

I think I’ll have some nuts…