June 2, 2006

Attack of the interns b/w What's so funny 'bout giggles, spunk, and flirtation?

A swarm of ants, a cloud of gnats, a plague of locusts, a -- rash of interns? Call them what you want, they're here!

It's been a few weeks since final exams have ended at the colleges, giving them just enough time to study up on how to be a cool transient urbanite. Self-important clanking of your Steve Madden heels? Check. Petrified pose and stern scowl while waiting on the Metro platform -- to broadcast to all that you don't look around nervously like some out-of-towner? Check. Conspicuously loud disparaging remarks about the damned tourists? Check. Tourists I don't mind: they come here humble, hoping to sample some of what little the DC area has to offer. Transplants, though, I hate: they announce their arrival with arrogance -- I am living in a $1000 / month, vibrantly renovated meth lab in Dupont Circle. I am aiding Councilmember Spittleblarge in her crusade to speak truth to power by adding another descriptor to the name of the U St/African-Amer Civil War Memorial/Cardozo metro station. And last weekend I was the envy of all the other bar sluts at some club in Adams Morgan whose name is so hip and edgy that you're not allowed to wear it out by pronouncing or writing it -- the YHWH of hip, edgy clubs!

I know boys aren't supposed to pick on girls, but there are no boys to pick on -- sure, the male interns have a stupid smugness to them, but it only pertains to their imagined sense of clout. For the females, though, living in a Big City is about so much more: giving themselves permission to enjoy a sophisticated lifestyle (please, read the link). Yes: now that they've completed their junior or senior year of college, their absorption into the corporate superorganism not far away, it's time for a makeover -- efface that juvenile countenance of easygoing giggliness, don your best Ralph Lauren jogging suit as you mount the career treadmill, and tone those deltoids sharp before entering the battle to out-Crate-and-Barrel the neighbors. Oh, what butterfly would wish a second transformation into a codling moth?!

Well, you don't get much more flowery than that, eh? Ehem. Anyway, I had my first premonition of Lost in Translation things to come when I was a senior in college surrounded by ebullient youngsters at the predominantly freshman/sophomore dining hall -- my friends were living off-campus and grocery shopping, plus the school had just totally revamped this dining hall. And now that three years have passed since graduation, my conviction's grown stronger that it's utterly pointless trying to communicate with females my own age. I realize that part of becoming somewhat less attractive and somewhat less energetic into one's mid-to-late 20s is biological programming -- you're supposed to have started a family by now, after all, so you don't need to be super-hot or engaging anymore just to keep your husband involved in providing for the children. Still, I can't help but think that the careerist attitude of most females my age of roughly my educational level is responsible for amplifying an already existing unpleasant signal.

And not to romanticize Europe, but I didn't notice this trend among girls in Barcelona, Paris or Rome. In fact, if you dared calling anyone under 40 a "woman," you'd get an earful of fiery-blooded Latin indignation! Here, 22-y.o. recent graduates yearn to be thought of as "women." When I first began working at a tutoring center for mostly secondary school students, I realized that girls weren't always like this -- they weren't that way in high school, as the current high school students reminded me. True, some of what these latter say is hopelessly inane, but their overall attitude is a breath of fresh air compared to that of the zombies I ride the metro with to work each day. (And I can't exactly say that yammering about The Da Vinci Code doesn't also qualify as inane.) But I suppose I can wait long enough until I get my ass to graduate school to search for a nice wide-eyed (and hopefully doe-eyed) undergrad sophomore. Everyone is served dessert; they just tardy in bringing it out to some (to paraphrase Leopardi).


  1. But I suppose I can wait long enough until I get my ass to graduate school to search for a nice wide-eyed (and hopefully doe-eyed) undergrad sophomore.

    Let me tell you that if you're going to graduate school in any subject that involves equations, this is going to be highly unlikely. Sophomore girls are at the height of their powers, while grad students are relative tools. It is tought to compete with undergrad frat guys for the few hot undergrad girls at any decent school. "I'm a CS PhD student" just does not have the cache of "I'm the Rush Chair of Sigma Chi".

    It is almost impossible to get a degree in something technically challenging and fulfilling without going off campus for women. Fortunately, off campus = much higher rate of success in general, albeit at the expense of time spent on work.

    My point is that if you're *planning* on getting action in grad school from undergrad girls, your plans are likely to suffer the same fate as those of H1B immigrants who anticipate sampling some of the bleached blondes of Baywatch during their stint in California.

    Profs on the other hand...well, the problem with being a prof is that they flirt with you AND YOU CAN'T FOLLOW UP ON IT!!!

  2. Right, you can go off-campus, but all you have to do to be able to stay on-campus is become more "well-rounded" rather than be the typical math nerd. Or, just don't go for the type of girl whose heart throbs for Biff the Head Frat Dude.

  3. agnostic --

    you might have figured out who this is already (though please don't post it here if you have), but i have been in several of the positions above -- rush chair, (relatively scrubby) college athlete, grad student in technical subject, and now prof.

    as an undergrad athlete and fraternity member life was awesome. the thing is that even the alternative druggy girls gravitate towards frat guys. how can they not? no one has the same level of social proof as frat guys and athletes. the girls who say they "don't like frat guys" are almost always lying to themselves.

    now, in grad school i hooked up with a total of two (2) undergrads out of maybe 20 women over 5 years. two others were graduate students. ALL the rest were off campus.

    as a (new) prof I have not yet had enough time to say what the dynamic is on campus, but i will say that it is a *RIDICULOUS* quantum leap from grad school. as soon as they hear "professor at XXX-vard" there is always immediate interest. it is surreal, and makes me wonder what life is like for men with lots of money. I'm not saying that my hit rate is 90% or close, but it's probably in the ballpark of 60%. the only thing different about my approach from before the time i received the offer is the name-drop of the university.

    but this does NOT work at the grad school level, i am sorry to say. i think i did pretty well for myself in grad school and i witnessed many alternative strategies. i wouldn't bank on being distinctive, even though you do have the sensitive guy thing going for you. grad students who try to hook up with undergrad girls by hanging out at undergrad events are considered weirdos, creepy stalker types.

    believe me, MANY graduate students had or have the same ideas you did. probably your best opportunity would be to try to hook up with a girl after you TA'd a course with her, as then it would demo social proof. however, in general "grad student" is negative social proof on virtually any campus.

    Hey, maybe you'll prove me wrong. but my advice to you is to do what worked for me: after an involuntarily celibate first year in grad school, where i experienced a horrific step function dropoff in play, while being cutoff from my friends, disconnected from the frat, etc...i hit the weight room and got jacked. later on i added strauss' stuff to the mix and massively cut down on internet posting (always an addiction, but an increasingly manageable one). then do whatever it takes off campus. get a good wingman and run the game as outlined in markovik's book. ditch the sensitive guy thing -- I did. once you really don't care anymore, once you know on a deep level that you're better than the girls you're hitting on whether they reject you or not, you can then cycle through girl after girl without qualms, NEXTing as necessary, without compunction or memory.

    the dividend of this iron shield mentality and the concomitant large N sampling is that you will get girls about 2 points more attractive than you would if you let them fall into your lap. that is the difference between 8's and 6's, and 9's and 7's. up to you whether it's worth the effort.

    attempting the same thing *on* campus is sampling without replacement, which is far more risky than sampling with replacement in terms of the potential for double hits, or bad word about you to spread.

    one last thing: the girls who ARE receptive to being hit on by grad students are desert queens (google it), in that they have the same mentality that you blogged about in an earlier post. that is, they might be 4's or 5's, but act like 8's because they have so many desperate techies hitting on them. grad school in a technical subject is a star trek convention, no ifs ands or buts about it. the quotes in the recent kanazawa article should illustrate this if you disbelieve me.

  4. Well, I only know of one former frat member... I didn't mean to come off as anti-Frat Dudes, though: my best friends from 8th through 12th grade were a multiple Varsity athlete guy, and a jock - cheerleader - pom-pom girl.

    I guess what I was getting at was just the age thing (~20), not necessarily that they'd be an undergrad at prestigious school X. If I went for an undergrad student, it'd be at a school 2 tiers lower. So I take most of what you say for granted.

    In general, my ideal type is either an international student (who tend to be less stuck-up) or semi-smart/creative people who didn't go to college -- hair stylists, for example.

  5. There is no solution, I'm afraid, Crypto, beyond racial separatism--give it a thought, at least. Attracting women of any worth in a multi-racial society is, of course, generally futile for Asian men and will be so long as the human races continue to exist in their present forms (which, being fond of racial diversity, I hope they will), so you'd be better off acknowledging this and reassessing your priorities from this standpoint.

  6. You try much too hard, youngbood. Be careful I don't kill you looking for my Dupont Circle meth.


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