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Dear Gaurav

Dear Gaurav,

How do I get into the hive if I’m not a wasp?

signed,
Wannabe

Before I advise you on how, my lawyers have told me to cover myself by giving you this simple warning – you will get stung. I know how to get into the hive, I unfortunately don’t know how to get out. Getting out has been a more popular question of late and one I have been unable to answer.

First, you need to accessorize. Having all the gear and no idea is essential. You need boarding school monogram shit everywhere, especially on your finger. Buy an Exeter crest ring as soon as possible, and talk about the good old class of ’93. When wandering around school, never be seen without your hunting jacket – just in case the Grille runs out of food and you have to get your own ducks off the Charles, why else? Throw a party soon, but do not use evite. It’s cheap, nasty and for the commoners. Instead, send out cute stationary with floral work on it.

If you really feel like going for it, let a copy of the Sothebys real estate catalogue fall out of your leather satchel so you can talk about buying your 12th house. Make sure your walls are clad with impressionist art and look up words in a thesaurus before describing them to your friends.

Next, you need to have their conversation perfected. Start one about who’s Christmas card was best (I know this seems belated, but trust me it’s still a topic high on the agenda). Ask how the Earl of Dukechester’s (make it up) son/daughter is doing and how you’re positive they fancy you. “Oh, you’ve never met them? My dear, I am sorry.” Discuss the merits of closed list limited membership country clubs and how the fairways in April don’t encourage your long game (that’s golf talk by the way. The fact that you are no good at the game is unimportant, its giving it the necessary chat that is important). Bear in mind not all conversation needs to expound knowledge, you can sometimes play dumb, but pick it carefully. Asking what the internet is, that’s fine.

Asking what the ferry schedule is, that’s not. And never make the cardinal error of even knowing how to spell the word “democrat.”

Next up, your behaviour. Always enter a room saying ‘tennis anyone?’.

Rarely make eye contact with someone you are conversing with, there’s bound to be someone richer, better looking or more famous in the room you can talk to, so keep your eyes peeled for them. If someone is telling you a joke, laugh throughout it in case you don’t get the punchline. When you don’t know how to react to something, just default to smiling blankly and looking at your watch (that’s the thing on your left wrist). Finally, pretend to like them all ……. that certainly seems to work for them.

So that’s it, I think you’re ready. But, I’ve just realised, you’ve wasted an hour of my time in making me answer your question. The more fundamental question is why do you want to get in the hive anyway? Its bees that make honey, not wasps.

Gaurav

Ps. Final tip, when reading this article, make sure you look up and go “I wonder who they are talking about?”

February 10, 2003
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