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She Thinks/He Thinks

More complicated than the imperial board in the Shad TOM exercise, the delicate interplay between the female and male HBS minds is a well observed and yet totally undocumented phenomenon. Thus, I have decided to delve deeply into the psyche of the two genders, examining their intricate thoughts in situations we can all relate to.

Situation 1: The Engagement Ring Peepers
With the changing of the leaves, thousands of people rush to the hinterlands to peep at the beautiful fall foliage. Similarly, at HBS, with the onset (onslaught!) of engagements, a common HBS pastime is now engagement ring peeking. We have all seen, flashing around campus, rings that have become infamous due to their sizes…

She Thinks:
I can’t believe that her fianc‚ actually bought her a ring that big. I wonder if she gets worried walking around with the equivalent of two BMWs on her hand. On the other hand, I guess I would be disappointed with a really small ring. Which reminds me, I need to talk to (insert name of 3 girlfriends here) to figure out how to bring up the ring shopping issue with my boyfriend.

He Thinks:
Oooooh. Sparkly.

Situation 2:
Section Love
Then, there is the infamous section hook-up. Some of you, might have thought after, say, 3 scorpion bowls, that it was a good idea to make out with the person who sits directly across from you in section. The next day in section, it doesn’t seem like such a good idea anymore. What say we tune in to what those two are thinking right now?

She Thinks:
I think that he was just staring at me. This is really weird. I mean, I wasn’t expecting to like him so much…but, after last night, it is pretty clear that we have a lot of fun together. I wasn’t intent on getting into a relationship this early into the year, but I guess it wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

He Thinks:
Oh my God I am so hungover.
Or…

She Thinks:
I think that he was just staring at me. This is terrible. He didn’t even make my list of “Top 5 Cutest Guys in Section,” and now everyone has seen us together. I am just going to have to be sure that everyone knows that I was drunk and that it didn’t mean anything.

He Thinks:
Oh my God I am so hungover.

Situation3: Feeding Time
But, the female vs. male mind discrepancy does not end at matters of the heart. It continues right on into matters of the stomach. Let’s take, for illustrative purposes, a stroll around the salad bar in Spangler. The time…high noon.

She Thinks:
Ok. Day 2 with no carbs. I’m so damn hungry – but I really don’t think that I should have too much fat. Oh, the cheese looks sooo good, maybe I’ll take three pieces. (pauses) Ok, maybe two (puts back one piece of cheese). Eggs?…oh good (pokes out all the egg yolk while the ever-forming line grows behind her). Dressing? Ok, I had low-fat Italian yesterday, maybe today I’ll do Balsamic vinaigrette.

He Thinks:
(Think Homer Simpson) Mmm. Little squares of cheese.

Situation 4: Schmoozing
And finally, we can’t forget the recruiting season, where some of the freshly scrubbed and slightly sadistic members of our classes prepare to enter the wonderful world of investment banking. As they walk into the room to schmooze with potential employers, what is on their minds?

She Thinks:
This suit looks really good on me. I’m glad that I decided to wear the skirt. Cute recruiter…no problem.

He Thinks:
(Ok..I have to be honest, I have no idea. Since I am neither a guy nor a banker, I can’t even imagine what is on the minds of HBS men as they enter the i-banking den. But I’ll tell you this much, it probably involved the size of their, um, egos, and in any case, it can’t be good.)

So, what can we take away from these nuances? Is the fashion-forward HBS woman* forever destined to overthink, overworry and overstress? Will the HBS man* continue to be slightly insensitive, simple, and drunk? The answer to all of these questions is a simple yes. And it doesn’t take a mind reader to know that.

*These stereotypes are used for the purpose of humor and general levity. Please do not take offense, particularly all of the friends of the author. I am not talking about you. Really.

October 20, 2003
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