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Kwama Sutra

Like a cold call in FIN1 at 8:40 a.m., the biggest dance of the year is ready to slap you in the face. Be prepared HBS-Holidazzle has arrived.

The last time we chatted, I alluded my next piece would be about dating at HBS. Foresight be damned, I didn’t realize the unique opportunity that presented itself as we are about to experience the grand daddy of all dances. Sweet, generous, and classy Holidazzle. With your black tie requirement, lavish open bar, and posh hotel location, you really can do no harm.

Thus, my fellow business school colleagues, the purpose of this column is simple-I want people to take a date to Holidazzle. Perhaps more importantly, I want a date to Holidazzle. For you quantitative folks, here’s a simple equation: Holidazzle + date = not leaving Holidazzle by yourself. For the really astute financial minds: Holidazzle + date + Kwame = greatest night of your life.

Now, I am aware most of you have done risk analysis on soliciting a date for Holidazzle and probably have produced skeptical results. Rejection is depressing. Moreover, you are forced to see that section mate or classmate who just doesn’t find you attractive each day for the next 1-2 years. Rumors will be spread that you are desperate, and it’s hard to ask someone else for fear they will find out that they are your second choice.

If anyone understands this fear, it is I. After my inaugural column, the lack of formal requests from HBS women soliciting my company on dates was underwhelming at best.ÿResolved my stock is rising, yet eager to sell off my assets by mingling with a member of the opposite sex, I believe Holidazzle is an opportunity to get my mojo back. But there is no reason why the dance should be limited to making my night a little warmer. It could be an opportunity to bring your swagger back as well.

There are so many reasons to take a partner with you to Holidazzle. First and foremost, let’s look at this from a cash flow perspective. Since ticket sales have already closed, the likelihood of having to pay for your date’s ticket is quite small. And guess what-the whole buy your companion’s dinner beforehand-ya, that’s actually covered too. For Pete’s sake, drinks are free and unlimited. This will be the cheapest date ever. (Perhaps you should not cite this as your main motivation for asking someone to the dance).

Now, let’s think of the upside. I experienced the whole “let’s have our section dance in a huge circle, so that no one can grind up on each other” experience at Priscilla Ball. Yes, this was endearing and yes, I love my section, but with a date you can laugh at the circle while cutting the rug with your sexy partner.

This is more so for men, but do you really want to be that random guy who has to back in to girls so he can try to dance with them? Both sexes know exactly what I’m talking about-the ritual where a guy tries to move his hips towards an unassuming girl only to have her quickly move away and dance with her female friends. Holidazzle is a classy event-do not be that guy.

You can see where I am going with this column. If you don’t bring a date, Holidazzle could be like that awkward middle school dance in your school’s gymnasium. Except this time, everyone has gone through puberty (two puberty jokes in two columns-pretty impressive, eh?), there is no gym teacher looking over you and there is an abundance of alcohol, which you’ll drink too much of, black out, and end up on your friend’s couch by yourself.

Now I don’t want to come off as desperate. I am fine going by myself, engaging in the section wide circle dance, and passing out on Mike Calabrese’s couch. But I think there’s a broader reason why we should (especially I) bring a date to Holidazzle. We have an opportunity for a classy, memorable evening-why waste it wandering around searching for someone to take home? Remove the middleman by bringing a date, thus allowing you to keep it classy during the event. Trust me-the stress of already figuring this stuff out well in advance will beat the threat of any potential rejection. Plus, you never know, maybe this date will lead to many other dates. And if it’s a train wreck, just rely on the open bar to get you through the evening.

AUTHOR’S BIOGRAPHY
Kwame Spearman graduated from the Big Apple’s Columbia University in 2006 and earned a J.D. from Yale Law School in 2009. He hails from Denver, Colorado.

November 23, 2009
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