The story of the Newport Ball is a story often told about HBS students: sex-starved individuals, still recovering from 100+ hour work-weeks, given access to an open bar, dancing and a hotel room.
More than 100 hours have passed since the Newport Ball, and despite the gallons of Gatorade I have consumed, numerous types of greasy food eaten, and sleepy nights in a comfortable bed, my head still hurts – a lot. Thus, I write this column, wearing pajamas alone in my room, still a wounded man.
Now if a dating columnist ever tells you he can give you relationship advice while hung over, he is lying. He is also lying if he tells you writing a dating column will help him with ladies in the Business School (or the greater University population), but that is for another day (and an event that will likely lead to another headache).
With limited capabilities right now, yet understanding your yearning to read something by the Kwama Sutra, I thought I could reflect upon the Newport Ball, offering a play-by-play of interesting events that occurred on that fateful evening.
Yet with all the above said, for many Newport did not live up to expectations. This is primarily because of the rainstorm that kept students inside of the mansion. More dreadful, many of the women attendees, well, wore dresses that, um, hmmm, exposed most of their skin. Therefore, the rain, wind and cold temperatures did not bode well for them.
The food selection also did not help. The chef for the evening used to cook for the children at the orphanage where Annie stayed. Subsequently, dinner consisted of mashed potatoes, bread and something they labeled meat. The combination of a lack of dinner and a desire to stay warm, though, did have some well attended effects. The dance floor was packed. And thus, our story begins:
12:01am: The party moves to the dance floor.
Every single man dressed in black tie needs two things: 1) a martini and 2) a wingwoman. Yes, a wingwoman and not a wingman. I say this because wingmen are great for bars, clubs, baseball games, etc., but when you put on the tuxedo, you need to up your game. My wingwoman was Zaynab Ahsan. Classy, international, Zaynab on paper is the perfect wingwoman.
However, one should not judge a book by its cover. Zaynab delivered like Peyton Manning in this year’s Super Bowl. She was unclear which friend to introduce to me to, and thus we crisscrossed the dance floor before ultimately resigning ourselves to defeat. In Zaynab’s defense, finding someone who wanted to date me at Newport was a bit like squeezing blood from a turnip.
12:24am: Trip to the food stand.
12:17am: Try to back my way into dancing with Faith Serrano.
Confident in my dance moves, I attempted to glide across the dance floor, arms waving in the air, fists pumping to the beat. And then I saw her, Faith, sweet Faith. Finally, I have a dance partner. Hips moving from side to side, I creep up near her.
12:18am: Faith has gone to another part of the dance floor. That didn’t go very well.
12:35am: Trip back to the food cart.
12:54am: Text message to David Meckstroth, stating, “Having the time of my life. Go Broncos!” Not sure why I included the “Go Broncos,” but I did.
1:10am: The dance is starting to die down and I am escorted to the bus.
1:21am: Finally found a fun girl coming back from the dance; she seems great and maybe I can navigate this into a date. One minor problem: I am so tired I basically pass out in mid-conversation with her. Note to self: don’t fall asleep when talking to an interesting girl.
2:12am: Visit to IHOP.
I order fried chicken and pancakes. I eat the whole thing. Sectionmate and friend Monica Walker notes, “That was disgusting.”
3:11am: Somehow I make it back to bed.
3:23am: El fin.