Thursday, February 8, 2007
I, by the grace of my own diligence, was able to come home early from Ohio yesterday. Why didn’t anyone ever tell me that being in PE meant that half of my life was going to be spent traveling to shitshow portfolio companies to boss around retards twice my age with the business acumen of Accenture employees? That would have been nice to know (not that it would have changed much).
Anyway, I was able to make it home a bit early yesterday for Pocket Change New York, a speed dating event by Pocket Change for “Rich Guys & Hot Girls.” Shallow? Perhaps. But honestly, it’s not the easiest thing in the world meeting a girl when you’re working as hard as I do. And frankly, it’s nearly impossible to meet someone new when the (stretched) radius of your circle of friends only extends out from “finance” to “consulting.” While consulting bitches do tend to be kind of freaky, I figured that it’d be nice to see what a fashion designer, PR chick, or a model would have to say about my new, elevated post within the business world. I reckoned she might like it.
So I made it to the event. Slightly late, but getting out “early” wasn’t apparently early enough to make up for my cab driver’s excessive sloth. IIT really needs to open a school for cabbies, because these Sanjays we’re getting really aren’t up to snuff.
But finally, I walked into the parkside UES restaurant, checked my coat, verified my name, and made my way into the main area. The bar had lots of little tables with paired, oval backed seats. The general plushness felt like my dad’s den, or maybe even like a non-bicker eating club at Princeton. But unlike either of these, the bar was filled with beautiful, scantily-dressed women.
I beckoned the Asian girl (the only one of those there, mind you) in charge of seating, explained my most unavoidable lateness and was seated immediately with my own placard: Lucky Number 7. I was too late to get a proper sheet or nametag, but my $500 entry fee did manage to afford me a shitty plastic Bic pen. Fun!
Right after I was seated, the biddies began to roll in one after another to meet me. Upon inspection, it turned out that the majority of the girls were much more scantily dressed and slightly less beautiful than I had originally anticipated. Perhaps it was the lighting. Or perhaps it was the fact that throwing a “model” event during fashion week is not terribly pareto efficient (could have for sure been better off)—kind of like having the NFL Pro Bowl on the same day as the Superbowl. Still, however, the girls were hot (perhaps just a bit more dirty hot than beautiful).
And during our allotted 3 minutes, it turned out that instead of me having to try to convince the girls I was worth having sex with, they were put on the spot to convince me they were worth my time. Having a girl know for a fact that you make a lot of money is apparently just as magical as one would assume. Sure, I’ve felt girls speculate about me based on what club I’m at, my clothes, etc., but even associate magazine editors can get some decent gear on BLUEFLY.com or wherever the hell and show up at Pink Ele. The fact that my wealth had been notarized by this lame group of party promoters, though, officially turned the tables. It was like I was still a banker, but the roles were flipped. Instead of going out on a roadshow, the banks and management teams (now dumb, hot chicks) were coming to me–perhaps the only situation in which the notion of being a commercial bank, mutual fund, or insurance company is not totally repulsive.
Let’s consider a few standouts:
- Biddy #1: Self-proclaimed “socialite” who hangs out only at the Hotel Gansevort, Level V, and Tenjune.
- Thoughts: you: “socialite” :: corporate lawyer : baller.
- Biddy #2: Slightly thick Murray Hill girl with self-confidence issue and perpetual desire to be photographed.
- Thoughts: Who Photoshopped your pics into being able to pass the “expert” screening panel, Ms. Husky? Dude deserves his own art gallery for that pixel wizardry.
- Biddy #3: Gorgeous brunette who flew in specifically from Dallas for the event that asks me: “What inspires you?”
- Thoughts: Girls that fly 1500 miles to meet rich dudes like me.
- Biddy #4: Paris Hilton look-alike from Winnipeg, Canada who claims to have never ventured below 14th street because “The Poors” are dangerous.
- Thoughts: Tru dat. I get nervous around 20th sometimes—you never know how far up The Poors may have encroached.
- Biddy #5: “Fashion entrepreneur” who is starting her own high-end shoe company (any day now) based off connections she has made while living in Italy.
- Thoughts: Sounds like the perfect market for a budding young entrepreneur with a fistful of her hubby’s hard earned cash. Sigerson Morrison watch your back! Dumb Chick, Inc. is coming afta’ ya!
And this went on for about an hour. It was semi-fruitful: I was getting girls’ numbers and learning about a whole slew of New York boroughs I had never even heard of before. There is apparently a “Harlem,” a “Queens,” and an “Essex County.” Who knew?
And then, just when the 5 glasses of red wine were pleading for release and my patience for stupidity were wearing thin, I met her.
She sat down with grace. She told me her name was Lauren, and we shook hands. She was delicate about it, and I pinched just firmly enough that I could see her shudder visibly as my general vibe of badassedness flushed through her body—a svelte one draped in a gold gown.
It was immediately obvious that Lauren didn’t belong. In a crowd of wannabe-FHM models, she stuck out like a Scarlet Johanson, so much so that I nearly asked her why she wasn’t at the Justin Timberlake show at MSG. But I figured it probably wasn’t good game to acknowledge that I knew that.
Lauren, not unlike me, was growing weary of the scene. Her blond hair brushed about against the gown selected to match it, and she informed that instead of meeting anyone decent and pedigree as she had naively thought she might, she had found what seemed to be 40 “real-estate moguls,” several “entrepreneurs,” and a handful of guys with “family businesses.”
But these words rolled off her lips with an air of prestige I haven’t felt since I brushed shoulders with the 180 LSAT/45 MCAT kid that dropped his Rhodes Scholarship to work at Renaissance. She said “family business” the way you and I say “Jefferries”—holding back vomit. It was amazing.
I listened intently as Lauren went on about the creepy old men that told her they had daughters her age. They apparently smiled and winked while saying it. She found this repulsive, but she did appreciate the 78 year old man that busted out his black card to buy her an even more top-shelf champagne than what was available. She found that to be “gentlemanly.” I took note.
We settled for a moment. After she told me that she was working as a model with Vision, she asked: “What do you do in the city?”
“Oh, I work in Finance,” I responded, Pavlov-style, always afraid to get into too much detail.
“What kind of Finance?” she prodded.
“Private Equity,” I said.
Lauren raised her eyebrows and the left edge of her lip almost mockingly. She jutted her chin upwards slightly and 100% dead pan, she went:
“Oh yeah? So what’s your typical debt/equity mix in an acquisition and what kind of capital structure do you employ?”
…I couldn’t breathe. Perhaps everything was augmented by the fact that I had just tried to explain the concept of “buying and selling companies” to 50 girls with an equal amount of holes in their brains and septums, but I was in full body shock.
I stared at her dumbfounded. This outlandishly good looking, polished girl had just dropped some serious knowledge on me. I was in love.
After a few moments, my head tilted to one side. I started to mumble a few words, but the chick with the microphone came on and said “Final rotation. Ladies switch to the next number.”
Lauren stared at me encouragingly as she draped her purse over her shoulder and got up. Still, I managed to squeeze out nothing more than a few, unintelligible noises.
She rested her hand on my shoulder as she bent down to get her mouth near in my ear: “Stanford ’01, HBS ’05,” she whispered. “Find me when you’ve got an answer.” And she tapped me on the shoulder a few times affectionately and left.
For the record, I did take home a model last night, but the only thing I could think of was Lauren.