The Ground Rules: interacting with women on a day-to-day basis (Part 3)

27 Jan

Let’s talk about appearance. While the Yale man may have certain standards of cleanliness and propriety, Yale women generally (but not always, because we don’t want to make generalizations here) are cleaner than men. This means, when you invite a woman to your suite, you might want to tidy up a bit so that she doesn’t think you’re a complete slob. It’s just polite. This means: no dirty laundry on the floor, no obvious dust bunnies, and certainly no empty and rotting food containers. You don’t want to have to scramble to make room on the futon for a person to sit down when they enter a room – he or she should be able to see said futon through the debris (or lack thereof). Make sure to air out the room from time to time or use large quantities of Febreeze, because there is nothing nastier than cooped-up boy smell when you walk into a room. Even if the woman in question is simply a friend, it’s always nice to make a good impression. Offering a guest (ex. A man, woman, parent, sibling, best friend from home, recruit) a refreshment (tea, coke, beer, other) is a hospitable gesture that is often looked upon with favor. Certainly not required, but friendly.

In terms of personal care, routine showers are always a good idea. No one wants a stinky boy near her (or him), and the Yale man should always be fresh-smelling (this means you should be using deodorant, soap, shampoo, and maybe some nice after shave if you feel like it). Personal hygiene is not a personal issue – it’s a public one. Dressing nicely to some degree is always taken in a good light. This does not mean that you have to wear a suit and tie to class everyday, but it might be noticed if you actually put on a pair of well-fitting jeans (the kind that doesn’t have ripped knees and doesn’t reveal so obviously whether you’re a boxers or briefs man) instead of sweat pants, or a button-down shirt with the cuffs rolled back instead of a tee-shirt. Sorry Peter Pan, you’re quickly leaving your teenage years behind and cannot dress like a thirteen year old for much longer, so you might as well start building up an adult wardrobe now. Dressing well can get you more attention and more respect. We live in a superficial society where it takes a lot of time and effort to get to know a person, which means that you should care about how you look because that’s going to be his/her first impression of you. Even though you may be a sweet, caring and intelligent Yale man, if you look gross, you’re going to have to work extra hard to have the sweet, caring, intelligent interior shine through your (literally) greasy exterior.

Once you’ve put on that quarter-zip sweater and those desert boots, surrounded by a scent cloud of your own cleanly soapiness, go forth Yale man.  

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