On Dating an Economist

After the success of my post “On dating a Socialist Man”, I decided to write something similar on dating an economist. Some parts of this post will be based on my boyfriend, that studied PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) and now is doing his Masters in Economy, but some parts are just my imagination.

If you want to find your perfect economist, you can meet several at the nearest economical conference, usually organized by economic faculties or students organizations. They will be the ones in the room that will ask elaborated questions that confuse you even more than the talk itself. Because there are a lot of different schools of economic thought, you should study some of them so that you prefer a Post-Keynesian economics kind of guy, or you are more into the Marxian type. You can also go for the Freshwater school or the Saltwater school fellow. You will have a lot of choice in terms of your economist guy, so choose wisely.

the-economistThe economist boyfriend will usually like to share their economical views as often as he can. By sharing economical news article on facebook (instead of that adorable photo he took with you), or having long discussions with his peers (instead of talking about something you can understand), everything is a good excuse to share his expertise and try to convince the world of his own economical point of view. (Ah! You can’t say that it is “just his point of view”, for him it is the unquestionable truth).

When you find you perfect economist guy and you start dating, a lot of simple conversations may became, lets say, a bit too technical… For instance, when my boyfriend and me talked about what marriage means to us, his approach was something like this “We have to try to understand the utility of a marriage, it is a mean to an end. The end is a happy life, but the marriage is just a utility!” For a romantic like me, this sounded seriously wrong. Can’t a marriage be an end itself as well? How can someone call it a utility? But he continued: “A marriage is just useful if it maximize its utility value”. What??

Dating an economist is waking up to the light of his laptop or tablet because he just can’t get out of bed before checking the economical related news of the day. It is trying to read his blog and economistpretend you agree with his point of you on the latest economical crisis (not because you don’t agree with it, but because you just don’t understand it or think it is too boring to even read it). Dating an economist is having to make a lot of decision as a couple taking in consideration the “opportunity cost” and the “maximization of added value” instead of just argue and finally let the woman decide as just any normal couple.

I suspect that my cause is a bit more serious because I do understand a bit of economy, but in any cause dating an economist requires high maintenance, a lot of patience and a lot of effort to try to keep up enthusiastically with his love for economy.

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The Single Girl’s Stages

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Attention: What I’m about to write will not apply to all the girls. There are no rules for what happen in the crazy real love life, there is no script. However, after talking with some friends that have been single for sometime I got the feeling that there is a kind of pattern here. This “stages” don’t have a specific time schedule; for some people each stage can take months to pass, for others just a few weeks.

The “Crazy Freedom” stage: When a girl is single after being in a serious relationship for a while there is this crazy feeling of freedom. Of course that relationships are not “prisons” but I guess that most of us spend some time thinking “Oh, if I were single I could be flirting with that guy” or “I bet that there are some guys interested in me that don’t say it because they know I’m in a relationship”. There is also the question of the “single friends” that are always going out and going on dates and you have to be the “wing-girl” or the “If I were you…” kind of friend. So, when you find yourself single, there is a lot of expectation towards what is going to happen in your love life: all flirt (with no guilty) you can do, all the dates you can go to and so on.  Please note that not all the girls like this stage, but I believe that even the more “serious relationships” type of girls have some degree of craziness in themselves.

The “Is there anyone for me?” stage: After a while (it can be weeks, months or even years) most of the girls will have the need to know if there is any right match for them. It is the stage in which we start to look out for potential “relationship-material”. It doesn’t mean that we want to have a serious relationship again; it means we want to know that if you wanted to, we could have it. Of course it is all about the ego and the reassurance that we are still object of desire for a relationship.

The “This is not so easy after all” stage: Maybe this happens because of all the expectations, or maybe it is just the fact that we have been “out of the game” for a while, but (unless you are a crazy hot girl) most of the girls find themselves lost in this “perfect match” quest. The “he likes me and I don’t like him, or I like him and he doesn’t like me back” situation may be normal for some, but for the girls who have been in a serious relationship it didn’t seem to happen so often.  This is a very frustrate stage, It almost seems like there is something wrong with us, or that the game change and we can’t find the instruction manual anymore. We start wondering if all of our single-friends (that we envy) were single because they wanted (what we though it was the case) or they also sucked at this. At this point some girls can feel tempted to get back with their ex-boyfriends. Beware!

 

The “I don’t give a crap anymore” stage: This is my favourite stage. After a while, girls realise that they actually don’t need a guy in their lives. Attention: this feeling must be real, it doesn’t count if you say it to yourself and then go crazy because some guy took more than one minute to reply your text message. In this stage you take time to go to places you like (and not the ones that you think cute guys hung out), to work out (and not go to the gym just to see the “view”), to be ridiculous and dress what you like and feel confortable with (and not behave and dress like a doll)… But we can’t forget that being relaxed and being lazy are different things.

I must confess that I don’t know exactly the next stage by personal experience, but most of the cases that “I don’t give a crap anymore” attitude towards relationships is very effective in getting one relationship. It is somehow ironic, but I guess guys feel more attracted to girls that are not obsessed about getting a boyfriend. Can’t blame them.

the amazing life of… a trainee!

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In the last months I’ve been working in a research centre for political sciences called Observatório Político (OP). I really like my work there. I’ve been closing some partnerships and I even like the more bureaucratic work like the accreditation of the courses and the institutional contacts. They really make me feel useful and that my work is appreciated. I also like the educational aspect of it, every time I could do something better they let me know so I can improve, but always with good and helpful critics.

My internship is only three months but I already feel that I’m at home there. The other interns and the members of the board are really nice people. Nevertheless, I will just talk a little bit about the other trainees because they are the people with whom I work everyday. João and Bruno were already working in there when I arrived (Bruno is working in a different entity but for me he is “one of us”). They really made me feel confortable and treated me with a lot of respect and friendship although I was new in the job and “just” a trainee. I have already learned a lot from both of them.

I like that we have little routines that make me feel like we are a “work family”: we always cook and have lunch together in the small (but very useful) kitchen, we always listen to the radio program “Mixórdia de Temáticas” together and we make tea everyday. These are just small examples of our daily routines that make me feel like I belong and make me appreciate my workplace.

There are two other trainees that started to work at the same time I did: Pedro and Rui. I can honestly say that we are good friends now. They already knew which other for three years, but they immediately made me feel part of the group. I really like to hang out with them, even outside of work. I find it very hard to describe them, but I will try. They like to read A LOT, they love to visit libraries and bookstores and they love to show the amazing number of authors they read… But what really characterizes them is the fact that they have an amazing sense of humour and they know it. Of course they are different from each other but I won’t say how because if I fail to do so I would be in big trouble.

Now that my classes have started again I am feeling really tired because I have to work and study at the same time. However, I know that I will miss this time for sure.

My inner Grinch

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Too soon? Maybe… But Christmas is already making me crazy, so it is the right time to write about it, I guess.

As a child, I would spend all year thinking about Christmas. What would I ask for? What would be my next move to see Santa in my house? I would dream about my grandmother’s cookies and tea. But I can now admit that my relationship with Christmas was never as romantic as it should be. I would get crazy about the thought that my sister’s present would be better than mine, about how many people would give me presents (quantity was away better than quality) and that the “I want to meet Santa” idea was more about telling my friends that I finally had some proof that it was my father in the red costume. The only true love I had about Christmas was the love for cookies and tea… but I love those all year long.

As I grew older, my relationship with Christmas was getting better. I started only asking for money, so I could save it or use it to travel. I already had some strong evidence that Santa was my father all along, and I had my own money to buy cookies and tea anytime. But now, I’m getting really cynical about it. I used to like to drive around the town just watching the Christmas’ illuminations, but now the only thing I can think about is the amount of money that the city hall is spending on that. Choosing the present was a nice part of the experience, but now the stores all scream “Come inside! Spend all of your savings here! I can help you accumulate more debts…”.  Maybe if there was snow in Lisbon I would appreciate Christmas a bit more. It would help me get in the right mood. But Lisbon in December only has rain to offer me. No thank you!

I hope I’m not ruining Christmas for you, I know that it can have a beautiful meaning for a lot of people. It can mean family time, which is a meaning I would never dare to criticize. If that’s what Christmas means to you, I envy you and I would like to ask you to share your Christmas spirit with me!

 

How can I be international in my own country?

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This weekend I received an invitation to be Chair in an AIESEC conference. A “chair” is the host of the conference, the one that sets the tone. This conference will be for people that want to go in an internship, like the one I did in Romania. My main goal is to make them feel the international environment of AIESEC during my sessions, but this may be a problem because they will be sitting in a small room in the university.  That problem got me thinking: How can I be international in my own country?

First of all we have an international network available in the internet. Last week, I was looking for masters in Marketing and I couldn’t decide which English university was better for me. So I looked up for hashtags in twitter related to that master in different universities. I found out some people that were students in those masters so I’m “following” them on twitter to know more about the student life in that master. I even became “friends” with some of them in facebook and chat with them about why did they choose that university. That don’t know me, and probably we will never meet, but they decided to answer my questions! I know that it is still kind of awkward talking to strangers from all over the world in the internet, and we should be very careful with the information we provide, but in this case they helped me a lot!

Actually, in Portugal it is not very hard to “be international”. I live in Lisbon, and downtown it is easy to tourists walking around, eating in restaurants and enjoying the good weather. In my university we receive a lot of Erasmus students so everywhere I look I see different faces, I hear different languages… In the Portuguese companies we are starting to have more and more international human resources. I’m proud that most of the young people in Portugal are fluent in English and some of us are starting to learn a third language like Spanish, German or French.

I hope that the delegates of the conference will already feel in Portugal some of the international environment they are seeking. But I will also have to make them realize that the best way to get to know other cultures is travelling and experiencing the world!

 

ps: This photo was taken in Belgium last March. I know that is not a “be international in my own country” kind of picture, but it reminds me how well represented portuguese people are all around the world.

Home, strange home.

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I’m home, whatever that means.

I realized I was in Portugal when, still in the airport, I heard a couple talking with “cascais” accent. Cascais is a city in Portugal and usually is called “Cascais accent” to a very fancy and almost snob way of talking. Of course not all the people that live in Cascais talk like this, but it is a common expression.

My father let my dog go to meet me in the “arrivals” door and a lot of people stopped hugging their loved ones just to see my dog running in a crazy way when he saw me. It was a show. When finally I got the chance to hug my parents they immediately said that I needed a shower. After hours in a horrible flight and running around the Munich airport because I was about to lose my connection flight, I guess they had good reasons to complain.

Having a shower in my own bathroom was like being in heaven. I didn’t need to look out for the cockroaches and I had a clean towel waiting for me! After my shower I decided to meet my friends from my political party so I could start helping them with the campaign for the next election, this month. My mother tried to stop me: “You have just arrived, don’t even think of going out!”. Oh god, how I missed my mother! I thought that what would be stranger about moving in with my parents again would be the parents’ control, but actually they don’t control me that much. The strangest thing is the emotional control: Sofia, come and give you mom a kiss; sofia, you never spend any time with us; Sofia, how I missed your hugs… I’m no longer used to have someone that really cares about me around. In the Romania, I could spend hours in my room without having to hug or kiss someone, or without thinking how many hours a day I should spend with my parents…

I’m complaining as an ungrateful child, I know. The truth is that I love my parents, but I’m also a 20 years old girl trying to prove how grown up I am, so hug and kisses may be in the way of my independent-bad-ass-attitude. However (and please don’t tell anyone, specially my parents) when I didn’t have them, I actually miss it!

I don’t know if I will keep on writing in this blog because my experience is “over”, but maybe, if I find inspiration, I will write about something else!