It Happened to Me

Longing and Shorting

Please bear with me as I mention the For the Love of Breasts gala one more time. It’s just that it was the setting in which I discovered some colloquialisms that I hadn’t heard before.

At one point in the evening, I was having some Campari-and-sodas with a group of charming young women, all of whom were wearing The Little Black Dress. The one who was sitting beside me cupped her hand, turned to me and whispered “See that guy? My friend Lisa* longs him.”

(* Not her real name.)

I interpreted “longs” as “longs for”. However, later on in the conversation, some guy took a seat beside Lisa and started hitting on her with the grace of a rhino on NyQuil.

“Ugh,” said She Who Sat Beside Me. “She really shorts him. I think we’re all shorting him.”

That’s when it clicked. The girls all worked in the financial industry together; in fact, it seemed that most of the attendees at the gala were in finance or had at least written their CFA exam. They were using financial terminology: longing, as in “buying long” (the way most laypeople think of the stock market — you buy stock because you believe it will increase in value) and shorting as in “selling short” (which is covered rather nicely in this explanation).

It sounded odd to me, but then I thought about it: we computer programmers and techies probably sound just as alien when we say that something owns, is 1337, r0x0rs or sux0rz. It’s just that any field’s jargon used in a dating or mating context always sounds a little creepy. Maybe not furry creepy (“Ooh! Yiffy!”), but creepy nonetheless.

But hey, these girls were cute, and what’s a little creeping-out between friends?

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