I'm not your bitch, don't hang your shit on me.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Bleaching your kids right and wrong

There are a group of parents standing around my niece's sandbox, discussing its merits. Some claim that it’s a fun way to entertain children, while others claim that it’s a novelty that gets tired of too quickly. Being the only single person around, I couldn’t care less about the topic of sand vs. no sand, but I still listen.

“These things are a breeding ground for bacteria,” says one of the parents. “When the sand gets wet and it’s covered, the sun bakes the sand...”

“Bleach,” I say.

The other six look at me.

“What did you say?” asks another parent.

“Bleach,” I reiterate. “Just throw some bleach in the sand.” I swing my arm to the side, my third glass of wine swishing around.

“Um… we never thought of that.” Looks of horror are registered in their faces.

“Think about it. Bleach disinfects everything, right?” I say, trying to sound nonchalant and sober. “Splash in a little bit of bleach into the sand and you’ll have no problem with germs.” I didn’t mention that their dirty kids would probably be disinfected, as well.

Of course, no parent would consider such a simple - if radical - solution to maintaining grubby little hands free from germs.

Using bleach is a part of my cleaning fetish. It comes in especially handy for my fluffy white towels and crisp white linens. And, now that it comes in different scents (the lemon version eliminates the urea-based whiff of regular Chlorox), I’m almost orgasmic.

If/when I have children, I’ll let them play outside all day if they want. When they come indoors, that’s anther matter. If I have to powerwash the crud off them, then I will. My kids will be spotless - like my home - 'cause daddy don’t do dirty.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Leaking lips

For some strange reason, I have been breaking out on the sides of my mouth. The pimple isn’t what’s interesting, it’s the location: the ‘inseam’ where my top and bottom lip meet.

Because of their colour, they end up looking like a continuation of my lip. They make my mouth frown and curve my lips downwards. That’s not the worst part of it. They also make my lips appear to be leaking.

For years I’ve made the joke that my pout is due to surgical enhancement, like 90 per cent of my body (also a joke). Since the pimple is where the injection goes, it looks like something went wrong in the doctor’s office.

Of course, if the scab cracks, a tiny amount of clear liquid emanates from the pimple, making it look like the Restylane is escaping.

There’s no way I can win when I tell the truth... or when I lie.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Famous anonymity

Recently, while perusing the Web, I came across one person’s request of asking visitors to pass along the site’s address to X amount of friends to spread the word and increase readership.

An interesting request, but I couldn’t help but wonder why.

Do they get something in return when they hit a magic number? Money? Awards? Do balloons and streamers fall from the ceiling when it happens?

Personally, I think the reason is one of fame and recognition. The more “readers” shown on their stat counter (always conveniently placed near the top of the main page), the more justified they feel for their online existence.

“One million visitors! One freakin' million. Yeah, suck on that! I'm more popular than you!"

And, as we all know, if you're popular, you're loved.

Congratulations! You have a million visitors. So, what’s next? Two million? Ten million? A billion? And, do visitors really mean anything? Will you be any more famous than the people who visit your site? And, if you wanted to be famous, why wouldn't you use this achievement to accomplish something else in your life? Technically, that would make you even more famous, if that's what you're after. It worked for Angelina Jolie, right? She's even more famous after using her celebrity - and sexiness - for causes other than her own.

Personally, I don't do this for fame.

Lord knows I get paid millions of dollars from Hollywood studios not to star in any of their films, and I’m living with my famous anonymity. And, if I have to have one more offer of not recording a multi-platinum, Grammy-winning album, or write the next zillion-selling DaVinci Code, so that someone else can feel better about themselves, than so be it.

I don’t need fame to justify my existence.

I’ve got my eight readers to do that.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

You know, just like

While I'm not currently in love, there are a couple of people that I like. And when I mean like, I mean like (not like like). You know, just like.

To physically demonstrate how much I like someone, I call them, write e-mails, take them out for coffee/drink, give them the occasional gift, etc.

Basically, I act like an idiot by being 'cute' and stuff.

That’s what you do, right? When you like someone? Showing affection in a PG-rated way. I thought so. But, sometimes they can misinterpret these actions as annoying, like I'm trying too hard. They may even hate it and hate me, and I don't want them to hate me because I like them.

If they liked me, it wouldn’t matter, right? At least, that's what I think.

Then again, no one has ever liked me enough to do anything for me, so I've never been on the reciprocating end of knowing how they feel. I wouldn't mind it, though. Having someone offer me a coffee would be nice right about now.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Who wants a piece of meat?

As B and I are walking through the grocery store, he mentions a few facts about the foods he’s eating and their dietary benefits. Some are high in protein, others packed with vitamins. He’s trying to be as healthy as possible for his run on the weekend and doesn’t want to spoil all his hard work.

While he’s doing this, I get a craving for meat. A big, honkin’ piece of meat. Fatty. Loaded with calories. Then, I start to think of a Whopper meal.

Being the nice person that I am, I don’t say a word of this to B. He’d probably have a conniption in the produce aisle. But, I want him to stop talking about eating well because it makes him sound self-righteous.

I picture myself scarfing down a burger in slow motion, both hands wrapped around the sesame seed bun, my teeth breaking the surface of the bread, fillings and meat, a small piece of mayo getting stuck on the side of my mouth, and my finger scooping it up and licking it off with my tongue.

And, I’d drink a supersized Coke – regular, not diet.

Why should I sacrifice the foods I enjoy eating? I hear of so many people with regimented diets, and I feel bad for them. I don't think they really love to eat protein shakes, broiled/steamed chicken breasts, and veggies all the time. And, how about the endless supply of vitamin supplements? It gets expensive after a while.

I can’t do it. I like to eat too much. And, I like to eat meat. Savoury, savory meat. We all die eventually, so I might as well croak with a full stomach instead of being hungry (and cranky because of my hunger).

Excuse me, I have to go to Burger King right now…

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ditch, ditch, ditch

Ditch, ditch, ditch.

Three times dissed. Three times pissed.

I'm never, ever going out again. Ever.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Please, no pictures

Upon reading about the musings of other online personalities, I've come across the fact that several of them have been recognized when walking down the street.

Whenever people see me in the flesh, as opposed to in pictures, they pass right by me. I always get the same reaction when they realize who they just bumped into on the sidewalk: You look different than what I imagined/expected.

I know what they mean.

Photoshoots can do a number on your image. There's the hair, makeup, wardrobe, lighting, A-list photographer, and a professional staff primping you to look good in front of the camera. You never look as good in person.

When I'm not in a studio, I shield myself from the cameras. I don't want anyone to see me when I'm not at my best. I don't want anyone to see my ratty clothes, and rattier hair. And, I won't even mention the fuckin' zits. I want to be incognito, but those paparazzi are horrible little creatures; snapping away, when you least expect it. Fuckers. No matter how hard I try, I can't hide from them.

That could be why I'm never spotted on the streets like some other online personalities - my paparazzi shots make me look different then what I do in real life.

Then again, no one reads Human Nature, and those that do don't live in Toronto. So, maybe that's the better explanation.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Break down (pt. 2)

After stepping out of the Apple store, I walk to the railing that overlooks the lower floor and dig inside my mitchel to find my cell phone. I scroll through the phone book and find my sister’s listing for her cell phone. She’s heard these stories before, so she doesn’t need any additional background information before I start telling her about the phone call with T.

Before the voicemail picks up on the fourth ring, she answers the phone.

“Hi, A. It’s me. You at home?”


“Where are you?”

"I’m at S and B’s house. We’re just about to start dinner.”

“Ok, I’ll make this quick. Just nod and say the occasional hmmm. Ok?”


For the next minute, I retell the story of the phone call with T.

"I mean, is she ever like this around you?” I ask. Why doesn’t she act normal around me? Why can’t she act crazy around others? I end up coming across as overdramatic because I want to show others that she’s losing her mind, bit by bit, with the final breakdown coming in a matter of time, but I can't.

“No, she’s normal, I guess.” Her tone of voice is flat, as if nothing is wrong. “You know how she is when she gets these visions. She thinks she’s clairvoyant.”

“How the hell can you be clairvoyant if all of your visions are wrong?!” I practically yell this sentence down to the people below. A few of them look up at me as I quickly turn around and bow my head. “We have to take her to a therapist. Now. She’s getting worse.” There’s genuine concern in my tone.

“I know, I know. But, can we talk about this later? I have to go. They’re serving dinner.”

"Ok, fine. Go, go. I’ll write you an e-mail later when I get home.”

“Ok. Bye.”

“Bye.” Click.

For the rest of the day, I walk around the city, wondering what’s going on with T. I’m worried. Very worried. I know she enjoys turning the tables when others are in crisis, to make everything about her. It’s a twisted mentality and the sort of thinking process that she relishes in because it brings the attention back to her, making people feel sorry for her.

But, there’s more to it.

She has been like this before, but never to this extreme. The degradation of her mind is compounded by the fact that she’s an internalized person and refrains from what she should release. Her mind races to the point that all of her thoughts start forming their own thoughts that begin to rule her thinking process.

Even though I am not a psychiatrist of any kind, I do have a psychology degree (and had a study published), keep up with the trends of the practice and read statistics like I’m flipping through a copy of Vanity Fair, so the symptoms - although many - can be spotted by someone with my background.

They’re typically divided into two separate sections: positive and negative.

Positive symptoms include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech/thinking, grossly disorganized behaviour, and catatonic behaviour, amongst others.

Negative symptoms include affective flattening (reduction in the range and intensity of emotional expression), alogia (the poverty of speech), and avolition (reduction, difficulty, or inability to initiate and persist in goal-directed behaviour).

It’s unfair to diagnose a psychological ailment, especially since I'm not a specialist. It takes years of schooling and on-the-job experience to make a firm diagnosis. But, these signs can’t be ignored.

The next steps are the most crucial since they deal with having to manipulate T into thinking that there’s nothing wrong with her, while admitting her into some sort of treatment. And, I don’t know what do to since I’m in the middle of it all.

It's like the blind, leading the blind, leading the crazy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Break down (pt. 1)

The Apple story is busy, as usual. There are a lot of people walking around, and even more huddling by the equipment. They travel in packs, since I don't see singletons walking around.

Currently, I’m on a laptop at the front of the store, checking my e-mail. I haven’t been near a computer all day, and I’m sure my inbox is filling up. While clicking on the keyboard, trying to get the hotmail page to open, my cell phone begins to ring. Since I’m expecting a call from someone, I dig into my mitchel, pull it out, and press the talk button.

“Steven, where are you?” says the voice on the line.

“I’m on the phone.” I look at the display on the phone and it says private instead of showing an actual number.

“I tried calling two times and you’re not home.” It’s T. She does this all the time. She’ll call my place several times in a day just to see if I’m home and then stresses out if I don’t pick up the phone. Am I supposed to be sitting beside the phone, waiting for her to call?

“Well, it’s because I’m not at home.” I continue to look down at the laptop in front of me.

“Where are you? Toronto?” She says Toronto, like she’s fearful it’s going to eat her up, like the animal prints she adores to clothe herself with.

“Yes, I’m in Toronto.”

“Are you staying there overnight?”

What sort of question is that? And, why is it any of her business?

“How many times do I stay here overnight? And who am I going to stay with?”

“I don’t know. I just thought – “ I cut her off before she contiunes with her thought.

“What is it? Do you need anything? Do you need me to pick you up?” I look up and around me, with the phone cradled in the crook of my neck. There’s one girl standing in front of me, tapping away at another laptop.

“No, it’s not that. Steven, I’m getting a vision… I have a terrible feeling something is going to happen to you…”

Did she just say what I think she just said? A vision?

“I’m at the mall, surrounded by people. Nothing is going to happen to me.” I roll my eyes, taking a good look around the sterility of the store. White walls and a grey floor do not signify fun and futuristic as they do uninspired and unfinished.

“I have a feeling. Oh, I’m not feeling well. See, what you do to me? I was feeling better, but now I’m not feeling well. Something is going to happen to you. I can just feel it. You’re in great danger…”

“You know what? You’re just paranoid.” Not to mention, sounding crazier by the second. Why is it that I’m the one who gets these phone calls? Why is it that I’m the one who has to listen to her when her lucidity is lacking? “Nothing is going to happen to me. If you don’t need anything, I’ll see you later.”

“Take care of yourself!” she yells into her mouthpiece, her voice travelling into my phone and being heard by the other shoppers. “Don’t let anything happen to you!”

“Bye.” Click. I look up again, and see there are a couple of people looking at me. I must’ve been talking a little too loud. Either that, or T was talking loud. I give them a shrug, place the cell phone in my mitchel and continue checking my e-mail.

A few minutes later, when I log off the computer, I think of the first thing any rational person would do: call somebody and tell them what just happened.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Recently, I found out that someone I know is into watersports. To be specific, urine. It surprised me. I wouldn’t have expected it since they appear(ed) to be someone without a fetish. Apparently, looks are deceiving.

For those of you in the know, watersports (in BDSM terminology) refers to sensual or erotic play involving bodily fluids; urine, saliva, and less commonly, blood. It’s considered to be 'edge-play', because it is somewhat unhygienic.

Now, I don’t like pee. I do realize urination is a fact of life and its main purpose is to release toxins from the body, but if I had the choice, I wouldn’t ever pee (but I have to, or else I’d explode). The process of it isn’t appealing to me. Expunging something from the body isn’t a turn-on in the least. And, due to the amount of urea, it’s yellow… and I don’t like yellow.

I do understand the element of dominance of having one urinate on another. It’s similar to a dog marking its territory. It’s primal. Humans are primal creatures, at times, living on instinct. But, I’m not a dog and I’m surely no one’s bitch.

But, looking back on it, I should’ve suspected there was something up when I kept being offered something to drink when I wasn’t thirsty. I'm oblivious to the obvious.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Date, or no date?

Is it still a date when you're stood up... twice... by the same person?

Why are second chances given when history - invariably - repeats itself?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Smarty pants

Do you remember the kid in primary school who always raised his/her hand whenever the teacher asked a question? You know, the chubby one with the baggy sweater, elasticized pants, bad hair, and funny teeth? Yeah, that’s the one. This kid had the answers to everything, and had a snappy remark for those who talked back - the smarty pants of the class.

As the years pass, this kid tones up, replaces the baggy sweater for a fitted one, the pants turn into flat fronts, the hair is tamed with product, the teeth are fixed with braces, but is the consummate know-it-all.

In a matter of words, the kid is me.

From a young age, my parents always told me that if I didn’t know the answer, I’d better keep quiet. Because I didn't like to stay silent, I took that as a matter of initiative to learn. Any bit of information, trivia, details, I could get a hold of, I memorized. If anyone wanted an answer to something, I’d have it. Snarkiness was left to the uninitiated.

To this day, I don't want to be caught off guard with a fact or statistic. I want to know everything. A nightmare would be to have me on Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? see some 10-year-old kick my ass with their knowledge of world capitals, and have that yokel of a host laugh at me with the studio audience.

Who wants to look like a dummy?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fashion crimes: From the neck down

There’s a guy who takes the same train as I do in the morning. He’s young, cute, a professional of sorts. He stands out in a crowd not for those reasons, but for the fact that the man can’t dress if his life depends on it.

Either he’s blind, or single, because there is no way his wife/girlfriend would let him leave the house looking like that. My bets are on single since I’ve seen him dodge cars in the parking lot.

Normally, he wears a dark blazer (navy or charcoal), dark blue, pin-striped slacks (not from the coordinating blazer), a light-coloured shirt, baby-poo-toned brown shoes, and a chocolate brown briefcase. Nothing matches, everything clashes.

He cares about his appearance because he’s always well-groomed from the neck up. From the neck down… well, that’s another story.

As much as I want to go up to him and tell him that he needs some help, I think it might be rude (and I'm not a rude person).

Still, a part of me makes me want to teach him how to put together his outfits, and dress him up like a Ken doll. That would be a blast. We could go shopping and pick out stuff for him to wear that he wouldn't like, but I'd end up keeping because we're almost the same size.

Of course, he'd be paying for it all.

In the end, he looks good from the neck down, and I get a new wardrobe. It's win-win!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Second chances

Not too long ago, a friend of mine got married and had a baby. What’s different about this fairy tale is that it’s her second marriage and her second child.

There’s also J, who fell in love and recently got engaged. The last year was rough for him: He’s had issues with employment, health, relationships, and housing.

Things are looking up for the both of them. What’s surprising about these two examples are their ages: neither of them are in their 20’s. In fact, one is in their late 30’s while the other in their 40’s.

While they had their ups and downs, they persevered. There were good and bad times and they lived through them. And, they give me hope that someday I’ll have a second (or twentieth) chance at happiness.

If it can happen to them, then why not me? And if it happens to me, do I have to wait anther 10-15 years for it to happen? God, I bloody well hope not. I can't pretend to be 25 forever.

Note: Lest we forget the anniversary of this date.

Monday, September 10, 2007

It's not who you know, it's who doesn't think you're crazy

The industry that I work in is all about connections. The issue of quantity vs. quality doesn’t matter since it’s all a wash in the end. But, if you don’t have a few good connections, your ascension in the industry will be lugubrious, at best.

B has worked in several industries and made a few friends throughout his professional career. Since he’s rather generous with his time (and resources), he forwards me the name of D, who happens to work for the city.

Since I don’t have D’s e-mail address, I ask B if he can forward it to me so I can send D my CV as a means of detailing my employment background.

Then B does something I don’t expect in a million years… he tells me he gave D the address for Human Nature.

I scream. Loudly. "Jesus Christ, why the hell did he do that? Now, D is going to think I'm crazy."

The reason why I freak out is that D happened to read a series of posts on my penchant for drinking, cocaine and bulimia, not to mention my issues with anger, rage, violence, and fashion. And, don't get me started on weight matters.

When I speak with D, he brings none of this up. I know he reads HN and I also know people from the government (both Canada and the U.S.) do, too.

Before we go our separate ways, I tell him that I am not like that person he reads about online. It’s a persona of who I am. He nods his head and says it’s alright. After talking with me for an hour, or so, he knows I’m not that person.

Now, all I have to do is convince the rest of the Canadian and U.S. government.

Note: And, I'm not even going to mention Brit's Cheeto's performance at the VMA's. Now, that was crazy.

Friday, September 07, 2007

I'm not an alcoholic, I just like to drink

In order to deal with an addiction, many people join a 12-step recovery group. The first step is admitting one has a serious, uncontrollable problem.

Surely, there are millions of people who suffer from a wide form of addictive behaviours, but not all of them are bad. One’s neurotic cleaning habit is another’s heroin.

Although I have a few quirks that may bother some (being organized can be such a burden for the messy), I will probably never admit to being a boozer. Why? It doesn’t rule my life, I can live without it, and the only person who is ever affected is me.

I’m not an alcoholic, I just like to drink.

True, my morning coffee doesn’t taste right without Bailey’s or Kahlúa, and there are days where I need to have a pick-me-up before noon, but that doesn’t mean I have a problem. I like the taste of some alcoholic beverages, and I know when enough is enough. Two drinks a week is nothing compared with some people who have two a day.

But, even though I have a sense of modicum when it comes to alcohol, I hope I don’t turn into those 1950’s housewives who had nothing else better to do with their day then scoot Mabel out of the house after coffee so she can make herself a martini with a gimlet chaser to help ease the pain of wearing Dior’s “New Look” while maintaining her plastic-covered home in pristine condition for her hard-working husband, like a deranged version of the Ozzie and Harriett show.

That’s the scariest thing of all, and it’s something I just can’t admit.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Four in the morning

It’s four in the morning and I can’t sleep. My head is on my pillow and my eyes are staring straight up towards the ceiling. The room is pitch black and silent. There isn’t any light coming in from the curtains and outside is quiet, no traffic.

But, I still can’t sleep.

For the past few hours, I’ve been tossing and turning, not sure on what position is best to fall asleep. Normally, I sleep on my stomach, arms under my head and my face to the side. Sometimes my arm is wrapped around my pillow. By the time 4 a.m. rolls around, I’ve been on my side, on my back, on my stomach, splayed spread-eagle, and inverted on the bed (feet by the headboard, head by the footboard).

Counting sheep doesn’t help. Counting money doesn’t help, either. Trying to focus on something relaxing makes me stress because I start to think and thinking keeps me alert. Letting my mind go blank is impossible because it’s always going hundreds of miles an hour, like a freight train with a delivery due in the morning.

I try to read to tire myself, but all it does it tire my eyes. So, I turn off the light after a few minutes and lie back down on my bed. My head is on my pillow and my eyes are staring straight up towards the ceiling. The room is pitch black and silent.

It’s four in the morning and I can’t sleep.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


There are some people who believe only the latest is the greatest and what’s old should be sold. But, there are others who know that antiques are usually more valuable than what just came out of the factory.

Personally, I believe that everything has its purpose – new or old – and only when it’s broken should it be discarded. Then again, I’m talking about inanimate objects, not people.


A few days ago, my grandmother had a health-related crisis and no one knew about until they found her body on the floor, her skin shades of blues and purples. No one knew how long she was there and how she got there.

When I heard the news, I got angry instead of concerned.

The reason for my rage was because there was no one around. Her son, daughter-in-law, and their two sons didn’t check up on her even though they live a courtyard away. All they have to do is walk across the gravel path between their homes and knock on the door. But, they don’t. In fact, there are days when they don’t even see her. For all they know, she could’ve been on the floor for days.

Is this how family looks after their elders?

Normally, my family can’t take care of things because they live an ocean away. On this occasion, my father is there (on vacation), taking orders from my mother (who is in Canada), and telling them what to do. If it wasn’t for them, progression would be futile.

Even though my mother has her – many – faults, she would travel around the world to get to a family member who needs help. She’s done it before and she’ll do it again. My father, realizing my mother is calmer under pressure, allows her to run the show.

Yet, I still simmer, like a pot that’s about to boil over.

An elderly woman has a serious ailment and there’s no one there to look after her. She’s not young, yet we all age. Her movement is slow, but her mind is still sharp. Her health is ailing, but she has spirit. She’s still alive and she’s a part of this world. And, I hope that the rest of her family understand that.

For these past several days, the only thing I’m thinking about is I don’t want anyone forgetting about me when I get old, discarding me like I’m broken. I don’t want anyone to find my body, lying on the floor, after being there for an unknown number of days, wondering what happened.

I’d rather die.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Advance warning

Recently, someone from my past moved to a new city and I couldn’t be happier for them. In fact, I think that was a good move. They weren’t particularly happy where they were and they wanted a change.

But, there’s a but.

As they’re settling in their new environment, there’s a new group of friends that this person is going to meet. Unfortunately, one of these people is a friend of mine… and I want to warn him in advance.

Isn't that something a friend should do? Isn’t it considerate to flash a yellow ‘yield’ sign of the upcoming perilous terrain that lies around the corner? Or, is it best to shut up and not say anything? It’s not that this someone from my past is a horrid person, but there’s a couple of sandwiches missing from their picnic basket.

Oh, and this someone from my past is also infatuated with this friend of mine.

Of course, if I do say something, this someone from my past will definitely open their mouth and spew shit about me (of which can be misconstrued as negative if it’s not explained properly).

In the end, it will be a battle of words and wills and I won’t win because I have no way of defending myself since I don’t live anywhere near them. Fuck. I’m screwed.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Business up front, party in the back

If there is one thing I will never understand about humanity is this: mullets.

For those of you who don’t know what it is, let me explain… It’s what Michael Bolton’s hair looked like before he caught on with the times and whacked it off.

Mullets made sense in the 80’s when helmet hair was all the rage. Hockey players were Gods (at least in Canada, where the sport is a national pastime). If hockey players can spot this ‘business up front, party in the back’ look, then why couldn’t their fans?

Of course, that was back in the 80’s when acid-wash jeans and shoulder pads were the norm.

Now, two decades later, if you walk out of the house looking like you accidentally washed your denim in bleach while sporting a footballer’s uniform, you’d be ridiculed.

But, I know the reason why people still conform to this hairstyle, just like why they wear peach lipstick and blue eye shadow: They’re stuck in a period where they know they looked good and decided to stick with that look, even after the trends have changed and time has moved on (by two decades).

They own a mirror, but they don’t see what’s standing in front of it. That’s unfortunate, because some of these people are in desperate need of a pair of scissors for their hair… or a helmet to throw over their head.

Note: Why do I feel the need to sing, “How can we be lovers when we can’t be friends?”