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Valentine’s Day. I loathe you. When I think of you I vomit in my mouth a little. For the last three years you have been a source of grief. It’s my fault, of course. I let you tell me that something is wrong with me because I don’t have a man in my life, and that is bullshit!

Valentine’s Day this year falls on a Tuesday. I’ll be working and I hope the day will pass without too much fanfare. At work they like to make big deals out of all the holidays. There will be a potluck, I know that much. They may as well call it,  “The Let Me Eat My Feelings Free for All” LOL. I refuse to partake in such shenanigans. I’m saving myself for food that is not laced with bitterness and unrequited love — oh dear, I must get out more. I am turning into Sylvia Plath.

There is a guy showing me some interest. Actually I have known him for two years. For the sake of this blog, I’ll call him Mr Big because he is definitely one of those larger than life characters that you don’t come across too often. He is loud, brash, and sometimes downright rude and horrible. He is also the smartest person I ever met. He has a brilliant mind with an IQ that ventures into Einstein levels. He is also very successful. We are total opposites. He is completely out there, while I am quiet, arty, and romantic. That is part of what he likes about me. The thing is, sometimes we clash terribly, which is why we never had a real relationship. I am starting to look at Mr Big with new eyes though.  There are two main reasons:

  1. Despite the fact that we can really rub each other the wrong way, and we might stop talking for long periods of time, he has never given up on me. He is steadfast. This is a quality I’ve been searching for in a partner since my marriage ended. We live during a time where humans treat each other as disposable. Everything is expected to be fast and easy. If it’s not, you throw it away and start again. The world is full of choices, after all, and the possibilities are endless. I don’t like this mentality. It’s fine for things, but not for people. People have hearts and memories, and if you hurt them, the effects can be very long lasting. Despite getting quite angry at me, Mr Big has never given up on me- and trust me, I can throw one hell of hissy when I’m provoked (and so can he for that matter)! He has seen me in my “special moments” – at times, he has been the cause of them. But guess what? He never left.
  2. I don’t have to convince him of anything. One great source of pain in past relationships is that I always felt I had to convince whoever I cared for that I was enough- that I’m pretty enough, smart enough … etc.  I wanted to prove that I was worth sticking around for. Mr Big wants me with a capital W. He tells me I’m beautiful, that I’m smart, and he likes talking to me. I don’t go out of my way to impress him, he just kind of adores me.  And get this, he is not afraid to use the “L” word!  It is so nice to be in the company of a man who is not all wishy washy. Mr Big knows what he wants, and that just so happens to be me. How cool is that?!

I don’t know if this can work out. At best, we can compliment each other beautifully, but because of his bluntness and my over sensitivity, sometimes things get volatile. There are times where he is just too much for me. Maybe if I can keep my cool, and he can do the same… maybe…

Could the person I’ve been looking for be the one that’s been around all along, or should I just stick to cake?

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“Be Brave” by Tracy Emin

Life has been quiet, but good. After Birdy I decided I’d give up on dating for the moment. I am trying to teach myself to be happy on my own, and I think I’m doing a really decent job. I definitely need a time out from men and the roller coaster of feelings that they seem to be accompanied by. I know a good reason that I have sought love with such desperate fervor in the past was about escapism (watch this video on YouTube, it says it all). It’s time to deal with myself. I’m keeping myself in good spirits all on my own these days (well… most days), and some nice little things have been happening along the way.

  • I  had an evaluation at work. I did well, and even ended up with a teeny tiny raise! I was not expecting that at all. I am growing ever more confident in my job, despite the craziness.
  • Two men called me beautiful. What can I say? It always feels good to get a compliment, even if I’m not interested in dating. Back when I was married I lived quite an isolated life. I never got male attention, so I am still finding it to be a fun novelty.
  • I’m dealing with far fewer negative emotions. For the most part, I am  happy and peaceful. That’s saying a lot actually. I listen to happy music. I read happy books. I do my best to fill my head with good thoughts. I sit in the sun (with SPF on of course). I treat myself kindly. I am on a constant mission to fill my cup with good things. I think at some point I really got depleted… but that is turning around.

I have one main goal, despite my various New Years resolutions: being happy and at peace.  Nevertheless, I am working on that resolution stuff too. As of February 1st I have begun my Diet Coke detox. I’m not going cold turkey, I’m phasing it out. It’s only been a few days, but it has been much easier than I thought. I haven’t gotten any withdrawal headaches like I’ve gotten during previous attempts. I’m trading in my daily bottle for two cups of hot lemon water on Monday-Friday. I will still indulge on the weekend, and then next month I’ll tighten that up some more. Let’s see how it goes. I love feeling like I’m getting all the nasty chemicals out of my system. I also love not being on birth control anymore. My skin is starting to look so much better, and I don’t have any wired stuff going on with my period anymore. I’m just as I should be.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I don’t sometimes jump when I get a text message, hoping that Birdy realized he made a mistake, that I’m a pretty awesome woman after all. No, I haven’t gotten a text like that. Instead I see my iPhone’s wall paper with a message I left for my own self. It say “be brave.” 

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Sometimes the head knows something, but the heart needs to catch up. Such is the case with me. During the day I’m so busy with work that there is little time to be sad about Birdy, but when I do have a few moments alone to think, sorrow seeps in through the cracks. I wish I didn’t care. I wish I was one of those strong women who just immediately recognizes her worth and never looks back. The way things went down, I can only extrapolate that despite my feelings for him, Birdy neither respected or valued me. That’s what hurts the most, coming to grips with the realization that I meant nothing to him.

Despite this, I am handling this somewhat better than  I would have expected. Because Birdy was quite distant in the first place, I am not feeling his loss that traumatically. I was always profoundly aware that I never “had” him in the first place. He would take hours to return my texts (if at all), and he would often keep me hanging about if he would spend time with me on the weekend. I’d have to drop my plans at a moments notice if and when he decided to grace me with is presence– not cool … but I always jumped when he requested, and I have only myself to blame for that. That’s something I have to work on. Rationally, I know what I’m supposed to do here. I’m supposed to be thankful for the fun times we had (and I felt that there were many), and take what I learned about myself and how I deal with the opposite sex, and move on to something more fulfilling. There are seven million people in the world. Surely amongst them, someone is a match for me.

Perhaps I have to redefine Prince Charming. Maybe Prince Charming is just some shiny asshole in tinfoil. Who would want a knight in shining armor? All pristine and bright but never tested in battle. Maybe what I am looking for is a man who is as tarnished and battle worn as myself.

I wanted to take some kind of action. What could I do to get my head into a happier space while my heart could catch up with reality? I know one place where sadness has a tough time reaching me: New York City. Just like Superman retreats to his Fortress of Solitude, Caroline too feels recharged when she is back in the The City (it’s something of a spiritual homeland for me). What will I find there? Well actually I won’t be looking for anything. I just want to eat a bagel at Murray’s, walk through Central Park with a Levain cookie in my hand, and get lost in one of the world’s most amazing cities as I immerse myself in art and culture. So that’s exactly what I did. I booked myself a very last minute holiday.

It’s very unlike me to make travel decisions without great forethought, but the weekend following New Years, I’m off to New York for five days. I got a fab deal! I think it might be exactly what I need. I need to treat myself the way I want to be treated: with love, kindness, and dignity. This is what a woman who loves herself would do, so that’s exactly what I did.

I want to thank all of you for your very kind words and sweet comments on my previous post. Although I have only “met” a couple of you, I genuinely feel like you are my friends. It means so much to me the way that you have been my support system. I adore you ladies!

Thank you ❤ and happy holidays to you all!

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Silly Caroline with her head in the clouds. Not long ago she told you that things were going kinda well as far as Birdy was concerned. She met his parents and foolishly considered it a milestone in their relationship. Perhaps it wasn’t a relationship at all, because despite their intimacy, Caroline was never his girlfriend. She was told this. She did not listen. She only pretended to understand. The heart eats lies when it is hungry enough, even if they are lies we tell ourselves.

Yesterday I got a text from Birdy. I hadn’t heard from him in a while. He told me he was being distant because he was displeased with me (my words, not his). Basically, he does all this stuff for me (which he does, and I have always felt very grateful for it), and I, in return don’t make an effort with myself. I don’t feel like getting into this in great detail, because 1) it makes me feel embarrassed/ashamed and 2) it kind of hurts to write about this. I feel not unlike how I felt when my husband told me that I was not attractive.

I replied to him. I told him that I would make a greater effort. I was quite submissive about the whole thing. It’s how I know how to diffuse a situation. I didn’t really stand up for myself, I just kind of lowered my wings of humility, despite the emotions that were coursing through me.  I guess that wasn’t enough though because he didn’t reply. He also didn’t take my call when I tried to talk things through with him.

The truth is I adored him. He is smart, handsome, and passionate. We had some amazing times together– or at least I thought we did. We share many ideals. But I think in addition to his many amazing qualities, he can also be very cold and dismissive of me. I never liked that part, but I accepted it, because I thought he was worth it. I thought maybe he’d see how much I care for him and come around.

Of course, being Caroline, I cried. I am always crying. My heart is just too soft. Despite all I’ve been through, I never developed a protective shell around it. My mother came to comfort me. I told her I’d be okay. I reminded her that I had once lost a man that I loved for 18 years, and I survived it. It was the greatest trial of my life. I could surely get over Birdy. And I meant it. And I will. But I hurt. I really thought things were moving in a positive direction. I would have bet money that he was finally warming up to me. I seriously misjudged.

Look, I know that you can’t keep someone that doesn’t want to be with you. Quite frankly, I don’t want to feel like I have to “trap” a man to keep him by my side anyway. I want more for myself than that. I want to be a prize, not someone who has to fight tooth and nail for affection.

What is wrong with me? How come no man ever looks at me and recognizes how much I have to offer? How come no man ever thinks that he would be lucky to have me? Why do I always feel like I have to convince someone that I am worthwhile?

I’m okay. At this point in my life I’ve been hurt enough times that the blows don’t shatter me anymore. But FUCK! I’m tired of this. Is this never going to happen for me?

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It’s flattering, but no.

It’s been a long week. Work was tough, and it seems like all my cases were on the complicated side. Often I’ve been going home with terrible neck aches (from stress). Despite this, I actually really like my job. The end of the month is pretty manic at my office. That’s just the way it is. 

Surprisingly, it was an awesome week in terms of men– I don’t get to say that too often. Yesterday I was asked for my number by some random guy in the parking lot (of course I did not give it to him). I also heard from this guy I once went out with asking me to go to Cancun with him for New Years… at the Ritz no less!!! I’m totally not interested though. As wickedly glamorous as it sounds, I had to decline. There is a reason things didn’t work out with him. Although he has some amazing qualities, I have never before met anyone that gave off so much negative energy. At times he is downright cruel. After a day with him I always felt upset and burnt out.  Alas, the Ritz will have to wait. C’est la vie, no? Then, one of my customers seemed to have a bit of a crush on me. It is all incredibly flattering, but I really only have eyes for Birdy. 

I’ve been seeing Birdy for a year now. He still has never made any romantic declarations toward me. This has left me kind of down and frustrated in the past.  I’m not sure if that’s just because that’s how he is, or if it’s because I don’t inspire romantic feelings in him. Either way, I’ve learned to be okay with the way things are. I’ve learned to just enjoy his company and the fun times we have together without strings attached. I’ve learned that I can love someone without condition. This is something very new for me. Of course it would be the most wonderful thing in the world to have my feelings returned, but if he doesn’t, I know I’ll be okay anyway. Time has taught me that I can survive any man. I’m just enjoying the journey now, rather than focusing on the destination. Despite what I have just written, however, there has most definitely been some amazing progress recently.

I was not expecting that he would invite me to spend Thanksgiving with him and his parents. This was my first time meeting them. They didn’t speak much English, but I think I did okay. We managed. Birdy’s mom has a really sparkly personality, I loved her. His dad is a bit on the stern side, but it was all good I think. It ended up being a really lovely evening. Birdy’s mom made tons of food. I over ate (shocker eh?), and I discovered the deliciousness that is black beans and rice.

The following weekend, Fidel Castro died. Birdy and I went to Little Havana in Miami… it was quite the scene my lovelies, proper National Geographic material. It was loud and crowded. People were banging pots and pans, honking horns, waving flags. Crazy stuff, but it was lots of fun. It was there that I met even more of Birdy’s family. Did they like me? I couldn’t figure that out. What matters is that I feel like Birdy is making the effort to incorporate me into his life, and that means so much to me.

That weekend Birdy and I went to the beautiful Biltmore Hotel where we saw a great show called An Act of God. It was wonderful and wity. Birdy seemed to enjoy it, and when he is happy, I feel it too. I find his happiness contagious.  I really hope to go back to the Biltmore one day, it is absolutely stunning with some incredible architectural details.  It’s got old school European glamour with a sunny Mediterranean twist. I’d love to go for brunch. Any takers?!? Crazy Kat daaaaahling, my beady little eyes are looking right in your direction!  *cough*

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Gargoyle inside of the Biltmore Hotel, Miami Florida

I haven’t been this popular in a while. I can’t say I haven’t enjoyed the attention. This isn’t how it normally works for me, but I’m not complaining.    The truth is, a woman can have every man’s attention in the world, but unless it’s the attention of the man she loves, it doesn’t mean much. I keep hope. One day lighting is going to strike for me. I feel it.

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Ta da! I did it. Sort of.
In my last post, I told you that on day 30 of 40 I lost my Birthday Challenge when I contacted Birdy. Though I’m not particularly proud of that, I forgive myself. No need to make myself eat any harshmellows in repentance. Thirty days is still a decent amount of time. I’m not kidding when I say that I really did learn a lot from the experience. Today I thought I’d write about those 30 days. They weren’t easy, but they also weren’t as awful as I had imagined.

The thing that surprised me most, is how much more even tempered I became. I won’t say I didn’t have ANY bouts of tears (I’m a terrible crybaby), but I had a lot less. A LOT. My mood wasn’t constantly swinging from despair to elation. I wan’t constantly looking to see if I received a text. I seriously calmed the F down. That was good. Life without a man’s attention was actually okay… most of the time. I had moments where I definitely felt lonely, but  I had way fewer of those episodes. I genuinely did experience the ability to find happiness outside of a man. That was momentous for me. Truly.

With all this newfound time on my hands (no job, and no man to focus on),  I immersed myself in positive thoughts and ideas. I guess you can think of it as brainwashing. I washed myself of a lot of my negativity. How? I watched loads of stuff on YouTube. I watched (and continue to watch) anything from Ted Talks to some new-agey sort of ideas that some of you may find odd, but which really seem to work for me. I can honestly tell you that this has sparked a definite change in my thought processes. I see things with slightly different eyes now. I am a bit more confident, a bit more positive, and a lot more okay. I am hoping this will translate into my relationships with the opposite sex. But its not just about guys…

Just to give you an example, on the day I went for my job interview I was so pumped up with the good vibes I got from watching videos, that I KNOW my interviewers felt it. I’m sure it came across in my smile and my confidence (there are very few times in my life where I exuded confidence, but this was one of them). I know that’s why I got the job. I was positively radiating the good stuff. So I can tell you without doubt, that your thoughts really do become things. If you are able to harness this idea, you tap into something incredibly powerful. If you want to know more about this concept, start googling “Law of Attraction.”

So why did I fail the challenge? I actually wanted to ask Birdy a medical question about something that was really bothering me, but then I couldn’t help myself from telling him that I missed him. I told him about my new job and about T. He was kind and understanding, and the next day he asked me to have dinner with him. It was kind of awesome. He actually texted me when I was writing the post  100 Things I Love. It was about a minute or so after typing “unexpected text messages.” I kid you not. I am dead serious when I say that being in that good vibe zone creates magic. I know it sounds all hippy dippy but I totally believe it.

So, after 30 days, do I think life without men is better? Um… no. Love to me is the best feeling in the world, and the greatest gift us humans get while we are on this earth. The problem is, I have not loved or been loved in a very long time. I get high hopes, I have gotten the initial excitement … and then I have gotten terribly disappointed. I don’t think that will always be the case. I know I have a lot to offer, and that somewhere I will find someone worthy of me. It could be Birdy (and I hope it is), but it also could be someone I have yet to meet. I am open to the possibilities.

My takeaway from all of this is 1) thinking positive can attract positive things and 2) that even though I find life more fun with a man, I can actually be okay without one. It really wasn’t as bad I thought.

Orange is the New Black is my favorite thing on TV these days. I just binge watched all of Season 4 in two days. I paced myself LOL. In the past I wrote about the character of Lorna, but she is less likable these days. Her particular brand of crazy went from charming to somewhat batshit in the newest season. My new OITNB girl crush is Blanca Flores. Why? Let me count the ways…

  1. She bares an uncanny resemblance to my favorite woman of all time: Frida Kahlo. Damn, I love a girl who rocks a unibrow! It almost makes me want to grow mine out. Almost.image1
  2. The woman is fearless. There is a point in Season 4 where one of the guards, in a nasty power trip, tries to  make an example of Flores by making her stand on top of the table in the cafeteria as a form of torture (this is actually much worse than it sounds, in real life, they do this to prisoners of war). Flores takes it up like a challenge rather than a punishment. She stands on that table for days! She even pees herself on the table, and she does it with a certain sort of je ne sais quoi that will make you smirk mirthlessly. Nobody else could have pulled it off like that. She was something of a Joan of Ark. Instead of becoming humbled and ridiculed, the fact that she never wavered, actually gave her a sort of grandeur that the guard could not have anticipated. Eventually she is forced off the table when the prison goes into lockdown due to an incident, but it was never because she gave up.
  3.  She doesn’t care about what anyone thinks of her. tumblr_mr5uoh9dZo1s46h7vo1_500The guards in the facility are constantly patting the women down in a very inappropriate way. Flores comes up with the idea of perfuming herself with the juice from oyster and sardine cans so that she smells positively rancid. With her matted hair and her “Eau de Mer” the guards are completely repulsed by getting too close to her. Even her friends can’t stand it, but Flores doesn’t care. She is more interested in not being groped. Fish over fucktards LOL. The woman has standards.

Other assorted stuff I want to talk about:

Well, let’s see, my birthday is in a couple of days. I have no real plans except going to Ruby Tuesdays with my grandmother on Saturday. I’m totally okay with that. My family isn’t big on birthdays. We usually just use it as an excuse to eat a lot.

And… hmmm… how do I say this…

Remember my Birthday Challenge? That thing where I wasn’t supposed to talk to any guys for 40 days? It kind of got fucked up on day 30. I will get into that more in depth in another post. To make a long story short though, I am seeing Birdy again. I am approaching it with a different mindset this time. I have the best time when we are together. I am just going to focus on that and release any expectations. I just want to focus on one thing: fun. And OMG, last night I had tons of fun.

It was totally gay. Gay with a bit of grilled cheese. It was …

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WTF?!? Okay, so we went to this gay pride thing at a place called Wilton Manors. That was a first for me. Another first? I had my first visit to a gay club. It was called The Manor. Another first? I saw a lewd sex act. OMG, for real I swear I did. Plus there were drag queens, and flashing lights and it was like the most fun I had in ages. And I danced… sort of. I don’t know how to dance. Let’s define it as “interpretive dance” that way at least I get to sound somewhat arty. I am sure I looked like the biggest dork ever, but it was so much fun and if I could, I’d go back tonight.

Afterwards we had grilled cheese sandwiches at New York Grilled Cheese. They take forever to serve you, but I didn’t mind. It was worth it. It was so gooooood. Plus I got to ogle Birdy a bit, and that’s always fun. I love looking at him: total man candy.

The meat packing district sandwich at New York Grilled Cheese.
Grilled cheese with brisket, doesn’t that look divine?

It was a night I’m going to remember forever.

Oh, and an update on my friend T: since I last wrote about her, I spoke to her on two occasions. One time she sounded kind of good and upbeat, the second time she didn’t. I am just happy when I get to hear her voice. Although I don’t always know what the right thing to say is, I am happy just to listen.

My new job starts next Monday. I am both nervous and excited, as to be expected I suppose.

I’m about to press “publish.” It has come to my attention that this may be the most disjointed post I ever wrote. I’m quite the nut job methinks, but today I am a happy one.

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Despite it all, I am okay.

It’s now been a week into my Birthday Challenge. It’s been okay, I only had one really horrible day. I was focusing too hard on the loss of Birdy, the loveliest man to cross my path in two years, and I made myself terribly sad. I have no regrets though. I did the right thing. He just wasn’t that into me. Other than that, avoiding men hasn’t been as difficult as I expected. I noticed I am having much less less severe ups and downs. That’s a good thing for now. Sometimes I feel a bit lonely and have the urge to call someone. The fact that nobody has bothered with me though, is quite telling. I’ve been spending a lot of time in my own head. I’ve been a bit more creative, and I’m eating better too. That’s not going to last though. Friday I will be on my way to New Orleans. The second my porcine hoof hits the pavement, I will be eating for two: me and my inner bitch. Believe me when I tell you that that woman is hungry!

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When you see me going to town on those delicious beignets, do not assume those mounds of powder to be sugar. My daddy says I’m sweet enough already… Note to self: Investigate which is cheaper–crack or therapy.

I’m feeling kind of awful about not finding a job yet. It’s been three months now. My unemployment is going to run out soon. Although I’m not in any real financial danger, I’m scared. Not having a job makes me feel very unsettled. I know freaking out totally isn’t going to speed up the process. It will just create wrinkles and my Botox has run its course, so I got to watch it. I am doing my best to take it in stride and have faith that everything is going to work out the way it’s supposed to. Still, it is always looming in the back of my mind.

If my horror-scope is true, things are going to stay stagnant in my life until the end of next month. Around the time of my birthday, I can expect movement. Do you believe in horoscopes/astrology? I used to think they were a bunch of crap, but I’m not so sure anymore. On YouTube, I was told that this is a time for endings (even though they may be painful) so that new things could begin. Yeah… too much time on my hands.

Seriously, I am falling in love with YouTube. There is so much good stuff on there. I’ve been learning loads of unnecessary (but fun) things. I try to listen to stuff that’s uplifting and motivational. I want to immerse myself in good thoughts, otherwise it is my natural tendency to go the other way. I want to create new and positive habits, and developing a positive mindset is crucial for me.

Okay so none of what I wrote today is terribly momentous or relevant. I just wanted to “talk.” You guys are terribly lovely for humoring me. I adore you.

p.s. Stay tuned to my Instagram so you can see all my New Orleans photos!

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It wasn’t until around 4 o’clock that I finally got a reply to my email. To Birdy’s credit, what he wrote was very thoughtful and kind. He wrote that he respected me for valuing myself and said some lovely things. He also wrote that at this time in his life, he is not looking for the same things that I am. I felt bruised and sad. More tears were shed (but that’s just how I roll LOL. I’m a terrible crybaby). I will be okay. It’s not like when I found out that the love of my life for 18 years was F’ing half of England. This is child’s play in comparison. Not everybody is going to be a match, and that is okay. I know this. 

There are two redeeming things that have come out of this. For the first time that I can remember, I have exited a relationship with my dignity intact. First. Time. Ever. I kid you not. There were no hysterics and no begging. That is a big deal for me. Major. It makes me so proud. I handled this like a boss LOL. Second, I am learning that it is okay and necessary for me to have my needs met. I am learning to demand respect.

I am serious when I said I was done being the doormat. Maybe that A-hole who tried to lowball me with that horrible salary did me a favor by making me angry. I feel like something big was set in motion that day. So much repressed anger came to the surface at that moment, and as a result something has changed inside of me. I feel it. I want to channel those feelings into creating something new and good. 

Birdy was not the problem. He was a symptom of a problem. He left as a gentleman, and I respect him for it. I knew my feelings for him were not unfounded. I genuinely think he is a very classy man. He’s just not my man.

I do feel ever so slightly shitty, but I have no doubt that this too shall pass.

Oh hey, you know what I just thought of? I don’t have to shave my legs now LOL!!!! Nobody will know.