Friend Dilemma

OK... BK's ... I'm using y'all as a sounding board/diary again... LOL

I've been friends with H. since I was two years old.  With the exception of a little high school drama, she's been my best friend my entire life.  We hardly ever hang out socially, but talk 2-3 a week + email + social media... you get the picture.  She's one of two friends who actually game to the cemetery when my stepdad passed. She may bug me from time to time, but she's family for life.

I've known L. since I was 15.  Our friendship goes in spurts, generally based on her relationship status.  She just got out of a six year relationship and is on my very last nerve.  Considering the last guy I was with (Steve, passages thread) just died, no I really don't want to hear how much she needs sex.  I've been there for her last two breakups, but I'm kinda not in the mood to listen to her right now.

OK, that's the backstory.

Through a twist of fate, L ended up being H's landlord through her company. I know H is planning on moving to FL in October (boo for me, yay for her).  What H chose not to tell me is that she and her hubbie are so far behind in rent that they've been served with eviction (90 days).  L told me this.  Now, I'm assuming it's because they knew they were moving and figured they'd save the rent money.  It's not a bright move (credit wise), but I'm guessing that's what they're doing.

I did not tell L that they're moving.  None of her business.  Just like she should have NEVER told me about H's situation.  

Do I tell H that I know about the eviction?


  • Nope. Best friend or not, nope. For one thing, I think it really stinks that L told you. For another, if a friend that close didn't tell you herself I reckon it's either because she's ashamed or because she thinks you've been dealt a tough enough hand lately without dealing with her problems too. Don't talk to L about H, don't talk to H about L.

    Talk to us as much as you want.
  • I don't actually ever bring up it up with L.  This is like the third time she's told me stuff about H as a tenant.  It's not like it's a rental between friends for private property.  L works for a rental company... you'd think she'd have more discretion.  

    And I admit, I'm probably just really annoyed with L.  Yes, I get that (for the second time) she's had a long term relationship end with lies and cheating.  It sucks.  But we barely have anything in common any more. She clings to me (I was once her maid of honor) and I'm just irritated by her presence these days.

    Example: I was telling her of the memory I shared at Steve's service, about him catching me as I was falling from his bike.  She interrupted to see if I remembered her passing out at my twin brother's funeral. Seriously... WTF?
  • I didn't for a moment think it was you bringing this stuff up with L! 

    I think I'd probably make myself scarce until H has moved! L sounds like a bit of an emotional vampire.
  • @Karen_B that sucks.  A LOT.  Frankly, I would be distancing myself from her.  Quickly.  And if she tries to bring up anything about H again, I'd change the subject.  And if she doesn't get the message, I'd probably tell her that I don't feel comfortable discussing my friend's private financial information without her knowledge or permission.

    I know she's your friend - allegedly - but she sounds awful.
  • L and I were fabulous and fun friends in our 20s.  

    The first time she disappeared into a fella, I took her back after because it turned out he had been physically and emotionally abusive.

    We had a falling out ten or so years ago when she and her then hubbie missed my birthday party... because they were at the Ren Faire all day with my ex-boyfriend (mutual friend, but still...).  I was pretty damn peeved, but she said some hurtful things in response.  (since she was at my twin's funeral, you'd think she'd get why I am an emotional vampire around my birthday)

    That falling out ended, two years later, when I heard her dad had a stroke.  I reached out, deciding to be the bigger person.  Within the year, her marriage fell apart, but she rebounded quickly with her recent ex-beau.

    We had fun times.  But I'll admit... I avoid plans and made a decided effort not to be her "person" during this relationship.  I mean, for the past six years I saw her during hockey playoffs and maybe 2-3 other times a year.  

    I guess... I can say it here... I just don't like her very much, but she only has a handful of people in her life and I'm not one to walk away from stuff...

    Yup, distance it is.

    Anybody else have a toxic friend story to tell to make me feel like I'm not the only one that keeps people around past their expiration date?  LOL

  • Karen_B said:
    Anybody else have a toxic friend story to tell to make me feel like I'm not the only one that keeps people around past their expiration date?  LOL
    Hahahahahahahahahaha!! Oh, you were serious. Does my stepdaughter count? No? Well then I can point you toward any number of people still in my life. I think Facebook is the WORST for this. But I digress.

    I was thinking the other day that I might have fucking *cancer* and every single person I actually want to talk to about it has been in my life less than a year. (Except my sister and our best friend.)

    I'd like to think that that means I'm making healthier choices now in who I'm surrounding myself with, but really it just probably means that these people haven't unveiled whatever their particular brand of damage and drama is, so I can kind of get there first with the Big Problem scenario. 

    I'm the WORST at picking out people.
  • Ugh, @Karen_B I would definitely keep my lip zipped and back away as much as possible from L. No doubt there may be more drama as H's eviction/move-out comes closer, but I agree, if she brings it up you can just say you don't feel comfortable discussing a friend's private business. 

    Also, is it possible H and hubby are in serious financial straits? maybe you can invite her to go for a walk or over for dinner (something that doesn't cost any money) and just do a very casual check-in to see how things are going. 

  • Karen_B said:

    Anybody else have a toxic friend story to tell to make me feel like I'm not the only one that keeps people around past their expiration date?  LOL

    Ooh, I have a saga for you!

    Ann & I met in 2nd grade and have been friends for over 40 years.   She’s married with three school-aged kids and lives in LA.  I’m single and live in AZ.  Until recently we spent 2-5 hours on the phone each week and I considered her my best friend.    We have many common interests in music, movies, books, TV, and we have similar backgrounds and experiences.

    We made plans in December to see one of the 5 U2 shows in LA in May.  She picked out the date and paid me for her ticket.   I personally paid an extra $50 to get great fan club seats, and held onto our tickets.  In March she realized her kid’s school had an open house 1.5 hours before the show.  “I can do both” she told me.  I was taken aback, because her new plans might affect our plans.  She never asked if it was okay with me.

    Mentioned my frustration a few times over the next few weeks, but she didn’t take it seriously.  Finally, in mid-April, I asked if we could see U2 in LA on another night and she said she’d check with her husband, but really the 27th was the best date.  I told her I didn’t want to miss any of the show.  She said I should drive to the concert and she’d meet me there.  I told her I would have been driving 8 hours to get to LA and would like to go to the show (in a dicey area, in an unfamiliar town) together. It got worse.   I asked if I could sleep on her couch and she said her house was too messy.  I asked if she could pick me up at the airport (3 miles from her house) if I flew, and she said she couldn’t promise me anything.  Then she said, “You just don’t like going to concerts in LA.  Why don’t you sell your ticket?”  And then, the nail in the coffin, “I was hoping if you came out here, that you would have lots of things to do and lots of other people to see.“  End of conversation.

    I felt like someone punched me for an hour and then told me my problem was that I didn’t like being punched.  My opinions, well-being and friendship didn’t matter. So I didn’t call her.  She did not call me.  Five weeks went by. Spent a small fortune at the lawyer’s cutting her out of my will.  Held on to the tickets until the 22nd, hoping she’d call and apologize and we could resolve things.  Then I panicked, sold the tickets to a classmate, and arranged for my bank to send her a refund.  She had said several times that the open house was far more important to her than the concert, so I figured she didn’t care about the show anymore.

    Next day, she called me twice and left an email, sunnily asking about the ticket if nothing had happened.  I had already left town to see U2 in Phoenix.  On the 27th, she sent me a very legalistic email demanding a cashier’s check for the full amount.  I wrote her back, one sentence, and said the bank issued a refund on the 22nd.  And that was that.  A friendship of over 40 years bites the dust.  I miss our fun conversations, but hope she has lots to do and lots of other people to see.

  • I've distanced myself from all sorts of toxic folks, most notably: childhood friends who, when I married, suddenly became utterly driven to try and convince me Mr. Cricket was some sort of crazy abusive 'will lock you in a closet and never let you out' sort of dude - despite asking him to come help them with moving things and other stuff. 

    My mother. That one's always sort of gasped at in polite southern society here but I'm 100% #notsorry #noregrets about it :P
    She was a total narcissist, somewhat delusional, and did a lot of seriously uncool financial things to me. I still occasionally have moments of 'gosh I wish I had a mom who could be a mom, maybe if I give her one mor-- no. nevermind.' But I've got a great dad and Mr. Cricket hasn't kept me in a broom closet for years now (joke! see above!) so I count myself quite lucky. 

    Toxic friends are tough, @Karen_B but in the end, while friendship can mean some rough spots, there's some rough bits you can't really grow from or fix and those are the folks who're only going to drag you down with them. 
  • @GinnyThePainter ---- holy crap, that is insane. I really hope after a few years of cooling off that she apologizes sincerely for her behavior. Has it been a while since you had an in-person relationship? That is way over the top.
  • The one that springs to mind is a guy I went to high school with - we were good friends then, always joking and flirting and having a good time.  We never dated but we did like each other, and he went off to the Marines and I went to college and I contacted him as often as I could so he wouldn't feel lonely and forgotten (did the same for as many of my military friends as I could), and then he got out and I was in California but we talked regularlyish about music and art and the good things in life.  We didn't get to see each other much for the past few years, and this past summer we were both in Florida (albeit six hours apart) so I was constantly texting, facebooking, etc trying to see if we could meet up.

    Then one day I log into facebook and see he's out in Orlando, getting drunk and having his "last night in Florida" before flying to Germany to start a new job. 

    I was SO angry at him I just sent him one text: "Fuck you"
    No more, no less.

    He replied, "Oh, are you in Orlando?"
    So I reply, "I have been messaging you for MONTHS about meeting up."

    He says he didn't realize I was in Orlando and he was only in town for one night, blah blah blah.  Never invites me out.  Never suggests I come see him to say goodbye.  Just he's out drinking with his REAL friends.

    That one sucked.  I have more, if you're still feeling bad.
  • edited September 2015
    Oh - hey  - I can definitely help with a toxic friend story. But first, I am sorry you are having to put up with this person's shit when you are going through so much loss in your life. 

    I HAD a friend --  we met the first day our oldest kids started kindergarten; our younger kids were the same age and got along well; we both had similar likes/dislikes re movies, books, pop culture, etc. She was an unemployed single mother of two with a string of bad stuff in terms of family, romance, burnt friendships, etc. I was (am) a married mother of two with a pretty blessed life. I have an intact, relatively sane family, good relationships with my sibs, a husband I can tolerate more often than not, a challenging career (although I was taking a few years off when we met) and more than enough money. I am lucky. She thinks she is not (although she has always found friends to support her financially, find her low cost housing from which she is usually evicted, and give her jobs, from which she is always fired, etc). We spent lots of time together for several years. We took family vacations together. We talked on the phone for hours every day. We were a unit. Some things about her bugged me (if she offered to take my kids to school, she would always "forget," for example; she was never really able to listen when I was talking, but would go on and on about her life for hours; she always went on and on about my privilege (of which I am very aware, thank you); she was the queen of the backhanded compliment). I never really noticed how one-sided the relationship became. And then.... I went back to work. She felt abandoned and started acting crazy and jealous of my other friendships. She really started getting to me, but I understood her abandonment issues and tried to make her feel better. It was awful, in retrospect.

    And then my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.The first thanksgiving after the diagnosis, by parents and my brother's family were all coming to town to stay at my house and I was worried sick about my dad, my mom, how dad would handle the large group of people, etc. So this "friend' invited herself and her kids to my house for Thanksgiving dinner. I made many many remarks about how upset I was, how stressed I was, how I wasn't sure folks my dad did not know would be a problem. She never offered to back out. And I was so stressed that just saying "you can't come" didn't occur to me (seems pretty clear now). Instead, I figured it was already out of control so  bit more wouldn't hurt and invited pretty much everyone who told me they didn't have Thanksgiving plans. I ended up with 28 people for dinner (some of us had to eat standing or sitting on the floor) on top of 7 weekend house guests (my parents and my brother's family). And this person was furious with me when she found out I had invited one of my best friends and her mom to dinner. I sat next to her during dinner and she pointedly did not talk to me. She managed to take one of the most upsetting weekends of my life (and what was actually a pretty fun Thanksgiving dinner in spite of it all), and make it all about her. This was the last straw and the definitive end of our friendship.

  • Also, is it possible H and hubby are in serious financial straits? maybe you can invite her to go for a walk or over for dinner (something that doesn't cost any money) and just do a very casual check-in to see how things are going. 

    @heybethpdx ;
    H and her husband have never been financially solvent.  They've always been paycheck to paycheck.  Their daughter is a senior in college and I know the monthly payments they make (after aid, scholarships, etc...) are pretty strapping.  Their son is a third yr community college.  Neither H or hubbie went to college, so they support their kids as much as possible.

    If it wasn't for the knowledge that they are moving in Oct (before the 90-day eviction comes) to FL, and that  hubbie's FL boss is paying for the move/security deposit I'd be more likely to approach her about it.  But I'm pretty sure they're letting the rent go on purpose.  They've known they wanted to move in the fall since last winter...

    I bet L asks me "if I knew" when they leave... If she gets at all snippy, I'll let her have it. Or not, because I'm very passive aggressive and non-confrontational, LOL

  • I should caveat that L isn't ALL bad... she did come out to my mom's the day after stepdad passed (before Steve went missing/passed on) and bring me beer and a flask (which I needed to put up with Stepdad's aunt/uncle).  And while she couldn't come to the cemetery, she did come to the house for shiva.

    It's just that I have no tolerance left for her personal crap.
  • @GinnyThePainter ---- holy crap, that is insane. I really hope after a few years of cooling off that she apologizes sincerely for her behavior. Has it been a while since you had an in-person relationship? That is way over the top.
    Yes...very perceptive of you.  We haven't lived in the same town since college, I think.  She treats her husband like crap, and their courtship was mostly conducted at a distance.  Once they married, I think he found it hard to go from this person who was so much fun on the phone, and that he saw only occasionally,  to living with this selfish, unyielding woman.  If we lived in the same town, and I saw more of this side, I would've probably ended the friendship.  

    She spends most of her time moderating a fan fic board for a tv show that's been off the air 50 years.  She misses about 90% of her kids' games.  She keeps the house a sty even though she has an asthmatic kid.  She's ridiculously hard on her daughter.  Her husband begs her to go to the kids' games and practices and she does nothing.  He asks if she  could go back to work fulltime, and she's too busy fanfic moderating.  Complains that she and the kids spend a total of a month out of the year at her parents out of state, and she does nothing.  There's no give, no compromise and little empathy. Her husband would rather be the miserable married guy than the twice-divorced guy, and he does not want to put his kids through a split.  Good guy, but I wish he'd stand up to her more.  I guess he gave up trying.

    My friend was a really fun phone conversationalist. She's whipsmart and funny.  But even during the friendship, I knew I would never want to be roomies with her.  Way too hard on others, and way too easy on herself.
  • I met a girl when I was 3, in pre-school.  We were in classes together all the way through senior year of high school.  Best friends.  Sleepovers, talking on the phone, pretending to be rich people in AOL chat rooms together, our brothers were friends, the whole nine.  When we went to college we stayed close and i even went to visit her a bunch of times.  But around our Junior year or so she started getting really close with a group of friends at her school (which - FINE - we all made new friends) and the four of us who were close growing up started really feeling like we were being put on the back burner and she was pulling away from us.

    Flash forward to...two years? after gradutation.  She never makes commitments to anything - she's always waiting till the last minute to decide if she's coming out with us, in case something better comes along.  We lived about six blocks from each other, and halfway between our houses is a little dive bar where a lot of people we went to high school with hang out.  The wings are good & cheap, and the beer is cheap, but I'm not really down for a class reunion every night, so I don't go there much.  This one night, she calls, BEGGING me to put my pants on and go out with her.  ASKS ME TO PICK HER UP.  So, I do.  FINE.  And she proceeds to leave me, sitting talking to the bartender all night because the only reason she wanted to go out was because she had heard that the guy she liked was there - which he was, so she was talking to him and his friends.  And it was post-superbowl, only basketball on, which - ugh.

    So I had a burger and a beer, and she had a beer, and then she goes outside to talk with this guy while he has a cigarette - which makes me SO MAD because she always made me smoke ALONE at that point - and then came back in and threw a twenty on the bar and said "don't hate me I have to leave".  UH WTF.  WTF WTACTUALF.  So I give the twenty to the bartender to thank him for keeping me company and I leave.

    I found out later that they went back to the apartment he recently vacated and no longer had legal standing to enter and had sex (her first time) on blankets on the floor because there was no heat.  

    And then she harassed me for like a month afterwards for her change.
  • It made me really really angry and really really sad for a long time but now it's like my favorite story
  • We're all in good company, I see.

    I was very close with a girl during my undergrad. She went home to Hong Kong during the summers and we kept in touch - called, sent postcards, chatted online, etc. One summer, third year I think, I didn't hear from her much but she was working and travelling so I didn't think much of it. When she returned to town for school, she didn't speak to me at all. Not just not returning phone calls, but actually turning her head away from me if we crossed paths. No explanation - it was so weird and it really upset me. I eventually asked a mutual friend if she ever explained to him what was wrong and he told me that she did tell him but he certainly wasn't going to violate her trust by telling me. We graduated without speaking again. A few years later, she contacted me on Facebook. She sent me a long message, apologizing, explaining that she really had no reason to treat me that way and it was all her fault. We were Facebook friends for a little while after that, but I removed her shortly after. I felt no anger towards her, but I was perfectly happy without her so I went back to that.

    Oddly enough, I am also no longer friends with the guy I had asked about her silence either. A couple of years after we graduated, he was living with his boyfriend in another city and we made plans for me to visit for Canada Day long weekend. I hadn't met his boyfriend and was supposed to crash on their sofa. One night about a month before the trip, we were chatting on the phone and his boyfriend wanted to say hi. He got on the phone and told me to make sure that I brought thick pyjamas with me. Given that I was visiting in July, I was a bit confused and he explained that women are dirty and he wanted to make sure I didn't ruin their sofa. I was in utter shock, but my friend was just like, "Oh yeah, he's afraid of women. Doesn't like them." I cancelled my trip and my friend was furious. He sent me a long email to berate me and we promptly stopped being friends. We briefly patched things up a few years later and met up when he was in my city for a course, but there was an underlying hostility in the way he treated me and I cut him out of my life. 

    Those are mine. I feel strongly that my removal of both people from my life was the best decision for me, although another friend says I'm cold. Beasley disagrees. :)
  • @ashtangajunkie @Ginnythepainter I think you two are in competition for the worst friends award.  AFRAID OF WOMEN??  Seriously?  Thought you would have lots of people to see and things to do???
  • @ashtangajunkie @Ginnythepainter I think you two are in competition for the worst friends award.  AFRAID OF WOMEN??  Seriously?  Thought you would have lots of people to see and things to do???
  • ...women are dirty.....

    Yeah, I would have canceled that trip, too. Sounds like a budding serial killer.
    To be strictly fair, there are quite a few cultures where women are considered dirty, particularly during menstruation that they are forced to undergo strange rituals and privation to avoid "contaminating" the purity of their men.

    I understand in and around India there are "menstruation huts" which are wooden shelters, with dirt floors and no electricity or water dot the boundaries between villages and forest and women are forced there every month so they won't "dirty" their homes.  There's no security, and they're often raped (despite being considered unclean) in the dark of the night when they can't identify their attackers.  Girls aren't allowed in schools, women aren't allowed in public, etc etc until it's over and they're "clean" again.  I believe most of them aren't even aware of or culturally permitted to use any kind of rag or sanitary pad to enable them to do anything useful while they're stuck in their hut.

    I remember learning about a South American culture - and some Pacific Rim cultures - where each home has a separate womens' hut for them to retreat to during menstruation and birth, but these are near the family home at least, and protected, and they can access water and food.

    I could go on, but I don't want to depress everyone.  Anthropology is interesting, but it isn't for the weak of stomach.
  • Yeah I'm down for respecting other cultures but not when they're built on mysoginy.  Sorrynotsorry
  • Yeah I'm down for respecting other cultures but not when they're built on mysoginy.  Sorrynotsorry
    Oh I'm not saying THAT.  I'm saying he could be a congenital idiot who never bothered to think harder than, "I was told this so I'm going to believe it."

    Which still sucks, but it's a significantly lower level of suck than serial killer or actively campaigning against womens' rights, etc.
  • It's actually happened to me *twice* that someone I was really good friends with and spending lots of time with has stopped talking to me cold turkey without any explanation. And I know everybody says this, but in both cases, it was all them. I literally had no idea in either case what I did wrong.

    The first time I was in my 20's, and the person was a cousin who was really more of a friend. We saw each other both days of the weekend and often several nights after work as well. This was before the days of cell phones, but we were together so much that it didn't even matter. We were both dating cops at the time, and my BF didn't like her BF. One day I called and asked her to go to a movie, and she said she couldn't go. This happened *literally* ten times before I figured out that something was wrong, because there had been *nothing* - no incident that could have gotten blown up, no remark I had made that could have been taken two ways - nothing. So we ended up at the same family party and I said, "Can I talk to you?" When we got outside I said, "Are you mad at me?" and she confirmed that she was. I said, "Why?" and she said, "You know." I said, "I'm telling you that I don't. I'm sure that as soon as you tell me I'm going to realize it and want to apologize, but right now I have no idea." She continued to say that I already knew, and finally went back inside. I missed her brother's wedding, that's how awkward and awful it was. It was almost a year later that she called out of the blue to say she was sorry. I refused to accept her apology until she told me what the whole thing was about, and she told me that her boyfriend at the time had told her some things that my boyfriend had supposedly said, and she thought I agreed with them. I couldnt' believe it. I remember saying, "You didn't talk to me for a YEAR because of something somebody ELSE said?" I wasn't even angry, I was honestly just so surprised, I think. I forgave her, we moved on. Just recently, I made a joke on Facebook and she FLAMED me in front of the whole family, and then started posting memes about abusive personalities and bullies for three days until I had to unfriend her. And just like before, I have no idea what brought it on - it was like a light switch turning.

    Another friend was later, this was after I was married and had children. Her husband and my husband were good friends, they were about 15 years older than we are, and we became inseparable. We did things as couples, we did things individually, she did things with me and the kids - we told each other everything, we were so close. We were part of a service organization that held a ball every year, and we were co-chairs. My mother was sick, and she took on a lot of the responsibility the last year we did it. There was this one incident, I was joking with her husband about something about the balloon placement, and she yelled at both of us, "Oh, so it's pile on D time again!!" and ran out of the room crying. We were all so high-strung so close to the dance, I forgot about it. About a week later I called her, and just like with my other friend, she was busy. I was running back and forth with my Mom, raising four small kids... we didn't speak for a while but there was nothing on my end, I just thought we were both busy if I thought about it at all, which I didn't. Then I saw her at another fundraiser, and she was running it. I said, "OMG, why didn't you tell me? I would have helped!" and she kind of vaguely said, "Oh, it was fine," or something. And that was it, and we didn't speak for another year until my mother died. She dodged my calls and avoided me. I finally gave up. She came to my mother's wake, hugged me, said, "We have to get back in touch," and never did. Then last year (eight years later) her husband went to jail. He was the best man I've ever known, and it was a huge misunderstanding, but he went to jail. I wrote to him there, just to say I had heard, I was sorry, that my husband and I still considered him our best friend, and that he was in my prayers. She called me about three months later, just sobbing, to say she was sorry. I forgave her right away, I never even asked what the problem was. But of course, it hasn't ever been the same. And now I moved, so I guess it never will be again.
  • Wow, it really hurts to talk about this stuff, doesn't it? I'm just sitting here realizing I get rejected a lot.
  • @OffToSeeHim can I be your new bff?  I'm a terrible liar and I'm bad at pretending I don't feel things
  • @OffToSeeHim can I be your new bff?  I'm a terrible liar and I'm bad at pretending I don't feel things
    Well those are basically the only qualifications you need to BE my new BFF, so yes! :-)

    Plus, you can bring babies. I'm not going to make any more friends who don't  have babies to lend me.
  • @OffToSeeHim can I be your new bff?  I'm a terrible liar and I'm bad at pretending I don't feel things
    Well those are basically the only qualifications you need to BE my new BFF, so yes! :-)

    Plus, you can bring babies. I'm not going to make any more friends who don't  have babies to lend me.
    Yay!! Play dateeeee

    Sorry for our inability to stay on topic, Karen
  • @OffToSeeHim can I be your new bff?  I'm a terrible liar and I'm bad at pretending I don't feel things
    Well those are basically the only qualifications you need to BE my new BFF, so yes! :-)

    Plus, you can bring babies. I'm not going to make any more friends who don't  have babies to lend me.
    Yay!! Play dateeeee

    Sorry for our inability to stay on topic, Karen
    The TOPIC is Friendship Dilemma. Why I have no friends is a dilemma. How is that off-topic? 

    Oh wait, I see it now. Sorry Karen!
  • My thread about Afflecks divorcing turned into a diatribe about Kermit's new girlfriend.  

    This actually is far more on topic, LOL
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