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So while out on the town today, I got into the matter of boys who like to shower you with gifts. My friend and I had differing viewpoints on this, which brings me to raise a point of discussion.
On one hand, she doesn’t mind being spoiled and showered with gifts. I can see why a lot of people would take a similar position. Most men who are well off seem quite content to spend almost carelessly on meals, trips and shopping sprees. I’ve seen a lot of relationships operate on that dynamic. The girl gets things and the guy is happy that she likes that.
For me, this setup is problematic.
I have a few reasons. One, it’s really built on gender roles that I feel are kind of archaic. Like, the idea is that I’m supposed to be impressed by all the luxury or grand displays of wealth, but…I’m not. I mean, it’s cool, but what interests me is not your bank account but what it represents: drive, ambition, perhaps even a passion for something interesting.
I’m not interested in money for the sake of money. I don’t really want to be rich, and I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to. Money is important, but I wish I didn’t have to operate my life around accumulating it. Beyond it as a necessity, I’m not really interested in splurging. I’ve been raised simple, and I am very low maintenance at heart.
I’m also very independent. I don’t want you going into debt buying me things. It’s so unnecessary! I can really take care of myself, and I try not to need people. I get uncomfortable about asking people for favors or owing them things. Which brings in another point…
I get nervous when boys do too much for me because then I have to feel a little weary, a little suspicious. Why are you doing this? What are you hoping to gain? What do I owe you?
Chivalry makes me feel like I owe you something. And that terrifies me.
Lastly, gifts are not a love language I respond well to. I love getting people gifts. I go out of my way to find things for people if I think they will like it. I do this casually. I can’t tell you how many times I go to people like, “Here! I saw this and thought of you and thought you would like it!” If I am out and see your favorite thing in a store, I’ll buy because I know you will love it and I like to see people enjoy heartfelt gifts. Real gifts. But I don’t respond well to people who want to spend copious amounts of money on me out of some arbitrary obligation.
The love languages I respond to are quality time and physical touch. I am simple through and through. Sit down and have a face to face conversation with me. Touch me. These are things I cherish far more than any material item. And I answer to that in favors and gifts, because I like to feel helpful and useful from time to time.
Chivalry makes me uncomfortable because I feel extremely guilty and kind of helpless and sort of belittled, as if I’m a child. And yeah, there are moments when I want to feel like a child, but being dependent on someone in monetary matters is not one of them.(1 week ago)
I have a body. I take care to examine it, to take pride in it, to celebrate it. I am learning all day, with practice and patience, to trust it, to not be ashamed of it. I have but one vessel and when need be, I defend it.
Lately, it’s been under attack from the scrutiny of relatives. Whether these comments are in jest or meant genuinely, I would rather not deal with them. Lately, my mother has been aggravating me about this, so I am going to vent a bit.
For the record, body policing is perhaps the one thing I genuinely HATE with a raging passion. If you criticize what I choose to wear because it doesn’t YOUR standards, or you try to dictate how I should feel about MY body and what I ought to aspire to look like: please know that I am having none of your shit and will most kindly tell you to fuck off.
I say that to drive home the point that this is one of the most infuriating things to deal with. I do not tell you how to look or how to feel about your looks. Don’t try to manipulate me into feeling shame and policing myself.
Right now, the issue at hand? I’ve gained some weight since college. But hardly! Before school, I fluctuated between 125-130. The last I checked, I was maybe 138. So wow, eight pounds. And where did that weight go? Primarily two places: my thighs, and my waist. My stomach is marginally pudgy now. I have budding “love handles”.
How have I been handling this?
I’ve been wearing skirts and dresses! I’m not really concerned; this just sounds like a need for more spandex and new jeans. But what does Madre do? She’s throwing around the word “fat” left and right. She’s trying to bully me into finding the incentive to work out. If I was weaker, I’d be a mess. But I’m not. I like my thighs; they’re my favorite part of me! I’m cool with my butt being bigger. I know how to dress to flatter my figure—which hasn’t even drastically changed!
So forgive me for getting frustrated with my mother every time she pulls that bullshit. I am a long way from self-hatred in the body department. I’m a slim girl with a good metabolism. I know my mom is on a health kick, drinking smoothies and going to the gym. She is unhappy with her looks and those things help her feel better. I am supportive. But I’m not making plans anytime soon to rush to a treadmill and hate myself. You can’t do that to people.
My mother always does this though. She insults me because she wants me to change to please her, and manipulates me by saying it’s “tough love”. I’m sick of her implying I should hate myself. Who should I be trying to impress? Why should I really give a fuck about anyone else, EVER, when it comes to how I feel about myself?
My heart goes out to sad, insecure girls with mothers like this. To girls who have fallen victim to the pressures of society and the media. Remember that foremost your body is your own to view, to study, to cherish. You and I don’t exist to serve other people.
We exist because we want to. Simply because we can.(1 week ago)
I am an active user of seven sites. Granted, I only revived my Twitter today (until now I would sporadically update every other week or so) but it’s there. And like, instagram falls to the same fate and isn’t as exclusive as I keep meaning for it to be (I’ll work on that). I barely vlog anymore (but come fall, I’ll have so many new videos to share; I’m excited!). And I do try to visit my Pinterest & Goodreads every so often.
Friends of mine talk about trying to cultivate a certain “internet presence”, and I really like that, I think. I’ve branded a name and made it my trademark, but I try really hard to reflect my personality on the internet as genuinely as possible. You’re not gonna get my personality on Facebook. In fact, recent statuses:
- I keep remembering things NOW that I should have remembered like TEN HOURS AGO. and then cringing because this is my life.
- I’m thinking about trying to commit to the goal of writing a short story a month. Not impossible, but considering how often I fail to finish anything…
- I’ve started writing again and my dreams are getting weirder. Probably not a coincidence—it’s like someone is finally blowing the dust off my imagination.
Recent Things From Twitter:
- This is just one of those “I’m really not proud of me right now” kinda days.
- I love “Pick Up Where You Left Off” friendships; we can go years w/o talking & at any time resume what’ll be a promptly outdated conversation.
- “Can you be superior to your siblings?” The answer is a resounding YES because how hard is it to one-up angsty nine year olds?
(I really think two different sides of me are represented with these, but hey, I could be wrong. I just think that for a culture so based in coming off a certain way on the internet, it’s really interesting having this kind of brand because it means that people get to experience different things about me by following me on different platforms. You’ll get such a good idea of my fashion sense if you follow me on Pinterest, for example. I’m not a fashion blogger and rarely post my outfits, so there’s that. Anyway, it’s fun having different outlets for different kinds of expression. I’ve stopped sharing poems on Facebook for the most part, and I know better than to get deep on Twitter. I talk about my blog a lot in real life. I mention a lot of you because I have some sort of emotional investment in your activities, your experiences. And I think that’s really great. I try to share that with as many people as I can.)(3 weeks ago)
A List of “Men’s Rights” Issues That Feminism Is Already Working On
Feminists do not want you to lose custody of your children. The assumption that women are naturally better caregivers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not like commercials in which bumbling dads mess up the laundry and competent wives have to bustle in and fix it. The assumption that women are naturally better housekeepers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to make alimony payments. Alimony is set up to combat the fact that women have been historically expected to prioritize domestic duties over professional goals, thus minimizing their earning potential if their “traditional” marriages end. The assumption that wives should make babies instead of money is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to get raped in prison. Permissiveness and jokes about prison rape are part of rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to be falsely accused of rape. False rape accusations discredit rape victims, which reinforces rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be lonely and we do not hate “nice guys.” The idea that certain people are inherently more valuable than other people because of superficial physical attributes is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to pay for dinner. We want the opportunity to achieve financial success on par with men in any field we choose (and are qualified for), and the fact that we currently don’t is part of patriarchy. The idea that men should coddle and provide for women, and/or purchase their affections in romantic contexts, is condescending and damaging and part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be maimed or killed in industrial accidents, or toil in coal mines while we do cushy secretarial work and various yarn-themed activities. The fact that women have long been shut out of dangerous industrial jobs (by men, by the way) is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to commit suicide. Any pressures and expectations that lower the quality of life of either gender are part of patriarchy. The fact that depression is characterized as an effeminate weakness, making men less likely to seek treatment, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be viewed with suspicion when you take your child to the park (men frequently insist that this is a serious issue, so I will take them at their word). The assumption that men are insatiable sexual animals, combined with the idea that it’s unnatural for men to care for children, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be drafted and then die in a war while we stay home and iron stuff. The idea that women are too weak to fight or too delicate to function in a military setting is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want women to escape prosecution on legitimate domestic violence charges, nor do we want men to be ridiculed for being raped or abused. The idea that women are naturally gentle and compliant and that victimhood is inherently feminine is part of patriarchy.
Feminists hate patriarchy. We do not hate you.
If you really care about those issues as passionately as you say you do, you should be thanking feminists, because feminism is a social movement actively dedicated to dismantling every single one of them. The fact that you blame feminists—your allies—for problems against which they have been struggling for decades suggests that supporting men isn’t nearly as important to you as resenting women. We care about your problems a lot. Could you try caring about ours?
but I do. I believe in platonic and romantic soulmates, because my impression of it is very basic: extreme and broad compatibility with another person. I get along with lots of people. I have a lot in common with lots of people. But soulmates are beyond the standard deal of meeting someone with the same taste in music as you who puts up with your petty tendency to start bullshit arguments or displays a defense mechanism for dealing with your “insecurities”. My idea of a soulmate doesn’t come out of an insecure desire to be ‘completed’. I am whole on my own. My idea of a soulmate is someone who accepts that wholeness and complements its; balances what I am. One who brings out all the beautiful things in me through their own will and loveliness.
And when I talk about soulmates, I tell people I’ve met one of mine, and I tell them about how beautiful she is and how thankful I am to have her in my life, and I tell them about her depth and her wisdom and her sorrow. Because I love her. I tell them about how our relationship, how our compatibility creates a place where we can come to and find there is no noise, no judgment, no hurt. How many people give you that? If any?
And how did we stumble into each others lives? We weren’t trying to. It happened. Which is precisely why I don’t get worked up over not having “love”, this gray ball of a thing that might singe my view on the world rather than enlighten it if I am too hasty. I have plenty of time.
But I am not fond of anyone who tells me that soulmates don’t exist or that one cannot have multiples, because there are others who will complement and understand me in other ways, and I am excited to meet them. There are going to be brilliant, beautiful creatures who will find me and from whom I will learn so much about the world and myself. I don’t think you can standardize compatibility. You can settle, maybe.
I don’t know, I’ve just been thinking about my soulmate lately. I miss her. And I’m hoping that when I am back in New York for the summer, I can do anything that might make her even a fraction less sad than she is now and has been.(1 month ago)
I walked into our room and there was so much sunshine and it felt like spring, almost. Outside the weather is okay enough that I don’t have to cling to my sweater. I hustle from building to building but it feels content. And I appreciate that, the slow ascent to warmth, or something resembling it.
My body has fallen back into blood. I’d been waiting for it, since the beginning of the month, when it was suppose to show. I think Amanda did that, to be honest. We’re in sync again and all is right with the world. Though scientists haven’t quite figured it out yet, why women tend to match up their periods, I take it as an instinctual sign of trust. I feel very in tune with my friends (because family is often a given) when I realize we’re menstruating at the same time. Amanda and I have such a strength of a bond that my cycle literally reset itself so that we could be level again, is that not a power? You should always pay attention to who your body responds to. The same goes for other things, like whether your steps are in tune when you go out for walks with people. How it feels when you touch someone, beyond feeling good—but feeling right and safe and simple, natural. I like to let my body figure some of these things out. Who makes me feel most comfortable? Who is laughing with me? You have to ask, except not really, because it’s just something that happens and you know before you’re conscious of it.
Today I decided to put on makeup. I got tired of looking at my face all plain and I think I wanted to feel pretty, but now that I’ve put in the effort I’ve realized that I don’t, though. Feel pretty. I feel like I’m trying too hard, which has brought me to realize that beauty is a day after, when it creeps in and leaves a little ghost that reminds us of the true order of nature. Do other women feel that, prettier the day after they try? When I get my hair done, it’s the first morning I wake up with it that it feels natural and not like I’m going for a glamour shot. And when I wear makeup, sometimes I don’t wash it off before I sleep and my eyeliner is softer and smudged, and my eyebrows don’t look so obviously penciled in because the sleep smooths that. I think this is a cute trick the body plays. Or maybe it’s just a dent in my perceptions.
But know yourself. And love yourself, and keep in mind that these are intervals to look for. I love the morning, though I am so tired. I love the quiet and the sun.(1 month ago)
you have a talent.
even if you’re not musical, or an artist, or a writer, or an extrovert, you are skilled in something that you can apply to your daily life to make you feel good about yourself.
if you find yourself feeling worthless because you see all this pain in the world and think there is nothing you can do about it, you are wrong. you are blessed with empathy and altruism. that is your talent. that is a trait that many people do not possess.
and if you’re anxious because you are constantly reading the body language of other people and you’re always thinking that they feel negatively toward you, or your moods change based on those of the people you love, or you can’t stop thinking that you’ve done something wrong because someone seems distant from you—that means you are intuitive. in most cases, it’s not even you who is causing the discomfort. you’re just picking up on other people’s misery. and it kills you. but you can develop that, you can start to understand that there are other factors, that you can help because you naturally understand and because you feel everything. that is a talent.
you are not a musician but you hear the wind and you feel lonely. and you feel lonely because there is a certain melody to the way the wind blows. you can hear it and you understand and you’re making connections. you are talented.
you are lovely.
you are good at something.
and you can find your strength in what you perceive as personal weakness.
you are valuable.
(Source: queen-dandelion)(1 month ago)
Beyonce’s new track Bow Down (Bitches) is one of the dopest and most original tracks B has put out in while.
Hear me out before you tell me how much you hate it.
Sure, lyrically it’s not a shining star— but it’s a R&B-Pop crossover song— when did we ever expect lyrics from that genre?
…But the construction of the song is literally so fly. I’m really appreciating this new wave of music, I feel like it’s so experimental. And also, as a huge fan of chopped & screwed music, it’s so dope to see some C&S leaking into the main stream (see: Suit & Tie, as well.)
I almost feel like people forget that Beyoncé is from the 3rd ward in Texas. I feel like this kind of music is more her style. I cannot believe that the clean, cookie-cutter image the media presented for her is her true self.
And if you listen to the lyrics of the song, it’s like a dope ass declaration of her independence. She’s fighting all the critics that think she’s become complacent and somewhat of Jay-Z’s musical puppet… in one fucking sentence she lets everyone know that she’s her own person, and she’s more in charge of her music forever.
“I took some time to live my life. But don’t think I’m just his little wife. Don’t get it twisted.”
I also feel like Beyoncé is generally humble.
She knows she’s at the top, but she doesn’t gloat about it…. and this is her fucking gloating, and I love it. She’s literally asserting her queen status and saying, “bow down bitches, we outchea” and I think that’s so phenomenal.
And if you even look back to her first album(s) with Destiny’s Child (i.e. Writings on the Wall) they were all about sassy ass lyrics, etc. I just think people, especially her stans, have this skewed view of who Beyoncé is, and are unwilling to let her grow as an artist.
And if you don’t think song is growth for her as an artist, you’re really buggin’. Part of being a fan is growing with an artist, and accepting their experimentation.
You have to remember, most artists don’t have total artistic control of their music until a few albums in because of how record labels work, so it’s quite possible that this (and maybe 4) were the first two real bodies of work that Beyonce’s put out, and if you’re a real fan you just have to embrace her realness.
This song, in my opinion, is a fucking banger. I love the direction music is going, everything has it’s own place, and if not, you can make a place for it. It’s about digging deep into your musical roots and trying something new.
And for those who are all offended by her conflicting messages (i.e. from “Girls” to “Bow Down (Bitch)” all I can say is… did Beyoncé ever agree to be your personal role model?
And besides, I know we’ve all felt that moment when you just think you’re the shit and no one else can compare to you, and I think this song shows a sense of strong confidence.
Sure, it doesn’t really advocate for solidarity between women, but a lot of music doesn’t, and if you’re going to penalize her for not remaining “consistent”, then you’ll need to penalize the whole world, because none of us are perfect.
And to hold her to higher standards than we hold ourselves to is just ridiculous.
Not to mention as an artist it’s tough to have people lock you into a category. I personally make a lot of music about smoking weed, but, if I were to make a more emotional song, it wouldn’t make it less me, if anything, it’s more me, just another side of me.
And you’re fully free not to like this side of Beyoncé, you’re entitled to your opinion, we all are… but I’d ask you to at least attempt to embrace it with an open mind.
As I stated in the title, I feel like people are so musically close minded they literally cannot see genius in another form than IQ (just to make an analogy.)
There are other things about a song that make it great apart from lyrics and… I don’t know, I’m rambling now.
Bottom line: I just think this shit is hot as fuck, and I know people will come to see that if they give it a fair shake.
I think you covered a lot of things that are true with this. I am by no means a Beyonce stan—as a matter of fact, I’m mostly indifferent about her aside from enjoying her songs when they’re current—but I think my thing with the song is that I could do without that 30 second intro. Honestly. When I first heard it, my roommate was playing the song and I said out loud, “Wow, that doesn’t sound like Beyonce?” Because as you said, she’s genuinely humble. I mean, she’s at a point in her career where so many people worship/respect her, and the song sounded so angry. It’s not about consistency so much as I tend to view anthems like this as often a personal reflection of the artist and it just didn’t make sense to me. Like okay, she’s entitled to gloat, whatever—but really, who was this for? Who was questioning or challenging her? Who is she really telling to “bow down”? Who does Beyonce really still need to validate herself for at this point? That was my only gripe. That first part of the song is irrelevant to me, so when I listen to it, I’ll probably just fast forward through it or roll my eyes until it passes.
So, lyrically, it’s underwhelming. Like most music right now. So, okay, moving on.
That chopped and screwed half of the song, though? Brilliant. Absolutely killer. Some girls on my floor were talking about how they don’t like it, how chopped and screwed is not their thing. They were listening to like new singles by Vampire Weekend where it’s used, and very briefly. But I’ve always been a fan of that slowed down aesthetic, so I also appreciate that it’s falling into the mainstream. It’s so good.
It’s a fun song, clearly not meant to be taken beyond what it presents itself as. I can enjoy it, but that doesn’t mean I won’t stop to question it now and then.(2 months ago)
In previous setting, my identity as a writer was always my most dominant trait. It was what I constantly used as a foundation for how I interacted with people, what I talked about, what influenced my perception of the world. It’s romantic to says things like, “As a writer, my take on __ is this…”
I am finding now that my racial background is now what feels like the most dominant trait. It’s the first thing people notice. It’s the first thing everyone is forced to notice. I often have to call upon my experiences and opinions on where I come from. I start a lot of sentences with things like, “As a New Yorker…” or “As a West Indian…”
I find that sort of jarring. It’s just, I’m not as used to that being my primary characteristic? I’ve never been as aware of those aspects of myself because for most of my life, everyone else was from NY. For a lot of my life, my experiences as a first-generation American were collectively applicable to most people I interacted with. To have that now be the opposite is very different.
I sort of look at a lot of my experiences in different lights, wanting more to have people get them without having to answer tedious questions. Conversations on the symbolism of hair for girls of color, for one. Conversations about colorism. Conversations about interracial dating. Conversations of being a nonwhite girl and why that’s a different filter for maneuvering through society, with its own complexities. There are just so many things!
I keep reminding myself, as these topics surface and become more relevant to my understanding and interpretation of myself—introspection and self-love is such a HUGE facet of my identity and esteem, of course—that a lot of my motivation for writing in media is to create more diversity, to challenge underrepresentation. The more these conflicting identities play out in my actual life, the more I feel like I ought to write them down and really begin to form definitive stances on those matters. Mostly, I just drift and I’m very indifferent to most things, quite lax and largely unoffended.
On one hand, I’m doing pretty well? Look where I am, where I go to school, what I am doing. I am not having an identity crisis. I think what it is, is more like, I feel like there’s just so much lacking. I wanted to say I missed being young, where I was total oblivious to non-diversity, but even then when I was going to a predominantly white school, my main friends? A Puerto Rican, an African girl, and a third from Bangladesh. The girl who introduced me to Tumblr, one of the few people from then who I still keep up with, is Chinese. Even then, my natural inclination has been to seek out “other” people. I’m limited here, in that respect. But I am trying.
I think it’s more like, sometimes I want to relate to people and that’s not always possible. I’m reduced to writing things out instead, I guess.
Not sure where this is even going.(2 months ago)
I feel like regular people pull out of their sadness better. Manage it better. They wake up maybe with more hope, more ease. They have solid goals. They don’t have easier lives, but they have better coping methods. They stay happier longer. They are full.
That is what I mean when I say they are naturally happy.
I’m quite certain that I have undiagnosed depression or something that really clouds my outlook on the world, on my place in it, on my feelings. I feel like there’s a wall between my reality and my response to it, my perception of it.
And I just don’t have the same will as normal people. Or the same energy or mindset. And I always have to compensate for that. And I fool a lot of people, but not really because I’m very emotional and slightly emphatic and most of the time you can just look at me and SEE it.
Where normal people are functional, others are struggling. But maybe I’m wrong. So.(3 months ago)
So perhaps for the second time in my life since middle school—but for the first time that I’m really aware of it—I am the minority at school. Which is fine in and of itself; I don’t particularly care, but I am more aware of it than I noticed when I was young. Not only that, I am more conscious of the multiple layers that make me who I am, that cultivate my experiences and perception of the world:
- as a West Indian
- as a woman
- as a New Yorker
- as a girl who likes girl
I am all of those things, and it’s funny how much those aspects stick out. I’m always bringing up New York now that I’m in Boston because comparisons are inevitable. One thing that sucks is how early everything closes! I miss late nights; that’s the best thing about the city: how subways are always crowded, even at 3am, and how stores are mostly all 24/7 and streets are barely deserted. I’ve realized how much I miss my city in the short time I’ve been away. It makes me wonder if I’m the kind of person who can travel, but it’s not like I’m really very homesick. Quite the contrary; I enjoy my independence and mastering the Boston train system is hardly a challenge. In most cases, you can just walk everywhere. It’s kinda cold for that, but it’s true. I think what I really miss is knowing where I am and always knowing exactly how to get anywhere. And that loss of familiarity sucks, but my goal is that by the end of this semester, I should be a lot better with that.
In discussions of race/culture, I can’t separate my experiences from my ethnicity, so that is mentioned all the time as well. My sexuality doesn’t often come up, but a few times it has, and so I’m very aware of who I am, and most importantly what it means to be around people who can only relate to me on one or two of those fronts when I’m used to people who can relate to me on all of them, if not other things. It’s a shift, but not one I’m overwhelmed by.
Earlier today, I was thinking that white people unfortunately never quite get the opportunity to take in more from other cultures, or at least not as often or even to the same degree. They get bubbled in with each other, and hardly have the experience of mingling with a broad range of people. It’s very enlightening when you do. I always feel like minorities have a better grasp of things like that because they’re used to not being the default in a given situation. They’re better at blurring lines in those distinctions, I think. Or at least, I feel like I am. And I appreciate that about myself. I love learning about other cultures—because I enjoy language and I enjoy perspective and I love new music and I don’t fetishize other races, or conversely, reject them, on that basis.
Which is something I’m personally a little iffy about. I’m used to the socially ingrained notion that girls of certain races are “more/less” attractive than others. Which is why things like “___ fever” sort of terrify me because that’s not how things should work. And so sometimes I have this underlying mental angst of wondering whether boys I find attractive will find me attractive if I’m not “what they usually go for”. But on the other hand, it’s the most minor concern, because I think I’m pretty damn attractive and I’m an awesome person, so…there’s all that. But these are real questions, real concerns. I made a small post on the subject maybe two or three months ago. It’s still relevant. It’s even more relevant, because right now all the guys I’m around and attracted to are white. It’s fine. Sooner or later I’ll lure them in.
Anyway, I have also (inevitably) encountered individuals with backwards ideas of assimilation, culture and race—and that’s fine, too. It’s interesting to meet people who think opposite of me and try to break that down. It’s interesting also to meet people who’ll casually use offensive words and then trying to educate them on that front is an experience as well.
I’m taking a class on race so this’ll be a more interesting discussion over the course of the semester.
Anyway, these are good reasons to broaden your horizons. That’s the point I’m trying to make.(3 months ago)