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In a rare, antihistamine-induced lapse of judgment I made the following statement to a person I am not super close with when we were talking about The Last Name Change Debacle: “I die a little inside when one of my friends gets married and changes her name.” What followed is entirely my fault because 1) the person I said it to changed her last name when she got married, albeit she’s of another generation; 2) she doesn’t *quite* appreciate my sarcastic and hyperbolic sense of humor; and 3) I did not say exactly what I meant (it makes me sad that in this day and age it is still socially expected and many women find it easier to just go with the flow than to do something unconventional), but merely summarized it in what I thought was a witty soundbite. Fine. She, naturally, went on the defensive and retorted with, “Well, I don’t judge the personal decisions of others.” Yikes. That escalated quickly.

So there we were, silently sitting with that little nugget hanging in the air like a stale fart. Because I didn’t want to stir the pot further, I bit my tongue when my initial reaction was: “Um, your little passive-aggressive tongue lashing is a judgment of me for being judgmental, but I guess good for you. Don’t strain your arm patting yourself on the back, princess.” The antihistamines saved the day and made me so sleepy I just called it a night before doing any more damage.

When I woke up the next morning I was still pretty pissed, and that surprised me because I can sleep off just about any outrage. Clearly this woman hit a nerve. I know I’m judgmental. I don’t dispute that or deny it or even try to work on it because I think it’s helpful to be judgmental–when I find myself sitting in smug judgment of someone, I use it as an opportunity to look inward and figure out why I think/feel that. I have learned a metric fuck ton of things about myself thanks to being a judgmental bitch. So that wasn’t what bugged me.

What was bugging me, it turns out, is the use of that admonishment in general. I see it a lot in online feminist discourse–women are quick to call each other out in the comment sections of op-eds and articles for judging the choices of others. After all, feminism is about choice and they just made a different choice. No harm, no foul right? Not exactly. I find the “judgment card” generally gets trotted out when women get butthurt about their own personal choices. No matter what an article is about, many dissenting opinions are dismissed as being “judgmental” instead of being addressed for what they usually are: constructive criticism or thoughtful analysis. This defense mechanism typically halts all meaningful conversation in its tracks.

This is not the first time I’ve been accused of being judgmental where the last name thing is concerned, and I think this is because of two things. First, I think many of the women who call me judgmental in this arena are in some way uncomfortable with their decision to take their spouse’s name. I’ve had all kinds of insults lobbed at me for not taking my husband’s last name. Do you know what my response always is? Silence. Maybe a shoulder shrug if I’m feeling feisty. I don’t give a fuck what anyone else thinks about my choice. If you get all worked up about what someone thinks about your decision, maybe you’re not totally on board yourself and you don’t want to be confronted with that. It’s the same thing with me not wanting kids. I no longer get offended when people say stupid shit to me about how I’ll change my mind or I’ll never know what true love is. I’m at peace with my decision, and your judgment is for you to deal with (see my previous bit about using my judgments to figure out what’s really going on in my brain).

Second, I think it’s a play on female insecurities, not unlike calling a woman a bitch or a slut when you don’t like what she’s doing. Instead of engaging in intelligent discourse, you call her a name with the hope it’ll shut her up. Unfortunately in my situation: it worked and I shut up–but only because I didn’t want the conversation to devolve any further.

I need to just learn my lesson and not discuss The Last Name Change Debacle with people. It rarely ends well for me. The mere fact that I didn’t change mine seems to encourage other women to justify why they did change theirs to me (that’s not an exaggeration; I have had women give me an unprompted laundry list of “reasons” after noticing my name was not the same as my husband’s in a social setting). I don’t give a shit why you changed your name. I really don’t. The bottom line is: I do think a little bit less of you for it, but that’s okay. I’m sure you think a little bit less of me for myriad things I do. We all walk on different paths and it’s cool. You can judge me right back and we can talk about it like educated adults instead of lobbing random labels at each other, hoping the other will forfeit.


Today I made a rule for myself that if one-third or more of my Facebook feed is full of the same story, I won’t post about it. Why? Because I’m fucking sick of reading about the same shit over and over on Facebook–it seems as though everyone fancies him- or herself a reporter. Every time a celebrity dies or something horrible happens somewhere in the world my Facebook feed lights up like a god-damned Christmas tree with people regurgitating the news. They’re not adding anything new, interesting, or intelligent to the conversation, mind you. They’re just posting that it happened. And I’m so over it. Here are some things you should consider before trying to “break” a news story to your Facebook feed:

1) How old is this news? Guess what, Slappy: If the article you’re reading is timestamped more than 15 minutes ago, you’re too late.

2) Who cares about this incident? No, really. If only three of your 500 Facebook friends live in your county, there’s no point in posting six statuses about the recent changes to the tax code and why you think Obama should be impeached for them.

3) Can you bring something new to the table? Yes, a celebrity died. Yes it’s sad for some people, even though they didn’t know said celebrity personally. But when I see post after post after post of just “RIP [insert celebrity name here]” I want to join the dead celebrity in whatever Facebook-less afterlife they’re enjoying. If you can’t add something interesting to the dialogue, don’t fucking post about it! Nobody gives a shit that you’re “sad” enough to post a generic status update about the passing of a celebrity.

4) Are you going to use it as a jumping-off point for a pet cause of yours? No. Just don’t. Don’t be that person.

5) Do you feel left out? If all your Facebook friends are posting about a tragedy and you feel left out, that’s not a good enough reason to hop on the bandwagon and start attention-grabbing about said tragedy.

I hope this has been a helpful guide for how to post interesting and thoughtful things on Facebook. Just kidding. I hope this has at least given you some insight into how not to be a current events sheep that’s passively bleating and adding to the colorless monotony of everyone’s Facebook feed.

I’m going to cut right to the chase on this one: Your pet causes are not other people’s pet causes. Period. Stop trying to badger people into caring about shit that has nothing to do with them just because you think it’s important. Everyone is entitled to care about whatever they care about–for whatever reasons. You need to respect that.

I say this because I’m personally fucking tired of people buying me shit with pink ribbons on it. I have a relative (let’s call him/her Sam) who lost a relative to breast cancer and now Sam does the Komen every year and will buy anything pink. This is perfectly fine to me. Sam is absolutely free to mourn the death of Sam’s relative and do something about the disease that killed her–in the form of raising funds and buying things that give proceeds to breast cancer charities and whatever else Sam wants to do to feel helpful. This is normal and healthy and I have no problem with it because I’m not a monster.

What I HAVE a problem with is now Sam insists on buying me (and others) shit with pink ribbons plastered all over it (along with other items I’ll never use with a little printout about how X percent of the proceeds from Sam’s purchase went toward breast cancer charities). Breast cancer is not my cause. I don’t *not* care about it, but the only money I ever donate toward it is what I give to Sam during Sam’s Komen walk every year. I do that to support Sam; I could give a fuck which charity it goes toward. Obviously, because I personally think Komen grossly misappropriates its funds. I am not going to prance around town with pink ribbon jewelry or shirts because it’s not my cause (and if it were, I wouldn’t lord it over everyone with my apparel, but I digress). I don’t know anyone with breast cancer (yet, not to be morbid but the odds aren’t good) and it seems really poser-ish for me to climb onto the bandwagon. I know it’s not required to have a personal tie to a cause to support it, but the long and short of it is: There are other things I care about much more.

This isn’t the first time someone has gotten me something in support of a cause I have no affinity for. I once got potholders and jewelry made by poor women in Africa. Again, I’m so glad you have something you feel passionate about, but now I have to give this shit to Goodwill and make up a lie the next time the gift-giver visits me.

One of the worst parts of these gifts, though, is that some of them don’t even give proceeds to worthy charities. People will buy almost anything with a pink ribbon on it without much thought because it’s an easy dose of feel-good. I once got a bracelet of pink ribbon bangles (oh, God, it was hideous) and a portion of its proceeds went to support “breast awareness.” What. The. Fuck. Aren’t most of us aware of breasts? I have a hard time believing any of that money went toward something worthwhile.

So by now you’re probably like, “What the shit, Rampaige? Are you so greedy and materialistic that you want people to just buy you stuff you want?” Well, A) Do I want people to buy me things I want as presents? Yes. Yes I do. Isn’t that the point of presents? But, more importantly, B) If people want to be charitable in my honor: They should donate to a charity I actually fucking care about! All these people are doing is donating to their pet charities instead of buying me a gift. Then I’m the asshole for not admiring them for their generosity. Yeah, way to be generous with money that was earmarked for me–giving it to a charity you already give to instead of forking it over to something I care about.

I’ve come to a disturbing realization recently that Facebook has made somewhat of a monster out of me. It happened slowly over the past 9 years I’ve been on Facebook, and I didn’t notice it as it was happening. But I definitely see that it has taken a toll on my disposition.

Basically Facebook is a big old stage upon which all of my worst character flaws can perform one twisted little musical number after another. In no particular order, Facebook encourages me to be jealous, creepy, passive aggressive, elitist, judgmental, cynical, and angry. That’s not to say that all of my posts are dripping with negativity and awfulness; I just FEEL all this negative shit when I peruse Facebook lately. But it wasn’t always that way…

… When I first joined The Facebook in 2004 it was a different website. The fact that it was only used by people with university email addresses meant that the majority of its users were (presumably) young and smart-ish. The features were few, but we still seemed to agree upon some general, unspoken posting etiquette. I used Facebook casually to share life with friends both local and abroad, and it was mostly a good time. As more and more people were allowed to sign up, more and more features were added to appease them (and to make money). And as all walks of life started to become Facebookers, our little system of mores was basically obliterated. What we have now is a massive, bloated beast with too many features and too many users for my taste. At one point I had 430 friends. That’s fucking stupid.

After much soul searching I’ve determined that it’s the awful shit some people post that’s bringing my worst qualities to the forefront. I can no longer bury my head in the sand about the garbage that seemingly decent people apparently believe. I’m only Facebook friends with people whom I’ve met in person. Every single one of them is a regular person and mostly pleasant to be around, but the shit that some of them post on Facebook makes me secretly hate them. Were it not for Facebook, I probably would have been blissfully unaware of the racism, sexism, homophobia, and ignorance these people are harboring. Being inundated by the bigoted views of people I previously thought were decent chips away at my worldview in a serious way. This is further compounded by the stupidity, egotism, terrible judgment, and naivete I see exhibited by people I’d previously thought had their shit together. Daily reminders of how horrible humanity can be are why I quit reading the news–because it made me perpetually angry and depressed.

De-friending nearly 130 people today was a step in the right direction, but I feel as though I’m required to maintain certain Facebook relationships. Facebook being accessible to everyone means I have to be “friends” with an odd assortment of people I may or may not like in real life. We all have family friends, in-laws, co-workers, etc. who we deal with on occasion because we have to, and it sucks to feel like I don’t have a space where I’m “safe” from them. Some of these people are people I can’t realistically de-friend or block or even restrict because they expect interaction with me and if they don’t get it, I have to put up with their passive-aggressive bullshit whenever I see them in person.

Right now I’m in the throes of the cognitive dissonance that comes from believing that I’m a decent, intelligent person who doesn’t hate everything while simultaneously believing that I’m an awful, deeply flawed individual who would like nothing better than to become a recluse.

I understand and accept that all of this is self-inflicted. Nobody is forcing me to be on Facebook, and I’m going to do something to change the way it makes me feel and behave. Today’s mass de-friending was a step in the right direction. I’m going to continue to de-friend people who set me off and fiddle with my privacy settings until I get to a place where I’m seeing more enjoyable content than junk. I’m definitely going to log fewer hours, too.

I was reading an article on a humor website the other day and stumbled into the comments section because I’m a glutton for punishment. When did people become so fucking sensitive?! Half of the comments were from thin-skinned folks defending their own life choices because (I guess) they felt personally attacked by the author’s piece. This is why I hate so much of the Internet. Every time somebody writes something funny or thought provoking, the comments section devolves–almost immediately–into a bunch of idiots defending themselves against imagined slights. No intelligent discourse can take place when people are so busy nailing themselves to crosses in the comments section. Can nobody take a Goddamn joke anymore?

I’m running into this more and more, on Facebook especially, and it’s really starting to wear on me. I cracked wise about someone ordering a veggie burger and non-alcoholic beer on burger-and-beer night at my favorite local gastropub and the first thing anyone said was, “Well maybe she was pregnant!” First off, I never revealed the gender of the person ordering those items, so sexism is alive and well. Second, who the fuck cares? It’s hilarious that some nitwit went to a place that SPECIALIZES in beer and burgers and ordered basically the most pathetic pairing on the menu. Why do we have to care about the back story of every single person around us? Whatever happened to making a witty observation, having a giggle, and getting on with our lives? Why are people taking so many things personally?

I have a theory, natch. My theory is that people are inherently self-centered (myself included) and can’t help but take everything personally. Especially if it concerns decisions they made but maybe aren’t fully comfortable with. How else can you explain how insanely defensive people get in response to blogs and op-eds? The post I read suggested (facetiously, might I add, because it was on a humor website) that people should get a special license to drive an SUV, not unlike getting a motorcycle license. The comments section was brimming with people crying, “But *I* can drive *my* SUV! WHAT ABOUT ME?!” Uh, then you’d have no problem passing the pretend driving test? I don’t know, man, maybe relax a bit. Unless you’re secretly insecure about your driving…

In my adult life, I have chosen to hold off on being offended except in extreme and/or obviously personal situations. So when I read the inevitable opinion online that “Women with tattoos are trashy,” or “People who don’t want kids are selfish,” or “People who use vulgar language are desperate for attention”… I shrug it off. I don’t get into an argument online about it. It’s never about me; it’s just strangers on the Internet expressing their opinions. Maybe I think their opinions are shitty, but whose mind am I going to change by responding in all caps that I have tattoos and am not trashy?

I wish people would be more introspective. Maybe think about WHY they’re having such a visceral reaction and addressing it internally instead of firing a stream of grammatically incorrect, unbridled hatred on a total stranger.

There is a person in the periphery of my life–I can’t say how I know this person without outing him/her, so I’ll just call him/her “Pat.” So Pat, to the best of my knowledge, believes the world revolves around Pat. Pat has no qualms about making unreasonable requests of everyone around him/her, but Pat makes no effort to reciprocate. Pat actually doesn’t even have the common decency to apologize for inconveniencing others–nor does Pat express appreciation when people go out of their way to help him/her. No, Pat simply breezes through life EXPECTING that everyone will bend over backward for him/her. Because Pat is a special snowflake with whom everyone is blessed to simply share square footage.

So how does Pat get away with it? Easy. Pat is disgustingly nice. Not kind. Not compassionate. Not generous. Not caring. Just nice. Pat will smile regardless of what’s happening in the conversation, laugh at all jokes (even his/her own), make physical and eye contact–all of the necessary social cues to tell people that Pat is super-nice. People are generally caught off-guard by Pat’s unreasonable demands when they spring from such a “nice” person, so they just comply. Why wouldn’t they? Pat is so nice, clearly he/she has no ulterior motives and just needs some help. Again.

Why are we talking about Pat? Because Pat is the perfect example of our shitty culture of niceties. Somehow we have devolved into a society that believes that nothing is more important than being super-nice. It’s not enough to just be neutral. Or earnest. Or honest. No, we all have to go out of our way to smile all the time and make mindless small talk with everyone who stumbles into our personal space and go out of our way to accommodate everyone, regardless of how much it puts us out. Women are especially indoctrinated with this bullshit. To be a lady is to be nice. They’re practically synonymous. We’re taught to be agreeable and pleasant and friendly. These are not bad qualities–when they’re genuine. Forcing these qualities, just for the sake of being “nice,” is what I have a problem with. I want people to be kind because they want to be kind, not because they feel obligated to do so. I have known enough “nice” people in my life to know that most of them are big, fat fakers who don’t care about anyone but themselves and will abandon others in a heartbeat once shit gets tough. I don’t have time for that.

For the record: I don’t get how everyone seems to associate my hatred of “niceness” with an endorsement of just being a huge jerk all the time. No. I just think that people should be free to be neutral. We shouldn’t feel obligated to smile and make small talk and hold doors. We should do it because we want to. And when I do it–it’s because I want to. And that’s often. And it’s genuine. I hate seeing people go through the motions just to avoid judgment, and I hate feeling like I can’t get a read on someone’s real motives. That’s why I am the way I am: You may hate me and think I’m a bitch, but you will never wonder how I feel about you. I will let you know. I would prefer everyone extend me the same courtesy.

Which brings me to the topic at hand: I think this is why “women prefer assholes.” It’s not that we like being treated like shit, or that we like “bad boys.” I think we’re just sick of being lied to by people who act nice but are assholes deep down. At least the douchebag frat-bro isn’t trying to pull one over on us–we know what we’re getting into. We’re forever on-guard against other women who put up a sweet front but are really just catty, insecure backstabbers* and against dudes pretending to be decent just to get into our pants. It’s actually pretty refreshing to have someone just be up-front with who they are. Like, yes, I’m an asshole and you’re free to love me or leave me. I don’t care. I’m doing me.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I think women “prefer assholes.” We’re tired of liars and fakers. My new mantra is: Better an honest asshole than a nice liar.

* Sorry, I’m coming off of best-friendship deterioration number five, so I’m a little jaded these days when it comes to having (straight) female friends.

Um, wow. So, my bad for forgetting about this blog. God knows I’ve been pissed about plenty these days. Anyhoo, while I hash out some new posts, here’s one I apparently forgot to publish from a few months ago!

I’m married. I’ve been married for three (almost four!) years and with my husband for eight (almost nine!). I know a thing or two about a long-term relationship. Not everything, but I’ve learned some things. That being said…

Marriage/relationship advice is ridiculous these days. I mean, have you read any of this stuff? Here are a few of the gems I’ve seen lately that have particularly pissed me off.

*Don’t yell at your spouse.* This is advice? This is TERRIBLE advice. You need to yell. Yell and get it all out. I promise you that yelling won’t ruin your relationship. Don’t be scared of your feelings. If you’re angry–be angry. And express your anger. If you don’t express it, you repress it and it screws you up even more. Let. It. Out.

*Don’t poop in front of each other.* What the fuck is this? Don’t tell me what I can do in front of my spouse based on your own weird hangups. I hate this piece of advice more than any other advice. ANY OF IT. Why can’t I poo in front of my spouse? Is it because women don’t poop? Is that it? Am I supposed to uphold some sort of feminine mystique here? Look, I get it. You’re uncomfortable with bodily functions and you want to project that onto other people. I get that. But don’t tell me that my entire relationship–all eight+ years of it–is going to fall to ruin because one of us sees the other making a number two. I don’t buy it.

*Don’t emotionally distance yourself after a fight.* Yeah. Um, or do. Some people need time to cool off after a fight. Don’t tell people how to fight.

The common theme here seems to be this: Don’t be ugly in front of your spouse. But that’s awful advice. To quote every twit on Pinterest: “If you can’t love me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.” Trite as it is, it’s true. If you can’t be ugly in front of the one person on the planet who supposedly loves you the most–who can you be ugly in front of? I disagree so strongly with the idea that we should hide ourselves or put on a mask in order to be acceptable to other people. Especially our loved ones–spouses and family and close friends. This kind of shit is the equivalent of that old school advice that women never let themselves appear untidy to their husbands. Guess what: Real love is untidy. It’s messy and ugly even though it’s wonderful and beautiful. Embrace ALL of it, not just the shiny parts.

So what do I say when the wedding reception camera eventually pans to me and asks for advice? “Ignore everyone else’s advice. Figure out what works for you and do that.”

Random, stream-of-consciousness rant here:

Does anyone else have thought police in their life? I do. And it makes me super stabby. I don’t appreciate being told who I can be, what I can say, and how I can behave. I’ve been under a lot of stress lately and I don’t need someone fucking CENSORING how I express my frustration. “Don’t say this on Facebook.” “Don’t tweet that.” “Take that down.” “Don’t say that.” “Are you wearing that?” “You swear too much.”

Are you fucking kidding me? Get out of my ass!

I know I’ve been absent on here but the truth is I’ve been so stressed out that I pretty much only work, watch TV, eat, drink, and sleep. My house is in shambles. I haven’t shaved my legs in months. I’m a MESS.

With respect to the blog… I need more topics to discuss. Writing is so therapeutic for me but sometimes inspiration is hard to come by. I have no ideas, probably because I’m so out of sorts, and I think that’s why I’m going on this random tangent. I just want to say SOMETHING.

So there you have it. I have stress-induced writer’s block. Oh, and Taylor Swift tried to rock leather pants on New Year’s Eve and she looked horrid. I still hate her, so maybe that’s my constant. (Any Lost fans? Constant? Anyone?)

“Don’t need makeup to cover up. Being the way that you are is enough.”

Ugh. There seems to be this mindset that makeup is a bad thing. Ladymags are always telling us men want us to be au naturale and there’s the lovely sentiment expressed up there in a One Direction song. I understand wanting your woman to not be painted like a French whore, but to rally against makeup entirely is idiotic and self-righteous.

Here are a few of the completely bananas things I’ve heard people (both genders, mind you) say about makeup:

“It’s not fooling anyone.” Uh, it’s not meant to fool anyone. Those of us who wear makeup aren’t trying to trick people. And what would we gain if we *did* trick people? “Ha ha, you thought I was a little prettier than I really am! Joke’s on you!”

“What are you hiding?” My uneven skintone and tiny eyes. Happy now? That’s what I’m hiding.

“Makeup is for vain/shallow people.” Makeup is for anyone who likes it. I like makeup quite a bit. I like to buy it. I like to put it on. I like to wear it around town and feel a little prettier. If me doing something that elevates my disturbingly low self-esteem just a smidge bothers you: I think you may be the one with the bigger issue.

“I prefer natural women.” What you prefer is probably a natural *look.* That doesn’t mean a lady isn’t wearing makeup; it just means she’s wearing natural shades in appropriate amounts. So you don’t like a bold lip or dark eyeliner. That’s your preference. But don’t rail on all things makeup. It’s okay to like what you like, but don’t pull the “natural” card unless you’re positive the ladies you’re referencing are actually sans fards.

I guess it’s kind of like people who are anti-plastic surgery. It’s as though we’re all supposed to be born beautiful or just live with what we have. Oh, sorry, you weren’t born Cindy Crawford so uh, just deal. We’re not allowed to do anything to ourselves without being judged as shallow or vain. If it makes you feel better about yourself to get breast implants: Do it. If you feel prettier with bright red lips: Rock ‘em. Being anti-makeup is just one more way to make women feel inferior and vain and guilty and I kind of hate it.

I’m a moderately attractive woman who likes to wear makeup. Do I *need* it? Probably not. But who does? Is there a level of ugly that society deems appropriate for wearing makeup without judgment? If so, who sets those benchmarks?

I will continue to purchase and wear makeup regardless of how “fake” or “vain” people think I am. Because I like it and it makes me feel good. To hell with anyone who disagrees.

In my Facebook feed I’ve seen a few people giving away their pets because “it’s too much” to have a new baby and a pet (or pets). Un-fucking-believable.

First off, these people should have had some forethought when they first got their pet(s). “Do we want kids later? How will our kids interact with our pet(s)? Can we have both? Is it fair to everyone?” This is serious shit. A pet is not a plant. It’s a living, sentient being. You can’t just discard it because you have found something “better” in your baby. I mean, Jesus. People are abandoning their pets because it’s “too hard.” Fuck you. If you can’t do both, you should have made that decision a long time ago.

I have to admit that my real rage here is against people who get rid of their dogs. I know that cats are more temperamental and have a way harder time with a new baby around. I get that. I don’t think you should bail on your cat because it’s having a hard time adjusting, but I can *sort of* understand it. My mom’s cat started peeing all over the place when she brought me home from the hospital. I get it. That sucks and it’s hard. It’s not a valid reason to bail on your cat, but I can appreciate the difficulty of the situation.

A dog, however, I cannot even think about justifying. Dogs are insanely loving and loyal creatures. Outside of a seriously abused dog, I can’t think of many dogs who would become a burden on their owners with the addition of a new family member. For Todd’s sake, Google “dogs with babies” and see what comes up! I think what’s happening is people are becoming tired of the old in the shadow of something new. And that breaks my heart in ways I can’t explain. You could have this:

Why wouldn’t you? SERIOUSLY! LOOK AT THAT PICTURE! Your dog wants nothing more than to be a part of your family.

I don’t really have the proper words to express my absolute heartbreak about this topic. I feel so bad for the dogs, and truthfully for the babies too. A dog adds so much to life. So much joy and love and comfort. Why someone would give that up for what—a few more minutes of sleep or a minute or two saved not scooping poop? It’s beyond me.

So to those of you considering getting a pet, please ask yourselves: “Where will we be in a few years? Will we have kids? Can we deal with those kids and our pet(s)? Will everyone be loved and happy?” It’s only fair. To everyone.