As if life wasn’t complicated enough already, an old flame has somehow catapulted his way back into my life and, as usual, made me question how I feel about other men.

Let me refer to this guy as the love of my life.

I met him in 2009 when I was working as a Business Development Manager in the marketing industry. He worked for an agency in Wimbledon, and I worked there two days a week. It’s a complete cliché to say, but from the moment we saw each other there was an instant attraction. He started emailing me before we had ever even talked. One drunken night, we decided to meet up and both took taxis to a club called Shunt in London Bridge. It was the first time we had ever spoken and I literally fell in love with him. Conversation was easy, he was a great kisser, and very attractive; I couldn’t believe I had met someone as great as him. After going home separately, I got a text the next day telling me that he had a girlfriend! but he assured me they were breaking up, he was just waiting to move into his own place.

3 years later, he’s still with his girlfriend (although they’ve broken up and gotten back together repeatedly), and he still tells me how much he likes me and how perfect I am. And me, despite having ignored him for several months at a time over the three years (during my relationship with Jules, and at other times when I’ve been fed up with him messing with my head), he always seems to creep his way back into my life. And we’ve hooked up a lot during the years, although we’ve never actually had sex.

The girlfriend: 39 (9 years his senior, attractive, manages his sister who is a classical singer (locked into the family), desperate for marriage and children, mildly psychotic (she has made several phone calls to me in the past because she thought it was awkward when we met).

We all hear stories about women who fall for married men who never end up leaving their wives despite their constant promises. It’s easy to think it’s a silly situation to get into, and easier to see the women as gullible or slightly idiotic, but when you’re in a similar situation, things seem less black & white. I KNOW they have problems, and he hasn’t married her… But do I really want to be with someone that has had supposed relationship problems for over 3 years and hasn’t ended things? Someone who has consistently tried to get with another girl for the 3 years of that relationship?

What is it about fancying men who are in relationships?

You know you should stay away, but you just can’t. If a person is so adamant about how bad there relationship is for so long then it’s hard to take that relationship seriously.

But then, what about the poor girl he is dating? It could easily be me in her situation. It was me in my relationship with Jules, and I was very quick to criticise the girls he cheated on me with for being easy. I suppose the same way that I have criticised his girlfriend for being psychotic.

Why do girls always blame the other girls involved and not the love-rat man himself? What happened to girl power?

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Despite feeling more secure with my man, I still felt that there had been no real commitment spoken of and “Seeing how it goes” doesn’t scream boyfriend material to me. Time to move on.

So when I was asked to take part in a speed dating event, I agreed.

I’ve never been speed dating before, but like online dating, it’s something I am extremely sceptical of. What kind of people go to the events? Does it reek desperation?

I suppose it’s a great thing. Because instead of going on a real date and having to spend a whole evening with someone who is just not your type, you get to spend a minute and a half with someone to decide if they are worth another date. But on the other hand, how the hell do you impress someone in a minute and a half? Well, I suppose you just can’t plan some things, and I’m good at conversation so let’s see what happens.

I turn up at the event, only I am not asked to speed date anyone. The cameras are rolling, and all the other girls are rotating around the guys. And I sit there. I see one of the guys constantly looking over towards me, and I don’t know why but there is something there. It’s definitely not love at first sight, but I am intrigued by the way he is starting at me. Intrigued by his orange azteca shirt (I like people who are bold enough to wear something unusual). The bell goes every minute and a half. And I sit alone watching the cameras roll. Watching the guy. Listening to the cringeworthy conversations. One girl was even telling him that she liked to pretend to be a cat and would drink cat milk when she was little – SERIOUSLY, you have a minute and a half to impress and this is what you come up with?

Finally, the producer asked if I would like to give it a go with THAT guy. The one I was staring at. Azteca guy. So I sit down. And we chat. And it’s easy. We discuss sport, and jokes, and animals and.. wait a minute, hasn’t this been longer than a minute and a half? About 10 minutes later, the producers come to tell me that Azteca guy has picked me and would I be keen for a first date (that would be filmed)?

When I was new to the dating scene, and unsure about the idea of going on a date with someone, my best friend once told me that a first date is like an interview. Like a job, it’s a chance for you to see if they are suitable for the role. Well what harm can come from an interview? So I agreed. So the first date happens, and it turns out only the beginning was on camera. So we go out. And we get on. We get drunk. And talk. And drink. And talk. And drink. And talk. And suddenly we’re kissing. And I want him. This intruiging azteca man. And we drink. And we kiss. And I am suddenly WAY too drunk and it’s 5am on Monday morning. So we take a taxi back to mine.

Just to clarify, I am not in the habit of taking men back to mine so soon. Nor am I in the habit of kissing on the first date. But it’s just so easy. And I’m so drunk. But I insist he sleeps on my sofa, and I go to bed.

Two days later and we meet again at an art gallery. And we kiss. *Oh dear, we kiss when we’re sober.* And we go for a walk through London – past Mayfair, Knightsbride, Kensington, to King’s Road. And we drink mulled wine. And we kiss. And suddenly we’re in Vingt-Quatre, a 24 hour food and drink place on Fulham Road. And we discuss politics (it’s the night of Obama’s election victory), and divorce, and religion. And we kiss. And suddenly I realise it’s 6am and I have work at 10am. So I go home to bed, despite his pleas to come back to mine, he goes back home. I am a lady afterall. And tired.

And we meet again on Thursday night, and we get drunk. And we go out. And I’m drunk. And we go back to his friend’s house. And next thing I know, his friends have gone to bed and we’re making out on his friend’s sofa. What am I doing? I like him so much but I will not have sex with him. Not drunk. Not like this. So I pass out.

The next night I meet his friend. And we act like we’ve been together forever. I might actually fall for Azteca guy.

And then all of a sudden he goes a bit quiet. But we see each other for filming. Is he seeing me because he has to or because he wants to? Should I act off? What if he’s using me for the storyline?

And there we go. It’s back to me being crazy. Overthinking things. Acting awkward. Waiting for him to make the effort, and him not making the effort.

And then we film our last scene. And it’s awkward. I ask him what’s wrong, and he says nothing. Is it really nothing, or is he saying nothing because it’s on camera? Straight after filming he says he needs to go, and I’m left there feeling confused.

So I decide to call him. He doesn’t answer. And I text him saying ‘Are you sure everything is ok? You seemed off. It would be nice to see you off camera if you’re free later?” To which he replies saying he was just tired, and was free later this evening.

And evening comes and I’ve heard nothing. It’s 8pm. So I text him “let’s get drunk”. And he says… nothing. He doesn’t reply. Not that night. Or the next day. Or the next day.

And finally a week later, he apologises for being distant, claiming the producers asked him not to contact me. Saying that he “really really liked me” but had realised I wasn’t right for him, but that we wanted to be my friend or business partner.

What?

I feel sick. What had happened? Have I been used?

I didn’t want this. I was happy with my man. And now I feel empty. Why do I feel heart broken?

What do I want? Why am I so complicated? And so heartbroken.

Since having ‘the chat’ with my man, he acted very blase about our relationship wanting to ‘see how things go’ rather than labelling our relationship. Fair enough, I suppose. But it has been three months.

Is it insecure or needy of me to want more open affection? Aren’t all of us girls the same?

Don’t get me wrong, I hate needy men. Or men that are too affectionate so you want to puke in your mouth. But when you really like someone, and they’ve played it so cool for so long… well then I suppose I am a little needy.

I would often try and fish for compliments with my man. I just wanted to hear him say anything nice! And the response would always be the same:

“I look good, don’t I?”

“Self praise is no praise at all”

Oh.

So after arriving back in London from seeing my man, I decided to organise my laptop desktop, and I found a Word Document entitled “Too Miss J” (that’s me). I opened it and found the following note:

“I’m lying here in bed without you and its not as good as having you falling asleep on my chest.

Just to let you know I am fond of you Miss J, and think about you more than you know, and when you see me looking at you quizzically don’t get nervous. I’m actually admiring you.

I hope you randomly find this one-day and it puts a smile on your face.

Thinking about you (naked)”

 AWWW. Ok so it may not be as romantic as a letter, but I suppose this is the 21st century; the digital age! And what is so nice about it is that he doesn’t give compliments ever, and he wrote this whilst I was away, and managed to keep it a secret.

I am smiling, BUT part of me finds the sentiment a little cringeworthy. I really am a fickle female. Looks like some people can never win! But I am so happy. After all these months
, things are finally starting to settle down with my man. Who said holiday romances didn’t last?

It’s been a long time dear readers, and so much has happened. I realise that I need to blog about it as and when things happen, because otherwise things aren’t as interesting and you rationalise everything with the benefit of hindsight.

Life and love have escalated out of control recently and I haven’t found time to sit down and put into words what I’ve been trying not to think about. But from now on I will leave nothing to hindsight. I have so much to talk about and the longer I went without blogging the more I felt like I didn’t know where to begin. So to fill you in…

The date with the Frenchman went well. Very well actually. We have lots of common ground, and he made me laugh. At the end of the night he went for a kiss, whereas I went for a kiss on the cheeks. Standard date awkwardness.

But is getting on with someone enough for wanting to be with someone? I get on with my man. How do you know when the right one is the right one? Have I got blurred ideas of friendship, lust, and love?

You see, I like my man. But surely with a long distance relationship, you need to know the feeling is mutual. need to know it’s worth your time. And there just seems to be no progression. All the girls that seem to be lingering on the side of him, me trying to play the rules to avoid being hurt. Shouldn’t relationships be more simple?

So I decided, enough game playing – Time to ask my man where he sees us going. We’ve been together for a few months now and I don’t want to waste my time, or end up getting hurt. Simple.

Or it should be simple, except that I find it impossible to talk about emotions. I’m absolutely paranoid of sounding crazy. And I think I am far too proud to put my feelings on the line, or let someone know I am into them. I swear I wasn’t like this before Jules, goddamn him!

So I’m at his house. Yes, yes, visiting his family home has become a bit of a fortnightly thing. And we’re in bed. A male friend of mine once told me the best time to have a conversation with a man is in bed after sex when you are both relaxed. So here is goes… No, I can’t say it… Yes you can… Why am I nervous?… COME ON!…

“Have you slept with anyone else whilst we’ve been seeing each other?”

“Why are you asking me?”

“Because I am wondering, and I think I have a right to know where I stand.”

“Well no I haven’t. Have you?”

“No. Would you sleep with anyone else?”

“No. But I don’t know where this is going, let’s just see how it goes. Have you kissed anyone else?”

… ah, the Catchphrase date I went on that resulted in a kiss. How do I tell him this? Should I tell him? Well I can’t lie to him. “Yes I did. But it was a few weeks ago. I went on a date, but only because I didn’t know where we stood…”

“I can’t believe you went on a date.”

“Yeah, but I really wasn’t sure where we were, or where your head was at with things. For all I knew you were still messaging other girls”

“I’m not. I deleted the TV Presenter’s number because I like you, and I want to see where it goes, but I don’t know what will happen. I can’t believe you have been on a date and you gave me so much stick for texting someone!”

“But you never gave me the impression you cared”

“Of course I do, I just don’t want to be another guy giving you compliments…”

And then, he fell asleep. Apparently waiting until you’re both tired in bed isn’t the best time to have that kind of conversation. But I feel good that he isn’t messaging her! But what does he mean he doesn’t know where we will go? And now that he thinks that I’ve been dating. But I was only dating because the rules said I should. Silly rules! What if he starts dating other people now?

And I suppose I know he’s more than just a guy I get on with, more than just a friend, because I do care about his opinion. I do worry about being hurt. And I get butterflies to hear him say that he cares and isn’t messaging anyone else.

Finally… after all that complication.

Couldn’t be more different to my love life, but I am completely captivated and intrigued by lifeofalovergirl‘s openness and confidence. No matter how different we are in our morals and sexual outlook, I love that we all have men that fulfill different parts of our lives. Totally recommend her blog… I can’t wait to find out more!

lifeofalovergirl

Do you compare lovers? Everyone says they don’t. I have a hard time believing that. I wish I could say I never compare mine, but that would be a lie. Still, by “compare,” I really mean “contrast”. I notice their differences, but no one is coming up short. It’s not a competition. Each person brings something unique to the table and plays a different role in my life. None of the men in my life would be replaceable by one of the others. One of them alone couldn’t possibly fulfill the needs that get met by having several.

Contrary to popular belief (by a lot of men anyway), I don’t grade the guys by dick size. I’m not breaking out my ruler deciding who is best due to the extra inch or two he’s packing below the belt. Yes, I do know who has the biggest cock, lol, and I…

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I’m on my way to a date with the Frenchman. We’re going to an awesome new place in town, Bodos Schloss (same brains behind it as Mahiki). We have an arrangement that I pick the venues, and he picks up the bill (well, I’m unemployed right now!). Whilst I’m on my way, I’m texting my man. And I feel guilty.

Since reading The Rules, I promised myself I would keep dating until my man tells me it’s official… and he hasn’t yet. But it just feels wrong, as I can’t imagine how I would feel if I knew he was going on dates. Should I keep dating? Or focus on my man, break the Rules, and risk getting hurt?

My man came to see me in London this weekend. And we had fun. And we even drew our faces in the sand (not that it looks like us!)!

He told me that he liked me… We were lying on the floor in my bedroom (I don’t have a bed in there yet). We were fully clothed and I was lying on top of him (it was innocent!). He said that he liked me “quite a lot actually”. It just came to him. He seemed surprised! And I had that Liesl feeling! and i had butterflies. And i wanted to say me too! But I said nothing. Because I was scared that saying something would make me too available. Go against the Rules. Make me less appealing. So I kissed him.

But HE likes ME! Enough to tell me. YIPPEEEEEEE!

… And here I am on a date. Feeling guilty. Because I feel like he gave me something. He shared his feelings with me, and I strongly believe you shouldn’t abuse people when they are brave enough to open up to their emotions. Or risk losing someone because you’re trying to keep your guard up.

Should I tell him I’m dating other people? What good would that do? Provoke him into telling me we should make it official? Or push him away and make him think its acceptable to date (or sleep with) other girls? And surely by placing my guilt onto him, I’d just guilt-tripping him?

Or am I dating other people because I haven’t fallen for him hard enough?

Another day. Another complication. I wish these things were easy.

Either way, I’m hungry and I’m late. So my guilty mind will have to wait.

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Have you seen the film He’s Just Not That Into You? I don’t care how much of a film snob you are, that film is educational. Well, you know the story involving Anna (Scarlett Johansson), Ben (Bradley Cooper), and Conor (Kevin Connolly)? For those of you unfamiliar with the film, the story is very simple. Anna falls for a (married) man called Ben. Whenever she is not getting the attention she craves from Ben, she uses Conor, because she knows that he is crazy about her and is willing to fill her with compliments and assurances.

Why is this relevant? Because I am Anna (although I can only dream of being as beautiful as Scarlett Johansonn), and my man is Ben (although, thankfully, he’s not married). He is taking the phrase ‘playing it cool’ to a frustrating level, and I am becoming bored with the situation. I went against The Rules and messaged him saying I missed him (I said it in a cute kind of jokey way)… and he ignored it. I told him it was rude to ignore compliments and emotional sentiments, to which he told me he does not agree with returning compliments because then they wouldn’t seem genuine. But he never really gives them at all. All I know is that he’s messaging other girls and trying to provoke jealously by looking at the slutty TV Presenter’s twitter in front of me (see previous post Oh I do like to be bedside the Seaside… I Think). So knowing the Rules, and craving the attention of Ben, I now have my very own Conor. Apart from Conor isn’t only one man; Conor is the men that are trying to pursue me, and the men that want to take me on dates. So I suppose I should introduce you to the Conor’s of my life…

1. Museum Man. I went to University with him so have known him as a friend for a long time. We kissed a few times before I went on holiday and met my man. He is perfect on paper: Head boy at school, captain of rugby, rower, intelligent, extremely handsome. Perfect on paper often means boring in real life. And well, there isn’t much of a spark there. He text me a bit since my return from holiday, but I was fazing him out. However, last Saturday I decided to go on a day date with him. The problem is, he only ever wants to go to museums. Don’t get me wrong, I like museums, but they aren’t exactly the most fun places in the world. And when there is no spark, and you’re in a musuem… Well it’s certainly not my dream date. We will only ever be friends, which is fine with me.

2. Catchphrase Man. The long awaited Catchphrase Date! Saturday evening… yes, dear readers, that does mean I went on two dates in one day. Catchphrase man is definitely not my usual type. He’s a banker. But we have chatted in the past and we got on and so, in the words of Dr Pepper, what’s the worst that can happen? On Saturday evening he informed me a taxi would pick me up at 8pm. Mysterious. Good start. The taxi dropped me off at Piccadilly Circus where he was waiting, and he took me to Bobby’s Bar, which is, as described on the website, a luxury English and Russian menu […] in London’s most glamourous all-booth dining room. A little snooty for my liking, especially as he was wearing a velvet dinner jacket. Plus, he ordered me a vodka shot without asking me – I like confidence, but I do not like shots (especially for my first drink of the evening), and I don’t really like to drink alcohol. Bad start. After a drink, we moved onto the next part of the night, which turned out to be one of my favourite places, the Soho Theatre. We ended up watching an amazing comedy duo called New Art Club. I love comedy! Perhaps I had been too judgmental. After that, we went for some more drinks at Paramount Bar, which gives the most amazing panoramic views of London, and then we moved on for a quick dance at a tiny club called Bourne and Hollingsworth, before heading back to his to play the music game and chat until I got a taxi home at 5am. We got on very well. I (somewhat briefly and reluctantly) kissed him. But something just wasn’t there… Perhaps it’s because he’s quite camp. Perhaps because, on removing my boots I realised I was wearing my man’s socks, and found myself wishing I was with him. Perhaps it’s cause he was a little keen, and started looking up flights on Ryanair so we could go away on a spontaneous city break for a day. There’s not enough excitement. No challenge. No Liesl feeling. Perhaps we girls are very complicated, because if my man did something like that I would be over the moon…

3. Frenchman. Monday evening. Third date in three days. I have known the Frenchman for over 7 years now. He was my French tutor whilst I was in my final year at school and I was completely obsessed with him. He was 23 and a rugby player. We kissed (and a little more) the summer that I left school, but I didn’t want anything to happen and things fizzled out, but we have always kept in touch. He’s extremely good-looking, built like a rugby player, now works in finance, and is VERY confident. He does not believe in compliments (giving or receiving), and he doesn’t like the idea of sharing things as a couple (I believe he’s even told me he’d want seperate bedrooms in the future – something I find strange). But I know he wants me, and around him I am confident – he even thinks I am extremely detached and unemotional with men…. if only he knew! Anyway, that’s enough background. I suggested we go to my favourite vegan restaurant near my house 222. I was slightly apprehensive about inviting an ex-rugby player to a restaurant that doesn’t serve meat, but he is extremely open-minded to discovering new things; a trait I find extremely attractive. Dinner was great, conversation was great, so everything was great… until the end of the night when he went for a kiss on the lips and I went for a kiss on the cheeks. Love awkward goodbyes! He has been messaging me since asking to see me, and I am intruiged by him…

4. Model Man. I used to work with this guy as a model a few years ago. He always asked for my number and I always turned him down. It became a bit of a joke actually. He’s very good looking (although he’s blonde, which isn’t my type), but a bit arrogant. People either love him or hate him, but he’s nice deep, deep down. Anyway, he asked to take me on a date when I got back from holiday, but obviously I was committed (emotionally) to my man, so I declined. Now that my man is not giving me what I want (and presumably messaging other girls), I finally gave Model Man my number. He joked that persistance definitely pays off! Nothing to report yet as I have rejected all his requests for dinner / drinks / lunch because I have been too busy… and I’m just not that interested.

5. Comedi(m)an. Exactly as his name suggest. He’s a professional comedian and has been dubbed a rising star of comedy. I met him after his show at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, and have bumped into him after a few of his small gigs in London. You might think this makes me a groupie, but HE was the one to start tweeting ME and HE added ME on facebook. Technically he’s my groupie. Anyway, there is nothing in life I find more attractive than people who make me laugh, and being a comedian, he’s pretty good at that. He’s not the most stereotypically attractive man, but when has that ever bothered me? We’ve chatted a lot and he has invited me for drinks on Wednesday night. Watch this space.
So they are my Conor’s. Am I using them? No. I suppose if my man continues to play it cool, and message other people in my face, then I will move on. It’s boring. But it’s a shame. We get on so well. Maybe I should tell him how I feel? But that goes against the Rules. And why should I have to be the one? In the past I have been very upfront about my emotions to avoid any game playing, and I have chased men away because they get the impression I am too keen. Am I keen? I like my man, but at the same time I don’t like him enough to put my pride on the line or put up with his rubbish. He must know I like him, surely?

What is clear is that relationships are very complicated. It’s always the ones you aren’t interested in that act the way you want the one you are interested in to act.

I don’t like having multiple men on the scene. I don’t like leading men on and then dropping them. I feel bad going on a date with a man, and then not wanting anything more. I am a one-man girl. I like the butterflies. I like thinking my man is the best thing in the world. Why do the dating rules make that so complicated? Why can’t you just like one man, and make it clear that you like him without him losing interest? Surely if you aren’t really keen, and just matter of fact about your emotions then that’s a nice feeling? Or am I old fashioned?

So this is where things are, dear readers. Me, a less attractive Anna, wanting the unmarried Ben, and trying not to be crazy and moving forward with my life with the multiple Conor’s. I’m trying to remember all the wise lessons from the film, and not make excuses for his poor behaviour (lack of confidence, age, intimidation), and remind myself that perhaps he’s just not that into me.

I am so sorry readers, this post is long overdue. Why? Perhaps because I have been very busy. Or perhaps because I have been avoiding having to think about it all. I still don’t know what to think about it all. I am not sure why relationships have to be so complicated. I have no idea where this post will lead, or where to begin. So I suppose I’ll begin with the weekend to the seaside…

This time two weeks ago, my man came into London for physio, and I met him afterwards so that we could travel back to his home together. We had dinner by the river in London, then popped on a late train at Waterloo where I slept whilst listening to his terrible music with his amazing headphones. Two and a half hours later and we’re stepping into his house … and his parents are already in bed. Phew! Off the hook for another day, and I was way too tired to be polite.

The next morning as I got out of the shower, my man told me he would meet me downstairs and left his room. Don’t panic. You are perfectly capable to walk downstairs and walk into a kitchen with him and his parents in. Oh God. What if they don’t like me? I take extra care to make sure I look natural and radiant as possible and walk… very… slowly… down… the… stars… take a deep breath … and step into the kitchen and SMILE. “Morning!” “Mum by the way, she’s vegetarian!” says my man. I had asked him not to tell his parents I was vegetarian in case they had prepared any meat for the weekend (which it turns out they had… his mum was going to cook lasagne). His parents were lovely, and it actually wasn’t very scary at all. Phew! His mum even went shopping secretly and filled the fridge with vegetarian food, but packed it into the back of the fridge to make it seem like it was always there!

Over the weekend, my man and I went to the beach, walked for hours, pub lunched, went out for curry (he paid), met some of his friends, chilled out, had brunch with his friends (again, he paid) and it was nice. Nice – it’s not the most passionate word in the dictionary. I wasn’t floating, and I no longer felt like Liesl from The Sound of Music. But it was nice. Was it bad that I had stopped dreaming? I like that floating, girly, giggly feeling? What had changed? Perhaps the illusion of it all. I was in his house, with his lovely parents, and he was just a normal guy. He’d had it hair cut. Is that shallow? It probably is. But I just hate short hair. And all of a sudden he went from manly athlete to almost little boy (well he is younger than me). But he was nice, and I fancied him.

However, throughout the weekend I noticed him going onto twitter and facebook in front of me and clicking onto the TV presenter’s posts, and his ex-girlfriend’s posts, and all the messages from girls on facebook. Was he trying to provoke me? It was quite obvious he liked me, so why was he doing this in front of me? I suppose because he wanted the power? Wanted me to react (again)? Wanted assuarance of my affection? I really don’t know why. But I am aloof. And I won’t play into his games. And it made me feel like he was untrustworthy. Made me feel like I needed to play a game and be wary of him. My guard is up. Can’t men take Rhianna more literally and realise that girls need to feel like they really are the only girl in the world. Not one of many. And if you play the game with me, I will play it harder. And I like feeling like Liesl, and if I have my guard up, then I am not floating. So your games might mean you just lose me in the process…

the seaside :-)

I think I have now established we’re meeting at ten to eight (big Ben) at Eros?

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One of these is the where…one of these is the when…

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