16 Tips for the GentleWomen

Brett E. Shoemaker

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After reading my 28 Tips for the Gentlemen, a lot of women have asked me if I have any tips for them.  I tried to come up with a few and you may be surprised that a lot of the same concepts apply to both sides.  Here are some of the things I believe make an awesome woman.  Keep in mind that these are just tips, I am not trying to mold you into something that you are not.  The most important thing you can do is be yourself.  This list includes a combination of tips for good etiquette as well as some of the things I look for when dating women.

1.  Let let the man be a gentlemen.  Some women have no problem with this, in fact, they enjoy it.  However, this isn’t true for everyone.  Let me just say that when a man grabs your door…

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You were known. You were seen. You were here.

The best things in life are the things you don’t find on social media.

hannah brencher.

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“I think I’ve lost my life again,” I told her, twirling the stem of my wine glass as I talked. “That, or I don’t know how to be alone anymore. I used to actually be good at that.”

There it was, my chunk of honesty sitting square on the table between two heaping bowls of clams and pasta. I had to say it out loud. It was the kind of thing you say out loud or else you risk exploding from the inside out.

She just smiled. And said amen.

I wish we all had this kind of friend. The kind of friend where you can just word vomit everything you’ve been feeling and they don’t say much or tell you that you’re wrong to feel that way. They just show up with a mop. And they nod their head a lot. And you feel less alone, but like you’ve…

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How You Will Know When Someone Loves You

Thought Catalog

You won’t be waiting by your phone, hoping that they will text you back, wondering if you weren’t aloof enough last time for them to remain interested. With them, it won’t be some race for who can seem to care less. The silence of your phone will no longer torment you with questions of what you did wrong. It will be easy, and they will write you back, and you will never worry that they’re going to spend the day ignoring you.

And when you pick up your phone, everything will seem to make sense. You will wonder why you spent so many years chasing after people who only gave you parts of love, little fractions and pieces of it, when there are people in the world who are ready to let you have it all. Because you feel they love you in their wholeness, when they wrap their arms…

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Sink or Swim

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“Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim.” – Tyler Knott Gregson

Where do I go from here? It’s one of the many questions that have been plaguing my mind over the last couple of days. Ever since I came back home, with my little brother turned Marine in tow, I’ve been keeping to myself. I’ve been reserved, quite, and spaced out most of the time. I didn’t know why until yesterday.

Work was normal, except when I was called down to speak with my manager along with the store manager. I quickly realized the reason, and there was nothing I could do to prevent it from happening. It was my own fault. Thoughts like, “I just woke up late, there was no reason for me not to go in…” and “I should have gone into work, even if I was sick, they could’ve sent me home and it wouldn’t have counted against me” and “All I had left was a month and the points would come off, just one month” raced through my head. I started panicking; I worried about my finances that are not in the best of shape, where I was going to find another job, what everyone was going to think of me. They both told me things like, I would have no problem finding other employment, and this in no way reflected my work performance, and I’m a hard worker, and my department is taking a blow with me leaving, etc. All very, very nice things, but nothing that would soothe me.

Losing my job that I had had for almost a year was not what upset me the most. It was leaving my coworkers, my friends. That observation hit me pretty hard. I love them so much. If it wasn’t for them, I would have left a long, long time ago. They helped me, encouraged me, guided me, laughed with me, laughed at me…they were everything to me. I know this isn’t goodbye, what with the social media connections I have with some of them. I’ll be in to visit every now and again, but I will miss working with them terribly. I grieved over this for a little while.

All of my attendance mistakes. My work family. It’s all I thought about. But I would have to set it all aside, because the next day I had my second interview for a prospective position. I was worried they would ask questions where I couldn’t avoid telling them what had transpired less than 24 hours prior. Fortunately I was able to skate by, but I think just barely. I’ll know for sure in the next few days. In the mean time, all there is to do is sit and think.

I look over at my brother’s picture in his dress blues. He knew he wanted to be a Marine since high school. He fought to be where he is now; he set out and did what he said he was going to do. It fits him well. I’m so incredibly proud of all he’s accomplished, all that he’s become. It makes me wonder what my purpose is, what it is I’m supposed to do with my life. I’m 21 years old and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I’ve been told that this is okay, but it’s expected of me by society to have everything figured out so I can get a head start on life. I’m constantly torn. And now I’ve not only messed up my education, my relationship, and my finances, I’ve gone and lost my job as well. I have no degree, no career, no job, no place of my own, no relationship, a pathetic social life, and no money. All I have is a car. And time.

I’ve received some sympathy, but mostly encouragement to find other employment. It’s not something I’m fond of, after searching for months last year. But I have to find something if I want to go back to school and become a certified Pharmacy Technician. It’s still not what I want to do, but it’s good pay and I don’t have to be stuck in school for long. You see, I was persuaded into majoring in Pharmacy, but quickly realized I would never make it. And then I thought that maybe Middle Childhood Education would be better. But I still don’t think I’ve got it right. I know I’m passionate about something, I just don’t know what that something is yet.

I read an article that said that maybe my purpose in life, my passion, isn’t something I can make a career out of, but rather keep as a hobby. I fear that will be my future. I will be working at a job I don’t love, as my time and resources for my beloved hobby diminish between working and raising a family. That’s not the life I envisioned. This is what I dream of: I’ll have a job I love, a nice house, a nice car, a loving husband, two kids, some cats and maybe a few other animals. It’s the in-between that’s unclear. It’s scary and mysterious and frightening. It’s sink or swim. But I refuse to sink. I’m gonna keep swimming. 

100 Things You May or May Not Know About Me

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  1. How are you, really? I’m doing pretty good!
  2. How do you feel right now? What are you thinking about? I feel pretty great! I was offered a job today. So I’m just thinking of all the things I want to do.
  3. Favorite color: Rose Pink.
  4. Favorite food: Chicken fingers, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, pasta salad, dessert, and raspberry sweet iced tea. Can you tell I like potlucks?
  5. Favorite dessert: Baked berries. I know what’s in it, I know it DELICIOUS, but I don’t know the recipe. I should probably work on that…
  6. How old are you? 21 BABY!!!!!
  7. What have you learned today? Becoming the person we want to be is hard because change is not comfortable (http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-harsh-truths-that-will-make-you-better-person_p2/). 
  8. What was your favorite subject in school? In high school: Choir. In college: Comp.
  9. What do you do? I twirl in both colorguard (Rocket Marching Band) and winterguard (Phoenix Independent), I occasionally read, I watch a lot of TV shows, I’m always on social media (they don’t call me the Facebook Queen/Like Queen for nothing!), I bake when there’s nothing sweet to eat in the house…I crochet and/or draw a couple times a year.
  10. What are some of your favorite books? Speak, The Harry Potter Series, The Hunger Games Series, Wings of the Falcon, anything by Philippa Gregory, The Luxe Series, Act Like a Lady Think Like a Man, The Gemma Doyle Trilogy, The Twilight Series, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling, etc.
  11. What are some of your favorite movies? The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, Thumbelina, any animated movie or chick flick, The Prince of Persia, The Vow, The Dark Knight, The Proposal, Failure to Launch, Despicable Me, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Pitch Perfect, The Breakfast Club, My Boyfriend’s Girlfriend, etc.
  12. What kind of music are you into? I’m pretty eclectic when it comes to music, I’ll listen to just about anything. I especially like Top 40, Alternative Rock, 90’s, Country, Pop, Hip Hop, R&B, etc. A couple of scremo bands.
  13. If you were going to write a book, what would you call it and what would it be about? The Eclectic Collection of a Hopeless Romantic. It would just be a collection of facts about me, quotes, stories, drawings, tips, tricks, a little of everything kinda jumbled into a really cool looking scrapbook/smash book sort of thing.
  14. What’s one of the scariest things you’ve ever done? Climbed to the top of the university roof with some friends one night.
  15. What accomplishment are you most proud of? Saving up money to buy a car. It was the most money I’ve ever saved, even though my grandparents gave me my car.
  16. Are you married? Nope.
  17. How did you meet your spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend? Don’t have one.
  18. Do you think it’s better to get married when you’re young or better to wait a while? I think it’s better to get married when you’re ready. And only you can decide that.
  19. Do you have any kids? No, but I want kids! Only two though, hopefully a boy and a girl (apparently it’s my generation that’s supposed to have twins). And of course their names are already picked out. 
  20. Have you thought about adopting? Yup! I definitely want to adopt at least one kid, along with having two of my own.
  21. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I’ve asked my parents this and they don’t know/don’t remember. I don’t think I was ever really asked that question…..although I loved singing and Britney Spears was my idol, so I guess you could say popstar?
  22. How did you get into (insert career field)? I don’t have a career yet. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
  23. Would you recommend (insert career field) for other people? Why/Why not? N/A
  24. What do you do for fun? I love going out with friends, whether it be to a bar, party, football/basketball game, whatever. I like going on night drives and adventures.
  25. Do you like traveling? YES! I haven’t had much of a chance to travel too far, but when I do, I love it! I traveled to Washington, D.C. with the band and it was the best time of my life. I’ve gone to Orlando, FL with Phoenix Independent and it was pretty fun, and my brother just graduated from bootcamp at Parris Island, SC.  I want to travel A LOT more now that I’m older and have a car and a job and such.
  26. If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go? France. I love the language, the history, the sites, the food, everything. And I want to actually immerse myself in it.
  27. Who are some people you’d like to meet someday? Lea Michele, my idol; Mindy Kaling, my celebrity best friend who doesn’t know she’s my best friend; Jennifer Lawrence, my celebrity roommate; Hannah Brencher, my role model; and Brett Shoemaker, my source of inspiration.
  28. If someone asked you to give them a random piece of advice, what would you say? Everything happens for a reason.
  29. What’s one of your favorite habits you have? I twirl my hair. A lot. Ever since I was a toddler. I braid it, put knots in it, everything. I love my hair.
  30. What are some things that make you really happy? Singing, kitty purrs, corgi butts, Disney movies, finding money, going home to visit my mom, anything sweet, traveling, a really good meal, hugs, being complimented by someone who makes you believe the compliment to be true, and love.
  31. What are some things that make you really sad? Past mistakes, seeing an animal or a child suffer, everything that would make a sensitive soul like me cry.
  32. What are some things that scare you? Failure. The little doll in the Saw movies. And more recently dragons, after a horrible nightmare involving the head of the dragon in the movie Sleeping Beauty. They’re scary, okay?
  33. Do you like to plan things out in detail or be spontaneous? I adore spontaneity, providing it is carefully planned.
  34. Are you a religious person? Not particularly.
  35. If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet? Cory Monteith, The Beatles, Theodore Roosevelt, Cleopatra, King Tut, Nefertiti, Gandhi, King Henry VIII, etc.
  36. Would you rather live in the country or in the city? In the city. I’ve lived in both, so in the end it doesn’t matter much to me. But at the present moment I live in the city so it’s just what I’m comfortable with.
  37. What was your life like growing up? From what I remember, pleasant. My brother and I played a lot together, and then my sister came along and I feel like I helped raise her.
  38. What were you like in high school? I was a loner…and I had issues with my parents that weren’t resolved until my junior year, so basically I didn’t have many friends.
  39. Do you have any brothers or sisters? How many? I have a brother, Alek, who’s 19 and in the USMC, and a sister, Kailani, who’s 12 and in the 6th grade.
  40. What’s your favorite part about today so far? When I was offered a job at Imagination Station.
  41. Who in your life has influenced you the most? How did they do it? My mom. She taught us what it means to be a family, how to be empathetic but not let other people walk all over you, that home isn’t a place, the proper way to treat animals, and that it’s all about perspective. Personally, she’s taught me more things than I can count. She’s the one who reached out to me and pulled me out of my slump in high school, and we’ve had a very strong connection ever since. She sees right through me and tells me what’s what, but she does it in a way that let’s me know that I’m in the wrong but it’s my decision to change. I’ve only recently discovered that when she yells, it’s her way of saying that whatever she’s yelling about is important, she loves us, she cares about us, and she doesn’t want us to get hurt/make a mistake. She’s trying really hard to find other ways of telling us things instead of yelling. 
  42. What’s your favorite joke? I can’t pick just one! 
  43. Have you ever tried sushi? Did you like it? I haven’t, but I REALLY want to! I’m an aspiring foodie! 
  44. Do you like spicy food? No. I can only handle mild salsa if that tells you anything. I wish I did though, a lot of spicy food has great flavor!
  45. How do you like your steak cooked? Uh….medium well? I think? I don’t eat steak very often…
  46. Do you have a favorite number? Any particular reason why you like that number? 24. It’s the date of my birthday. And most athletes with my number are pretty amazing at their sport. Miguel Cabrera. ‘Nuf said.
  47. If you were a type of animal, what would you be and why? A cat. I’m pretty sure I was a cat in a past life…I mean I have soft hair, I like to be all warm and snuggly, I like salty food…don’t know about the petting part, but I think I’d like it…I’m lazy…I like to sleep a lot…I love to be loved…I like my alone time, but I want to be able to be around someone when I want. Yeah, the cat life is for me.
  48. What’s one of the strangest things you’ve ever done? I’ve done a lot of things that other people thought was strange, but I don’t personally think anything I’ve done was strange. For instance, my coworkers and I were talking about how we could all have dinosaur names, like mine would be pterradactyl. I went on to explain that that’s my Twitter name and I followed with a weird sound I thought would be the sound of a pterodactyl and flapped my arms like wings. They were cracking up. And definitely thought I was crazy. I just do stuff like that.
  49. What kind of vacations do you like? I’ve never really been on a legitimate vacation, but when I have traveled, it’s been with an organization, so…I like itineraries, being on a charter bus with a bunch of people I know, rooming with a group of friends and exploring with them.
  50. What are some of your major goals in life? I have a HUGE bucket list, but I’ll be brief: I want to travel more before I settle down, I want to find my passion in life, I want to have two kids and adopt another, I want to own a house, I want to own a nice car, I want to have a career and a job I love, but most importantly I want to inspire at least one person.
  51. What are some of your smaller goals in life? I want to go back to school to become certified as a Pharmacy Technician, I want to find a decent job and work there for a year (I was so close! Less than a month!), and I want to move out of my grandparent’s house and into an apartment of my own.
  52. What do you like least about yourself? My lack of follow-through. I don’t always do what I say I’m going to do, and that’s a real problem. Kinda goes hand-in-hand with procrastination.
  53. What embarrasses you? Wouldn’t you like to know?
  54. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you like to try? A zoologist. That would be pretty freaking sweet! But let’s stay away from cold-blooded creatures, shall we? 
  55. What’s your earliest memory? My parents were trying to get me to put my brother on my lap to take a photo at our new house. I was a toddler, and my brother was about 1.
  56. What’s the best decision you ever made? Putting peanut butter on waffles and then adding syrup. Ooo I should try Nutella too…
  57. Who’s your best/closest friend? Erin Borden. This girl is my rock. She always knows what to say, has the best advice, is one heck of a woman/role model, and lets me cry/cries with me. 
  58. What do you think people think of you? #1: Is it really any of my business? #2: Why should I be concerned about what other people think of me? #3: I have no clue what other people think of me. Take your pick.
  59. What were your grades like in school? In high school: I was a B average. In college: The college classes I took in high school I averaged a C. When I started at UT, that dropped…drastically. Hence why I dropped out and am working. 
  60. If you could learn one random skill, what would you learn? How to draw. I have so many ideas of things to draw but I don’t have the talent for it. And I’m a perfectionist, so anything I do attempt has to be…well, perfect.
  61. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Introvert. Doesn’t mean I don’t like socializing though!
  62. Have you ever taken a personality test? How did the results turn out? Yes, I’ve taken a plethora of them. Some are pretty spot on, but I feel like they were made to cater to everyone, you know? Quizzes are one of my favorite online hobbies.
  63. What’s the first thing you notice about people? Their overall appearance. I don’t tend to notice one particular thing, which will not be handy if I ever have to give a description of a suspect to the police. 
  64. Do you think people can control their own destiny? Yes. You live your life the way you want to live it. You decide. You choose. You call the shots. 
  65. Do you think all people are equally valuable, or do you think some people in certain situations might be more valuable than others (say, a severely retarded patient vs. a doctor who could potentially save hundreds of lives)? All people are equally valuable.
  66. Do you think people are basically bad or basically good? I think people are basically good. I look for the good in everyone.
  67. Do you think morals are universal or relative to the beliefs, traditions, and practices of individuals or groups? I think everyone has morals, but whether they are good morals or bad morals all depend on the person and their experiences/beliefs. I believe they are universal AND relative to certain beliefs, traditions, and practices of individuals and groups.
  68. Do you think God exists? Yes.
  69. Do you think any kind of afterlife exists? I believe in heaven and hell. And I’ll jokingly reference past lives I might have lived. For example, I was probably a cat in a past life (see #47).
  70. Do you vote? Why/Why not? If you do vote, how do you usually vote? Yes, I vote. I vote on the big stuff, like who the next President will be. Not so much the local stuff, just because I don’t tend to get too deep into politics and I hate watching the news, too depressing. 
  71. Do you think gay people choose to be gay? Do you think straight people choose to be straight? I do not think people choose to be gay or straight unless they are trying to hide how they truly feel. My personal stance on this whole matter is, I am straight and have gay friends and I love them and they love me. They are no different from me, other than their sexual preference. And I believe they should be allowed to marry if they so choose, and it is wrong for the government to control that right.
  72. Is torture ever a good option? If no, why not? If yes, when? There are certain situations in which I feel that a person should be tortured, such as harming a child in any way. But if we allowed that to happen, I feel that things would get sticky and we’d have to figure out which situations call for torture and to what degree. Sounds like too much of a headache. We can’t even decide if gay marriage should be legal let alone legalizing a form of torture for criminals.
  73. Would you kill an innocent person if you thought it might mean saving a dozen other people? No. Quality over quantity. I mean, what if you kill one innocent person only to find out you saved a dozen revengeful criminals?
  74. What’s the most money you’ve ever given away? I almost gave away $400, but it turned out that they didn’t need it. Does that count?
  75. What’s the biggest personal change you’ve ever made? I was pretty depressed most of junior high up through high school, but my mom helped me through it, and there was one day in particular where I felt like I broke through. It was a pivotal point in my life. It was like living in a cold, dark basement and suddenly being released into the sunlight. I was happier. And I’ve vowed to never go back to that place again. 
  76. What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done? I do a lot of stupid things on a frequent basis, but I think one of the stupidest things I ever did was put my relationship before my education. Pretty freaking dumb.
  77. What do you think would be one of the best steps we could take toward ending poverty around the world? I really don’t know…..there’s an interesting video though on Upworthy that sort of delves into that subject. I haven’t watched all of it or I might have an answer for you.
  78. What do you think we could do to best improve the education system? The biggest things we need to do are cut out standardized testing and fund schools and teachers properly. From there we need to decrease the size of classrooms so teachers have more one-on-one interaction with their students to give them the attention they need/deserve, start creating extra curricular programs instead of cutting them, and offer more of a selection of classes to take.
  79. In general, what do you think about art? It’s an amazing form of self-expression.
  80. What are some of your favorite websites? Besides social media? Netflix, Hulu, Pinterest, Mint, and WordPress.
  81. What’s the biggest turnoff in a man/woman? The biggest turnoff in a man is smoking. I can’t stand it when people smoke. Doesn’t mean I don’t like them for who they are, but I would never date someone who does smoke.
  82. What’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told? I really cannot remember…..I’ve told plenty of lies, but…none that I can recall that were that memorable. 
  83. What’s something most people don’t know about you? My favorite song is Home by Michael Buble.
  84. What’s something you wish everyone knew about you? If I tell you you can call me at any time of the day for any reason, I mean it. If I tell you all you have to do is ask and I’ll do it, I mean it.
  85. What are some of the first things you do in the morning? Roll out of bed and go to the bathroom is priority number 1. After that it varies. I may be rushing around getting dressed, or I’ll lay in my bed and surf the web.
  86. What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you? I was once told by an ex of mine that I wasn’t the one for him…on Valentine’s Day.
  87. Do you cry easily? Yeah. I’m a crybaby. I cry about everything. But I mean, there’s a limit too.
  88. How do you feel about public speaking? Eh, I can do it. I may screw up but I’ll get through it. Makes me nervous as hell though! 
  89. Do you like to talk on the phone? With my significant other and my mom, yes. With anyone else no. Not unless it’s too long and involved to send in a text.
  90. How many emails do you get each week, roughly? About…20? But they’re all junk mail. I get maybe one relevant email a month.
  91. If someone were to make a movie about your life, who would you hope would play you? Dianna Agron (if she died her hair or wore a wig), Lucy Hale, or Arianna Grande.
  92. What’s one of your favorite questions to ask new friends or to get a conversation going? What kind of music/tv shows/movies do you like? You can tell a lot about a person by what they watch and listen to.
  93. Would you ever sky dive or bungee jump? If someone I loved very, verrrryyyyy much did a lot of convincing…..I’d probably pee my pants if I actually did it.
  94. Have you ever been in a fist fight? No. I would back down before it came to that. I’m too much of a panzee. 
  95. What’s the best prank you’ve ever pulled? I really can’t think of the last prank I pulled…..my friends and family, we all do stupid, funny things to each other on a daily basis, and we don’t normally try to hide it.
  96. What did you do on your 16th birthday? My mom planned a surprise birthday party for me. A couple of my close friends came and we just sat around for a bit, they gave me presents…..that’s all I remember. Nothing special.
  97. What do you think is one of the most undervalued professions right now? Teaching. I could REALLY delve into this topic but it’d take too long. Just appreciate your teachers, your children’s teachers, and be understanding. They’re underpaid and undervalued. 
  98. How would you explain your basic life philosophy? Everything Happens For a Reason. Everything has a purpose. There’s really no explaining it, it explains itself.
  99. Would you rather be hated or forgotten? I’d rather be forgotten. It kills me if I know someone even dislikes me. I couldn’t handle it if someone hated me. I’d be crushed.
  100. If you knew you would die tomorrow, would you feel cheated today? No, not particularly. Of course it’s not my IDEAL way to die, but then again it’s not up to me, is it?

My All-Important Legacy

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“Whoever is closest to me when I die, here are the instructions for my funeral. You might think this is presumptuous, but consider it a favor to you, because at the time of my death, you will be so distracted with grief that your ability to plan will be compromised, and I don’t want my funeral to be a thrown-together disaster.” – Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

As the quote suggests, the following are instructions for what to do/not do after my tragic death. Well, let’s get started.

  1. Attendees: None of my ex’s are allowed to attend. Hashtag awkward?
  2. Music: I would like for the Kappa Kappa Psi Hymn to be played/sung by members, but only the arrangement made by the Beta Kappa Chapter. If members will be too emotional to sing, have it prerecorded. Alumni/members who are attending may sing along of course.
  3. Burial: As for my body, I wish for it to be donated to science, then cremated and put either into a firework or one of those “grow a tree” things, I haven’t really decided yet, so use your best judgement.
  4. Food: There must be food, but not un-fulfilling food. I’m talking about real food, comfort food. Heck, make it a potluck if you want. Have everyone bring some of my favorite dishes and savor the memory of me.
  5. Dedications: Kept them few, short, sweet, and to the point please. No one wants to drag it out, I know I certainly wouldn’t want to.
  6. Celebrate: Play some of my favorite music and music that reminds you of me. Have a party! Celebrate my life, do not dwell on my death.

You do this, and I will most certainly rest in peace (pun intended).

Stay golden. Muah.