Category Archives: Facebook

Why I Can Vagabond My Kids All Over the World and Not Worry


Yesterday, my kids started a new school. Not one of their friends from their old school are at their new school. It’s not in our neighborhood (or state; my mission is to have them try out Jewish schools in every American state and Canadian province and whatever they call them in the UK so that by the time they grow up, they will the world experts on Jewish schools. And NHL players, because that’s what they say they’re going to be. And doctors, because I always tack that on to NHL players). How will they make friends? Who will they talk to? Will it be like our arrival in the US a few years back when I got weekly calls from LL’s kindergarten teacher who would say encouraging things like “LL spoke in class today! I said his name and he whispered “Here.” Most of us even heard him!”?

In nervous anticipation of the transition, I turned–where else?–to Facebook. I scrolled through hundreds of friends. On the list: someone I spoke to twice at a conference in Barbados one year when she was dating someone who was a student in the program where The Scientist was a postdoc. She has since broken up with said student, who graduated, wrote a novel, and moved to England, and as for her, FB tells me she moved to Turkey and married a Turkish guy, and is having a birthday today, and all this is to say I am highly doubtful our paths will ever cross again, and I have no idea why she is on my friendlist. “Friend”? Marky Mark, can you come up with a variety of terms to designate these people who end up on our daily feeds?

Aha! I discover that a fellow who spent the year in Israel with The Scientist and me two decades ago has kids at the school my kids are about to attend. Thank you, Marky Mark. Loose ties are awesome. Sorry for the complaint.

I ding him. Back then, he was loud and obnoxious, which I don’t mean as an insult, because I’m also loud and obnoxious, and I was even louder and more obnoxious then. In fact, I rather liked him and his loud, obnoxious crowd.

He’s a rabbi now. Which somehow makes perfect sense. Who wants a quiet, mousy rabbi?

“We’re meeting Rabbi Loud’s kids tonight,” I tell my kids after arranging a date with his absolutely fabulous wife. “Please pretend you’re not obnoxious.” I have the word obnoxious in my head. Also, my kids are obnoxious. In fact, as I say this to them, they are beating each other with sticks. “You need to have friends in your new school.”

LL pshaws me. “Oh, mama, of course we’ll make friends.”

We arrive at their house, the kids all run off to play Wii, and they’re immediate besties. Guess LL was right.

He and Cool J start school. They’ll be taking the bus, but I drive them on the first day, worried they will be worried. They are not worried. I go home, and I wait anxiously for them to return. “Hey, Mama,” they call out as they burst through the door. They are all smiles. I ask a hundred questions; they ask to play Wii. “Can you tell me one thing?” I ask. “Did you have any friends? Did you talk to Rabbi Loud’s son?” LL looks at me like I’m crazy. “Of course I did,” he says. “He’s my best friend.” “He is?” “Well, of course he is. He’s the only person I know!”

I get fewer details from Cool J, but today he comes home with double the smile he had on yesterday. “Did you have fun at school?” I ask. “YES!! It was the best day at school ever!!” “It was?” I ask, delighted. “Well, sure,” he says. “It was better than yesterday, and there have only been two days, so it was the best day at school EVER!”

My kids are happy, positive people. Sometimes I think LL has something of my grandmother’s spirit in him (she was rather a glass half empty kind of person), but maybe I’m just mixing them up because they both love(d) to eat matzah year-round. Remind me of this when I’m obsessively scrolling through my FB friendlist next year in anticipation of our move to the UK.

new school

The Poor Princess’s Tips on How [Not] To Pack and Move


A week before the move, anxiety levels start to run high. Believe me, I know. So here are the strategies I employ:

1. Try on everything you own. It sounds like busy work, but it is far more interesting than wrapping picture frames in 5 inches of packing paper. And it’s efficient! Why move with that hideous bubble gum pink satin skirt you wore to your brother-in-law’s wedding (thanks for that color scheme, by the way . . . I really owe you one). Or the fuschia shoulder-padded lace jacket you had made? Try them on, realize you will never wear them again, and on to Goodwill they go!

Sartorial sloughing

2. Listen to every CD you own. You might find some gems in there . . . or not. Do you still like Soundgarden? Roxette? Tripping Daisies? (yes, these are/were all in my collection). Do you only like one song on each CD? Then take the time to copy that song onto your computer and for goodness sake, trash the CD (or take it to your local record exchange shop — maybe you’ll make some money!).

Disc dump

3. Is your baby still a baby? And if not, is your womb retired? Then you probably don’t need that cocoon babycot, the car seat adapter for a baby seat, or that activity mat. Bye bye baby, and farewell pedaphernalia!

Farewell Pedaphernalia!

4. It’s possible that you’ve figured out the other activities I think are important by now, like looking through each of your photo albums as you prepare to pack them (and scanning some classics to Facebook that piss off your old friends — for goodness sake, so what if we all had big eyebrows, fat faces, and bad acne when we were 16? Get over it!). This is the time to smell the proverbial roses! Those photo albums just sit there and collect dust the rest of the year. But now is their time in the sun! (or at least your hands . . . and scanner).

To not completely be cut off from said old friends, I am not going to re-post the lovely pictures I put up on FB earlier today . . .

5. OK, we’re getting there. Time to relax. I did so by going to a ghetto fair today:

The very classy mouse roller coaster

6. This will be the final tip for now. Here it is: don’t forget you need your strength when you’re packing and moving! The Scientist eyed my dinner skeptically, but I was quite pleased with my inventiveness. I made a bowl of cannellini beans with a cube of frozen basil (clearing out one pantry item and one freezer item), followed by sunnyside up eggs with kimchi (two fridge items). I drank an unloved Trader Joe’s Vienna Style Lager with it (one more fridge item!).

. . .Now, hopefully you’ve figured out how to extrapolate from the above list. Have you watched all your DVDs to make sure you’re not moving with any scratched ones? (I did). Did you skim through all your books to see if they’re worthy of your bookshelf? (I did). (Dan Brown? Really?). You get the picture.

If you’ve really gotten rid of all the things I think you’ve gotten rid of, as I have, congratulations!! You have saved yourself money in packing materials and moving time so I think you ought to reward yourself for your hard work and achievements by calling your mover right away and telling him that with your extra money, you are going to have him pack up all your stuff before the move. That’s what I’m going to do!

Good luck!


Baby’s First No? Or Guitar Jerk’s Last Parent-Fans?


Yesterday, we had one of those glorious days in the City that made me wish I had millions and millions of dollars and could live in a light-filled servant-filled penthouse on Central Park West with a view of the roller skaters, the joggers, the rowboaters, the Bethesda Fountain, and that grand sweep of life that populates the greatest park on earth. The kids would go to Ramaz or Dalton or Trinity or Heschel and after-school activities would include hiking in The Ramble, skating at Wollman Rink, watching world-renowned actors play out the Bard’s works in the open air, taking a ride on the carousel, swimming in Lasker pool, or listening to stories as they perch on Hans Christian Andersen’s brassy foot.

That is not to be. But we can certainly have days in which we imagine that’s our life. Off to the City we traipsed yesterday, for a tram ride to Roosevelt Island followed by an afternoon of free play in Olmstead and Vaux’s masterpiece. The kids ran and rolled around on the grass, turned their Starbucks straws into wands to cast spells on each other, hit each other with big sticks (that part was bad), pretended they were dead for a while (that part was not as bad as you might think), and, when they were tired, they plopped down on their butts and rested their heads, one by one, on their dad, who was only too happy to take the opportunity to lean and loaf at his ease observing a spear of summer grass–or just nap.

The sun shone. The sky was the cerulean blue of dreams. It was 78 and breezy. We got a picnic from Zabars and nibbled on pickled garlic cloves, Greek salad, fresh French baguette, and, for the men, pastrami on rye. We were with our visitors–Mrs. 1950s and her husband the Steel Baron were visiting from Western Canada where it is still snowing (yes, in June) with their 2 kiddies, Gingy and Red.

(Gingy and LL have a history–

Gingy and LL

although I confess since moving to the US, LL has not been perfectly faithful to his preschool sweetheart–

–but more on the romantic escapades of 5 year olds, the kisses blown, the conversations Skyped–later)

We were also joined by Mrs. 1950s sister-of-another-mother, Dr. Aunty. We chatted, we lazed, we went to check out the turtles that raised their heads up to soak in the sun–

and we listened to the Guitar Guy.

The Guitar Guy was good. He smiled and he laughed, and we smiled and we laughed. His mood was infectious. He invited people to skip. He pointed out the movers–those who got up and danced up front, those who danced in their places on the lawn, those who sat on their butts but jiggled or swayed there. We all wanted to be part of it.

Including, of course, the kids. With permission from their parents, our kids, shyly at first, and then more boldly, headed to the dirt-paved “stage” to strut their stuff.

To see them was to love them. They were thrilled, nervously dancing toward and away from the Guitar Guy, the man who made the park come to life, and making up crazy actions that they imagined went along with the music.

And then the music stopped.

The Guitar Guy gestured at the children. “Time for Baby’s first ‘no’?” he asked angrily into his microphone.

We were confused–initially. Baby? What baby? No to what? Surely not to dancing?

“Do these kids have any PARENTS?” he demanded.

And then we got it. It was our kids he was talking about. He didn’t want the children near him. He didn’t want the children dancing. He didn’t want us standing idly by as they did. The “no” was for us to utter to our “babies.” He wanted us to take the children away. IMMEDIATELY.

Or,  in other words, at least as I understand it, the Guitar Guy hates kids. And maybe, consequently, parents, too.

There are stories I could tell you about how I’ve reacted in the past to having my children reprimanded by strangers, having been reprimanded by strangers for reprimanding my children, and having been reprimanded by strangers for not reprimanding my children, but if I do, you might think that I am an insanely ferocious Mama Bear. I’ll just give you a taste: I have been known to chase a stranger down the street because she yelled at me for yelling at my kids for running into the middle of the street. I have been known to yell at a stranger for telling me I’m mean because we were standing in line at the McDonald’s at the mall and my kids decided they wanted not only chocolate milk (which I had agreed to), but also ice cream, fries, and cookies, and I said no (for the record, after my diatribe, I was applauded by the entire staff of the McDonald’s who thought the woman should have minded her own business). I have been known to physically handle a woman who dared to physically handle my child when he wasn’t fast enough going up the escalator (I also reamed her out). I have even been known to “hide” Amnesty, a Facebook friend, for about 2 years because he complained that children–not mine–were noisy on a flight (I believe he said something to the effect of banning children from long-distance flights . . .).

There is little more beautiful, in my humble opinion, then children reveling in a perfect day with sunshine and music, through the sweet rhythmic and ridiculous movements of their little bodies. Maybe there is even something beautiful about the boisterousness of kids on airplanes, kids about to embark on the trips of their lives–to hear foreign languages, learn about different customs, experience new art–though if you see me on a plane with LL running ahead of me, screaming out the numbers of the seats; Cool J whining that he’s THIRSTY and wants a drink NOW; and Baby MoFo, on my hip, crying his little eyes out–I’ll understand (kind of) why you’ll want to sit as far away from me as you possibly can for the duration of the flight.

I hope that one day the Guitar Guy has children (as Amnesty has) and realizes there *might* be times when it is appropriate to speak your mind when you see a parent or child doing something you’re not crazy about (I’m skeptical), but there is also much to appreciate in children who are being just that–children. The laughing, the dancing, the delighting in life.

If I had any inkling that children might be in the Guitar Guy’s future, I would take on the Buddha-like wisdom of my brother-in-law, The Dentist, still (and always to be) one kid and many kid-years ahead of me, and say, as he always says:





Avatar, an Australian colleague, asks me about the state of tenure in the US. I blather on about tenuous tenure, a topic which years of tenurelessness has made me an expert in. I cite the latest statistics I’ve seen: “In 2009, only 24.4 percent of American faculty members were tenured or tenure-track,” according to a recent New York Times book review of In the Basement of the Ivory Tower, a book by bitter long-time adjunct Professor X who taught introductory courses that many students failed, as the students, he says, were “in some cases barely literate” (in case you don’t plan to buy the book, I’ll jump ahead: he’s going to suggest that university might not be for everybody. This might be very good news for those of you who are debating between putting your money into 529s for your less-than-brilliant children or into future passage for your hard-working self on the Crystal Serenity for a taste of LA, Papeete, Auckland, Sydney, Singapore, Dubai, Cape Town, and London, with a few dozen at-sea days in between).

Technically, Avatar and I are about to find ourselves among (or increasing?) that untenured/untracked 75.6%. But you won’t find me complaining. My students will be far more than literate. I will have small classes of engaged, intelligent future Nobel prize winners. I will be mentoring my future senators and perhaps a president or two on an individual basis, discussing their ideas, helping them to refine their critical thinking skills, guiding them through the thickets of theoretical texts and their own sometimes muddled prose (that might end up in The Great American Novel). So I’m definitely not complaining.

Actually, I’m ecstatic.

But I might not be in 5 years.

Because that, my friends, is around the time I’ll be looking for a new job.

That’s the way it goes. Tenure might be a failing system, but it’s the system everyone seems to be upholding; the tenured want to keep their power, and the untenured want to gain that power.

And so–

The boys debate between them the next three places we’ll live. This is a debate they have taken up between them, without a word about future relocations from The Scientist or me. They just understand this to be life: first you move, then you move, then you move again. And each time, you’re the “new guy” and everyone comes over and checks you out and maybe, if you’re lucky, one or two of them also really likes Super Mario or Toy Story and then you pretty much have everything in common there is to have in common, and you’re BFFs–at least until the next move.

“I’ll do first and second grade here,” announces LL. “Then we’ll move to Miami to be near the alligators.”

“NO!” retorts Cool J. “There are way more alligators in New York. Remember how many we counted in the sewers?”

“Oh yeah! I think it was 426!”

“I think it was infinity alligators.”

“Would you rather go to Your-ami?” (Much laughter here. Tell this joke–this Mi-ami/Your-ami bit–to children under 6, and you will be the equivalent of Jackie Mason for the alter kockers) (Did you know Jackie Mason is still alive, by the way? I have friends going to see him in Long Island this week. One of them is not even 35. But I guess alter kockers come in all ages).

“I want to go to where Dada’s from next. If we live there, we can play with all of his Lego.”

“What about The Tower of Power? I want to go back to the Tower of Power.”

“The Tower of Power! It had a red elevator and a yellow elevator!”

(they are sidetracked for a while in the discussion of the elevators)

The Tower of Power

(a long while)

The conversation resumes another day, the thread intact: “How about Miami, THEN the Tower of Power, THEN Dada’s old house?”


“Does Baby MoFo get a say in all this?” I ask. Baby MoFo chooses not to talk yet, but the big boys regularly report on his desires (“Mama, the baby said he wants to watch Backyardigans.” “Mama, the baby said he wants a popsicle, but don’t worry–I’ll hold it for him.””Mama, the baby said he really really really really wants a Zurg Lego, and he wants to go to Target right now to get it.”).

“I think . . . ” begins Cool J. “I think the deer place. Yeah, that’s it. He wants to live in the deer place.”

(Nara, Japan: those were some impressive deer. They certainly got intimate with Cool J:

Or maybe he just remembers what a rock star he was–a Baby Sensation.

So here’s to the tenureless dream: every five years or so, pack up your bags. Find a place to live. Grasp a new culture or language or laws. Learn the the new job, the new schools, the new kids that come to your door from here and there and everywhere. Meet the kids’ parents, meet the work colleagues, meet the neighbor that comes by with homemade empenadas and grilled plantains. And of course: collect many more Facebook friends.

Are we exemplars of a 21st-century post-modern rootless cosmopolitanism? Not a chance. LL was born in one country, The Scientist and I in another. Throw in LL’s 4 grandparents, and you’ve added 4 more countries to our family tree. Their parents, our grandparents? Add another 4 countries. That’s 11 countries accounted for in 4 generations. There’s nothing new here. We’re not modern; we’re traditional–a family of Wandering Jews descended from Wandering Jews. . .


Dear Self


Remember how afraid Marty is of meeting his past-self and future-self in Back to the Future? Doc Brown made it sound really bad: he could explode the universe. Or disrupt the space-time continuum. Or erase himself. Or something crazy. Perhaps the effects of such a meeting would be less dramatic in real life.

You never know.

My past-self (though likely not the universe) might have imploded if she were to realize that none of her dream-children would ever be born. After all, she spent months, if not years, very carefully crafting the names of all her future children:

Anastasia Monique Chantal

Charity Ellsbeth (alt. Charity Elisant)

Chayara Nadiva

Little girls, perhaps you live in an alternate universe somewhere, wearing pretty pink dresses and hosting tea parties, or scorning pretty pink dresses and joining the Tea Party.

Today an envelope arrived in the mail. I looked at it, turned it over in my hands a few times, and then put it on the side table. Later, The Scientist came home and said, “Hey! You got mail!” Before I could stop him, he opened it. But to his surprise, inside the envelope he found another envelope.

Which is what I expected.

The second envelope was my reprieve. My chance to say: “Don’t open it!” My chance to collect myself just a little bit more. Not that I haven’t had 13 years to collect myself.

A few minutes ago, at The Scientist’s prodding, I decided to open the inside envelope. The one I had addressed all those years ago. The one from my past-self–Past Princess.

The letter was written near the end of the last century. It was written during a “mentor meeting”–one of the meetings I had with a college teacher who had greater experience than I, and who was an inspirational figure who taught me how to teach. And, apparently, to reflect. Because this letter was my assignment. “I’ll send it to you in 5 years,” he promised. “Just put it in an envelope and use an address that you’re sure will still be valid in 5 years.” I didn’t know that it would take him 13 years to put that envelope in the mail. The family house–our famous house with a Chai (we lived at #18)–has long passed hands, and passed hands again. It has been renovated inside and out, gained an addition, and even bears a new facade, not red brick, but gray stucco. It’s there, but not there, a big stucco sign of what once was. The letter should have disappeared into the recesses of the universe in all this time, like my childhood house.

Of course, I couldn’t forget that little assignment, and so, being the pain in the butt that I am, I found that brilliant mentor on Facebook (where else does anyone find anyone?) and asked for my letter-to-self, hoping, against all odds (13 years–who knows how many moves? how small the New York apartments? how tight the storage space?), he had retained it.

He had.

So there was my letter, ready to be read, and I was holding back. The reason I was so hesitant to open this letter is because I suspected some things: that I had had great ambitions that weren’t fulfilled. That I hadn’t been nice about The Scientist. That I had been nicer about the guy I was dating–some Law Student who had a number of strange quirks. (On the first or second date, he latched on to the fact that our birthdays were 9 days apart, just as his parents’ birthdays were, but when I casually mentioned a few dates later that I had no plans to change my last name upon marrying, he flew into a blind rage and declared that HIS wife and HIS kids would bear HIS name. I’m not really sure why my last name was so relevant to him–he hadn’t so much as given me a peck on the cheek at that point [did I mention this was the 5th or so date?]. Fastforward a passage of time, and we’re on another date/post-date/past-pecks: he picks up the phone to call his dad in California while we are in the middle of engaging in an activity that was not eating dinner to ask Dad about the potential effects of certain meds on certain parts of his body [Dad was not a doctor, by the bye]. . . . The relationship didn’t last long.)

I remembered correctly. I did write about Law Student. And I am pleased to see that rather than declare my sappy, pathetic enthrallment with him, I made a brief prediction and was pretty much dead on: “As for our [Law Student], future icon of the bourgeoisie, I can only imagine he will just be the vaguest of memories . . . some lawyer out in California that I knew . . . once.” CHECK, Past Princess!

As for The Scientist, I was a little off. I claimed that he preventing me from meeting my bashert. How could I have known that he was my bashert? Even then, not dating him, barely speaking to him, I write: “I love him today and have loved him for oh so long!” And yet I didn’t know he was my bashert. How silly I was.

I mean, really silly. Because it was not that I was so ambitious then, but so wrong about how I ought to be pursuing my ambitions. I thought graduate school the holy grail. And yet, I thought, in writing my letter, that I was going to leave grad school, and this idea terrified me:

“What will I be doing 4 mos. from now nevermind 4 years? (Consulting? Studying? Teaching?). It scares me so much to leave this place despite the ‘I’m going out to the real world to make money’ bravado.”

Oh, Fear!

Oh, 24-year-old Self! You should have gone out into the world and made money!

Alas, I did not. And so I became the Poor Princess. Although, also, the happily married Poor Princess.

*                    *                *              *                *              *              *               *              *

I end with an assessment of my world, a philosophical summing up of all that is important, and a question that I think significant enough to allow my future-Self to truly reflect on Life and all that it’s worth:

“Today I’m 24. My grandmother is alone and lonely. My brother-in-law just had his 32nd birthday. My sister is 9 months pregnant. My rent is going up to $1430US next month. Kitty is 12. Daddy should be retiring soon, and Mom leaving her school. And that’s my life, I suppose.


“PS: Oh by the way, Dear Future Self — Do you still do those teeny bikini waxes, leaving only an itty-bitty Hitler ‘stache?”


There are Six Degrees of Kosher Bacon (and 3 other things I learned from Facebook)


1. There are 6 degrees of Kosher Bacon. Which is to say, if you are Jewish and within 5 years of me, and I don’t know you, I know your neighbor. Your brother. Your cousin. Your ex-boyfriend that you’re FB-stalking. I know your frickin’ dog (who by the way is on FB). I just know you. And if you don’t see, on FB, that we have friends in common, that’s not because we have no acquaintances in common, it’s only because–

2. People hated their childhoods. Yup, that’s what I’ve discovered through FB. I had no idea before the FB era. So if there was a guy called Jerry Sanders and everyone back in the day called him Terry Tanders (for no good or obvious reason), and he pops up on my sidewall as someone I may know, I’ll immediately friend him. And when he accepts, I’ll write on his wall: “OMG–it’s TERRY TANDERS!”–and then he’ll immediately defriend me. I don’t know why. Is “Terry Tanders” somehow offensive? Probably. It’s likely that he hated being called Terry Tanders every single day of his childhood, but finally put all that middle school horror behind him, then, an adult, gingerly dipped a toe into that vast, dangerous sea we call FB, was perfectly content to see old friends write, “Hi–what are you up to? Where do you live now? Do you have any kids?”, and all was going fine and dandy until some bitch came along and brought it all home to him–the torture, the pain, the constant, unending “Terry Tanders!” So, to return to 1, we both know Terry Tanders, it’s just that Terry Tanders is all grown up now and prefers to be called by his actual name, Jerry Sanders, and is therefore just pretending not to know me. But he knows me. And I know him (of course I do! he’s Terry Tanders!).

3. A mother does not want to hear from her friends that her daughter is walking around town 6 cm dilated. It’s true. My mother called me up one day last March to demand to know why her friends were talking about my cervix. Listen, I don’t know why her friends chose to friend me–and I’m really too polite to demur–but if they’re going to be my friends, they’re just going to have to hear about my cervix. I’m an open girl (oh yes–pun intended, Mom!).

4. Teachers and students don’t mix. I know this is an obvious one, especially if you follow the news (there are so many stories of teachers losing their jobs for saying nasty things about their students online–venting is ok, but not on the interwebz–those teachers need to return to the old ways of venting by going to a bar, drinking way too much, and regaling everyone with hilarious quotations from their students’ papers–as long, mind you, if no one in the bar has an iPhone). You could imagine that it would be fine to accept your students’ facebook friend requests if a) you limit what they can see (like your cervix deets) and/or b) you don’t mention things they shouldn’t see (like your cervix deets) and/or, at the very least, c) you wait until they are no longer your students.

Case in point: I had a student we’ll call Butt. In class, he was quiet and had irregular attendance. I might have barely noticed him, but he wrote spectacular essays. Brilliant, groundbreaking, unforgettable essays. Although, I admit, he rewarded my rewarding of his excellent, non-traditional writing by becoming a little too non-traditional for my prudish, teacherly taste (as in his last essay, which began with a brief but descriptive anecdote of him performing oral sex on a fellow student in the library, before moving into his argument about Frozen River and Thomas King’s “Borders”). He sent me a friend request early in the semester, which I ignored. But once the grades were in, I decided to accept the request. I figured, What’s the harm? I soon realized the harm. There were at least 3 reasons my acceptance was a mistake: a. His profile picture: His back is to the camera, with his head half-turned to offer a sideview, and he is wearing nothing but a white towel, draped around his right hip. On the other side, the towel dips down to expose his left butt cheek. I wonder if, considering profile pictures exist to allow others to identify individuals (Is that the Poor Princess who used to call me Terry Tanders? Or is it a different one?), his is a particularly useful one? (frighteningly, the answer might be yes). b. His comments. When I posted a great article on breastfeeding and then another very different great article on breastfeeding, he decided to put his 2 cents on my wall. I believe he said something like, “These are so interesting. But then, I am drawn to anything with the word ‘breasts’!” Hmmm. Awkward. Last of all, c. His friends. One of them posted on his wall: “Professor Princess, that BITCH, gave me a C in English!” I clicked “like.” Actually, maybe that was a reason to keep him on. But Butt immediately defriended me, just like Terry Tanders.