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Old 04-28-2013, 01:00 PM   #1
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Pleasing picky eaters

I'm beyond frustrated on trying to cook for my family. Granted, my cooking skills have never been great, admittedly, but I have ran out of ideas on how to cook for them. Every time I suggest something to my son and husband, I am met with "no, that's awful", regardless if it is low carb or not. Needless, to say, because I tend to get home later in the evenings from work (around 6:00 or 6:30 p.m.) sometimes it's just easier to go out to eat. However, my weight is creeping back up plus its expensive. I mentioned cooking a low deep dish pizza recipe tonight and was met with the same response. I lost it and told them both they could start cooking or pay to go out to eat. My son is 18. My husband usually gets home about the same time I do, and he likes to cook sometimes on a weekend or grill, but not during the week. I didn't mean to be so grumpy about it, but I do want to start eating in a healthier low carb way and I am fine making separate meals for my family that are not low carb if they prefer, but they don't like my cooking either way. What do you do?

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Old 04-28-2013, 01:11 PM   #2
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What you did.In my house cook picks.Everyone else must have at least one bite and not be rude if they don't like it.

Then, and only then, they may make or buy themselves something else.If they want to be picky then they cook or pay for everyones meal.

simple.
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:21 PM   #3
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They're grown. You and your husband are both working, but he gets to cook at his leisure, and you have to cook when the pressure's on, and then get complaints to boot? Yeah, that wouldn't fly with me. He needs to suck it up.

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Old 04-28-2013, 01:29 PM   #4
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Your boy is on his own. He can go buy himself something to eat, make his own meal or eat whatever you fix.

Your husband, on the other hand, is different. You and he need to sit down and create a list of what is acceptable to him to eat and acceptable to you to fix on a week night. You are the person that cooks during the week so *you* need to be proactive about making that activity livable for yourself and him.

One of the options, with your husband, is he can eat something he fixes. I mean, that isn't out of the question. Also, you could have sandwich days Mon, Wed and Fri and only agree to fix a meal (from the list) on Tues and Thurs. Lots of guys are at a complete loss in the kitchen and they are not faking it no matter how good that one specialty dish is that they create.

Consider using Saturday and/or Sunday to make the week's dinners ahead of time.

The reason I think your son should fend for himself is that he needs to learn how to do that - his future wife will thank you and he'll eat better as a bachelor when he gets his own place. My brother's culinary horizon is PB&J sandwiches.

The reason I think you need to handle your husband differently is ... you are married to him.
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:52 PM   #5
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As the guy that does almost all the cooking and shopping (the advantages of working at home , I think you did exactly the right thing. If they are going to complain anyway, just tell them you are cooking the way that is healthy and they are more than happy to partake, but if they want something else, they get to cook and clean it.

It's one thing to go the extra mile for appreciative people; quite another for complainers.
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by reddarin View Post
Your boy is on his own. He can go buy himself something to eat, make his own meal or eat whatever you fix.

Your husband, on the other hand, is different. You and he need to sit down and create a list of what is acceptable to him to eat and acceptable to you to fix on a week night. You are the person that cooks during the week so *you* need to be proactive about making that activity livable for yourself and him.

One of the options, with your husband, is he can eat something he fixes. I mean, that isn't out of the question. Also, you could have sandwich days Mon, Wed and Fri and only agree to fix a meal (from the list) on Tues and Thurs. Lots of guys are at a complete loss in the kitchen and they are not faking it no matter how good that one specialty dish is that they create.

Consider using Saturday and/or Sunday to make the week's dinners ahead of time.

The reason I think your son should fend for himself is that he needs to learn how to do that - his future wife will thank you and he'll eat better as a bachelor when he gets his own place. My brother's culinary horizon is PB&J sandwiches.

The reason I think you need to handle your husband differently is ... you are married to him.
I stopped cooking for my son when he was in high school, and he bought his own groceries once he started working. He is not a great cook but at least he can feed himself.
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:02 PM   #7
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hello? Geekin is totally on target.
Let them make their own dinners if they're going to say "no" to your ideas. That's incredible to me.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:17 PM   #8
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Geekin is totally on target.
Let them make their own dinners
I TOTALLY agree with Geekin!!
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:33 PM   #9
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Growing up, my awesome mom made dinner and we ate it. There was no discussion about what was going to be made.

Make it, they can eat it or not
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:58 AM   #10
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Make your food, whatever you want...and eat it without any guilt. It is hard enough to stay on track without worrying what everyone else is doing. If you had a medical condition that required you to eat a certain way, what would you do? Don't be a doormat!

Best wishes... I know it is hard!
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:58 AM   #11
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You have a little power struggle here to my mind. The men in your life have decided what is acceptable or not . Fair enough but they need to make it happen for themselves if they are that adamant. Make what is acceptable for you,not distasteful to them,you know their tastes by now and next meal time serve three meals side by side .
What I hear you ask ? Three ? Yup say I. The one you need to eat,the one they say they don't like and a printed takeaway menu.
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:15 AM   #12
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Growing up, my awesome mom made dinner and we ate it. There was no discussion about what was going to be made.

Make it, they can eat it or not
I'm in favor of that approach for a child, but not for a spouse. If OP and her husband cannot agree on what to eat for dinner, then of course he can fend for himself.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:07 AM   #13
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This issue goes beyond your needs to make LC foods for yourself. Your guys are trying to keep you under control and it sounds like they're doing a good job at it. There really is nothing "weird" or inedible about LC food. Proteins, fats and veggies are the basis for you, and should be for them, too. If you're the cook, cook what you can eat, and, if you choose, supplement with a basic side of potatoes, rice, pasta, etc. for the others if they feel their menu is incomplete without the starchy side. No need to make 2 dinners AT ALL. YOU are cooking. Sounds like YOU also work full time, so what is fair about you doing all the cooking to begin with? If you choose to do so, cook what you like, and eventually your "picky" men will either eat it or find something else to eat. There are a lot of easy and good LC recipes out there (espec on Linda Sue's and Jaimie's from Your Lighter Side blog). My family (husband and two teens) doesn't always love all my creations, but usu. like them well enough to not starve, and mostly enjoy my dinners. I supplement with a starchy side for them, but that's it. YOU need to make yourself a priority for once. Sounds like you, like so many mothers, have put yourself on the back burner for so long caring for others that you forgot how to assert your needs again. At this point, it really is up to you whether you want to make this change or not - you will undoubtedly experience some unpleasantness on the part of others in your family, but stick to your guns. Good luck with your challenge and keep us posted!
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:32 AM   #14
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Wow.

Is he your roommate or your husband? If he is your roommate then he can take care of himself. If he is your husband then work out something acceptable to both of you.
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:25 AM   #15
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We have friends that come over frequently and I fix breakfast. I fix omelettes two eggs for them, three for me and potatoes that they eat. Throw a couple pieces of bread in the toaster for them, sliced tomatoes for me. If the want biscuits, pancakes, or muffins, they can eat elsewhere.

You work too. Fix what you can eat and throw in a tater, rice, bread or similar for them. If they aren't happy with that invite them to get their a--es of the couch and fix themselves a box of mac n cheese. There's no reason for you to accept the role of kitchen slave. When my wife cooks, I have two choices, take it or leave it.
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:27 AM   #16
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There is absolutely no way I'd be cooking special meals for an eighteen-year-old. He's not a child, he's a young man! If he doesn't like what you make for him, he knows where the kitchen is.
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You and he need to sit down and create a list of what is acceptable to him to eat and acceptable to you to fix on a week night.
This is an excellent idea.
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:58 AM   #17
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This issue goes beyond your needs to make LC foods for yourself. Your guys are trying to keep you under control and it sounds like they're doing a good job at it. There really is nothing "weird" or inedible about LC food. Proteins, fats and veggies are the basis for you, and should be for them, too. If you're the cook, cook what you can eat, and, if you choose, supplement with a basic side of potatoes, rice, pasta, etc. for the others if they feel their menu is incomplete without the starchy side. No need to make 2 dinners AT ALL. YOU are cooking. Sounds like YOU also work full time, so what is fair about you doing all the cooking to begin with? If you choose to do so, cook what you like, and eventually your "picky" men will either eat it or find something else to eat. There are a lot of easy and good LC recipes out there (espec on Linda Sue's and Jaimie's from Your Lighter Side blog). My family (husband and two teens) doesn't always love all my creations, but usu. like them well enough to not starve, and mostly enjoy my dinners. I supplement with a starchy side for them, but that's it. YOU need to make yourself a priority for once. Sounds like you, like so many mothers, have put yourself on the back burner for so long caring for others that you forgot how to assert your needs again. At this point, it really is up to you whether you want to make this change or not - you will undoubtedly experience some unpleasantness on the part of others in your family, but stick to your guns. Good luck with your challenge and keep us posted!
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:03 AM   #18
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Wow.

Is he your roommate or your husband? If he is your roommate then he can take care of himself. If he is your husband then work out something acceptable to both of you.
It sounded like the OP was offering multiple suggestions to her husband, and every one was shot down.

If the conversation if going something like ... "Hey, do you want me to pick up a rotisserie chicken and make a salad to go with it?" "no, yuck" "Ok, how about I make some meatballs in sauce, and I'll have it over zucchini, and you can have it over pasta?" "Bleeech"... "Umm, ok how about taco salad, I can get some taco shells if you prefer?" "Heck no!" "Hamburgers? Mine wrapped in lettuce, yours on a bun?" "UGGGHHHH"
Then I would give up and make my own dinner, and let hubby figure out his own.

I can understand not wanting to try some of the weird concoctions in low carb, like a cauliflower/egg pizza crust (I know, its really good, but it does sound "weird").... but most low carb food is totally normal.

Even with the pizza, get the toppings. Make your own egg based crust, and buy a ready made pizza crust (like Boboli) or refrigerated dough in the can from the store. Toppings are basically the same, but are easily adjusted to each persons taste. This stuff shouldnt be hard... but if hubby and son are just not being constructive to any degree... I say, screw it, they can make their own dinner.

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Old 04-29-2013, 09:15 AM   #19
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This is just my opinion, but it sounds as if they are purposely shooting down options that can be made low carb for her and "normally" for them. It sounds to me like attempted sabotage. If that is the case, I would make what I wanted and let them fend for themselves.

But that's just what I would do. If someone doesn't appriciate what I make for them, then, well, you know where the kitchen is.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:50 AM   #20
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It sounded like the OP was offering multiple suggestions to her husband, and every one was shot down.
I understand the dynamics of the situation. But what I am hearing as advice ignores the fact that this goes beyond the superficial nature of the age old "what's for dinner" dilemma.

The situation, as explained in the first post, is that she is the cook. She also intimated that he is not comfortable in the kitchen and has no cooking skills to speak of.

I think that a workable solution that acknowledges the fact that they are married has to also acknowledge the limitations of the situation. Simply telling DH to get bent doesn't seem like a very good plan to me for *her*.

The skies is the limit on how this could be addressed without marital acrimony. She could teach him how to fix his own meals. That could be a great way to have a very wonderful intimacy that they'd both enjoy and bring them closer together. But that won't happen with a screw it you are on your own you ungrateful prat approach.

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Old 04-29-2013, 10:37 AM   #21
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I have DH grill something probably 4 or 5 times per week. If he wants to eat, he needs to help! I also have a fondness for grilled meats and find it so simple and quick to just make a salad or side dish of some sort. We both work full time so its 50/50 here and he has never complained about a dinner of grilled meat. I will make him some rice or a baked potato if he so desires, they are quick and easy!

I agree with the others, they are grown. They can eat what you make or feed themselves. I see no reason why your DH cant help out and grill during the week too.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:36 AM   #22
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Personally, when I read the original post, my first thoughts were not about the food.

First, I think it is very disrespectful for your son to be criticizing your food when you are going out and working all day to buy him food and then coming home and cooking for him. It might be worthwhile to have a gentle talk with him about respect, and politely remind him that he is fortunate to be cared for, that you are under no obligation to feed him at this point in his life, and that when he has to take care of himself and a family, he will be more grateful for what you are doing.

Second, I think it is also wrong for a man to "gang up" with a child to criticize his wife in any way, and I also don't think a man should allow a child to criticize his wife in front of him (or vice versa). This is also a matter of respect. Discussions are one thing but when it ventures into putting the wife down, that's something else. Perhaps you could also have a talk about respect in this situation.

As for the actual food...perhaps it would be good to ask them what the problem actually is and why they don't like the food. Is it the sort of situation where they are so used to eating junk food that they don't like food without additives and chemicals? Are they just being difficult and are just bored with life in general? Is it a budgeting issue, in that the available food budget isn't there to buy the things they think taste good or high quality ingredients? If that's the case...well, they'll need to deal with it.

You mention that cooking isn't your strong point, and there's nothing wrong with that, but these things can be very emotional because there is an implied judgement behind it. However, if that's honestly the case - and you know best - and you want to improve on that, there is no shame in dedicating time to learning new skills and cooking ideas. Cooking is an art that one can work on for a lifetime, and there are a ton of resources available online nowadays. Many people are embarrassed to try to improve in an area of life that they don't do well at because they don't want to admit they could use improvement, but of course that's not the right reason not to try. Of course I'm not saying that someone should feel obligated to do this, and I would personally feel very un-encouraged if people were telling me my food was awful. And for all I know you were doing this, say, the first ten years of the marriage, but it is a realistic thing to consider. Conversely, if you really dislike cooking, maybe you can find ways to arrange to do less cooking, whether that is by using more pre-prepared foods or something else.

In any case, that doesn't excuse disrespect from the family - you are putting your time and effort into serving them and they should appreciate that.

Last edited by Avicenna; 04-29-2013 at 11:42 AM..
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:44 AM   #23
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I'm beyond frustrated on trying to cook for my family. Granted, my cooking skills have never been great, admittedly, but I have ran out of ideas on how to cook for them. Every time I suggest something to my son and husband, I am met with "no, that's awful", regardless if it is low carb or not. Needless, to say, because I tend to get home later in the evenings from work (around 6:00 or 6:30 p.m.) sometimes it's just easier to go out to eat. However, my weight is creeping back up plus its expensive. I mentioned cooking a low deep dish pizza recipe tonight and was met with the same response. I lost it and told them both they could start cooking or pay to go out to eat. My son is 18. My husband usually gets home about the same time I do, and he likes to cook sometimes on a weekend or grill, but not during the week. I didn't mean to be so grumpy about it, but I do want to start eating in a healthier low carb way and I am fine making separate meals for my family that are not low carb if they prefer, but they don't like my cooking either way. What do you do?
Have they always been this way about your cooking? If so, have you considered cooking classes? I think many people are missing a few basic skills and that prevents them from making delicious meals at home that everyone loves.

If you don't have time or the inclination for classes everyone should just make their own food. I mean both you and your husband are working full time, so why can't he prepare the meals, at least for himself.

I have the opposite problem- I cook really well so I always get people demanding that I cook, and I'm not willing to be the one who will automatically do it every time.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:59 AM   #24
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Simply telling DH to get bent doesn't seem like a very good plan to me for *her*.
I dont think you have to be rude about it ... my conversation would go something like this.

"Hey Honey, I'm making myself a grilled chicken salad for dinner... would you like me to make you one?"
Him: "no, that doesnt sound good"
"Ok, what would you like for dinner?"
Him: "I dunno"
"Ok, well I'm going to be making my salad... if you get hungry, just let me know what you want and I'll help you make it"

Also, I dont know the whole structure of household chores in their house... but there is no reason she has to be "the cook", if they are both working full time.
She says her hubby "likes to cook sometimes on a weekend or grill, but not during the week." So that's just great... when its fun for him, he will cook, but during the week when everyone arrives home tired and hungry, he is not interested in cooking ?? It sounds like he may need to start sharing the responsibility or figuring out his own dinner if he doesnt like what she is making. Besides, its not that hard to slap together a sandwich or open a can of soup if you dont like whats for dinner.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:21 PM   #25
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Cooking lessons are an excellent suggestion! And you could do it as a family too which would help your son and your husband get better in the kitchen.

I highly recommend [non-LC] 'How to Cook Without a Book: Recipes and Techniques Every Cook Should Know by Heart' by Pam Anderson. ISBN-10: 0767902793. For your son and husband this book can change everything. I got a ton out of it even though I'd read a book (and made some very excellent dishes) by Harold McGee (If it was him it had to be The Curious Cook). Seems like I learned how to dice onions with that book if that rings a bell with anyone that has also read it.

As a guy I can tell you that unless we have been taught by someone we are clueless about how ingredients work together to make a tasty meal. Pam's book is very basic but goes a long ways towards addressing that problem. Nothing complicated though. It is like a cooking 101 type thing but with really useful information instead of junk you won't use or aren't interested in.

For example, she has a really basic spaghetti sauce recipe and instructions on preparing the pasta that is just delicious. The thing is, what she says in the book can be applied to almost any woe I think.

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Old 04-29-2013, 12:44 PM   #26
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I dont think you have to be rude about it ... my conversation would go something like this
If you review the comments in favor of this strategy they are very straight forward lol.

Quote:
but there is no reason she has to be "the cook",
I don't want to overstate the obvious, or maybe not so obvious based on the reactions her question has gathered, but there is a reason she is the designated cook during the week. My thinking is that the best solution addresses the *reason* for the situation rather than just address a symptom of the situation. The only way to do that is to look at the relationship rather than just the chore.

You are female as are the rest of the posters except for Geek, right?

I'll tell you for certain that this situation and her frustration about it is glaringly obvious to her husband.

Men want to fix things. When you talk to the man in your life about a problem and you just want someone to confide in the guy is going to try to fix the problem 99% of the time rather than just be someone to chat about with it. If there is a universal constant that is one right there. Until you girls train us to just listen without trying to fix it anyway. Even then our first reaction is to fix it.

Okay. Given those two limits, clearly the guy does not know how to address the situation to fix it. I bet his usual response is to order out. Or he gets flustered because he cannot wrap his head around her plight.

Quote:
She says her hubby "likes to cook sometimes on a weekend or grill, but not during the week." So that's just great... when its fun for him, he will cook, but during the week when everyone arrives home tired and hungry, he is not interested in cooking ??
I disagree. As I said in my first post and as Geek indirectly supported with his post, if the guy was comfortable in the kitchen and had more than a two dish repertoire this wouldn't be an issue.

Quote:
It sounds like he may need to start sharing the responsibility
Of course. That has been my point all along even if his share is to greatly simplify life for his wife by creating a list that they can both live with.

She did say that the problem was that they were picky about it and that was the frustrating part. If they weren't picky and ate what she fixed, presumably, she wouldn't have posted this thread. Right?

I have got to say that conversations like this are one reason I really like LCF.

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Old 04-29-2013, 12:58 PM   #27
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I think there is a large amount of emotionally based sabotage going on here.It resembles to me when a friend started working out and eating 'clean'.She lost the last bit of baby weight and started winning bikini contests.All of a sudden her food was 'yuck','too expensive' etc.
Her partner was just feeling threatened as she was growing without him.

Maybe time for a 'please support me' talk?
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:59 PM   #28
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In my friends case they talked,all sorted
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