Me: “I would like to never see or talk to [Guy’s Name] again.”

Boss [mocking precurrent-opinion-of-said-guy Me]: “He’s just so funny. He’s really funny.”

[Current] Me:OksoImisjudged! That is not uncommon for me.”

Boss [still mocking apparently]: “There’s just something special about him.”

Me:

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As Featured on News Cult: How to Talk to Republicans

Republicans are… the worst. They range on a sliding scale from really bigoted and greedy to slightly less bigoted and greedy. Some of them want to be selective republicans (i.e., “I’m socially liberal but fiscally conservative“), but if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s a fucking Republican; (news flash: thinking gay marriage is all good does not negate your insistence that rich people should pay the same amount of taxes as someone living below the poverty line. BLOW ME.). Needless to say, interacting with them without becoming homicidally suicidal is basically impossible. So allow me to help you—here’s how to talk to republicans.

Try to find some common ground

And cling to that. Do not veer onto other topics of conversation—stick with only what you can agree on. I.e.:

•”So, I bet you like ice cream. Everybody likes ice cream, right?”…… “Oh, you think it’s a gateway drug? Okay.”

•”Aren’t cardinals just beautiful birds?”…… “You don’t like them because they’re red, the color of grubby Communist leeches? Great!”

•”It’s so hot out today!”….. “Climate change isn’t real?… Awesome.”

Be drunk

Inebriation will just help so much with the whole being in their presence thing. It’ll be easier to let the awful things they say slide off your shoulders if you’re two sheets to the wind. But make sure to stay happy drunk—the last thing we need is to enter the belligerent drunk zone, where all will go to hell at the first mention of “pro life.”

Imagine you’re talking to a small child

Turn up the baby voice, use only simple words, and speak very slowly. E.g.:

•”Hi there! That is a pretty shirt you have on.” [Pinch their cheeks]

•”Well aren’t you just a little bitty cutie wootie! Yes you are. Yes you are!”

•”I bet you have a lot of cool toys! Let me guess—some baby dolls, toy guns, and a miniature Audi R8?”

Challenge them

If politics come up, you cannot stand idly by while they spout absurd nonsense. It is your duty to speak out and protest. So challenge them on their stances. Like, if they say they don’t think healthcare should be socialized, ask them if they think it’s a human right and should be accessible to all people, or only those who cheat on their taxes and hide their money in offshore trust funds so they’re wealthy enough to afford its exorbitant costs. If they’re a proponent of U.S. military violence and intervention abroad, ask them on precisely what grounds, demanding they explain starting from the inception of whatever conflict/war they’re attempting to justify (so at least a century ago). If they say they’re against abortion, ask them why they think it’s their right to dictate what other women can do with their bodies, when they’re perfectly entitled to control their own shitty body and decide whether or not to litter the earth with their own terrible offspring. And because undoubtedly their claims will be baseless, come ready with a printed and bound book of written sources that provide evidence to back up your assertions. And a mic to drop.

Don’t

Sometimes it’s just too much, because you can’t stand what they’re saying and you can’t change their minds—so just don’t talk to them if you can avoid it. If you can’t avoid it (which like why couldn’t you unless you willingly surround yourself with repubs, which says a lot more about your character judgment and integrity than anything else—meaning it says that you’re the problem, because you can’t just ‘agree to disagree’ with the most important people in your life on the most important issues in your life/the world/everyone else’s lives DON’T BE SO SELFISH AND HYPOCRITICAL), then just always have an excuse ready to get out of the conversation. Whether it’s that you need to grab some water [and never come back], are deaf, just got a call that your neighbor’s cat is in the ER, or that there are lots of homeless people dying on the streets who need your help because contrary to some people’s beliefs, they’re not just lazy drug addicts mooching off the welfare system, just bow out. #SEEYA #wouldn’twannabeya #orhaveyouinelectedoffice

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/how-to-talk-to-republicans/

 

As Featured on News Cult: How to Interpret Your Dreams

I’ve been having a lot of weird dreams lately—like, Chris Christie’s waistline, weird. So I thought I would share the fruits of my attempts at interpreting their meanings with you (don’t you just hate when someone uses “fruits” like that? Like it just makes you think of sperm, right?).

Here’s how to figure out what your dreams signify, depending on which category they fall into below.

Work dreams

If you’re dreaming about work, that means you’re worried about your job. With good reason, too—you’re a total fuckup, and it’s harder to ignore that when your dreams only highlight it. Needless to say, if you’re dreaming about getting fired, or in trouble, or being given a poor evaluation by your boss, you should start looking for other “opportunities.” Call your parents, alert them that you’ve lived up to their expectations/lack thereof, and ask if you can move back into their basement. And if you’re dreaming you’re doing a stellar job at work, then there’s something really wrong. Don’t take a positive work dream as an affirmation or motivation—now is not the time to adopt optimism. Don’t panic, but maybe you should just stop drop and roll yourself right into a psych ward to be sure.

Sex dreams

Not to be obvious, but if you’re having sex dreams, they mean one of two things. Either:

A) You’re sexually stifled

or

B) You want to have sex with the subject (object?) of your dream.

Regarding A—of course you’re sexually stifled. You haven’t had sex with a real person in like at least 7 months, (longer if you want to pretend like your last sexual encounter didn’t happen (and I think we can all agree it’s best you do)), because you’re unlovable and are going to die alone. And also growing up you got the impression that we just don’t talk about sex, so you ended up having to explore your sexuality solo, which led to some very creative ways of masturbating, but generally also a lot of shame and guilt and repression and inability to express yourself sexually.

And regarding B—in your dreams.

Action/Adventure dreams

I have a recurring dream that involves Zorro. I also have a lot of dreams where I have to save people. If you’re having dreams like this—basically the plot of any of the Taken‘s (I’d guess)—it means you feel a general lack of control in your life. This feeling stems from the fact that you’re an utter failure who couldn’t have their shit less together. You could take this as a cue to change some things in your life so you feel more empowered and capable, but LOL.

Animal dreams

If you’re having dreams about animals—whether you have to take care of them, or fight them (like if you’re attacked by a mountain lion or a bear), or rescue them (from like a dog fighting ring or horse race track)—this means that you are in no position to be responsible for any other living being. Because you can barely take care of yourself. So you should never buy or adopt a pet (firstly because no one should ever buy a pet when there are so many in need of rescue or adoption (fuck you very much, breeders), but also we’re talking not even a goldfish, okay? Because before you know it, Lady Gaga-Justin Bieber will be on his (her?)—its—last legs because you didn’t know you had to buy a special chemical to add to the tap water you put in its bowl, and then you’ll basically be a murderer), and you should certainly never babysit, let alone have your own children. Just focus on getting yourself out of bed every morning—lord knows that’s impossible enough.

Political dreams

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You may have a nightmare that you’ll have to flee the country because Donald Trump is running for president and has an unbelievably large amount of supporters and won’t denounce renowned former KKK leader David Duke’s  endorsement of his campaign and wants to force Mexico to pay for a wall to be built along the Mexico-U.S. border to prevent Mexicans from being able to enter the U.S. and wants to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. and wants to use waterboarding and doesn’t think women should have the right to control their own bodies and oh wait—that’s actually happening. Except good fucking luck fleeing if he wins, because nobody will take you then. Especially not Mexico.

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/properly-interpret-dreams/

As Featured on News Cult: How to Make Small Talk

Whether you’re meeting someone for the first time or stuck in an elevator with an acquaintance, you have to make chit chat sometimes. And, as its name suggests, it’s awful and cringe-worthy and the worst—it’s always against your will, so it doesn’t come easy.

Take it from someone who has no clue—here’s how to succeed at small talk.

Say the first thing that comes to mind

If someone with Tourette’s is allowed to do it, you should be too. Whether it’s, “Snakes!” or, “My mother doesn’t love me!” or, “I USED TO PEE IN THE SHOWER ON A REGULAR BASIS,” just blurt it out. #theconversationhastostartsomewhere

Play 20 Questions

Right out the gate—don’t preface it, just dive right in. E.g.

  1. “Are you a man or a woman?”
  2. “Are you dead or alive?”
  3. “Are you gay? [Rhetorical.]”

Nod and smile

At everything the other person says. This will convey, regardless of the facts, that you’re engaged/are listening/give a shit. I don’t care if they say, “… I just got back from a funeral,” or, “Oh, that’s my phone—it’s my girlfriend—I’m pretty sure she’s going to break up with me, so I just refuse to answer her calls,” or, “After this I’m going to jump off the roof”nodandsmileandnodandsmileandre-fucking-peat.

Ask lots of questions

We’ve gone over and over how much people love to talk about themselves. So the only thing you really have to do to survive the conversation is sustain it with questions—about them them them. Again, we are honing the fine art of pretending to care. And people buy it. So sell that inquisitiveness like it’s a subprime mortgage and you’re Wells Fargo.

•”So, what’s your story? Start from the womb. You choose number of weeks—gestation is a tricky topic, and I don’t want to be the one to tell you you’re a moron if you considered yourself a person before you were anything other than a mass of cells. Like a tumor. I mean, fuck—should we ban chemotherapy too?”

•”So which community college did you go to?”

•”Your haircut looks so affordable—where’d you get it?”

Establish trust

You want to put the other person at ease, and make them feel like they can tell you anything, so that the small talk will flow like the river of bullshit from Ted Cruz’s mouth. You can accomplish this by offering up a personal detail of your own to start the conversation. For example, tell them the number of sexual partners you’ve had (make sure to distinguish between oral and otherwise), or show them that sore you found on your tongue (optional: ask them what they think it is), or tell them how much money is in your trust fund. You say crossing lines, I say breaking down barriers. #tomato,tomatomothafuckaaaaaa

Throw out random sayings

There’s going to be a lot of dead air, so when you can’t think of anything to say to fill those awkward pauses, just pronounce a tried and true phrase. Like:

•”Well, there’s more than one way to skin your cat.”

•”You gotta go the whole nine months, am I right?”

•”Well, folks, that’s all murder she wrote.”

•”I wouldn’t trust you with a ten foot pole.”

•”No skin off my back/nose.. Teeth?”

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/youre-going-hate-6-ways-make-small-talk/

As Featured on News Cult: How to Maintain Your Privacy

Whether it’s the government, your nosy boss, your helicopter mom, or everyone on the Internet, you’re always going to have someone snooping around your personal space. So you have to learn how to protect your privacy. Here’s what you do.

Lie, pathologically

That way you’ll throw people off your trail—they’ll never know what’s actually true, so only you will be the keeper of your secrets. Don’t want your gossipy frenemies to speculate, spill the beans, or talk shit about your relationship status? Tell one of them you’re engaged, another you’re widowed, a third you’re a nun, and a fourth that all you can say is that you’re not allowed to go within 100 feet of playgrounds. Need to take some time off work but don’t want anyone to know why? Tell your boss you found a lump (I think we can all agree that nothing shuts people up more than any mention of “a lump”), tell HR you can’t legally disclose the reason for your absence (“the NSA would go apeshit“), and tell the person who’ll be filling in for you that you’re needed in Haiti because: Sean Penn. Or don’t feel like it’s necessary for anyone to ever know your real weight? Wear rocks in your pockets when the doctor weighs you, put a number that’s at least 20 pounds too optimistic on your driver’s license, and tell anyone else who asks a random number in kilograms (provided they’re American—it’ll leave them guessing for days).

Put things away for safekeeping

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If people can’t find your shit, they can’t snoop on it. So lock it up and hide it away—under floorboards, in safes (do people actually use these?), locked file cabinets, your oven (it’s not like you’ll be using it for anything else), the back of your toilet—wherever people won’t be able to see it and/or will be deterred from going through it. I keep anything personal I have at my office in the above pouch from Blue Q, just to make things completely clear to my coworkers. #theycan’taccuseyouofbeingunprofessionalifyousay”please”

Let the NSA know you’re onto them

Say “hi” to them on all of your phone calls, or ask them to weigh in on the discussion (“How about you, NSA? Kelly and I can’t decide—do you think Kevin is a total asshole for saying he finds other women attractive, or should she give him the benefit of the doubt? (I mean, she’s no Virgin Mary, if you know what I’m saying..)”), or test them (“So I’m thinking of sneaking into the White House and stealing Michelle Obama’s arms…”), just so they know that you know that they’re listening. Or write a P.S. to them at the end of every email, (e.g. “P.S. To whom it may concern, all of my emails are written in code. SUCK IT, BITCH.”).

Maintain multiple identities

We’re compartmentalizing, people. Be one person around your family, another around your friends, and a third at work. To your mother, you’re a God-fearing virgin who wears stockings, flats and headbands without fault, eats a non-shameful amount of carbs, and participates politely in family functions, making sure to tamp down any real emotions while nodding and smiling like you’re any given politician’s wife. To your friends, you’re the girl who drinks wine an Olivia Pope-amount (but without the white/beige/off-white cashmere capes and permanent forlorn mouth-slightly-agape look), doesn’t wash her hair, and keeps a steady supply of Spaghetti-Os on her nightstand so she never has to leave her bed (the can opener is God’s Sistine Chapel). And to your boss, you’re a dedicated robot who sure can! make a double-sided three hole-punched scan easy peasy, speaks in a tone which does not convey whatsoever a desire to kill everyone whose presence you are forced to tolerate in the office, and who is best described as a “team player.”

Tell people to kindly, fuck off

The bottom line is that your stuff is your stuff, and I really don’t care if other people think they’re entitled to be all up in it. So the next time your sister steals the antique sewing machine your grandmother left you, bust into her house (I find it’s most effective if you break in by smashing a window in the middle of the night while wearing a ski mask), take it back, and tell her the next time she touches it you’ll have no problem sewing her sticky fingers together. Or the next time your boss comes right up behind you and stares at your computer screen, start Googling “human resources violations” while you tell him to butt the fuck out (“Did you, or did you not, hire me because you trust me? I CAN’T DO MY PERSONAL TASKS JOB WITH YOU HOVERING THERE”). And the next time a friend won’t stop pressing for details about your date the other night, simply say, “no” (because let’s be real there’s not going to be anything good to tell anyways).

Fortify your surroundings

People can’t invade your privacy if there are physical barriers. If you have a window pane that allows people to see into your office, spray it densely with fake snow (it’s a motherfucking blizzard up in here). Turn your computer monitor so it’s facing away from all possible vantage points. Protect all of your online accounts with the most obscure passwords possible (“okaybutreallywhat’sthedealwithRyanSeacrest’ssexuality?” or “ifyou’rereadingthisstop,” or “canweallagreethatLostwasalldownhillafterseason3,maybe4ifwe’rebeinggenerous(canyouunderlinepartsofpasswords?)?“). Take all phone calls in the bathroom, stairwell, or outside on a busy street only. Build a moat outside of every threshold in your vicinity, and populate the water with piranhas. #it’sabouttogetBiblicalupinthisbitch (#assumingyoucanestablishanicerhythmicflood)

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/6-ways-actually-maintain-little-privacy-life/

As Featured on News Cult: How to Not Hold a Grudge

I mean, there’s nothing more tempting than holding a grudge. Why? Because people are the worst, and when they display that with their idiotic, insensitive, narcissistic behavior, they should be cut out of your life like Jim Bob Duggar’s vas deferens needs clipping, and forever haunted by your vengeance. But—holding a grudge takes a lot of time and energy and we don’t have either of those (well, we have time, but we need to spend it on exerting no energy whatsoever). So we’re just gonna let it go like it’s our baby and we’re Michael Jackson on a balcony. Or Eric Clapton.

Here’s how to not hold a grudge.

Remember that people are their own undoing

People will get what’s coming to them—you don’t have to be the one to give it to them. That is the job of a little something we call karma. (Actually I think we totally co-opted that term and have misused it since, but whatever (as white Westerners do)). In the words of Justin Timberlake, “What goes around, goes around, goes around, comes all the way back around.” Pure poetry.

Breathe a sigh of relief

If you don’t hold a grudge, you get to let go of so much anger. And I know anger is, like, our favorite hobby, but its negative impact mainly manifests in you, not the other person. If it were the other way around, I’d totally say go for it, but unfortunately, it really only eats away at your own well being. Unless you channel it. Which brings me to…

Get revenge

Ok I know I’m touting this whole zen take the high road crap, but if there’s a way of exacting swift revenge, just do it, as Nike would say. Get it over with so you’ll be able to rid yourself of the burden of whoever or whatever was grudge-worthy, and move on with your life like you’re Tonya Harding (because she just glides gracefully. On the ice. Or at least up until 1994. Ok bad example but in my defense I don’t know the names of any other professional ice skaters. So what if she wore a diaper on her cross-country kill trip? Or wait that was Lisa Nowak—who, interestingly enough, also bounced around weightlessly—one might even say without any burden—in space. But seriously don’t follow either of their examples when it comes to revenge).

Take pity

On the person you want to hold a grudge against. Clearly, as their actions have already proven, they’re a pitiful person. They’re just pathetic—you actually feel a little sorry for them. As Gandhi would probably say, “Don’t swallow that haterade, yo.”

Vent

Make sure to just bitch a lot about the person who done you wrong to your friends and family. Just get it out of your system. If this means having them on rotating shifts 24/7, then so be it. Hey, you didn’t choose to be born—consequently, your parents always have to be there for you 100% even if it’s in the middle of the night or during one of the two times a year they have sex, or, as they called it when you walked in on them at 16, “hugging.”

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/fuggedaboutit-not-hold-grudge/

As Featured on News Cult: How to Deal with Getting Fired

At one point or another, you’re going to get fired. Everyone does (unless you’re balls-deep in nepotism). It’s just another shit fact of life to add to the pile. And it feels like a much bigger deal than it actually is, which is why you need some effective coping mechanisms so you can survive it. Here’s what I’ve learned about getting fired and the best way to deal with it.

Don’t take it personally

Even if it is personal. If you internalize it, you’ll shame spiral and that does no one any good. Of course, I suppose if you being fired is a result of your behavior, it could be a learning opportunity (excuse me while I choke down the vomit that the phrase “learning opportunity” induces)—but even that only goes so far before you have to move on and up. So whether or not it’s your fault, being fired is water off a duck’s back. It does not define you, it does not say some horrible truth about you, and it doesn’t have to prevent you from living your life. #rollingwiththepunchesrightthefuckoutthedoor #byeeeeee

Be cordial

While the chances are that if you’re being fired, it’s going to be a tense situation, regardless of the circumstances, try not to burn too many bridges. Whether your boss is the world’s largest prick or a nice guy who couldn’t afford to keep you on, be polite, professional, and unemotional throughout the process. If nothing else, this will up your chances of being able to get a good    reference out of them—and we’ll do anything if it benefits us, even if that means feigning politeness to someone we hope with our every waking breath gets hit by a bus, run over, and then backed over again by the bus, à la Suge Knight.

Ask for severance & a reference

If you’re not automatically offered it. The worst that can happen is they say no. Check your state labor laws to see if you’re legally entitled to severance, so that if you face resistance, you can back up your request with facts. And even if your employer isn’t bound by law to give you anything, I think it’s still worth a shot—you’ll never know until you ask. Likewise, ask if you can count on a good reference—ideally you’d get one in writing, but if nothing else, make sure you establish where you stand with your boss’ future recommendation or lack thereof so you don’t have to awkwardly reach out to them after you’ve officially cut ties (not that you can’t still reach out to them, but I find it’s easier to just get these things out of the way). And if they say they won’t give you a positive reference, at least you figured that out right out the gate so you won’t waste time relying on it and can game plan alternative references (and of course also how to ruin their life).

Make sure to document everything

Write down everything that happens and is said, and try to get everything in writing from your employer, just in case you have to file a complaint against them. If we’ve learned nothing else from Hillary Clinton, a paper trail is the best possible indictment. And also you don’t want to have to rely on your memory—it’s going to be really hard to recall exactly how many times your boss called you a “fucking cunt” if you don’t tally it as it’s happening (14).

Apply for unemployment

My understanding is that you’re eligible for unemployment if you’re fired/laid off, but not if you quit. Which is one of the perks of getting fired—we can outlast even the most untenable of employment situations if it means the difference between $0 and $500 per week. Sure, it’s never going to be as much money as you were making, but it’s something, and it will help tide you over until you find your next gig. #you’restillgonnaneedtocutbackonyourlattesthough #andyourbikiniwaxes #embracethebush

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/weve-deal-getting-fired/

As Featured on News Cult: How to Have a Good Relationship with Your Boss

Whether you have the boss from Hell or one who’s miraculously not the worst, there are ways to get along with them. Here’s how.

Remain positive

Your boss is going to ask a lot of ridiculous, maddening, aggravating things of you, and you’re going to want to throw them out the window and watch as their body splats into a million little pieces on the pavement, which is why you have to maintain composure, keep calm, and smile your way through all the bullshit. I don’t care how hard you have to fake it, just don’t let them see you sweat, break, or devolve into a homicidal maniac, no matter how much you’re tempted. Trust me, the time will come when you will have your vindication and you’ll be able to metaphorically smack their face with a baseball bat while you scream about how incredible their incompetency really is (or literally—no judgment here—this is a safe space).

Be yourself

You probably feel a lot of pressure to be someone you think you ‘should’ be, or the perfect employee, or fulfill a certain professional mold. But honestly, you will never live up to those expectations because let’s face it you’re mediocre at best, so you’ll crumble faster than blue cheese under that burden and end up worse for it. Your boss theoretically hired you because you’re you, so just be you.  And if they don’t like it, it’s probably not a good fit anyways (and of course they can go fuck themselves). Spending at least 40 hours per week putting on a performance is so unsustainable. Getting up each morning is impossible hard enough without the prospect of having to pretend to be someone else all day. So let’s not set ourselves up for failure (although when we fail, we do fail spectacularly).

Appreciate them

Look, there’s no doubt that they have a lot of shortcomings, and maybe even some just pure evil traits. But there’s something redeeming about everyone—so strap in, dig deep, and find it. If Jesus could do it, so can you. It may solely be the fact that they can’t resist donuts (and of course the plus side there is that they want to lose weight but never will because they can’t stop indulging their inner fatty, so we will take pleasure in their failure to become the svelte, vapid, vain POS of their dreams). Or maybe it’s that they give you things they don’t want, like that phone case they ordered but didn’t end up liking (one man’s “ugly” or “dysfunctional” is another man’s “IDGAF because phone cases are like hella expensive”), or the bottle of wine someone sent them but apparently isn’t to their liking (hey, we’ll take it—we don’t believe in “bad” wine), or the wedding gift from their in-laws, which, yes, is an atrocious bronze deer head, but could totally be repurposed as a coat hanger, and we’re poor so we don’t have the luxury of just running around buying real coat hangers.

Be honest

If you’re having a work-related issue, talk about it with your boss. Or even if you’re having a non-work related issue; like, I, for one, am pretty sure my boss is thrilled when I come into his office and announce, “I’m just going to go lie on my floor because I can’t deal with life. Isn’t it just really hard? Like, everything is awful.” You want to keep the lines of communication open, so that when there is a conflict, it can be worked through versus blown up to the point of a bigger problem going forward, or you getting fired, or you hiring a hit man to take out your boss. You just gotta be cool, man. Ride those waves, because yes there will be downs, but there will also be ups. Who knows, maybe your boss will admire your bravery when you tell them you don’t appreciate it when they yell at you and you would respond better to constructive criticism (or tbh no criticism at all because you’re a perfect snow angel), or they’ll appreciate your honesty when you own a mistake (or, as we like to call it, a “learning opportunity”), or they’ll come into your office with a box of Girl Scout cookies and talk about their own personal problems for an hour. Honesty is the key to a good relationship (or so I hear). And it’s also the only way to build trust (and you can’t abuse someone’s trust if you don’t have it in the first place).

Look at them as an ally

Like it or not, you and your boss are allies by definition. So even if you’d jump ship given the right opportunity, or even if you pray for their painful death every night, or even if it seems like their sole purpose in life is to make yours terrible, you do work for them and they do need you. So find a way to play nice. And maybe you’ll even realize that you can actually help each other. Even if your boss is basically Hitler, if you come through for them, the chances they’ll come through for you, whether it’s in a letter of recommendation, or cutting you some slack when you need to take a personal day, or giving you a nice bonus, are that much higher. And no one is saying you can’t still subtly manipulate and destroy them, should that be warranted—just don’t be obvious about it. Keep your strategic warfare on the DL, and maintain the appearance that  clear skies are ahead so that you can get the best use out of your relationship with your employer. #friendsclose,enemiescloser #anallyisjustanenemyyoucanusetoyouradvantage #thefirstpartofthathashtagjustlooksliketheword’anally’

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/good-relationship-boss/