Social Accelerators (Part 1)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is an account of the most profound experience in my life. It's a little bit out there, but contains numerous humorous anecdotes and social ideas.

Submitted: October 18, 2011

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Submitted: October 18, 2011

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I rank people with high social ability into three categories:  mood accelerators (MAs), people accelerators (PAs), and the world accelerator (WA).
 
I would say it was my second semester junior year at Mizzou that I became a mood accelerator.  This is the lower echelon of high social ability and all though mood accelerators aren’t absolutely respected as the social elite, their friends certainly turn to them as someone to practice “quip wars” against.  I can remember that as I worked out regularly, looked up body language and dating advice online, and learned dance moves, I would begin to get looks from women and head nods from guys who were in the know.
 
To me, there is nothing more interesting in this world than the male-female dynamic.  Here are some interactions that a person who has developed into an MA can expect with women:
 
A good MA knows the best way to pass a woman on the street is to at first make eye contact, slowly flash a smile onto his face as she responds with a smile of her own, then acknowledge her with a wave or a “hi.”  If you’re not a creepy looking fellow, which if you’re an MA you probably aren’t, give her a look like you know she was just masturbating to you.  If all goes well and she’s smiling back plus you have the confidence to do it, stop her and ask “What’s got you so happy today?”  You can strike up a conversation right then and there.  At the end of it, say something along the lines of, “Hey, I know this sounds weird and we just met, but I was wondering if it was possible to see you outside this place sometime,” then hold out your phone for her with numpad ready so she can enter her number.  It’s a good idea to use some excuse to bring out your phone ahead of time so she isn’t freaked out at the sight of it, just ask her opinion on a ringtone or something.  (Once, a girl immediately started to walk away when I pulled out my phone; fortunately, I still got her number.  I later found out she had a boyfriend she didn’t mention.)
 
Some sidewalk encounters go differently.  One of my favorites is when a girl makes eye contact with you then immediately looks away.  All the while you continue looking at her, smiling.  At the last second as she passes you she looks over at you and sees that you’ve been waiting for that quick glance, so she has no choice but to smile and say an embarrassed “Hi.”  Then there’s those frustrating encounters where the girl will play it coy.  You’ll do all the right steps and she’ll open her mouth wide and act surprised then turn it into a playful grin and look away, never to make eye contact again.  For some people, social encounters are more special the briefer and more mysterious they are, and they’d rather keep that initial attraction than risk killing it by giving out their number.  I guess I can respect that.
 
If you met me today you would wonder how I ever made it to MA level.  The truth is, I lost my world class wit and powerful body language after a brief psychotic episode and over-medication.  To lay to rest any doubts that I was at one time an MA, I compiled some examples of playful banter that I whipped up back in 2008, and maybe you can get some ideas from this.
 
  1. A girl told me she was interning at MIT for the summer.  When I called her I pretended I was a registration worker at MIT and demanded she pay a $75 registration fee.  When she got the pen and paper to write down where to send it, I said “Oh just give it to your classmate Chard and he’ll process it.”  She said “You tricked me,” and when I went to set up a coffee date she said she didn’t like coffee, so I said it’s just for the coffee atmosphere.  Then she told me she has a boyfriend and by then I knew she was trying to get back at me for tricking her so I said, “There’s an accomplishment.  A lot of girls have boyfriends but they don’t go bragging about it.”
 
  1. After setting up a date with a girl I tell her not to come down and scope out my dorm room ahead of time.  She said, “Ah, so you’re territorial.”  I said, “As an alpha male, I tend to be very territorial.”  Then I told her don’t forget to bring pepper spray.
 
  1. During Christmas break I smoked a Cuban with a friend to celebrate the birth of his son.  Afterward, a girl asked me how my break was.  I said, “It was all right; I had my first Cuban.”  She asked me, “A Cuban cigar?”  I said “No.  A Cuban woman.  They’re a bit more prude than American women.”  Then I told her I was kidding, it was a cigar.  The same girl later told me she was in dietetics and that it was difficult.  I said, “Yeah right.  I bet all you do is color the food pyramid.”
 
  1. My friend Nathan was looking for the paper towels, so another friend told him they were behind the pizza box.  I tell Nathan that he has to think outside the box.
 
  1. By just my third day at the Citi Records Center I had already gained a reputation.  My supervisor introduced me at a company meeting.  I said, “Hi.  I’m Chard.  I’m new and innocent.”  Every woman in there said “Yeah right.”  My supervisor then said “Okay, now you know to watch out for this guy.”
 
  1. My friend’s cat stepped all over him and he said, “Come on cat, quit stepping on my nuts.”  I said, “Why?  That wouldn’t be the first time a pussy’s stepped all over your balls.”
 
  1. This one I’m most proud of.  My lead and I flirted at the Citi Records Center even though she had a husband.  One day she decided to alienate me after thinking things were going too far between us.  She performed the well-documented MacGyver effect, where a girl in a relationship runs away from you after starting off friendly, like MacGyver from a building about to explode.  Living my life as the retaliator, I alienate her right back.  Then she tried joking with me again but I wasn’t having any of it, so she got quiet after realizing what she had done.  Back at my lead’s desk, my partner for the week showed me where we put our timesheets, across from where my lead was sitting.  I said “So I put my timesheet here, and I don’t have to deal with her then.”  I could gauge from my lead’s body language that she got the message.  My partner thought I was joking so (you couldn’t have scripted this any better) she said “Did you hear that?  He doesn’t have to deal with you.”  After the weekend my lead gave me a drawn out, apologetic “Hey,” and when I asked if I could greet her husband when he met her for lunch things became fine between us.
 
To build the confidence a practiced MA exhibits, I recommend you learn a skill.  For me, it was dance.  Other options include learning to play an instrument, good story-telling so people will defer to you in group situations, or become good at a sport.  Find ways to relate the emotions you feel while practicing your skill.  Share an embarrassing story from when you first started out.  For dance, I describe the first time I hit the clubs.  I’d get a couple pairs of eyes to glance my way, but even those eyes seemed unsure of what to think of my moves.  I’d perhaps hang out too long by one group of women, thinking they were into my dancing style when really they were waiting for me to leave them be.  As I practiced more and hit more clubs though, two pairs of eyes became fourteen pairs and a smile to match each.  My attention on the dance floor became the most valuable thing in the club.  There would be the nerdy girl wanting me to stay and dance with her for longer than I deemed fit for one person, the cute girl who would back her rump into me wanting me to grind on her then falling on her ass because she’s too drunk to stand, and the girl saying “Chard this guy just won’t leave me alone,” an obvious invitation to dance with her.
 
Be sure to also incorporate sensations in your stories.  For my trip to Cancun, I like to talk to women about the short walk barefoot from the hotel to the beach.  They can feel the plush carpet in the hotel room, then the rock slab with tiny bits of grit out in the hotel hallway to the gingerly walking down each step and finally the sand between their toes as I describe it in detail.  If you see that you can use all kinds of observations in your stories I did my job.
 
The step up from mood acceleration is people acceleration, which is obviously much rarer.  It confounds me that no one seems to be doing anything about those that are able to change other people.  The first thing I would do is study their brains and compare them to the brains of people that aren’t so good socially (like me currently) to see if there is a chemical difference.  I hope to be the first to document that a chemical is released in the brain based on a person’s social ability.  I hypothesize this because I felt the wonderful drug myself within my first couple of days working at the Citi Records Center.  Obviously, I wasn’t the only people accelerator around, so why don’t any other PAs make a similar claim about a chemical in the brain?  I believe it has to do with transition time.  My transition from an average MA to an extremely powerful PA was so quick that I was able to notice the difference in my brain.  The transition for almost any other PA happened too gradually for any one step to feel different from the previous.  They still are high off the drug, they just don’t realize it.
 
I attribute the quick transition to a particular strategy that at the time I didn’t like and wanted to change immediately.  I only went out on Friday occasionally, other than that I didn’t have a ton of social interaction.  I had high social ability and knew it, just little opportunity to showcase it.  In the meantime, I was building quite a look for myself by working out regularly and shaving my head, which after the crew cut I noticed people holding doors open for me when I was twenty feet away.  I also continued studying dating and body language advice online.  With my new look and compendium of social knowledge, I was finally thrown into an environment where I would get plenty of social interaction.  I started work at the Vault in the Citi Records Center (CRC).
 
I am aware of the first impression I gave when I started there:  a womanizer with no appreciation for anyone’s feelings but his own.  I cut my finger while handling a folder and while a woman happened to be complaining about how needy her husband was.  She said, “Aw, you cut your finger?”  I responded, “Yeah, I performed self-mutilation after getting depressed by your story.”  Colby took me to where the bandaids were and as I was cleaning the wound I asked him, “You let her tell you depressing stories like that?”  He seemed taken aback by that and said, “She talks, I listen.”  I passed the time filing by trying to throw people off guard.  I read off names to Rick so he could see if they were on the shelf and threw in a “Rick Sucks.”  He missed it the first time, then when I threw it in again he smiled and said, “No, Rick does not suck.”
 
There was one very hot woman that worked there and I used a technique to build attraction with her known to some MAs and most PAs.  Extremely hot girls are addicted to attention and you can use this trick as long as you’re physically fit; otherwise, they’ll just think you’re not confident enough to make eye contact.  What you need to do is completely ignore them.  They’ll notice something out of place, as in someone who won’t stare at them, who won’t even give them a single glance.  This will drive them nuts, especially if they see your skills in social interaction with other people.  Those feelings of insecurity will translate to “Okay, I’m going to approach this guy and see what’s going on.”  And that’s it.  You let hot girls approach you.  Otherwise, as the man, you should be doing the courting.  After our initial conversation, I saw her at lunchtime sitting at a table by herself, so I joined her.  Hot girls will usually just sit there and the only positive signal they give is to make eye contact, but she began elaborately fixing her hair.  Not knowing what else to do, I stared off into space until she was done.  Then we began a wonderfully tension-filled conversation, both of us trying to extract information out of the other without revealing too much about ourselves.  Then came the slow nodding, where she perfectly mirrored me.  I then squinted at her to try to relay to her that I was perfectly aware of body language and that she wasn’t going to impress me by just copying me.  Then she did something that did impress me and that I had never seen before.  She opened up completely talking about her last job and how she ended up at the CRC.  But not to me.  She opened up to a guy at another table who was unaware of the sexual tension between us.  I watched her the whole time, listening intently.  She looked back at me when she was done, and I did my best to look mesmerized by her story.  Looking back, I regret not playing a story off the bystander as well, to let her know I was just a college student looking for summer work and I could play games with people too.
 
I realized I was going to have a profound effect on the people I was working with before the effect even took place.  I remember telling Keith, a buddy who worked outside the Vault but in CRC, that this was going to be a fun place to work.  He asked me, “What if it’s not?”  I told him with conviction, “Then I’ll change it.”  The girls at the desks around us were listening in to our energetic conversation and were all eager to make eye contact with me.
 
As I stated previously, it was two days in that I felt the chemical change in my brain.  This drug increased social and environmental awareness.  This is where the term “quick-witted” comes into play.  One thing I disagree with that dating advice websites suggest is to take your time when answering someone, this shows that your time is your own and you consider it valuable.  PAs understand, though, that what you really need to do is answer someone while he’s still asking the question.  I remember two instances where my wit was instantaneous.  One is where I changed what I was saying midsentence to accommodate what my partner just said.  It’s always important to respond to what people say rather than just wait to talk.  I began the sentence saying “Well we are…” and he mentioned the floor being wet and I finished the sentence “in the 69 aisle,” for a full sentence of “Well we are in the 69 aisle.”  The other instance was when a cute girl passing me said “Hey too-tall” and I answered before she could even finish, “Hey baby.”  Everyone began laughing and I apologized, “I’m sorry, that came out too fast.”  She said that it was okay and that she liked it, but I was apologizing more to my lead than to her, partly because it put her in an awkward position as a person of responsibility and partly because we were trying to keep the flirtatious thing just between us.
 
The only problem I can see I had while working in the Vault was that I was a bit risqué, but you have to be if you want to be a PA.  I told my partner about lines and how I always cross over them, have a look around, then hop back over and just hope no one noticed.  I got my single warning from my temp agency when a woman with an accent thought I was making fun of her when I corrected her on the pronunciation of some names.  I told another woman that if she brought in éclairs for food day I’d hug her, which she did, and I attempted the hug.  She ducked out of it and I smoothly recovered with a casual lean against the shelf.  She felt a bit embarrassed for me so she said she’d bring in more éclairs for me some time.  She later tried to have a heart-to-heart with me to tell me it was inappropriate to just hug people out of the blue.  I remember ignoring her and thinking “How about I change the world to where I’m the one who determines what’s acceptable socially.”  I prided myself on having a big head and not having a single heart-to-heart while I worked there, even though I thought it would be inevitable with my lead.  But no, everything was conveyed through flirtatious means.  You must treat yourself as a conduit for the happiness of others.
 
Part of that is being quiet.  I came up with a great motto for PAs after my world accelerator phase and society placed mischievous reminders of sex acts all around me.  The motto is “Be careful when you talk, because every time you open your mouth it presents an opportunity for someone to stick a dick in it.”  Anyway you slice it, you’re always moving toward or away from a penis or toward or away from a vagina/butt/mouth.  This is called ultimate deciphering of body language.
 
What I consider the biggest edge for PAs is quiet confidence.  This is what separates the mass PAs from the one person at a time PAs.  When you enter a new social environment you must establish your role as a “will display social ability when requested but other than that will work hard quietly” person.  This will get people wondering what you’re after.  Is he happy because he wants to get laid?  To gain money?  Power?  Attention?  If you’re consistent and keep your penis in your pants in the early going, eventually they’ll eliminate all those possibilities and realize you’re happy to spread happiness.  I wasn’t at the CRC to make friends and I in fact did not make very many friends; I was there to change the world.  I wanted the majority of my coworkers to think I was too good to be their friend so I could lead by example in working hard.  My male lead got the message quickly; after the first few days, he began to expect me two hours early and was ready with an assignment for me.  When I started there, I would wait silently by to talk to a lead when they were talking with another worker.  By my last day there I was able to walk up while two managers were discussing something important and they would quickly stop the conversation so I could pick one of them to speak to.  I remember two coworkers that either didn’t get the picture or were being defiant about me and Colby, who wasn’t on my side originally, telling them “Hey guys, let’s see what Chard needs first, then you can keep talking.”  I had found my niche at the top of the Vault’s societal ladder; I liked being there, my coworkers liked me being there, and I know we were all envisioning big things for the CRC.  There’s no feeling like being at break with everyone one day and the conversation being blah and joining the group a week later and the conversation being exuberant, maintaining silence the whole time as the conduit for the happiness of others.  I wanted to smile at my lead and tell her “This place is so weird.  Everyone’s changing,” with a wink, but I never got the chance.
 
That about does it for the PA phase, which is about wit and charm, and it’s time to move on to the world accelerator phase, which is about body language.  Reading this so far you may have certain impressions about me, but the main one I hope to impart is that I’m a man who, at least at one point in his life, had decent social ability.  Reading on you may begin to wonder how the same person who wrote about mood accelerators and people accelerators can now start saying these strange things and expect me to believe him.  Just remember there are things out there science is still working on explaining and that it’s always a possibility that everything is a hallucination made up by your brain to entertain your conscious.
 
I was kind of sure I would have some effect on the world when Megan was describing the different people who worked with us at the CRC and when she came to me, all she could say was that I was an odd duck.  That was halfway through my two-week tenure at the CRC.  One week later, I was absolutely certain I had an idea that would spread like a virus and change the world at a mud volleyball tournament my friends invited me to.  The method was that I would perfect my body language for every situation, and in turn everyone in the world’s body language would become perfect as well.  I did indeed perfect my body language if only for a moment; as for the world, something completely different happened.  The night before the tournament I visited my friend’s apartment, wondering how long it would take for him to notice I had changed.  It didn’t take long for him to see I was a bit more quick-witted than usual and he could definitely see that his cat settled on my lap and would not move.  Later he started gently pushing his cat around after it finally got up, watching its body language and glancing over at me.  He saw I was well into the social game and he wanted to join in.  When we were about to crash, him on his bed and me on his couch, I finally broke the silence on what was going on and said, “You know, two weeks of work can really change a person.”  The law of attraction brought him over to me and he brushed against my feet dangling over the couch’s armrest.  We talked a little bit about what was going on, then he went to bed while I stayed awake all night on his couch.  I didn’t catch any sleep the previous night either, I was just too excited to sleep and I didn’t fatigue after being up 50 straight hours, and it went on for one more night.  I began to wonder if we even needed sleep.
 
We left early on the morning of the mud volleyball tournament.  On the way I came to the realization, based on how fast my friend was catching on, that becoming an expert in exuding powerful body language doesn’t take years of studying and practice; it just takes some time in the presence of a WA.  When we arrived we met with our group.  A girl in our group named Vicki who played me every time we met continued to do so.  She walked on by and said “Chard, pose for the camera.”  So I whipped out a pose and she continued to walk by, ignoring me.  I wasn’t quite down for being played at the moment, so I walked up to her and said, “Vicki, I’m ready for my picture.”  She looked up at me and said “Oh I was just joking.”  I walked around the group to her and said, “Hah!  I caught you in a lie!”  She gave me a look then said “Oh, shut up.”
 
As the tournament moved on, we lost two of the most pathetic but most fun matched I ever played.  I got plenty of smiles from the opposing team and the judge threw witty comments my way to see how I would respond.  This is where you’re going to have to bear with me for a bit because this is when I became aware of the social fabric.  People around me began to act in slightly predictable ways with the focus on me without them even realizing it.  My teammates would say my name one after another in quick succession, sometimes two in a row, sometimes three in a row.  Also, they began directing me, telling me where to stand and me moving right as the words came out of their mouths.  It was as if they were trying to perfect my body language for me.
 
Other than that brief whiff, I didn’t sense the social fabric again until the next day.  In the meantime, I came up with my favorite way to approach people.  You walk up to someone, catching them slightly off-guard, and say “I’m aware of body language, and this conversation may startle you.  I’m sorry did I startle you?”  The answer is almost always yes.  I shared this idea with a group of kids and we started our own spontaneous flash mob.  We began making fun of all the people looking our way, yelling “Staring people!  Guy in the white bandana, you’re not staring yet!  Look this way, everyone else is!”  At that moment I planned to gather everyone not currently into one group and have them cheer for one team while I was alone at the other end cheering for the opposing team.  This I was unable to do, and I would like to issue this challenge to anyone who thinks he has the skill:  don’t go online and arrange a flash mob; instead, go alone into a public place and see if you have the ability to get everyone there into one group.  This is the holy grail of powerful body language.
 
I was able to use the law of attraction to draw a couple of people directly to me.  The first was the guy that actually ran the tournament.  He walked up, smiling, and we shook hands before a word was spoken.  When I found out who he was, I thought this was too good and brought him over to my team and introduced him.  After a short talk I wanted to display exclusivity, so I told him we didn’t want to keep him from his job.  The other person was a cute girl with freckles who offered to wash me down with the hose.  My teammates later chided me for not doing more than touching her shoulder.
 
After the tournament, my friend drove me to my car.  I don’t remember all that was said, but I know he likened what was going on to telepathy, which I hadn’t thought of.  I also remember I was able to take him through a whole range of emotions in a very short amount of time.  I did this by asking him every time he switched emotions, “Why are you getting so <emotion>?”  He eventually laughed and just said “Why are you drilling me?”  After sharing some more of my ideas with him, like attention being a drug hot girls are addicted to, he said, “I can have anything I want.”  I didn’t have the heart to tell him that this was going to change everybody and the only difference between him and everyone else was how close he was to the guy who started it all, me.  Later I would discover that this expectation, too, was dashed.
 
On the way home by myself I began matching the voice on the radio as soon as it sang the words to a song I didn’t even know.  As it turns out, you can exactly copy, maybe flubbing a word here and there, voices based on intonation and inflection.  Do it well enough and a tingling sensation will travel through your brain.  Back at home I headed downstairs while my mom and grandma were talking at the kitchen table.  It didn’t take long for Mom to invite me upstairs.  This is the part of the story I don’t like so much as the idea I came up with is new and exciting for younger people but threatening for older people, so my parents weren’t as gung-ho as my friends about this idea that body language can change the world.
 
Here’s the interesting part about body language:  most people are unaware of when theirs changes.  I sat at the kitchen table and began speaking about how to create instant intimacy with anyone you meet.  You just let them know you’re aware of their body language and afterward it’s like, what can they do but submit then try out powerful body language of their own in a stand-with-hands-at-sides/on-hips, deep-eye-contact, projected-deliberate-voice-in-a-group-or-quiet-unassuming-voice-one-on-one-fest with you.  I then talked about being able to get everyone in a public place together into one group, and my grandma said, “You can’t do that Chard.  I love you, but you just can’t do that.”  Since she was speaking loudly I asked her, “Why are you getting angry?”  And thus began the same emotional range my friend showed earlier.  “I’m not getting angry.”  “Now you’re in denial.”  Then she gave a frustrated “Ooh,” crossed her arms and turned the other direction.  I said, “Well now you’re alienating yourself.”  Now here’s the funny part:  she turned halfway back to me when I said that.
 
The body language change in my mom was more subtle, but still there.  She went completely still, not moving an inch, and just made eye contact with me, tearing up in the eyes.  I did an attitude comparison with Grandma and asked my mom whose attitude would attract more friends.  Then she said something weird, “Who needs a bunch of friends?”  I couldn’t stand the cloud of negativity around them, so I pretended to concede to my grandma, stood up with a wink to my mom, then headed to my room.  I predicted that they would be following soon after, and sure enough, here came my grandma to apologize with my mom not far behind.  I had reached excitement level and didn’t want to lose it with the sad faces around me so I left home to walk around a store, basking in the glow of the social chemical and enjoying the smiling faces.
 
After another sleepless night, I began the conversation anew with Mom in the morning, me trying to get her to join for the ride and her antagonizing me along the way.  She even gave herself away once when she gave me an exasperated look when I told her her speech was becoming more deliberate.  When my dad came home, this is when I started utilizing the push-pull social dynamic.  If you want to send waves through the social fabric, try this:  follow exactly people’s movements in a public place by allowing them to push you when they approach and pull you when they walk away.  I use push-pull to also refer to quickly swapping from a slight personal space intrusion gesture to a widening the gap between us gesture.  What I did with my dad was walk slowly toward him (push).  After I got so close, he made eye contact (counter-push) and I ran off to a back corner of the house (pull), saying something I don’t remember (push again).  He turned back to the fridge and I approached him again and repeated the same running away motion when eye contact was made.  He then sat at the table with Mom, where she said, “I don’t know how to communicate,” so I began talking for her.  A couple of things I mentioned were how this was the greatest social experiment in the history of the planet and that Dad wouldn’t have to worry about financial problems again.
 
As an MA or PA, the law of attraction only works directly.  As a WA, the law of attraction works both directly and indirectly.  As an example, when I walked outside, my neighbor’s dog ran all the way into our yard and jumped at me, tail wagging, something he never did before and hasn’t done since.  That was direct.  Indirectly, a kid followed the dog, running straight at me until he realized he was about to step in our yard.
 
Speaking of dogs, it’s time I tell you about my first encounter with ESP.  My dog had long before recognized my strong body language, coming to lie down next to me anytime I was in the recliner.  Now, when we were outside a certain distance from each other, we perfectly approached each other.  After meeting up, we rubbed heads and the neurons in my brain fired at the spot our heads touched.  It happened completely involuntarily, the first of three instances during this time that I had no control over my body.  All I could say immediately after the encounter was, “Wow!”
 
Later on, I got a call from my temp agency telling me about an incident at work, and since I had had my single warning I was done on that assignment.  With everything that was going on, the irony that the only job I ever got fired from was the one that I gained the social respect of every coworker slipped into the back of my mind.  So I properly thanked her and hung up.
 
Not to be deterred, I wanted to be around the people who all helped make it happen.  I could sense the changing of the world coming, and as I was heading out I caught on the TV a newscast on the “Charm Offense” and wondered if they were already reporting what was going on.  It also showed a bunch of kids cheering with a “One World” stone sign behind them.  Only later did I realize they were talking about China preparing for the Olympics, not a global phenomenon of people becoming more charming.
 
I stopped at a gas station and after walking out the door noticed a couple of girls who wouldn’t make eye contact.  So I did what I highly recommend you try sometime:  I crossed my arms and turned my back to them as I walked past, making fun of them.  Then as I was pumping gas I tried a push-pull on a girl at a pump next to me.  I stood clapping at her (push) then as soon as an annoyed look crossed her face I skipped away (pull).  When I returned I greeted her and she turned to me with a smile and said, “Hi.”


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