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What's the etiquette nowadays? DS17 is getting to know a great girl. There's lots of texting, calling, and doing things together usually but not always with friends. When it's just the two out, how is that supposed to work with costs? I never felt comfortable having another person exclusively foot the bill and liked the equal footing of "going dutch" in a relationship, especially early on. I know that I'm uber practical and not all that romantic though. (DH opening my door just makes no sense to me.🤷) Maybe other girls appreciate that gesture? They both work and have spending money, so no one is just a student or anything. What do you all think?

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When I was dating my husband, I had a better job than him so I ended up paying most of the time. But he paid enough times that it did not feel like he was just freeloading... If we had gone with only what he could afford, we would have done a lot of walking around the building Barnes & Noble was in (we did that too, and it was fun! But I wanted to go eat at restaurants and linger where the weather did not get in the way and we could sit down!)

 

Your son and the girl can work it out between them.

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5 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I think they are too young to date.  where is this going? What is the point or the goal?   Sorry feeling cranky tonight.  
 

basically Dutch is good.
 

All I can say is they're both mature for their age and seem to be doing a great job navigating their interest in one another. Dating at this age isn't something we've encouraged, but they're also both close enough to being legal adults that it's not like they're children either. 

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I don't know that there is any "norm" regarding what young people do.  I think there is a wide variation depending on the frequency of going out, the financial resources of both parties, and the personalities involved.  DD said that she was not going to go out with a young man (who had seemed nice and to have quite a bit in common with her) after one date because she said, "He always wants to pay for everything..."  It was broader than that in that she didn't see their values lining up in that he wants what she considers a much more conservative lifestyle than she wants.  

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If he invites her, and he goes to her home and picks her up, he pays.

If they meet at a mutually determined location, each having driven alone, it's dutch.

If I had had a son, I would have taught him to open doors for adults, for anyone who seemed infirm, maybe out of the kindness of his heart, definitely for a young woman he was romantically involved with. I would have taught him to go to the door when he was taking out a young woman rather than sitting in his car and honking the horn. I would have taught him that if he invites her out, he pays. Whether I understand how or why certain behaviors have become expected, it is that they are expected, and I would have taught him that.

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1 hour ago, Scarlett said:

I think they are too young to date.  where is this going? What is the point or the goal?   Sorry feeling cranky tonight.  
 

basically Dutch is good.
 

I am surrounded by people that have been married for decades that started dating in their teens. My own brother has been married over 25 years and started dating his wife when they were 15.  My in laws have been married 60 years and started dating at 17. Those are just two but there are so many that I just do not understand this sentiment that they are too young and it’s silly. 

OP, my own dh and I alternated who paid. We both worked and it always seemed silly that he should be solely responsible so we shared. 

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1 hour ago, vonfirmath said:

One more point about my husband and I (when dating) -- he paid when he invited me and I paid when I initiated. So we could keep track of what we could afford and make sure our plans aligned.

 

This is pretty much how it worked for me, and how we talked about dating with our kids. Basically I encouraged them to be mindful that things were fairly equitable, finances of each person considered.  In my daughter's case, her boyfriend lives about an hour away (each way) and she has driving issues, so he always comes to get her. So, I think she pays for coffees/meals more often, because he is paying for gas and wear and tear on the car. I would not want either of my kids buying all the time, or being the recipient all the time.  

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48 minutes ago, Joker2 said:

I am surrounded by people that have been married for decades that started dating in their teens. My own brother has been married over 25 years and started dating his wife when they were 15.  My in laws have been married 60 years and started dating at 17. Those are just two but there are so many that I just do not understand this sentiment that they are too young and it’s silly. 

OP, my own dh and I alternated who paid. We both worked and it always seemed silly that he should be solely responsible so we shared. 

Even though it's not my experience (was 24 when I started dating DH), I do know this happens. One just never know what the future holds!

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My kids have always split and/or alternated.

DS because he's usually fairly broke, so any girl dating him knows this, lol. Luckily for them, DS is also pretty creative at coming up with cheap, fun date ideas. 😅

DDs because they both felt VERY strongly that they weren't going to let any guy pay their entire way everywhere. They didn't want to feel indebted in any way to any boy & felt it was a slippery slope to let a guy always pay when they go out. So. There's that. 😂

A couple guys' moms have tried to insist to their son that he should always pick up the tab, which was sweet... but my girls always vetoed that.

Some boys insisted on paying. Those boys did not get a repeat date.

So, even if your ds decides he wants to always pay - if the girl balks at that... he should probably listen & respect her POV.

Edited by easypeasy
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We just watched the episode of Black-ish where this was discussed. The takeaway in our family is that Dre (father) came off as old fashioned and hopelessly out of touch insisting that Junior (son, obviously) pay for his dates, even when his date offers to.
 

Truly, the whole patriarchal thing just needs to stop. Thankfully it seems the current young generations know it. 

Edited by MEmama
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I thought splitting fairly was common sense. Even something like a 70/30 split where the girl picks up the tab sometimes isn’t so annoying to me. But, what my boys ran into in high school was the expectation that a girl would ask to go to an expensive restaurant and boy would pick up the tab. This expectation came from the parents down. It basically made my boys undatable in high school because they could not keep up. They worked and had to pay for a lot of their own college and $80 dinners for teenagers just weren’t a thing we did. 
 

I’m glad to be past this stage. It is shortsighted because the qualities that made my boys unable to lavish money on girls are some of the things that make them really good adults. They were hard working, knew the value of money, how to be content with less expensive activities, etc. Eliminating them as possible partners was really short sighted. Lol. What is so impressive about a kid throwing money around? 
 

All that to say, I think it is totally unreasonable for a boy to pick up the tab all the time. Especially when it is a long term relationship. Why is my 17 yo paying for activities for another 17 year old for years? A first date, sure. But as things settle in there has to be a way for things to be more equitable. 

Where I live,  however, that is not the prevailing thought. I have found that I am the outlier and I definitely don’t know the proper way things are done and letting a girl pay for anything ever is disrespectful. I don’t get it and am glad this stage is coming to an end for my family. So I definitely think there should be a way for things to be more even but sometimes cultural norms will decide that for you no matter what you think!

Edited by teachermom2834
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My oldest is now 26 but even going back to when she was a teenager, dutch seems to be the norm around here.   

Since they are already talking quite a big and hanging out together, I would suggest they talk about it so each knows how the other feels about it and if they massively disagree, see if they can work out a compromise or if its a deal-breaker.  

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I’m realizing I’ve never had an actual discussion about this with my kids. So far, only my dds have dated. I’ve always asked them if they had or needed money if they were going out. I’d do the same with my boys. I kind of expect them to work it out with whoever they’re with, dating or platonic. (It was never unusual for me to go out with a friend and alternate tabs rather than always splitting.)

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42 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

I thought splitting fairly was common sense. Even something like a 70/30 split where the girl picks up the tab sometimes isn’t so annoying to me. But, what my boys ran into in high school was the expectation that a girl would ask to go to an expensive restaurant and boy would pick up the tab. This expectation came from the parents down. It basically made my boys undatable in high school because they could not keep up. They worked and had to pay for a lot of their own college and $80 dinners for teenagers just weren’t a thing we did. 
 

I’m glad to be past this stage. It is shortsighted because the qualities that made my boys unable to lavish money on girls are some of the things that make them really good adults. They were hard working, knew the value of money, how to be content with less expensive activities, etc. Eliminating them as possible partners was really short sighted. Lol. What is so impressive about a kid throwing money around? 
 

All that to say, I think it is totally unreasonable for a boy to pick up the tab all the time. Especially when it is a long term relationship. Why is my 17 yo paying for activities for another 17 year old for years? A first date, sure. But as things settle in there has to be a way for things to be more equitable. 

Where I live,  however, that is not the prevailing thought. I have found that I am the outlier and I definitely don’t know the proper way things are done and letting a girl pay for anything ever is disrespectful. I don’t get it and am glad this stage is coming to an end for my family. So I definitely think there should be a way for things to be more even but sometimes cultural norms will decide that for you no matter what you think!

I wonder if it's an area where people hold more "traditional" (for lack of a better word) ideas and comes from the days when girls lived at home with their parents till marriage and did not work, so would have no $$ for dating.  

Years ago - in the '80s maybe? - a friend of mine was dating a guy from, I think, Lebanon. Every time he picked her up for a date, he brought a gift for her. That was the way things were done where he lived (or maybe just his family, I don't remember *all* the details). They were not inconsequential gifts like candy or a little bouquet, but things like a pair of shoes. Finally she told him to stop because she didn't want him to reach a point he could no longer date her! I would imagine he would have a hard time letting her pay for any of their dates. She, by the way, lived on her own, had a job, etc.

 

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2 minutes ago, marbel said:

I wonder if it's an area where people hold more "traditional" (for lack of a better word) ideas and comes from the days when girls lived at home with their parents till marriage and did not work, so would have no $$ for dating.  

 

 

Most definitely. It is also an area where young marriage is a goal so dating in high school is about seeking a life partner and often there is dependence on the parents to continue supporting the couple. So it is a cultural disconnect for  me. In my mind, a teenager buying expensive gifts and paying for all entertainment isn't really impressive because it is the parent's money. But I guess that is a good way of filtering out who would be good to join families with. ??

I'm a fish out of water. Nothing new! My kids have managed to figure it out and have long term healthy relationships in college and beyond.

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My son and his girlfriend have been together for over a year and a half. They don't go out a lot (pandemic, homebodies, etc) but when they do, DS usually pays, but his gf tries to. They both work, they both buy each other small gifts when think see something that makes them think of each other, etc. FDIL probably buys him more "gifty" things.

When DH and I were dating, I was a single stay at home mom. He was already successful in his career and paid all the time. 

Edited by hippymamato3
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On 12/3/2020 at 11:22 PM, Scarlett said:

 

basically Dutch is good.

17 is too young to date? I am so glad that DS met his gf. They met as freshman, "dated" and by dated then I mean they texted a little and DS was too shy to see her in person and then broke up, and then started dating for real at 16. There is very little doubt in my mind that their end game is marriage. 

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3 minutes ago, hippymamato3 said:

17 is too young to date? I am so glad that DS met his gf. They met as freshman, "dated" and by dated then I mean they texted a little and DS was too shy to see her in person and then broke up, and then started dating for real at 16. There is very little doubt in my mind that their end game is marriage. 

I am sorry I even said anything in this thread because it was a total t/j.  But I don’t think most 17 year olds know themselves yet to know what kind of mate they want.  Or how to discern various people and situations.  Of course exceptions abound.  

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1 minute ago, Scarlett said:

I am sorry I even said anything in this thread because it was a total t/j.  But I don’t think most 17 year olds know themselves yet to know what kind of mate they want.  Or how to discern various people and situations.  Of course exceptions abound.  

I don't know what t/j is? 

 

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2 hours ago, hippymamato3 said:

Oh gotcha. I'd actually love a topic exploring the idea of when/how teen dating is appropriate. But maybe it's too hot. 

I think it depends on expectations of what dating is. I know many people see dating as a means to an end (marriage), and I suppose it is even for my family. I am not a believer in courting. But, I am fine if my kids date people they don't expect to marry. If they are having fun, why not? 

Now, I understand why other people don't like that idea. My oldest has been dating her bf for 3 years now. It has been her only bf, and he was her 2nd date. 

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DS and his girlfriend (16 and 17) alternate who pays when they're out together.  They also seem to be taking turns planning what to do, driving, etc.  when they are spending the day together.  They talk about finances kind of a lot, actually, and are working together to save money for some big plans for next summer, so they're thoughtful about what they do. 

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I've said it before and I'll say it again: DH and I started dating at 16 and were married at 22. We've been married almost 25 years. My parents married at 17 and 18 and just celebrated their 50th. My brother and his wife started dating at around 17, married at 22, and have been married almost 30 years. 

I've done a lot of really stupid things in my life but going out with and marrying my DH was by far the best decision I ever made.

IMO, if a young man invites a young lady out, he should pay. If she invites him, she should pay. 

Edited by MercyA
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37 minutes ago, MercyA said:

I've said it before and I'll say it again: DH and I started dating at 16 and were married at 22. We've been married almost 25 years. My parents married at 17 and 18 and just celebrated their 50th. My brother and his wife started dating at around 17, married at 22, and have been married almost 30 years. 

I've done a lot of really stupid things in my life but going out with and marrying my DH was by far the best decision I ever made.

IMO, if a young man invites a young lady out, he should pay. If she invites him, she should pay. 

I used to think it was CRAZY to marry the first boyfriend/girlfriend. In fact, I did it myself even though I thought it was a dumb idea, and it turned out (in my case) I was right.  Early marriage, early divorce; it lasted less than 3 years. Then a lot of years of loneliness and behavior I am not proud of, till marriage at age 39. 

But, one of my kids seems on track to marry their first. Met at 16 at summer camp, had no contact till the next year at camp, then were friends for a year, then, because they were long distance (50+ miles and neither driving at the time), they got to know each other by phone call and text. By the 3rd year at camp, I think they were pretty solid. They have a solid foundation of shared faith and moral/ethical values. I would be thrilled if this were to become permanent. After college graduation.  

So much depends on maturity. 

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I have given it a lot of thought.....and the thing is two 16 year olds with shared values and lifestyles can work out. The problem is kids that age often do not date based on that.  Thus they end up with someone completely unsuited for them.  And even if the lifestyle a value is the same.....I don’t know. I just think it is pretty risky. I know a family who let their 17 year  old marry a 27 year old. The decision was made when she was barely 15.  I just thinks that weird.  

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3 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I have given it a lot of thought.....and the thing is two 16 year olds with shared values and lifestyles can work out. The problem is kids that age often do not date based on that.  Thus they end up with someone completely unsuited for them.  And even if the lifestyle a value is the same.....I don’t know. I just think it is pretty risky. I know a family who let their 17 year  old marry a 27 year old. The decision was made when she was barely 15.  I just thinks that weird.  

yeah, I don't think 17 year olds should be marrying 27 year olds or even dating them.  That is inappropriate.  But two 17 year olds is way different.  That being said,  I hope my kids wait until adulthood to seriously date.

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25 minutes ago, hjffkj said:

yeah, I don't think 17 year olds should be marrying 27 year olds or even dating them.  That is inappropriate.  But two 17 year olds is way different.  That being said,  I hope my kids wait until adulthood to seriously date.

Well, I mean if you think two 17 year olds are ok to date why not 17/27.  I mean at least one is mature.  I am not saying I agree with it,,,,but I wonder what bugs me about it.  

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6 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Well, I mean if you think two 17 year olds are ok to date why not 17/27.  I mean at least one is mature.  I am not saying I agree with it,,,,but I wonder what bugs me about it.  

the dynamic of that age difference with one being a minor is predatory in my opinion.  Especially if it started at age 15.

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5 minutes ago, hjffkj said:

the dynamic of that age difference with one being a minor is predatory in my opinion.  Especially if it started at age 15.

I mean, why?  And please understand I agree with you, but why does that make it predatory?   

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2 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I mean, why?  And please understand I agree with you, but why does that make it predatory?   

I think in general that is just too big a gap in life experience (not just the calendar age).  A 27 year old may have graduated college, may be settled in a career... while a 17 year old is still in or just finishing high school. They are just so different! But give it a few years and those difference may have faded.

Now that said, I knew a couple in which the husband is 10 years older than his wife; they married I think when he was 28 and she 18, and they had met several years earlier (at church, not that that matters exactly but for reference of how they met). I never knew details of how/when they got together as a couple, but they were the sweetest people and so happy together.  They have at least two kids now and while we are not in touch, I hear of them from time to time and they are doing great, 12 or so years on.  

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1 minute ago, marbel said:

I think in general that is just too big a gap in life experience (not just the calendar age).  A 27 year old may have graduated college, may be settled in a career... while a 17 year old is still in or just finishing high school. They are just so different! But give it a few years and those difference may have faded.

Now that said, I knew a couple in which the husband is 10 years older than his wife; they married I think when he was 28 and she 18, and they had met several years earlier (at church, not that that matters exactly but for reference of how they met). I never knew details of how/when they got together as a couple, but they were the sweetest people and so happy together.  They have at least two kids now and while we are not in touch, I hear of them from time to time and they are doing great, 12 or so years on.  

See my problem is not the age difference.  It is how young she was.  Another couple I know...she was 19 and he was 29 when they started dating.  They married within 6 months.  I think they are so so well matched.  I adore them.  But the 17 year old and the 27 year old.  Not so much.  

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9 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I mean, why?  And please understand I agree with you, but why does that make it predatory?   

Because a 15-year-old, no matter how mature, is not going to have the life experiences of a 25-year-old. They are not going to have the choices of a 25-year-old. They are not going to have the experience of adult independence. And I am using the example of 15/25 because you said that's when the decision was made.

I think 17/27 is likely predatory also, because why on earth could he not just wait one year for her to be of age? Because she'll have choices then? She'll be able to live on her own then? Maybe, maybe not, but a 27-year-old with a lick of sense (and consideration) would wait. 

Even in many times and places where 15/16/17 for marriage wasn't that unusual, someone in their mid 20s going after someone in their mid teens was often looked at askance. Heck, my mom got married at not-quite-17, but my dad was 18, not 28. My sister got married at not-quite-18, but her dh was 18. My brother got married at 18, and his wife was 17. So, lots of early marriages in my family, but no big age differences. 

My next-older sister and I did not follow the pattern, lol. I was 25 when I got married, but I certainly dated way before I wanted to get married. It was fun and did me no apparent harm. 

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13 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

See my problem is not the age difference.  It is how young she was.  Another couple I know...she was 19 and he was 29 when they started dating.  They married within 6 months.  I think they are so so well matched.  I adore them.  But the 17 year old and the 27 year old.  Not so much.  

That's what I understood her to mean when she said the differences might fade in a few years - 17/27 is very problematic, 19/29 usually less so, 29/39 no big deal (until years later, when the older one gets to retire a decade earlier, lol). 

8 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

And so I come back to 15, 16, 17, year old is not mature enough to make a decision about romance, dating, marriage.  Whether her date is her age or 10 years older...she isn't mature enough.  

Absolutely agree, which is why she would not have been able to do it unless her parents signed for her. I don't have good things to say about parents agreeing that their 15-yr-old can seriously date a 27-yr-old and plan marriage, and signing for that marriage when she is 17. 

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10 minutes ago, katilac said:

That's what I understood her to mean when she said the differences might fade in a few years - 17/27 is very problematic, 19/29 usually less so, 29/39 no big deal (until years later, when the older one gets to retire a decade earlier, lol). 

Absolutely agree, which is why she would not have been able to do it unless her parents signed for her. I don't have good things to say about parents agreeing that their 15-yr-old can seriously date a 27-yr-old and plan marriage, and signing for that marriage when she is 17. 

But her parents would have had to sign whether the husband was 18 or 27.  

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I'm just getting to this age, and I've got 2 girls first before my boys are old enough to date.  I've told my oldest to offer to pay her part,  and if the boy wants to pay, she can accept.  After a few dates,  she should pay for a date herself.  Anything over $20 she should pay for herself (this amount would change as she gets older, but I don't want a 17 year old having to pay $50 fir a date).  

Last year I taught a teen class on personal finance and dating costs was a big one.  I repeatedly told them that dating was expensive and should not a be on a boy to always pay.  Its also a time for you to watch how the other person manages their money!  One assignment was to plan a very cheap but fun date- I took in Valentines day sales fliers- I think all the kids had fun with that one!  We priced out a few expensive dates, too, to compare.   

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2 hours ago, Scarlett said:

I mean, why?  And please understand I agree with you, but why does that make it predatory?   

 

2 hours ago, Scarlett said:

See my problem is not the age difference.  It is how young she was.  Another couple I know...she was 19 and he was 29 when they started dating.  They married within 6 months.  I think they are so so well matched.  I adore them.  But the 17 year old and the 27 year old.  Not so much.  

 

Because with that sort of age difference one is literally a child and one is an adult and has been for years.  It creates a huge power difference and power differences can and often do lead to abuse. This is different than kids getting together young and (hopefully) growing more mature together.

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Just now, Katy said:

 

 

Because with that sort of age difference one is literally a child and one is an adult and has been for years.  It creates a huge power difference and power differences can and often do lead to abuse. This is different than kids getting together young and (hopefully) growing more mature together.

Yes. But can’t the argument be made that at least one was mature?

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Just now, Scarlett said:

Yes. But can’t the argument be made that at least one was mature?

I'd argue that if he was that mature he wouldn't be attracted to a child who is in no way his equal.  I'm not saying he wouldn't find her attractive or charming or cute, but I don't think a mature person would be attracted to a child as a spouse.  It's not normal, it's creepy.

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Just now, Katy said:

I'd argue that if he was that mature he wouldn't be attracted to a child who is in no way his equal.  I'm not saying he wouldn't find her attractive or charming or cute, but I don't think a mature person would be attracted to a child as a spouse.  It's not normal, it's creepy.

Ok well,you are making my point, that she is a child.  And she would be a child regardless of whether the boy/man was 18 or 28.  So two children getting together is better than a child and an adult?

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