House Hunt Struggles 


When did it become so expensive to live in Izmir? 

We’ve been on the hunt for an apartment for a few months, just recently visiting locations and whatnot since the prices have been going down for the winter season. 

But dang. If it isn’t expensive, still!

Hubby and I work quite close to each other (he is at a factory and Im at a school, just two metro stops apart). So valid living options are centered in one 5km radius.  You think it would be easy, since there are many new apartments, old sites, etc to choose from.  I mean, there are “for rent” signs everywhere. 

But the PRICE!! 

Not many places have shown up on our radar for under 1000₺/mo, and that’s not even considering proximity to amenities, public transport, pazar locations, etc.  That’s not even taking into account the size (I’m talking tiny in some cases!) of the apartment and its having proper heating systems or not (we need that natural gas!). 

Like, base price for a poor looking, run down, old apartment on the first floor on this side of town is minimum, 900₺. Woah now.  Woah. 

For folks that live in Istanbul, you’re probably laughing at me.  Like, that’s not bad for living in the city.  But considering you make more in Istanbul… We do want to save money from our pay checks, and hope to buy a car and stuff one day in the near future. 

So far the two places we seriously considered from sahibinden were a fantastic price, but the location was terrible.  I mean,  you’re going to get kidnapped on the road terrible. 

And so we continue to live in a room in my in laws apartment… More about that later. 

Note: between work and looking for an apartment, time to write has gone down to near zero.  I hope to pick up soon! Sorry! Check my Instagram for more activity starting today! I ran out of data too fast last month… 

This is My Life Now

It hit me last weekend, you know? 

This is my life now. 

When we were invited to a sunnet on Sunday night, and my response was “I can’t,  I have work in the morning”.  That’s when I realized things are starting to become normal. 

I was writing just a few months ago about how I felt like I was in some twilight zone.  When I first came to Turkey it was like a vacation, I wanted to do everything and go everywhere. Then I was in a rut, not doing anything (not by choice), and not leaving the house for weeks at a time. 

That was a dark time. 

But now I’m starting to find that balance that people have when they live a normal life.  I have work responsibilities, come home, clean and cook,  get up and do it again. On weekends I do stuff with the hubby or see friends.  When did I flip the switch towards normal? 

I mean,  we aren’t totally settled in to our lives yet. We still live with my in laws,  but they’ve been gone for a few months at the summer house so we’ve had more space. Before you know it they’ll be back and maybe their presence will light a fire under hubby’s ass to get us out of here. 

But then again,  now they are talking about moving us downstairs into the gross bottom floor apartment. But that’s a story for another post.  

In the meantime, I’ll keep striving for a new normal. 

My First Day As An English Teacher in Turkey

Another long title for yall, but what can  I do? 

I’m writing this while I wait for my hubby to get home from work so we can have dinner and talk about my first day, 

And what a day it was! 

For those of you who don’t know, 

1. I live in İzmir, Turkey 

2. My only experience teaching ENGLISH (I taught microbiology lab in uni) was my supervised teaching while getting my CELTA a few months ago… And I taught adults. 

So my stomach was doing little flips when I walked dutifully into my first 5th grade class with lesson plan and board markers.  I mean, we’re only doing ice breakers at first, so what’s the worst that can happen? 

OH but I wait. There was no board.  

That’s OK, we’re using smart boards (glorified TV screens mounted on the wall that runs as a touch screen computer).  OH BUT WAIT 

They deleted every dang thing off the system. Even paint.  Which was there before the holidays. 

So there I am, staring down a group of 10-11 year old, wearing bright red (I thought I’d be able to keep their attention with red) with nothing to do.  My entire lesson depended on the white boards being in. So what did I do? I pulled out some dash darn pieces of computer paper and stuck them on the bulletin board.  Because I am woman, hear me improvise. 

 I was pretty amused that I had planned 4 stages to my lesson and we only got through 2. But the kids couldn’t tell, they loved me anyway. 

The next period I had 9th grade.  I like teenagers, since I’m used to 19/20 year olds. The lesson was OK, not exceptional but not a failure. And I had a board so that was nice. The kids were pretty good. 

I had a break before lunch and had a minute to gather my thoughts for the 4th grade class after our meal. 

The meal we couldn’t eat because there was a line going down the stairs and they ran out of cutlery because they couldn’t wash it fast enough for the 500+ people trying to eat at the same time. 

So we went to the canteen and paid for tost instead of the free lunch we’re due.  I’m sure this hiccup will be solved soon. 

So I go to the fourth grade class and they were quite rambunctious! They got a big kick out of my drawing on the board. God they wouldn’t stop talking! In Turkish! I struggled to keep them on task, but with 15 minutes left they were called to play outside. 

Then I missed a class because of a communication error. But no one was mad.  They didn’t have a board in that classroom anyway.. 

Or the paint application! 

School let the primary kids go early to ease their adjustment, so my last 2 classes were canceled.  

I’m anxious to see what 2nd grade is like! 

Hello Turkey, Bye bye rights

Well well well, it happened again.

When I entered this private school system, I was told I was free to wear my scarf.  Lo and behold, that wasn’t the case!  Two weeks into working and I’ve been hit with new restrictions:

  1. No black scarf, ever.
  2. Nothing but turban style is accepted.

Well, when did this happen I wonder?  And why? After filtering down the chain of command, the information arrived to my fellow English teacher.  The school principal told the English Dept chair, and they told my coworker, and she told me.  I mean, it was better coming from her mouth because we’ve already formed a relationship (and bless the English chairs heart, she did NOT want to broach this subject.  She knew right away how ridiculous it was).

So after four or five instances of wearing a black turban, I was told I can’t do that anymore because it’s seen as “political”.  I’m not sure how, but ok.  Turkey is pretty crazy so it’s probably true. And I wore a more traditional style (around the neck and down the back, not covering the shoulders) once because the turban looked bad with my outfit.  Apparently that was also unacceptable.  Um…?

While I am partially mad that this is an issue at all (after having a discussion before I even started that this wouldn’t be), I’m mostly mad because this wasn’t laid out at the very beginning. This is stuff I need to know from day 1.  Maybe this info was passed on from down high, I have no idea, but I can tell you now I don’t blame the English department crew.  They had nothing to do with it.  I just don’t like changes being thrown at me like this.

The Chair even called me to make sure I wasn’t upset or thought that anyone had complained or said bad things about me. She encouraged my right to make my own choice regarding covering vs not covering, but that she had to convey this information to me.

Like I said, I’m not mad at her.  Hell, I’m grateful for being able to wear my scarf at all in a school.  And I have no intention of quitting (even though some people live in a world where they don’t need to work, and assume I live there too), because there’s not much better that I can do right now. Most other schools (hell, even most industries) won’t let me wear a scarf at all.

Because when you’re in Turkey…it’s bye bye rights.

Working Girl

I’ve been keeping this very much under wraps, but since it is all official now, I will go ahead and let you all know…

I’m a productive member of Turkish society now!

I have a job!

Yes, as you probably guessed, it’s as an English teacher. I should put that CELTA to use, right?  And when the demand for native speaking English teachers is so high, it seems silly to deny a position I could do that pays pretty well.  Yes, it’s at a private school (koleji), since the requirements for state schools are different. Will it be permanent? If I like it- sure!

While I’m here, let me give a few tips to those who are looking to be English teachers in Turkey.  If you do a quick google search, you can see that a LOT of horror stories pop up.  By no means am I a pro, but I do know a few “red flags”.

  1. Work Permit.  In order to work in Turkey under ANY profession, you need a work permit.  You are not allowed to work until it COMES IN.  If a school tells you that you don’t need a permit- they are LYING. If they say you can start working after applying for a permit, they are LYING.  If they say you need to pay for your permit out of pocket- they are LYING! The only thing you have to pay (and even then, they should pay for it) is the fee that comes after you’ve been approved for the work permit (lsat year it was 200TL).  And they should be doing the application for you.  If any of these things come up, that’s a big red flag.
  2. Not requiring any certification.  Some schools say that you don’t need a certificate (or a good one) to teach “conversational” English because it’s not grammar and whatnot.  That may be kind of true, but it is sketch AS HELL.  If they don’t want a certificate from you for teaching (or they accept a sketchy one that has no clout), you may want to be wary about that position.
  3. Sign a contract you don’t understand.  A lot of schools will give you a contract in Turkish, even though you don’t speak the language.  Some may have a version in English, but not many do.  If they don’t give you time to have someone help you translate the contract, or give you time to think about it or seek outside counsel, then run.  Hell, even if they say they will explain it for you…you don’t know them! They may not tell you the whole truth!  It is your right to understand the contract before you sign it*.
  4. Unwilling to budge.  It they tell you xyz is part of the work they expect you to do, but your contract says otherwise…make a note on your contract.  If they won’t allow you to make changes (which, like the US, is legally binding when written in) even though they SAID that xyz is your actual case, then be wary.  They will say that each contract is standard because they are a corporation- but you have every right to make changes in pen.  If they won’t do it, then they are likely planning to hold you to the standards written in the contract- even if they say otherwise.

These are more than just my own findings.  While taking my CELTA I sought the advise of other English teachers in Turkey, and they confirmed my own thoughts.  While Turkey is a great country that I think everyone should experience once, it is just like anywhere else…and will take advantage of the naive.  Do your research and be prepared when looking for a teaching job here!  I believe there is a blacklist out there for native English teachers, where others list schools where they had a bad experience.

Good luck!

*in Turkish labor law, it is stated that you cannot be held to a contract you don’t understand/ was wrongly explained to you.  However, if you leave your job because of unfair work conditions or a contract you didn’t understand, you’ll lose your work permit/residency permit and have to leave the country.  So be forewarned!


An Uneventful Bayram and Pleasant Surprise! 

Sorry guys, no pictures this time… 

This last Kurban Bayram was very uneventful, unlike the one we had last year (which I documented with one post per Bayram day!).  All we did was get dragged around Bergama to see all the old family members (read: anneanne, teyze, and hala) and there was no big dinner like last time. No picnic. Not as many people sacrificed this year, because the cost of a lamb or cow just keeps going up! 

And of course there were family fights and drama, but I tend to walk away when that happens. 

But one thing I do want to share with you is my new favorite köfte joint in Dikili (a short 20 minute or so drive from Bergama)! 

Sorry again,  no pictures.  I just kind of sucked it down… 

It’s called Bay Gözlük and can be found down one of the side streets.  There is a main round about near the Dikili çarşı, and if you look at about 2 o’clock with your back to the sea, you’ll see the köfte shop. It’s quite small and old school, but amazing! I wasn’t looking forward to a köfte ekmek (I had wanted ayvalık tostu…) but I’m glad I went for the popular choice! 

The bread was soft and buttery and crammed with tomato, onion, and köfte.  Not one bite went meatless. Oh,  and the spice mix was something else! I swear I tasted turmeric and maybe a smidgen of ginger? And for 5₺ no less! 

But what brought the whole thing home was the pickles. The usta set a whole jar of sliced salatalık turşu on the table…

And when I pulled them out and tasted it… 

I could have sworn it was Vlassic.  That sweet, tangy, dill taste that I have been searching for this last year.  Here,  in front of me. And now all over my sandwich. I think he regretted putting out the jar, because I ate half of it.  Legit, at least 10 slices of pickle.  

I wish I had pictures, but you’ll just have to go and see for yourself! 

Kısmetse olur

If it’s meant to be, it will be. 

Hubby and I like to think that some things in life are just fate.  No matter what you do, you can’t escape it.  Or no matter what difficulties come your way, the good that is fated for you will arrive.  It goes both ways, doesn’t it? It helps us deal with the fact that, for a very long time our best laid plans never worked out. Because it wasn’t meant to be.  Right? 

Speaking of fate… 

We had our first “date” six years ago today.  

I don’t remember if I’ve ever told yall about how everything had to align for us to meet. How a guy from Turkey and a girl from small town South Carolina wound up in the same place at the same time under such circumstances that they ended up talking to each other. I probably have, but it’s been a long time. I might as well tell it again so you don’t have to go sifting through hundreds of posts to find it. 

I had a short blurb about it on my about me page, but I’ve taken it out because it deserves it’s own space (plus no one needs that much information in an about me. It’s just too much). 

The more I look around the more I see stories like ours, but it doesn’t make it any less special to me.  It just reinforces my belief in fate and soul mates. 

Hubby was born and raised in Turkey.  He went through his education in Turkey, took his undergrad in Turkey, then went to the US to better his education. He came to the US and started with ESL in Mississippi and Texas, later starting his Masters degree in Connecticut. 

Meanwhile, I was born and raised in South Carolina.  While he was starting his ESL I was roaming the halls of my high school during junior year,  sneaking wine coolers, and trying to balance my rebellious self with my southern surroundings. After graduating, I started my undergrad at a local campus of USC (as in, the University of South Carolina, not California).  

 He was in Connecticut, and I was in South Carolina.  Hey, but we were on the same continent! 

When things in Connecticut started going down hill, a friend of his suggested giving Clemson a try.  He thought about it long and hard, and said “what the hell”, and moved there for the winter term in 2010. At the time, I was still at USC trying to figure out what area I wanted to study.  Come to find out, my interests best aligned with food science. Only two schools in the state have that major (and SC residents get a sizeable scholarship at SC universities, so I was limited to my home state)… The best being Clemson. 

I moved to Clemson for the fall term, right after my birthday in August 2010. I had been working for a grocery chain in my hometown, so I transferred my employment to the local branch in Clemson.  The same grocery store that my future husband happened to live behind. 

Due to that graduate stress, hubby got sick in September (bless his heart!).  He took a walk with his roommate to the grocery store for some tea and otc medication. While perusing the aisles, a certain messy haired glasses wearing employee sat on the floor checking dates on some product or another.  She was cute, but he was too shy to say hello. 

After I was done pulling expired product and putting back items left by customers at the registers, I was called to clean up a spill at the front. 

Hubby was having a hell of a time figuring out which medicine to buy.  In Turkey, you have to go to pharmacies to get your hands on any kind of medicine.  In the states (at least in SC and FL) , the actual pharmacy window in a Walmart, Target, or grocery store can be closed while otc products like Aleve, Tylenol, Thera flu etc is still available on the shelves for purchase.  Who could he ask? There was an old lady stocking the shelves in this department just a second ago… 

After cleaning the spill in the front, I pushed the mop and bucket to the back of the store, the double doors easiest to reach by cutting through the pharmacy department. As I passed down the toothpaste display, I heard an “excuse me”  from the neighboring aisle. 

The old lady he saw before was gone.  He had picked up two possible options, Thera flu and alkaseltzer cold. But which one would be better? Looking up, he saw the frizzy top of a girl’s red head, lead by a mop handle.  He called out to her, and when she rounded the corner he ran into the bluest eyes he’d ever seen. 

And the rest is history. 

It’s crazy to think about how close to not meeting we could have been.  If he hadn’t been sick that day. If I hadn’t been going down that aisle after mopping.  If my coworker had still been stocking shelves.  If I had applied for a different job instead of transferring to the local branch of the chain I had been working for (which, BTW, I hated that job). If he hadn’t said yes to going to Clemson.  If I went to the other university that had my major. 

If he would have gotten cold feet and never came back later to get my number. 

I don’t believe in coincidences.  

My Mouth-Watering, Indulgence-Worthy, Im-Going-To-Gain-20lb Turkish Food Favorites

Wow, that title was a mouthful.

… Get it?

One of the questions I get asked most often when people find out I’m foreign is “what’s your favorite Turkish food?”.  I never know what to say, because I can’t really chose a stand-alone favorite.  I do have a few dishes ready that I list off when this inevitable query is mentioned.  Some days I prefer one over the other, but it’s all just on a whim.  Honestly, whenever I see one of these dishes on the table, I immediately have a smile on my face!

These are my top ten favorite foods, broken down into their respective categories.  I didn’t include things that we also eat in the US (like kumpir/baked potato and the like).

Main Dish

1. DOLMA: If you don’t like dolma, we can’t be friends.  A variety of vegetables fall under the category “dolma”, but they all have one thing in common: they are stuffed with rice, herbs, spices, and sometimes meat (depending on your recipe).  Boiled/steamed,  the rice is cooked and the flavors of the vessel veggie are trapped inside.  You can find pepper, onion, tomato, eggplant, dried eggplant, grape leaf (aka sarma), and cabbage dolmas, among others.  My favorites are sweet red pepper, dried eggplant, and sarma!

Oh,  the remaining water after boiling makes an excellent soup with a few additions!
2. ISKENDER: A shaved meat dish similar to döner, these meat is laid on a bed of soft pita bread and drowned in tomato sauce, chhhsssss melted butter,  and a side of plain yogurt.  Unfortunately this meal tends to be a bit pricey compared to its sandwich counter part.  For us it is a special indulgence… A delicious, fattening indulgence.
3. KARNIYARIK: Lightly fried eggplant halves filled with a ground beef mixture then baked.  There is something about fried eggplant (without breading)  that is just… Amazing. So soft, so velvety, somewhat sweet…mhm.  Whenever we eat something fried, we usually serve it with yogurt and a salad. The spices, herbs, onion, and other additions to the meat mixture make it flavorful without being overwhelming and losing the flavor of the eggplant.
4. KÖZLEME PATLICAN: Speaking of eggplant… Fire roasted eggplant.  Oh. My. Gosh. You can’t jar the flavor of eggplants actually cooked over an open flame.  We roasted a few kilos of eggplant from our garden last summer and froze it for the winter.  I prefer mine drowned in garlic yogurt, mixed with olive oil, parsley, mint, cumin, red pepper flakes, and black pepper.  I mean,  dang. Hubby likes it without the yogurt and adding tomato. But… But… Garlic yogurt!
5. BEZELYE YEMEĞİ :We all remember pushing peas around our plates as kids… But no one will be turning up their nose at this! A classic sulu (with water) food, bezelye yemeği consists of chopped and sautéed onions, carrots, and potatoes, swimming in a tomatoe-y broth with the peas happily joining in the fray. This is my favorite of the “standard” (I call sulu foods standard because everything can be made like this lol) Turkish meals. You can also add ground beef!


6. BİBERLİ LOR :Nom. Nom. Nom. This is a great way to give in to my cheese addiction. Lor is basically ricotta cheese, and biberli lor is ricotta cheese mixed in with sautéed peppers. Heat it all up together and make sure there is plenty of olive oil! I hope you aren’t worried about gaining a few pounds…
7. ÇILBUR :This mix sounds weird but I swear it is delicious. Pan cooked eggs (no milk, not beaten, and not quite fried… Just oil and eggs cooked until it’s not runny) smothered in plain yogurt (and if you have caught on to my preferences… Garlic is an option for a lunch time meal). I like to drizzle a sauce made from butter and salça (like manti) on top.


8. MUHALLEBI : Basically a very light, plain pudding that I just love.  It’s almost fluffy because it’s made with rice starch instead of corn or wheat.  Add a little sakiz, and I’m in heaven!
9. AYVA TATLISI : Poached quince with cinnamon and whipped cream.  Hello, delcious!
10. BAKLAVA : No list of delicious Turkish foods is complete without baklava. I’m pretty picky about it, though! I like mine to be crunchy, flaky, and not drown in sugar syrup!  And while you’re at it, make it with walnuts.  I know for some it is sacrilege, but I really like walnuts…

Anyway, when you get the chance give these a try! I hope you didn’t gain a few kg just reading!

Honorable mentions (you’ll have to look up for yourself!): Cig kofte, mercimek kofte, patlican yemegi, kisir, bamya yemegi, yayla corbasi…ok I need to stop or I’ll list everything!

Get To Know Me in 25 Questions!

Filling in my weeks with these silly posts, so sorry!  Anything of substance isn’t quite ready to be uploaded…so please put up with me for a little longer.

1. What is your middle name?: my maiden name 😂

2. What was favorite subject at school?: specifically? AP biology!

3. What is your favorite drink?: apple. Sarıkız. Enough said! Maybe not enough,  since it’s Turkish 😅 it’s like sprite, but apple flavored.  And better for you

4. What is your favorite song at the moment?:

5. What is your favorite food?: this question is mean. But if I have to chose, it’d be tacos/burritos with the works! All the guacamole!

6. What is the last thing you bought?:

7. Favorite book of all time?: it’s been a long time, but I believe it still is Jude the Obscure.  It really challenges the social ideas of love and marriage.

8. Favorite Color?: blue, specifically turquoise (how fitting).

9. Do you have any pets?: no, not personally… But do my mom’s dogs count? They claim me…

10. Favorite Perfume?: I don’t really buy perfume, I just take what I’m given haha… But I have a favorite cologne! The One by D&G 😍

11. Favorite Holiday?: religious? Ramadan bayram. National? Independence day.

12. Are you married?: happily, maşallah 😍

13. Have you ever been out of the country, if so how many times?: besides living outside of my own country now? Twice before.  One big trip to Europe (Italy, France, Austria, and Switzerland), and my 2011 trip to Turkey.

14. Do you speak any other language?: I’m learning Turkish 😅 I can understand some Spanish, but forgot most of it unfortunately.

15. How many siblings do you have?: one little brother (not that little! 2 years younger)

16. What is your favorite shop?: I’m still figuring out the shops thing here… Most of the time I deal with pazar stuff hehe. In the US it’s got to be Ross!

17. Favorite restaurant?: in Turkey we have one specific cig kofte cart we go to that is amazing. As far as chains go… Tijuana Flats 🙆

18. When was the last time you cried?: idk, I do it more than I’d care to admit.  Maybe last month?

19. Favorite Blog?: no! I’m not doing that. 😤

20. Favorite Movie?: I love so many movies.  I can’t choose!

21. Favorite TV shows?: oh honey. Honey. Take a seat. Should I bring you some tea? You’re gonna be here a while… But I’ll limit myself because I’m nice. Elementary, Greys Anatomy,  Scandal, Madam Secretary, Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Lucifer, Rizzoli and Isles… I could easily go on.

22. PC or Mac?: PC

23. What phone do you have?: Samsung Galaxy J5

24. How tall are you?: 5’10″

25. Can you cook?: Yes, and it’s a favorite hobby of mine! Since we have been in Turkey I haven’t been able to enjoy it as much as I used to though. :/

Turkey 710: How to Host

I’m way overdue for a Turkey lessons post…So I’ll bring out one of the most important topics any lady living in Turkey for any amount of time is going to need.

Especially if you’re married into a Turkish family.

And that’s how to host guests.

If you’ve been here for five minutes, you’ll know that Turks are all about socializing and having guests over to their homes. If you’ve been here for 20 minutes, you’ve probably been roped into helping clean and prepare for them. It is an event.

 Especially if you’re guests are Turkish (neighbors and distant relatives in particular!).

 Here are some guidelines for how to be a successful host by Turkish standards.  Show your mother in law what you’re made of!


  1. Have the cleanest house in the land: Your house has to appear as if a nuclear bomb of bleach and Pinesol went off in every room. If you don’t want someone in a room, close the door.  Even better, lock it.  There’s been more than one Teyze who “accidentally” wandered into a messy bedroom or kids room, just to tell everyone and the street dogs about it later.
  2. Buyrun, to the sitting room:  Coral your new guests into your nicest room, usually the sitting room.  Nothing is better than showing off all your nice things to your guests, so that they don’t talk about how poor of a home decorator you are when they leave.
  3. Kolonya, kolonya, kolonya: Don’t forget to offer a dime-sized drop of kolonya (cologne) to your guests after they have seated themselves. This is particularly important for guests who have come from a distance.
  4. All the tea, all the snacks: Be sure to have the tea going before your guests even arrive. But don’t be fooled into thinking tea is enough.  Even if they are coming to visit when it isn’t even almost a meal time, have the snacks at the ready.  Some borek, kisir, sarma, or potato salad is always welcome.  And you need- need- need to have some kind of sweets available. If it’s nearing a meal time, you best be ready to serve a full meal, with several options.
  5. Keep the sepas at the ready:  Don’t even dream of making your guests keep their plates or tea glasses in their lap!  Put out the sepa (the stackable, small tables) beside your guests before serving.  We aren’t barbarians!
  6. Empty plates are evil plates:  As soon as someone has an empty plate (or glass!) offer to fill it up for them again.  Don’t be shy to do it 100 times.  Even if you don’t get to eat yourself, that’s too damn bad.  They are guests, and you are a slave.
  7. Turkish coffee, anyone?:  After everyone has eaten their fill and talked a lot of gossip, offer them Turkish coffee (or if preferred, nescafe). Be prepared to make four different batches to please everyone’s palate (you can’t add sugar after making the coffee, so if someone wants sade/plain, someone else wants orta/middle, and someone wants very sweet, that means you make three different coffees).
  8. Never stop doing something: If you try to enjoy yourself for even a moment, you are a terrible host.  Get back to work!

Unlike in the US, guests will not try and make your life easier.  It is ok for them to make you miserable and make your life hard as anything.  Like a boy scout, be prepared.

And put on your war paint.

Because hosting is a hard core job, but someone has to do it (and if you are a gelin, its gonna be you!)