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In a financial crisis, who do you give your last dollar to?

Tagged as: Family, Marriage problems, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (12 July 2018) 13 Answers - (Newest, 16 July 2018)
A female Trinidad and Tobago age 30-35, anonymous writes:

At the age of 16 years old I knew I never wanted a man with a child. When I met my husband, he had no children which was a plus. Of course we started off as friends but before we actually got into a serious relationship, he slept with one of his "friends"...and...of course, she got pregnant. However, my husband was told that he could not have any children with some medical issues he faced (confirmed by his mother and siblings) plus she slept with two-three men around the same time and was unsure who was the father (stated by her friend). So based on what the doctor told him (without even doing a DNA test to confirm if this child was some sort of a miracle), I got into a relationship with him.

Fast forward to 11 years later...we had three children...he never did a DNA test for the little girl and right now we a facing financial difficulties. I lost my job, so having a loan, a credit card, items on hire purchase amongst other bills to pay, life has been hard this year. We didnt pay our son's school fees for two months, I am late on my loan, the furniture company on the brink of repossessing their items so he gave me some funds to help with the bills (well i had to choose which one I wanted to pay). Anyway, my parents noticed we weren't sending our son to school and after I told them they decided to help with one month of our son's school fees. So they decided to give us the difference of what we needed to pay for the school fees.

Early that morning, after we planned to send our son to school, he got a message from his daughter's mother advising of a book sale that was going to take place on that same day...she is now going to high school. He didn't know how to ask me, and he stated an emergency arised and he would like to have back the funds he gave me. But I knew what the "emergency" was since i was using his phone to contact our son's school when the "VVIP" message arrived. Of course I told him about it and he admitted it was for his daughter and I refused to give him the funds back. My children comes first...what would I have said to my parents when they were giving us the difference to help for one month? Should I take from what I had to pay for my loan/pay for my items and give that woman for her child? I want to know if I am wrong for refusing to give him back the money. Our son's fees needed to be paid for, otherwise he might not have been able to graduate from kindergarden.

It hurt. Knowing that when I was working, I took care of our sons and now, I have to be solely dependant on him. Two of the items that I took on hire purchase was for him, and he never paid for it for over a year and it is only after I lost my job he had no choice but to help pay. I took out a living room set, dining room set and a wardrobe, just so our children can be comfortable, amongst other items I took out for him. It has been 6 months going on 7 without any income on my part and it is hard. So when I need him the most, it felt like he was taking from my son's hand to give another woman's child. He was so angry. I ended up tossing the money next to where he was sitting on the sofa. He left to go to work and left the money there.

I felt hurt knowing that we are in such a financial crisis, knowing we have so many bills to pay and he wanted his money back. What added to my heart being broken, is that he told the child's mother how i was angry and told her he left the "stinking money" for me. So she said I am very nasty. He spoke ill of me to this woman.

My life...the exact reason I never wanted a man with a child.

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (16 July 2018):

aunt honesty agony auntI obviously hit a nerve with you and that was never my intention. I am in no way an arrogant person and if that is what you got from my answer then so be it. If you are going to write to a forum you are going to get a lot off different points of views, some you may like some you won't. But really there is no need to call me arrogant ect. Saying as you asked yes I am married, and no I don't have these issues, because like you I vowed I wouldn't marry a man who already had children so therefore I don't have a personal view on this topic. Also you contradicted yourself when you kept going on about me saying it is his money and then on your update you say ' I gave him his money back'. It is a term of speech that you used yourself so no need to get defensive with me. Congratulations on the new job I hope you do well in it and you can afford to send your next child to private kinder garden. You see it as a major milestones which is where we differ as a lot of people wouldn't be able to afford it for there children so maybe that is where we got our wires crossed as you view it differently. Oh and I am not bitter in the slightest I am on here to offer advice not to be judged or called names.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 July 2018):

"Congratulations on the new job! And thanks for the updates." Thanks babe.

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A female reader, Ciar Canada + , writes (14 July 2018):

Ciar agony auntCongratulations on the new job! And thanks for the updates.

I give your husband credit for trying to do right by who MIGHT be his daughter, but don't like how he went about it and grumbling about your tiff to the other woman. That was cowardly. No good comes from sewing seeds of resentment in any party.

My advice to you is not to let it get to an argument though. No throwing money at him, and storming out. Resist the urge to act on your anger. Tell him, CALMLY, that he can approach you with requests and let you decides based on the merits of each case. And leave it at that. Don't reignite the argument by explaining why you were annoyed.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 July 2018):

"I’m getting unpleasant vibes from your responses...." Sorry you feel that way. However, Aunty Honesty's comment concerning my husband's finances is his, when a marriage should have proper communication and joint decision on how monies should be spent especially in a financial crisis, I totally disagree with. A husband and wife should be one. If money is scarce and critical we should both discuss the best option. Given the fact that when I worked before, I would call him to ask him what does he think about purchasing anything even if it concerns my sons. They are ours and my responsibilities and I was making my own money, yet in a marriage you communicate when money should be spent, so I would call him. What i got from her mentality is that the marriage is about me, me, me (as she stated many times, his money). You can't expect a humble response with such a hostile tone. To the point of agreeing with why his daughter's mom would call me nasty. Yesterday I had a chat with her and she said if my husband has to decide between our sons and their daughter, home comes first. As for me, it's a matter of priority, who needs it urgently.

"But I wanted to add: my concern here is that he wasn’t open and honest about needing money for his child with the other woman." No he wasn't. To me, it is like he feels less of a man when he can't provide as he should and he pinned the blame on me. Which is completely wrong and unacceptable. He was angry with me (I felt hurt) but he later apologized for pinning the blame on me.

"Why would he prioritize one child over another to the extent of lying or at the least not being honest?" That is exactly what it felt like. And that great book sale is basically the books of the students who were going to a higher form/grade. But guess what, there is one store the has great sale on second hand books especially with the "Back to School" promotion. I even told him about the store yet he was angry, but I did give him back his money and he just left it and went to work.

"In your case, you ask, ironically, " highschool comes first, right ? " and my non-ironical answer is : Of course ! You bet ! ", it was sure ironic. However, with the logic that treat every child equally then each child's milestone should be seen as important. Me, personally, I treat each of my children equally. If one has to go to high school and I can get ALL his books at a later date (and on sale) so other can graduate, yes I would purchase them later.

"As for your kindergarten age kid, frankly I don't even understand what do you mean when you say " he won't be able to graduate from Kindergarden"." In my country its kindergarden/preschool (2.5-5yrs), then primary school (5-11/12yrs), then secondary school (12-18/19yrs) and of course, university. At each stage you graduate. My baby boy has been practicing his poems for his graduation, should I have robbed him that milestone in his life? I said it before and I would say it again, if my eldest son has to go to high school and there is a book sale one particular day and I was advised that the is a store that has great deals on the same second hand books I wanted to buy, would I say ok that book sale on that day is top priority? After I was advised I can get the same books on great deals?

"...you make it sound as if, before losing your job, you were carrying on your shoulders the whole load of providing for your fanily, from essentials to non-essentials...since you are already living like a single mother." Actually, That is just me, when I get my salary, whatever is needed, I would just buy it. For the boys/home given that I get my money in a lump-sum compared to him. He would buy what we needed throughout the month.

"...you are basically living hand-to-mouth and struggling with debts, perhaps you can't really afford, at least comfortably afford , to pay school fees. ", it is really hand-to-mouth, and my debts became solely his and finally, my son is going to have free education at primary/elementary school level. I have a 2.5 year old soon to be in preschool soon.

"Why do you say you have bought this stuff for him ? " It was for the barbershop.

"t's not that you married a barber who was posing as a millionaire, or that he promised you a life of in the lap of luxury. " Barbers actually make reasonable money, especially if they have their own structure and have barber stations to rent. His brother just takes advantage of him and doesn't pay anything for his station. My husband spends money irresponsibly. He just does not know how to manage his earnings wisely.

"Best wishes, - hang in there ; things are looking brighter !"...Thanks, best wishes to you as well.

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (14 July 2018):

CindyCares agony aunt I wrote my answer before seeing your post with details about your financial arrangements - which are much clearer now , thanks. It's good to know that you are not being totally taken advantage of (.. maybe just a bit, but of your own accord and will. You spoiled him, as you say ).

All on all, though, it still does not change the gist of the matter . You married a man , by your own choice, who does not earn much. And he has been contributong based on that not much that he earns, and on your willingness and choice to take on more than your share. It's not that you married a barber who was posing as a millionaire, or that he promised you a life of in the lap of luxury. You knew what the deal was, proceeded to have 3 kids with him- you are a family. The problem, if so we want to call it, is that, at least for him, it is an extended family - with FOUR kids. Hard to prove him wrong...

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (14 July 2018):

CindyCares agony aunt I am going to make you mad, but maybe not too much, if you follow my reasoning with an open mind.

I can see where your husband is coming from, and why he got upset. Because he is the father of FOUR kids, not just the 3 he had from you ( At this point, it's not even important whether the girl is really his biological offspring; what matters is that he has decided and acted so far , for all intents and purposes ,as if she were his own daughter ).

Now , I don't blame you at all; you follow the very primal and natural instinct of every female mammal, to protect your cubs , no matter what , and I guess, in your shoes , ..I would have done just the same as you. BUT : you are a parent of 3, and he is ( or has decided he wants to be ) a parent of 4.

And in a family, when there are more siblings, and unluckily money is tight and resources are stretched thin, some times one has got to make choices , based on level of relevance.

So , for instance it turns out that nearsighted little Jimmy needs new glasses and this means that his brother won't have his nice Chucky Cheese birthday party. Or , little Susy urgently needs new boots and her sister won't get a new doll. Sad and unfair, maybe, but it is what it is -life is not fair.

In your case, you ask, ironically, " highschool comes first, right ? " and my non-ironical answer is : Of course ! You bet ! I think any sensible parent would put their best effort in making sure that a highschooler can get all he/ she needs as soon as possible, no last minute mad rushes, so that she can perform at the best of her abilities and have the best possible curriculum , and the best possible access to superior education. Plus I think , in this case, the key word is book SALE- which I take to mean that, on that certain day, books can be got at a discount, which won't be possible to get later on, and it's normal that a stretched thin father of 4 would think of that. It's commendable, in fact !

As for your kindergarten age kid, frankly I don't even understand what do you mean when you say " he won't be able to graduate from Kindergarden".

What do you fear that it's going to happen ? that he won't be able to join the last days of school festivities ? No big deal. That he won't receive a certificate of completion or something from his PRIVATE (… if you pay, it must be private…) school ? No big deal either.

I don't think that you actually mean they would prevent you from enrolling him in elementary school, 1 st grade- because that would be against the law in most countries in the world ; where basic instruction is free and MANDATORY. Maybe you mean you could not enroll him in the same school in September if you haven't paid your debt ...Which means you too have two extra months to put together the money, so for you too is not a matter of today-or-die. Plus, and forgive me for saying this , I realize that's none of my business, but since we are at it and you have been very open about your money troubles- you are basically living hand-to-mouth and struggling with debts, perhaps you can't really afford, at least comfortably afford , to pay school fees. Maybe sending your kids to a public, free, or a less expensive school, would relieve part of the pressure. ( Anyway, FWIW : have you tried talking to the school principal ? We live in difficult times, and many parents have trouble keeping up. Most schools would accept to let you pay the 2 overdue months in small monthly installments , all along the school year ).

As for your financial arrangements with your husband, I don't know… you make it sound as if, before losing your job, you were carrying on your shoulders the whole load of providing for your fanily, from essentials to non-essentials ( wardrobe, etc. ) and your husband is stepping in, very reluctantly, right now, just because he has no choice. I hope for you this is not the case, otherwise, with or without a job- this is no life to live and no marriage between equals, and I would have to tell you to get out of there as soon as you can !, since you are already living like a single mother.

But probably this is not the case. I think ( and again, I hope ) that more or less you mean that both of you were pulling the weight of this family, and while he used his salary for some stuff ( say, rent or food or bills…) you were using your salary for other more voluptuary, less essential things, bought on hire purchase , like your furniture. If this is the case, TBH I don't see that you have much ground to complain ; that's how families work,normally. Every adult contributes according to their possibilities. One feeds and clothes the children,say, the other buys the new couch ( or the new Ferrari, or the new hairdryer. According to their financial possibilities ). Why do you say you have bought this stuff for him ? Is it not for all of you , for the whole family ( yourself imcluded ) ?

If I am wrong, and you mean that you have been so far the only one carrying on this family ,moneywise- well , boytoys ( or man-toys ) are notoriously expensive, but they are a choice . You don't NEED to have one.

Anyway, all's well what ends well, since you are starting a new job, I think and hope that pretty soon you'll see many of your problems solved , many of your worries cease. I would just add, echoing Honeypie, the advise to leave rent-for-hire alone for the future. It's unbelievable how the visible and hidden costs add up in these things, and how costly your purchases will prove to be at the end, and once you have finished to pay… your new sofa is old, tired crap and you need a new one. Learn to delay gratification, and if you want something new, save a little every month toward it until you can get it cash. Maybe this advise is not good for big purchases, like a costly car, for which you'd have to save years while you need to drive now, but for most stuff, including that which you mentioned, it is- nobody has ever lost health , income or peace of mind for sitting one more year on an old couch…

Best wishes, - hang in there ; things are looking brighter !

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 July 2018):

I’m getting unpleasant vibes from your responses....

Anyway, you seem to know the answer and you just want confirmation. Yes go about doing things the way you are.

But I wanted to add: my concern here is that he wasn’t open and honest about needing money for his child with the other woman. (Which is understandable because he has responsibilities to his child with this other woman —the lying to his wife is not ok). And he was willing to jeopardize the situation for you and your son....I wouldn’t be ok with that.... Why would he prioritize one child over another to the extent of lying or at the least not being honest?

Maybe try to anticipate future incidents by talking to him about priorities and not lying.

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A female reader, Trinibabygirl88 Trinidad and Tobago +, writes (14 July 2018):

"That was all on you before you lost your job?" The hire purchase items, yes. As for providing for our sons, I used to do the needful...hardly ever asked him for anything for them. He owns a barbershop, the other barber who operates in the barbershop is his brother and he doesn't pay any rent for his station, uses all my husband's machines and even uses whatever my husband purchases for his clients: I used to take into consideration that he gets money in small quantities daily, and I used to get money fortnightly, I would just buy what our sons needed. So he was spoiled.

In addition, a vehicle ran into his barber shop last year. It took him almost a year before the claim was settled and by the time he got the claim, we had so many things in arrears that the funds went towards bills: what was set aside for repairs on the building, he just wasted the money buying unnecessary items. So I helped him with some of his commitments as a wife should, never considered my money to be mine and although I worked hard for my money, if I needed to purchase something, I would consult him. Many times I left myself undone to assist him. So I really don't understand "Aunty Honesty's" arrogance towards me concerning monies that was given to me by him, our money. Not to mention, the money that was given to me was to partially replace money that he borrowed from our son's birthday money he receive from my mother, my aunt and my grandmother. You see, the electricity for the barbershop had cut. So he borrowed the money that our would have received for the barbershop. So referring to Aunty Honesty's irrelevant comment about I was not giving the child's mother my money, as I told her before, it was mine. As she said, his money, his daughter and his responsibilities...(like his son isn't his responsibility) my family, my son's money, my responsibility. Call me arrogant, but this woman sounds so bitter. Didn't think I had to go in-depth.

"I think a guy who backs up a "I can't have kids" with information from his mom and sisters... NOT a doctor is either REALLY ignorant or very dense." I mean sometimes people get these diagnosis before they meet their SO. I wasn't ready to have any children when I met him...going to a doctor to confirm his statement, yeah...again, was not ready. If you are getting to know someone and they stated that they were infertile, would you have ask them confirm that for you? He also stated an illness he had as a child, should I have gone to the doctor with him to confirm it was so or ask for medical records? That's a bit much don't you think? When I met him, I never saw myself in a relationship with him, of course we started off as friends. Of course we had conversation about ourselves, our experiences and whatever we felt like so if my friend told me that he was infertile I would not consider going by a doctor to confirm what he said was true.

"And he could produce 3 sons with you... it's as likely that he produced a daughter with that other woman." Of course, I never said she wasn't his. I just stated I looked past the possibility given what he stated. We were good friends who wanted to be more than friends. I mean shouldn't a relationship be based on trust. He also stated abut his condition as a child...I never asked for his medical records as proof. Today, I see for myself what he stated about his condition is true...he suffered an eye stroke and the doctors told him that it was a result of his heart disease.

"Chin up, I too think you did the right thing." Thank you.:)

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (13 July 2018):

Honeypie agony auntYour priority are YOUR children.

What I would suggest you do, is make a budget and stick to it. Have savings for a rainy day.

Rent-to-own (or out to hire) is such a bad way to buy items for you house as you usually end up paying many times over the price that the item is worth.

You wrote: "Two of the items that I took on hire purchase was for him". Don't get in debt over him. If he wanted those things HE should either save up and buy them or PAY the monthly cost himself. Even though what you have with him is a marriage it doesn't SEEM like HE is actually contributing to the kids and household. That was all on you before you lost your job?

If so... why is he still there?

USE the money he gave you for the kids school for the kids school. If his other child (the daughter of another woman) needs something THAT is on him.

I think a guy who backs up a "I can't have kids" with information from his mom and sisters... NOT a doctor is either REALLY ignorant or very dense. Sorry, his MOM can (unless she is a doctor or nurse) diagnose if he is infertile or not. And he could produce 3 sons with you... it's as likely that he produced a daughter with that other woman.

But whether he is the father or not, it's moot. If he ASSUMES responsibility for that child, she is his responsibility.

It's good that you hopefully will be working ASAP. And I hope you set yourself a budget to catch up on all debt and perhaps consider getting rid of credit cards all together (or just keep one for EMERGENCIES). Otherwise you will only dig yourself a bigger and bigger hole financially.

Chin up, I too think you did the right thing.

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A female reader, Trinibabygirl88 Trinidad and Tobago +, writes (13 July 2018):

"You cannot go by what her friends say, but in all fairness if there was any doubt he should have done the test, that little girl deserve to know who her biological dad is" Quite true.

"I can totally understand why he wanted the money back, you recieved the money for your son to go to school for another month, and I am sure you agree that his daughter's education is also important." I am not sure if you read to understand or you read to just reply. We were in arrears of two months, June and July. July is his last school month. And I am not heartless or bitter, of course his daughter's education is important. School is to be reopened in September. Tell me, her mother has another month to purchase her books, do you think that it is fair to hinder my son from graduating (so she could get the books at present) when she has time to buy them? Doesn't sound logical to me. But then again, Secondary School is much more important right. You are contradicting yourself when you said every child should be treated equally given the fact that every milestone in a child's life is important.

"Now I understand you didn't want to marry a man who already had children, but that was your choice to do so before you married him." Yeah it was my choice. I accepted that he is possibly her father. But accepting that does not prevent you from facing difficulties within your family.

"I am sorry but your children do not come first when it is a case of your husbands money he should treat all the children equally." "You make it sound like it is your money that you are giving for his daughter" Are you married? If you are, well good for you. Isn't it that a husband and wife should have good communication and make decisions together on how money should be spent? I mean he did give me the money, so technically it became mine (since you are being quite technical). Why ask back for it? A husband and wife should be one.

"You are not handing over money to this woman," According to your logic (that it is my husband's money), technically I am. If you give someone something that was yours, do you still consider it yours?

"It might be a lesson not to take furniture out on credit that you cannot afford." Although you stated you are sorry that I lost my job, seems like it didn't quite register to you.

"Your attitude really needs to change towards her, she is only an innocent child in all of this." my attitude towards her is not one of hate or resentment. She is an innocent child. But, we need to prioritize. If one of my sons were going to secondary school and in need of books and the other needs to graduate. What would you have done? Prevent one from graduating when i could buy the other son's books at a later date? Really? That is your level of reasoning?

Certain situations can stir up memories of your past comparing them to outcome of the choices you made.

"I get why she would call you nasty because his children should come before everyone else." Thanks...another contradiction to where all of his children should be treated equally.

"Have you tried looking for more work?" Yes I have, and yesterday (12JUL18) I found out that I was successful in an interview I had.

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (13 July 2018):

aunt honesty agony auntGoing back to the start, if she had slept around then I really don't understand why he did not do a paternity test. You cannot go by what her friends say, but in all fairness if there was any doubt he should have done the test, that little girl deserve to know who her biological dad is. I think that is the first thing use both need to sit down and talk about and ensure that the test is done. You now have three children off your own therefore my guess is that he can have children, so off course it is a possibility he is the father to this little girl, and if that is the case then he needs to step up and be a dad to her, and unfortunately that means helping out her mother with things that she needs. I am sorry that you lost your job, that makes life so much harder. Have you tried looking for more work? It was lovely of your parents to help with your son's school fee's. I can totally understand why he wanted the money back, you recieved the money for your son to go to school for another month, and I am sure you agree that his daughter's education is also important. Now I understand you didn't want to marry a man who already had children, but that was your choice to do so before you married him. It is only right that he helps financially with his daughter. I am sorry but your children do not come first when it is a case of your husbands money he should treat all the children equally. If your parents asked you obviously should be honest with them and tell them he needed his money to go towards his daughters education. You make it sound like it is your money that you are giving for his daughter, but it is his money and his daughter and his responsibilites. You are not handing over money to this woman, he is giving money for his child to get books for school, a very basic need. If the furniture is repossessed then so be it, your children still have a roof over there head and food in there bellies. It might be a lesson not to take furniture out on credit that you cannot afford. You say your sons fees needed to be paid but your parents helped out with that, they obviously want to help there grandchildren, but why should his daughter suffer? I do think you where wrong, and I think you need to start looking at this child as a part of your family. Your attitude really needs to change towards her, she is only an innocent child in all of this. It is not another womans child to him it is his daughter. I don't think that he should have spoke ill about you, but I guess he couldn't help his child because you refused to give him back his money so he was being honest with the woman. I get why she would call you nasty because his children should come before everyone else. Secondary school is much more important than kindergarden, and well lets face it some children don't get the luxury to go to private kindergardens because there parents simply cannot afford it. You never wanted a man with a child, therefore you should have stuck to that and not married him.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 July 2018):

"Your husband seems to have recovered from the medical condition that prevented him from having kids"...yup. No doubt about him being the father of our boys. Come to think of it, he developed a heart disease as a child...had to take monthly shots and he just foolishly stopped on his own when he reached 18. What made our financial situation worse was when he got an eye stroke two months ago. Doctors told him it was as a result of his heart problem and stated he, of course needed to continue the shots until the a doctor said it's time to stop.

"My opinion is you did the right thing", thanks!

"...so your son could have designed jeans"...maybe soon. Yesterday I finally got a job. Things are finally looking up.

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A female reader, Ciar Canada + , writes (13 July 2018):

Ciar agony auntYour husband seems to have recovered from the medical condition that prevented him from having kids. So, it's possible he is the father, but just as likely one of the other men is. I'd say a paternity test was in order.

My opinion is you did the right thing. The daughter, who ever the father is, was not deprived of medicine or on the verge of being kicked out of school so your son could have designed jeans.

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