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Writing Great Thank-You Letters after Interviews

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Supafly MD, Mar 11, 2002.

  1. Supafly MD

    Supafly MD Senior Member
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    Hi Everyone,

    I found a website that may be helpful in writing thank-you letters to interviewers after interviews.

    It is aimed mainly at job interviews, but its seems much of the info applies to med school interview as well.

    Enjoy! :D

    <a href="http://www.thank-you-notes-thank-you-letters.com" target="_blank">Thank-you Notes</a> :D :D :D :D :D
     
  2. Doctora Foxy

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    Do you guys typically write them by hand on little blank cards, or type them? My first and only was typed because I used it as a letter of interest (kinda sorta)
     
  3. Supafly MD

    Supafly MD Senior Member
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    Good Idea!

    That's what I'm doing. I think typed letters are more professional(and neater) than handwritten thank-you cards. Just remember to sign your name in ink!

    ---Veggie
     
  4. El Jefe

    El Jefe The Jefe
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    I haven't sent any thank-you letters after any of my interviews. Something about it always seemed a little silly to me, so I never bothered. Does that make me a bad person?
     
  5. Supafly MD

    Supafly MD Senior Member
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    Well, I guess if you are pretty confident about your application/interview and you think you have a good shot then may be a thank-you note is not necessary(any acceptances yet?)

    But, it sure doesn't hurt---makes you stand out of the crowd!
     
  6. El Jefe

    El Jefe The Jefe
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    I have one, hopefully more to come.
     
  7. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Veggiegirl:
    <strong>But, it sure doesn't hurt---makes you stand out of the crowd!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">HAHAHAHHA...yea right...the majority of thank you letters get puked on or thrown away.. :)

    Nah..but seriously..prolly 75% of the people write thank you letters..you sure as hell are not going to stand out in the bunch!
     
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  8. Supafly MD

    Supafly MD Senior Member
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    Scooby,

    Are you saying that you don't believe in sending out thank-you letters.

    Frankly, I'd rather be part of the 75% that sent the letters than the 25% who weren't interested enough to bother.

    --Veggie
     
  9. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    I almost always send thank-you notes (usually an Alaska scene card with a handwritten note), but I did neglect USC and I got in there. Make sure if you have several interviewers not to send carbon copy notes to them all, because they may all end up in your file. In some cases I have something very important to say about how much I loved the school that I didn't really know when I interviewed with that particular person -- so I make sure to get those notes out ASAP.
     
  10. Doctora Foxy

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    SMW, since you're the expert, I have a question. My school store sells little boxes of blank cards with my school's logo and a picture of the castle (we have this pretty castle on campus) on the cover. Are these appropriate? The picture is actually a drawing. Are these ok or should I get blank cards with blank covers (you know like resume material)?

    OR, should I type?

    Thanks :)
     
  11. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Doctora Foxy:
    <strong>SMW, since you're the expert, I have a question. My school store sells little boxes of blank cards with my school's logo and a picture of the castle (we have this pretty castle on campus) on the cover. Are these appropriate? The picture is actually a drawing. Are these ok or should I get blank cards with blank covers (you know like resume material)?

    OR, should I type?

    Thanks :) </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I typed mine and mentioned something specific from the interview to remind them who I am.

    Some schools put them in your file, others don't.

    It's probably better to be professional and type it out.
     
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  12. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    Well, I'm not sure I'm really any kind of expert. Lots of people have more acceptances than me, and who knows if they wrote thank-you notes? I'm just going by the ettiquette that my Mom drilled into me. Always hand write thank-you notes (and never start out with the words "thank-you"). Generally my interviewers ask me something about Alaska, so I figure that sending an Alaska card will remind them of me. If I didn't have the Alaska theme to work, I'd probably use some sort of an art reproduction card. If you can find something that relates to what you talked about in the interview, and the school's really important to you, I'd do that. So if you talked about how great your school was for you, then use your school's logo card. I would never type, because my Mom would have a fit!! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> (And don't even mention an email thank-you note to her!!!!) :D
     
  13. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Veggiegirl:
    <strong>Scooby,

    Are you saying that you don't believe in sending out thank-you letters.

    Frankly, I'd rather be part of the 75% that sent the letters than the 25% who weren't interested enough to bother.

    --Veggie</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I don't believe in "thank you letters"...I DO believe in "thank you NOTES"...such as a quick "Thank you for takign the time to interview me...I liked the school..you are so cool..will you be my child's mama..etc etc etc"

    That's about it. People who write page long reasons I just don't get. I mean, if you really want to and if the school is your top choice..go for it. I didn't send any thank you letters to my last two interviews b/c I didn't want to. I was tired of it and I feel there is no point. I thanked them AT the interview and left it at that...they don't want your petty mail at their front door....And I highly doubt it goes in your file UNLESS you make it a letter of intent or something to that effect.
     
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  14. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    I agree with Scooby. Send thank you notes only if there is something you really want to thank them for over and above the verbal thank you that you probably gave them after the interview was over.

    I also agree with SMW. They should be hand-written and short.

    I must confess that the only accetance I've received came after sending a couple of thank you notes to the interviewers and the admissions administrator (the nicest person I've ever met in my life). So if I were doing an experiment I must say there is a strong positive association with thank you notes and acceptances (but unfortuntately this was after a sample size N=2).
     
  15. locitamd

    locitamd Senior Member
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    mpp - I don't want to buck the trend, but I have to admit that I didn't send thank you notes to either of my acceptances. What makes it worse however, is that I finally did send t-y notes to my top choice school, and I feel a big boot in the butt heading my way.
     
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  16. UCLA2000

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    Hand written..short...sweet..and to the point. Mention 1 or 2 things to make them remember you, and mention how much you enjoyed the interview and loved the school.
     
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  17. trout

    trout Senior Member
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    I am about 50/50 on the thank you notes...I sent to about (7)/8 (all except waiting on cornell I got accepted) and (6)/8 I didn't send thank yous (all i was accepted-waiting to hear from 2)...My general rule of thumb was...if they deserved to be thanked for taking time out of their day or I particularly enjoyed our conversation I wrote one...if they were lazy *%&$ and they didn't even bother to read my file before the interview then I didn't bother....I would say the big schools I would write them.....any school that tells you within a couple of weeks don't bother, it means they have to fill out the paper work before your letter would ever get to them....
     
  18. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat
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    Some schools discourage the sending of thank-you notes/cards.

    UCSF is one. They interview closed file, then the interviewer writes up a report, then they look at your file, then you get sent to committee. Because of the long, drawn-out nature of this process, the admission people make a point to tell you that even if the interviewer offers you a business card, you need to decline because contacting the interviewer after the interview day to discuss your application is inappropriate. They say if you MUST send an thank you card to send it to the admissions office and they'll forward it. I am guessing that they hold them until after a decision is made on your application.

    So don't blindly send thank you cards to every interviewer. Know whether or not it is acceptable at that particular school.
     
  19. LaCirujana

    LaCirujana Smoking Gun
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    As someone who RECEIVES your thank-you notes, I have to say that, at least at the school where I interview, the admissions committee doesn't even see the thank you--it goes straight to the interviewer, who generally does not sit on the adcom, just makes recommendations to them. By the time your letter gets to us, our recommendations have long since been turned in. On the other hand, out of the 25+ applicants I interviewed this season, only 2 (!!!) were courteous enough to send me thank-yous. In one case, the note confirmed that I had made absolutely the right decision in whole-heartedly recommending acceptance for the applicant, and in the other, an applicant I had been less than impressed with during the interview, I felt better about having made the recommendation that the canditate be allowed a second opportunity to interview, with someone else, since there just seemed to be a lack of "chemistry" between us, rather than any problem with the person as a viable candidate for acceptance. I don't know, however, if that actually occurred.

    I would send the thank-yous unless specifically instructed otherwise--it can't hurt, and might help. For residency, I sent the same type-written letter (individualized for each program) to everyone I interviewed with, plus the program director, and then also enclosed a personalized, hand-written note on stationary cards embossed with my name.
     
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  20. locitamd

    locitamd Senior Member
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    surg2002 - how do you feel about thank you e-mails sent to student interviewers?
     
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  21. LaCirujana

    LaCirujana Smoking Gun
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    e-mail thank you notes are always (and will forever be, IMHO) TACKY
     
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  22. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by surg2002:
    <strong>e-mail thank you notes are always (and will forever be, IMHO) TACKY</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I disagree. Especially with student interviewers I think this is the best way to do it!
     
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  23. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
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  24. that's sweet that u gave them a second chance to interview even though u didn't click with them
     
  25. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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  26. i've heard that thank you letters really do make a difference
     
  27. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    I don't really think so, but it's polite (and it's nice to do something now and then just to be polite in the midst of the med school application process. It might help feel better about yourself, and that might help!). There was no correlation last year between the schools I sent or did not send notes to and my acceptances/rejections. I sent some of my best notes to schools I really wanted to go to, and didn't get in (got waitlisted at one). :(
     
  28. lola

    lola Bovine Member
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    SMW,
    I'm confused! Are you at Columbia? I should know b/c I've been reading SDN for a while now, but for some reason I can't figure out what your story is...

    As for thank you notes, I plan to send them if I get any interviews. It's just common courtesy. I will definitely hand write them on a nice card -- no typing for me! Just as I handwrote my Drexel app :) Aaaahhh! Also handwrote my OHSU app. I wanted to get them out and didn't really feel like typing them. Shame on me!
     
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  29. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    I deferred from Columbia for a year (and don't have a life ;) ). I would have definitely preferred to go to UW (Seattle), my state school because Alaska doesn't have a med school, but I was waitlisted and never got the call. I might have preferred to go to OHSU, but was rejected post-interview.
     
  30. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    Now it's official I don't have a life! :D
     
  31. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member
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    I also disagree. I think thank-you cards are too much. Not saying anything might be not enough... but e-mails seem just right. One way to find out if an interviewer doesn't like e-mails is to ask for his/her e-mail address. If they give it to you without hesitation, I take it as a sign that e-mail thankyous are good... if the hesitate, then I would say they don't want any e-mails. I've never had an interviewer hesitate to give me his/her e-mail address.

    It doesn't really matter... at most schools I've been to, your fate is sealed soon after the interview (before any thank you card can even get there).
     
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  32. lola

    lola Bovine Member
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    aaah.. ok. got it!
    that sucks you didn't get into wash or oregon. but hey, there's always something to learn from moving to a new place. i lived on the east coast for 5 years, and although i don't really wnat to go back for med school, i will make the best of it if i have to i guess! most of my friends live on the east coast, so i guess that will make it a little easier.
     
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  33. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door
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    maybe it's because i'm southern mountain girl and have been drilled in the rules of etiquette since i was old enough to feed myself, but i just think it's rude to not send handwritten thank-you cards. regardless of if you think it'll help you get in, these people took time out of their day to interview you and teach you something about the school. nothing fancy, nothing long, and nothing gooshy, but please don't start it with "thank you for interviewing me" (y'all all wrote great personal statements-- you can think of a better opening than that), and i cringe at even the thought of an email (unless your interviewer said something to the effect of "email me if you have any questions"). i do think they should be handwritten (unless you're like Dra. Foxy and the note is doubling as a letter of intent). a short, personal note is fine.

    of course, if the school says "don't send us thank you cards", don't send them.

    :D
     
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  34. Veilside

    Veilside Senior Member
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    quick question: i'm trying to send thank-you letters to my interviewers at couple of schools and i couldn't find the address for the interviewer in the school directory. i called adcom, and they said to just send it to the admissions office with the interviewer's name on it and they'll forward it to him. should i just do that?

    also, does it have to be a card? or can it just be a plain paper with a letterhead
     
  35. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
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    Sending to the admissions committee to forward it is fine (unless it's UCSF :))...
     
  36. Camden772

    Camden772 Senior Member
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    I have no first hand knowledge of the effect that thank you notes have on medical school applications, but I do have a good idea of their effect in the job market, specifically the legal job market. And they have no positive effect. I have both interviewed people for jobs and been interviewed for a number of jobs. I have sent hand-written notes, typed thank you letters, I once sent a thank you e-mail, and I have on several occassions sent no thank you correspondence of any kind. I have received job offers on each one of these occassions (except the e-mail thank-you). I don't think it has any effect whatsoever, and I would be surprised if it were any different in medical school applications. When I interview people at my current job, my recommedation is never related in any way to whether I get a thank you note or not. I have usually submitted my recommendation before I receive such a note anyway. If I get a thank you note (and I often do not), I think, "Oh, that's nice," and then I throw it in the trash. I do think they are nice and considerate, I do appreciate them, but they have absolutely no effect on my decision.

    Send a thank you card if you want to, but don't feel the need to do it because 75% of the people do it. I think typed or handwritten are both completely fine. Handwritten is more personal, and typed is more professional. Do whatever suits the situation and your personality the best. I don't think there is anything wrong with a thank you e-mail, but I would only e-mail an interviewer if s/he gives you his/her e-mail address.

    In my experience, I don't think it would ever be considered rude not to send a thank you note. I have never encountered anyone who does a lot of interviewing to hold that opinion. However, given Sweet Tea's upbringing, you may want to keep her views in mind if you are interviewing in the south. I live in the midwest and, as I've said, it has not been my experience that it is rude in anyway if you fail to send a thank you.
     
  37. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg 1K Member
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    do we ask the interviewer for their biz card, or what? How do I get their contact info?
     
  38. ::Seabass::

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    a lot of times they with offer their card to you in case you have any questions later on that they can help you with.
     
  39. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
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    I'm going to have to go ahead and disagree with you. It's a common courtesy to send a thank you note, and not just in the South. It doesn't matter if it makes a difference or not, although that's what most people reading this thread care about.

    In the case of UCSF, because of the blind interviews, they really don't want you to send thank you notes. And they don't want you to send them to the admissions office either.
     
  40. Mudd

    Mudd Charlatan & Trouble Maker
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    It's odd that only one person in this thread so far has actually given medical school interviews, yet so many people have strong opinions. Even more odd is that so few people have given credence to his opinion. His opinion happens to match almost verbatim with what I've heard from two other people who give medical school interviews. Only about ten percent of interviewees send thank notes. And yes, they make a good impression. Whether they impact your admissions process or not, saying thank you is a basic courtesy. I'm amazed so many people who be against showing some appreciation to another human being who volunteered their time to help you in your efforts to get into medical school.

    It should be done with sincerity and as a courtesy. If you send them just to kiss up, I'm pretty sure it will be obivous. A hand-written thank you note that shows gratitude for their time and any insights they shared with you is basic ettiquete. If this was not taught to you as a common act of appreciation, then I guess it seems odd. But in some regions, thank you is a reflex not a choice.
     
  41. Camden772

    Camden772 Senior Member
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    I just wanted to be clear that I do think thank you notes are curteous and appreciated, but I just don't think it's "rude" or "inconsiderate" if you fail to send one. If you feel inclined to thank someone then by all means do. In fact, I usually (but not always) send a thank you note.

    I guess I just wanted to share my experiences in the work force because it seems a number of SDNers feel they should be sent to increase your chances or to avoid being rude. I have spoken to a number of people about it in relation to job interviews, and the consensus is they are not necessary. Not by etiquette nor to ensure an offer. In fact, I know a number of career counselors at law schools that advise against sending thank you notes. They can only hurt your chances (a mispelling, incorrect grammar), and they will never help. On the other hand, some career counselors recommend sending them over not sending them. But I have never heard a career counselor or someone who does a lot of interviewing say they are required or that it is rude not to send them. This is just my experience. But I have quite a bit of experience in the area and I have talked to a lot of people about it. (When I first started interviewing for jobs I was very anal retentive about proper etiquette).

    The perception may be different in medical school interviews, or it may be different in other professions. I don't see why it would be, but it could. I just don't think you're a bad, inconsiderate, selfish person if you choose not to send one, and I don't think it will help your chances. I'm not saying I won't be sending them, I'm just saying I don't think people should feel obligated. If they want to, fine. If not, they aren't bad people.
     
  42. Dynastar

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    I'm a Texas resident. At all of my interviews, my interviewer filled their "interview sheets" right after the person finished their interview befor mine. I doubt that a thank you letter will have any effect on your acceptance.

    If they send in your score sheet and then get your thank you, I doubt they call the admissions committee and say, "Hey, I got a thank you letter from this person, bump them up a few spots."

    Anyway, I did write one thank you letter to an interview who gave me a wonderful interview experience. He was tough, but extremely nice and even told me that he was all for me getting in. In that case I sent a thank you letter to him.

    However, he did say something that struck me as funny. He said that sending a thank you letter to the admissions committee for sending me an interview wouldn't be bad. He said, "The squeaky wheel gets the oil." I laughed.
     
  43. Veilside

    Veilside Senior Member
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    i bought this hallmark card yesterday. it says "thank you" on the cover and "with sincerest gratitude to you" on the inside. do you guys think that's too much? it feels like i'm being a kiss-ass or something. i'm thinking of just hand-writing it on a plain piece of paper. what do u guys think?
     
  44. rae-chill

    rae-chill Member
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    you already bought it, use it.
     
  45. PrincessCKNY

    PrincessCKNY Crown Royal Member
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    Great website. The template is good and can adjust to each interview experience.

    I figure if I send thank you notes for things like sweaters and gift certificates, an opportunity to be interviewed certainly deserves some thanks. I am not going to do it to kiss ass or think it gets me anywhere. I am truly grateful that they wanted to get to know me.

    I am not sure what all the hub-bub is all about. If it's against your religion to do so, then don't. If you were raised to send them for anything (like I was), then go for it. I don't think it makes any difference at all, except to affect how you feel afterwards.
     
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  46. chopsuey

    chopsuey miss independent
    7+ Year Member

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    yeah, just go with what you've already got...if you're not lying, then it's not kiss a*s. :) that's my rule of thumb.
     
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