New York Times bestselling author Ann Leary returns to the podcast, this time to discuss I’VE TRIED BEING NICE, a light-hearted, vulnerable, and wise collection of essays about being a people-pleaser—and Zibby’s September Book Club pick! Ann reveals the origins of her essays, many of which were inspired by past blog posts and memorable personal experiences. She discusses the challenges of people-pleasing and standing up for herself and then shares anecdotes from her life (including gardening, alcoholism, ballroom dancing, a home bat invasion, moving from a beloved family home, and being an empty-nester.)


Zibby: Today we have Ann Leary. I'm so excited. This is a book club pick of mine. I'm obsessed with this book. I'VE TRIED BEING NICE essays. Congratulations. Thank you, Sophie. So awesome. 

Ann: Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. so much. I'm so excited that you picked my book for your book club.

It's awesome. And it's very exciting now to be on your podcast. This is my first actual interview for this book. So what better person to do it with? 

Zibby: Perfect. Thank you. So what, first of all, I just, I saw the cover and the title and all of it and I just got it right away. I was like, I'm going to love this.

This is, this speaks to me as it will for so many other people. Tell listeners what this is about why. 

Ann: Yeah. So this is an essay collection and I usually write fiction and so, but these are some essays that have been previously, a few have been previously published and a few were actually prompted. I had a blog years ago that is, doesn't exist anymore, but.

I, I still had, you know, so I had some of the things I blogged about, I used as prompts for these essays, but the title comes from the title essay, which is called I've Tried Being Nice. And it's about a little dispute I had with one of my neighbors and her, her dogs coming on our property. And, you know, I, it's a, and I'm a lifelong people pleaser, as I think a lot of women are.

And I finally reached a certain age where, you I realize I don't have, everyone doesn't have to love me more than anyone else. They can actually, I can live with people being like slightly fond of me or even wholly hating my guts. I don't know. That I don't know if I can live with. But I did have a dispute with my neighbor one day and it ended up, I had, I drove up to her in my pajamas in my car while she was walking her dogs, rolled down the window, and after many encounters with her where I was like, oh hi, it would be so nice if you didn't, if your dogs weren't on my property, my dogs, finally I rolled down my window and said, look, I've tried being nice.

The response from this woman, it was as if I had, like, pointed a gun. She was kind of staggered backwards and she started, you know, panicking a little. And I realized what a powerful thing it is to suddenly stand your ground. But the rest of the essays, there are that theme of, you know, kind of, trying to get along with the people, trying to have everyone, you know, pleased and, and also reaching a certain age.

They're kind of throughout the essays, but the essays touch on everything from, you know, taking ballroom dancing lessons with my husband to, uh, empty nesting. And, uh, you know, I write a little bit about my childhood, about my growing up. And so, you know, I had fun, I had fun writing the essays. And so I'm so, I'm so glad that, that you like them and that I'm hoping others will too.

When they read. 

Zibby: You have, so you start off with this scene with the dogs and being nice, and then at the end of the collection, you get to a point where you're, you and a friend are sort of talking about this tennis, this tennis companion, you're doubles, oh my, you're so funny, and I play tennis, and this was like the funniest scene ever, and then you're walking with your friend and you're like, I think I've realized the problem, I'm just too nice.

Ann: Yeah, and I totally believed that. I had been, you know, at first I had been savaging this other tennis player to my friend as we were walking. What are you know, she's a cheater. She's a poor sport. And then I said, you know, Kate, my, I think my problem is I'm just too nice. And she, for some reason just was doubled over in laughter.

I couldn't breathe. And I, I, I was like, what? I thought something crazy had happened that I hadn't seen. scene. And it turned out she was laughing at me because she was shocked that I thought I was too nice. That I, apparently, one of my, I have problems, one is not that I'm too nice according to my friend.

But, yeah, that was, that was funny. I do, there is. I wrote a tennis essay for Modern, the Modern Love column, and that's in this book in a longer version, and I do write a little bit about tennis. And I do, I do think you can find out anything you want to know about a person on the tennis court, probably on the basketball court, you know, any kind of area where you're, you know, In competition, you kind of see who a person really is.

Zibby: Totally. Right? I fell in love with my husband on the tennis court. Oh, how sweet! Oh, I love that! He was actually my tennis pro. Oh! We can go into that. 

Ann: Oh! I bet you're really a good tennis player. I will never play you. I'm not, I'm a, I play all the time. I'm the worst tennis player you've ever seen.

Zibby: I can't. I can't. If you're playing that much, you can't do that bad. 

Ann: I just can't get better at tennis. 

Zibby: I disagree. I'm sure you've gotten better. You have another essay in here that I literally laughed for, I was like crying laughing about your empty nesting. 

Ann: Right. 

Zibby: So, in most literature and contemporary fiction and memoir, I mean, I'm not going to lie.

Empty nesting is presented as this like horror, like I've been, you know, this, I have this ticking clock, right, like, oh my gosh, the sadness and all of this stuff, and you have turned that on its head and made it so fun and so So full of personality. Talk a little bit about how empty nesting has been for you.

Ann: Yeah, so I mean, I've been an empty nester now for a few years, but when, yeah, yeah, probably, you know, you might be going through this already, but like leading up to, especially my, I have two children, a son and a daughter. And when my son was, you know, close to graduating from high school and going off to college, I really had a hard time.

I was very, very sad. And, um, worried and, you know, I, I then in this essay I write about dropping him off and then, you know, two years later dropping my daughter off at college and, you know, it was very, I actually was, you know, crying when we left her and then I, my husband pulled over, I thought, because I was crying and then finally I was like, I'm fine, I'm fine.

I heard this noise from him and I looked over and the man's head was buried in, his face is buried in his hands, he was sobbing so hard. So anyway, we got home. I was making dinner, I had the TV on while I cooked, and he came in and did his automatic shut the TV off it's dinnertime and I said the words my husband had been waiting 20 years to hear which was Let's watch TV while we eat.

Because when the kids were growing up, you know, we didn't watch TV even on school nights because they had so much homework, but we had family dinners, and so the essays about all the other things we found out we had changed about ourselves to be good parents. And, you know, I'm sure many people are born, uh, or naturally very conscientious and polite and have excellent manners and don't swear and Don't gossip But we're not really like that but we had to act like that for 20 years because We knew our kids deserved better than us the minute they were born.

And so no we didn't swear in front of them. And we, um, you know, had nice meals and family meals. And then within days of them being gone, it was like, like a hedonist temple. We were like eating in front of the TV with our hands. Like we didn't say, could you please pass the butter? We'd just like lunge for it.

And you know, we, our kids couldn't bear, I'm sure your kids are the same, like, If my kids saw me in my underwear, they would, you know, make throw up noises. And, you know, I, I, the first couple of weeks, I, if I'd go to the laundry room to get my clothes, I'd be like, Oh, you know, covering, covering myself. But, um, you know, I realized the one person in the house that liked to see me in my underwear was like running up the stairs.

So pleased. And so it's just about that, about like, um, you know, finding out there was this bright side to the To that, that transition in my life. You know, it's, I didn't see it as it was coming up. I didn't see it as a transition. I saw it as at the end, the end of this. You know, wonderful family, the stage, and it wasn't the end.

And during COVID, and I didn't write about COVID, really, in these essays, but we had three adults in our house for a year and a half. They came back, and so we were like, where's that empty nest? That we loved so much. 

Zibby: No, you were so funny. You were like, When they come back again, we stop being, like, naked and swearing and, you know, all this stuff.

But, uh But they kind of know that while they're not there, You're having like this alternate lifestyle. 

Ann: Yeah, we're being ourselves, which is not very, you know, not the most commendable way to be. 

Zibby: But do you think maybe your kids have some of all that in you and would think it was hilarious? I mean, they are your kids.

Ann: Yeah, yeah, I mean, I mean, certainly as they got older, as we all do, you know, you do start not worrying about your language and then they stop worrying about theirs. Everyone starts kind of becoming adults together, you know? Right. So, but I think, yeah, I do, you know, I think I mentioned in the essay, I was, You know, if I was on my, on the phone with my sister gossiping and my daughter walked in the room, I wouldn't, I'd stop.

Not just because I didn't want her to hear what I was saying, but I didn't want her to hear me saying it because gossiping isn't nice. Yeah, I didn't want to set that example. And then, you know, when she was gone, it was, you know, full bore ahead. 

Zibby: You write a lot about homeowning, which many people can relate to.

The raccoons who took up residence. The bats, bats that took up residence. Bats or raccoons, both. You had bats on you, right? In one of the houses. 

Ann: Oh my gosh. Yes. So we had this, so we lived on this, you know, our kids were raised on this little kind of a farm cause it was, you know, we had some acreage up in Northwestern Connecticut and.

But we're not really, you know, we weren't, we didn't know about the bat situation. We had no, if you live in the country and you have a chimney, close it in the summer and also get a cap on it. But anyway, we had a series of bat invasions. It was embarrassing how many times bats came in our house and it turns out.

You know, my husband, I, is really pretty brave in most situations, but if you've ever seen the African Queen, and you know, the main character is afraid of leeches, he's in the water, like, my husband is terrified of bats, I didn't know that until we had one fly in our house, and he tried to trample our children running away from it, and so, yeah, I did write about, one time, I was sitting at a table where we think the bat must have spent the night, like, hanging upside down on the table.

But I was wearing, like, these paper thin pajama bottoms. And when I stood up, my daughter, who was probably eight or nine, said, Mom, Mom, there's a bat on your pajamas. And I, it's so weird, because afterwards, we, we played this over. And for some reason, I didn't look down. I was so terrified. And I said, looked in her eyes, and I said, Is it real?

And she said, Yes. And then we screamed it. I looked down and, like, Bats, they have this like half human, half pig face and they kind of smile in this like maniacal way and they're horrifying. And so I, you know, ran through the house and, you know, oh my gosh, yes. So I wrote about that and, and then, oh, it also kind of, yeah, there, there was sort of a, a gray gardens component to that.

Zibby: Yes. And then when you, and then when you left that house and you were moving out Yeah. That was also sort of this bittersweet moment. 

Ann: Yeah. It's so funny. So I usually have, since I write fiction, usually. Actresses narrate my books, but I was the narrator of this because, as you know, you know, if you write a memoir or, uh, you know, you write, it's better to have the author read it.

But, uh, embarrassingly, I kept getting choked up, actually, with that chapter and another one, and the poor guy who was producing it, he was like, not moved at all. He was kind of like, can you stop doing that? I was like, why am I getting choked up with my own thing? But yeah, it was leaving this. You know, we, we, we needed to downsize and we wanted a smaller house and we sold it and it was kind of bittersweet, but the great thing was then we love where we live now so much more.

And I wrote about that too. I, I, we bought a house from a woman who's a big gardener and she had a little lean to greenhouse. In, uh, attached to the house, and I've never known anything about plants, and now I truly have an indoor jungle, my kids and my husband think there's a problem, it's, I'm a whole animal, I'm a plant hoarder, but, you know, the house kind of made me want plants, and made me find another thing I love, which I have many things I love, many hobbies, but that's a new one.

Zibby: The end of that chapter actually, like, made me cry. Oh, yeah. When you end it with Edelweiss. Let me see if I can. 

Ann: Well, the father of the woman we bought the house from is Richard Rogers of Rogers and Hart, Rogers and Hammerstein. Yep. Yep. Heard of him. Is it Hammerstein? Hammerstein? I thought it was Steen, but I could be wrong.

So the, yeah, so the father of the woman who we, well, she was dead, but The father of A member of the family of the person we bought the house from, uh, wrote Edelweiss and wrote many, many famous, uh, songs for musicals, so. 

Zibby: Okay, so this is the end of that chapter. You said, I had googled Mrs. Emery when we first moved here and was pleased to learn that her father had written the song My Funny Valentine, which our friend Julie sang for my husband and me at our wedding.

But now I wanted to know about Linda Rogers Emery, not her father. I read a few interesting profiles written about her and her obituary. Okay. Bye. I discovered that Mrs. Emery was loving and giving. She was philanthropic and creative, but she also struggled, as I have, with shyness and bouts of severe depression.

Some quick math revealed that she moved here when she was about my age. The trees, the flowers, the gardens, and the greenhouse that lift my spirits each day had created, had creating them lifted hers? I'm not into musicals and show tunes, but I heard the Rodgers and Hammerstein show song Edelweiss around Christmas time last year.

I was in my happy place, the local plant store, just browsing. The tune stuck with me. It's one of those songs that takes root. Later, I was singing it as I tried to rearrange some plants on my greenhouse deck to make room for my laptop. Like I said, I'm not really into spirituality or show tunes, but I got a little teary as I hum sang to all my green darlings, my tender foundlings, and to the spirit of Mrs.

Emery too. Blossoms of snow, may you bloom and grow. Bloom and grow forever. Oh! My mom used to sing me that song going to bed. 

Ann: Yeah. It's such a, it's a really beautiful song, so yeah. They were playing, when we were looking at, you know, the real estate, I'm a real estate junkie. One of my books is about a real estate broker.

And I, I love real estate. I show up at open houses. We're not in the market. I just. 

Zibby: That's literally part of my novel. I have to say, yeah, she has like a whole secret Instagram. thing because she goes to open houses all the time. Yeah. Open house bandit. I'm like obsessed with going to open houses. 

Ann: Yeah. Yeah.

No, I just, I don't want 

to move. I just want to see everyone's house. too. Like, I, you know, I, you know, when I came in, I was, oh, so excited to see your house. But, um, yeah. So, but when we were looking at this house, the brokers had, they had like a little speaker and they were playing, you know, Songs from the Sound of Music, and so we'd know, and then they could lay that into the father of the woman who owned this place was this famous composer and, um, it didn't enter into our decision to buy the house at all.

But it does, you know, once you know something about that, it does kind of influence you. And I did write one thing that was, you know, exciting about this house is we moved in in the winter and in the spring she was such an avid gardener. This, these, these beautifully planted perennial beds started to bloom and she had orchestrated them, you know, and almost like a choreographer, you know, it was like in the early spring we had the daffodils and the little other little early, what are they called?

I don't know. Daffodils? Um, there's like snow, snowdrops? 

Zibby: Okay. Daffodils. This is beyond my pig right here. 

Ann: And then when those would start to die off, these irises would bloom and it was almost, you know, it was like, you know, enter stage, right, the lilies come and then these go. And there was this crazy, there were these beautiful big pots on the patio full of dirt.

And I thought, you know, they should have really, why did they leave us pots of dirt? I don't like, now we have to move them. But I'm glad we didn't, because she had planted even those with beautiful perennials that, you know, it was like a beautiful surprise. She was, she had died before the estate sold the house.

So I just felt a connectedness to her through that. And, and that kind of inspired me to explore, you know, gardening and planting.

Zibby: Oh my gosh. So your novels. I can get the word out. Your novels, The Good House, which you referenced already and which became a movie, which I saw, which was amazing. Oh, thank you.

And also The Foundling, which we talked about on this podcast before. Yes, Your process for writing novels versus essays. Tell me about the difference and all that. 

Ann: Well, it's interesting. I, I'm usually working on a novel. So I'm often, and you probably have experienced this too, where you're, if you're writing fiction, you are in another world, especially writing historical fiction.

And The Foundling is my one historical novel, and it takes place in 1927. I just, and I spent a lot of years working on that. So I was always in this, I like to be in a happy, in a way place, in a fantasy place. And I do write in this book, I moved a lot as a child. I think that's why I had to move, changing schools a lot.

I often didn't have friends right away. And I just was very much into go, kind of escaping into fantasy. And so I like, right now I'm working on, Trying to get a new novel started and that's a hard thing for me I don't know for you what your process is, but I usually at this point and kind of auditioning narrators So I know the story of you know, I don't know completely the story, but I have an idea of the story But I'm not sure who should tell it and so for example the good house originally There was a different, the main character was supposed to be this woman, Rebecca, and I would write it and the only time the, it wasn't working, the only time the book came alive when I was, when I was writing about this, who was once a peripheral character, this Hilde, this real estate broker.

Who was this kind of real New Englander and real townie and I knew this character very well and I actually really every time I was writing about her the book came alive and then finally I realized she had kind of hijacked that book. I was like, okay, you, you tell the story. 

Zibby: Whose point of view was it from originally?

Ann: It was actually kind of a close third person. So it was about this other Rebecca, who is the one who was married to the rich man. And, um. So anyway, yeah, so then the story became about Hildy. So I'm hoping right now I have many failed auditions of characters. And that's how I see it. It's sort of, I know whose story it is.

If I can find that, I understand a character well enough that they can, you know, do anything. And I would know how this character would react kind of thing. You know, I felt like I told my editor at the time when I was working on the good house, I felt, I, If Hildy, if my editor said, you know, we need to see with Hildy on the moon, I would know exactly what Hildy would do in space.

So I think that's a really important thing. With my writing, I like to develop, really fully develop characters. Then the plot kind of comes from that. What about you? Do you, do you write, like, do you, do you plot out? Do you, like... 

Zibby: yeah, because I've, I've had sold the last two novels on proposal to my editor.

So I have to do like a 60 page thing with like,... 

Ann: Oh, it's hard to sell novels on proposal. 

Zibby: I don't know. It's I need the, I need the, but then I go off the outline. 

Ann: Right. Right. 

Zibby: But I always, but I start with the person. 

Ann: Right. 

Zibby: And the story is sort of, actually, that's not true. Is that true? No, it's not true. You start with the plot.

But the idea and the person are like interlinked. 

Ann: Right. 

Zibby: And I guess you could tell the story from some other perspective, but. 

Ann: Do you outline? And then, do you like, do you know how it's going to end usually? Okay. Yeah. That's key. I think. I often don't. You don't know how to do it. That's what I struggle with.

And it's good to know where it's going. I know at some point, but I often, when I'm starting, I don't know. And sometimes I, have an idea for an ending that ends up not being the end. 

Zibby: Well, I changed, I changed it too. Yeah. Sometimes it changes. Yeah. Sometimes. I mean, I've only, you know, I haven't done, the books that didn't work didn't have an outline.

So I've just said that having an outline is probably helpful. Yeah. Yeah. I think it's very important. I think also, you know, I'm not, I haven't written 8 million novels like other people who are like know how to do it, like the back of their hands. So I feel like I need these color by numbers sort of things.

Ann: Yeah. Yeah. You have to feel your way. And each one, I think you get a little better and things that were hard get easier, I think. 

Zibby: And where do you like publishing essays the most? 

Ann: What do you mean? In like, my, which magazine? 

Zibby: So, so when you're writing essays now, like what is the best place for you? 

Ann: Oh, where do I work?

Zibby: Like, where should people find your essays? 

Ann: Oh, okay. 

Zibby: Where, uh, you know, yeah, where is. 

Ann: Yeah. Well, so these, some of these essays were previously published. I have a couple were in Real Simple. Hell. Yeah. I don't know. Do they still have great essay? They used to have people. I loved real simple essays because it's a beautiful magazine, but they, the personal essay was, it was the only one.

I don't know. I always liked that. So a couple of them were in real simple. There was the modern love piece. There were a couple that were in anthology. Somebody just asked me if I'd write for an anthology. And so, you know, I got permission to reprint those, but most of them are original and they really were.

Um, kind of, I wanted to keep them within this kind of theme, not really, you know, too closely connected as a theme, but just of, you know, reaching a certain age, finding out who I really am and, you know, feeling I can, you know, claim this space as my own and I hope you like me. If you don't, I will die. No.

Zibby: Are there any, like, germs of ideas for stories that almost, that could be part of the, like, Collection, but you didn't write or that you decided not to include. 

Ann: Yeah, I actually have, you know, one chapter about my dogs I mentioned my dogs But I I've always thought I should just do a memoir of all our animals because my husband and I are and my kids We're all just animal nuts.

We've had a lot of pets right now. We have four dogs We have that's about three too many for right now. We have two on very unhinged rescues and but they're kind of our life. And so, but I, I do like, I'm obsessed with animal behavior. And so I thought I'd like to do a whole collection of just that. But, um, there were essays I wrote that just weren't right for this, this collection that I might put in another one.

So, yeah, but I tend to, um, as far as where I'm writing this, so I usually write on my bed, like propped up like an otter, like my computer on my, on my bed. And I just find it comfortable to write like that. I like to write really early in the morning, so I get up between 5 I'm really the brightest then, and then, and the most confident, and then, you know, As the day goes on, my confidence wanes until I actually, if I look at something I wrote, my face turns scarlet and I want to die.

And then the next morning, it looks fine again. So I write at home. But this book, I wrote in my local library, much of it. I, um, we have a great library in my town and, you know, I wrote there and one to be, to have quiet, but also, um, I don't. They do have internet there, but it's very embarrassing to be shopping on Amazon in the library, like, you know, the people who work there, I've done events there, so they know I'm an author.

So, so I just don't, I just work, because I don't want to be seen, like, buying, you know, sneakers. Or like, or like just swallowing in stupid places that I like to go on the internet. So I think that's why I liked writing this in the library. And I love libraries. 

Zibby: Plus now you can say you wrote it in the library and that sounds good.

Ann: Yes. Yeah. 

Zibby: So you sound very scholarly and literary. 

Ann: It does. 

It actually makes the book sound smarter. Yes. Instead of writing it, you know, in my bed. Like an otter. Not quite as literary as one might think. 

Zibby: So for the book club members and people out there who are reading the book, what should they know going into it?

Let's just say they haven't started it yet. Is there anything you want that, like, what do you want them to take away at the end? 

Ann: I think, I hope people will find it relatable. I think that it is, I try, you know, I hope they'll take away, well, many things, but one thing I think. The people pleasing is something I kind of go back to.

Um, some of it comes from, you know, just growing up a certain way or during a certain era. And also there's a lot of alcoholism in my family and I have in, I'm in recovery and I've written a lot about that. I actually write an essay about that in the book. But, um, a lot of people pleasing is about, you know, alcoholism.

And when you're actively drinking, you just, you know, you're kind of in this Spiral of or in the cycle of like shame than wanting people to like and it anyway So just kind of vestiges of that remain when you stop drinking and so that was part of it And I think people I think anyone I talked to about it people relate to that especially women I do think And I actually have read that women, we are kind of wired from primitive times to want to engage with other women.

And, you know, that's why women like look in each other in the eye because in, you know, very, when we were kind of tribal primitive people, we would need the other women to, to like us because our children would be safer and men needed to go and hunt and they didn't need that. So. I think some of it just is natural and then, but once, in our modern world, it's, it's like one of those many things in human behavior that we, you know, it's like, it's, it's like why we don't have a tail anymore.

Like, we need all the women to love us so much, but we do, I think. It's even goes back to tennis. When I play tennis mixed doubles, I've noticed men. I, I'm always like looking at the people's faces, right? Across the court. Yep. And I should be looking at the ball, you know? Men look at the ball because they're kind of hunting and motivated.

So anyway. 

Zibby: You mentioned about women saying sorry. Like I'm always like, sorry, sorry, sorry. And men are just like, whatever. 

Ann: Yeah. Yeah. So there's this, um, thing. I don't know. And then I, and I didn't touch on Karen's at all cause I would, you know, but there's this fine line, you know, you want to, you don't want to be a total like kick me Charlie, you know, here, but like there's got, there's so much, And maybe because of the internet, it seems like there's so much more, but there's so many very entitled people who are, should be more people pleasing, more considerate.

You know, there's a fine line, so. I certainly wouldn't want to be a person who isn't considerate, but I want to. It's kind of a waste of time when, you know, one does apologize too much. It kind of, it can be, it can get in your way a little bit and people find it like, can you just, you know, it's like the dog that is always kind of trying to get you to pet.

Zibby: And, uh, yes, yes. And I should have mentioned the whole section on, you know, when you went to the resort and you had the drink with a little bit of rum in it and you're like, maybe I can do this now after all that time. Maybe we should stick with Colts and, you know, blah, blah, blah. And then you're like, oh, no, wait, this is why I can't do this.

Have you read Drunkish by Stephanie Wilder Taylor? 

Ann: No. Drunkish? 

Zibby: Drunkish.

Ann: I can't believe it. I usually read most drinking memoirs, but no, I didn't. 

Zibby: It came out this past year. Okay. I'll see if I have a copy here to give you. But it's sort of similar because she's like, oh no, I can do it. 

Ann: Right. 

Zibby: Like, I can get away with this.

Ann: Right. 

Zibby: And it wasn't until she's like, well. 

Ann: Yeah. Now I remember. Yeah. Yeah. It's funny. So my editor, when. This book was, you know, in the process of being edited and she said, you know, there's a whole thing now of it cracks me up to even say it, of people being sober curious. I know, it's so funny. And I was like, wait, what?

I'm, I'm, I'm like social drink curious. I want to be a social drinker and that's all I've ever tried to be. And most alcoholics, we want that. And it's, you know, most people, you know, get drunk every now and then, like they have their evening drink and we want to be like you. But I, you know. Just, I was born, you know, the first time I drank, I had a full blackout.

It just, you know, so, yeah, but that essay was, I did try to become a social drinker after 14 years of not drinking. And then, that was a failed experiment. And I don't drink anymore. No, it's been another 14 years of me not drinking, or longer of me not drinking again. Which, I'm a very happy person when I don't drink.

You know, day and night. I'm just, yeah. 

Zibby: Yeah. Excellent. Okay. Well, Anne, thank you so much. Thank you. I've tried to be nice. One of my favorites. Laughed so hard.

Ann: I'm so glad. 

Zibby: So, I mean, everyone is going to love this book and people will be passing it around. I can just feel it, you know, like, like a deck of cards.

I hope so. 

Ann: Thank you, Zibby. 

Zibby: You're welcome. 

Ann: Thank you.


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