Sometimes a guy who works for us brings his teenage daughter over to hang out for an hour or two. Because obviously with all the people living under the same roof there is an abundance of square footage. Plus we have the coolest perk in town – the A/C! OK, it’s not perky but still cool.

So this girl always starts speaking to me in soft, ingratiating voice: Oh, you’re soooo nice, soooo kind, soooo beautiful. Her Tajik accent makes it sound even more saccharine, like she’s singing in a harem. It’s so over-the-top it’s obvious she’s about to ask something. Of course then she asks. I’m fully aware of her greasing the wheels just moments ago but I’m already sold. The flattery is slowly seeping into my mind and a part of me thinks “oh sure let her have it, she’s such a sweetheart”. Manipulation 101, where do I sign up?

All these “I love you”, “I miss you”, “You’re special” paired with puppy eyes always make me stop short. Even when it’s a blatant move I feel it would be impolite to tell them to get lost. And there they have it.