Imprinting....As good as human love?

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December
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Imprinting....As good as human love?

Post by December »

Is imprinting as good as ordinary human love? For the imprinter? For the imprintee?

Does it undermine the worth of love if you have no say about it? Does it make a relationship stronger -- or less meaningful -- if there is no possibility that the imprinter will ever fall out of love?

How would you feel about either imprinting or being imprinted on?

What do you think Stephenie wants us to think about imprinting?


Once again this week, we're putting up a pair of starting posts, one Pro and one Con, to get the discussion rolling. Have a look and see what you think! And...don't be afraid to reply to other people's posts! We're here to have a conversation (or even a debate) with each other -- it's more fun than simply posting our individual views. Just make sure it stays fun.

As always, please remember that the issues we discuss on this thread are ones that many people feel strongly about. So take care to present your views courteously. No one is right or wrong -- just tell us how it seems to you. Remember, these characters mean a lot to people here. That doesn't mean you can't criticize them, but...do it nicely. And keep in mind that tone is hard to convey in writing. Go the extra mile to be friendly to your fellow posters! Be tolerant. Be patient. Be nice. You've all been doing a great job of respecting each others' opinions: let's keep it up.
Last edited by December on Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by LisaCullenAZ »

Is imprinting as good as ordinary human love? For the imprinter? For the imprintee? Does it undermine the worth of love if it you have no say in it? Does it make a relationship stronger -- or less meaningful -- if there is no possibility that the imprinter will ever fall out of love? How would you feel about either imprinting or being imprinted on? What do you think Stephenie wants us to think about this question (to judge from what she has written)?


When I learned that this was the debate topic for the new week, and when I was asked to write an opening argument for it, I wasn't sure which side to pick. Honestly, I could argue both sides of this topic. I have neutral feelings on the subject.

I am pretty sure I would not to want experience imprinting myself, on either side of the relationship. ;) But since I am in no danger of that, I can comfortably understand both points of view here.

For today's purpose, however, I will argue that imprinting can be, especially the way Stephenie has written it, every bit as lovely and wholesome and healthy as ordinary human love.


When I first read the chapters in which Jacob details the "scandals" of the tribe to Bella, I felt a wide range of emotions. From shock to curiosity to unease. But ultimately I accepted them and found that there might not be anything wrong to be found in it.

I assume, from what I've read and what I understand about imprinting, that a person would only imprint on that one individual who will make them MOST happy. Someone they would have fallen in love with anyhow, had circumstances allowed them the chance to do it naturally.

But here's a thought: Is there really only one perfect match for each of us?

I believe not. Surely there is more than one person in the world for each of us that could make us happy. Just as Bella could be "happy" with Jacob. But we know she is meant for Edward and would only be wholly complete and happy with the latter. Right?

So then' is there also one perfect match out there for us? Despite other possible worthy companions, is there one person destined to make us the most happy? Like with Edward and Bella? Someone who can make us happier than we could be with any of the other possible (and acceptable!) matches?

If this is true -- that many options are possible but there is always one that is most desirable -- how do we find that person? How do we know we haven't already passed them by without knowing what we'd found? Bella had no idea there was someone as perfect for her as Edward lying in wait somewhere in the rainy town of Forks' a place she swore off as a young girl. How frightening to imagine that things might have turned out differently. That she could have stayed in Phoenix and never known what she was missing. That Edward could have gone on in his tortured existence barely surviving High School, perhaps giving up and going back to Alaska and ending up with Tanya or some other horrible outcome. Ugh!

The fact is, when things are left to us we don't always get to find that perfect match for ourselves. Indeed, most people never do. With imprinting, despite all of its lack of free agency and other icky side effects, the guess work is taken out of it! There is not question of who is meant to be your other half.

Let's use Quil as an example. That's the one that most people get hung up on. :)

Imagine yourself as Quil. You don't have that special person in your life. Nobody has caught your eye' nothing. You've gone around never knowing who it will be, when it will hit you, and then one day you see her, and' BAM! You know. No guessing. No wondering.

And had you NOT known in that instant you might never have had the chance to get to know her better! She could have passed right by you and you would miss your opportunity for ultimate happiness. So sad! How many times does that happen to us? In real life? How many times does true happiness go right through our fingertips because we exercise our free will and make terrible mistakes? There is something to be said about matters being taken out of our own hands' when our own hands are often the means to our demise.

Obviously the age difference in Quil and Claire's case is hard to comprehend without getting the shivers. But we have to remember they aren't a couple yet. It's nothing romantic or sexual or physical. It was just an alert in Quils system! At this time, Quil's instincts have only informed him that someday, when the time is right, THIS will be the girl that was always meant for him. This will be the girl that he would have fallen in love with anyway should he have had the chance later in life, on his own terms. This is the girl that would have fallen for him too, should SHE have had the chance later in life. They are MEANT for each other. In the same ways that Edward and Bella are. In that light, it is a beautiful thing. I think (from the way Jacob describes it in the book) that Stephenie Meyer meant us to see it this way as well.

And speaking of Edward and Bella, do we not see what they have together as a sort of imprinting? Maybe not completely' but we know Edward has compared his feelings to that kind of solid instantaneous and irrevocable attachment. And another thing! How much of their story was fate? Do we know? As I said before, what if things had turned out differently? How did it work just the way it did? Did fate place them in each others paths? Was Bella directed? If so, isn't this a form of things being taken out of one's hands? Like imprinting, in some small way? Just something to think about. :)

Now let's talk about my favorite example: Jared and Kim. This is a beautiful story! This was the girl that had been watching him from across the room for who knows how long, wishing and hoping that he would notice her. And one day, when his instincts finally kicked in, he was "informed" by them that THIS WAS THE GIRL! I believe that this was something that would have happened anyway. I can totally see it. These two were meant for each other from the beginning. It was a connection that even Kim felt, without any ancient wolfy-senses to tell her so.

Had things been left to their own devices, and had Jared done what fate would have had him do, they would certainly have ended up together anyway. But then again...there is the possibility, if imprinting had not come into play, that Jared could have had his mind on other things for too long, he could have never noticed her, they could have never gotten together, and true happiness could have eluded both him and the poor heartbroken girl who was meant to be his. How unfortunate that would have been. And it happens in ordinary human love all the time.

With this perspective in mind it is rather easy for me to say that imprinting does not devalue or take anything away from true love and can be all the great things ordinary human love is' and possibly even more.
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Post by ouisa »

Gravity moves, suddenly it is not the Earth holding you anymore it's she does'..

Imprinting, more than any other subject in the Twilight Saga, has captured my mind. I've thought about it and argued about it and even based my usual avatar/banner off of it. It's the one subject I can never quite reason out exactly how I think. The sappy side of me would love to just KNOW for sure that my love really is the one true love destined for me. And that it comes complete with my perfect lover who is created to be everything I need in a lover and a partner. I mean what more could a girl want right?

Well the truth is I want a lot more, maybe not for me but for the one I love. See when gravity moves, and imprinting occurs it disregards everything that the wolf was before. It overwrites his desires, his thoughts and his nature. It doesn't matter if the wolf in questions was engaged, married, or happily single. It doesn't matter if he was loyally devoted to the pack or going to the university or just wanting to hang out with Jake and Embry. Instead this unseen force comes in and changes the man. (or woman). It makes them suddenly desire the person they've imprinted on and makes them become whatever she wants or needs. I would personally feel sorry for my wolf, had he been forced to change drastically just because the universe decides to couple us. I would wonder whenever he did something "perfect" if it was truly him being so right for me or if it was just the imprint that had made him to it

The issue gets even more complicated if my wolf had a prior love as Sam, I would always feel in the back of my mind a tinge of regret and of almost sorrow. Because my wolf didn't choose me freely, he was compelled to love me. Love when it happens to us mere mortals is an amazing thing. That your partner picked you out of the millions of others on earth that he could pick and that he chooses freely to give himself to you and only you, it's well not only emotionally and spiritually breathtaking, it's also statistically breathtaking. Further, I can't imagine how horrible I would feel were he already married, especially if they had children. I can't imagine ruining someone's home. How could I accept such a love, even if it was perfect? And sure, it's nice to know that your lover will never cheat, will never fall out of love but wouldn't you rather know that your love choose to be with you everyday, even on the hard ones than know that no matter how rough things are he's never able to leave? That he's bound to you forever?
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Post by mandustries »

Imprinting. Mm. At first glance, I can't decide whether I agree more with LisaCullenAZ or ouisa.

On the one hand we have unconditional, immovable, perfect "love". We have the one soul that connects to ours in a way unlike any other. We have a chance to be totally and completely happy for the rest of ours life. But, we also have only a slight chance of any of this occurring. Even Jacob says imprinting is (or supposedly is) rare.Like LisaCullenAz said:
The fact is, when things are left to us we don't always get to find that perfect match for ourselves. Indeed, most people never do. With imprinting, despite all of its lack of free agency and other icky side effects, the guess work is taken out of it! There is not question of who is meant to be your other half.
On the other hand, we have a controlling force. If we are the werewolf, we have an irresistible urge to follow our instincts. Our instincts lead us to "be perfect" for the one our soul fits with. We know that we will love our soul-mate forever, and they will love us forever in return. But, we also are unable to control these instincts, and through following them we could end up breaking hearts and relationships that prior to imprinting meant the world to us. Like ouisa said:
Love when it happens to us mere mortals is an amazing thing. That your partner picked you out of the millions of others on earth that he could pick and that he chooses freely to give himself to you and only you, it's well not only emotionally and spiritually breathtaking, it's also statistically breathtaking. Further, I can't imagine how horrible I would feel were he already married, especially if they had children. I can't imagine ruining someone's home. How could I accept such a love, even if it was perfect?
See why I'm confused? Two perfectly great, yet opposing, views on the same subject.
December wrote: How would you feel about either imprinting or being imprinted on?
The hopeless romantic in me would love to be able to be certain that I could find my one true love. And that when I found them, I would know instantaneously. There would be no doubt in my mind, no worry about all the stupid little "what ifs" that typically plague my relationships. (I'm neurotic, I can't help it. ;)) To know that nothing would ever change the way I felt about someone, and to know that they would never change the way they felt about me would be a total release from all the normal annoyances that the human brain brings to normal relationships.

The independent in me, however, rebels at the thought of fate mapping everything out for me in advance. Free will is one of humanity's most important gifts. To know that I was eventually going to become permanently attached to someone, with no way to change my mind or heart, is a somewhat frightening thought. I like to make my own decisions and deal with the consequences as they come.
December wrote:What do you think Stephenie wants us to think about imprinting?
To bring up a theme from the last debate, I think Stephenie sees the way she loves her children as a sort of imprinting. As ouisa quoted in one of the last posts:
At the signing in Utah someone asked Stephenie:
"Do you believe people can experience the love you describe in your stories? Or is it a fantasy?"

And Stephenie replied:
"You aren't going to like the answer to this question but I could not have written these stories before I had my children. They were my first experience with the kind of love that absolutely with out a question I would give my life for. I had different boys that I fell in love with off and on but I always had a very firm grip on reality. But with my kids I don't any more and that was my experience with, well romantic love is obviously a very different thing but to be able to understand that intensity and the way you would do things that are just dangerous for somebody that is when I kind of learned how love feels like that."
Without knowing her intimately, I can't say for sure what Stephenie means, exactly, when she describes this kind of love. But it certainly seems like what she's describing when she talks about her children is the way Jacob explains imprinting. I'm pretty sure Stephenie believes that imprinting is a good thing. :)
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Post by Heart Song »

I can't say that I have ever been comfortable with the concept of imprinting as presented in Ec. From Jacob's description, I believe that SM wants us to view it as a positive. After all, who doesn't want to be with their perfect match? There is something to be said for having to work at your relationship however. My husband and I will be celebrating our 17th anniversary this week and we will both readily admit that neither of us is perfect but because we have learned to work together, face the difficulties that life has presented and shared in our individual and joint accomplishments there is a depth and richness to our relationship that could not be there if we didn't have to work at what we have.

Our strength has come from the fact that we chose and continue to choose to face life together. Imprinting would remove the specialness of knowing that the person, regardless of any faults is still special and significant enough that the partner chooses to remain regardless of any challenging circumstances.

Imprinting is a forgone conclusion and as much love and devotion are there it seems to me to lack the depth that comes from choosing to love someone.
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Post by vampgirl9 »

Is imprinting as good as ordinary human love? For the imprinter? For the imprintee?
Does it undermine the worth of love if you have no say about it? Does it make a relationship stronger -- or less meaningful -- if there is no possibility that the imprinter will ever fall out of love?
How would you feel about either imprinting or being imprinted on?
What do you think Stephenie wants us to think about imprinting?




What I say is love is love. There is no difference in love when you know you love someone it doesnt matter if you are human werewolf, or vampire.

People fall in and out of love all of there lifes and then one day they find the person that they are going to love for the rest of their lives. Its the same with werewolves I believe. They share the same feelings that any human would feel when they are deeply in love. Its just that first site that is stronger then what any human feels.

People fall in and out of love all of their lives and this is the main point I am trying to make. Like the ordeal with Sam, Emily, and Leah. If Sam stayed human, I think that like most people Sam and Leah would fall out of their love eventually, and sooner or later Sam would find Emily and they would fall in love like all other humans.
Imprinting, I think is just a way to show that, that one person was the one you were going to fall in love with anyway. That one site is the only mystical wolfy thing that happens everything else is normal and healthy. And since you know that, the person you imprinted on is your one true love, you can just skip all the stuff inbetween friends and love.

Imprinting doesnt make the love less meaningful if that was the person you were supossed be with. Because if they were human and they truely loved each other there would still be no chance in that person leaving. This is why i wouldnt mind being imprinted on because once explained to me I would understand that I would love them anyway if i got to know them when they were human.
Imprinting is love and thats what Stephenie is trying to explian. I think that is what she wants us to think its just love, maybe sped up, but still love.
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Post by MegFairy »

before i get started i'd like to say that, like Lisa, i have a terrible time picking a side on this one. when it comes down to it, i don't know that i can! this may be because of my lack of knowledge in the subject. while i have been before, i'm not currently in love.

there is something to be said about picking your significant other. but sometimes, no matter how much you love them and how much you try, they are not the one for you. now, let it be known that i am one for trying my darndest at relationships and know that for success to be achieved it takes a whole heck of a lot of work.

on the flip side, there is something special about knowing without a doubt that this person is the one for you. you don't have to play games, you don't have to worry about anything. it's just blissful perfection as set out by the universe! :D

Is imprinting as good as ordinary human love?...for my argument i'm going to use Bella and her love for Edward as my example of human love. granted, Edward is not a human, but Bella is and it's an example we can all understand. yes, i would say that they are both powerful and good. Does Jared love Kim less than Bella loves Edward? does Bella love Edward less than Sam loves Emily? Gravity moving is a pretty heavy thing. the love that comes from imprinting is incredibly powerful! but Bella's human love for Edward is arguably just as powerful. more or less? i don't think so; just different.
Further, I can't imagine how horrible I would feel were he already married, especially if they had children. I can't imagine ruining someone's home. How could I accept such a love, even if it was perfect?
this is where i would have trouble. i can't justify someone else's pain with my own happiness. but what can you do!? argh! sigh. luckily i don't find myself in that situation because i have no idea what i would do in order to live with myself.

i'm sure i'll sound like the silly woman that i am when i say this but here goes. if a werewolf from La Push imprinted on me i would be ecstatic! i would never have to worry that he would suddenly stop loving me, or that he would suddenly show his true colors and end up being a monster which is more than i can say for any of my human dating endeavors. i would trade being chosen from among other women for having someone who will be unwavering in his love for me no matter what and do everything in his power to make me happy. [/quote]
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Imprinting

Post by Crazy_and_Proud »

Is imprinting as good as ordinary human love? For the imprinter? For the imprintee?
I think that imprinting is similar to human love...but it becomes stronger because you never have to wonder IF this really is your true love or what ever they call it. You can get in to fights but you always know they are meant for you and things will work out so you never have to worry about breaking up or them falling out of love with you. Like Jacob said like true love but more absolute.

Does it undermine the worth of love if you have no say about it? Does it make a relationship stronger -- or less meaningful -- if there is no possibility that the imprinter will ever fall out of love?
You have a say but....why wouldn't you choose them....it's like saying you know what even though I won this free Brand new Porshe 911 Turbo online I am going to go and buy this old chevy. (please don't relate this to actual cars in books I just don't know the names of many types of cars and needed an example...I say this because I know some Twilight Obbsessed fans would choose Bella's Truck over Alice's Porsche.) I believe It makes it stronger knowing they will always be there for you.


How would you feel about either imprinting or being imprinted on?
I would feel relieved, imprinting because I would always live in horror of having to go through what SAm Emily and Leah went through....Imagine if you were married and then imprinted!!! Being imprinted on ...I would feel special knowing that there was someone out there who would always want me and no one else, just knowing that I was wantable would be a big deal...
What do you think Stephenie wants us to think about imprinting?
She POSSIBLY wants us to compare it to Bella and Edwards relationship...see how much they are alike and different. Also seeing how much stronger or weaker they are compared...
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Post by Forever_Edward_Cullen »

Woo, heavy topic. :) I hope I make sense here! :)

Is imprinting as good as ordinary human love? For the imprinter? For the imprintee?

-----For the imprinter, I think imprinting is as good as ordinary human love for THEM but not necessarily for the imprintee. When I read about Emily and Sam, I always felt like Emily knows he is always going to be there.... and their relationship almost feels like a burden on her to me? She accepts her place but it isn't a common romantic relationship they way say you or I would have. I don't know if anyone feels that with her. I think she loves him but I don't feel like it is romantic love but more of a partnership love--what must be shall be.

Does it undermine the worth of love if you have no say about it? Does it make a relationship stronger -- or less meaningful -- if there is no possibility that the imprinter will ever fall out of love?

-----I believe the worth of love is undermined if you have no say about it. This isn't to say that the relationship can't develop later to be romantic and meaningful for the imprintee. I think it would be devastating to be in a relationship with someone who chose me but I didn't choose them in an equal way. It takes the joy out of being in love, but like I said, it doesn't mean the imprintee can't love their imprinter.... but that is really a couple to couple difference. The other question would be, if the imprintee grows to love their imprinter, is it because they have grown to love them out of the realization that this person "is it" or because they have grown to love who their imprinter is as a person?

How would you feel about either imprinting or being imprinted on?

----- I think my theme is obvious that I have great sympathy for the imprintee BUT I do have even greater sympathy for the imprinter. They don't have a choice. It just happens. They don't get the benefit of choosing someone they love spontaneously. I don't like imprinting personally because I am all about choosing someone you love because you love them.... and not because of an inner 'YOU'RE IT' beast that attaches two people together.

What do you think Stephenie wants us to think about imprinting?

----- The verdict is still out for me on this one. I'm not clear on what she wants us to think about imprinting except maybe that choosing the one we love can be pleasant.... but it can also be hard (Edward and Bella -- Romeo and Juliet scenario -- not always the happy ending no matter how much they love each other) and it can be simple (Sam and Emily -- Imprint Relationship -- didn't choose one another but it works). Is there true happiness in either relationship without struggle? No, but what relationship lacks conflict? A healthy one brings some conflict but how far will you go to be happy? In imprinting, there isn't that "how far will you go" because you don't have a say-- either of you--but it doesn't make it any easier.
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Post by CullenAddict664 »

Is imprinting as good as ordinary human love? For the imprinter? For the imprintee?
For the Imprinter, I agree that it would be something similar to human love, if not stronger. As for the imprintee, however, unless there was a previous attraction to the imprinter, I don't think it would be as good. I know I couldn't see myself suddenly falling for someone who I had never noticed, or been attracted to. I guess that's because my idea of love is slowly falling into it...not "love at first sight".


Does it undermine the worth of love if you have no say about it? Does it make a relationship stronger -- or less meaningful -- if there is no possibility that the imprinter will ever fall out of love?

To me, it is all like the "arranged marriage" concept. The imprentee has no say. They can end up hating the imprinter, or learning to feel the same way. So, yes, I think it does kind of undermine the worth of love a little.


How would you feel about either imprinting or being imprinted on?

I agree that it does ruin the spontaneity of it all. I mean, not being able to choose the one person you want to spend the rest of your life with. I don't know how well I could live with that if I was the one imprinting. As far as being imprinted on, like I said before, I just couldn't see myself falling for someone that way.

What do you think Stephenie wants us to think about imprinting?

I really don't know. There aren't many relationships in these books that are without stuggle, so, it could be related to that in some way..... :?
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