In this song, Alanis addresses five different guys in an attempt to gain closure in her relationships with them. They are all real people; after writing the song, Alanis wasn't sure she wanted to broadcast her message to these guys in a song that anyone could hear - something she did on her previous album with the song "You Oughta Know
." Her solution was to contact the guys and ask permission.
On her VH1 Storytellers
special, she said: "In the past something would happen to me and I would run somewhere and write about it, and not necessarily talk directly the the person. It was very convenient and resulted in a lot of release but not necessarily in a lot of closure, so this song I thought I was going to get away with that again, but because I couldn't sleep I knew that my plans were foiled. So I had to actually call these people and they were all very very sweet about it - they appreciated the fact that I called them. And now when I sing it I know that I can sing it with permission."