Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle attending polo matches, inquiring about missing invitations, receiving outrageous emails, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we had your address.)
Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle attending polo matches, inquiring about missing invitations, receiving outrageous emails, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we had your address.)
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Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema
Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton
Theme Music: Rob Paravonian
Nick: Do you wear high heels to polo? Do you litter at the beach? Do you confuse opinions with facts? Were you raised by wolves? Let's find out.
Here are things that can make it better
When we have to live together
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So people don't ask themselves
Were you raised by wolves?
Nick: Hey everybody, it's Nick Leighton.
Leah: And I'm Leah Bonnema.
Nick: And let's just get right down to it with our amuse-bouche.
Leah: Let's get in it!
Nick: So for today's amuse-bouche, I want to talk about going to a polo match.
Leah: Oh, wow. Honestly, if you'd given me a thousand guesses of what it was gonna be, I wouldn't have hit it.
Nick: Great! That's the whole point! So have you ever attended polo?
Leah: I have not. I have seen that scene in Pretty Woman, and that's the closest I've gotten.
Nick: Okay. I mean, that actually covers a lot of the bases that we're gonna be talking about, so maybe you don't need me. So for anyone who has not seen Pretty Woman or attended Polo ...
Leah: [laughs] Also, we always need you. I want to say that.
Nick: Oh, thank you! I feel seen. So polo is one of the oldest sports, and it's called, like, the sport of kings, because anytime you have horses involved, kings are involved. So it spread throughout Asia, and then I think the English picked it up in India and then brought it back to England, and then it kind of made its way to the United States. And so it's two teams of horses. And the idea is that you just want to get your ball into the other team's goal. That's it. That's the whole thing. And the field is three times as long as a football field. So it's really wide.
Leah: Oh, wow!
Nick: But these are horses, so it takes them precisely zero seconds to get from one end to the other. And it's divided into periods, which are called chukkers or chukkas. And each period is typically seven and a half minutes long. And a game can be between, like, four and eight chukkers. So that's kind of all you need to know. It takes about two hours, and it's delightful. That's what's happening on the field. But for most people, it's not even about polo. Like, polo is the premise, but it's not the point. It's a social thing, as referenced in Pretty Woman. So it's just a lot of wealthy people strolling around, drinking Aperol Spritz and Champagne and rosé and Pimm's. And there's liquor sponsors, and maybe a big white VIP tent and canapes. So that's kind of the vibe. And so what a lot of people who have never been polo are sort of nervous about, are what to wear. So the answer to that is, think sort of fancy garden party. Think linen, think flowy. Men might be wearing bow ties. And pro tip: just look at photos from last year. Anytime you're going to an event that you've never been to that actually happens regularly, there are photos of it. And just look at last year's photos and you could see what everybody's wearing, and then you'll have a sense of like, "Oh, what should I wear?" So just do that.
Leah: That's such a great tip for anything. I honestly never would've thought of it. [laughs]
Nick: Yeah. So I do that all the time. So I'm most familiar with Hamptons polo, because I covered opening day at Bridgehampton Polo, like, every year. So I've been to a lot of polo games. And that's my type of polo, so that's my reference point. Polo is different in different places. It could be a lot more casual. It could be less sort of like, East Coast preppy. So just look at photos, then you'll have a sense of what's happening. So the one rule, though, is you should never wear high heels, and we'll get to why a moment. But that's just like, keep that in mind. Don't wear high heels.
Nick: And some people do picnic or tailgate, and that's fine. That may not be the type of polo you're attending. So you might just want to know like, "Oh, are we tailgating? Is that a thing that's happening?" If you do tailgate or picnic, just don't get too close to the field, because these are actual horses, and they are actually running very fast. And they often run along the edge of the field, and sometimes they'll run on the other side of the line where you're picnicking. And they'll be very close. And there's mallets that they're swinging, and then there's the ball itself, which is flying around. So you definitely want to not be too close, and you definitely want to have your wits about you. But the most important thing to know as a spectator is the stomping of the divots. And if you're familiar with Pretty WomanI think you are familiar with this. So what this is, is at halftime—so let's say you're having a six chukker game. After the third chukker, all the spectators are invited onto the field to stomp the divots. Because as the horses are galloping around they're, like, kicking up the dirt and the grass. And so you go around and you just sort of like flip them back down and, like, stomp them down. Like, that's what you do. You are supposed to not take your drinks on the field.
Nick: Now you'll probably get yelled at. People do it. I'm just telling you, you'll probably get yelled at. You should leave your drinks behind. And this is why you don't wear high heels, because it's all grass. And, like, that's how grass works.
Nick: And you just want to be mindful, though, of the steaming divots.
Nick: Which are not actually divots.
Nick: So just, you know, be careful. But yeah, it's a nice opportunity to sort of stroll and socialize and pretend like you're helping. I don't know why we actually stomp divots. I'm pretty sure they could probably play more of the game without the divots being stomped. But it's just like a polo tradition that's kind of fun. So that's kind of all you need to know about polo.
Nick: Giddy up!
Leah: Giddy up! [laughs]
Nick: And we're back, and now it's time to go deep.
Leah: Deep and sandy.
Nick: Yes! And so for today's deep dive, I want to talk about going to the beach.
Leah: How apropos for those summer months.
Nick: Indeed! Now I personally don't love the beach—at least during the day. I like night beach, because I don't like being in direct sun, but I really do love, like, a bonfire. So I'm more into, like, we're around the fire we're wearing, like, chunky sweaters, but with shorts and we're, like, hanging out and we're doing the s'mores thing, but I'm not getting sunburned. So, like, that I enjoy. But daytime beach, all these people around kicking sand, I'm getting sunburned, not into it.
Leah: It's perfect. It's perfect. It's a perfect thing that I would imagine you saying.
Nick: Yeah, this isn't that shocking. Yeah. So in thinking about just, like, beach etiquette, it just feels like the general rule of, like, remember that you're not alone, that you're with other people, and that it's not just you out there. Like, I think if we just remember that, like, all of these other things go away and we don't have to worry about it. But because I think we forget that, we have a list of things that we need to review.
Leah: So true. And you're not only with other people, you're also with our great, great water resource, and we don't need to be dropping trash into it.
Nick: Well, litter, yeah. I mean, that's, like, a major, major issue. But I think we should remember that etiquette is not just about being considerate to other people, it is also being considerate to the Earth, because we all actually live here, so we all need to be on the Earth. And so when you're considerate of the Earth, that actually is considerate to other people.
Leah: I love that.
Nick: So that's why littering is rude. So ...
Leah: I love that.
Nick: Yeah, because it does affect other people. Your litter does affect other people at the end of the day.
Leah: And the seals and the fish.
Nick: Right. But I'm mostly concerned on this show with the people.
Leah: [laughs] And the dolphins. I'll stop.
Nick: So don't litter. Yeah, just take it with you. Yeah, and that includes cigarette butts, that includes food waste, that includes anything that you brought with you. Like, leave the beach how you found it, which was hopefully clean.
Leah: It's just like hiking: carry in, carry out.
Nick: Yeah, exactly. And if you see litter that wasn't yours, just pick it up. Just do your part. Don't wait for the annual beach cleanup to come. Like, you can pick up a piece of trash.
Leah: Yeah, pick it up, put it in your little trash bag, carry it out.
Nick: So the next thing on my little list is: space yourself out. Why are we crowding? Why are we getting right up on my towel? Like, this is a big beach.
Leah: It's very weird when people come in and there's room, and then they sit right near you. Are you a murderer? Why would you just get up in my stuff?
Nick: It's the same as if you're in an empty movie theater and someone sits right next to you.
Leah: In which case ...
Nick: What are you doing?
Nick: Oh, I would absolutely get up.
Leah: Because that's terrifying.
Nick: [laughs] Yes. Yes. Yeah.
Leah: Or when you're on the subway and it's a totally empty train, and someone comes and sits next to you.
Nick: I mean, who does that?
Leah: That happens to me. It's happened to me so many times, and then I go through this list of all the reasons why it could happen. And what is happening?
Nick: So space yourself out, please. You know, there's no need to crowd. Just give everybody some room. That's all we want.
Leah: And I don't even need you—if you're going right down into the water, so many people just, like, run up on other people's towels. Just, you know, you're still splashing sand up on people if you're running by their towel, because then your feet kicks it up. Like, just be aware, as Nick said.
Nick: Yeah, be aware.
Leah: Just remember there's other people.
Nick: That's all you got to do. So then let's talk about noise.
Leah: I'm gonna let you cover that, because my misophonia doesn't extend to music. [laughs]
Nick: I see. For me, I don't care for hearing other people's music in public. I just would rather that not happen. So I think everyone should just have headphones at the beach. That's all.
Leah: It's so funny. In my mind, it's very divided. Like, if you're at, like, a state park, you know, where people are probably coming with an easel and they're more spread out.
Nick: An easel because I'm painting the scene?
Leah: Yes! Yes!
Nick: Oh. Ooh, capture the majesty of the plovers!
Leah: Yes! It's a much quieter—a quieter beach. But I always, when I'm going to a public—like, a beach, like, a hangout family party beach, I'm just gonna hear music. It's a part of the deal.
Nick: Yes. Oh, I definitely know that if I'm going to a certain type of beach, it's gonna be a certain type of beach experience. Absolutely. Yeah, if I'm on South Beach, like, I know the deal. I get it. I know what's happening here. I'm not going to have pin-drop quiet. But, you know, in general, though, I think it is nice to be mindful of other people's ear-space, and know that not everybody wants to listen to your music.
Leah: I'll just start dancing.
Nick: Yeah, we're on different pages on this.
Nick: My tolerance is much lower than yours. And then next on my list is ball throwing, especially throwing things over people's heads. I've definitely been at the beach where, like, someone's playing Frisbee right over my head.
Leah: Oh, yeah.
Nick: And yeah, you're probably gonna not hit me, but you might.
Leah: You might. It's very anxiety. It's a lot of anxiety for people sitting down.
Nick: Yeah, and when it's supposed to be, like, a relaxing day at the beach, that's not helping.
Leah: Yeah, just move away from people.
Nick: And I don't know what there is to say, but for nude beaches, do your homework, I think is the lesson there. You know, the etiquette could be different. You know, it could be nude at the beach, but not in the parking lot. So, you know, you just want to know what are the rules?
Leah: I mean, to call back to something Nick said earlier, it's probably good to Google what people were wearing there last year and act accordingly.
Nick: [laughs] Yeah, there you go. Yeah, just do your homework, that's all. And the last thing on my list is if you're with somebody at the beach and they start getting burned and don't realize it, I think it is polite and also a good idea to, like, let them know. Like, "Oh, you're looking a little burnt," or, "You're getting a little red. Like, you might want to reapply some sunblock."
Leah: I think that's very nice that you added that.
Leah: Especially as somebody who the other day was outside, and I took off my outside shirt.
Leah: I had on, like, a longer-sleeve shirt and I got hotter. And so I pulled it off and so I hadn't had sunscreen.
Nick: Oh, it just—you were wearing a shirt over a shirt, it's not the shirt that you wear outside.
Leah: Yeah. [laughs]
Nick: *[laughs] I see. "I was leaving the house today, so I put my outside shirt on." Okay.
Leah: Which I can very much see that being in my lexicon, so I see why you would say that.
Nick: That's why I had to follow up, yeah.
Leah: I mean, I definitely have an inside shirt. This is one of two of them. And the other one's a blue tie dye. But I got burned on my shoulders because I just wasn't thinking, because obviously I had sunscreen everywhere else.
Leah: And I would have been totally fine if one of my friends had been like, "Oh, you are crisping."
Nick: Yeah, I think being told this is nice because you don't always realize it.
Leah: Yeah, sometimes you're just blanking it. You know what I mean?
Nick: But at the end of the day, with the beach—or I think anything in life—just you're not alone. It's not only about you. There are other people around. So just be mindful.
Leah: And we could all have a good time.
Nick: Or at least try. If it's nighttime.
Nick: And we're back. And now it's time to take some questions from you all in the wilderness.
Nick: Our first question is, quote, "An acquaintance texted me to ask me for my email in order to invite me to her housewarming party, and I was honestly a little surprised to be invited, but touched that they thought of me. I was very cordial, thanked them for the invite and replied with my email so they could follow up with all the details. At this point, all I had was the date. But then radio silence. She did not acknowledge the text back, nor did I receive the email invitation. Should I follow up? This event has already happened and I did not attend, but I'm asking because I'm still thinking about it."
Leah: Mm. This happened to me multiple times where someone's ...
Nick: Multiple times?
Leah: Yeah. And then I'll just text. I say, "I'm holding that date, but I didn't get a follow up." And then people would be like, "Oh, I haven't sent it out yet." Because I'm afraid I missed it.
Leah: Or, you know?
Leah: But I just text, and I ask in a very—not in any kind of accusatory or what's going on. Just, "Oh, I'm holding the date. I didn't get any other info. Just wanted to check in."
Nick: Yeah. I mean, I think the wrinkle here is that this was an acquaintance, and so what I think happened here is that this text was sent by mistake, and that this person was not supposed to be invited. And the person realized that and froze and didn't respond. That's my interpretation here.
Leah: Oh, my goodness, that's so much more ...
Nick: Oh, you didn't get that?
Leah: No, I just felt like it was an error.
Leah: Oh, yeah.
Leah: Because if you—if I sent a text out to somebody and I didn't mean to send it to them, I would have followed through. I already sent the text. They've been invited. I'm going to invite them.
Nick: Well, that would be the correct response for etiquette. The next step would be to apologize. "Oh, this was sent to you by mistake," and at least acknowledge the error. Very awkward, but at least there would be a response. The third option is to ghost, which is what has happened here. So I think that's what happened here.
Nick: Yeah, because it was like an acquaintance. I don't really know you. Why am I inviting an acquaintance to my housewarming anyway? Like, that does sound like maybe a mistake was made.
Leah: Oh, wow. You know, I never even would have thought of that.
Nick: But I guess I'm more cynical.
Nick: Always looking at the dark side in things.
Leah: Well, sometimes things go into spam.
Nick: No, there's lots of things that could have happened here. And it doesn't actually matter what has happened here, because I think you can respond either way. I think just following up? Totally fine. And if it was an error, then it just forces them to own up to it, which is fine.
Leah: Oh, you're saying she should follow up, or he should follow up after the fact now that it's gone?
Nick: No, no, no.
Leah: I mean, I follow up before it happens. Now that it's over ...
Nick: Now that it's over, I think we just let it go.
Leah: Yeah, there's nothing that can be done.
Nick: But no, it's the same strategy you were talking about. You just assume that you didn't get the thing yet, or that there was some email problem or whatever. To not respond to the text, is why I think, like, this was, like, a mistake. But I think you just follow up. Like, "Hey, I didn't get that email yet. Are you still having a party on Saturday?" I think that you just say that.
Nick: Value neutral, nonjudgmental. And then that would be their opportunity to either fess up, like, "Oh, I didn't mean to invite you." Which would be super rude at that point.
Leah: Also mind blowing. If that has happened to anybody out there, please tell us, because I want to know who this person is who texts back and says, "You know what? I texted you by mistake."
Nick: Yeah. And we'll show up at their house and we'll have some words.
Leah: Also, I would just like to interview them and see how they live their whole life, you know?
Nick: Yeah, what part of you thought this was okay? How does your brain work? Yeah, we want to study it. So I think yeah, just follow up, value-neutral tone. Just assume that it was just an innocent mistake. And if we see this person, I think we don't say, I think we pretend it never happened. I don't think we bring it up like, "Oh, how was your housewarming party?"
Leah: Yeah, I think we would have to pretend it never happened. Or we could see them. We could do one of those things where we see them, but we don't pretend we see them, but we glare at them. [laughs]
Nick: Don't do that, everybody.
Leah: I'm totally kidding. I'm totally kidding.
Nick: That's a joke. Leah Bonnema's joking.
Leah: I mean, it's not a joke, but it's not how I think we should handle it. I'm saying that's one of the bad options that seems attractive for many reasons.
Nick: [laughs] Very satisfying option. But also, why you also want to follow up is that they may think that you're rude because they sent you an invitation that you ignored, and then you didn't show up to the party.
Leah: That's why I always follow up, because that's what I'm afraid of.
Nick: Yeah, so that's why we just want to clarify. Because, like, so often, etiquette is about clarifying and not assuming things, and so sometimes you just want to clarify. And that's polite.
Nick: So our next question is, quote, "When is it appropriate to Google someone? I recently went to a new doctor and confessed to him that I Googled him, but, quote, 'Not in a creepy way.'"
Leah: [laughs] I feel like I would get along with this person because I could say, "Oh, I Googled you—oh, not in a creepy way." And then you're just, like, trying to dig yourself out. And then you're like, Why do I—" you know?
Nick: So there are two questions here: when should you Google someone, and then when should you admit that you did it? These are two things.
Leah: Also, I think everybody's Googling their doctors. I think you can just—that's like Zocdoc?
Leah: I mean, that's, I think, standard. That's why it's there.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, I think there's also a difference between are you Googling somebody you have a professional relationship with or somebody you have a personal relationship with?
Leah: Also, I guess you could be Googling your doctor and then finding their Instagram, and then, like, looking at pictures of their house, which I think is maybe odd, but live your life.
Nick: Well, but that's why there's two things here. One is, when should you admit it? And so I think you're welcome to find your doctor's Instagram. Like, have at it. See what they're up to. But do not admit it. Don't bring it up.
Leah: Don't be like, "I like the pictures of your dog," because then as a doctor, I would put in their file "stalker."
Nick: Right, yeah. No, that is alarming because it feels like some invasion.
Nick: Similarly, like, don't Google your doctor and be like, "Oh yeah, I found on page 40 of the Google results an article you wrote for your high school newspaper 40 years ago. Tell me about woodworking."
Leah: "How's your wife, Nancy?" [laughs]
Leah: Oh, terrifying! I'd call two nurses in immediately.
Nick: But I think it's fine to Google people you have a professional relationship with as part of the professional due diligence you might want to do before hiring them or, like, knowing what they're up to or are they the right vendor for you, kind of idea.
Leah: Yeah, like, regular work research.
Nick: But for Googling personal relationships, like people you might be going on a date with, I think that is a little trickier. Like, I think you should Google someone to satisfy any safety issues. So make sure they're, like, who they say they are. You're not being catfished. Like, satisfy safety concerns. But I think we want to maybe not go past that.
Leah: They aren't on the lam. I don't know if we use that term anymore, but that's a solid Google.
Nick: I mean, that sounds like a very exciting date.
Leah: [laughs] Are we on a date running from the law together?
Nick: But if they're on the lam and then you Google them and then you know that, now you're abetting and, like, who needs that?
Leah: That's true. Then you would have to cancel the date or call a lawyer.
Nick: We don't want to abet crimes, that just takes a crimp out of your evening. So you want plausible deniability on that.
Leah: It's true. I don't really want to know everything about a person. It feels invasive in some way. But I think a lot of people aren't like that.
Nick: Right. And I guess, fine, if you want to do that, you want to look up your date's property address, find their mortgage, look up the real estate listing, look at the floor plan, see if there's enough closet space for you before you go on your first date, like, you can do all that, but then you just have to keep that to yourself. And so you have to be real casual, like, "Oh, so where do you live?" You know? So you just have to be very cool about it. And you can't just, like, bring up the fact that you know. And I think most people probably can't do that.
Leah: Yeah, and I think that if you did all those things, know that maybe you're being invasive.
Nick: Yeah, it is totally evasive. Also, it's manipulative, too. Because if you start bringing up things that you know they like, like you've seen on their Instagram that they like surfing, and then you just sort of like, bring up how, like, you're into surfing now. That's a little manipulative. You're specifically picking things from their interests that maybe they didn't volunteer or bring up on their own. So I think that can be a little manipulative.
Leah: Or you could just be like, "You know, since we're meeting online, I checked out your Instagram. I saw you liked surfing. I also like surfing."
Nick: Yeah, I think if it's something that they've offered up so, like, any information on your doctor's website or if they've linked to their Instagram or their LinkedIn or on a dating profile that they've linked to their Instagram, then that's all fair game. But I think if you've dug for something that they have not sort of presented ...
Nick: That is where it gets trickier.
Leah: If you paid somebody on the dark web to find their back history, I think, hmm.
Nick: Yes. If you've gone through their garbage?
Nick: Maybe too far.
Leah: "I see that you like almond milk."
Nick: [laughs] So our next question is, quote, "I joined a community orchestra about two years ago, and the woman who played first chair for my instrument—we'll call her Lisa—was really unpleasant, snide and passive-aggressive. Our "relationship," quote unquote, deteriorated to the point where we wound up in a shouting argument in rehearsal one day. Eventually, Lisa left the group, which was wonderful. Last year, I invited the orchestra to rehearse in my backyard because it's big and my neighbors loved it. We stopped in the winter, and now that the weather's nice again, the orchestra manager has asked if the orchestra can play in my yard again. However, he also mentioned that Lisa may be returning to the group. I actively dislike Lisa, and do not want her in my house or on my property. So I want to know, can I allow the orchestra to play in my yard, but only on the condition that Lisa not come to those rehearsals. Am I being petty?"
Leah: It's your home.
Leah: I also think they openly have bad blood.
Nick: Yeah, it seems hostile.
Leah: And this orchestra, it's not like you originally invited the orchestra over and said, "Everybody can come except Lisa." She wasn't there the first time you invited people.
Nick: Right, that's all fine.
Leah: So now that the parameters have changed, I don't think you have to agree to it. I think it's fine to say, "Hey, as you know, it's very public Lisa I don't get along. I don't feel comfortable having her in my home."
Nick: Yeah. I mean, I guess what are your options? Your options are to tell the orchestra, "No." But I don't think we want to make the orchestra choose between you and Lisa, so I don't think we want to present it that way.
Leah: I think you're not making them choose between you and Lisa. You're saying you're welcome to use my property as long as Lisa's not there. They're not choosing between you and Lisa, you're choosing between using my property and Lisa.
Nick: Yeah. Yeah, okay. So that's an option. The other option is you just tough it out, you know? You just let somebody you don't like on your property and just tough it out. How horrible is that? Maybe it's horrible.
Leah: Maybe it's horrible. We don't know what this Lisa, what she's capable of, what she did.
Nick: True. Yes, I guess if we're worried about property damage or theft, then I guess we don't want Lisa on the property.
Leah: Or you just don't want somebody in your home. I think that's fair. Obviously, if it was in a neutral environment, you have no say whether or not Lisa comes back, but on your—in your house?
Nick: Yeah. Yeah, I feel that way. Although what I really feel like needs to happen is can we just, like, hash it out with Lisa and come to some détente? Because, like, even if she's in the orchestra and it's not in my house, she's still in the orchestra, and she plays the same instrument, and so we're sitting next to each other, probably. And so, like, that's awkward. So maybe we need to make an effort to, like, resolve whatever is happening.
Leah: I don't know. I believe in our letter writers as they are Raised By Wolveslisteners, and I feel like she tried and then Lisa was, quote, "Unpleasant, snide and passive-aggressive." And she reached her breaking point and was like, "I'm not putting up with this anymore."
Nick: Okay. Yeah, why am I—why am I not on board 100 percent? I guess I'm on board. Yeah, don't have her in your house.
Leah: No, I think that what you're saying is very, how can we make this work for everyone? I think that's ...
Nick: I'm trying to split the baby a little bit, yeah. But I guess we just don't like Lisa, and she's not making an effort. And we don't want her in our house, and so we're not gonna have her in our house.
Leah: Yeah, it's your house.
Nick: And so I'm sorry that the orchestra can't play here. Yeah. Okay, fine. Are you being petty? A little bit.
Leah: I don't even think so. I don't know if it's ...
Nick: It depends on what happened here. We weren't there. We don't have details about these altercations, these multiple events.
Leah: Yeah, I'm assuming Lisa is egregious, and that's why it's gone this far.
Nick: Right. Although Lisa is apparently very comfortable returning to the orchestra. So from Lisa's perspective, she's happy to make it awkward.
Leah: Well, I do find that some very aggressive people are very happy to live that way.
Nick: That's true. Some people actually thrive on that. That's true.
Leah: Yeah, it just keeps them going.
Nick: Yeah, that's true. Okay. So all right, no orchestra in your yard if there's Lisa. And that is our official ruling.
Leah: I feel like I really pushed it that way, so ...
Nick: No, I'm on board. No, sometimes it just takes me a little while to warm up to what you're saying, and then I'm on board and then here we are. Now it's definitive.
Nick: So do you want definitive answers from us? Let us know. Send us your questions to Wereyouraisedbywolves.com, or you can leave us a voicemail or send us a text message, (267) CALL-RBW.
Nick: And we're back, and now it's time to play a game we like to call Vent or Repent.
Leah: [whispers] Vent or repent!
Nick: Which is our opportunity to vent about some bad etiquette experience we've had recently, or we can repent for some etiquette faux pas we've committed. So Leah, would you like to vent or repent?
Leah: You know, I think I've had multiple weeks of repenting in a row.
Nick: I'd have to go back and look at the statistics, but okay.
Leah: I feel like I've done a lot of repents, and this week I came in with two vents, and I couldn't find—I was like, which one irritates me more?
Leah: So we're swinging the pendulum back in the other direction, and I'm gonna go for a vent.
Nick: Great. Bring it! What has happened?
Leah: So this is a culmination.
Leah: Of Leah hitting her limit. And you know I have hit my limit because I just referred to myself in the third person. So ... [laughs]
Nick: And that is—it's serious now. Yeah. Mm-hmm.
Leah: I just—you know how you have, like, a week where the same thing keeps happening, and you're like, "Oh, the universe is ..."
Nick: Yeah, it's a signal.
Leah: Yeah. So I just got—within a three to four day span, multiple emails—and by multiple I mean at least five—of people asking questions that were beyond acceptable.
Leah: Not just like, oh, they can ask and I can say no. Things that really blew my mind. And I have always tried to be the kind of person who responds to things. I want people to feel like they're heard. I want to be fair. But at a certain point, the amount of energy I lose trying to respond to emails that are ludicrous? I've hit my limit. And if—as you've often said—no answer is an answer. And I haven't—I've rarely done that. But I'm not—I think I'm gonna start doing it a lot more. If you send an email that is, you know better, you know you shouldn't ask that, you're not getting an email back from me anymore, trying to, like, find a nice way to say this was inappropriate. I'm not spending my mental energy anymore finding an okay way to explain back to you why that's not possible. You know why it's not possible. This has to stop.
Nick: And that's why this is an etiquette crime, because these people know—or they should know—that what they're asking is totally inappropriate. And by asking you, they are asking you to take time to respond. And when you take time from people, this sounds like theft. They are stealing time from you. And that is rude. Definitely maddening. Yeah, totally agree.
Leah: Thank you.
Nick: So I'm sorry this happened to you, but doesn't it feel good just to, like, just delete it?
Leah: Yeah, I'm done. I'm done!
Leah: Obviously, I'm gonna have to take a few more steps where I stop thinking about it.
Leah: But I think this is pretty big for me to be like, "I'm not even respond—I can't—you know. You know that that was an email that doesn't get a response.
Nick: They know. Or they'll soon know when they don't get a response, so that's fine.
Nick: Mission accomplished. Well, for me, I would also like to vent.
Leah: Thank goodness!
Nick: So as you may recall, on a recent episode you were talking about the phrase, "Well, I was just trying to help you out."
Nick: And how horrible that is. So I would like to add another phrase to our list of things we hate.
Nick: And so that is, "Well, you're entitled to your opinion."
Nick: Because this is dismissive. It is patronizing.
Leah: Yeah, what a horrible phrase.
Nick: And what this really means is that, not only do I disagree with you, but your opinion is also wrong, and it's a shame that you're not smarter to realize it. Like, that's what you're saying. You're trying to end a debate, and it's usually said when someone doesn't actually have any facts to back up their debate and argument, they're just trying to shut it down.
Leah: So true!
Nick: Be like, "Oh, well, you're just—you're entitled to your wrong opinion." So someone did this to me this week. And what was particularly maddening was that we weren't actually talking about an opinion. It was actually facts we were talking about. This was basically somebody who has done work for me, and they wanted me to renew the contract. And I was like, "Oh, unfortunately, we won't be moving forward, but thank you." And they pressed me for reasons why. And so I was like, "Okay. Well, you change your prices with one day's notice. So that didn't give me a lot of time to prepare. And you also delivered late most of the time. So it's just not a good fit." And then they say, "Well, you're entitled to your own opinion." And it's like, that's not an opinion. Those are things that have happened in the world. Those are facts. It's like, "Oh, sun sets at 7:30 tonight." "Well, you're entitled to your own opinion." "Sir, actually, I'm in 22A." "Well, you're entitled to your own opinion." It's like, no, no, there's just things that exist in the world that are true. These are not opinions. And I'm entitled to facts, I guess. So I don't care for this.
Leah: Ugh! I'm like—for those at home I'm, like, rubbing my head because how maddening, how maddening!
Nick: Yeah. Yeah. So I don't like the dismissiveness of it, I don't like how it's sort of condescending and patronizing. And also like, what do you say back? Because anything you say back to this also sounds sort of defensive and it's sort of like, oh. So I just ignored it, but add it to the list.
Leah: Oh, my God. I'm so glad that one's on the list. It is so rude.
Nick: Right. "So just trying to help you out."
Leah: [laughs] I think we should really keep this list going, because ...
Nick: I have a list going.
Leah: That's so great. And that's so true when people say that. It's always when you're bringing up a fact and you're like, "This is not an opinion."
Nick: Yeah. It's sort of a cousin of, "Well, let's agree to disagree," but so much worse.
Leah: [laughs] Yes! Oh, it is so much worse. Because what you said about it being condescending and dismissive.
Nick: Yeah, so I don't care for that.
Nick: So Leah, what have we learned?
Leah: I learned the term chukkers, which I have never heard it. I'm so excited for it, it's such a fun—who knew? I had no idea.
Nick: Well ...
Leah: I mean, you knew.
Nick: I knew. And I learned that at the beach, you love other people's music,
Leah: I'll dance to it.
Nick: So thank you, Leah.
Leah: Thank you, Nick.
Nick: And thanks to you out there for listening. If I had your address, I'd send you a handwritten note on my custom stationery.
Leah: He would!
Nick: So for your homework this week, did you know that we have merchandise? We've got tote bags and mugs and baby bibs, and all sorts of other stuff. So go to our website, check out our store and see if there's something you like. And we'll see you next time.
Nick: All right, Leah, it's time for Cordials of Kindness, the part of the show that you make us do, but I only give you 30 seconds to do it. Ready, set, go!
Nick: I was in a Lyft the other night.
Nick: A car or an elevator?
Leah: I was in a car.
Leah: And my driver, whose name was Eduardo, we were talking about driving in Los Angeles. And, you know, I'm on a learning curve. And he's like, you know, you do it a few times, you get used to it. And then what I was particularly talking about was street parking.
Leah: And Eduardo pulled over, and we went over all his secret tips for easy street parking.
Leah: And I was like, what a delight! What a delight! And he was so confident in me and my abilities, it made me feel amazing. And he actually, you know, showed me some really good tips for a quick parallel park. And I just want to say, shout out to Eduardo. You are amazing. And his confidence in me made me feel better. I was like, yeah, of course I could do this.
Nick: Love it!
Leah: Thank you.
Nick: And for me, we got this lovely review for our show, which is, quote, "I love this pod. It's so easy to listen to, and I'm also able to share it with my daughter, and we can discuss etiquette together. That's a major plus, as she's six years old and I want to impart the importance of etiquette and manners without making it seem like you have to be a doormat to others. I've always been enthralled by etiquette, and this podcast just makes my heart happy. I cannot stop talking about it."
Leah: So nice.
Nick: Isn't that nice? I love it when parents share our show with kids because it makes me have hope for the future.
Leah: So nice!
Nick: So thank you.
Leah: Thank you.
You can start with our first episode, our most recent episode, or jump in with one of these favorites in the middle:
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