July 25, 2022

Behaving In Group Fitness Classes, Being Nosy About Engagement Rings, Littering in Rome, and More

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle behaving properly in group fitness class, being nosy about people's engagement rings, littering in Rome, and much more.

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle behaving properly in group fitness class, being nosy about people's engagement rings, littering in Rome, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we could.)

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  • AMUSE-BOUCHE: Holding glasses at cocktail parties
  • A QUESTION OF ETIQUETTE: Group Fitness Classes
  • QUESTIONS FROM THE WILDERNESS: What do I say to people who mistakenly think I'm an intern? Is it normal for houseguests who have their own guest bathroom to ask to use yours? Is it OK to ask how big someone's engagement ring is?
  • VENT OR REPENT: A vivid nightmare, Littering in Rome
  • CORDIALS OF KINDNESS: Thanks to a listener, A nice DM







Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema

Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton

Theme Music: Rob Paravonian



Episode 148


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Nick: Do you hold your glass in the wrong hand? Do you text during spin class? Do you ask someone if their diamond is real? Were you raised by wolves? Let's find out!

[Theme Song]

Here are things that can make it better

When we have to live together

We can all use a little help

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, Leah, I'm having a cocktail party at my house. Please come over. There are so many new people I would love for you to meet. Oh, look, Leah, I just made some yuzu lemonade. Leah, would you like a glass of my yuzu lemonade?

Leah: I would. Thank you so much!

Nick: Here's a glass. Leah, which hand will you be holding this glass of yuzu lemonade in?

Leah: I'm gonna be holding it in my left hand.

Nick: Okay. Why?

Leah: Because I'm left handed.

Nick: Why would you be doing this? [laughs]

Leah: Because I'm left handed.

Nick: Okay. So interestingly, that is correct. That is the correct answer.

Leah: [gasps] Finally! Finally!

Nick: And I was hoping you were gonna get it right because you're left handed and that would be your default setting. Most people would use their right hand because we're right handed, and also when we're dining, all the beverages are on the right side, so we're very used to having the beverage in our right hand. But at a cocktail party, it is considered polite to have your beverage in the left hand. Now Leah, do you want to speculate as to why?

Leah: I'm gonna throw out some options. Maybe you're having it in your left hand in case they want you to shake with your right hand. You meet somebody new, you want to shake.

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: Or they're passing hors d'oeuvres, and people are like, you'll probably want to eat with your right hand. You want to grab that canapé off the tray with your right hand.

Nick: Yeah. Both of these are exactly the reasons. Yes.

Leah: Oh! Whoo!

Nick: Yeah, you want to keep that hand free for a handshake or a fist bump or an elbow tap or a high five or a wave or whatever you're doing. And also, a lot of times the glass that we're holding might have condensation on it, and so by not having the hand around the glass, your hand will be drier than it would if it was holding a glass that's wet. Because there's always that awkward thing where you want to shake hands, but then your hand is wet, and now you have to, like, wipe it down your pants to dry it off. And you're like, "Oh, sorry. Wet hand." And this just avoids that whole awkwardness thing.

Leah: Hmm.

Nick: But interestingly, people who do actually have naturally sweaty hands, they actually prefer to have their glass in the right hand sometimes because it gives them an excuse for why their palm might actually be a little sweaty. It's like, "Oh, it's the glass. It's not my sweaty palms." And so some people actually do use this as a technique, but it would be considered more proper to hold the glass in your left hand.

Leah: I do love the idea, as a person who's self-conscious about a lot of things, that people are, like, working the angles and finding a way to make themselves feel comfortable.

Nick: Yeah. And in which case, that's fine. And a lot of times people say that, oh, it's so awkward to have to move the glass from the right to the left. Like, that's why we also do it. And I've actually been practicing this week in anticipation of our chat today.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: I was holding glasses in the right, I was moving to the left. Like, oh, how seamlessly can I do this? Is this graceful? Is this awkward? I'm pretty good at it, so I don't know if I have some supernatural gift for moving a glass from one hand to the other, but actually, I don't think it's awkward. Like, if I was holding a wine glass in my right hand and you came up and you, like, wanted to shake my hand, I could pretty much get it to that left hand pretty quickly without much fuss.

Leah: I'm imagining a whole Cirque du Soleil situation going on, you know? At a certain point, you're throwing it in the air, catching it.

Nick: Oh, yeah. There's clowns working the audience. Oh, yeah, there's silks, there's Spanish web. Oh, yeah, there was a whole thing happening in my apartment. But it is considered proper to keep it in the left hand, even though it's really not a big deal to move it to the left hand if you were holding it with the right. But I'm just letting you know what's considered proper.

Leah: It's so exciting to know that I've been doing something that was considered proper by accident this whole time.

Nick: And this rule also applies to bowling alleys. So if you are in a bowling alley, you want to make sure that you're holding your beer, you're eating your snacks, all of that is happening with your left hand so that you're not getting grease and salt and beer into the holes in the bowling ball.

Leah: Very interesting addition.

Nick: So interesting how this also applies to bowling.

Leah: [laughs] If I can't apply a rule to bowling, I'm not interested in it.

Nick: [laughs]

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: And we're back. And now it's time to go deep.

Leah: Deep, and really a passion of mine if you've been a long-time listener. [laughs]

Nick: [laughs] So for today's question of etiquette, we're gonna talk about group fitness.

Leah: Whoo! And I know we've had—like, we've answered—we've gotten a lot of questions about it. It's also probably come up in a bunch of my vents.

Nick: Yeah. Yeah.

Leah: But we've never done it as, like, a ...

Nick: Yes. There are definitely topics that we will return to like a comet from time to time because we can't possibly say everything there is to say. We can't exhaust them. And also people need reminders. People definitely need reminders, and I think group fitness is definitely one of those topics.

Leah: This just definitely seems to be where, like, the world falls apart. I don't ...

Nick: Because everybody knows. Everybody knows how you should behave. And I think for some reason, we get in that room and we just forget. Because it's not like we didn't know that no one had told them. They just decide to not follow the rules.

Leah: Sometimes I wonder, but do they not know?

Nick: I mean, do they not know that you can't show up 20 minutes late on your cell phone during yoga? Yeah, I think they do know that.

Leah: Then why are they doing it?

Nick: Well, welcome to the whole point of this show!

Leah: I know!

Nick: That's the point of the show.

Leah: Every time my mind is blown. My mind is blown every single time.

Nick: Yes. Because you're like, "What is wrong with you? Were you raised by wolves?"

Leah: [laughs] Were you raised by wolves?

Nick: Welcome to the title of the show, yes.

Leah: I'm always shaken. Shaken!

Nick: So first, before we even begin, what is group fitness? How do we want to define group fitness?

Leah: I would define group fitness as when we are showing up to a fitness of—maybe it's a dance class, maybe it's a cycling class, with other people at a certain time.

Nick: Yes. There is definitely a scheduled event happening. Correct.

Leah: Would you add anything else to that?

Nick: No, I think that kind of covers it. Yeah. And there's an instructor of some sort.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: There's somebody leading us in some activity. And you are not alone. This is not about you alone in your apartment.

Leah: Yep. There's other people.

Nick: And I think we both have done group fitness. We both do it, despite the perils inherent in group fitness.

Leah: Because I deeply love group fitness.

Nick: Oh, you do!

Leah: I do. And that's why when people are so egregiously or so blatantly—can I say blatantly egregious? When they behave in such a way to something that I love so much.

Nick: Oh, it's almost personal.

Leah: It's like we're here functioning as one Zumba unit, and you're gonna come in late, push everybody out of the way in the front because you think you should have been there, you hurt us as a group. You hurt the community of Zumba.

Nick: Well, and you hurt society. And that is what etiquette crimes are, they are hurting the fabric that ties us together, yes.

Leah: We're moving further away from world peace.

Nick: Yes.

Leah: With your abhorrent behavior.

Nick: So let's talk about some do's and don'ts. For me, the first thing on my list is show up on time.

Leah: On time.

Nick: Or early. Yeah, don't be late. Don't be late to this class.

Leah: And obviously, sometimes people are late, you know? People have to drop off kids, they're coming from work, there was traffic. If you're late, you come in, you sneak in. You do, like, a "Oh, so sorry!" You know, usually classes have, like, a five-minute rule, a 10-minute rule, and you go to the back.

Nick: Yeah. You know where you don't go? The front. [laughs]

Leah: You don't go to the front, or you don't go—if, like, the middle is the most coveted area, you don't go in the middle and make people move who got there early and got their spot. What are you doing?

Nick: Yeah, so all of that. And also, when you arrive, use a locker if the room isn't that big. This is maybe a bigger issue in New York City where our studios typically are not that large. But, you know, winter time, everybody has their coats and their bags and, like, 25 percent of the square footage in this room is now taken up with people's, like, stuff.

Leah: Mm-hmm.

Nick: And there could actually be another row of people with yoga mats available had people just used lockers. So that's also: be mindful of the space.

Leah: Oh, good one.

Nick: And how much space you're taking up. So that's sort of on my arrival checklist.

Leah: Phones is gonna be right at the top.

Nick: Very, very much so. So here's a question. We all know no phones, but there are times when you need to have the phone on for some reason: babysitter, waiting for the doctor, you are a doctor, there's some emergency. Like, there's a reason why we might need our phone. What do we do with that?

Leah: So I've taken a class when I've been waiting for this call. I had to get it. I had to be available for it. I went to the back when I was in the class. Do you know what I mean? So I could see my—it was a spin class, so I went to the back of the class when I got there—on time. Knowing me, 15 minutes early. And then I had my phone on silent, and then I just had it, you know, on my bike. You know, there's like a little place for stuff. And that way, if I saw it, I would grab it and slip out.

Nick: Yeah, I guess that's the best way to handle it.

Leah: Because I think a lot of people go into this hour or whatever the amount of time is, everybody is in there, that's their hour. That's the time they have for themselves. People want to forget that they have emails to respond to, messages. So I don't want to be in the front and then be like, "Oh, I'm gonna disrupt everybody," and then remind everybody, oh, there's stuff waiting for them on their phones, too. You know what I mean?

Nick: Oh, that's a good point. Yeah. You being on your phone reminds me that I also have a phone that also is probably blowing up in this hour.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Yeah. And I think relatedly, it is all of our time, and I think a lot of people do kind of treat this class as sort of a "me time." And I think the hazard is if it becomes me time, forgetting that there are other people who are also wanting me time, then that I think leads to some of this behavior which is very objectionable. And so it would be nice if we just remember like, oh, me time is also other people's me time.

Leah: Yeah, it's a group me time.

Nick: So is that "we time?"

Leah: It's like we time, or lots of me-s having simultaneous me-s.

Nick: It's simultaneous me time. Okay.

Leah: We're moving as one, but it's also our time to refresh ourselves.

Nick: Okay. And also on my list: personal care. So, you know, we've all been in the class when somebody's personal hygiene is maybe not optimal. So this is something to just sort of note happens.

Leah: Oh, it's a delicate—but it's also it's in general—like, when I was still in New York, my favorite class, there was this woman and she was like the sweetest woman, and she was so friendly and upbeat and like a lovely woman. And she wore a lot of perfume, and it was obvious that she, like, put it on right before class because I think she was just—you know, she always wore fun outfits. She did nice stuff with her hair. But it was like, you know, one of those overpowering in a small closed room.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: So I just couldn't even stand near her because it was like, I have certain scents that sort of give me, like, sneezies?

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: You know what I mean? And I didn't want to—because she was so lovely. But it's like, don't, like, spritz yourself right before you walk into a class because the doors are closed.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, I think be mindful of what odor of any sort you might be giving off, and would that be a problem for the other people in class? I think that would just be something to sort of do a self-check on.

Leah: Also, when you are moving, like a dance class or a Zumba class, be aware of—you know, you often have people who drift into other people.

Nick: Mmm.

Leah: And you're like, we're sort of all trying to maintain the same amount of space. You know, we're all sort of moving as a group. So you shouldn't—I mean, obviously it happens every now and again, but some people, it's like they are like, "I'm just gonna step directly behind you and stay right here." And you're like, "Are we dancing together? Because you are really close and you just need to take one step back."

Nick: Yeah. Well, personal space, yeah, I guess that is even more crucial in group fitness.

Leah: As always, just be aware of other people.

Nick: Yeah, it always just comes down to those fundamentals, doesn't it?

Leah: It really does. And be respectful of the teacher.

Nick: Yeah. I think that would probably be the final thought is that be respectful of the teacher, and respect the fact that they are sort of in charge. And follow. Follow along with what the program is. If you need to modify for your own safety and health and all that, no problem. But, like, if you're in a yoga class, this is not when we do kickboxing. Like, don't go totally off the program. Be kind of on board as much as you can with what is happening, because otherwise it's distracting for everybody else and it's distracting for the teacher who's like, "What is this person doing?"

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: And they're like—yeah, just get on board.

Leah: And I mean, I've talked about this before. In my gym, they will say if there's a class in session, don't use the back of the room for other things. And people will come in anyway and do it, and the instructors will ask them to leave and they'll be moody about it.

Nick: Yeah. And so what do you do with that?

Leah: It's just like, come on, that's the rule! This is their time. They're in charge. Just if you miss the sign, apologize and leave. I get worked up about group fitness.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: You know, have a good time. You know, I understand. Like, sometimes when I try something new, I feel, like, insecure or nervous, you know what I mean? And I go to the back, you know, so I can watch other people, so I can learn. But I still want to have a good time, you know?

Nick: Yeah. I mean, I think it's good to have a good time, but I think we can have a good time and be polite and mindful of other people simultaneously. And so that is my hope. That is my hope for the world. And I think if we can do that, then we will be one step closer to achieving world peace.

Leah: I love it. I love world peace. I love people being polite in group fitness. [laughs]

Nick: Do they have a Nobel Prize for podcasts? Should look into that.

Leah: Wow!

Nick: [laughs] I mean, I guess we're eligible for the Peace Prize, right? I guess that's what that is. I guess we could just get, like, one of the ones off the shelf. They don't have to create a new one for us.

Leah: Wow!

Nick: I mean, if not us, who?

Leah: There's people that are, like, digging water trenches.

Nick: Oh, what? Trying to deal with crises around the world? Oh, and we're doing nothing? Leah, I don't think you give us enough credit.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: Well, we'll put it on the whiteboard.

Nick: And we're back. And now it's time to take some questions from you all in the wilderness.

Leah: [howls]

Nick: So our first question is quote, "I am a 33-year-old female attorney that works for a large governmental organization. I've worked there for a little over three years, which is much longer than many of my coworkers. There has been a lot of growth and turnover recently, so I'm still learning all of the new faces. That being said, I have been asked twice in the last week if I am an intern. Each time I was too baffled and offended to articulate a response. What would you say? What is the appropriate response that is not rude—I do work with these people—but also gives nod to the underlying sexism inherent in the question? PS-this is not an anomaly in the legal field or probably the world. PPS-I do not look abnormally young for my age."

Leah: Mmm! Mmm-mmm-mmm!

Nick: [laughs] So Leah Bonnema has no thoughts on this, so we will actually just move to the next question.

Leah: Leah Bonnema has smoke coming out of her nose.

Nick: [laughs]

Leah: You know, a lot of times you'll see in comedy when a comic who is also a female shows up.

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: This doesn't happen as much anymore, but it used to happen all the time. People would be like, "Oh, whose girlfriend are you?"

Nick: [gasps]

Leah: Instead of like, "Oh, are you the comic?"

Nick: That's so gross. Oh, that's so gross.

Leah: Whoo!

Nick: So, yes. I mean, this is the world we live in. And this does happen. This is not a surprising story. I imagine a lot of our audience is like, "Yeah, I've had that happen." So yeah, this is unfortunately a reality. And so the question is: what is something nice to say in response?

Leah: I couldn't think of anything nice.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: I think you could answer that the nicest I could think of would say "No."

Nick: Yeah, that actually was on my list. "No, comma, I'm not." And I think you just kind of let it hang. And I think the tone is just sort of like, "No, I'm not." And you just look at them in the face.

Leah: Yeah, because you're just answering the question, and they should probably think about the question that was asked. I also think you could say, "No. Are you?"

Nick: Oh, that's nice!

Leah: Because maybe they're an intern and they're looking for the interns' area. "No. Are you?"

Nick: [laughs] Okay. Yeah, chances are this was not an intern who asked this question.

Leah: Well, of course it's not.

Nick: But I think if you wanted to engage further, and I guess that's the question, like, oh, do we want to just end it or do we actually want further engagement? I think you could ask, "Why do you ask?"

Leah: Oh!

Nick: And let them try and explain. Like, "Oh, because you are a woman, so therefore you couldn't possibly be an attorney." Or whatever it is that's in their head.

Leah: I do love asking people to explain things.

Nick: Yeah. "I'm not. Why do you ask?"

Leah: That's gonna be the winner for me.

Nick: Yeah, I guess you could. And then they will say, "Oh, because I thought you were young? Because I haven't seen you?" I mean, I don't know what you say.

Leah: I mean, that's going to be one of those two answers.

Nick: Yeah. In which case you just say, like, "Nope, I've been here for three years. Nice meeting you."

Leah: I also like the "No, I'm not."

Nick: Yeah, the "No, I'm not" I think is fine. And I think the tone you use can be however you're feeling that day. So it can be an upbeat "No, I'm not!" Or it can be a "No, I'm not."

Leah: Or you can go with a "No, are you?"

Nick: [laughs] I like a "Are you?" I think that's fun. Like, oh, maybe we're all interns here.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: But yeah, I think that's your best bet. Because anything else is gonna get into the zone of maybe being a little rude. And we don't want to add rudeness to rudeness in the world.

Leah: I mean, I—in this situation, have at it. But I feel like just the shorter you are with it, the more they have to think about—I think the goal is to get people to be a little bit self-reflexive without ...

Nick: Yeah, but the person that just asked this question? They've done this before. This is not the first time.

Leah: No, but maybe this will be the last time.

Nick: Yeah, maybe. Hopefully. Yeah, if you really land it in a way that just sort of like conveys disgust yet politeness. So good luck threading that needle.

Leah: [laughs] A polite disgust, yeah. It's a very fine line.

Nick: [laughs] But if you can do that, then oh, how wonderful!

Leah: Also I'm very sorry. It's so annoying. We should all form a group.

Nick: So our next question is quote, "Is it normal for houseguests to request to use your bathroom because the shower there is quote, 'Better?' Yes, our shower is awesome, but I'm amazed at how many people ask to use it. It feels weird. I always say yes, but only because I don't know how to say no. Every single guest room in our house has a beautiful, fully functional bathroom of its own. Is it rude to ask the host to use their bathroom when there is nothing wrong with yours?"

Leah: Straight up, I was shocked that people are, like, staying at this person's house and being like, "Oh, can I use your bathroom" when they have a bathroom.

Nick: Yeah, this is not normal. This is bold. This is very bold.

Leah: What's happening?

Nick: Yeah. It would not occur to me to be like, "Oh, my shower's good, but your showerhead is better, so I want to shower in your bathroom."

Leah: Can I walk through your bedroom and use your private personal space when you've already given me a room and a bath?

Nick: [laughs] Right? Yeah, but how do you say no in a way that doesn't make you seem unreasonable? Because I can see our letter-writer's like, "Well, I mean, it's free and I'm not using it currently. And so, like, is there a good reason why I don't want this person in my space? Like, I'm happy to have them in my house as a guest, but I don't want them in my bathroom, but I don't want to make it seem weird." Like, I think that's the internal monologue that's happening here.

Leah: Right. "I don't want your feet where my feet go." Is that a good answer?

Nick: Yeah. I mean, the Miss Manners approach would be to say, "Unfortunately, it's not possible." And leave it at that. I think that's what Miss Manners would say. I don't know if she's ever been asked this question, but I think typically whenever there's a time when you just want to say no without an explanation, she always just says, like, "Oh, just say it's impossible. Unfortunately, it's not possible."

Leah: Yeah, it's such an interesting thing because you don't want to start—you're not gonna be like, "Oh, my bathroom's not—" you can't say stuff like that.

Nick: Because if you're explaining, you're losing.

Leah: Yeah. If you're explaining, you're losing. And we don't want to fib.

Nick: And there's no good explanation other than, like, "I don't want you in my space." And our letter-writer feels like that's not really hospitable.

Leah: I mean, I feel like we shouldn't even have to explain that it's our private place. It's my private place.

Nick: Yeah, it's my sanctuary.

Leah: I think I would say that. "My bathroom is sort of my one place that's private. Is your shower not working?"

Nick: Yeah. I guess maybe just explaining that it is a sanctum and that's why. Like, "Oh, my bathroom is my sanctum, but I hope your shower is okay." Or, like, "Is there something wrong with it?" Or ...

Leah: Yeah, I would—I think you could say that.

Nick: "Is there a way to make it better for you?"

Leah: Yeah. "Is there something in the shower that's not working that I can help with?"

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: "Do you need different soap?"

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: And I would just be straight up. I like sanctum. "My bathroom is my private sanctum. I mean, it's my one place. Why do you need to be in it?" You can leave that second part out.

Nick: Yeah. I think that is probably the right approach. I think I would go something in that flavor which is like, "Oh no, my bathroom is sort of like a 'me' place. But I want you to be comfortable, so let me know if there's something I can do for your shower to make it work for you."

Leah: I love that because I also think that when we're polite and honest, like, what are people gonna say? You're not allowed to have a "you" place in your own home? You know what I mean?

Nick: Well, the person that wants to use my shower? They might. They might have that follow up. But yeah, I think you can set that boundary. Also, what's so awesome about your shower, and can you just get that showerhead for the guest bath? Like, could that just fix this problem?

Leah: Why would we have to do that? The fact that every room has a guest bath and they're letting people stay in their house. And then—I'm sure the guest bath is lovely.

Nick: But this keeps happening. This has happened at least once where this person felt compelled to write us about how to shut this down when this keeps happening in the future.

Leah: I think in the future we just shut our bathroom door and so nobody ever sees it and doesn't know what's in there.

Nick: Another reason not to give tours of your house.

Leah: Well, when we tour, don't tour that bathroom, because everybody clearly wants a part of it.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: I've always had this fantasy of having, like, one of those showers that comes straight down and then it's out on the side so you're, like, sort of standing in rain from all directions.

Nick: Oh!

Leah: And then on the side, it's a huge aquarium.

Nick: Oh!

Leah: Obviously, I wouldn't be able to take care of it by myself, so this is—this is when I move into, like, a large home and I have people that help me with my fishes. And I know that fish is plural already, but I just like the idea of saying "My fishes."

Nick: Yeah, this feels very 1980s to me.

Leah: Does it?

Nick: I feel like we stopped putting aquariums as architectural details once we got to 1990.

Leah: Which is a shame because they're gorgeous with that—because then you turn the light off in the shower, and it would just be the light with the fish and you pretend you're all swimming together in the ocean and you're like, "Am I a mermaid?" I don't know!

Nick: And you would definitely not let your guests use this shower.

Leah: I feel like I wouldn't even tell anybody it exists.

Nick: Yeah, I think you'd have to keep this to yourself. Yeah. You don't want people to be tempted.

Leah: You know me and my ability is to not—I'd be like, "Okay."

Nick: Oh, yeah. The whole neighborhood'd be there. It'd be the YMCA.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So our next question is quote, "My fiance and I used to live in New York City, but have since relocated to a smaller city. While my engagement ring is average by New York standards, I now get a lot of comments about how big it is or whether or not it's a real diamond. How do I respond when people make these types of comments or ask me how many carats it is? It makes me uncomfortable, and I don't want to discuss specifics and I would never ask someone about the size of their ring."

Leah: I can't imagine walking up to somebody and going, "Is that real?"

Nick: Yeah. "How much was it?"

Leah: "How much was it? What's—what size is it?" I'd be like, "Are you gonna steal it? Why are you asking?"

Nick: Well I mean, I feel like if it was a really big rock, and I guess you just felt compelled? I'm not excusing it at all. I'm just trying to picture, like, oh, what is the scenario in which, like, this is happening? I guess if you were just having coffee with an acquaintance and you were holding your cup just so and it caught the light just so, and somebody was just compelled to be like, "Oh, is that real?" I guess that's what happens?

Leah: I think what I would say is, if the light caught just so and I just noticed, I'd say, "Gorgeous ring."

Nick: Oh, yes. I think that would be a more polite way than, "How many carats?"

Leah: I think you could also say, "I got it at Claire's. It's a forgery."

Nick: [laughs] Okay, so you think lying? Lying is the approach. Interesting.

Leah: No, you're joking is the difference. You're saying "I don't want to talk about this. I'm uncomfortable."

Nick: Oh. Oh, so deflect. Deflect.

Leah: I'm deflecting.

Nick: I mean, I think that you could say, like, "Oh, it was a gift, so I hope so."

Leah: Oh, I like that one. "I didn't check it out."

Nick: Because it was a gift, so you're not obligated to know the specifics about the size or the price. And you didn't buy it, presumably. So ...

Leah: Or you could even do a "Who knows?"

Nick: Yeah. "Who knows? Who can say? It was a gift."

Leah: "Who can say?"

Nick: But I think it was a gift. I would lean in on that, because engagement rings typically are given to you, and so you would not have first-hand knowledge of the purchase.

Leah: And then—it was a gift, and then I would have a—move on to another conversation topic come right after.

Nick: Absolutely. Immediate pivot. Yes. And so I think you might actually want to be ready with a back-pocket pivot, not just a back-pocket sentence for the ring, but also what's your pivot? I think that could be a new genre of back-pocket items.

Leah: [laughs] What—what are we moving into quickly? Because we can't really do, "Oh, it was a gift. I love this sunshine." I think we want a nice transitional ...

Nick: "It was a gift. And oh, what a proposal! It was a whole film scene at Home Depot with choreographed dancing. It was amazing. You can look it up on YouTube." Like, whatever your pivot needs to be.

Leah: Here's one.

Nick: [laughs] Okay.

Leah: "Oh, it was a gift from my now husband, then fiancé. Have you—oh, by the way, which reminds me: have you seen the movie The Proposal with Sandra Bullock?"

Nick: Oh, I like that!

Leah: Because we're jumping topics that are related, and we're moving into movie categories. And we're talking about one of my favorite people in the whole world, Sandra Bullock.

Nick: Okay, nice pivot. And then you can be like, "Oh! Well, you know the best Sandra Bullock movie is, of course, Miss Congeniality.

Leah: It's a great movie.

Nick: I feel like your hesitation is unwarranted.

Leah: I don't want to say it's the best ever. I mean, I love—I love Sandy across the board.

Nick: I believe Miss Congeniality is superior to The Proposal.

Leah: I definitely watch it every time it's on, and I always cry and I laugh. But I love The Proposal. I don't want to say one's—but you know me, Nick. I hate saying one's better than every ...

Nick: Yeah, you don't want to be wrong. I get it.

Leah: No, it's not that I don't want to be wrong. It's that I find joy in all of them.

Nick: [laughs] Fair enough. So do you have questions for us? Let us know! You can let us know through our website, 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: This one is a little bit of a—it's not off topic, but it's—I just had to share with our Wolves fam and you.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: Because this I thought was so—I even had a lady just almost start a fight with me in the grocery store, and I was like, "I'm still not gonna use it as my vent. I gotta tell our Wolves fam this story."

Nick: So this is neither a vent nor repent?

Leah: Yes.

Nick: Okay, what is it? What is this hybrid item?

Leah: So I have very vivid dreams. Always.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: And when I wake up, if I'm in it, it takes me a while to not believe that it was real.

Nick: Hmm.

Leah: So I had this dream a few nights ago that I was going to the theater.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: And our seats were on the stage.

Nick: Oh!

Leah: They put us on the stage, like on the sides.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: And I was thinking, "Oh, this is so weird. Why would we be on the stage?" And then I was on the stage. I was so uncomfortable because I knew the people behind me couldn't see. So I sort of was laying down on the stage. And the play was happening.

Nick: Okay. I love that you were uncomfortable not because you were on display, but that you thought you were blocking other patrons.

Leah: Yes, I was so afraid I was blocking other patrons.

Nick: You're even considerate in your dreams.

Leah: [laughs] Yes. And then they had to stop the play, and this woman had to come over and go, "Why are you sitting here?"

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: And we were like, "That was on our tickets." And they were like, "You read the tickets wrong." And I turn around, and I've been trying to lay down and I'm blocking all these people. And I think I made this error. I've blocked all these people. They've had to stop the show.

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: And then I was like, "I have let down our Wolves' audience."

Nick: Okay.

Leah: "I bet there are people in the audience who are listeners to Raised By Wolves, and they're like, "Who is this woman who sat on the stage?" And I woke up, and I still thought it was real. And I was like ...

Nick: Wow!

Leah: I ruined a play! And why would I sit in the front? And, you know, I bet there are podcast listeners, or somebody took a video of me just being the rudest person in the world. Why would I ever do—how could I misread a ticket? And then as I finally, like, woke up all the way, I was like, "Oh, it was a dream." And I just thought it was so funny. It was so real. I thought I was gonna have to apologize to everybody. I also think it was like a reseating in theaters. It was like the two ...

Nick: Oh! A lot of themes coming together.

Leah: A lot of themes all together. But it was just that it was so real. And I was like, ready to repent.

Nick: Yeah! Oh, I love that!

Leah: And it's still so visual.

Nick: That this haunts you in your dreams.

Leah: It haunted me that I was sitting in front of people.

Nick: Yeah!

Leah: Oh!

Nick: Well, I think the saving grace here is that, because it's a podcast, nobody knows what we look like.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So who cares if they videoed this—the woman on stage laying down, blocking everybody? They're not gonna put that together that's Leah Bonnema.

Leah: They see our Instagrams!

Nick: Oh, that's true. Yeah. You can figure out what we look like if you really want. Well, I'm sorry this happened to you in your dreams.

Leah: [laughs] Not really, though. Well, it's a vent. It's a repent. I'm repenting.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, I like that this has gotten so deep into your core that you can't escape. You can't escape. Day or night, waking or sleeping, it will always be with you.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: Well for me, I would like to vent in the real world. And so I was recently in Rome, Italy, and having a delightful time. And every day basically the agenda was: have pizza for lunch. And don't worry, I did use my hands. And so I'm at a great pizza place, and actually I love pizza in Rome because a lot of the places they actually do it by the weight. And so you go in and you just indicate how much pizza you want.

Leah: Oh, I love that!

Nick: And then they cut it off at that point and then they weigh it, and then you pay for it and then you're on your way. And I was like, "Oh, that's wonderful!" Because you just kind of indicate exactly how much pizza you want. It's very civilized. And so I'm at this great place in Rome, and I'm eating pizza and I'm outside. And, like, there are some Americans who are also enjoying pizza. And they're finishing up and they're leaving, and one of them tosses their napkin into the garbage. But he misses. Okay. And he says to his friends, "Oh, I missed." Now Leah, do you think he returned to that garbage can and picked up that garbage off the ground?

Leah: Well, I just sucked in a very big piece of air, because one would assume. But since this is under the "Vent" umbrella, I'm gonna have to guess that he did not.

Nick: He did not. Yeah. He did not return to pick up the garbage.

Leah: After an "Oh, I missed!"

Nick: Yeah. And so it was like, you clearly acknowledge that you did not make it. So you are aware that you are now leaving garbage on the ground. And I think why this bothers me is because, like it or not, when we travel abroad, we do represent our country. And you are representing the United States of America. And so this reflects poorly on the rest of us. And I don't love that. I don't love that. Americans should be known for being the kind, thoughtful, generous people that we are around the world. We should not be known as being litterers. And so I was just very bothered by this. And so obviously, I went over and I picked up the napkin and I put it in the garbage. And I was very tempted as this was happening to yell, like, "Sogno Americano. Sogno Americano. We also put away garbage. You know, we do good things too." But I was just bothered by this because it's like, don't litter. Don't litter. And don't litter in a foreign country. I think that's worse than domestic littering.

Leah: [laughs] Littering across the board? Rude.

Nick: Rude! And so I just want people to remember that when you do travel, you are reflecting your community, whatever that is. And so if you're from one town going to another, if you're from one state going to another, one country to another, like, you are reflecting some community with your travels. And you want to behave in a way that I think would bring your community pride.

Leah: I love that.

Nick: Right?

Leah: I think that's so true. I think it's a trifecta rude. It's littering. Always rude.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: Exactly what you're saying, that you're representing all of us. Rude. And then you're being rude to your host country.

Nick: Oh yeah, and also that. That's very rude to Rome. Yeah, that's very rude to Italy. Yeah. So it's just so much rudeness in the world, and it would just be nice if we had less of it.

Leah: The "Oh, I missed."

Nick: "Oh, I missed." Yeah.

Leah: Well, get it. Go pick it up!

Nick: Yeah. And I took a picture of it, and I will put a photo of this in the show notes so you can see that I'm telling the truth. It was not a dream.

Leah: Well, I appreciate about you is that you're the kind of person to go pick it up, because I like that.

Nick: Yeah, I just—I saw it happen. I was like, "Oh, animals!"

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: And so I took a photo of it first, and then I put it in the garbage. So Leah, what have we learned?

Leah: Well, I learned that I have—not on purpose—been doing the correct thing by holding my glasses in my left hand at cocktail parties.

Nick: I'm happy however you get to the end destination.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: However that is, I'm happy. And I learned that you are now dreaming about Were You Raised By Wolves.

Leah: Yup. It's fully integrated into all aspects of my brain.

Nick: Well, thank you, Leah.

Leah: Thank you, Nick.

Nick: And thanks to you out there for listening. I'd send you a handwritten note on my custom stationery if I could.

Leah: He would!

Nick: So for your homework this week, we want you to sign up for our newsletter. There's a lot of good stuff in there, and you're gonna find out about new stuff first. So go to our website, select "Newsletter" and sign up.

Leah: We would so appreciate it!

Nick: We would. And we'll see you next time.

Leah: Bye!

Nick: Bye!

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!

Leah: I just wanted to do a huge shout out to our listener Michael P., who sends the most supportive and wonderful messages. And we really appreciate you listening and all the love you give this podcast. Thank you so much!

Nick: And for me, somebody slid into our DMs and they said this: "I just wanted to reach out and say I love your podcast. I literally cannot get enough. I'm genuinely, excitedly anticipating a situation that feels tricky so I can write in. You both have such beautiful voices and I so appreciate it."

Leah: That's so nice. I actually—I screenshotted that. I saved that on my phone.

Nick: [laughs] Isn't it nice? We have beautiful voices, Leah!

Leah: So nice.

Nick: So thank you. We really do appreciate hearing that kind of thing because it really does make our day.

Leah: It really does. So much.

Nick: So thank you.