March 23, 2020

Borrowing Money, Forgetting Invitations, Saving Forks, and More

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle eating mukhwas, asking friends to repay you, forgetting to invite important relatives to parties, handling people with big hair, getting attention at a bar, sharing fears, saving forks, getting rides, and much more. Please subscribe! (We'd write you a hand-written thank you note if we could.)

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  • AMUSE-BOUCHE: Mukhwas
  • A QUESTION OF ETIQUETTE: Asking friends to pay you back
  • QUESTIONS FROM THE WILDERNESS: What to do if you forget to invite important people to a party? How to handle people with big hair? How to get attention at a bar?
  • VENT OR REPENT: Sharing fears, Saving forks
  • CORDIALS OF KINDNESS: Getting a ride, A nice review




Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema

Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton

Theme Music: Rob Paravonian


[Musical Introduction]

Nick: Do you forget to repay your friends? Do you play with your hair at the table? Do you cut in line when ordering a drink? 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: We're New York today, and let's just get to it with our amuse-bouche today!

Leah: [Singing] A-mooooze-boooooche!

Nick: So, in front of you, Leah-

Leah: [Laughing] I don't know what it is!

Nick: There is a bowl.

Leah: Uh-huh.

Nick: Please describe to our listeners: what do you see? What is happening?

Leah: Okay, so I see a glass bowl.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: I'm going to tell our listeners, it's like a fist- it's like a fist-and-a-half-sized.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: It's not like a Dorito bowl.

Nick: Sure. Okay.

Leah: A Dorito bowl ... I love that. That's my example.

Nick: Uh-huh. That's your go-to?

Leah: It's got a little spoon in it.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: Then, about the third full, maybe a quarter- I'm gonna say seeds?

Nick: Okay, so describe the seeds.

Leah: May I touch?

Nick: Yeah, this is your ...

Leah: So, I have a little spoon, and I'm gonna say it's got, looks like, four different types of seeds.

Nick: Okay, and just smell it, and ...

Leah: May I?

Nick: Yeah. Leah's smelling it.

Leah: I feel like, on a good day, I should be able to tell you what this is.

Nick: You have seen this before in your life.

Leah: These long ones, are these fennel?

Nick: That is fennel, yeah.

Leah: Then, it's not a sesame seed.

Nick: Ah, there could be some sesame in there.

Leah: Oh, there's a sesame.

Nick: So, what this is called ... [Laughing] What this is, is mukhwas, and you have probably seen this at the front door of an Indian restaurant, near the toothpicks, and the peppermint. What this is, is it's a mixture of fennel, and coriander, and sesame seeds, and it's roasted. I think there's a little sea salt in there, and lemon juice. What this is, is it's supposed to be sort of like a mouth freshener-

Leah: Oh!

Nick: -and a digestive aid. That's what this is.

Leah: Like a post-

Nick: Post-dinner, yes.

Leah: Okay!

Nick: We have this at the end of the meal. There are as many recipes of mukhwas as there are people in India. So, I was on YouTube, and I was seeing all sorts of amazing different approaches to this. This little mix, I think, is more Gujarati style, I'm told. Sometimes, they put in candy-colored fennel. You may have seen that. They look like mini Good & Plentys.

Leah: Yes, I've seen that!

Nick: Mm-hmm. They're pink and white, very colorful. Sometimes, there's essential oils in them, like peppermint or other things, so it's more perfumey. There's all sorts of different recipes. The idea is that it just aids in digestion, and sort of freshens the mouth.

Leah: Mm!

Nick: So, the question is - how do you eat it?

Leah: I guess - what - I take the spoon and put a little bit of the spoon on my hand?

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: Then, eat it from my hand?

Nick: Yeah, so you would then sort of toss it back in your mouth. You could do that ...

Leah: I would toss it back.

Nick: Yeah, or you can eat it from your hand, sure. Now, you do not use the spoon as a catapult.

Leah: Oh ...

Nick: Where you're not trying to catapult it into your mouth; and we do not eat off the spoon. We do not lick the spoon.

Leah: Even I would not do that.

Nick: We sometimes may actually see single-serve packets of this, now.

Leah: Oh, okay.

Nick: It's not always a bowl. Sometimes, it's actually single-serve things.

Leah: Oh, wow!

Nick: You may also see this in people's homes. This is not just a restaurant thing.

Leah: Oh, fantastic!

Nick: So, this is mukhwas.

Leah: Mukhwas. Can you spell mukhwas for us?

Nick: Well, it's Hindi, but it is spelled on this little packet: M-U-K-H-W-A-S.

Leah: Okay!

Nick: That's how they've translated this.

Leah: Fantastic.

Nick: Yeah, so next time you're in an Indian restaurant, try it. It's delicious, and it's a nice way to finish a meal.

Leah: I love it!

[Musical Interlude]

Nick: We're back, and now it's time to go deep.

Leah: Very deep.

Nick: So, for today's question of etiquette, I want to talk about borrowing money from friends.

Leah: Big one.

Nick: We're going to narrow it a little bit because this is a very big topic, but this was prompted by a question, actually, we got from one of you guys, which was: "What's the best way to politely ask someone for money that they owe you? Recently, a group of girls went to a pricey brunch, and I put the tab on my credit card as they weren't able to accept multiple cards. I told the group that they could pay me via Venmo, but only half of them paid. How do I remind those who haven't paid me without appearing cheap?" Hmm.

Leah: Hmm.

Nick: Right ... Well, first of all, that's rude. Pay people if you owe them money.

Leah: Yeah, immediately.

Nick: Promptly.

Leah: The letter-writer, you're not appearing cheap.

Nick: Definitely not.

Leah: Here's another example of the person who's not doing anything wrong feeling like ... Just trying to- you know what I mean? And they feel bad!

Nick: Yeah, like, "How am I the bad person in this scenario?" Yeah.

Leah: Yeah. You did everybody a favor.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: I think you could send out an email and send it to yourself, so it's not- you don't see ... Even if it's to only one person, it looks like it's a group, and be like-

Nick: Oh! So, Bcc:?

Leah: Yeah, so it just looks like you're sending it to everybody.

Nick: "Hey, everybody ... If you haven't paid me for brunch, it'd be great if you would do that today ..."

Leah: Yeah, "This is what it was. Thanks so much!"

Nick: It's just Lisa-

Leah: Yeah, it's just to Lisa, but it looks like it's to everybody.

Nick: I like that. That's nice. That feels like a way to not put her on the spot, but also let her know that she owes you money.

Leah: And giving the benefit of doubt that Lisa just blanked it.

Nick: No one forgets that they owe people money.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: I do not believe that anybody has ever borrowed money and then forgot that they did that. I don't think the world has ever seen this scenario.

Leah: You're probably right.

Nick: Yeah, ever.

Leah: I'm trying to think of a time. You know me, I like to-

Nick: "Oh, I accidentally borrowed 20 bucks from somebody. Slipped my mind." No ... Never.

Leah: Also, the other option is, on Venmo, you can request-

Nick: Remind! Well, you can request, for sure, and you could remind, I think.

Leah: Oh, can you?

Nick: I think you can send a little reminder, yeah.

Leah: Which I think is very ... You could just be like, "Oh ..."

Nick: It's caszh ...

Leah: "Didn't know if I sent a request. Here it is."

Nick: Yeah, but I think the nice thing to do is to try and make sure everybody has your Venmo name at brunch; like, "Oh, did you find me on Venmo?" We want to make sure that we kind of establish Venmo is happening-

Leah: Right.

Nick: -in the moment, before we leave the table.

Leah: But since I feel like that's already passed-

Nick: We are past that point, yes. I think a group email with a 'Bcc:' is fine. I think it's fine to be direct and just text them, and be like, "Hey, brunch was so fun! Would you have a chance to get to that memo today?"

Leah: Yep, or you could say-

Nick: Send.

Leah: Yep. "Brunch was so fun. Wanted to make sure you have my Venmo."

Nick: Yeah, although I like just a more direct.

Leah: No, it's very great.

Nick: "Wanna get to it today, maybe? [Giggling] Maybe wanna like pay me what you owe me?" Yeah, a nicer way, but in that: "Would you just get to this today?"

Leah: Right.

Nick: Yeah, but, yes, if you borrow money from people, you should pay them back immediately. This is polite. Do not make someone chase you.

Leah: No, it's horrible.

Nick: Horrible. I think if this happens to you, and you lend money, and they're slow in paying you back, I think we file that information away about this person, and we note it for next time.

Leah: Yeah, and you're not being rude for sending out a reminder.

Nick: Definitely not. You were the one who put this on your card in the first place, which was a courtesy to everybody else.

Leah: Yes!

Nick: You have already done a nice thing, so it is rude that people are sort of treating you with disrespect this way.

Leah: Absolutely.

Nick: So, easy peasy!

Leah: Or, I just thought of one more option, if you're not-

Nick: Hm.

Leah: -I really salute your directness.

Nick: Thank you! I'm trying a new thing. I feel like, in the last couple weeks on our show, I have been shockingly passive-aggressive, and I feel like, in my real life, I am not passive-aggressive.

Leah: No, I feel like you're very direct.

Nick: Very direct! So, in listening to the episodes back, I've noticed, gosh, I'm really passive-aggressive. Nick, in real life, would never have done it this way.

Leah: No, you're very direct, and I-

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: -as somebody terrified of confrontation, I am very-

Nick: Terrified of my directness?

Leah: No, I'm not terrified of it. I appreciate it.

Nick: Ah, okay.

Leah: I like it when people are direct to me.

Nick: I just like to know where I stand. I like to know where everybody else stands.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: I don't have time to worry about whether or not something is weird or not.

Leah: No, I think that's great.

Nick: I'm just like, "Either tell me, or not tell me...fine."

Leah: I love that!

Nick: Right. So, I'm trying to be more direct with my on-air answers.

Leah: So, I think that I love that you said, "Just say 'Can you pay me today?'" I think that if you're not ready to be as direct as Nick, which I understand because I get nervous tummy-

Nick: Okay.

Leah: -you could say, "Hey ..." Although, now I say it, I recognize it's not direct at all.

Nick: Right.

Leah: If you didn't want to do the group email to the one person, you could say, "Oh, was cash better? If you didn't want to Venmo me, you could also give me cash." [crosstalk]

Nick: What?! That's passive-aggressive!

Leah: That's not passive-aggressive [crosstalk]

Nick: Oh, so I guess we can't be bothered to use Venmo-

Leah: I just wanted to give me options-

Nick: -so, maybe cash is more convenient for you.

Leah: No, I know somebody who doesn't have a Venmo.

Nick: Well, then there was plenty of opportunity at this brunch to volunteer that information.

Leah: Well, I don't know if- we don't know that didn't come up.

Nick: I think if somebody puts this on their credit card and has the expectation that, "Oh, everybody's just gonna Venmo me," and you know that you have no electronic payment method available, then it's on you to be like, "Oh, let me give you cash before we leave right now."

Leah: No, you're absolutely right. I was just trying to-

Nick: Yeah. But also, here's the thing, for the people who aren't paying promptly, do you think that they're gonna forget, and that you're just gonna get away with a free brunch?

Leah: I don't think people are trying to get away with a free brunch; I think they're just not-

Nick: What is their thinking process?

Leah: -they're not making it a priority.

Nick: Yes!

Leah: They think, "I'll get to it when I'll get to it."

Nick: Settling debts is a priority.

Leah: Yeah, I think so.

Nick: Like, big time.

Leah: Absolutely.

Nick: Yeah. Okay, so that's that.

Leah: I don't think they're trying to not pay.

Nick: I don't know what- I always pay promptly, so I don't know what is in these people's minds. What makes them think it's okay to just not pay promptly?

Leah: [Laughing] I don't know. I do think, even though we said this never happens, I do think there are a few people, it slips their mind.

Nick: Okay. I can allow for that possibility.

Leah: So, we're going to give them the benefit of the doubt that it slipped-

Nick: And we're gonna remind them.

Leah: -and we send them a reminder!

Nick: Reminder. Okay, great.

[Musical Interlude]

Nick: We're back, and now it's time to take some questions from the wilderness.

Leah: [Howling]

Nick: Are you gonna just howl every time? Is that the thing now?

Leah: Isn't that- are we not ...? Should I not?

Nick: I don't know.

Leah: I feel like I should!

Nick: I mean-

Leah: I look forward to it.

Nick: If you look forward to it, then I don't want to take this from you. I don't want you to feel like you're obligated, though.

Leah: I don't feel obligated.

Nick: Okay. I don't want you to feel pressure-

Leah: But now that you said that, do you not want it every time?

Nick: I'm happy for you to howl.

Leah: I look forward to howling!

Nick: If this is the highlight of your day, A) that's probably a problem; but B) that's wonderful-

Leah: Would it be a problem if that was the highlight of my day?

Nick: If you howling on this show was the highlight - the highlight - of your day ...

Leah: Where else do I get a chance to howl?

Nick: Fair. Okay. Sorry, audience, for this digression.

Leah: I gotta ... Never a digression. Always added details.

Nick: It's an enhancement. So, for our first question: "While scrambling to get invitations out on time for my son's first birthday, I forgot to invite some people, namely his two step-grandmas. I know, I'm terrible. My only excuse is mom brain. How do I apologize without making them feel like it was personal or that they are over-lookable?" Hmmm ... I followed up with this person just to double-check. The event had passed. The step-grandmas found out about it because they saw photos on Facebook.

Leah: I love that you follow up, just to give us all the details.

Nick: I wanted just to make sure that there was not an opportunity to send a last-minute invitation.

Leah: Right. Of course.

Nick: The event was over. It was done. So, this is awkward.

Leah: It's awkward, but I think that everybody knows that 'mom brain,' which is her terminology-

Nick: Correct.

Leah: -that many of my friends have used, is very real.

Nick: Oh, absolutely. Yes.

Leah: I think you can just ... People know that that's- and that you can just-

Nick: It happens.

Leah: -it happens, and you apologize.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: Then, you just say ... I would just say, "A few invitations ..." so it didn't just sound like, "Just you two ..."

Nick: Oh!

Leah: You know what I mean? "A few invitations ... It was mom brain. I absolutely apologize." Then, you could even say, "This is an event we're doing in the future," so you know that they know that they're invited to things.

Nick: Hm.

Leah: Just if you feel like they felt like they were never gonna be invited, or it was on purpose.

Nick: Right.

Leah: But you have a real reason. People are allowed to make mistakes, and you just apologize.

Nick: Yeah. I don't think it's the crime, it's the cover-up that's always the problem. So, the crime is not good, but I think the cover-up of not apologizing promptly would be worse. So, I think-

Leah: You're allowed to make mistakes.

Nick: Mistakes do happen, yes. This is allowed.

Leah: Especially ... Mom brain is real.

Nick: Yeah. So, I think the solution is you got to jump on this quickly. Time is not your friend. So, I think you pick up the phone immediately, as soon as you know this has happened, and you call these people directly and apologize. I don't think we even pretend that there were some other invitations that got lost-

Leah: But there might've been. She said [crosstalk] "I forgot to invite some people."

Nick: Oh, okay. Sure. But these are two fairly important people, I think.

Leah: Well, I think they're the most important people who were-

Nick: Who were excluded, yeah. So, I think you apologize. I don't think we make excuses. I think we can explain it as mom brain, but we don't excuse it.

Leah: Yeah, and you'll just say-

Nick: Then, we have to make good. So, I think it's not even some vague future invitation. I think you've got to invite them over now. Be like, "You know what? I would love just to have you guys over for a one-on-one. We'd love to have you for tea, or dinner, or something," and I think we make a special event for them.

Leah: I think that's great.

Nick: I think that would be the nicest way to handle it.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: And hopefully, they realize that it was just an innocent mistake and that it was not personal.

Leah: I think that if you immediately apologize and then invite them over-

Nick: Right.

Leah: -if they don't forgive you and understand, after that, that's really on them.

Nick: Yeah, so I think that would be the nicest.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: But I think, in general, whenever something bad happens with scheduling, you need to reschedule immediately to indicate interest.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: That's the same for dates, or work stuff. We've talked about this.

Leah: Yep [crosstalk] but I also think it's- as far as making mistakes, which I think we have to agree happen ... We all make mistakes.

Nick: Absolutely. Yes.

Leah: And not beating yourself up about it because I know that I have in the past. That doesn't help at all. Just apologize.

Nick: Yes.

Leah: And try your best to do the right thing to fix it, which is making people feel wanted in this situation.

Nick: That's key.

Leah: And then move forward.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, it is not bad etiquette to make mistakes. It is bad etiquette to not handle those mistakes politely.

Leah: Right.

Nick: And with consideration, and empathy, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera ... So, yeah, it's not the crime, here, that would be the problem; it would be if she didn't then apologize.

Leah: Right.

Nick: So, apologize, make good, and never let it happen again! You have made the mistake once. I think you do not have a free pass to ever not invite these people ever again.

Leah: No, if you make a mistake again, it has to be with a different group of people [Laughing].

Nick: Sure! Our next question is about hair, and I cannot wait for Leah to weigh in on this. "I feel accosted when the person next to me at brunch decides to pull their hair up into a ponytail, or a bun, or any other new configuration which requires their hair and assorted scalp particles to be whipped about my mimosa and cantaloupe. It seems to happen on the regular, and those with all the hair seem to be oblivious to how gross this is to others. Moreover, I also find it unseemly, and unsanitary, when one twirls, and fidget-spins their hair in a repetitive, fixated fashion, while sipping a coffee, or eating in a public space where food is served and/or consumed." So, Leah ...?

Leah: I don't want it. I don't want to answer this one.

Nick: [Giggling] So, many people may not know what we look like, which is fine. Do not google us! Just live in the fantasy.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Whatever you think we look like, that's good.

Leah: That's what we look like.

Nick: That's good. Yeah, I'm fine with that. But, Leah does have statement hair!

Leah: I have a lot of hair!

Nick: It's just-

Leah: Statement hair. [Laughing]

Nick: It's, uh- it's unwieldy, perhaps? [crosstalk] It probably does what it wants.

Leah: It does what it wants. I have no control.

Nick: You also like reconfiguring it.

Leah: Yeah, I reconfigure a lot.

Nick: So, do you feel seen in this question?

Leah: Is 'seen' the right word?!

Nick: [Giggling] No, definitely not.

Leah: I also don't twiddle my hair.

Nick: Oh, okay.

Leah: But I have pulled my hair back.

Nick: Yeah. So, I see what this person is feeling. I see what he feels, which is he doesn't want dandruff in his food.

Leah: It's not dandruff, necessarily. Let's just discuss that.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: I mean ...

Nick: Well.

Leah: Wow!

Nick: What exactly are 'assorted scalp particles'?

Leah: I think that's like hair gel, or ... I don't know. Do people still use hairspray?

Nick: Sure.

Leah: That's not dandruff.

Nick: Okay. We'll just call it ... I feel like this is really hitting home for you.

Leah: I read this question out loud to my boyfriend.

Nick: What did he say?

Leah: He said he can see how it would seem unsanitary, if somebody was out, shaking their hair ...

Nick: Yes, if you're doing a Willow - shake your hair all around - kind of thing.

Leah: You know, but if you're just out with somebody, and they pull their hair back into a ponytail ...

Nick: So, I guess, is there a spectrum of hair touching? Is a putting up into a bun, once, and now that's my new configuration, and we leave it, versus twiddling and tossing throughout a meal? Is there a difference there? Our letter-writer would like you to not touch your hair ever-

Leah: Ever.

Nick: Unless you are in the privacy of your own home.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: That feels probably not realistic.

Leah: Not realistic. Here's the thing - if you're a person who doesn't like people that touch their hair-

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: I want everybody to get what they want, so I think, then, you shouldn't hang out with people with big hair-

Nick: Oh!

Leah: -because people with big hair, wow are they gonna not be themselves?

Nick: Because that's true. You don't have a choice-

Leah: I don't have a choice.

Nick: -in how you're handling your hair [crosstalk]

Leah: If I have my hair down, and the wind blows, what am I supposed to do? Not move it back?

Nick: Okay ... Yeah, no [crosstalk]

Leah: I don't want to feel like I'm upsetting the person across from me-

Nick: Right.

Leah: -because my hair is offending you.

Nick: Right. Although, do you look like Cousin It with your hair?

Leah: Oh, I do.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: Absolutely. I have this really funny picture where my hair is ... We used it as a Christmas photo. My hair is blown over my face. I actually look exactly like Cousin It.

Nick: Amazing. So, you say, "If you have a problem with my hair, then we can't be friends."

Leah: No, we can be friends, but ... I don't know, if that upsets you so much-

Nick: Because it's an inherent part of who you are.

Leah: Yeah, I can't do anything about it.

Nick: It's sort of ... Yeah.

Leah: So, I don't want to feel like I'm somehow upsetting you.

Nick: Hm, okay. What if it's somebody who has less strenuous hair, who has more a nice blow out but just likes a little voluntary twirl?

Leah: The thing is, is what are you going to say? "Stop twirling your hair! It upsets me when I'm eating ..."? I think you're just going to have to not hang out with people that touch their hair.

Nick: Yeah, well, I think- is this really a PSA? He wants us to let hair-touchers know that some people are bothered by this.

Leah: I think that's probably what that is.

Nick: Maybe. Are you aware that some people have this sort of strong reaction to your hair?

Leah: No, I never even thought of it.

Nick: Okay, so you have been unaware that your assorted scalp particles are enraging-

Leah: I had no idea.

Nick: -the general public.

Leah: So, I mean, good for me to know. Just something else I'm doing that is upsetting people.

Nick: Okay, so let's think of this as a PSA.

Leah: Right.

Nick: So, listeners, there are people out there who don't want you touching hair around them. I think you just want to be mindful at a place that is involving food, or coffee, sipping coffee-

Leah: Specifically cantaloupes.

Nick: Uh, yeah ... Well, I think he was painting a scene at brunch, I guess.

Leah: I know.

Nick: This is a brunch scene.

Leah: It seems like a brunch scene.

Nick: So, we have cantaloupe.

Leah: I mean, I've been a waitress, and I always had my hair back. You know what I mean?

Nick: Yes.

Leah: I know that when I'm moving over people's foods, and da-da-da ... I'm also not shaking my hair out.

Nick: Yeah. I get the idea of we don't want hair from a server in my food.

Leah: Right, and I'm also- if I'm not the server, but I'm at the table, obviously, you don't want my hair in your food, either.

Nick: I also don't want that, but it feels like, physically-

Leah: If I just pull it up, and I put it back, I-

Nick: -it feels like the cloud of assorted scalp particles is not going to necessarily make it over to my side of the table.

Leah: But I also don't think that there's gonna be a cloud of assorted scalp particles, if I'm just pulling my hair back.

Nick: Yeah. What can I say? I have very short hair.

Leah: I also, if I'm going to do anything major, I'll come in from the outside-

Nick: Okay.

Leah: -and I'll pull my hair back, when I'm eating.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: So, that will happen. If I'm going to do anything more than that, I do it in the bathroom.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: If I take my hair down, I'm going to do it in the bathroom.

Nick: Because you also want to jüj it a little.

Leah: I gotta jüj it.

Nick: Right.

Leah: Also, I feel like it's like, I gotta shake it out. I've moved away from that because I was like- I have to bend over to shake it out.

Nick: She was demonstrating what shaking hair out looks like.

Leah: I don't do that at the table.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: So, I don't know, is somebody shaking their hair out on him? I don't know.

Nick: Okay. There may be more to this story. Yeah.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: Our next question is about bars. "At a bar, there is rarely a clear line in which to queue, and it becomes a contest of who can get the bartender's attention first, using various techniques, like holding out bills and credit cards, or being more aggressive than everyone else. This is especially true at nightclubs, or other crowded venues. So, my question is - do you have any advice on how to handle that? I don't want to cut in front of others. I just want my turn when it's my turn without having to feel like I'm in a competition to get served in a fair order." Hmm.

Leah: This is a great question.

Nick: Yeah. Don't go.

Leah: Mm-hmm.

Nick: That's ... Don't go.

Leah: Don't go?

Nick: Don't go.

Leah: This really stresses me out. I wrote that on top - "This stresses me out."

Nick: Leah did write that.

Leah: I think there's two ways to handle it.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: You have to decide which is easier to live with: being the kind of person who maybe got jumped over, when you're standing waiting; or do you ... Which makes you less uncomfortable - getting jumped over, or having to push people?

Nick: Right.

Leah: I would rather be extra polite and get jumped over and have to wait a little longer than whatever it takes to push my way out.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: Oftentimes, though, I find, like, if you're waiting, the person next to you will go, "Oh, they were first."

Nick: Oh, you think?

Leah: I always do that, if somebody was there before me, and the bartender sees me first. I'll go, "Oh, they were here before me."

Nick: Yeah, but there's always that guy who saunters up right next to you and leans in harder with the bills and just swoops right in.

Leah: Yeah, there's that one person, and they want to be that person ... They're gonna- that's their lot in life.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: So, you have to decide, are we gonna fight that person, or we gonna let it go and be like, "There's that person ..."?

Nick: But I do wish bartenders did this more fair because they are aware of who's where and who's been there longer, I think.

Leah: I don't know if they are. Sometimes, it's really hard.

Nick: Is it?

Leah: Yep.

Nick: I guess I've never bartended at a very busy bar.

Leah: Yeah, I bartended in college. It's very hard sometimes to remember who was where.

Nick: Although, I know bartenders sometimes will go left to right and will just go down the line.

Leah: But there are more people coming in. That's why that's hard.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, I guess it's on the venue. It would be nice if there was more of an orderly way to do this.

Leah: Yeah. Ideally, there would be a system.

Nick: All right.

Leah: But I do think everybody's really trying.

Nick: It's anarchy, yeah.

Leah: So, I think sometimes you just kinda squish in-

Nick: Well, people are not really trying.

Leah: Do you think they're not?

Nick: I feel like there's a lot of people who are perfectly happy to willingly, knowingly, deliberately cut in front of other people.

Leah: I know, but those people are just bad people.

Nick: But there's a lot of bad people in these bars!

Leah: Yeah, and you're just gonna have to know that being a good person is a gift to itself.

Nick: Oh ... Then, you'll never get your drink.

Leah: The other option is to send somebody else up to get the drink because-

Nick: Subcontract.

Leah: Yeah, I also have friends that are good at it. They just get in there.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, I'm very good at getting to the bar because I'm small. I'm like a ninja; but once I'm at the bar, I'm short, so, my stature, once I'm at the bar, is overshadowed by everyone else. So, I get there, but then I'm always overlooked. It's a dilemma.

Leah: I don't drink, but I often go to- I'm out a lot and going to the bar stresses me out so much that I actually carry my own water all the time, so I don't even have to do it.

Nick: Okay, so that's another strategy.

Leah: Just don't-

Nick: BYO.

Leah: BYO ... Which nobody at the venue is really into, but-

Nick: Works for you!

Leah: -they should have figured out an easier way to get drinks.

Nick: So-

Leah: No, I don't feel like we've answered this question at all. I mean, I guess we have. You can either be pushy or wait until somebody comes to you because there's really no ...

Nick: Right, so what do we tell this person? Because their specific question was, "Do you have any advice on how to handle this problem?"

Leah: The advice is to decide which kind of person-

Nick: You have to decide who you want to be tonight.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Do I want to be pushy, or do I want to be a pushover?

Leah: It's not a pushover. It's which is less stressful?

Nick: Okay, so you want to have it through the lens of stress.

Leah: Yeah, which makes you feel more comfortable?

Nick: Okay.

Leah: Do you get more agitated when you have to wait? If so, you're going to have to lean in.

Nick: Mm-hmm. Or, do you get more agitated, if you-

Leah: Lean in.

Nick: -lean in?

Leah: Then, you're just going to have to wait.

Nick: Yeah, and there's no middle ground here.

Leah: No, there's no middle ground on this.

Nick: Unless there's table service.

Leah: Unless there's table service, or you send somebody else.

Nick: Or you send someone else; or you go home. Yeah. These were good questions.

Leah: Yeah, these were great!

Nick: So, do you have questions for us? Oh, yes, you do! Unless your day is going great; nothing is going wrong; no etiquette problems; everything is smooth.

Leah: Or you can just send us in a veiled-

Nick: Threat? About your hair? [Laughing]

Leah: A veiled comment and pose it as a question.

Nick: That's true. Yeah, if you have a commentary that you would like to- just add a question mark to the end.

Leah: I will be more careful with my hair.

Nick: All those scalp particles. So, send us your questions. You can send them through our website,, or you can leave us a voicemail, or send us a text message - (267) CALL-RBW (267-225-5729).

[Musical Interlude]

Nick: We're back, and now it's time to play the game we like to call Vent or Repent-

Leah: Vent or Repent.

Nick: -which is our opportunity to vent about some bad etiquette thing that's happened to us, or we can repent for some bad etiquette faux pas we've committed. So, Leah, would you like to vent or repent?

Leah: I'm gonna vent.

Nick: Yeah, that's kind of what we do now.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Yep, yep.

Leah: I was saying to Nick earlier how I've now, when I'm in a situation where it looks like I might have to repent, I go out of my way to be like, "How can I fix this?"

Nick: Yeah, "How can I make this situation correct, right now, to never have to repent for it?" I mean, amazing!

Leah: Which I feel good about.

Nick: Yeah. All right, what are you venting about?

Leah: So, this vent, it happened in a series.

Nick: It's a pattern.

Leah: Yeah. My Lyft driver - I was ... Oh, I just flew in from New York - then goes into his phobia of flying and then brings up every plane crash he can remember.

Nick: Oh!

Leah: With facts! Just giving them to me!

Nick: Like, "Oh, Pan Am 600. Ugh ... Remember that?"

Leah: Just throwing them at me! I was like, "Oh, that's so funny. You know, I have to fly back, and ..."

Nick: Or, "At some point in the future."

Leah: Yeah [Laughing] it was like, "Okay ..." Then, I get into another Lyft - this was two days later - and this man was terrified of earthquakes-

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: -and somehow worked it into the conversation and then just brought up every bad earthquake. Then he pulled up a app that he uses to see when earthquakes are happening at any given moment. It wa just interesting to me that it was back to back of people that, I'm just sort of coming in and out of their lives, and somehow their fears got involved in the conversation. Then, I was just ... I got this information about people's fears, and I don't know if that's- we need to do that to people ...

Nick: Yeah! I don't think we want to do that to people. I think raising the anxiety of others is rude, yeah.

Leah: I was like, "I'm now ... What?!"

Nick: I get why this is happening, which is like, we have concerns about our untimely demise.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: As a society, this is fair.

Leah: But I'm trying to constantly quell my own [crosstalk] I don't know if when I just got off a plane, you need to run all the plane crashes I've ever heard of.

Nick: Right.

Leah: I was like, "I'm flying ... I'm not walking back."

Nick: Yeah, I mean ... I guess we want to shut it down when possible. Be like, "Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about the Loma Prieta earthquake. I'm visiting from New York, and I'm concerned about earthquakes, so I would appreciate maybe let's not discuss this further."

Leah: You know me; I was just like-

Nick: Yeah, you weren't gonna say that.

Leah: No. I was just gonna be like, "Okay ..." I immediately go into therapy mode. "You just tell me everything."

Nick: Oh! [Giggling]

Leah: I was like, interesting sharing fears with people that are not ...

Nick: Yeah, I guess that does feel like a boundary was crossed.

Leah: Right? Because what if I had a panic thing, or I ... You know what I mean? Then, I have to go spend the next three hours deep breathing into a bag!

Nick: Or what if you didn't, and you were just a normal person who doesn't like to hear that kind of thing?

Leah: Right?

Nick: Yeah. Agreed. Sorry.

Leah: I just thought it was an interesting pattern that I noticed.

Nick: Yeah, and this is not over. This is continuing [crosstalk]

Leah: Oh, I'm sure I'll get more.

Nick: Yeah, for sure. Well, what I won't get more of-

Leah: [Laughing] Ha!

Nick: Forks.

Leah: Oh!

Nick: So, here's-

Leah: I really ... I hope that we have a fork vent at least once a month.

Nick: I mean, I do a lot of dining out. So, here's the thing. I'm dining out. I'm finished with my first course, and the waiter says, "Oh, you wanna hang onto your fork?" I hate that! "Take the fork away, and bring me a new one, please. Are you out of forks? Are you running low on forks? Do you not have forks back there? Why am I hanging onto my fork?!"

Leah: [Laughing]

Nick: I just don't like that! I don't care for this, and so-

Leah: "I do not care for this!"

Nick: I do not care for this! Now, I was looking into this because I was like, is this just me? Am I the only person that is bothered by this? Because it is very common, unless you're at a very sort of high-end restaurant, most restaurants ask you to hang onto your fork. So, I was looking into this, and the explanation that was given is that most people don't care, so it's just not a priority for restaurants. Also, it creates more work for the staff, so restaurants aren't into doing it. They don't encourage their staff to do it because then, now, they're running all over getting everybody new forks. But, as a diner, I don't like putting used cutlery back on the table, so I would rather you just bring me fresh silverware. That's all. That's my vent.

Leah: What did you say?

Nick: I mean, I would like to have a fork, and I would much rather keep my fork than you take it away and then forget to bring me a new one. So, I'll keep the fork. I'm not going to cause a scene. I'm not going to toss the fork on the floor, and be like, "No! Bring me a new one!"

Leah: I love the idea: "Do you wanna hang onto your fork?" It creates a 'in case of emergency ...'

Nick: Yeah. Although, there is this expression ... Because I was googling this fairly heavily in anticipation of my vent, today ... There is an expression, which is, "Hang onto your fork," which is meant to be like, "The best is yet to come. Save your fork because there's dessert!"

Leah: Right.

Nick: Which, I like that expression. I do not get those warm feelings, when I'm in a restaurant, and I'm asked to be keeping my fork for the next course.

Leah: So, maybe it's how they're saying it?

Nick: Well, no, it's just I also would like a new fork.

Leah: Imagine you just had forks in your bag?

Nick: BYOF!

Leah: Yep.

Nick: I'm open to the idea, yeah.

Leah: You were like, "I was anticipating this. I brought my own fork ..."

Nick: But am I alone? Are you not bothered by this?

Leah: Do you think I'm bothered by that?

Nick: Yeah ... I don't know why I asked you this question. Audience, can I get some validation? Do you like having to keep your fork? I guess- am I alone? [crosstalk]

Leah: I know a lot of places where they bring a new fork - with dessert.

Nick: With dessert, of course. Yes. But between a salad course, and a main course, I'm being asked to hang on to that fork a lot.

Leah: I honestly think we're just gonna pack you forks.

Nick: That's what we've gotta do!

Leah: You could say, "Oh, it's okay, you can take it. I brought my own forks for situations like this."

Nick: [Giggling]

Leah: Then, people will be like, "What?"

Nick: I will consider this. I feel like it's a bold move, but I'm open to it.

Leah: It's very bold.

Nick: But I'm bold.

[Musical Interlude]

Nick: So, Leah, what have we learned?

Leah: I learned about M-musk-

Nick: What is it? [Laughing]

Leah: Moose-key?

Nick: All right, mukhwas.

Leah: Mukhwas!

Nick: Mukhwas.

Leah: Mukhwas.

Nick: So, I guess we didn't really let it sink in yet, but ...

Leah: I mean, I know what it is, and I know what it looks like. I forgot the word.

Nick: Okay. Yes, we learned about this.

Leah: We learned about it, and I'm very excited about it!

Nick: Yeah! So, I think everybody, the next time you're at an Indian restaurant, make sure you try little before you leave. Don't pass it by.

Leah: Don't pass it by! It's not a ... Because you maybe thought it was a thing that you were supposed to shake out onto your food.

Nick: I guess you might think this - it's a condiment.

Leah: So, now you know.

Nick: Right.

Leah: Not a condiment.

Nick: Not a condiment! I learned that your hair cannot be controlled.

Leah: I have really no control.

Nick: There is no control.

Leah: I also think, as a quick side note, you have to know that people who have big hair have suffered for it as a child.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: They've been made fun of; people have ... They couldn't find the right hairdresser. Nobody knew how to deal with it. It got caught on things. People made fun of you.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: So, you already feel a lot of judgment for the hair.

Nick: Okay. So, don't judge you, then.

Leah: We're trying our best!

Nick: We're trying our best, yeah. Well, 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, and I would!

Leah: He would!

Nick: I would!

Leah: He will!

Nick: So, please follow us on Facebook, and Instagram, and visit our website ; sign up for our newsletter, and-

Leah: AND!

Nick: -we would love it if you would become a member on Patreon. It's new; it's kind of exciting.

Leah: Very exciting!

Nick: If you like our show enough to like us and want to be a member, we're not gonna say no.

Leah: We're gonna say yes, please!

Nick: Yes, please! So, check that out. You can learn more on our website, and we'll see you next time.

Leah: Bye!

Nick: Bye.

[Instrumental Theme Song]

Leah: Oh, hello!

Nick: Oh, it's time for Leah's Cordials of Kindness!

Leah: Thank you so much to everybody who wrote in!

Nick: Yeah, so in a previous episode, Leah was very concerned that people were not actually listening to this part of the show, and it turns out-

Leah: Because Nick put it at the end ...

Nick: I put it at the end because I'm trying to bury it ... But, turns out, you guys keep sticking it out. So, this is Leah's opportunity to make us say nice things, but I only give her 30 seconds, so go!

Leah: I was very delighted, when I was in Los Angeles; I didn't have a car, so sometimes, you feel sort of stuck. This friend that I made was like, "Hey, you want to go for a hike?" and just drove right over and picked me up and took me to one of her favorite places in Pasadena, where they have a turtle pond.

Nick: [Giggling]

Leah: It was just so nice! Just came right over, picked me up, made me feel, you know, welcome!

[Buzzer Sound]

Nick: Aww!

Leah: So sweet!

Nick: That's nice. I want to read a nice review that came in, which is, "My wife and I so look forward to your show. We listen to many hours of podcasts, and find the two of you so charming, entertaining, funny, and intelligent. We feel included in what is obviously a warm, affectionate friendship. Your show is such a welcome relief from all of the press of news of these times."

[Buzzer Sound]

Nick: Aww!

Leah: That is really sweet!

Nick: If only they knew our real relationship was Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. [Giggling]

Leah: [Laughing] That's just the nicest message!

Nick: That's really nice, yeah. So, thank you.

Leah: Thank you so much!

[Buzzer Sound]