Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah answer listener questions about breaking up with hairdressers, crashing bachelor parties, cracking eggs, 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 answer listener questions about breaking up with hairdressers, crashing bachelor parties, cracking eggs, 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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QUESTIONS FROM THE WILDERNESS:
THINGS MENTIONED DURING THE SHOW
YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO...
Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton
Theme Music: Rob Paravonian
Nick: Hey, everybody, it's Nick Leighton.
Leah: And I'm Leah Bonnema.
Nick: And we had so many questions from you all in the wilderness ...
Nick: That we have a bonus episode. So here we go. Our first question is, quote, "I have a relative who doesn't use the serving utensils provided when she comes over for dinner. She will serve herself with the fork she's been eating with. And the last time she was over, she even picked through the salad bowl with her bare hands to get to the parts of the salad that she wanted. I've tried ignoring it, I've tried addressing it calmly, and I've even snapped at her a few times. Is it okay to just stop inviting her over?"
Leah: I feel like our letter writer doesn't like this person.
Nick: [laughs] Well ...
Leah: So I'm gonna say, yeah, stop inviting her.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, that's on the table as an option.
Leah: On the table.
Nick: Of course, yes.
Leah: On the table, no pun intended.
Nick: [laughs] No pun intended, yes. I mean, as a host, you are always free to invite or not invite whomever you'd like. That's always fair. When it's a relative though, that option may not actually be viable, right? Like, how can we navigate that? Leah's shaking her head with disbelief.
Leah: I mean, I feel like it's not an immediate family member, because I think they would have specified.
Nick: Definitely not.
Leah: It feels like a great aunt or, like, a cousin. In which case, cut them loose. [laughs]
Nick: [laughs] So ...
Leah: I mean, I can forgive a fork, but I mean, you come over to somebody's house and you reach into—we just—I don't want your germs.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, I think just to clarify, picking through communal dishes with your hands or with your personal utensils is rude. Like, that's not something we do.
Leah: And I can obviously see a slip up with a personal utensil. We've all done it. You're like, "Where did my fork go?" You know what I mean?
Nick: Yeah, okay. This is not that.
Leah: Or it's just like your close family and you just—you know? But I mean, this is not that.
Leah: And I'm not digging into food, you know, scooping with your hands and being like, "Oh, sorry, I was just picking my face, and then I stuck my hand into your salad bowl."
Nick: [laughs] And also to be clear, strip-mining communal dishes is also never correct, even if you use the communal silverware. Like, you can't strip-mine the salad.
Leah: Whew! And it's hard not to, especially when, like, somebody does, like, a nice—you know, like, "Oh, I got to get to that cheese at the bottom."
Nick: [laughs] Right. So don't do that. Yeah, I think aside from not inviting this person back, some other options I was thinking of. The first is, let's just plate everything in the kitchen, and so that nobody is serving themselves anything. How about that?
Leah: I mean, it's a great idea. And I feel like, as always, you came up with a perfect solution where you take the egregious behavior off the table, you know what I mean? Now they can't do it.
Nick: Yeah, remove the temptation.
Leah: I mean, that seems great.
Nick: And then I think we could also just invite them over for things that are not this. So let's invite them over for cake or cocktails or coffee. Like, let's just invite them over for things that don't involve communal dishes.
Leah: I also feel, since it's been addressed multiple times, if you did end up plating in the kitchen, you could even say, "I'm plating it in the kitchen since you can't seem to keep your hands out of our salad bowl."
Nick: [laughs] Who are you today?
Leah: But then you say it ...
Nick: How is that something you would ever do?
Leah: Who am I today?
Nick: What—yeah, what have you done with Leah Bonnema?
Leah: I don't know.
Nick: That is ...
Leah: I mean, California is changing me, Nick. I don't know what to tell you.
Nick: I love that. I mean, that's a wonderful answer. Like, "I've had to redo my entire plan because you can't control yourself. So I am now having to individually plate everybody's meals because you can't keep your hands off of the food." Yeah. I mean, that is certainly something that could be done in the kitchen. Sure, okay.
Leah: And then maybe do like a cackle at the end just to show that you have humor about it. You're like, "Ha!" You throw your head back with a laugh and then put the plates down.
Nick: Okay. Yeah, that'll take the edge off. Yeah, so I think you could just plate the dishes, but not explain as explicitly why that's happening. Okay. And I think you could also—it's always on the table as an option, you can have one more polite yet direct conversation with this person about the touching of the communal food. I think you could have one more polite conversation. And I think those awkward conversations are often more successful if they are away from the event that we're talking about. So, like, don't have that conversation at the dinner table. Have it, like, when you're issuing the invitation. Like, "Hey, I want to have you over for Saturday, and just could you please not put your hands in the salad?" You know? But not having the conversation about their behavior, like, while it's actually happening. Having it some distance.
Leah: Or around other people.
Nick: Yeah. Or around other people, yeah. No, that's a good point. You don't want to embarrass them in front of other people.
Leah: I read this great Brené Brown—it wasn't from her book, but it was like, you know, she wrote about—I forget exactly what she called it, but the idea of, like, living authentically is the idea of, like, I would rather this few moments of ungovernability having this direct conversation with this person. Like you were saying, like, I would take them aside and be like, "I just want to address, can you please not do that? It makes me uncomfortable." And just it's better to be uncomfortable for two minutes, and explain to this person why it's not working for you than to sort of like, gloss over it and not bring it up, and then sort of live in this place where it's in the ether.
Nick: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Well, I mean, she's a treasure, you know? Her wisdom is timeless.
Leah: Oh, Brené!
Nick: Definitely can't argue with her there.
Leah: But I love that idea that it's just like a few seconds of uncomfortability to just say directly, "Please don't do this. It makes me uncomfortable."
Leah: "I'm very aware of germs. Please don't do that."
Nick: And I think we always are more afraid of that uncomfortableness than we should be. Like, the anticipation of the conversation for most people is actually worse than the actual conversation. I think anybody who's had one of these sort of awkward, direct yet polite sort of confrontations with somebody, after it's done, you're like, "Oh, that wasn't so bad." And like, "Oh, I'm glad I did that." But the anticipation of it, I think, gives a lot of people anxiety.
Nick: But I think if you just remember it's like a Band-Aid. Just pull it off. Just do it. You will be happier in the long run.
Leah: I think that's very true. And also I understand, like, thinking about it and even feeling guilty for just saying how you feel, but it's like, just say it.
Nick: Yeah. Well, because the alternative is let it go and don't let it bother you.
Leah: Which obviously is not what's happening.
Nick: Which is not available as an option. Right. So yeah, so what do you want to do? Either, like, stew with this and live with this? Or do you want to just say something and address it?
Leah: Yeah. And then if they can't respect it after you've had a very direct conversation on the side with them, then I would say don't invite them back.
Nick: Then they're off the guest list.
Leah: Off the guest list.
Nick: Absolutely. And you are guilt free.
Nick: Absolutely, yeah. Okay, great. Our next question is, quote, "My fiancé and I are getting married this winter. It'll be a destination wedding, and we are keeping our guest list very small, only about 30 people. The best man, lady of honor and groomsmen are hosting a bachelor party weekend getaway for my fiancé in a few weeks. It was brought to our attention that one of the groomsmen invited another mutual friend—let's call him Chad—to the bachelor party event. Chad accepted the invitation, and is going to join the bachelor weekend, and he's going to be bringing his girlfriend along too. Let's call her Lisa. Neither Chad or Lisa are in the wedding party, and have not been invited to our wedding. I think it would be rude now to not invite Chad and Lisa to the wedding, even though we only see this couple maybe once or twice a year. But at the same time, we've had to decline requests for invitations from family members, so it doesn't seem right to invite this couple now. We do like them, and certainly don't want to hurt their feelings. Are we obligated to invite Chad and Lisa to the wedding since Chad is participating in a pre-wedding event? And here's a bonus question. What is the best way to communicate to the wedding party that we would prefer not to invite people to wedding events who aren't invited to the wedding? We don't want to embarrass anyone, but we also don't want to end up in this position again."
Leah: I'm actually shocked that one would have to communicate to the wedding party that they shouldn't invite outside people.
Nick: [laughs] Yeah. I mean, generally speaking, you don't invite people to events if you are not hosting. So I think that's sort of understood, hopefully.
Leah: Yeah. I mean, I sort of had to sit back and reassess because I was like, I didn't even know we had to do that.
Nick: So my first thought when I was reading this question was, like, total outrage. Like, who are these people, and what is wrong with people? But then upon slightly more reflection, here's a wrinkle. The people who are hosting this event, they're not the people getting married, it's other people. And the invitation to this event came from those people. So technically speaking, an invitation was issued from hosts. So that's on the table here. That's in the mix.
Leah: I still think, though, that people, when it's like a bachelor/bachelorette party, normally invite from the people going to the wedding. That's been the standard across the board thing.
Nick: Yes. No, I'm not excusing it, I'm just sort of tossing that in as something we need to discuss because, yes, you are a host of this event, but you are hosting on behalf of someone else. And so it's the "on behalf" part that does come with some strings. So yes, it was not proper to toss out an invitation to extra people who were not part of the wedding party.
Leah: And it would have irritated me.
Nick: Absolutely, yeah. I mean, and it is fair to be irritated, because you have these extra people that you didn't invite to a weekend that is hypothetically in your benefit and honor.
Leah: And I'm sure they all know that you've had to limit the guest list because you're doing a smaller wedding, you know what I mean? And I don't think that you have to invite these people to your wedding at all.
Nick: Definitely not. Yeah, you are under no obligation to invite Chad and Lisa to your wedding. Yeah, I don't think there's any obligation. And Chad and Lisa should not now expect that they're gonna get invited.
Leah: Yeah. And I think if you want to have a conversation with them to say, "Thank you so much for coming to our bachelor/bachelorette party. You know, we've had to limit our wedding because we can't even invite a lot of our relatives because it's small."
Nick: And when am I having that conversation with Chad and Lisa?
Leah: Separately from everything. I mean, if you feel like it has to be addressed because it's, like, sitting inside of you.
Nick: So you've heard that Chad and Lisa, they're coming to your bachelor party weekend. And so we're just gonna reach out to them separately and be like, "Hey, so excited you're joining. Just FYI that unfortunately, we're not able to extend invitations to our actual wedding."
Leah: Or I guess you just don't say anything?
Leah: I don't think that you have to invite them to the wedding. I don't think you should invite them to the wedding if you've had to say no to family that you wanted.
Nick: Right. Yeah, I think we don't actually say anything to them because you should not expect to be invited to things if you haven't received an invitation. So if you haven't received an invitation, then you're not invited. And so there's that. And if they were wondering, like, oh, why am I not invited? Well, I guess we could just leave them to wonder that. I don't think we have to tell them explicitly.
Nick: Would we use any of the other people as intermediaries? I think we would probably mention to the groomsmen and be like, "Hey, cool that Chad and Lisa are coming because we like them. But, like, you know, hopefully they know that they're not invited to the wedding." And maybe leave that dirty work to that person to relay that message.
Leah: I think we could also say, "And please, if we could not invite anybody else, just because we feel bad that we can't invite more people to the wedding."
Nick: Hmm, that's a nice way to spin it, yeah.
Leah: That way, you've told them don't do this again, and you explain why. It's because we've had to not invite close family members because we don't have enough space. So it makes us feel bad.
Nick: So follow up. I basically relayed a lot of this to them. I was like, "You don't have to invite them, it's cool. But let us know how it goes." They are inviting Chad and Lisa.
Leah: I mean, I—they're nice people.
Nick: [laughs] They're very nice people, but they're doing it because, quote, "We are confident they will decline anyway."
Nick: I was like, "Oh, you are rolling the dice there." I think Chad and Lisa are absolutely coming to your wedding.
Leah: Chad and Lisa have already bought tickets for whatever flight they're taking.
Nick: Yeah, I mean, they're absolutely—they're on the registry right now. They're buying some goblets, yeah. No, they are showing up to your wedding. And it is really dangerous to invite people thinking that they're not gonna say yes, because people surprise you.
Leah: I mean, maybe they know they're not coming because it's a scheduling thing or they don't like flying. Like, who knows? They probably have information we don't have about why they think they're not coming.
Nick: Yes. No, I did not ask for the proof of this, but I do think, though, that it's risky. It's risky.
Leah: I mean, I totally understand why they invited them, because I also would feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Nick: I mean, people that you know sort of casually and only see them a few times a year invited to your wedding? I don't know. I wouldn't feel obligated, but I'm tougher than you are.
Leah: Well, I wouldn't feel obligated, but I'd feel bad because I knew they were coming to the party, and then they would spend money and I should—you know, I didn't want them to feel left out.
Nick: But no one asked them to come.
Leah: No, I know.
Nick: I didn't ask them to come.
Leah: I understand that, and I think that's correct. But I understand the feeling.
Nick: Yes. No, I get—I understand, yes. I understand, I just disagree.
Leah: Weddings are so complicated.
Nick: But are they, though? They're kind of not. And I think we really go out of our way to make them more complicated than they should be. Put a pin in this. We'll discuss this another day.
Nick: But I just don't think weddings need to be as complicated as they are. How's that?
Leah: No, I feel like you've said that.
Nick: Oh, I probably have, yeah, because I believe it. Anyway, our next question is, quote, "I need help getting out of a bad hair relationship." Leah is already shaking her head.
Leah: I'm already shaking, and I'm sort of breaking a sweat a little bit.
Nick: [laughs] "Earlier this year, I began letting a friend of mine, who also owns their own salon, cut and dye my hair after a couple of bad visits to my previous stylist. Since switching, I've had my hair dyed three times by my friend, and I've yet to have my hair turn out the way I want. My friend seems to think I have lighter hair than I actually do, and my hair never turns out the way I want, despite her reassurances that the color will match my natural color. Initially, the color looks close to what I want at the end of the appointment, but the color always fades after a couple washes. I need help with ending our professional relationship while keeping our friendship intact. She takes criticism very personally, and I'm not sure how to say that I'm not happy with my hair without tainting the rest of our interactions."
Leah: Phew! Phew!
Nick: I think this is super relatable to a lot of people.
Nick: I think the relationship that people have with their hair person, I think complicated and very difficult to end.
Leah: Well, this is much more complicated because you started out as friends.
Nick: Oh, yeah.
Leah: Then went in for the hair.
Leah: It's not even like you became friends with your hair person, which is why I think we don't tell them. I mean, I don't know.
Nick: Wait, we don't tell them what?
Leah: We don't tell them, like, "I'm leaving because I think you don't do a good job."
Nick: Okay, I'm listening.
Leah: I was very—I really didn't—I wrote underneath this, "You're gonna have to go into the witness protection program." [laughs]
Nick: [laughs] Yeah, you have to move out of state. Yeah
Leah: Because she specifically said they don't take criticism well.
Leah: And she wants to maintain the friendship. So I don't know if this is the kind of person that you can be direct with.
Leah: And then they're gonna be like—they're not gonna bring it up every time you're at dinner, like, "Oh, I see you got somebody to do your hair better than I did." You know what I mean? That's what I—that's what was my read of what they—so it's like, is there a way to slowly back out without having to ...?
Nick: Okay, I see that approach. But first, we can agree that we should not live in a world in which we are unhappy with our hair, right?
Nick: To save this friendship does not require us to go through life with bad hair. We agree on this.
Leah: There is nothing in the world that we would need to go through life with bad hair for.
Nick: Okay. Okay. Okay, so we agree that this must be fixed.
Nick: The idea that we will stay in this bad hair relationship? Unsustainable. Cannot continue. We need out somehow.
Leah: And we also can't go to this person for our hair, and then immediately go to somebody else and do a two hair every time just to have somebody else fix it. We can't do that either.
Nick: Okay. So one idea I had was that whenever we're wanting to end a professional relationship, I always find it nice to give that person the opportunity to fix whatever is wrong if I'm ending it for some reason that, you know, I'm unhappy with. So if it's that they're late delivering something, or if it's that I'm not happy with the quality of the work or whatever it is, I always want to give them a heads up that I'm unhappy with what is happening, to give them an opportunity to fix it. They may not be able to fix it, but I at least want to give them one opportunity at least to fix it so that when I do eventually end it, it's not totally coming out of left field. So I think one idea is we allow this person to do it one more time with the knowledge that you're unhappy. Like, "Hey, the color is just fading way too fast for me, and I really need it to last four weeks. So is there anything that can be done about that? A different technique or a different product?" And if it doesn't work out, then that gives you a little more room to, like, end it. Does this work for you?
Leah: Yeah, I think that's good. And then so say we do that.
Leah: And then it doesn't work again.
Nick: Right. So then we say, "Unfortunately, it's just not lasting as long as I need it to. So I don't know if we should continue?"
Leah: This is where it just ...
Nick: What about, "Unfortunately, it faded too quickly again, so instead of just being frustrated, I think it would be better if we maintain our friendship rather than me being a frustrated friend." Like, we kind of tie those things together. Like, "I value our friendship too much, and I don't want to just be, like, frustrated with you. So to save our friendship, it would be better maybe if we didn't have a professional relationship. Can we pivot?"
Leah: I really like the giving them one more chance—explaining it. And then so say we give them one more chance. And I'm wondering, like, say I was this person who was very touchy about criticism, and I did hair and my friend didn't like it. Would I want them to just sort of like sink away slowly in the night and show up somewhere else? And then I would know, oh, it must have faded again, they're trying somewhere else, don't want to hurt my feelings.
Nick: Uh, is that how you would interpret that?
Leah: That's how I would interpret it.
Nick: Would you have that self-awareness?
Leah: I've had friends not—or people sort of do things where I recognize, like, this isn't really about me, it's about what they wanted in a thing. And I just didn't bring it up because then it's uncomfortable in our relationship.
Nick: I mean, I would like to give this hairdresser the benefit of the doubt, that they are not so fragile that they couldn't handle a polite yet direct conversation. And also that your friendship is so shaky, the foundation is so weak, that it could not withstand this conversation. And if this person is so touchy and gets so mad at you and wants to end the friendship over this, well then maybe that's for the best, and you guys weren't actually that close to begin with.
Leah: Yeah, I guess the only way to do it is, "Hey, it faded again, and I want to try this other—this place over here uses this other kind of dye. I wanted to see how it worked on my hair." And then move along very quickly.
Nick: I think, yeah, having an idea of where you would go next and what they do could maybe be useful, because then you can kind of bring that information to your hairdresser and be like, "I was looking into this other place that does it this way. I was wondering if we could try that." And then you kind of give your hairdresser an opportunity to try this other thing. And then if it doesn't work with that person, then it's more natural why you went to this other place to try it.
Leah: So you're saying that instead of the first one, you mention it—be like, "I wanted to try this thing." And then if they try it and it doesn't work, then we're not giving them two more chances, because it's already been three chances.
Nick: I think we give them one more chance to fix what is wrong. So explain the criticism, because it sounds like you may not have actually mentioned at all in a very direct way what is going wrong for you. So it may sound like a surprise to your hairdresser about what is happening. And if the issue is just that the color match is wrong, this is something that hypothetically could be fixed. Like, we just pick a different color that matches better, or a different product that doesn't as fast. Like, it feels like we could actually maybe fix this, in which case you could continue going to this person. You might be able to solve the problem. So I think we give one more chance. You make it very clear what is going wrong for you, what you need to have differently, and if it cannot be achieved, well then now you have a little runway to go somewhere else.
Nick: But I think people who have very fragile egos or take things very personally, I think being blindsided is what stings hardest. And so sort of having a heads up that something is coming I think is helpful and maybe a little polite.
Leah: Yeah, I absolutely agree.
Nick: So I think we want to just sort of plant the seed that you're not 100 percent on board with what is happening.
Leah: I really agree with that.
Nick: So our next question. Ugh. I mean ...
Leah: I mean!
Nick: What is wrong with people?
Leah: Also, our letter writers are always so lovely.
Nick: So, quote, "I volunteer at a food pantry, and we bring the bundles out to people's cars. I've been giving the bread and eggs directly to the customers so those items won't get smushed. And I get thanked for this. But another volunteer scolded me for this, saying it is a waste of time and food pantry recipients shouldn't be that picky. And one time he grabbed me by the waist and pushed me out of the way. Am I in the wrong?"
Leah: Ugh! Can I just read what I wrote word for word?
Nick: I mean, what is wrong with people? Yeah, what did you write?
Leah: I put, "You are not wrong."
Leah: "This person is garbage."
Leah: "Taking pride in what you do is lovely."
Leah: "And no one should touch you."
Nick: Never! Yeah. I mean, first thing, we should just get out of the way, there is never an occasion to put hands on anybody.
Leah: Grabbed me by the waist and pushed me out of the way. What?
Nick: Yeah. So I mean, that obviously should be reported to whoever is in charge immediately. That's not a—we don't live in a world in which, like, that's okay, because that's not.
Leah: You just give him a little palm hand to the nose really quick to let him know what's up. Pop!
Nick: [laughs] Okay!
Leah: I used to teach self-defense to teenage girls.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, I think if you broke this person's nose when they put some hands on you, I feel like that's justified, yeah.
Leah: Self-defense. People shouldn't be touching you and pushing you out of the way.
Nick: No, so that's bonkers and so no, full stop. But also, nobody likes smushed bread and eggs, and it doesn't sound like there's any extra effort required to ensure that that doesn't happen. And so it sounds like this other volunteer just has the attitude that, like, people get what they deserve, and people who are coming to the food pantry did something wrong in their life and they deserve what they get. And you want to punish these people for just the circumstances that they're in. That's what it kind of sounds like. Like, oh, we should punish these people.
Leah: I don't like this person at all, and I don't understand why they're at the food pantry.
Nick: Why are they volunteering? Yeah, why are they a volunteer?
Leah: I don't like it at all.
Nick: What is the point for them?
Leah: How lovely that you would bring out the eggs and bread to people in a careful, caring way.
Nick: Yeah, why are you volunteering? Because the idea of volunteering is you want to give back to your community, right?
Nick: Isn't that usually the idea? And so I want to give back to my community, and yet I am hostile towards my community, and have no empathy or compassion for them at all. And are also not treating them with respect. So, like, what are we doing?
Leah: I don't like this person at all. I think that we lock them in a closet at the food pantry. We shove them in, lock the door.
Nick: Well, there's lots of jobs at the food pantry that do not require interfacing with the people coming to the food pantry. So I think this is a great person to be in the back counting cans, bagging things up, sweeping garbage. I don't think this person needs to be meeting anybody in the public ever again.
Nick: The only explanation I have is that this other volunteer who we agree is a garbage person is only there because it is court ordered. I think that's the only explanation. It is court ordered community service. And they don't want to be there, and they're mad at the world, and they're taking out on everybody.
Leah: I think they could also just be garbage.
Nick: They could also just be what is known as a bad person, right?
Leah: As they say in Italian, "Garbaggio."
Nick: So to summarize: no one should put a hand on you, so let's just end that right now. And I think it is very nice to try and do nice things. And so I think making sure people's eggs aren't broken and their bread is not smushed is considered nice. And I think it doesn't require any extra effort to achieve this. And so, like, why would you not?
Leah: And it's just—even if it required a little extra effort, it's a lovely—it's lovely.
Nick: Right. Why should people have smushed bread and cracked eggs?
Nick: Like, why should that be the outcome? Right. So, ugh! Also, why do you feel like you need to ask us this question? Like, do you need the validation? Like, why are we your sounding board for this?
Leah: I don't know about that, Nick. I totally get why this person needs it, because they're—they want somebody to hear them that this is happening to them.
Leah: And to fortify them in knowing that it's wrong.
Nick: It is definitely wrong, yeah. Yeah, there's no gray here.
Leah: And also, I think it helps people to talk about it so we can say, "Yeah, this person is ..."
Leah: Yeah, and we have your back.
Nick: We got your back. Yeah, we definitely have your back here.
Leah: And if this person is, like, your supervisor, then report it to the person above that, because whoever's running the food pantry obviously wants the people who are getting the food to feel comfortable and welcome, because obviously they ...
Leah: And they don't need somebody who's, like, grabbing people and pushing people and smushing their eggs working there.
Nick: And if ever there was a time to be like, "I need to speak with your manager," this is it.
Nick: Yeah, this is definitely it. So our next question is, quote, "Where at a restaurant do I put my handbag? I know definitely not to place it on the table, but placing it on the floor or over the back of a chair seems wrong. And although this is definitely not relevant to me, where do people put their extremely expensive purses when dining?" Leah, where do you put your extremely expensive purses when dining?
Leah: I always put it on the back of the chair.
Nick: Yeah, that's a totally acceptable place. And you can also place it on an empty chair seat. And if it's like a handbag, you can put it in your lap with a napkin on top, or you can actually put it on your chair behind you in, like, the little small of your back. You could put it there.
Leah: I also recently heard from a friend. I went over to their house, and I put my fanny pack—let everybody know that I use a fanny pack.
Nick: [laughs] Okay. A bum bag, I think, as they're called elsewhere in the world.
Leah: I put it on the floor and my friend was like, "That's very bad, feng shui, because you're putting it out into the universe that your money is on the floor and it's like bad vibes.
Nick: Oh, interesting!
Leah: So you never want to put your bag on the floor because it's sending out to the universe bad prosperity. So you always keep your bag off the floor.
Nick: Okay. Yeah, so if you want to follow the principles of feng shui, then you could certainly do it this way.
Leah: And if you want to pronounce it correctly, listen to the way Nick says it, "feng shui."
Nick: Wind and water, feng shui. But if you want to put it on the floor and are not worried about feng shui, then it is also actually fine to put it on the floor next to your chair or under your chair. And that's okay. Now as it comes to fancy handbags, there's a couple of options that does happen. One of them is there's this little hook thing that people sometimes have, and it actually just hooks onto the side of the table and it just holds your purse that way. And you can buy them on Amazon, or there's fancier versions, of course, but it's just like a little hook that just uses the weight of the bag to, like, keep it on the table. So that happens. At fancy restaurants, though, it does happen that there will be actually a little tuffet or like a little small table next to your chair that will be brought out, and you set your handbag on that.
Nick: So yes, sometimes in a very fancy restaurant, you'll actually see, like, these little tuffets around the room, and people will have their bags on top of that. So that is what those little tuffets are for.
Leah: They are not for a little Miss Muffett.
Nick: They are not exclusively for Little Miss Muffet, correct. They're also for Birkins.
Nick: So our next thing is a vent, and this is a relatable one. Quote, "Today I had a dentist appointment and the hygienist was rude. And the more I think about it, the more I want to vent. She didn't say hello when she walked in, she just dove right into my mouth. Then she told me, "You have gingivitis" with this patronizing, demeaning tone. And then when she was finished, she just walked out without so much as a goodbye. Not okay. Dental hygienists and dentists of the world: your patients are humans with lives. I do not exist purely to get a good grade at the dentist."
Leah: Oh, I feel this!
Nick: I get it, yeah. I mean, I floss 50 times a day, and I recently actually had a cleaning and there was a new hygienist there, and it was like this where she was like, a little cold. And then she was like, "Oh, you missed a spot." And she's like, "Do you drink coffee?" And it's sort of like, "Don't judge me. Yes, I drink coffee, and maybe I missed a spot, but that's why I see you every six months." So, yeah, you know. it was just like, why is it hostile?
Nick: Yeah. Whose team are you on?
Leah: Very vulnerable position to have people in your mouth, and a lot of us have, like, bad dental experiences, so we're already very anxious. And it's like, can't you just be human?
Nick: Like, nobody out there is like, "I love going to the dentist. It's my favorite thing. Oh yay! I have a dental appointment today." I don't think that's anybody's default setting.
Leah: No. I mean, I'm lucky I finally found an amazing dentist, but, I mean, I couldn't handle this. This would make me ...
Nick: And also, nobody likes to be shamed.
Nick: No one wants to be shamed, and you're shaming your patients. And yeah, some patients should floss more, it is true. Yes. But we want to help them understand why they should rather than use a shame-based approach.
Nick: So ...
Leah: Also, you can't say hi when you walk in?
Nick: Yeah. I mean, yeah, what is that about? Yeah, you're just gonna dive right into my mouth? Yeah.
Leah: What is going on?
Nick: Although the opposite problem is I do have a hygienist I used to go to who was so chatty, which was like, can we get this started? Like, love catching up, love the small talk, but unfortunately, we cannot do small talk and have the hygiene appointment happen at the same time. So let's wrap that up and let's get in here.
Leah: I would rather too chatty than no chatty.
Nick: Well, I want some recognition of my humanity.
Nick: I think that would be a nice baseline. Start with that, and then some sort of nicer bedside manner.
Leah: Also, what you said is so perfect, like, the shame based. Like, often, especially when I was younger, if somebody came at me that way, I would just get worse at whatever the thing was that they shamed me for and then just not follow up with people.
Leah: You know? It doesn't help.
Nick: Yeah, I don't think any patient in this practice is gonna be like, "Oh, I got shamed. I'm gonna floss extra hard so I don't get yelled at next time." Like, that's probably not how that's gonna go down.
Leah: Yeah, they're probably just not gonna go to the dentist for two years.
Nick: Yeah. Yeah, so what have we achieved? So I'm sorry this happened to you, I feel your pain. I think everybody listening feels your pain.
Leah: Absolutely. And I just want to show up and be like, "Just be nice!" to this hygienist.
Nick: Just be nice. Or everybody. Hygienist, not hygienist, everybody, just be nice.
Leah: Be nice!
Nick: That's it! So do you have any questions for us? Or do you have a vent about people not being nice to you? 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. And we'll see you next time.