June 21, 2021

Building Fences, Following-up on Gifts, Running Out of Hot Water, and More

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this bonus episode, Nick and Leah answer listener questions about building fences, following-up on gifts, running out of hot water, 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 bonus episode, Nick and Leah answer listener questions about building fences, following-up on gifts, running out of hot water, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we had your address.)

QUESTIONS FROM THE WILDERNESS:

  • What do I do about my neighbor who won't stop talking negatively about our new fence?
  • How can I ask if someone likes the Amazon Echo Dot I gave them as a gift?
  • How do you feel about saying "go!" when asking a question in a Facebook group?
  • How long should I wait before following up on an email if I don't get a response?
  • Was bringing a bottle of wine an acceptable gift when invited over for dinner by new neighbors? And do we have to return the favor?
  • Repent: Running out of hot water

 

THINGS MENTIONED DURING THE SHOW

 

YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO...

CREDITS

Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema

Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton

Theme Music: Rob Paravonian

Episode 93

Transcript

Nick: Hey, everybody. It's Nick Leighton.

Leah: And I'm Leah Bonnema.

Nick: And we had so many great questions from you all in the wilderness ...

Leah: [howls]

Nick: That we have a bonus episode. So here we go. Our first question is, quote, "My husband and I moved into our home about six years ago, and it came with a six foot privacy fence around the backyard. We have a dog, and enjoy some privacy in the backyard, so we love this feature. Last year, we decided to replace the plain wooden fence with a newer one of the same height that better matched our style. Our neighbor—we'll call her Lisa—has not stopped talking negatively about the new fence. 'I don't see why you think you need a new fence. Are we bad neighbors?' And, 'How much did you pay for that fence? It looks crooked.' She brought this up every time I saw her, to the point that I was longing for winter just so I wouldn't run into her as often. She also comes out on her deck, which unfortunately overlooks the fence, and talks to us about it every time we are trying to relax in the backyard. The original fence was old and ugly, so I'm not sure why she is now offended at this newer, more attractive fence.

Nick: "Recently, she has started saying that other neighbors are asking her why we would have a fence—which I don't think is true. And last weekend she said, 'If anyone asked me why you have a fence, I will tell them it is because you're trying to keep me away from your husband.' Why is she so invested in our fencing? Please validate my feelings that this is absurd."

Leah: You know ...

Nick: [laughs] Yeah, I think I do.

Leah: I try to find words to describe people that isn't, like, wildly negative.

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: But as soon as somebody says that they're gonna tell people that you're trying to keep me away from your husband?

Nick: Too far?

Leah: This door is shut. This woman is, you know—wow, who's—I mean, obviously, this is not what you want to say, but if I was there, I wouldn't be. I'd be like, "Have at it. Feel free to tell people that."

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: I mean, what are you talking about? That's—what? People at home, obviously you can't see me. I'm just hitting my head, and then throwing my hand up into the air.

Nick: Yeah, yeah. There's an emoji that I think does that.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So yeah. I mean, good fences make good neighbors, and I think we all should want that.

Leah: Also, this house came with a fence. She didn't put the fence up.

Nick: Oh, true.

Leah: She changed the fence for a fence that's the exact same height. She didn't double the fence height.

Nick: Right.

Leah: It came—she could be like, "I bought this house. It had a fence. That's why we bought it."

Nick: Yeah, your view hasn't changed. I didn't add razor wire to the top of it. And let's assume that it is actually a truly better-looking fence, that this is an upgrade.

Leah: I couldn't think of any way to handle it. I wrote next to it, "Dicey." Not just for this question, but I feel like in this episode we actually have a lot of dicey questions.

Nick: [laughs] Yes!

Leah: I think almost the only way to handle this person—because obviously it's gonna keep going, she's just escalating her comments—is to say something like, "Your continued reference to our fence is making me uncomfortable, and I would appreciate it if you would please stop."

Nick: Yeah, I think a direct conversation might be required. Although, how did we get here? Like, how did we get here? The only thing I can think of is that we did not give Lisa a heads-up that we were gonna replace the fence, and so it came as a surprise to her. And I think that maybe is what she's bothered by. Like, you're allowed to fix your fence and that's fine, but I think if you have a fence, it is nice to let your neighbor know that this is happening. So maybe that was missing, and that is what she sort of feels some grievance towards, and is sort of taking it out this way.

Leah: I mean, we don't know if that happened or not. Also, I mean, I sort of—my takeaway is that this neighbor is gossipy, has too much time on their hands, is invested in things that aren't their business. Like, just stop it.

Nick: Yeah, yeah. No, definitely, I think this is not limited to the fence. And if it wasn't the fence, it would be something else.

Leah: Right? Other neighbors are talking about you? Are they—are we in high school?

Nick: Well, in some cul de sacs, yes. So I don't think that's actually that unusual. But what do we do? What do we do about this? I think we just keep a cordial distance, which is kind of a nice relationship to have with all your neighbors, you know? I, personally, as a New Yorker, I don't love knowing my neighbors, so I call it cordial distance. Love a good "Hello" at the mailboxes. I'll ask you about the weather in the elevator. But beyond that, I don't want you coming over and hanging out. So perhaps we need that relationship with Lisa. Cordial distance.

Leah: I think if you can keep ignoring it and then cordial distance, if that's a possibility, that would be the most perfect. And then also, yes, we will validate your feelings that this is absurd. I'm validating that.

Nick: This is absurd.

Leah: It's absurd. If it comes to a point where you can't take it anymore, I think the only option is a direct conversation that her constant reference makes you uncomfortable.

Nick: And I guess she needs an explanation for why you have a fence. And so maybe we just have to give her one, which is: the old fence needs to be replaced, and so we replaced it. And I'm so sorry that this has upset you, but what would you like us to do about it?

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: And I guess if she does start talking about you to the neighborhood, like she's threatening to do or has done, then I think that is also an occasion to pull her aside and be like, "Can you please not?"

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: So, sorry. Sorry this is happening to you.

Leah: Yeah, I'm very sorry this is happening to you.

Nick: And just as an aside for anybody replacing fences, as a reminder, the nice-facing side, quote unquote, needs to be facing out so that it faces your neighbors. You don't have, like, the not-nice side facing your neighbors. So that's just, like, general fence etiquette.

Leah: I mean, fences and trees on the tree line is, like, a huge issue.

Nick: Oh, we can't even get into tree lines, no.

Leah: We could honestly go across this country doing tree lines.

Nick: Just—okay, new format, everybody. It's no longer about etiquette, we're just doing property line disputes and easements. That's the show now. Okay.

Leah: [laughs] Just neighbor drama.

Nick: Yeah. Well, we actually have enough questions in the queue that we could just limit it to that.

Leah: As a complete sidenote, I'm really making new friends with my neighbors here in California.

Nick: Uh-huh. I'm sure everybody's thrilled.

Leah: No, I think they are. It's like a people-who-like-meeting-their-neighbors group.

Nick: Yeah. No, no, I am just that classic New Yorker that doesn't enjoy that. So I realize ...

Leah: I know you said that sarcastically, but I actually think people are thrilled.

Nick: [laughs] Okay. Well, how wonderful for everybody! So our next question is, quote, "I gave an identical Christmas gift to two of my sisters-in-law. It was an Amazon Echo Dot. I have one and I enjoy using it, and I thought they would, too. Although I'm in close contact with one of these women, I have not heard from either of them if they've set it up or if they like it. Can I ask? I'd like to know if they enjoy using it as much as I do, but I don't want to come across as pushy or looking for a compliment for the gift. Ideas?"

Leah: I just want to say I read this question a number of times because it ...

Nick: Resonated?

Leah: ... made me anxious. And I read it everytime where I flipped the word. And so in my mind, this woman had—her sister-in-laws were identical, and she gave them—and I was like, "We get a lot of twins questions." [laughs]

Nick: Yeah, I guess that's possible. Sure.

Leah: I mean, it's still the same question. She gave them both—they're just not identical twins.

Nick: So for anybody who doesn't know, the Amazon Echo Dot is like a mini-smart speaker that you can talk to it, and it can do things for you, like play a song or give you the weather or whatever. So the flip side of this question is people that receive this gift don't like it and are hoping you'll never ask. So that's I feel like the other perspective of this question that we often get.

Leah: Right.

Nick: So what do you do when there's this tension, there's this etiquette tension?

Leah: It could also not be that.

Nick: It could also not be that. Well presumably, these people said thank you when you gave them the gift. So they have acknowledged receipt.

Leah: That was my question. Like, do we know they got the gift? Has it been acknowledged that they received the gift?

Nick: So yeah, we're assuming that they received the gift and that they've acknowledged the gift.

Leah: Which I don't actually get from this. I have not heard from either one of them if they have it set up or if they like it.

Nick: Hmm. So, okay, if we have not received any acknowledgment of receipt then, yes, totally fair game. Follow up. "Hey, did you ever get the Amazon Echo Dots I sent you?" And that's fine. I think you could absolutely ask that question. If they did acknowledge it, they sent you thank-you note, and now it's many months later and we want to know how they like it now, yeah, that's slightly dicier because they haven't brought it up. Although would you bring up that you liked a smart speaker? Like, would that come up in conversation? Maybe not.

Leah: Well, the one person that she talks to regularly, it might come up.

Nick: I mean, how would that come up? I mean, you would have to be like, "Oh, I want to just emphasize again how much I liked this thoughtful gift, and so I'm gonna bring it up." But in a normal conversation, you're not gonna be talking about your smart speaker. Like, "Oh. Well, I was talking to Alexa the other day and she said ..."

Leah: Well, I mean, I think that, like, I don't have one, and I think that if somebody gave one to me and I started using it, I would definitely bring it up again and be like, "Oh, I had so much fun. I just said, you know, a song and it played it." You know, I can imagine a world in which I was introduced to this, and then I would bring up again how fun it was, because it's such a new technology. But if I didn't like it, I would probably try to not bring it up.

Nick: Okay, so what would be a way we could follow up in a polite way that wouldn't put them on the spot if they didn't like the gift? Because that's really the thing we don't want to do. We don't want to put these people on the spot.

Leah: And this is assuming that they've acknowledged that they received it, is that correct?

Nick: This is assuming they've received it, it's many months later, we're just following up. Do they like this thing now that they've set it up and they're using it?

Leah: How about, I got the speaker once as a gift, and I had trouble setting it up because I was new to reading directions. And so as somebody who dislikes direction-reading, I can imagine a world in which a friend followed up with me and said, "Hey, let me know if you have any trouble setting up your Amazon Echo. I'd be happy to talk you through it, because I know when I got it, I had a little trouble."

Nick: Yeah, I guess that would be fine, and that would be a good way to start the conversation.

Leah: And that would just be an honest thing from my experience, because I know sometimes I'm like, "Oh, I can't do it," and then I just let it sit there because I'm afraid of reading the directions. [laughs]

Nick: Okay.

Leah: I mean ...

Nick: Yeah, I guess that would be fine. Like, "Oh, I don't know if you've set the thing up yet, but if you need any help, like, here were things that I found helpful as I was doing it." Or, "Here are even Alexa skills that I like that I installed," or however it works.

Leah: Yeah, because it's all a learning curve.

Nick: So I guess you could do that. And I think it's also possible that they don't like this gift, and then they never set it up and they regifted it. I think that's also a world we might live in.

Leah: In which case, what do you think? We should just not bring it up?

Nick: It would be nice if they volunteered information about how much they enjoyed the gift. I think what you do is the next time you're at their house, you're just like, "Alexa?" And hope it responds. [laughs]

Leah: Some people don't like technologies. They're very comfortable with what they have.

Nick: Yes, I don't have a smart speaker in my house, and I feel very content with that.

Leah: I don't either. So I think there is a world in which they just didn't feel comfortable with it, and it's obviously not personal in any way.

Nick: Yeah. Although I guess these are sister-in-laws. You have sort of a closer relationship with them maybe, and I guess just ask in a polite way that tries not to put them on the spot.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: I guess that's the goal at the end of the day.

Leah: Yeah. I mean, you could say it in an email. That way they have time to think about their answer.

Nick: Sure, yeah.

Leah: As opposed to, like, sitting there over a coffee and staring into their face, "Did you need help setting it up?" [laughs]

Nick: "I noticed you haven't mentioned it."

Leah: "Since you aren't bringing it up ..."

Nick: [laughs] Yeah, okay. Email is good. And maybe if it's an email that's not a question, but more like an FYI. Like, "Oh, here are the top 10 Alexa skills that I use and find helpful." And something that doesn't even require a response. So no prompt, just FYI. "Here's information about Alexa that you might enjoy."

Leah: I really like this idea.

Nick: Okay, yeah. I think we cracked the code on this.

Leah: Cracked it!

Nick: That's what you can do: an FYI, no-response-required email that is useful information if they set it up. And if they didn't, well, then that's that.

Leah: Ah, I love this. I love this!

Nick: Okay, great.

Leah: I really feel like we got to that one.

Nick: We got there eventually, yeah. We don't always nail it the first time, but we'll get there, we'll get there.

Leah: Whoo!

Nick: So our next question is, and go! "This morning, I opened Facebook to find a debate raging in my normally sedate cooking group. A member posted this. Quote: 'What is it with the requests for advice that are asking by using the word "Go?" We're adults, not kids starting a track event. If a person wants help, why can't they simply ask it as a question?" So then our letter writer continues, "I have long found this to be very rude, and I decided long ago that I wouldn't offer any advice or comment on any posts that used such a device. I wouldn't walk up to someone in the hardware store and say, 'Best price on grass seed? And go!' This post sparked quite a debate, with many people defending it as funny or cute, and that this person just needed to get a sense of humor. However, many others feel, as I do, that this is rude, demanding and not cute. What are your thoughts on this peculiar way of asking a question?"

Leah: Social media has, like on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, formats that people adopt. Like, it'll be a popular way to tweet that week, or a popular way to post. Like, "Felt cute, might delete later."

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: Those things that people say that are hashtags or formats. And I think that this is a popular format that started in that way. So it's a format.

Nick: True.

Leah: I don't personally like it, I don't write it. But I do think it was created in this way where people are like, "Oh, I saw that format, I'm gonna do it."

Nick: Yes. I think that's a great point, that there are certain things that we do online that we don't do in the real world, for better or for worse. And so yes, this phrasing is definitely like an online thing only. You don't do this in real life. I should note that in some of our episodes, I do say "Ready, set, go" at the Cordials of Kindness segment, because it is a joke. And the idea of that joke is that I am timing, that I only want a certain amount of time devoted to kindness. And so that's, like, the conceit of the joke when I say it. And yes, it is actually, like, slightly patronizing and condescending, and that's also part of the joke. And so this format, yeah, it does treat people like kids at a track event. And so I think you have to just know your audience. I know my audience with Leah so, like, I know I can get away with this with you. I wouldn't do this to other people.

Leah: Well, I'm honored.

Nick: [laughs] That you can be the recipient of my patronizing comments? You're welcome.

Leah: [laughs] I mean, I feel like that—I don't know if this is we didn't, but I do feel—did we answer it?

Nick: Well, I think we agree that it is problematic in real life. I think we're prepared to let it slide online. I think if you don't like it, you don't have to use it. I don't know if you necessarily want to withhold your information about, you know, béchamel if somebody asks a question using this phrasing. So, you know, you could just kind of let it go. So yeah, I guess I kind of fall in the middle a little bit.

Leah: I think you could also withhold your information if, like, questions like that irritate you. You know what I mean? But I also wouldn't engage in an argument about it.

Nick: Yes.

Leah: Some people use it, some people don't. I don't particularly like it. I don't use it.

Nick: Yeah, this would be a good example of things that you should just ignore.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: And so this is just that. Yeah, if it bothers you, just ignore it.

Leah: I do think the reason it's a format is because people who use it think that being slightly—whatever that word is, it's not edgy.

Nick: It's not edgy.

Leah: It is like shooting a gun, like, at a race, as you said. "Go!" You know? They think that's funny. Whoever uses it, that's their humor. And one might not think that's funny, in which case I think we can just not do it.

Nick: And I guess if I was gonna try and parse it a little further, I think the feeling, like, in a Facebook group is, there's a large crowd of people, and I want to create a sense of urgency with my question in a fun way, and make it more like a game. Like, "Who can answer my question about pithivier faster?" And so I think that maybe what this is about is, like, creating sort of a sense of fun and urgency around your question. And so that's why we use this device.

Leah: I also—and this is maybe a little bit, we'll see—sometimes certain people who I already maybe don't particularly like in a group talk in a certain way, so I'm more irritated by it because it reflects something in their personality that I already found irritating.

Nick: Oh, yeah. That's a good point. Yeah, so often these things that we find annoying are really just further evidence of annoyance we already felt about someone. [laughs]

Leah: Yeah, and it, like, highlights something, and then we're like, "Ugh!"

Nick: Yeah. No, that is very true, because if somebody you really liked did this, you wouldn't notice. It wouldn't even hit your radar.

Leah: My guess is that those people that do it are already somebody who are not her favorites in this group.

Nick: Yeah, it's like, "Ugh. Lisa again, with the question about metric conversions?"

Leah: And "Go," Lisa? Why don't you go?

Nick: Right. So, okay, there's that. So our next question is, quote, "What's the general rule for sending a second email after your first one has been ignored for a few days? If it's not something time-sensitive, I usually wait a week. Is that too little? And how apologetic should this second email be? Should it be apologetic at all? Should it just not be sent? Help! I really hate to be perceived as pushy, but I also really enjoy it when the questions I ask via email are answered in a timely fashion."

Leah: I think we've discussed before, that I think follow-up email after a week is solid.

Nick: Totally solid. And I'll even go one further: if I want to make a point that you actually have ignored my email, I'll actually go one week plus one day. That way, a full week—Tuesday to Tuesday—has passed. And then my email on Wednesday is like, "Oh, I just want to follow up on this email from last week." And they'll see, like, oh, that was Tuesday. That's more than a week ago. So that psychologically, I think, encourages people to respond faster. When it's the exact one week mark, I find people don't necessarily jump as fast as when it's one week plus one day.

Leah: And I don't think we're apologetic if this is information they need to get you.

Nick: Mm-mm.

Leah: We're following up to get the information.

Nick: Yeah, because what are you sorry for? Like, "Oh, I'm so sorry that you ignored me?" No.

Leah: If they're doing you a favor, and they don't owe you the information?

Nick: Okay. Yeah, that's fair. Yeah, that's true.

Leah: But I still don't think I would apologize.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, people would be tempted to do a, "Oh, I'm so sorry to be a pest, but do you have the answer to this thing?" And I think a lot of people would want to write the email starting with something like that. I don't think that's necessary, but you could. I mean, it's sort of polite, I guess.

Leah: I guess I have said things when I'm asking for sort of a favor and I'm following up, and maybe more in the lines of, "I know it's very busy," or, "Wanted to check in about this."

Nick: Yes.

Leah: Acknowledging that people have lives.

Nick: Yes. And I don't think you ever want to apologize just for existing.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: So I don't think you want to apologize just as a base-level response for everything. So I think we do want to avoid that. But yes, if you want to apologize for intruding again, and acknowledge that you're intruding on their time, I think that's nice and that's polite.

Leah: I also—and I believe I brought up this before, and I wish I could find where I originally read it, it's been in my mind for years. It was an article talking about how women write correspondence, and how often women apologize too much up top, and they add the word "just" into things.

Nick: Like, "Oh, just wanted to follow up on this."

Leah: Yeah. "Just checking." "Just wanted to make sure." So it was to write your email out, go through and say, "Do I need these apologies? Where is it appropriate?" And then to cut out any "justs" that are not necessary.

Nick: Because why is that the temptation? Like, why do some people feel like that's necessary, do you think?

Leah: Well I mean, I'm a person who has to delete their "justs." It's just to sort of to add it to be like, "Oh, I'm just—" you know, very tiptoe-y. "Didn't want to bother you. Can I just do this? This is just to do this, and I didn't want to—" and it's like, "I'm following up. Boom."

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: I think it's not minimizing yourself.

Nick: Yes. I think by removing the apologies that aren't necessary and the "justs," yeah, it's a little more empowering.

Leah: Which I think is good to practice, because I know I've personally struggled with it, and it's just practice. And then also but you can mention, "I know these are busy times."

Nick: Yes. I think you always want to acknowledge, yes, somebody is busy, and that's fine. And also, to be fair, there are times when you do need to apologize in an email. So the takeaway here is not that you never have to apologize via email, it's just the unnecessary apology.

Leah: Yes. Definitely, sometimes we need to apologize.

Nick: Correct. Just want to clarify.

Leah: Just make sure you're apologizing when it's appropriate.

Nick: So I think a few days, a week, even a month, I mean, I think you just want to pick a schedule that makes sense for what you're asking, and then stick with that.

Leah: Sounds good to me.

Nick: And as a separate thing, sometimes what I will do if I have not got a response is I won't follow up. I'll just resend the original email. So that's a little aggressive, that's a little varsity level. You have to be very careful because the etiquette on that is very complicated. But I do find that that can be effective. And it's just like, "Oh, here's an email that you never got before. I'm just getting the exact same thing. It's just re-sent." Every email program has this feature, so it's just like I'm just resending it. It's new to you.

Leah: Hmm.

Nick: And we're just gonna assume you didn't get the other one. And then we just have this fiction that, like, they didn't ignore the other one. But that's varsity level, everybody. That's not for everybody. It's not entry level. So when you're ready for that, though, keep that in mind.

Leah: I'm still back in the intramurals.

Nick: [laughs] So our next question is, quote, "We just met some new friends that live in our building. They invited us for dinner at their place and it was lovely. We brought a bottle of wine for dinner and one as a gift. Was that an acceptable hostess gift? We're also wondering if we have to return the favor and invite them for dinner.

Leah: I think that the bottle of wine for dinner and a bottle of wine as a gift is nice.

Nick: Yes, so my question, though, is, okay, I brought two bottles of wine, was I told specifically to bring a bottle of wine that we were going to be having with dinner? Because, like, why are there two bottles of wine?

Leah: Well, I'm assuming that they were asked to bring your beverage.

Nick: Okay. Okay, so it was, like, BYOW.

Leah: Yeah, bring what you like to drink.

Nick: Okay, that was the invitation. Because I do want to just remind everyone that anything you bring to a dinner party, that thing is not gonna be enjoyed at that meal. Do not bring something that you expect to be served at that meal. It's for later. So if you bring a bottle of wine, like, that's for later. You should not expect that to be opened at that meal. Same for anything else. So I just want to make sure that we all know that.

Leah: I think—you know, I assume that's what it was, because usually people are like, "Oh, bring a dessert or bring a beverage and we'll do the rest," and then the rest was—the other part was a gift.

Nick: Yeah. Yeah, if there's instructions, if there's instructions, that's—always just follow the instructions. But if there's no instructions then whatever you bring as your hostess gift, that's, like, not gonna be enjoyed then. So we're just gonna assume that you were told to bring a bottle of wine for dinner, and then you volunteered to bring an extra hostess gift, which was also a bottle of wine. I'm assuming that's what this situation is.

Leah: I would say that, unless you're very close friends, in which case, like, you can go over to your friend's house and be like, "I brought this wine. You know I love it," and just open it up and start gulping it.

Nick: Sure. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, These are not close friends yet, although it sounds like we're getting there. So for this situation—or any—the key is reciprocation. Like, you just have to reciprocate the hospitality. So it doesn't necessarily have to be a dinner at your house, but it should be some type of hospitality. So you could do dinner at a restaurant, or you could have pie and punch at your house, or you could invite them to a trip to the zoo. Like, whatever it is, you just want to issue them an invitation and spend time with them as a host. And it can be whatever you want it to be. But that's the key: to reciprocate.

Leah: Yeah, especially since you said it was lovely. If you'd said we hated their guts ...

Nick: Well then, definitely don't reciprocate.

Leah: Then don't worry about it.

Nick: No. Not a problem.

Leah: Don't feel like you have to reciprocate. You brought a hostess gift, I'm sure, because you're Were You Raised By Wolves? listeners, you were lovely guests. And if it didn't go well, it didn't go well. You don't have to do it again.

Nick: Right. And if they actually didn't enjoy your company, they'll decline your invitation, and then that's also fine. But yes, you should definitely reciprocate in some way.

Leah: And I think there is no pressure to do it immediately. Everybody has busy lives. But, like, "Thank you for having us. Love to take you to blankety-blank in June."

Nick: That's very lovely. I mean, I am assuming that we sent them a thank-you note after this dinner party, and you know where they live, so you know how to mail it to them. And you should mail it, even though you're in the same building. It should just go through the mail. That's a little nicer to get something in your mailbox. And in that note you can be like, "It was so lovely spending time with you, getting to know you. We'd love to have you over at some point. Let us know when it's convenient." Or, "We'd love to take you to our favorite La Brea Tar Pits," or whatever it may be. So, you know, I think it would be nice just, like, issue a blanket invitation to get together with them at some point in the future, and then you can have a conversation about actually scheduling it, like, separately. But in your thank-you note, I think it is nice to maybe offer an occasion when you would like to get together with them again.

Leah: Sounds good to me.

Nick: Okay. Well, speaking of neighbors, our next thing is a repent.

Leah: Can I just say something really quick before you read it?

Nick: Sure.

Leah: I want our listeners to know that, no matter how much this seems like me, I didn't write it. [laughs]

Nick: [laughs] I thought it was you until we got to, like, the end because this is ...

Leah: I did, too. This is so me. I was like, "Is this me?"

Nick: So without further ado, quote, "Our hot water is out, so I texted my upstairs neighbor to ask if I could use her shower. I was a bit surprised when I went up and a dude opened the door, but I figured it was her boyfriend. I introduced myself and I said, 'Lisa said I could use your shower.' He looked a bit confused and was struggling a bit to explain something to me. So I invited him to use French if he was more comfortable. This is a French-speaking country. He said no, he was just a bit surprised by the request and informed me that he was retiling the shower, but I could use the bath. Somewhere around here, it finally dawned on me that I'd actually rung a different neighbor's doorbell at nine o'clock on a Sunday and announced with no explanation that I'd come to bathe in his facilities. I wanted to die, but I seemed to have somehow bamboozled him, because on the way out he apologized to me because I had woken him up with the doorbell and he had been a bit confused. So maybe I can drop a thank-you note and a bottle of wine to say sorry for getting surprise naked in your apartment and I won't have to leave the country?"

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So what country is this? French-speaking. Monaco? Burkina Faso? Martinique? Oh, I guess that's a territory, not a country, but yeah, where are we in the world?

Leah: I was gonna say Quebec, but that's a province.

Nick: So, yeah. I mean, things happen. Things happen. And so is this an etiquette crime? I think this is a misunderstanding.

Leah: It's a misunderstanding, but it's so funny because it's so relatable. I get why you're mortified.

Nick: Yeah, yeah.

Leah: But I mean, it happens. It's very ...

Nick: Well, it doesn't just happen. This doesn't happen.

Leah: I mean, it does happen. As somebody who things like this seem to happen to, I would like to say that it does happen. Wasn't on purpose.

Nick: I just love the idea of, like, waking up some guy who was napping and being like, "I'm showering in your house now," and he's like, "Okay. All right?" So very hospitable. I don't think I would have been so accommodating.

Leah: I know! This man is so hospitable.

Nick: So I actually think it would be very nice and funny—because you're gonna see this person again, and eventually he's gonna put it together that, like, oh, you meant to ring some other door. Like, he will figure it out. So I think it would be nice to get ahead of it and apologize for your mistake, express your extreme mortification. And yeah, I think a bottle of wine? Very nice gesture.

Leah: Yeah, I think that's perfect. And I think obviously he's the kind of person who let you in.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: I think he would appreciate it.

Nick: Yeah, I think he will appreciate it, and I think you guys will have a good chuckle over it.

Leah: Definitely. [laughs]

Nick: So do you want to give us a good chuckle or do you have a question 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. And we'll see you next time.

Leah: Bye!

Nick: Bye!