Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle using bidets properly, living with others in dorm rooms, withholding pony rides from guests, and much more.
Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle using bidets properly, living with others in dorm rooms, withholding pony rides from guests, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we could.)
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Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema
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Nick: Do you use bidets the wrong way? Do you throw loud parties in your dorm room? Do you talk to strangers on airplanes? Were you raised by wolves? Let's find out!
Here are things that can make it better
When we have to live together
We can all use a little help
So people don't ask themselves
Were you raised by wolves?
Nick: Hey, everybody. It's Nick Leighton.
Leah: And I'm Leah Bonnema.
Nick: And let's just get right down to it with our amuse-bouche.
Leah: Cannot wait!
Nick: So for today's amuse-bouche I want to talk about using a bidet. Are you excited?
Leah: [laughs] I feel like this has been so long coming.
Nick: [laughs] So we have gotten a lot of emails and text messages and DMs about bidets. So today is the day. Today is Bidet Day.
Leah: [laughs] Bidet Day! Today is Bidet Day.
Nick: So while we frequently talk about the Toto NX1 toilet—which I'm particularly fond of—that's an all in one. And so today I want to talk about the free standing bidet, the type of thing you might see in your Airbnb or hotel room in Italy. That's what I'm thinking of. So Leah, can you picture this? Have you seen this?
Leah: Yeah, the one that's sort of like attached?
Nick: Well, it'll be next to a toilet, but it will have very toilet-like qualities. It'll be toilet-esque.
Leah: Okay. Okay. I know what you're saying. Because now there's that kind that you attach. I thought that's what you meant.
Nick: Yeah. No, no, this is gonna be a freestanding, separate porcelain item in a bathroom.
Nick: And have you ever used one?
Leah: No, I have not.
Nick: Okay, so let's talk about it. So first, a little history. It probably started in the 1600s in France. And the word "bidet" apparently is this old, antiquated word in French for pony. So, like, French royalty had little horses called "bidets." And there was a type of horse called a bidet which is now extinct, apparently. Long story about how industrialization actually ended the bidet use in France because they needed to have animals with more specialties and the bidet was more of an all-purpose animal. Fascinating history. We can get into it another day.
Leah: But not on Bidet Day!
Nick: Not on Bidet Day. Bidet Day is about bidets. So that's where this comes from, basically 1600s France. And it started in the bedroom sort of next to the chamber pot. And then once we got indoor plumbing, then it sort of moved into, like, a separate room. And so that's sort of a very brief version of the history. And so today you will see them throughout Europe. You will definitely see them in Italy because I believe it is actually legally required. Since the '70s, if you have a residential project or a hotel in Italy, you have to put a bidet in the bathroom.
Nick: So that is why there is, like, 97 percent of households in Italy have a bidet because it's, like, actually legally required.
Leah: Oh, wow!
Nick: Or so the internet has told me. I have not actually read the Italian legal code on this personally, but I will be happy to look into it in case I'm wrong. But this is what I'm told. And so long story short, the bidet is basically just a shower for your downstairs after you use the toilet. That's, like, basically what it is. And so there is some etiquette involved if you are a guest in someone's home. I mean, if you have a bidet in your own home and you live in Italy, I mean, do whatever you want with it, I guess. But of course, etiquette has to do with other people.
Nick: And so let's talk about it. And so basically, all it is is after you use the toilet, you do everything you would normally do on the toilet. And so we don't do anything differently there. And then we move over to the bidet. And before you use a bidet, it is a good idea—and this is not an etiquette tip, this is just like, oh, this is a good idea. Like, look to see how it works. See where the water comes out. You do not want to get, like, something splashing where you don't need it splashed. So just learn how it works because they're all a little different.
Nick: And so you move over to the bidet. And you can sit on it, you can squat on it, and you can face in either direction—face the wall, face the room. Like, you do you depending on what's happening. And you will just wash yourself, give yourself a little shower. Like, that's it. In Italy, you may actually see special soap next to the bidet. And there's like a whole thing in Italy about, like, different PH levels that they use for, like, intimate soaps and, like, it's a whole thing. But you may actually see special soap. Like, that's what that is in case you're wondering.
Leah: It's a bidet culture!
Nick: Right? And so now you have done your mini shower, and now it's time to dry off. And this is where the etiquette sort of comes into play, this is where it gets a little tricky. Here are some things to know. So if you are at someone's house, there is probably a towel hanging next to the bidet. That is not for you. Don't use that. That's their bidet towel. Don't touch it. You can either use a separate towel that maybe your host has set out for you. Sometimes you might see that, and you'll have to use context clues to look for that. Or you will use a tissue or toilet paper or air dry. But you do not use someone else's bidet towel. I think if there's only one lesson to take away from this, it's that: if there's a towel hanging near a bidet, it is not yours. So don't use it.
Leah: Yes, I'm sort of—I'm unfamiliar. I know what bidets are. I haven't, you know, been rocking with bidets. But the idea that somebody would use my bidet towel is right up there with a horror movie.
Nick: [laughs] Yeah, it's not done. It's not done. So don't do it. And you can often spot a bidet towel in a guest bathroom because it's near the bidet. So that's, like, a good clue. But also, it's often maybe a different texture or quality of cloth. Like, often you'll have just like your terrycloth towels and, like, those are normal towels. And then often the bidet towels I've seen is almost like a dinner napkin cloth. Like, it's a much finer weave, and it definitely feels like, oh, this is like a different type of cloth. And so, like, that's also a good clue. But if you don't have any guest towels set out for you then yeah, just use toilet paper or air dry or a tissue.
Leah: Oh! These are all great things to know up top.
Nick: And then after you're done, make sure you rinse the bowl of the bidet. If you did any splashing, you know, make sure we clean that up with the tissue. And then wash your hands, which you should do anyway. But, like, be sure to wash your hands.
Leah: And then we don't take our bidet napkin down to the table with us. "Oh, hey, was this a napkin for dinner?"
Nick: [laughs] We don't do that, yeah. And we also don't put toilet paper in a bidet because it's not a toilet. It's more like a sink.
Nick: And don't, like, spit gum in the bidet. So don't do that. Also, it is considered sort of poor form—although it happens—to wash your feet in a bidet.
Nick: You know, most people don't do that. And also, you don't want to, like, wash a pet in a bidet. Like, usually you don't want to do that.
Leah: [laughs] What is happening?
Nick: Well, because, like, you have this sort of low sink thing, and that is kind of convenient for all of these other things, but it's typically not done. So if you're a guest in someone's house, like, don't wash your feet in their bidet. I guess if it's your house, like, do whatever you want, but as a guest, be more mindful of your bidet use.
Leah: Don't wash your hair, don't wash your shoes. [laughs]
Nick: Oh! Hair washing in the bidet.
Leah: I mean, if we're gonna start being like, "Don't wash your dishes."
Nick: Oh, okay. Yeah. I mean sure, let's make a list.
Leah: This is so helpful!
Nick: Are you going to add Bidet Day to your calendar as a recurring calendar reminder?
Leah: And on that day, I have to go find a bidet?
Nick: [laughs] Okay.
Nick: So that's bidet 101.
Leah: Bidet Day!
Nick: Bidet Day.
Nick: And we're back. And now it's time to go deep.
Leah: Deep and two-to-four years.
Nick: [laughs] Okay. So for today's question of etiquette, I want to talk about dorm room etiquette.
Leah: Sharing space with a stranger!
Nick: So specifically yeah, a dorm room, freshman year. This is somebody who's been assigned to you. You don't know them. You're in tight quarters. We have beds, desks and, like, that's it.
Leah: That's it.
Nick: Like, that's what I'm picturing.
Leah: Absolutely. And I think the only other time this happens is if you do, like, a writing retreat as an adult.
Nick: Oh, yeah. I've never actually done one. That actually sounds sort of interesting.
Leah: Doesn't it?
Nick: Yeah, I like that idea. So all right, freshman year. We got that roommate assigned. My first thought when I was thinking about this is that there's this idea that, like, college or university or wherever we're at prepares you for the real world. Like, this is the preparation for the real world. But actually this is the real world. No, it actually has started. This is a great example of stuff that happens in the real world, which is like, oh, we have to get along with a perfect stranger who we may not actually get along with, and how do we make that work? That is a real world situation that adults have to deal with.
Leah: That's such a good point.
Nick: So I think that's what I was thinking of is, like, oh no, this is the real life now. This is when it begins.
Leah: In a very intimate space. It's where you sleep.
Nick: Yeah. And so the first thing on my list was about sleep, which is do not wake someone up unless it is a true emergency. Like, don't wake your roommate up under any circumstance unless, like, oh, serious bodily harm is about to happen.
Leah: Yeah, I think if we're, like, the person who comes in later—I think that this is a great opportunity to talk about communicating, like, how important it is. "How do you sleep?"
Leah: So I sleep—oh, if I'm late, I'll sneak in. You know, I work in the room. Some people like to work in a library. I'm gonna study in the room. If we cannot have music during this period of time.
Nick: Yeah, definitely making sure you're on the same page, and also continuing to have that conversation. Like, this isn't just a one conversation at the start of the semester kind of thing. Like, this is really actually an ongoing conversation that should be happening. And we shouldn't let things fester. Like, if something is going on that's, like, bothering you, like, we should address it in near real time as possible and as politely, rather than just like, "Oh, I'm just gonna suffer through it and then be resentful."
Leah: Yeah. Because it'll just build up and explode when you're not ready.
Nick: Because everything gets heightened the smaller the square footage, I think.
Nick: Right? I think there is an inverse proportional relationship between heightened emotions and square feet.
Leah: And I think, you know, also remember, like, if you're a big perfume person or if you like to bring back food that's, like, intense.
Leah: You're also sharing—it's not just ear space and eye space, you're sharing smell space.
Nick: Yeah. All the senses. Like, you do affect other people with all of this. And I guess etiquette at the end of the day is just like, oh, being mindful of how your behavior affects other people.
Leah: And I think we can—there's, like, maybe this feeling that we should be best friends with our roommate. We don't have to be best friends, but I think we should maintain a polite relationship.
Nick: Yes. Cordial. That's what's required. So you should say hello when you come home, and you should sort of be nice. But yeah, I don't think you have to be best friends. And actually, I think a lot of trouble does happen when one person feels like they should be best friends with the other and the other person is like, "Oh no, that's not what's happening," and then that actually becomes toxic.
Leah: I think that's a very good point. And I do think even if we're not best friends, we tell people, like, "Oh, hey. I'm going away this weekend," just so people have expectations of what the shared time is gonna be. Like, that way they're not looking for you, like, did something bad happen? Let people know where you are.
Nick: Yeah, that's courteous. And actually related to that, I think, assumptions. I think a lot of trouble happens when we assume stuff. Like, "Oh, I assume it's fine for me to eat your hummus," or "I assumed it was fine to have all these people over on Friday night." And so it's like, oh, actually, had we just actually communicated all of that and didn't let somebody else assume something, like, that would be much better.
Leah: Yeah. And I think if you need something, like say you have a huge test on Tuesday, I think we could say to our roommate, "Hey I have this huge test on Tuesday. Monday, I'm gonna go to bed early. I'm gonna get up and study. I just wanted to give you a heads up." That way, ideally, they'll respect the space for important events.
Nick: Yeah. No, that would be nice. And also, I think you probably shouldn't have the expectation that it will always be pin drop quiet in the room at all times. So you might just need to have a routine where you go to the library.
Nick: Maybe the room is just not the place for studying, and that's just the reality.
Leah: And maybe we get some nice earbuds for when we're sleeping.
Nick: Yeah, I think earbuds, earphones, earplugs, all of this is, like, mandatory.
Leah: And I think really—I mean, the more we talk about it, the more it's just the key is communicating about what you need and asking what they need and then trying to be respectful of that boundary.
Leah: And as you pointed out, you are sharing the space with two people. It cannot be exactly the way you want it all the time.
Nick: Yeah, exactly. And also, welcome to the real world. Like, how often do we get everything we want all the time? Never. So, you know, that's just sort of the deal, unfortunately.
Leah: Yeah. It's one of those things where you're like, "Oh, well."
Nick: Yeah, pick your battles. And there will be times when there is a battle that should be picked, and the question is: should you pick it or do we actually let an RA handle it? And I think there will be times when, like, oh, actually we should just subcontract this issue to an RA or somebody else. And so I think always be comfortable doing that if it feels appropriate. And what else?
Leah: Well, it's not in your room but, like, my floor had—the floor was divided in half, and then there was a big restroom on either side, and it was the shared bathroom space with that half of the floor of the dorm. Don't be a complete pigsty in there.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, it is not your bathroom, I guess. And don't leave anything in it. And that's when we get those little shower caddies.
Leah: Yeah, a little shower caddy.
Nick: That's what the shower caddy's invented for, right? And I will say as an adult with my own apartment, not having a shower caddy and having to walk down a hall to go to the bathroom, it's one of the great privileges of being an adult. So you will grow out of that, but it's a rite of passage for a lot of people.
Leah: I also—we had some people on our floor who lived in the bathroom. You're just like, "Okay, there's only so many ..."
Nick: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I don't know what you do with that, but just don't be that person.
Leah: Don't be that person. Like, be very aware that other people need to shower, and if you're like a three-hour shower person?
Leah: I mean, maybe do it in the middle of the night or something.
Nick: I mean, really? Was that a thing that was going on?
Leah: Oh yeah. We only had—our side only had two showers.
Nick: Wow! Okay. Yeah, so don't do that.
Leah: Don't do that.
Nick: But at the end of the day, it's really just about the bedrock principles of etiquette, which is just, like, being mindful. Just be mindful.
Leah: You know, for someone like myself, and you wanted to always feel like it's gonna be smooth sailing, bringing things up where you feel like maybe you guys need to talk will keep it smooth sailing. It's not a bad thing to communicate what you need and ask what they need. Just have an easy conversation about it.
Nick: Yeah. And we just hope everyone's gonna be reasonable, and I guess that's always the trick.
Leah: And if they're not reasonable, move out in the middle of the night. [laughs]
Nick: [laughs] But yes, ideally, polite-yet-direct conversations should solve most etiquette problems. And so we wish you luck.
Leah: But I mean, it's such an exciting time in one's life. And I think most people, they get to their dorm room, they're excited to set it up.
Nick: Decorations, extra long twin beds.
Leah: Meet everybody on your floor. It's gonna be great.
Nick: Oh actually, what I wish I had in my apartment building was the whiteboard on the outside of my door where, like, people could leave me notes.
Nick: I come home and no one's left me a note on my door and it's like, oh, that's sad. And I miss that about college. I thought that was actually a fun thing to come back and be like, "Oh, Nick, I stopped by. Hi." Like, love a little whiteboard message.
Leah: I guess we know what's going on Nick's Christmas list.
Nick: [laughs] Oh, no. I gotta watch what I say now. I do not need a whiteboard for my apartment building door.
Leah: Hey. Hey. Hey. Who knows?
Nick: Life is full of regret. [laughs]
Nick: And we're back. And now it's time to take some questions from you all in the wilderness.
Nick: So our first question—oh! [laughs] My personal nightmare. Our first question is quote, "I have a family member who revealed that she thinks that one should be willing to talk with the person they sit next to on an airplane. In her view, the silent person is a stuffy snob. I feel it is my duty to humanity to somehow convincingly tell her that many if not most people feel that conversing with strangers on planes is torture. I am fully convinced that I am right. How do I bring this up without hurting her feelings?"
Leah: You could have Nick call.
Nick: I will be delighted to call her and speak with her. Absolutely. I am not joking. Give me her phone number. I will dial immediately.
Leah: I think the trick in this one is how to get into the conversation without being like, "I was sitting around thinking."
Nick: There is no conversation here. You cannot get through to this type of person. The type of person that believes this? This is a lost cause. There is nothing that can be done.
Leah: You don't think that they—if somebody was just like, "You know, some people are introverts, some people are working, some people need the time to sleep," you don't think that they ...?
Nick: No, those people are stuffy snobs.
Leah: Hmm. Hmm, hmm.
Nick: Hmm, right? I mean, what do you do with that?
Leah: You think our letter-writer really shouldn't bring it up?
Nick: I mean, I want the letter-writer to bring it up because we cannot have people in the wild doing this. So we do need to prevent this from continuing to happen. I don't know what you say, though, because somebody who feels like, oh, they're just being a snob by not wanting to engage in conversation with me for 20 hours from London to Singapore, like, you know, what do we do with that? I mean, how do you teach empathy? Because empathy is about understanding how someone feels. And this person does not understand how the other person might feel having to talk to you. And it's sort of like, how do you teach that?
Leah: Well, say we could, and say, how would we bring it up?
Nick: I guess you would just try to say that—I don't know. I mean, actually, I think this is a job for society to teach this person. That this person will sit next to enough people on airplanes who are not interested in engaging for very long, that maybe it'll click? Maybe they will start to see a sample size of a thousand and 99 percent of those people are, like, not interested in engaging in much further conversation beyond, like, "Oh, hello, how are you?" So maybe we'll just have society teach this lesson?
Leah: I think what we could do is wait until this person flies again.
Leah: Because I think just bringing it up out of nowhere, like, we're out grocery shopping and you're like, "Hey, I've been thinking about how you just cannot ..."
Nick: "This has been bothering me. I also wrote this question into a global podcast about etiquette for their take on it."
Leah: "We've discussed it with other people." So I feel like that's maybe not the way to hit it. The way to hit it is when they're flying again ...
Nick: Okay. "Hey, Lisa. I hear you're flying to Tampa."
Leah: How about when Lisa comes back from Tampa?
Nick: "Hey, Lisa, how was your trip from Tampa?"
Leah: And Lisa's like, I sat next to this person on the plane who didn't talk to me the whole time. So rude!"
Nick: Well, most people will be polite and will make small talk, and will kind of do all the things to sort of, like, end the conversation, and be like, "I'm going to go back to my book now," or, like, "I've got to go do this spreadsheet," or "I have to put in headphones and I'm gonna pretend I don't hear you anymore." I mean, people will be polite, so I don't know if Lisa will necessarily get that hint.
Leah: No, that's what I'm saying. No, I think Lisa will get the hint when they were like, "We were talking, and then they put their headphones in. So rude!" And that's when you jump in and you're like, "Hey, I really think that a lot of people don't like talking, and it's actually rude to think that they should have to talk."
Nick: And just to play devil's advocate ...
Nick: Am I wrong? Would it be safe to say that I would say the vast majority—nay, everyone—does not want to just have endless small talk with their seatmate on an airplane? Right? Like, I feel comfortable in saying this, right?
Leah: Well, you know, I've had a few people that I had great talks with and I've become friends with since.
Nick: Yes. I mean, I've definitely had some lovely conversations on airplanes. I sat next to Nora Ephron once and, like, that was fun.
Leah: Oh, wow! How fun. So fun!
Nick: I shouldn't name drop.
Leah: No, we love a Nick name drop.
Leah: And this is one where they're not mad at you.
Nick: Was she mad at me? No, I helped her with her bag in the overhead bin. So I actually think we started off on, like, a real nice way to go. And actually, interestingly, I wasn't sure if it was her or not, but then she said something to a flight attendant and I was like, "Oh, no, that's totally—that's totally who that is." And when the flight attendant asked me if I wanted the chicken or the fish, I said, "I'll have what she's having." And then I winked at her.
Leah: So perfect!
Nick: Anyway ...
Leah: I think that even somebody like myself, if it's people who are happy to chat and I'm happy to chat, even with somebody who's already—as soon as we're stopping chatting, I'm ready to stop chatting.
Nick: Yeah. Yeah.
Leah: And sometimes people want to talk and I'm like, "Oh, it's 6:00 a.m." or "Oh, I have work to do," and we gotta shut it down.
Leah: So even somebody like myself who sometimes doesn't mind it, doesn't think that one should have to talk.
Nick: Yes. I feel like the idea that you are obligated, otherwise you are a snob? I'm not interested in that line of reasoning.
Leah: I'm not either. And I'm sometimes happy to chat the whole way depending. So I think if I'm not interested in it ...
Leah: Then for sure.
Nick: There we go.
Leah: It's 100 percent correct.
Nick: Okay. So our next question is quote, "I'm throwing a third birthday party for my son at a local farm. It's one of those places with farm animals, hay rides, pumpkins, corn mazes, the works. In our party package, we've decided not to include pony rides, and the venue asked me to inform my guests of this. I have no idea how to tell the guests, though. Do I put it in the invite? Do I mention it to each family individually? I feel like it's weird to put 'No pony rides' on the invite. I also don't want to get too wordy. Help!"
Leah: I was excited to see what you were gonna say for this one.
Nick: So my first thought is, is this place called Pony Ride Farm? Like, is the expectation that, like, oh, of course there would be pony rides at this place? So, like, I guess what is the guest expectations? Because I don't like the idea of telling guests what they can't have at my party unprompted.
Leah: Yeah. Because then it's like, do you also list we're also not gonna have a cotton candy machine? We also don't have clowns singing Britney Spears songs.
Nick: Right. Yeah. How specific do we get of all the things that are not going to be taking place this afternoon?
Leah: I feel like the venue brought it up to you to be like, "Hey, people love pony rides, and since you're not getting that package ..."
Nick: Oh, you think it's more that?
Leah: I think the venue is just being like ...
Nick: "Please let all your guests know that you aren't offering pony rides so that your guests know that you don't like them."
Leah: Yes. [laughs]
Nick: [laughs] Is that what it is? Okay, yeah.
Leah: I feel like that's the place's tone, because otherwise it's like, why can't they just show up, and if they were like, "Oh, ponies!" "Oh, we don't do pony rides." I mean, you have all these other wonderful things. There's no—you know, and usually I'm such a rule follower, I'll be like, "All right, whatever you want." But in this case, I'm like—also, are they gonna read your invitations? No.
Nick: I say, unless it's sort of like you're going to Chuck E. Cheese but not offering pizza, like, unless the pony rides is so inherent to this place that everybody would assume there's pony rides, if that's not what's happening, then yeah, let's just ignore it on the invitation and not worry about it. And if any of your guests are like, "Why aren't we having pony rides?" That's on them. Like, you are offering all this other lovely entertainment, so I wouldn't worry about it.
Leah: And I also think that if, like, a parent calls to ask for, like, details, like, "What should I bring?" da da da da ...
Nick: Yes. "Should I bring my chaps?"
Leah: Yeah. You could be like, "And don't worry about, like, helmets or a crop. We're not gonna do the pony rides. I really wanted to focus on playing with the farm animals in the corn maze."
Nick: Do you use crops for ponies? Is that a thing?
Leah: I don't know. I was just trying to think of a good outfit.
Nick: Oh, that's true. You are sort of ensemble based.
Leah: And, like, what accessories would I bring to a pony ride? I thought I would definitely need a hat of some sort, otherwise known as a helmet. And, you know, they always have a—people are always walking around with crops.
Nick: Sure. Yeah. Just on the street. Hollywood Boulevard.
Leah: I see it all the time. I actually have seen it on Hollywood Boulevard, but I ...
Nick: That's also true. Yes. [laughs]
Leah: I think that that could be a point where you would just be like, "Yeah, I really wanted to, like, have fun in the mazes, and so we're not doing the pony ride. So don't worry about bringing spurs."
Nick: Fair enough. So do you have questions for us about ponies or anything else? Let us know! You can let us know through our website, WereYouRaisedByWolves.com. Or you can leave us a voicemail or send us a text message: (267) CALL-RBW.
Nick: And we're back. And now it's time to play a game we like to call Vent or Repent.
Leah: [whispers] Vent or repent!
Nick: Which is our opportunity to vent about some bad etiquette experience we've had recently, or we can repent for some etiquette faux pas we've committed. So Leah, would you like to vent or repent?
Leah: Whoo! It was a toss up this week because there was both. But I'm gonna go with the vent.
Nick: All right. What has happened?
Leah: So I'm out walking with my beau and my dog and we're in a park.
Leah: A lovely place. People doing lovely park things. My boyfriend is a huge Richard Linklater fan, which is—he's a director. He's out of Texas like my boyfriend. And anyway, he's wearing a Richard Linklater shirt.
Leah: And it's Dazed and Confused, and it has Matthew McConaughey on it.
Leah: This man walks up to us in the park—who's also hiking, passing us. Steps into us and starts cursing out Matthew McConaughey on my boyfriend's shirt. Like, cussing. Very angry, like, elevated, as if Matthew McConaughey stole his family. I mean, it was intense. He was doing finger gestures. It was unbelievable!
Nick: Did this person think that that was actually Matthew McConaughey and not just an image of him on some cloth?
Leah: It was unbelievable. Like, can you ...
Nick: That sounds ...
Leah: A) who's that angry at Matthew McConaughey? Do you know what I mean? I don't know what is going on.
Nick: He seems very calm in those car commercials.
Leah: Also, I've never — see shirts that I disagree with, you know what I mean? People have ensemble things where I'm like, "Oh, that's not my favorite quote," or whatever. I don't go yell at the person.
Nick: "How dare you say we drink rosé all day?"
Leah: Yeah, exactly. I'm not like ...
Nick: "How dare you?"
Leah: I mean, it was unbel—and we're in this, like, tranquil setting with our dog having, like, a lovely—and this man is cursing.
Nick: And it doesn't sound like it was a passing sort of like, "Oh, boo. Hate Matthew McConaughey." It was a stop you in the path.
Leah: Stepped in. And even if it was a passing, we don't need to yell mean things that people that we disagree with.
Nick: Yeah. And so what did we do?
Leah: I mean, it was addressed, but it was addressed in ...
Nick: Was it addressed in an etiquette-approved way?
Leah: It was addressed in a very funny way.
Leah: I'll say that. But ...
Nick: That did not answer my question.
Leah: I think you would have approved.
Nick: Oh, that may be. That may be.
Nick: [laughs] Well, I am sorry this happened.
Leah: I didn't do any—I just started laughing because I don't know. I mean, when people are that out of control, A) you don't want to engage with them.
Leah: Because you don't. You have no idea how unhinged they are.
Nick: Because also, like, to have something that's already that heightened escalate further? Like, I don't know where you go from there.
Leah: You don't want to escalate anything like that. Also, if something as benign as a Matthew McConaughey Dazed and Confused t-shirt sets this person off, can you imagine an actual confrontation?
Leah: So we just sort of comedy-situationed out of it and kept walking. But, like, the rest of the hike, we were like, "What is wrong with that person? Why are they mad? Why are they angry? Who would step into another people, not bothering other people and just start cursing?" It was unbelievable!
Nick: Well, I'm sorry that happened.
Nick: And for me, I would also like to vent. And so I was actually just in Philadelphia for the weekend. And to get there from New York, you actually go from Moynihan Station, which is actually this sort of like new thing that's attached to Penn Station which is much nicer than Penn Station. And so I get to the station, and it's actually kind of a nice sort of like atrium vibe, there's a lot of light. And they have removed all the seating except for a ticketed passengers area. And so I go into the ticketed passengers area, and I'm looking for a seat and there are no seats. And it is not that it is full of passengers, it is full of people using all of the seats around them for their luggage.
Nick: Everybody is seated, and then on either seat next to them is their luggage. And so we have reduced the capacity of this seating area by two-thirds because we have all this luggage. And it was like, all throughout this lounge area. Like, all throughout this lounge area. And it's not like it's fancy at all, it's just seats. It's just a place to sit. And so I was like, okay, this is super annoying, but I actually had a relatively free week of etiquette crimes, and so I was like, "You know what? This is good. We're gonna make lemonade out of this. This will be my vent." It was like, "How wonderful!" But no, this is not the vent.
Nick: And so we are about to board the Acela to Philadelphia, and they announce what track it is. And it's an escalator down. And it's one escalator, and you kind of have to go across the whole sort of terminal, and then you make a quick U-turn to get down the escalator. And there's an Amtrak person at the top of the escalator just making sure everybody is getting on the escalator safely and it's not bunching and people with strollers or special needs, like, have enough time and all that. And so we are shuffling across, we're shuffling across. And I'm, like, reading the news or I'm doing whatever I'm doing. And I get to actually the front of the line right before we're gonna make that U-turn, and I wait because people have not gone down yet.
Nick: And I'm about to make the turn, and the Amtrak person was like, "Um, there's a line." And I was like, "That doesn't apply to me, so I'm gonna keep walking." His hand goes in front of my face.
Nick: And was like, "Sir, there's a line." And I am like one of those Solari boards in an airport, you know, like those flip signs that click, click, click, click, click? And I'm just spinning. I'm like, "Oh, I don't know what the answer here is. Like, is this applying to me? Like, what are we talking about? Have I not been in line for the last 10 minutes shuffling across? Like, did I cut in line? Pretty sure that would have been totally impossible.
Nick: And I look at the Amtrak person with, like, this weird, puzzled look, Like, "I'm sorry. Words came out of your face, but they did not register." And then as I'm giving that expression, the person behind me is like, "No, no. He's been in line the whole time." And the Amtrak's like, "Oh, okay." And then my expression changes. And I don't know if you know this, Leah, I actually have laser beams in my head that I can shoot out of my eyes. And what I did—and it was involuntary, but what I did is I looked right into his eyes and I burned holes into the back of his skull. And actually, I initialed it. I actually etched my initials in the back of his skull. And, you know, just that nice little squint, like, "How dare you?" That was the vibe. It was like, "How dare you confuse me with somebody who would cut in line? And also, how would I cut in line? Like, where did this even come from?"
Nick: It was involuntary. I don't know if that look was polite, but it is what has happened. So maybe it's a repent for that. I'm not gonna repent for that, but I go on my way and then down the escalator. He did not apologize. He did not apologize. So I feel justified in burning my initials in the back of the skull. But yeah, I was accused of cutting a line, and it's like, that is outrageous.
Leah: Outrageous. And let me just say I'm not shocked that you had laser beams. I was thinking something like that.
Nick: *[laughs] Yeah. And I will say, if I shoot laser beams at you, it is devastating. It is a truly devastating look. It is not something you want to experience.
Nick: Very few have. Very few have survived to tell the tale.
L I'm gonna say there's probably very few that have lived through it.
Nick: It is truly devastating. So I don't know what I could have done differently. That's what's so maddening.
Leah: No, it just means, like, what, does this person have a personal vendetta? Hand in the face?
Nick: Yeah. I don't know. I don't know. But that happened.
Leah: You of all people!
Nick: Right? I mean, that's really what is most upsetting.
Leah: Yeah. I mean, if anybody's not gonna cut.
Nick: Right? Ugh!
Leah: If anybody's not gonna cut, it's Leah Bonnema. The second person who's not gonna cut ...
Nick: [laughs] That's true.
Leah: I will actually let people in front of me that weren't there. But you're just down fair and even across the board.
Nick: Fair enough. That is a good point. So that's my vent.
Nick: So Leah, what have we learned?
Leah: I learned that bidet towels are not table napkins that have been left in the restroom.
Nick: [laughs] Did you learn that?
Nick: Was today the day we learned that? Okay.
Leah: I didn't know anything about bidets. I'm not a bidet user.
Nick: Fair enough.
Leah: Today was my Bidet Day one.
Nick: Okay. You'll never forget where you were.
Leah: I will never forget where I was on Bidet Day.
Nick: And I learned that some people have very strong feelings about Matthew McConaughey.
Leah: Wow! Wow!
Nick: Who knew?
Leah: It's really incredible when people have such strong feelings about something that has people walking by in a shirt. You know what I mean?
Nick: Yeah. Well, thank you, Leah.
Leah: Thank you, Nick.
Nick: And thanks to you out there for listening. I'd send you a handwritten note on my custom stationery if I could.
Leah: He would!
Nick: So for your homework this week, I want you to introduce us to three friends you know. Just three people. That's it. Three people you think might like us, because if we can triple the size of our audience, we will be that much closer to achieving world peace.
Leah: There will be less people talking on planes when you don't want to talk.
Nick: Yeah! I mean, we will be down to 7.752 billion people to go. So help us get there, do your part, and we'll see you next time.
Nick: All right, Leah. It's time for Cordials of Kindness, the part of the show that you make us do, but I only give you 30 seconds to do it. Ready, set, go!
Leah: So last Friday, I was in my head about—I had a comedy audition, and it was at a place, we had a lot of trouble parking. And I was like, "I need to take that off my plate. I don't want to have to worry about that," so I took a Lyft. And usually, like, with a Lyft, there's always, like, something. I had there and back the nicest Lyft drivers. They were so lovely, so fun, so I want to do a big shout out to Heer and Shandel, who are so lovely both there and back. I was like, "How do I get there and back the most wonderful people?" I felt so grateful!
Nick: Oh, that's very nice! Five stars!
Leah: Five? More than—I wrote full letters. These people are wonderful!
Nick: And for me, I want to give a special shout out to this place near my house I go from time to time for brunch on weekends. And I was just there, and I was chatting with the manager who I often see when I'm there, and we were just, like, talking about, like, upcoming travel and, like, how business is going and stuff like that. And at the end of the meal the server was like, "Oh, it's on us today." And I was like, "What? That's nice!"
Leah: That is so nice!
Nick: I was like, "Oh, this is great!" So I am very thankful. I guess I'm a regular, and so I really love that. And of course I tipped. I tipped like the same price I would have paid for the whole meal, but I was so excited to sort of like have that unexpected treat. So thank you. I really appreciate it.
Leah: So sweet!
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