Feb. 17, 2020

Criticizing Wedding Dresses, Spreading Rumors, Splitting Cupcakes, and More

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this bonus episode, Nick and Leah answer listener questions about criticizing someone's wedding dress, drying your hands without towels, dealing with nasty rumors, handling someone who always criticizes their own body, feeling obligated to make someone a bridesmaid, missing cutlery at a dinner party, handling in-laws who arrive hours early, taking just half a cupcake, and much more. Please subscribe! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we had your address.)


QUESTIONS FROM THE WILDERNESS:

  • Is there a nice way to tell someone you don't like their wedding dress?
  • What do you do if there's no hand towel in a bathroom?
  • Should you meet up with an ex-colleague to discuss a nasty rumor?
  • What do you say to someone who always criticizes their own body?
  • Are you obligated to make certain people bridesmaids?
  • What do you do if your place setting is missing cutlery?
  • How do you handle in-laws who insist on always coming over 2 hours too early?
  • PSA: Take the whole cupcake.

THINGS MENTIONED DURING THE SHOW

YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO...

CREDITS

Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema

Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton

Theme Music: Rob Paravonian

Transcript

[Musical Introduction]

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

Leah: And I'm Leah Bonnema.

Nick: We have so many great questions that came in from you guys in the wilderness-

Leah: Oh, my goodness!

Nick: -that we put them all together, and here's a bonus episode!

Leah: I'm so excited about these.

Nick: Our first question is: "Is there a nice way to tell someone you don't like their wedding dress?" [In unison] No! [Laughing] So, let's just play devil's advocate for a hot second.

Leah: I think that includes perhaps it hasn't been purchased yet.

Nick: Yes. I think if we have not said yes to the dress-

Leah: Right, and if somebody asked our opinion.

Nick: If you have been specifically solicited for your thoughts-

Leah: As in advice before someone purchases their wedding dress.

Nick: -and they are sincerely asking you-

Leah: Yep.

Nick: -not just wanting confirmation of what you've already decided.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: Which is a fine line.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: Then, maybe?

Leah: Then, I think you could say something like, "I like other dresses better on you."

Nick: Mmm ...

Leah: "Because I think they ___ "

Nick: Yes. "This silhouette, I think, is better," for some reason?

Leah: Yeah, just something complimentary about the other dresses.

Nick: Okay. So, we don't want to say something negative about your choice, but just how other choices might be better.

Leah: Right.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: That's if I was specifically asked, and that person was clearly really looking for advice, and the dress had not been purchased already.

Nick: Yes, all of these things have to be true.

Leah: Otherwise?

Nick: No!

Leah: No!

Nick: Definitely not!

Leah: Absolutely not!

Nick: Are you crazy?

Leah: Definitely no!

Nick: Okay! Our next question is: "You are a new guest at someone's home. You go to wash your hands in the restroom, but there is no hand towel, or any type of napkin, and you only realize this after your hands are washed. What is your next move?"

Leah: Do you want to go on this one?

Nick: Sure! I think my first question is are you wearing silk?

Leah: No.

Nick: Okay. So, then use your pants.

Leah: Solid.

Nick: I think that's a good choice. Yeah.

Leah: I think pants are a good choice. I think you could always pull a little toilet tissue-

Nick: Toilet tissue.

Leah: Dry it off and then flush it.

Nick: Mm-hmm. Yep. I think, then, when you emerge, you should alert your host that, like, "You're out of towels." I think it's polite to let the host know, "Oh, I didn't see any towels. Just FYI."

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: You have to say that in a way that isn't like, "You are a terrible host! You are not providing a amenity which anybody would." So, you have to say this in a nice way.

Leah: Yeah, just like, "Ohhh, just so you know ..."

Nick: "Oh, it's missing ..." Okay, yeah. Our next question: "Recently, a nasty rumor has been started about me resulting in a job loss. A colleague sent a text ..." Probably ex-colleague, by the way ... "A colleague sent a text to say, 'I heard what happened. Everyone's talking about it. I just want you to know I won't repeat what I heard.' When I asked who was sharing the rumor, she said she couldn't tell me. Is this rude? I felt it was unnecessarily mean for her to tell me people were talking about me if she didn't intend to tell me who, and also saying everybody was talking about it only made me feel worse. Now, she keeps wanting to meet me for coffee or lunch, but I don't really feel like she's trying to be a friend, but just trying to get the scoop. How should I proceed?"

Leah: Yeah, this one was-

Nick: Hmm.

Leah: I also, in this 'resulting in a job loss'?

Nick: That feels severe!

Leah: Severe. I am also not 100-percent sure if it's her job loss or somebody else's.

Nick: Oh! Good point! I was assuming it was her job loss, but maybe not.

Leah: Yeah, it could-

Nick: Although, if there's a nasty rumor about you, someone else is going to lose their job?

Leah: Yeah, but it could have been the person who started it or what it was about.

Nick: Okay. So, we can accept some ambiguity about who is currently unemployed.

Leah: Right.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: Because I feel like this would be a- seems like a huge deal if you lost your job!

Nick: Over a nasty rumor? Yeah, and had no opportunity to correct the rumor?

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Yeah. That seems serious. But then, did somebody else lose their job because of the rumor?

Leah: Yeah. I feel like we're missing a part of this story.

Nick: May be a piece of this story we're missing, okay.

Leah: But to focus in on the part of the story that we got-

Nick: Right. It does seem like the friend is getting a little nosey and just wants the T.

Leah: Definitely, and if you text me to say everybody's talking about you?

Nick: Horrible ...

Leah: Horrible!

Nick: Horrible! Yeah, no one wants to hear that.

Leah: A) You better be defending me.

Nick: Yes!

Leah: You better be telling me who it is-

Nick: And exactly what they're saying.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Mm hmm.

Leah: And you better have my back.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: Otherwise, we're definitely not meeting for coffee-

Nick: No.

Leah: -so you can furtherly make me feel bad?

Nick: Or try and get more info?

Leah: What's happening?

Nick: No.

Leah: No.

Nick: Shut it down.

Leah: Shut it down. I think a way to shut it down is- I feel like this is not going to be the way that you say to shut it down ...

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: But a person could say-

Nick: Nope.

Leah: You could say, "Well, you ... Before, you didn't make me feel any better. You just said that everybody was talking about me."

Nick: Oh ... Wow, you're really on a kick where you want to be direct!

Leah: Well, I feel-

Nick: This is a new Leah!

Leah: I feel like it's important that everybody ... You're providing people the opportunity to fix a situation, and you're not being- you're not fixing their behavior, you're just saying what you need.

Nick: Okay. True.

Leah: You're just saying what you need.

Nick: Okay. I think it would be slightly more polite just to say, "Thank you for your concern. I'm fine."

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: And leave it there.

Leah: I think that would be the way to go if you don't ever want to see this person again.

Nick: Yes, and I think a colleague who is participating in the rumor-sharing and then, also ... Yeah, the thing about not saying who's saying rumors ... Although, I guess, should you tell? If you hear rumors about somebody, I think you should say, right? Is there a reason why you wouldn't say? Like, if I told you there are rumors being said, if I've given you this information, now, I think you have to say who's saying it.

Leah: Yeah. If you're gonna open the door-

Nick: Right.

Leah: -you've opened the door.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: Otherwise, don't. Because you're not helping this person in any way.

Nick: No.

Leah: The person who's texting her friend - in air quotes - is not helping; she's just sticking the needle in by saying, "Everybody's talking about you ..."?

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: She's not helping her. She's not giving her information. Nor is she saying something uplifting.

Nick: Yeah, there's nothing helpful here.

Leah: It's just needling!

Nick: And this coffee, or lunch also won't be helpful.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: So, I think unless you're going to help your friend with this horrible rumor, why are you texting, except to sort of be mean?

Nick: Okay. Also, our letter-writer, she has an instinct that that's the case. I think you've gotta trust your instincts.

Leah: Yeah, definitely don't go!

Nick: Yeah. So, that's the answer.

Leah: Yeah, no, and I think you're right, Nick, about just saying, "Thanks so much."

Nick: Yeah, because ... Well, I hear what you're trying to say; like, it's nice to give a little more direct, and use an 'I' statement, like, "I feel that when you do this, this makes me feel ..." You're not going to make this person a better person, and you're not going to improve your relationship with them, so it's just more polite to just say, "Thank you for your concern. I'm good," and just leave it there.

Leah: No, you're absolutely right. I'm going to modify-

Nick: Mm-kay.

Leah: -and agree with you.

Nick: Thank you. Our next question: "One of my work colleagues always comments on her weight. She is very skinny, so when she calls herself fat, or says she really needs to work out and lose weight, it makes me feel kind of bad. I've always been happy with my body and how it looks. I'm the kind of person who could probably use 10 pounds, but I love bread and pasta, so I really just work out to feel good, not look good. How does one politely ask her to stop making these comments? I know you should never comment on someone's body, but her making those comments are making me feel uncomfortable."

Leah: I thought this was a really interesting question.

Nick: Very good question, yes, because I think this happens all the time.

Leah: It happens all the time.

Nick: All the time.

Leah: I have very skinny friends who talk about how fat they are.

Nick: Right. So, what is the solution?

Leah: I kind of feel like if somebody wants to talk about themselves, it's ... I can just choose to sort of not participate emotionally in their ... You know what I mean?

Nick: But I'm having a conversation with you in the lunch room, and I'm like, "Ugh, I feel so fat." What do you respond? Do you respond- do you just say nothing? Do you just ignore that I've said this?

Leah: No, I say, "Well, you obviously don't look fat," but that person may have an eating disorder where they feel bad.

Nick: Right. So, you would acknowledge that they've said this, and they would say, "I don't agree."

Leah: Or I'll say, "You look great," and then-

Nick: Okay.

Leah: -one time, when I was with my friend and she was complaining about ... I have a lot of friends that do this.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: I think, a lot of times, sometimes this is just a part of people's personality, and the easier thing to do is to just sort of extricate yourself from the situation.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: Instead of being like, "Hey, you're the thinnest person here, so when you say these things, imagine how the rest of us feel?"

Nick: Mmm, right.

Leah: Because I'm not sure if that person's really responsible for how the rest of us feel; we're all sort of responsible for how we feel, ourselves.

Nick: Okay, true. That's a good point. Yeah. I guess the response I was thinking in my head was you want to just sort of hum [crosstalk]

Leah: I love it whenever we can work a humming back in.

Nick: I think it would be sort of like a 'Oh, there you go again' hum, and then we change the subject. So, it'd be like, "Oh, I feel so fat," and be like "Mmmm ... So, I was interested in maybe having a barbecue this weekend," just something new.

Leah: Right.

Nick: Do we like that?

Leah: I mean ...

Nick: You're not that enthusiastic about my humming. Okay ...

Leah: I-

Nick: I can workshop it.

Leah: No, I think you're humming is great, and I think that's a solid response-

Nick: Because I don't love the idea of acknowledging this behavior, on some level.

Leah: Right.

Nick: Because, now, I'm kind of part of it.

Leah: Yeah, but you could just not respond at all.

Nick: Right, but then-

Leah: It feels like it's a group situation.

Nick: Yeah. Although, I mean, people do this one on one.

Leah: I know, but also, we have a culture where women kind of just crap on themselves.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: Which I really don't like.

Nick: No.

Leah: I feel like we should all-

Nick: Not do that.

Leah: -work on body positivity.

Nick: Right.

Leah: So, you could even try something like, "Let's try to love ourselves."

Nick: Okay. All right. I kinda like that.

Leah: Then, just try to flip it so people can say positive things about themselves, and then, you're not necessarily saying to them, "Hey, you always do this," and you're not not responding to it-

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: -but you could say, "Why don't we be good to ourselves?"

Nick: Yeah. I guess the other response that I was kind of thinking of was something along the lines of like, "Oh, we all have insecurities about ourselves ..."

Leah: I think that also works.

Nick: -and then try to make this a universal feeling.

Leah: I think that also works.

Nick: And to not make it about you, but, oh, about society and acknowledging that this is a problem of society.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: I think that's nice, too.

Nick: Okay. So, humming is a backup plan.

Leah: [Laughing]

Nick: Our next question: "I recently got engaged. My question is about choosing who will be in the wedding party."

Leah: See, I think a question like this could be in our wedding episode.

Nick: It could!

Leah: Moving forward.

Nick: Okay, true!

Leah: When people ask all of their wedding questions-

Nick: Okay, by the way ... By the way, Leah and I have been talking about having a whole wedding episode, in which case, we would just answer only wedding questions. So, if you have wedding questions, send them in.

Leah: That will probably be for like June, which apparently is wedding month.

Nick: June is wedding month, yeah.

Leah: Hmm.

Nick: Yeah. "I recently got engaged! My question is about choosing who will be in the wedding party. Do I have an obligation to all the ladies who I've been a bridesmaid for to ask to be a bridesmaid in my wedding? How about if I was a maid of honor for one? Is it rude to not ask them to be in my bridal party?" So ...

Leah: So much pressure around weddings.

Nick: So, I have questions about this because I have never been a bridesmaid, so I guess I do not truly understand the dynamics at play; because, in my mind, what I have heard - what I've seen movies about - is that being a bridesmaid is terrible. You have to spend all this money. You wear a dress you don't want to wear. You have to deal with a woman who's gone crazy. So, I guess, who wants to be a bridesmaid? Why is this a good thing? If I was not asked to be a bridesmaid and could just show up at your wedding as a guest and not have any responsibilities except send a gravy boat, that sounds great! So, what am I missing about being a bridesmaid?

Leah: I think what you're missing is that people want to be asked because they want to feel like they're on your team.

Nick: Oh, so it's like high school, where you want to sit with the cool kids.

Leah: Mm-hmm.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: I do think it's been universal that people who've asked you to be their bridesmaids, you have to ask them.

Nick: You think you have an obligation to return the favor?

Leah: I don't think you have an obligation. I think there's a rumor out there.

Nick: I think there's a rumor. True, true. I-

Leah: I think this is very murky water, because I also feel like you're supposed to invite everybody who's been invited to your wedding.

Nick: There is also that rumor.

Leah: Anybody you've been invited, you've got to invite them.

Nick: Yeah. Yeah ... I don't know who started that rumor? Well, the wedding industrial complex is very powerful.

Leah: It's so much!

Nick: It's very powerful. I think you are not obligated to invite anybody to your wedding, or make anybody a bridesmaid, or make anybody a maid of honor. I think there's no obligations for any of these.

Leah: Yeah, it's your wedding!

Nick: It's your wedding, and you can fill the guest list, and assign these roles as you wish. I think the past is not relevant about what has happened in the past, and who has invited you. So, I think that's a baseline. That said, we all know we have those friends that, if you do not make them a bridesmaid, that they will make life terrible for you.

Leah: Right.

Nick: They will be dramatic. They will not accept this as an adult. They will be horrible. So, for those people, I think you have to just consider, is it worth the hassle?

Leah: Yep.

Nick: You just might have to make someone a bridesmaid-

Leah: Yep.

Nick: -and just suck it up.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: But I don't think you are obligated. You are making a cost-benefit analysis of their drama versus your happiness.

Leah: I agree with this 100 percent.

Nick: That's how we handle that.

Leah: It's very mathematical.

Nick: That's how I handle everything.

Leah: The maid of honor question - I mean, you can't make everybody who's, you've been their maid of honor, your maid of honor. Do you want to have 10 maid of honors?

Nick: Yes. I think her question is - does the maid of honor get to be in my bridal party?

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Right.

Leah: I think people assume.

Nick: People do assume. So, I think you do not have this obligation, and I think the sooner you can let people know, the better, because I think people do assume, and the longer you let it go, the worse it gets. So, as soon as you are going to get married, rip it off like a Band-Aid and just make it clear who is in the bridal party, and who is not to get that out of the way.

Leah: Then, should she email people who aren't in the bridal party? No.

Nick: No! That feels provocative.

Leah: It does, now that I said it out loud, it seems obscene that I said it.

Nick: Right? No, I see- I see that thrust because you want to preempt their displeasure.

Leah: You'd be like, "I'm letting you off the hook. I appreciate you having me ..."

Nick: But it also sounds-

Leah: "I know you're traveling a lot. You have a new child."

Nick: No, you can't say any of that! Oh, that's horrible! Oh, gosh! You're going to make up excuses for me why I can't be a bridesmaid?

Leah: [Laughing]

Nick: No. You can't do that. It'd be similar to sending an email to somebody, like, "You're not invited to my wedding because ..."

Leah: Yeah, no, as soon as I said it out loud, I thought, "Mm, that's definitely weird that you said that."

Nick: Because, also, you should never assume that you are part of someone's bridal party.

Leah: No, but we're dealing with the kind of people who are assuming.

Nick: Yeah, and I think if this person wrote us this question, she's got a couple of these people [inaudible]

Leah: She's got a couple of people she doesn't want to be in her bridal party.

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: I think, sometimes, you know, for family reasons, people'll be like, "You gotta have your cousin ..." You know what I mean?

Nick: Right.

Leah: That's for you to hash out with your family.

Nick: Yes.

Leah: But, I think that what Nick said is - it's your wedding.

Nick: Yeah. Have the wedding you want.

Leah: Figure out the analysis on what the drama is versus just tagging on another bridesmaid.

Nick: Yep. Our next question is: "Recently at a fancy work party, I had a bit of a conundrum. The place settings had a fork, spoon, and knife on either side of the plate with an additional fork and spoon above the plate. What should I have used for the salad, dinner, and dessert? I always feel awkward putting a fork and knife on the tablecloth when they take the salad plate and I wait for my dinner to arrive." Leah?

Leah: Nick?

Nick: Leah?

Leah: Nick?

Nick: Oh, surely you can figure this out?

Leah: No, I ... The question seems like there's full settings on either side of the plate.

Nick: Sure ...

Leah: But not a fork and knife- do you know what I mean?

Nick: I mean ...

Leah: The way it's written, it seems like there's two whole place settings.

Nick: So, what is happening here is that we're actually missing a fork and a knife. The place setting is incomplete because what is on the table is a fork, a spoon, and a knife-

Leah: Right.

Nick: The fork and the spoon at the top, above the plate, that's for dessert. That's for later. So, what has happened is my salad arrives; I'm using the fork, and I'm using the knife, and now I'm enjoying my meal.

Leah: You have to reuse them.

Nick: Then, I have to reuse them! So, that should not happen at a formal dinner. Actually, that shouldn't happen anywhere. I really am bothered when I am not just given fresh silverware for every plate.

Leah: You could just lick it, put it back down ...

Nick: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Do you wanna say that again and look in my eyes?

Leah: You could just lick the fork after the salad serving-

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: -and it'd be fresh for the next one. Maybe I could dip it in the water glass. You know how I read this [laughing] ... I said that just to upset Nick.

Nick: Oh, God, NO! Oh ...

Leah: I wish you could see him cringing.

Nick: Oh, the idea! Oh, God. Okay-

Leah: I actually read this that there was a knife, fork, and spoon, and then, a knife, fork, and spoon-

Nick: Oh-

Leah: -so that there was an extra place setting.

Nick: Oh, there was too much. Oh, well, if there was a knife, fork, spoon on both sides of the plate, then that's just insane!

Leah: Yeah, no, that's why I thought the question-

Nick: Okay. I think we were-

Leah: Now, I see it's the knife-

Nick: Right.

Leah: What's missing-

Nick: We're missing some flatware, yes.

Leah: -the salad fork; or the dinner fork, depending on ...

Nick: Or whatever we want to do. I think what I would have done is I would use the cutlery that was currently there for my salad course, and I would let them take it away on the plate. Then, I would say, "Oh, I'm sorry, I'm missing a fork and a knife. Can you please bring me one before the next course comes?" and I would've just asked for more.

Leah: Yeah, or you can use the dessert fork and then ask for a dessert fork when the dessert comes.

Nick: Uh, you could do that. The dessert fork tends to be a little on the smaller side, so-

Leah: Well, you could use it for the salad.

Nick: You could probably use it for the salad. Yeah.

Leah: Then use the other fork [crosstalk] because I don't know what fork is there. Is that the salad fork or the dinner fork?

Nick: They did not identify the fork.

Leah: So, once that is identified-

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: I would use-

Nick: Okay ...

Leah: -the dessert fork for the other one.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: And then-

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: I would ask for another fork.

Nick: So, sidebar - where do you put the spork? Where does the spork go?

Leah: That's the shorts/skirt that you wear in between spring and summer seasons?

Nick: No, I think that's the skort?

Leah: [Laughing]

Nick: No! The spork - the spoon-fork hybrid ...

Leah: Wendy's?

Nick: Yeah ... When you're setting a formal dinner place setting for your Wendy's meal, where do you put the spork?

Leah: This has never come up.

Nick: No?

Leah: I feel like I'm being quizzed?

Nick: I think, actually, Miss Manners might have addressed this at some point. I'm not sure what her answer was, but I think my answer is you put it in the place where it is serving its normal function. So, I feel like if it's more fork-like in this meal, then we kind of put it where the fork should go. If it's more of a spoon thing, then we put it on the spoon side.

Leah: Yeah, that seems logical.

Nick: So, if we're having the- does Wendy's have chili?

Leah: Yes!

Nick: Let's assume it's chili.

Leah: Can I just say that my nana loved Wendy's chili, and then my pa-pop would get the Frosty, and then they would split it because they would be like, "You gotta heat it up, and then cool it down!" It was the cutest thing ever.

Nick: So, if, at this formal meal, we're having the Wendy's chili, then I think we put the spork in the spoon spot.

Leah: Perfect!

Nick: But if we're having- what else do they have? What else is ...?

Leah: A salad?

Nick: We're having a Wendy's salad! Then we would use the spork in the fork position.

Leah: Perfect.

Nick: I'm so sorry for this digression, out there.

Leah: No, I think that you were giving really good, interesting-

Nick: Yeah!

Leah: -extra information.

Nick: Okay. This wasn't a digression. This was an enhancement!

Leah: Yes!

Nick: Okay. Our next question ... Ooooh ...

Leah: This is a great one.

Nick: "Every time we have a family gathering, my mother and father-in-law come two-plus hours early to, 'hang out with the kid,' but it makes it so I can't get anything done. How can I get them to stop!"

Leah: Can I say I know this person?

Nick: Does everybody know you? Oh, gosh!

Leah: I love this person so much, so it's so hard for me not to be like, "Did you try ...?"

Nick: Okay. Well, your anonymity is still being respected.

Leah: Your anonymity is being respected. I think the first option would be to see if your spouse, whose parents it is- are, could say, "Hey ..." because I always feel like it's always easier to go through the person whose parents they are.

Nick: Mm-hmm. Okay. That was sort of my first thought. My first thought was that you need to have a- if there's another partner involved, you need to have a united front.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: None of this good cop/bad cop. You need to make sure you're on the exact same page so that it's a united front with the in-laws.

Leah: That way, they ... Because the whole thing is that you just need to get everything ready. You want everything to be ready for when they get there.

Nick: Right.

Leah: So, you're trying to make it nice for them.

Nick: Right. So, this is not helpful.

Leah: No, but I think you could talk to your spouse - what's the best way to get that information across?

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: Then, find out why they're coming early - which, to see the children- and then be like, "So, let's set up this time, after, so I can get everything ready."

Nick: Okay. One idea I had was can we have these people come over early, take the kids, and go away somewhere with the kids? Like, "Come to my house three hours early, take the kids to a science museum, and then come back in two, three hours at the normally appointed time with the kids, and then we'll do whatever it was we were gonna do."

Leah: Yeah, I think that's a great option-

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: -because the whole point being she just needs the space.

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: And that she should be comfortable saying, "I need the space to prepare-"

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: "-and I can't have too many people in it." So, that's one way that that could work.

Nick: Yeah. I think most complaints that we receive about in-laws are boundary issues.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Because in-laws, they're either butting into your business; they're telling you how to parent; they're telling you how to clean your house; they're giving you advice you didn't ask for . Those are all boundary issues. So, I think setting boundaries clearly is a key thing, and doing it early.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: Not letting this fester.

Leah: I think couching it in that, "I just want it to be nice for everybody-"

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: -is a good way to frame it.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: And, "I need this time, for me, to prepare."

Nick: Right.

Leah: "How can we make that work?"

Nick: Okay, so given that you know this person, I do think this is going to be helpful for them.

Leah: I think so.

Nick: Okay. Let us know how it goes.

Leah: Okay. I will follow up.

Nick: Okay. Want some feedback.

Leah: I'm very excited!

Nick: Okay. Then, our last question, not a question, but it's a PSA!

Leah: I mean ... Go back really quickly.

Nick: Sure.

Leah: The other option is that she could stop doing the family meals, and they could go somewhere.

Nick: Oh, yeah. Just go to a different venue. Yeah. That seems extreme, though.

Leah: Maybe mix it up. Sometimes, they go to a restaurant.

Nick: Yeah. Yeah.

Leah: Because maybe it's just too often.

Nick: But the idea that these people come over so many hours early, in general?

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: We gotta nip that in the bud.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Yeah. All right, so for the PSA, this came in ... If anybody has some PSAs out there for us, we're happy to read them. This one's easy: "If you're going to take a cupcake, take the cupcake. Do not take half a cupcake." Somebody has some rage issues in the office breakroom.

Leah: Can I add something to this?

Nick: Sure!

Leah: I think a lot of people take half a cupcake because they're on an eating plan.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: So, if you're taking the half a cupcake because you know you can only eat half, and you want to not have the other half in front of you because you know you'll eat it?

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: I think it's totally fine to cut it in half and throw the other half away.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: Then, if you have to dump water on it, so you don't go back in that trash can, you dump water on it.

Nick: [Giggling] Does that work?

Leah: Yep.

Nick: I feel like if you really wanted that cupcake, you'd still eat a wet cupcake.

Leah: I don't think you would eat a wet cupcake.

Nick: Uhh, it's not a hard no.

Leah: I mean, if you really got sad, you maybe would put in the microwave, and be like, "Well, that'll dry right out." But, at least there's two steps ... But I do understand why people cut it and then want to have it not near them.

Nick: Sure, okay. I think we can all agree that when we're cutting it in half, we're cutting it down the middle.

Leah: Yes!

Nick: We're not cutting the top off.

Leah: No.

Nick: I think this rule also applies to muffins, especially don't take the muffin top and leave the stump.

Leah: I mean, I do that, but I throw the bottom away.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: I don't do it with cupcakes. I only do it with ... I mean, I don't do it with muffins, I only do it with ... I read this, and I was like, "Oh, I'm appalling!" I don't like cupcakes.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: I just like icing.

Nick: Yeah. Well, that's [crosstalk]

Leah: But I don't leave it.

Nick: But that's the dirty secret about cupcakes.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: No one likes the cake part!

Leah: I don't want the- I think there are people that like the cake part.

Nick: Who are those people?

Leah: I don't know!

Nick: Now you're just eating cake.

Leah: I know!

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: I only like icing.

Nick: Right.

Leah: So, I just see the icing, but I don't leave the naked cupcake. I throw it away.

Nick: When I was discussing this with other people, people talked about bagels, and taking half a bagel, and how that was the same issue.

Leah: It's not the same issue.

Nick: Doesn't feel the same, right?

Leah: Because the bagel's already cut.

Nick: Or even if it's not cut, that even if you took half a bagel, the other half is still okay, right?

Leah: Technically. I think the other half of the cupcake is okay.

Nick: Uhhh ...

Leah: I understand why we're not doing it; as a society, we've decided not to do it. I understand.

Nick: Right.

Leah: Come to my house - you take half a cupcake. I don't care.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: But the bagel does feel different, and that's very interesting.

Nick: Right?

Leah: I wonder if it's the icing?

Nick: But muffin doesn't have icing; but I guess the muffin top is icing-y-

Leah: Yeah, it's a-

Nick: The serotonin release you get from the muffin top is similar.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: But then, with the bagel conversation, somebody was saying that if you take half a bagel, you have to take the bottom half. You can't take the top half because we all agreed the bottom half is the less desirable half, and it's rude to leave the bagel dregs for someone else.

Leah: So often, bagels have already been cut, and they're cut so evenly-

Nick: True.

Leah: -that I would be hard pressed to decipher a bottom or a top.

Nick: No!

Leah: On an everything bagel?

Nick: So, I think, for people out there who aren't in New York, bagels in New York are boiled before they're baked, so sometimes the texture on the top and the texture on the bottom is very similar.

Leah: It's round.

Nick: So, you have sort of an even crust, so it is sometimes less distinguishable. Outside of New York, if you're getting like a Lenders' bagel from your grocer's freezer section, those are very clearly different. The top is different from the bottom.

Leah: I haven't seen these bagels in so long.

Nick: So ... But, yeah, this is an interesting question. Does the same rule apply for bagels?

Leah: It is very interesting that it just feels inherently different.

Nick: It does!

Leah: Even though it's still a bread product.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: And it's still half!

Nick: Okay, well, you know, out there, do you have thoughts on what baked goods you're allowed to eat half of and what aren't you? Leah's raising her hand.

Leah: I think, with the bagel, it's that it feels like it was already cut; like it came cut, so you didn't use your fingers.

Nick: Ohhhh ...

Leah: You just took one.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: Whereas, with the cupcake, you clearly had to hold it with your hands - I assume you weren't wearing gloves - and you cut it.

Nick: Oh ...

Leah: Obviously, I don't care.

Nick: Right.

Leah: But I think other people care whose fingers were on what.

Nick: So there's a evidence of the cutting-

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: -by a human.

Leah: Right. Most bagels are already cut.

Nick: Mm hmm.

Leah: So, you're just taking half.

Nick: Mm hmm.

Leah: You're not laying your little hands all over it.

Nick: So, it's the same for grapefruits.

Leah: If it was already cut, take half.

Nick: Okay. I'm not sure why that feels relevant.

Leah: I don't know. I just feel like you're figuring out where the lines are.

Nick: I'm just trying to find, at breakfast, when there are halves of things, what's in/what's out?

Leah: Right.

Nick: Mm hmm.

Leah: I feel like most people have already cut the grapefruit, and it's in the dish.

Nick: Yeah. It would be weird to be at a breakfast buffet, and there was whole grapefruits and knives.

Leah: Yeah, and they're like, "Peel that yourself."

Nick: Peel it?! No! You cut a grapefruit.

Leah: I cut a grapefruit in the morning; at nighttime, I peel it like an orange.

Nick: What?!

Leah: Yep.

Nick: Is that a thing?

Leah: I don't know. That's what I do.

Nick: So much pith!

Leah: [Laughing]

Nick: Okay, we've really gone off the rails.

Leah: I don't think it's going off the rails! It's adding detail.

Nick: Okay. So, for you out there, thank you for being on that journey with us.

Leah: Thank you so much!

Nick: And thank you, Leah.

Leah: Thank you, Nick!

Nick: If you have questions out there about citrus-eating and the proper way to do it-

Leah: What we can halve, and what we can half-not? [Screaming]

Nick: Whoa ... Please send us those questions. You can send them to us at our website, wereyouraisedbywolves.com. You can also send us a text message or leave us a voicemail, (267) CALL-RBW (267-225-5729). We'll see you next time!

Leah: See you next time!

Nick: Bye!

Leah: Bye!

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