April 18, 2022

Eating Chocolate Truffles, Breaking Up With Gym Partners, Giving Up Your Window Seat, and More

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah answer listener questions about eating chocolate truffles, breaking up with gym partners, giving up airplane window seats, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we could.)


Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah answer listener questions about eating chocolate truffles, breaking up with gym partners, giving up airplane window seats, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we could.)

Have a question for us? Call or text (267) CALL-RBW or visit ask.wyrbw.com

 

QUESTIONS FROM THE WILDERNESS:

  • What's the proper way to eat a chocolate truffle?
  • Do I have to invite someone to my birthday party if I was invited to theirs?
  • How can I break up with my long-term gym partner?
  • At a college canteen, do I have to stay until everyone's finished their meal?
  • On an airplane, what do I do about someone who wants my window seat?

 

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

Episode 135

 

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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've a bonus episode. So here we go. Our first question is quote, "Is there a correct way to eat individual chocolate pieces? For example, is it acceptable to eat a chocolate truffle halfway through to see the inside? Or should it be consumed in a one-bite experience like sushi?"

Leah: I feel like I can't be trusted to answer this question because ...

Nick: [laughs] Why? I feel like you are an authority on eating chocolates.

Leah: I am, but I'm an authority as far as I would always come down on it's chocolate!

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: Eat it how you enjoy it!

Nick: Okay. I mean, I think that is one approach we could take. Sure.

Leah: Also, it matters, like, was it a chocolate gift to you? If it's your gift ...

Nick: Why does that matter?

Leah: Because if it's your gift, there shouldn't be parameters on how you are supposed to enjoy your gift.

Nick: Well, no, no. The parameters are: am I in public, or am I in private? Am I eating these alone in the dark? In which case, do whatever you want. Am I in front of other people? If I am, well then etiquette kicks in.

Leah: Well, if I'm in front of other people and they gave me the chocolate and it's a gift?

Nick: Okay. So for you, whether or not it's a gift or not, that determines what you can do. Oh, because in your mind, like, if it's not a gift, you're just handing me a box of chocolate where I can take one out of the box. You're like, offering me some chocolate?

Leah: Yeah, I'm gonna take one.

Nick: And I take one.

Leah: And then I pass it down. I'm not gonna stick my finger in each piece to see what's in it, you know what I mean? But if it's mine, I'm gonna do what I want. You gave it to me as a gift.

Nick: [laughs] So wait. Your idea when you hear this question is, "I'm gonna bite in half and then put that half back if I don't like what I find. Is that what you're saying?

Leah: [laughs] I'm leaving that open. I'm gonna leave that open.

Nick: Okay. [laughs]

Leah: Obviously, I wouldn't do that at a group function where other people are eating the chocolate. [laughs]

Nick: Okay. Wow, I really did not think about that possibility. That—okay, this is like a fractal. I just feel like this whole new arm of possibilities just expanded. So, okay, I just wrote down some other things to consider, which is how big is it? How big is the truffle? That's really the main thing, because sometimes they're, like, small, in which case, yes, one bite. If it's a golf ball- or a tennis ball-size, well then, sure, you can't just chow it down in one bite. So I think that's a consideration.

Leah: Also, truffles are—they'll knock you out. This is the thing with truffles. They are rich. I feel like even some of the medium ones, you've gotta do it in two bites. It's just too much!

Nick: Oh, it's about stamina?

Leah: It's like a sugar rush. You're gonna pass out from the sugar rush. I can't do it in one bite.

Nick: So I am also curious about why are we wanting to bite it in half if it's sized such that we could eat it in one bite? Because in my mind, like, I can't learn much information by looking at the inside, right? Like, if it's Cointreau- or Bailey's-flavored, like, I cannot identify that by looking at it. And if you don't know the difference in taste between hazelnut and walnut, well then, I don't know what to do for you.

Leah: [laughs] I think some people just like to look inside.

Nick: Okay. So then the concern is: you have taken a bite, and is there the hazard that I'm gonna see any of the chocolate in your mouth?

Leah: Well, I'm not gonna take a bite and then open my mouth and start talking.

Nick: Oh, there's not gonna be any discussion. We're not gonna observe the chocolate inside and be like, "Oh, this is Cointreau!" You're gonna keep your mouth shut as this is happening.

Leah: Well, I'm gonna think it.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: But I'm not gonna say it.

Nick: I see. Okay. Now another consideration is: is it tempered chocolate or not? Because that tends to shatter.

Leah: Oh, and then—yeah.

Nick: And then now we're making a mess. So I think if it's a tempered chocolate shell, I don't know if we want to do more than one bite with that.

Leah: That's a very good point, because it will break. It's gonna fall in your hand, you're gonna go, "Oh, oh!" And then you have to, like, get a napkin under your chin. That's exactly what you'll do, "Oh, oh!"

Nick: And then the melting point of chocolate I think is around 90 degrees. So if you're handling this chocolate, like, you're gonna get chocolate in your fingers now, and then where does that go?

Leah: Some chocolates ...

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: ... are in a nice little cute gold wrapper.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: And you open the wrapper, and then you can hold the other half with the wrapper so it doesn't get on your fingers.

Nick: Oh, okay. So you're gonna use that as the holder.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: So there's this amazing chocolate place in North Conway, New Hampshire. And on the door, there's a poster that says "Chocolate Never Judges. Chocolate Understands."

Nick: Okay.

Leah: Love it. And they make their own chocolates there. They don't make this chocolate, but I can't think of what the brand—but it's in a gold wrapping, and it has a man's face on it. He's wearing a red jacket. It's chocolate and marzipan, which I love! And I want to savor it. I'm not gonna pop it.

Nick: Oh, interesting! So the biting in half is about savoring.

Leah: Yeah, it's about savoring it, because you don't want it to go away in one bite.

Nick: Okay. So it's about making the chocolate-eating experience longer.

Leah: Yes!

Nick: Hmm. So okay. So all right. I think if we can eat it in such a way that doesn't disgust the people around you, so we're not opening our mouth showing mushy chocolate. And you're able to do it where your fingers aren't getting super chocolatey, and you're not allowing shatters of tempered chocolate to fall down your shirt, and I guess it's okay to eat it in multiple bites. I guess. Is that—is that where we want to go? I know that's where you want to go with this.

Leah: I just want to be able to savor my chocolate for as long as possible.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, I guess that's a world we can live in which that's polite. Sure. Okay.

Leah: Oh, I love that we worked our way around to this. I think that we're gonna get a few emails that highly disagree, but I feel like you put enough caveats on there.

Nick: Yeah. Oh, you can't pin me down on this one.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: [laughs] Yeah.

Leah: Great!

Nick: Great! So our next question is quote, "I live in a small town, and everyone knows everyone. I was invited to a classmate's birthday celebration and my birthday is coming up. Is it rude to not include him in my birthday celebration?"

Leah: I think yes.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, it's your party and you can do whatever you want.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: However, small town.

Leah: And you are invited to his.

Nick: And decisions have consequences. And you're gonna send a signal, a real strong signal, if you don't reciprocate the invitation.

Leah: I think the only way that you could get out of it ...

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: ... is if it was like a specific—like, it was gonna be a sleepover, and you could only invite five people, or—you know what I mean? If there was—but if everybody else gets invited ...

Nick: Right.

Leah: ... except for this person who's already invited you to their party, it definitely sends a message.

Nick: Yeah. And so if you want to send that message, great. Just do that knowing you're sending a message. But I don't think you want to send that message because that's mean. I mean, I think unless this person has done something to you, and you actively don't want them at your party, in which case they probably should know why they're not being invited then. Like, they already know. But if there's nothing that has happened and you had a nice time at their party, then yeah, just reciprocate.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Because I think one way to think about it is: how would you feel if the situation were reversed? How would you feel if this person who had a recent birthday invited all 39 people in town and didn't invite you? Like, I think that would sting a little bit.

Leah: It would sting. You would grow up and then you would become a comedian. That's what happens.

Nick: [laughs] Right. That actually is what happens. That actually is exactly how 99 percent of all comedians find themselves on stage.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So ...

Leah: Trying to refill the emotional coffer.

Nick: Right. Which is bottomless.

Leah: Bottomless.

Nick: Cannot be done. Yes. It's Sisyphean.

Leah: So save the world from another comic and just invite them.

Nick: [laughs] Yeah. No, there's not enough stage time for everybody, so just invite this person.

Leah: Except for the caveat: unless they did something that was very offensive.

Nick: Yeah. No, if you can do it in a way where it's just like, they know what they did, well, then fine. But if there's not that then yeah, path of least resistance. Just extend the invitation.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: So our next question is quote, "How can I break up with my longtime gym partner? I've been working out with the same friend for almost 10 years. Recently, we joined a boxing gym. We both love boxing, but I make it more of a priority to attend class than he does, which has helped me improve quickly while he's still a beginner. During class, each participant has a partner, and we trade off holding pads while the other punches them and vice versa. Because I attend several classes a week, I'm much better at remembering punching combinations and holding the pads correctly. My gym buddy, however, still has trouble remembering which punch is which, and how to hold the pads correctly when it's my turn to strike.

Nick: "On nights he doesn't attend class, I partner with others who are at my level and I enjoy the workout immensely. When he does come to class, which is once a week at most, I get frustrated because I'm spending most of my time coaching him and not getting a great workout in or learning new skills. I've made many friends at the gym that I introduce him to in hopes he will attend classes more often and feel comfortable with partnering with people other than myself. But he's very shy. In the past, we've lifted weights and done CrossFit together, which doesn't rely on a partner. What would you do?"

Leah: I feel like that's—what would you do, Nick?

Nick: Well, yeah, this is tricky.

Leah: It is tricky.

Nick: This is tricky. Have you ever taken a boxing class?

Leah: Oh, I have, yeah.

Nick: I mean, what a workout! I actually can still feel it in my obliques. I strongly recall having to change a light bulb in my house after I took the class, and I couldn't. I could not reach up and twist for, like, several days. It was so extreme. I'm not used to using those muscles.

Leah: It's so extreme. In college, I—for my last two years of college, I went regularly, and I remember the first time I went. The next day, I sat down on a chair and then I was like, "Oh, I can't stand back up." It was kickboxing.

Nick: [laughs] Yeah. No, it definitely is a good workout. So the issue here is that we're at different levels. I mean, I think that's the main issue here, because otherwise it'd be like, "I'll see you when you show up, and I won't see you when you don't show up. And that's cool."Like, you're not holding me back from attending. Like, there's other people I can partner with here at the class. So, like, I'm not relying on your attendance for me to enjoy boxing. The problem is, when you do show up, you're bringing me down." So I think this is just one of those occasions for a polite yet direct conversation. "Hey, great that you're showing up. I'm a little more advanced now, so I think it'd be best for you to partner with somebody more at your level." And that's that.

Leah: That's why I think it was said, "What would you do, Nick?"

Nick: [laughs] Right? I mean, because what are your choices?

Leah: Your other choice is that the one day a week you think of it as, like, I'm doing this for my friend.

Nick: Oh, sure. I mean, I don't think our letter-writer wants to do that.

Leah: No, I don't think our letter-writer wants to do that. So then this is the only other choice.

Nick: Because the letter-writer? I'm getting a bit of a flavor of, "My friend isn't as diligent as I am. And so they're only showing up sort of when they want to, so I don't really want to accommodate that."

Leah: Right. That's what I'm getting as well.

Nick: Yeah. So yeah, I think just level with your friend. They know what level they're at, right? They must.

Leah: What if the friend was like, "Hey, I always thought that we were going as, like, friends and you know I'm shy and I don't want to talk to other people."

Nick: Well, okay. I mean, if that's the feeling, then I think group fitness is not for you.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: Like, I don't think we should be doing group fitness. We should go back to the CrossFit or just the weightlifting we were doing before, which are more like one-on-one or solo activities.

Leah: How about this? How about we say to our friend, "Hey, you know, I love boxing. I've been going every night, so I feel like I'm advancing. So I feel like—"as Nick said—"now we're at different levels. But if you did want to work out together, let's find a time. Maybe we can go and lift weights again." And then you could add that as an extra thing.

Nick: Okay. Yeah, I guess framing it in a way where you're basically saying like, "I'm not cutting you off."

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: I'm not ending our gym relationship, I'm just ending our boxing together thing.

Leah: And that way I feel like you're saying, "I still want to hang out. We'll still do these things, but I'm progressing, and I want to work with somebody with my level. But if this was friend time, then we'll go lift some weights together after class or at a different time."

Nick: Right. I mean, I guess for our letter-writer, do you want to also have that additional workout each week?

Leah: Well, it doesn't seem like this person's showing up to the gym anyway, so it's probably not going to happen. It's just a way of saying to them, "I still want to be your friend. This is just about the fact that I'm progressing."

Nick: Right. I think the idea is that you don't want to just take something away, you also want to offer something. And so often when we're, like, declining an invitation or we're saying no to somebody, offering something else as an alternative is sometimes an easier way to achieve that.

Leah: Well, I want to say really quick, I wasn't saying you should say "Let's do weights another day" because you thought they would decline. I was more saying, I think you should offer up a friendship thing.

Nick: Right. Okay. So our next question is quote, "In between studying in the library, my friend and I go to the college canteen for lunch. Students just eat their lunch boxes there and there's no timing, so they can come and go whenever they feel like. It has happened several times that someone else we know joins us towards the middle or end of our lunch time. And then my friend always wants to wait 'til the late joiner finishes their meal. And I always get restless because now I have to wait an extra half hour when I could have been studying. What's the proper etiquette for such an informal canteen situation? I totally understand if it's someone who joined right from the beginning, but if someone joined halfway or at the end, are we obligated to wait?"

Leah: No.

Nick: No. You're using the word "canteen." This is casual.

Leah: You gotta go study. You have to study.

Nick: Yeah. No, the word "canteen" does not suggest a 10-course degustation menu to me. Or unless "Canteen" is the hottest new restaurant that I don't know about. In which case ooh, is it on Resy?

Leah: [laughs] Is it on Resy?

Nick: [laughs]

Leah: You have to study? "Oh, please excuse me. I gotta go study. It was great seeing you." Boom.

Nick: Right. I mean ideally, when this latecomer comes to your table, they say something along the lines of, like, "Oh, may I join you?" Because that's very polite. And then you say, "Of course. But of course I do need to get back to studying in a few, so I won't be able to stay." Or, like, something along those lines. So as they're sitting down, they know that you're not gonna be able to, like, be there for long.

Leah: Yeah, because otherwise people could just keep coming, and then you would just be stuck sitting there on their schedule.

Nick: Oh, it's just like 24 hours.

Leah: Until the bell rings. You have work to do!

Nick: Yeah. No, that's exactly what would happen. Yeah. So I think no obligation to hang around. And when you're done, you just say, "Oh, so nice seeing you. Gotta get back to studying."

Leah: Boom!

Nick: Boom.

Leah: I also just feel like studying is—when we're at school, we're not there for lunch hour. Obviously, we enjoy lunch hour, we like catching up with people. We're there to study. So even if—I would say even if you went with somebody at the same time and you were late on a paper or you had to get something done, you could say, "I gotta eat real quick. I have to go study. I have a test coming up."

Nick: Yeah, I think that also feels fair. And I'm also thinking of, like, in a work break room, like, when it's all employees. I think also similar idea. It's like, "Oh, happy to eat a salad with you but, like, I also have to just get back to my desk and get back to work." Like, I'm not gonna wait until you finish your salad before I go back to my desk."

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: So same idea.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: So our next thing is quote, "About a month ago, I went on a vacation to Mexico. As I was boarding the airplane and heading to my window seat, there was already a young woman seated in the aisle seat. I nodded at her and I told her I'd be sitting next to her, at which point she asked if I wanted the window seat. I said yes, as it was the seat I'd booked nearly a year ago—I didn't say that part out loud, of course—and then I settled into my seat. For the entire rest of the flight, the young woman refused to make eye contact with me or even acknowledge my existence. Clearly, she was hoping I would let her have the window. Now I think it was fair that she asked. Who knows? Maybe I would have been happy to switch seats with her. But what I felt wasn't fair was for her to be so indignant that I did not give up my seat to a complete stranger just because she wanted it.

Nick: "Her obvious anger at me made the flight incredibly uncomfortable. I do feel I was perhaps a bit culpable in this situation. I was feeling completely frazzled by the time I got to my seat, and when the woman asked me if I wanted to sit in the seat I'd booked, I simply said yes, rather than perhaps declining more graciously. Was there a better way to handle this situation?"

Leah: I genuinely don't understand this question. Never in any world ...

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: I feel like that came in aggressive. Let me just say this because I get feeling uncomfortable. But how planes work everywhere—except for Southwest, but this woman clearly has a ticketed seat.

Nick: Right.

Leah: Is that you get the seat that you have the ticket for.

Nick: Right. My first reaction when I read this was: isn't being ignored by the person next to you the dream?

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: Isn't that what you're interested in? Because that's what I'm interested in. I definitely want to be ignored. I don't want my existence acknowledged in any way by the person sitting next to me. Like, I'm interested in this situation.

Leah: When I read that, I actually thought, "This is Nick's total joy."

Nick: This is great.

Leah: I understand feeling—like, being a person who feels the person near you's feelings and when they're irritated with you, you're like "Why?" But also, that's on that woman. The fact that she thought she could just switch seats?

Nick: Right.

Leah: No!

Nick: Yeah. Right. And that she was then sort of moody and brooding for eight hours or however long this was? Yeah. I mean, that is rude because I'm sure it was beyond just, like, not acknowledging your existence. I mean, I'm sure it was a little more hostile.

Leah: Yeah, I get the idea that it was a hostile situation.

Nick: Yeah. Like, when you're trying to get to the aisle to use the restroom, I'm sure she was not doing that gladly. I'm sure it was along the lines of like, "Oh, you need to get to the aisle? Well, it would be easier if you had the aisle seat."

Leah: Or it was a lot of this [sighs]

Nick: [sighs] Yeah, there's some aggressive sighing. Yeah. I mean, was she culpable in this situation? Who can say? Because it comes down to tone. Like, what was the tone with which this "Yes" was expressed? You know, because a lot of different ways to say the word "Yes." But yeah, the idea that I would like to sit in the seat I have a ticket for? Yeah, this is reasonable.

Leah: It's more than reasonable. It's how the world works.

Nick: Yeah. But sometimes people who want to fight against the way the world works, those are the ones committing etiquette crimes, and those are the ones that try to make you feel guilty for it.

Leah: Oh, exactly. That's what I'm saying. This girl who's in the aisle seat and thinks she can just magically switch to the window? This is her problem.

Nick: Yeah, this is her problem.

Leah: I've been trying—because I'm a person who feels other people's feelings and is like, "What did I do?" I'm trying to get to be this kind of new person who actively enjoys conflict.

Nick: What?

Leah: Like, if somebody's rude to me, I'll be like—because I'm tired of feeling anxious about it and feeling like things are my fault, so I'm trying to get—you know, these people who are like, "Oh, this person said this to me and then I did this!" And I'm gonna—my new goal is to be one of these people that if I sit down and someone was angry at me for my seat that I booked a year ago?

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: My goal is to look at this person and be like, "I'm sorry, I don't understand the situation. Are you upset because I'm sitting in the seat that I was ticketed for?"

Nick: I mean, I'm blown away. Are you this person now?

Leah: [laughs] No.

Nick: Or this is just who you want to be.

Leah: I am so far from this person that an alien would have to come and take over my body. But I think what a joy that would be.

Nick: Yeah. So I guess what can we do differently in the future? I guess if we're worried about the tone we used, I think maybe that's one opportunity to improve on things. So, "Oh, so sorry. I would like the window seat today."

Leah: Or we can become these new people.

Nick: Well, no. I am this person.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So I'm happy to be far more direct with people. I have no problem. If you want to give me a death stare, have at it. That's wonderful.

Leah: [laughs] Oh! Goals!

Nick: So I'm sorry this happened. I mean, I think this is unpleasant no matter how you slice it.

Leah: And I think—I think I've brought this up before, and I'm gonna bring it up again. I realize that often when I feel—I'm actually angry.

Nick: Oh, yeah.

Leah: But I'm so uncomfortable feeling angry that I feel guilty or like I did something wrong, or how could I be better? I think just be angry at this woman in the aisle seat. She's rude.

Nick: And I don't think we want to add rudeness to rudeness, so we just sort of ignore it and know that it's not about us, and this person is just mad at the world, in which case let them be mad at the world.

Leah: They're mad at the world.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: And then when my aliens take over my body and I become this person, next time I'll look over and say, "Can I help you with something? Because you seem upset that I'm sitting in the seat that I was ticketed for."

Nick: I mean, I would be delighted to meet this person.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: I would be very excited to sit next to this person on an airplane for eight hours. Yeah, so let me know. Let me know when those aliens arrive.

Leah: Know that if I ever do anything like that, you will be getting a text immediately.

Nick: Oh, I hope you get the video turned on so I can watch it live.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: Oh, absolutely. Oh, that's entertainment!

Leah: Obviously, this is outside of comedy. In comedy, I'm a completely different person. But I mean, in my regular life.

Nick: Yes. No, on stage, you're fearless.

Leah: Whoo!

Nick: In the real world ...

Leah: I can't even ask for where something is in Rite Aid. It's an interesting dichotomy.

Nick: Well, you can ask us for things—including your questions. So send them to us. You can send them to us 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!