Jan. 23, 2023

Eating Rambutans, Using QR Code Menus, Paying For Free Theatre, and More

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle eating rambutans, using QR Code menus in restaurants, reneging on promises to buy theatre tickets, and much more.


Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle eating rambutans, using QR Code menus in restaurants, paying for free theatre tickets, 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

 

EPISODE CONTENTS

  • AMUSE-BOUCHE: Rambutans
  • A QUESTION OF ETIQUETTE: QR code menus in restaurants
  • QUESTIONS FROM THE WILDERNESS: What should I do about a friend who promised to take me to the theatre but then had me pay? What should I do about employees in big box stores that don't wash their hands in the restroom?
  • VENT OR REPENT: Nosy people in Laurel Canyon, Reality TV spoilers
  • CORDIALS OF KINDNESS: Thanks for the book, A nice review

 

THINGS MENTIONED DURING THE SHOW

 

YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO...

 

CREDITS

Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema

Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton

Theme Music: Rob Paravonian

 

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TRANSCRIPT

Episode 170

 

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Transcript

Nick: Do you get confused by tropical fruits? Do you text at the dinner table? Do you not wash your hands when you should? Were you raised by wolves? Let's find out!

[Theme Song]

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 it's Leah Bonnema.

Nick: And let's just get right down to it with our amuse-bouche.

Leah: [singing] Oh, my goodness. Amuse-bouche me.

Nick: So for today's amuse-bouche, I want to talk about these things.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So Leah, please describe for our listeners what you're looking at.

Leah: Oh, I know these. I know these from the fruit market.

Nick: Describe. What are you looking at?

Leah: Okay, so it looks like if I was in the bottom of the ocean and I saw a group of plants. So it's like a pinky orange with little green, like, thistles coming out. They're sort of round, but with a little bit of an egg pucker. And then inside is a alien type whitish orb. And I'm thinking this is a lychee. Is this a lychee?

Nick: Close. Very close. So they are not lychees, but they are in the same family.

Leah: Oh!

Nick: So these are rambutans. Some people say "rambutan," there's other pronunciations. But these are basically a tropical fruit, and it actually comes from the Malay word for "hair." And so these are like hairy fruits. They kind of look like hairy koosh balls or fuzzy strawberries. And you probably seen them, like, at an Asian market. So the question Leah, is how do you eat it?

Leah: I also just want to say they're beautiful.

Nick: They are very cool. Yeah. I mean, if you're gonna have, like, a Klingon dinner party, you might serve these for dessert. Like, they're very sci-fi.

Leah: Oh, gorgeous! And I love the reference. I would love to have a Klingon dinner party.

Nick: Oh, we're gonna have gahk, and then we're gonna have some blood wine, and then we're gonna have some rambutans. So Leah, how do we eat these things?

Leah: Well, I'm gonna get the orb out.

Nick: Right.

Leah: And then am I gonna pop it or cut it up? I guess it depends on the company I'm keeping. I guess if I was with Vulcans, I would cut it up. And if I was with Klingons, I would pop it.

Nick: Okay. You're not gonna use your bat'leth for this?

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So Miss Manners has actually been asked this question at least twice. And the first time she was asked, like, what's the best way to eat this? She said, "With a porcupine, so that it can teach you its ways." That's the full answer.

Leah: Wow.

Nick: That's all she says. Very helpful. "With a porcupine."

Leah: Mysterious!

Nick: Okay. Thanks, Miss Manners. The second time she was asked, she said, "With the attitude that beauty is not important, and it is what is inside that counts." Okay, Judy. But she did add some additional information, which actually is more helpful. So she said quote, "But you may take courage from the fact that you will be armed with a knife. It should be used to cut the rambutan as far as—but not through—the seed and skin it, eating the flesh by hand, being careful not to ingest any papery skin from the seed that should remain attached." So basically, the part of the fruit that you want is that white orb-y thing that looks kind of like an unpeeled grape or a lychee. Like, that's the thing you want. You do not eat the hairy carapace. You also don't eat the seed.

Nick: Now Miss Manners is telling you to cut all the way through the fruit like you were cutting an avocado. And I don't like to quibble with Miss Manners, but for this, I feel like there's a couple of different types of rambutans out there. There are types that actually have the stone that actually, like, comes freely, and then there's types that, like, the stone does cling to the fruit a little bit and doesn't come out cleanly. So I guess depending on what type you had, maybe you would cut all the way through to the seed or not. But when I'm doing it in polite company, and not just, like, ripping it open with my hands—which is an option—if you're gonna use a knife, I like to just get through the shell on the outside, and I don't touch the fruit part. And then once I've sort of peeled it open, then I basically eat it like a peach or like a plum with my hand and, like, that's what I do.

Leah: I like that much better. I don't like the idea of cutting it all the way through. You're missing the orb.

Nick: Oh, yes. You do not get to behold the pearl.

Leah: Yeah!

Nick: So that's kind of the idea. That's the rambutan.

Leah: So cool. And I learned the correct name for this beautiful—I also feel like Miss Manners was saying that it's not a beautiful fruit.

Nick: She actually is saying that, isn't she? That's rude!

Leah: So rude! Because it's gorgeous!

Nick: And also, Miss Manners would tell you to not criticize people's appearance.

Leah: Hurtful, hurtful.

Nick: Right? It is hurtful, because it is not being mindful of the feelings of this fruit.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: Wow. All right, Miss Manners, I'm now looking at you in a totally different way.

Leah: [laughs]


Nick: And we're back. And now it's time to go deep.

Leah: Deep and into our phones.

Nick: Yes, definitely into our phones. So for today's question of etiquette, I want to talk about QR code menus in restaurants, which it's a thing. It's a thing now.

Leah: It really is. And this is so timely because I was just in a conversation with someone this week saying how upset they are about the prevalence of the QR code menu.

Nick: So before we start, the QR code is that little 2D black and white checkerboard thing about—you know, it comes in different sizes, but two-inch square, that shows up everywhere now. And there might be, like, a little laminated card that has this thing on it when you sit down at a restaurant. And you scan it with your phone, and then it pops up a menu on some website. Like, that's the QR code. And they were actually invented in the '90s in Japan to, like, track automotive parts.

Leah: Oh!

Nick: But now they are definitely everywhere. And restaurants like it because I think it's more efficient. They don't have to print menus. They can, like, take something off the menu if it's sold out for the night. They can do dynamic pricing, which I think is a little interesting. I don't know how I feel about that where, like, the price of an item could change throughout the evening.

Leah: I never even thought of that.

Nick: They can even do a thing where, depending on what type of device you have, the price could be different.

Leah: No!

Nick: They could charge iPhone users more than Android users.

Leah: No, this is not happening.

Nick: We have this technology. This technology exists.

Leah: Nefarious!

Nick: So restaurants definitely like it. The problem is that, you know, things that are good for a restaurant aren't always good for the guest. And I think that's kind of the issue. And I think that's why a lot of people don't love it, don't love this trend.

Leah: Well, I think also people are like, it's cleaner, there's less germ passing. I mean, that's what it's being branded as. It's not being branded as, "Hey, we're changing the pricing when you're not looking." It's being branded as, "This is much more hygienic for you."

Nick: Right. So I think for me, what sometimes happens with these QR codes is that it becomes a way to not only look at the menu, but also place your full order or actually pay the bill. And now I've outsourced more and more of this hospitality experience when I've been in a restaurant. And it's kind of like, well, where does that end? Should I, like, go up to the counter and get my food? That's a thing that happens. Now should I bus my own table? Should I wash the dishes? Should I make the food? Like, at what point are we still dining out? So I do worry, like, oh, are we kind of going in that direction? Does this just make it easier to automate the entire dining experience? Have we lost the idea of hospitality? So I think for me, like, that's a little bit of it.

Leah: No, I think that's a great point. I think it definitely depends on, you know, if it's like a casual run in-run out, I'm happy to ...

Nick: Sure.

Leah: But I also think that—I love a menu, a hands-on physical menu.

Nick: Yeah, I like to survey the whole thing.

Leah: I like to look at all of it at the same time, as opposed to scroll, scroll, scroll.

Nick: Well, that's also a big problem with these QR code menus is that they're not really well designed, you know? They're not optimized for the phone most of the time. And yeah, it's less fun.

Leah: It just seems less fun. And I understand if you're in, like, a takeout situation or, like, a very casual dining, but if I'm sitting down ...

Nick: Oh, sure.

Leah: If I took a shower, do you know what I mean? If your girl washed her hair, if I put in that kind of time to go out for dinner.

Nick: Like, if you took a shower. Okay, go on.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: Yes. No, if you bothered to get dressed and look nice.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Then you might want an elevated dining experience.

Leah: I would love a menu.

Nick: Sure. No, I get that.

Leah: It takes a long time to wash curly hair. Do you know? So if I wash the curly hair, I would love to hold a menu please.

Nick: That's fair. That seems totally fair. I think, though, the biggest issue with the QR code is that it just normalizes the idea of having your phone out at dinner. I think at the end of the day for me that's it. It just normalizes that behavior, and I really don't love that. Because dining with people is supposed to be about human interaction and connecting. And when we have a phone out, it does make it harder to, like, make that connection and keep that connection. And we're tempted to check our phone, we see alerts, we're texting. We're doing that thing, which is like, "Oh, let me look it up on Wikipedia," or, "Let me show you this thing real quick," or, "Oh, here was something I saw." And now the phone becomes another guest at this dinner party. And I really don't love that.

Leah: Yeah. I feel it's like once you go and look at the menu, you make your decision, flip it over, don't keep it up.

Nick: Yeah. So I guess let's talk about the etiquette. At the end of the day, what is the etiquette? Because these QR codes, they're here to stay.

Leah: They are.

Nick: They're not going anywhere.

Leah: I actually was in a restaurant recently where they had the QR code and I was like, "Oh, do you have a physical menu?" And they said, "Oh, no, we don't have them." I just think that it would be nice if restaurants had backup physical menus, because I think some people can't—what if you don't have a cell phone? What if you have trouble reading your phone? You know, it's hard with the scrolling and the fonts. And I think it would be nice, you know, if people need a full menu to read, that they had a few backed up. That's—I think would be nice.

Nick: Yeah. Actually, that's a good point. It would be nice if a restaurant offered some options for people who want it or need it.

Leah: Yeah.

N Yeah, that's a good point.

Leah: So I think the sum up is if you're using the QR code, make sure to be respectful with your phone afterwards.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, that's kind of all it is.

Leah: We don't want the QR codes to be a gateway into ...

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: ... complete phone usage at the meal.

Nick: Yeah. It's just like, just use the QR code for its intended purposes and then that's it. And then we go back to the standard phone at the dinner table rules.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: That's it. Okay, settled.

Leah: Settled.

Nick: [laughs]

Leah: And then if you're like a takeout place where you just do QR codes because it's casual, maybe if you had like—I think most of the places where I've been where they had—it was that kind of casual, they have a board with the things listed, so you can look up there as well.

Nick: No, of course. Yeah, I mean, there's all different styles of restaurants. Like, I don't know if Per Se is doing QR codes right now.

Leah: I'll have to Google that.

Nick: But I mean, like a regular, like, diner-style place, like, that has QR code? Sure. But I think regardless of the style of dining it is, I think the principle of oh, we should pay attention to the people we're dining with, I think that applies regardless of whether or not there's linen.

Leah: Oh, absolutely. And may I add ...

Nick: Please.

Leah: ... very quickly, there's some places the menu—I had never been to a Cheesecake Factory, and so it was on my list.

Nick: Oh, I hear they're quite extensive.

Leah: Yes. And I feel like the menu is the thing, because you get the menu and it's like—it's like a textbook. It's so big and exciting that that's like a part of the thrill of Cheesecake Factory.

Nick: I've heard about that. Like, they give you, like, a three-ring binder.

Leah: It's like a three-ring binder.

Nick: It's like hundreds of pages of just different—how do they get all that stuff in the kitchen?

Leah: I don't know what's going on.

Nick: Like, what are they doing?

Leah: It's magic. I'd never been. I took my parents, We went here in—we went in Burbank, and we were like, "What?" I mean, it was thrilling!

Nick: I've never been. Would I like it?

Leah: I mean, I think if—you know, I—it's so fun.

Nick: [laughs]

Leah: I loved it.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: I mean, I would have a wedding. I would literally get married there.

Nick: Oh, that's gonna be the reception. Oh, okay.

Leah: The reception? I would do the whole thing in the Cheesecake Factory.

Nick: Oh! Well, I do like a one-venue wedding and reception event. I do appreciate not new locations. So as we digress, QR codes, just be mindful. Just be mindful.


Nick: And we're back. And now it's time to take some questions from you all in the wilderness.

Leah: [howls]

Nick: So our first question is quote, "I found myself in a bit of an awkward situation. A friend of mine asked if I was interested in seeing a particular Broadway show. They said that a quote, 'Severely discounted ticket' for me could be part of their penance for a bit of a friendship faux pas that had happened earlier in the week. While I didn't find this necessary, I'm always happy to accept a ticket to a night at the theater. This friend has given me tickets before, so this isn't out of character. I did some ticket research and we chose a date. My friend asked if I wanted to buy the tickets and said that she would reimburse me. And so I did. Once purchased, I let my friend know the cost per ticket and they said, 'Fantastic. I'll pay you back shortly.' I was surprised and a bit frustrated when I received an electronic payment for the cost of only one ticket. This show wasn't at the top of my list to see, and if I'm being honest, part of the reason I agreed to go was because I thought my friend was covering at least a fraction of the ticket cost. My thought is that I must simply eat the cost and keep my confusion and entitlement to myself. But am I wrong? Should I speak up?"

Leah: My note underneath this is, "I don't even know what happened here."

Nick: [laughs] I mean, I love the whole, "I did something bad. I want to make it up to you. I'm gonna make you do the thing I promised I would do and make you take the time to do it. And then I'm not gonna actually reimburse you for that thing." That feels like what has happened here.

Leah: Yeah. It took a turn as soon as they were like, "Hey, you get the tickets." This was your idea as a gift to make up for some mistake you just made.

Nick: Yeah. "Let me take you out for dinner. You make the reservation, and you pay for it, and then I'll reimburse you for half of it later."

Leah: Also I would love to say to our letter-writer I don't think you're entitled at all. I feel like your friend is coming in ...

Nick: And is "friend" the right word here? Is "friend" the word we want to use? That's what I wrote down. What is this relationship?

Leah: I think probably—and I don't want to speak about anybody's friends, we don't have the full—but this person seems a little, shall we say, solipsistic.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: Not the letter-writer. The letter-writer's friend.

Nick: Oh, no, no. No.

Leah: I just want to make sure our letter-writer's ...

Nick: Oh, yeah, Yeah. No, I'm sure this person is a friend. The—the gifter in this story is a lovely person, has many fine qualities. I am not seeing any of those come through in the letter that's being written to us, though. So we just have to assume that there's other reasons we're friends with this person.

Leah: I do love—I mean, this falls right into the category of letter-writer is lovely, forgiving somebody for something, willing to move on, happy to do something. The other person comes in, does something rude, and then we feel guilty. Am I wrong? Should I speak up? You know, it's like, no, you're not wrong. This is a weird thing to have somebody—"I want to make up for something. You do it. I'm only gonna reimburse you 50 percent. And it's the show that I wanted to see." What?

Nick: Yeah. No, I just love—I love that whole thing. I love how we got there. The most charitable response is to assume that there's been some confusion, miscommunication, misinterpretation that we want to clarify. "Oh, I thought that you are going to be taking me out to the theater. Where did we go wrong?" Like, some very nice, non-judgmental, value-neutral way to say and inquire, like, "Oh, this is what I thought. And so your response is confusing." That's, I think, the nicest way to approach this.

Leah: If we're gonna go down that route, because I allowed myself to think this for a moment, maybe when you gave them the price per ticket, they thought that you were giving them the price total.

Nick: Uh-huh. Okay. So I wrote this person back and I said, like, "I think you just want to clarify." And so we have some aftermath.

Leah: [gasps]

Nick: Leah, what do you think the aftermath is? What do you think happened here?

Leah: Oh, I'm so shocked that the aftermath already came in, and I sort of got red a little bit. Our people at home can't see that, but I—I'm a little breathless. I'm afraid that the letter-writer's friend didn't step up after the clarification.

Nick: So it's so much worse. Quote ...

Leah: [laughs] I was using "Didn't step up" as like a—like, maybe a smoothing-it-over term.

Nick: So here's the aftermath. Quote, "As you recommended, I asked my friend to clarify what they meant. Their response was, 'Oh, I meant if it was a full-price ticket that I would cover some of the cost. But the tickets were only $50.' I probably could have unpacked this further. 'Only $50' will continue to ring in my ears for a few days, but I decided to let it go. This was certainly a learning opportunity."

Leah: Do you feel a buzzing in your chest right now?

Nick: So just to recap this aftermath: the friend is saying that if it was a full-price ticket, they would have covered some of the cost, but because it was a discounted ticket, they're not even gonna do that. Okay. Just—just wanted to clarify that.

Leah: I'm sort of rocking myself gently. That's exactly what that is.

Nick: Yeah. So the learning opportunity? Yeah, I think we learned something, which is like, I don't know if we can be doing this with this person again.

Leah: I don't think we're doing this with this person.

Nick: So I think if there's an opportunity to go to the theater, I don't think we buy the tickets. I think we let them do it. That's the baseline here.

Leah: We let them do it. Also, I wish we could know what it was that the friend did that they were making up for, you know?

Nick: Oh, that's a very good question!

Leah: This started out with the person already doing something wrong and going to make up for it.

Nick: Yeah. That's a very good point, yeah. Oh, so we just—okay. Yeah. I mean ...

Leah: This is them making up for it? What is happening?

Nick: This is them making up for it, yes. This does appear to be the best they could do, that's correct.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: I think it's disappointing, but maybe not surprising. How's that?

Leah: I mean, now we have new information.

Nick: We do have new information. We have a learning opportunity. So ...

Leah: I feel like we can be like, "Please don't make anything up to me again, because I just end up spending money and going to see a show that you wanted to see and I didn't when you're making something up to me."

Nick: Oh, it's so great.

Leah: My heart's still racing because I wasn't ready for you to already have the aftermath.

Nick: Oh, I have the aftermath.

Leah: Oh!

Nick: So our next question is quote, "There have been several times when I've been in a restroom of a big box store, and I'm in a stall and I hear a fellow customer or employee leave without washing their hands. I am tempted to yell from my stall, 'Come back here and do the right thing!' Especially if it's an employee, and it's a store in which food is sold. Ick! But you're kind of vulnerable sitting there. It's not like you can jump up and chase them. What can be done?"

Leah: I guess what can be done is when we bring everything home, we hand sanitize it.

Nick: Yeah. I wrote, "Nothing?" I mean, I don't know. What can you do? Like, what are your options?

Leah: And I definitely understand the urge to be like, "Come on!"

Nick: Yes. And to be clear, everyone should wash their hands. Let's just do that, everybody. Let's just wash our hands. And let's do, like, the whole birthday song twice if possible. I know that's a long time, but that is what's recommended. [laughs] But yeah, I mean, presumably the food that is being sold in the store, the employees that work in that area do wash their hands, you know, right before they start their work. So we can hope that there is some handwashing taking place at that time. So that's the fiction we can try and live with.

Leah: Yes, that there's a hand-washing station near where they're at, and for expediency they're using that one.

Nick: But I think we also should just go through our lives assuming that nobody washes their hands, and we just have to wash our hands. Like, every doorknob, every subway pole, like, it's just—you just gotta assume everything's dirty. And so you just gotta wash your own hands. And that's kind of the best you can do, right?

Leah: Yeah. I think that that's what we have to assume, because it's true. And, you know, I go through the day saying, "Don't touch your eyes." That's what I remind myself, because I've touched surfaces where people have not washed their hands, and I just go, "Don't touch your eyes, Leah. We'll get home, we'll wash our hands."

Nick: But your option's to say something through a stall door, which is, I think, hard to pull off, I guess. Like, what are you gonna do?

Leah: You would just have to scream.

Nick: Because also, the opportunity to say something is in that very narrow window where they've left the stall and you know they've passed the sink and are towards the door.

Leah: Yeah, you have to hear the door opening to know they're leaving. So you have ...

Nick: Right.

Leah: ... milliseconds.

Nick: So you'd have to yell, "Come back here!" while you hear the creak of the hinges, because before that you're being presumptuous.

Leah: You have to wait 'til the crime is committed for certain.

Nick: Yeah, we don't want to anticipate or assume a crime will happen until it happens.

Leah: So then you can't—you're not gonna have time to stand up, because you're presumably in the stall for a reason.

Nick: Right.

Leah: So you would just have to yell from a seated position.

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: And really give it—just breathe all the way into the diaphragm, because it's harder to be loud when you're sitting down. So then you're just screaming, which I think would feel in many ways ...

Nick: Good?

Leah: It would provide some satisfaction.

Nick: Yes.

Leah: Which I totally understand that. But ...

Nick: Unfortunately, etiquette is not always satisfying.

Leah: You can also clock their shoes, and then when you go back out on the floor, find them, look them in the eyes, look at their hands, and then look back at their eyes and do a head shake.

Nick: Oh, okay.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: I mean, if you can land that, that's not a hard no for me. Sure.

Leah: I don't not not clock people's shoes in the bathroom.

Nick: Yeah. I think that's definitely varsity level. I don't think everybody should attempt this, but yeah, I guess that would be—if you had to do something, just a dirty look.

Leah: But you have to look at their hands first to let them know what the reference is.

Nick: Yes. You have to convey, "I know your shoes, I know your hands. And I know those hands did not get cleaned." And you have to do all that with a look. So if you can do that, if you've got very advanced glance technique, then great.

Leah: [laughs] Advanced glance technique!

Nick: Yeah, AGT.

Leah: AGT! [laughs]

Nick: [laughs] If you got it, don't let that skill go to waste.

Leah: New hashtag.

Nick: AGT.

Leah: Unfortunately, it's already a hashtag: America's Got Talent.

Nick: Well, that would be a great talent. Oh, to go on that show and just glance?

Leah: It would be a great talent!

Nick: Oh, absolutely! You're gonna go to the finals.

Leah: [laughs] I would watch—that would be—I would be, "You gotta come see this person!"

Nick: Oh, my gosh!

Leah: Watch them glance.

Nick: Oh, yeah. Oh, phenomenal. Oh, I should enter. Is there good prize money?

Leah: I think you get, like—it's good prize money, but then also the whole world knows that you're the best glancer and you get to go on tour and, like, have a run in Vegas.

Nick: Oh, I want my sit down in Vegas where I glance for 90 minutes to audiences. Oh, that sounds great!

Leah: I'd watch it.

Nick: Absolutely captivating. So ...

Leah: I would buy my friend a ticket and pay for that friend, and not ask them to reimburse me.

Nick: Well good, because I don't discount my tickets. There's no discounted tickets to the Nick Leighton Advanced Glance Technique show.

Leah: Course not.

Nick: Of course not. Full price only.

Leah: Hashtag #AGT.

Nick: So do you have questions for us about glances or anything else? Please let us know. You can let us know through our website WereYouRaisedByWolves.com. Or you can send us a text message or leave us a voicemail: (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: I'm gonna vent.

Nick: Okay. What has happened?

Leah: This one actually feels more like gossip, so I feel slightly guilty about it.

Nick: Oh, I'm in. Bring it. [laughs]

Leah: So I—I take Lacey up into the canyons every morning.

Nick: Okay. Lacey is Leah's dog.

Leah: Yeah, I take Lacey Jane—full name—into the canyons. And I am a walker where I smile, I say hi to people. Blah blah blah. So this one lady I see all the time, she has multiple dogs. She's a big talker. If you're ever at, like a water—they have water stations. If you're ever at a water station with her—I know her whole life story, you know what I mean? So I'm gracious. We talk a little bit, blah blah blah. I see her regularly. So a few weeks ago I bump into her and she said, "I saw somebody else with your dog."

Nick: Oh, she's paying attention!

Leah: Paying attention.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: And I said, "Oh, yeah, that was my fiance." And then she says, "You two have very different personalities."

Nick: [gasps] Ooh!

Leah: So I don't like it. Whatever this is going, I'm not engaging with it. You're not talking to me this way.

Nick: Oh, yeah. Oh, I don't love where we're going with that, yeah.

Leah: I don't like where we're going with it.

Nick: No, definitely not.

Leah: It's absolute no-no, whatever is happening. I wanted to be like, "Oh, because he doesn't stand here and listen to you talk about nothing for 45 minutes?"

Nick: Yeah?

Leah: I didn't say that. I didn't engage. Of course, we have different personalities. We're two different people.

Nick: Yes, for sure.

Leah: Don't—don't talk to me about it. It's rude.

Nick: But also, why are we even commenting? And also ...

Leah: Why are we commenting?

Nick: There's no—there's no nice way to say that, I guess. So why are you even—like, why?

Leah: I don't like where it's going.

Nick: No. Or where it already has been. Yeah.

Leah: I don't like where it's been. I don't like where it's been. Thank you. So I—I ignore the comment, basically.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: She repeats it. as if she wants to have a conversation about—no, we're not. I say, "Oh, I gotta go." Or whatever it is. I leave. I leave with the dog.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: So then I run into her this past weekend.

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: She's standing there with other people who I don't know.

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: I haven't seen her in a while. I'm walking by. She says with the most accusatory voice.

Nick: Accusatory?

Leah: "It looks like your dog has lost weight."

Nick: [gasps]

Leah: Like I'm starving my dog. My dog that I'm out there every day, my dog that I have literally—my whole life is centered around this dog. I know my dog's weight. I fly with my dog. We go to the vet regularly. Lacey has lost no weight. I'm very up in her business. I just flew with her. I'm aware of her weight.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: And I—I was like, "I'm just gonna"—she's—everybody's now staring at me like I'm a—like a bad dog mom. Like, I'm wrapping her in cellophane and putting on a treadmill to get her under her fighting weight for another weight category. I don't know what's going on. So I go, "Oh"—and I haven't seen her in awhile, so I had just been playing. "Oh, no." And then she doubles down. "No, I'm sure she's lost weight." Oh, you're sure? Meanwhile, you know more than me? More than the vet, more than the airplane scale? Your—your ...

Nick: I mean ...

Leah: What is wrong with you?

Nick: Does she do that, like, carnival trick where she guesses people's weight for money, you know?

Leah: She must do that carnival thing along with the other carnival thing where you know more about people's business than they know about their business.

Nick: I mean, but even if your dog had lost weight, I think the rule about not commenting on people or dog's weight, I think that applies. I don't think we comment on other people's or other animals' weight. I think that is just like not a thing we do. We don't do that.

Leah: I came home, I was livid. And that's what I said first to Dustin. I was like, "She's talking about my dog's weight. Like, it's none of her business!"

Nick: No.

Leah: And then I was like, "And secondly, she doesn't know my dog better than I know my dog," you know what I mean? I'm wild about it.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: And first she wants to have a conversation about my fiance, now she wants to talk about my dog. You're not talking about my stuff. What's happening right now?

Nick: She's very interested.

Leah: She's so interested. And I want to be polite, but I—to the point where being polite with her seems to be like then you're allowed to ask me invasive questions which are none of your business.

Nick: Yes. This is somebody who has trouble with boundaries. So I think there's that.

Leah: I avoid the Leah—not—I'm not ...

Nick: Don't engage.

Leah: I don't like to participate in my own shaming. So I don't—I don't even respond. I'm not explaining to you that the dog hasn't lost weight. I'm not going back in to tell you all the reasons. I was like, "Whatever, dude." And then I just kept walking.

Nick: Yeah. So ...

Leah: I was like, "Oh, I gotta go!"

Nick: "Bye!"

Leah: "Great to see you. Bye!"

Nick: Horrible. Well, I'm sorry that happened.

Leah: Rude, right?

Nick: Totally. So for me, I would like to repent.

Leah: [gasps]

Nick: So here's what happened.

Leah: Nobody saw that coming.

Nick: [laughs] So as you know, my tastes run very high-low. Like, I will watch a documentary about moving a boulder across Los Angeles to be installed in an art museum—which PS: great documentary. It's called Levitated Mass. Check it out. But I will also gladly, enthusiastically be delighted to watch a trashy international dating show. And this is one of the things I have in common with Leah, because we both love a good international trashy dating show. And so we watch them separately, but then we text about it, like, all day long when we're watching these episodes. And so Leah and I were recently watching one of these internationally trashy dating shows, and for whatever reason I was, like, five episodes ahead because I think you were busy, and you were, like, not watching in real time with me. And that's okay because we're very careful about spoilers.

Leah: We really are.

Nick: Like, we're very mindful in our text messages to only reference things that we know the other person has seen. Like, "Oh my gosh, did you see that scene?" And like, "Wasn't that crazy when that happened?" So we're very good about that. So there was a moment where I sent you a screenshot of just like the title card of the episode. She was like, "Oh, I'm very excited it's happening. Like, who's gonna win?" And I sent this to you. And it was very late in the season, and what I did not realize when I sent this thing to you is that that image actually had the final six people in it, the final three couples.

Leah: Yes, it did.

Nick: And—oh, okay. So your tone suggests—okay. So ...

Leah: No my tone—I didn't think anything of it, but it totally did.

Nick: So here's—so here's the problem: I send you this thing, and now it's like, I did not realize until it went through that it was like, oh no, that is a spoiler. And I knew you were having a very busy day. And then we started texting about something else, so I knew that image was sort of like off the screen. And so now this was my choice: do I say something highlighting this image, making you look at it, and then having it totally register and knowing it's a spoiler? Or do I let it go, not say anything, and hope you didn't notice and now you're fine. This was my choice. And so the question is like, what was gonna be more mindful of your feelings? This was the etiquette dilemma I had.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So I decided to not say anything. I thought you probably didn't see it, or it didn't register, or it didn't hit your radar. And I thought that'll be better than deliberately calling it out. And so that's what I did. So now the question is: did I ruin it for you?

Leah: No, not at all.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: I love that the etiquette was at me. You are always so mindful.

Nick: Well, but etiquette crimes still happen when you're mindful.

Leah: But I saw the picture coming in, and I realized it was, like, the final thing. And so I eye-glazed it.

Nick: Oh, okay. Okay. So you knew that it was gonna be a potential spoiler, and you made sure that it didn't spoil it for you.

Leah: Yeah, I just didn't look. Because I know you didn't do it on purpose.

Nick: Okay. Okay. Interesting. So I guess an etiquette crime did happen because you realized that I did do it, but then you took steps to prevent the crime from actually taking effect. So I think this is a crime. A crime did happen.

Leah: But if we look at it that way, then I would say that if, say, the crime—in the middle of the—you have spent—you have gone out of your way for no spoilers for so long that we have all this money in the bank over here.

Nick: We do. But I did spend some money here. I think there was a withdrawal.

Leah: So it didn't even go into—because I—I was like, "Oh, we're excited da da da." And then I just—I looked at it the way I look at internet comments, where I go in there to get my information, but then I glaze it out so I can't really see it.

Nick: Okay. That is a well-honed skill.

Leah: So it doesn't go into my mind.

Nick: Sure. Okay.

Leah: I really didn't even look at it. I was like, "Oh, this is—I'm not there yet."

Nick: So okay. Well, I apologize that I still did it, and that you had to tap into your incredible skill of not looking at things to not have it affect your happiness. And I will definitely be more mindful of not letting that happen in the future.

Leah: Well, you've been so mindful.

Nick: But know that I was concerned that this happened. I wasn't sure what the right etiquette thing was. I used my training. I used all the tools in the toolbox that we talk about here, try to maximize mindfulness. And so that's what happened. So here we are.

Leah: I'm so shocked that it was for the repentance for me. You're always so ...

Nick: Thank you. But I think it's a good lesson that even I—even I commit etiquette crimes.

Leah: And I didn't—I really didn't look. I glazed it out.

Nick: Great.

Leah: But I will say that it is the couples that I would have guessed it was. [laughs]

Nick: [laughs] Okay. That's true. Yeah, it's kind of obvious this season.

Leah: And there's nobody I'd rather discuss it than with you.

Nick: Thank you. Likewise.


Nick: So Leah, what have we learned?

Leah: Well, I learned that Miss Manners is fruit shaming.

Nick: Right? Rude!

Leah: I'm surprised.

Nick: Rude, Judy.

Leah: I mean, are we surprised?

Nick: Rude!

Leah: [laughs] Rude, Judy.

Nick: And I learned that the Cheesecake Factory is your new favorite restaurant.

Leah: Oh, I love it. I can't wait to go back.

Nick: How delightful!

Leah: What a menu.

Nick: Well, thank you, Leah.

Leah: Thank you, Nick.

Nick: And thanks to you out there for listening. If I had your address, I'd take you a handwritten note on my custom stationery.

Leah: He would.

Nick: So for your homework this week, we want you to give us some aftermath inspiration. Have you heard a question on our show and you're like, "What happened there? How'd it work out?"

Leah: Do you ever wake up in the morning and one of the questions is just stuck in your noggin and you're like, "What's going on with that now?" Let us know!

Nick: Let us know, and we'll reach out to that person and we'll find out what was the aftermath.

Leah: Aftermath!

Nick: So please do that, and we'll see you next time.

Leah: Bye!

Nick: Bye!


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: I'd love to send out cordials of kindness out to the Nolan family, who sent Nick and I a children's book that had both puns in it and the importance of being grateful. It was like the perfect combo. And I loved it so much, I actually got it from my friend's kid.

Nick: Wasn't that nice? So thank you.

Leah: Thank you so much!

Nick: And for me, I want to read a nice review we just got, which is quote, "I just wanted to write and say how much I love your show. I began listening just two months ago. I went through a rough health phase and you guys kept me company. You are so enjoyable to listen to and hang out with, being the perfect balance of insightful, engaging and relaxing. You're courteous to each other and to us. I really identify with Leah's brand of overthinking as well as her love for marine mammals. Meanwhile, Nick's attention to detail has me inspired. I'm going to be a little sad when I catch up and can't binge several episodes in a row. Thank you both."

Leah: That is so nice.

Nick: I love that she called out your love of marine mammals.

Leah: I really do love them. You know, it's funny is that that review I actually sent to myself. I don't know if our listeners know this that I have, like, a little folder of things that I'm so grateful for, and when I'm feeling down or I have a hard day, I look through it. And I sent that one to myself to have in the folder.

Nick: So thank you for this. This is really sweet and makes her day.

Leah: So nice!