April 11, 2022

Enjoying Aperitivi, Behaving at Dog Parks, Gifting Towel Racks, and More

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle enjoying an aperitivo in Italy, behaving at dog parks, buying towel racks, and much more.

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Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle enjoying an aperitivo in Italy, behaving at dog parks, buying towel racks, 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



  • AMUSE-BOUCHE: Enjoying an Aperitivo
  • QUESTIONS FROM THE WILDERNESS: Should I buy my friends a towel rack? Should I say something in elevators when I'm only taking it two floors? What do I do about a friend who calls me but then is too busy to talk?
  • VENT OR REPENT: Watching TV shows alone, Talking aloud
  • CORDIALS OF KINDNESS:Southern hospitality, A nice review







Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema

Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton

Theme Music: Rob Paravonian



Episode 134


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Nick: Do you take too much food at the buffet? Do you ignore your dog at the dog park? Do you call people when you're too busy to talk? 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 I'm Leah Bonnema.

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

Leah: [singing] Let's get in it!

Nick: So for today's amuse-bouche, I want to talk about aperitivo. Do you know what this is?

Leah: Isn't that when I'm gonna go up top? I'm gonna go up top with a little drink?

Nick: [laughs] So this is Italian happy hour. But calling it "Italian happy hour" is kind of like calling the Grand Canyon, like, a hole the ground. It vastly understates the majesty of what this is. Because aperitivo is a drink that you would have between, like, work and dinner, but it is also a lifestyle, and it is also culturally very important in Italy, and it also includes food with the price of your drink. So it is like all of these things. And it's wonderful. And it's one of the things that I have never had to the same degree outside of Italy. Like, places in New York try to do aperitivo. It's not the same. We just can't have nice things here.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: I think that's just what it is. We can't have nice things. And so I really do love aperitivo. It's probably the main reason I'm ever interested in going to Italy. And if you're ever in the neighborhood of Italy, you should have aperitivo. So basically, it is a drink, and it comes with food. And the food ranges. It can be just very low key peanuts and potato chips at the bar all the way up to full buffet with pasta and focaccia and cheese and salads and sandwiches and pizza and, like, the whole works.

Leah: I like that second option a lot! [laughs]

Nick: Yeah. I mean, when aperitivo gets elaborate, it's real elaborate. And the idea of aperitivo is it's meant to just be like the nibbles you have to whet your appetite. It's not meant to be dinner. Although truth be told, a lot of people do just have it for dinner. And the tradition started in Northern Italy. Like, it probably started in Turin, and it probably started around the time vermouth was actually invented in the 1700s. And there was this guy, Antonio Benedetto Carpano, and he invented vermouth, modern day vermouth, because he thought it would be a more suitable beverage for ladies than the local red wines. [laughs] So—oh, Tony. Oh, Tony.

Leah: [laughs] Oh, Tony!

Nick: And so the idea of having a drink that sort of whets the appetite, this sort of became increasingly popular and is now found throughout Italy. And so here are some important things to know if you're gonna do aperitivo in Italy. It's 7:00 to 9:00. Maybe it'll start earlier at 6:00, but generally speaking, it's a 7:00 to 9:00 thing. And not every bar and restaurant does aperitivo, so you do need to ask. Like, "Oh, do you have aperitivo or not?" It's, like, not everywhere. And as I mentioned, the range is quite broad, and so it could just be €5 a drink—which does include access to some nibbles—all the way up to, like, €25 or €30.

Nick: And if it is a restaurant, you are expected to leave at the end of aperitivo if you're not staying for dinner. Italian people tend to eat late, like 8:00, 9:00 for dinner. So if the thing you're having aperitivo at is a restaurant and now they need the space for the restaurant part then, like, you gotta go. And in terms of what to drink, the classic drinks are gonna be things that are, like, on the drier side because the idea is to, like, not have something that's filling. So this is not like mudslides or pina coladas.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: This is traditionally like prosecco or vermouth on the rocks or Negroni. I love Cynar. That's like my go to. And PS, if you've never had Cynar, I highly recommend it if you're into Campari. So check that out. And you do not have to drink alcohol. That's not required at all, because the spirit of aperitivo is really getting together with friends and, like, hanging out. So the cocktail you're having is kind of incidental on some level. So you can just have a soda or a sparkling water or whatever. You do need to order a beverage though if you want the food part. You can't just, like, eat from the buffet if you have not ordered a beverage. The beverage part is key.

Nick: But what the beverage is? Totally up to you. And with the buffet, it's not really meant to be dinner. People do it—tourists and Italians— but you kind of want to be slightly slick about it. So if it is a buffet, you will take a fresh plate every time you go up, and don't load it up to make it obvious, like, that this is dinner. So, like, just take a reasonable amount of food that one would have if one was just nibbling, and you can just then keep going back. Sometimes the aperitivo isn't a buffet, they just bring you a platter of something and be like, "Oh, here is our aperitivo nibbles. This is the standard thing." There are typically not substitutions. So if you do have dietary restrictions, like, there's probably not gonna be any other options for you. You cannot ask for the gluten-free version of the focaccia sandwich. Like, it just is what it is. And if it is a buffet, it's not gonna be labeled. Like, rare is the buffet that has any labels about what anything is. So you do have to eat at your own risk if you have dietary restrictions. And then that's it. I mean, it's like the most wonderful thing.

Leah: Oh, it sounds so good. I want some—I want to have aperitivo right now.

Nick: And what I think I love about aperitivo the most is that it brings everybody together. Everybody in Italy, no matter who you are, where you come from, what you do for a living, everybody can enjoy aperitivo. It's just like this thing that unites Italy, which is one of the few things that I think all Italians can agree on, which is like aperitivo. Yeah, I think we could all agree on aperitivo.

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

Leah: Deep and ruff.

Nick: Oh, okay.

Leah: I already hate myself for that one.

Nick: So for today's question of etiquette, I want to talk about going to the dog park. So Leah is a recent dog parent, and we have talked about some etiquette crimes involving dog ownership recently, but we've never really dug into the dog park itself. So let's talk about it.

Leah: Let's talk. I've been to a bunch recently, so I've been trying out different kinds of dog parks.

Nick: Okay. So I imagine you've seen a lot of etiquette, good and bad. So what have you observed? What should people know when they're gonna go to a dog park?

Leah: So you're gonna go to a dog park. You're gonna keep your dog on leash until you get into the park. Like, in the parking lot or on the sidewalk, your dog is supposed to be on leash until you're into the park itself. And there's usually two gates. So you go into the first gate, you close it in case there's a dog coming out.

Nick: Right.

Leah: And then you unleash, and then you open the next gate that goes all the way in.

Nick: And I read that actually you want to make sure your dog is not on leash inside the park, because if you keep them on leash, that actually can create anxiety, because they'll actually feel trapped on the leash. And if there's a dog they want to get away from, they can't. And so that actually is not a good thing. So once they're in the dog park, you actually should have them off leash.

Leah: Yeah. No leash inside. Leash outside.

Nick: Right. Okay.

Leah: You should be paying attention to your dog. Like, sometimes there will be people there who drop their dog off and then kind of sit on the side and just get on their phones and aren't paying attention at all and their dog is a rebel rouser.

Nick: Hmm.

Leah: And you're like, "Hey, who's dog—whose dog is this knocking everybody over?"

Nick: Yeah, I guess it's kind of, I think, like going to a playground. You should keep an eye on your child.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: [laughs] The whole time. Like, don't tune out. Like, you should be mindful of what your dog is doing.

Leah: And if your dog does a number twosies, you gotta pick it up. It's not like a place to just leave ...

Nick: But I mean, do we need to say that?

Leah: Oh, yes we do.

Nick: I mean, are people not picking up after their dogs in the ...?

Leah: I've seen people not pick up number twosies in the dog park. I'll go pick it up because all these other dogs are gonna run right through it.

Nick: Yeah. Oh, that's super rude. Because also, I mean, is there no shame? Because you are being obviously monitored by all the other dog owners in the space. Like, do you have no shame? I guess you feel like you're anonymous. Like, "Whose dog was that? I don't know."

Leah: I don't know if people aren't paying—they're really not paying attention, or if they just think nobody saw it, or—I don't really get the mindset behind it. Or maybe they think, "Oh, this is like a dog park where people can come and drop off their dogs and there's no rules." I don't know. I don't know what's going on behind that. There's always a sign on the door.

Nick: Oh, but even if there wasn't a sign, I feel like, where is this place where you cannot clean up after your pet? Where in the world is this place?

Leah: I don't even know where that is. But I'm just—you know, sometimes you're like, "What are you thinking?"

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: And you can't even begin to guess. That's why I was trying to throw out some options.

Nick: Okay. And then what about, like, treats and toys?

Leah: Most of the places I've been, you can bring in balls.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: But we're not bringing in food.

Nick: Right. It feels a little provocative to give treats to dogs that are not yours.

Leah: And also, you're not supposed to bring in people food either.

Nick: Oh, because dogs might eat it?

Leah: I assume that's why.

Nick: Hmm.

Leah: I did recently have a lady—this is something I learned and I'll share the experience. There's always balls at dog parks that people have dropped, that have been left. And they're usually covered with mud. And dogs are still into it. But I brought a fresh one, and it was a slightly smaller ball because Lacey's a smaller dog. And I was throwing it, and this woman came up to me and said that she worried that bigger dogs would choke on a smaller ball.

Nick: Oh!

Leah: And would I mind not using it. And I said, "Oh, absolutely. No problem."

Nick: Okay. I mean, I think that was a polite way to handle that situation.

Leah: I did think it was funny that after that it ended up being her dog that was, like, knocking all the other dogs over. [laughs]

Nick: Of course.

Leah: And I was like, "Did we need to worry about?" But, you know, I recognize immediately that that could be a fear. And so moving forward, I would only bring bigger balls.

Nick: Okay. Yeah, that's a good note.

Leah: Some dog parks or dog areas have rules about whether or not dogs are spayed.

Nick: Oh, sure. That seems like a key detail.

Leah: And they assume that you obviously—the dog has to be older than four months.

Nick: Right. Yeah, I don't think we want to bring, like, newborn puppies.

Leah: And they obviously should have their rabies shots, among other things.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, I think we want to be mindful of the actual health of all the other dogs. So, like, making sure that your dog is up to date with their shots and making sure that they're not sick, and that they don't have something else that day.

Leah: I recently went to a park and this was such a treat. I met a friend there, and it's like a fancy dog park where you send in your vet records in advance. So you know that all the dogs there have all their shots, they're all spayed and neutered. And then it's like a membership place, but people can bring somebody. So we were the plus one.

Nick: Oh, so this was the Soho House of Dog Parks.

Leah: Yeah. [laughs]

Nick: Oh, wow!

Leah: And they have, quote-unquote, "Referees."

Nick: Okay.

Leah: So they're in the middle, like, watching all the dogs. So ...

Nick: These are, like, paid employees of the dog park?

Leah: Yes.

Nick: Where is this place?

Leah: This is in Santa Monica.

Nick: Does it come with canapes? What is happening?

Leah: [laughs] It comes with a coffee shop so you can sit there.

Nick: Oh, my goodness.

Leah: And the new dogs get a little orange bow, so everybody knows this is a new dog. And Lacey had the time of her life.

Nick: I mean, a bougie dog park like this? How could you not?

Leah: Oh, I loved it! I was like, "Can we live here?"

Nick: Is there valet parking?

Leah: There is Astroturf. I mean, it was fantastic.

Nick: Wow. Okay. I mean, it sounds like a nice resort for humans, too.

Leah: I know. I love it. I had a great time.

Nick: [laughs] Okay. Put an orange bow on you.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: And then I think maybe it's good to recognize that, like, the dog park's not for every dog. Like, not every dog is a dog park kind of dog.

Leah: You know, when we first got Lacey and she'd play with dogs, it takes a while to get used to—you know, they play and they know each other's limits, you know what I mean? They like to roll around. If you have a dog that doesn't know limits, that is a really heavy biter or, like, a deep, deep growler, or a step past likes to roll around with other dogs, you know, probably not appropriate to bring them to the dog park.

Nick: What I find interesting is that so much of this etiquette, it just applies to humans going to, like, a park in general.

Leah: [laughs] Yeah.

Nick: [laughs] Like, if you're a human at a park, yeah, you probably shouldn't be littering and not cleaning up after yourself. You probably should not bother other people in the park—bite them or growl at them. You probably should be mindful of everybody's space, and not giving people things they may choke on. Like, all of these things actually apply to everybody.

Leah: Great point.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, how universal is this?

Leah: And they all say—all the dog parks that I've been to say no unattended children.

Nick: Oh!

Leah: So I don't know if people are dropping their kids and their dogs off and leaving, but that's a no no.

Nick: Um, what? Yeah. Wait, so they're just like, "Oh, here's my toddler and my dog, and I'll be back in an hour."

Leah: [laughs] Yeah, I don't know where this is happening, but it's been at every dog park, so it must have happened somewhere.

Nick: Wow! I mean, yeah, don't do that.

Leah: Don't do that!

Nick: Don't do that. I mean, is that even etiquette? No.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: I think that's a different category.

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, "Our close friends don't have a hand towel rack in their guest bathroom. They just have a hand towel laying on the counter. They have a beautiful home with lots of decor and all the essential home items. Is it just me that I find this odd? I can't imagine not having a hand towel rack. My husband said we should gift them one, but that feels weird and hygienic to me. Thoughts?"

Leah: Why is it weird and hygienic to me? Why—why the word hygienic?

Nick: I don't think hygienic is the word I would use. I do think it's weird to gift somebody a hand towel rack, though, because basically what you're saying is "You are inadequate, and your home does not meet my needs. And here's something that you have to do and install—and I'm going to give you work—to make your home better for my needs." That's kind of what that says to me.

Leah: I definitely think you can't gift a towel rack.

Nick: Yeah. There's no way to do it in a nice, polite way which does not make them feel like, oh, your home is inadequate.

Leah: Because they've obviously made the decision not to have a towel rack.

Nick: Or they haven't really thought about it. It's possible they haven't really thought that it's necessary, but they're comfortable with the situation.

Leah: Yeah, and I think that's their home and we leave it as such.

Nick: Right. But I do get the idea of, like, oh, here's a wet towel that I just dried my hands on, and now I'm gonna wad up this towel and put it back on the counter where it will now continue to be wet because it's not air drying.

Leah: I understand that. I totally get that.

Nick: [laughs] Yeah. I mean, how wet is this thing? And is it really gonna dry that much more slowly on the counter than it would, like, hanging? I mean, maybe by some degree, probably not appreciably.

Leah: Regardless, we don't give them a ...

Nick: We do not, yeah. I mean, I guess one thing you could maybe do is you could say, like, "Oh, I dried my hands on the towel, would you like me to leave it on the counter, or is there a place you'd like me to hang it up?" I guess you could ask your host what you should do now with this towel that you've used. I think there's a world we could maybe ask.

Leah: I think that's totally fine, because if I was at, like, a close friend's house and I used their hand towel and it was on the sink, I'd be like, "Hey, I used your hand towel. I just put it back on the sink. Is that okay?"

Nick: Yeah. I think we could live in that world. And then they'd be like, "Yeah, it's fine." And then that's the end of it.

Leah: Yeah, if that's what they do, that's what they do.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, I don't know if I have seen a lot of people who do this. I feel like this is relatively unusual, though. I mean, I think you're right to find this odd.

Leah: I mean, it could be possible that that's their guest bathroom and the towel was just out for you.

Nick: Right. And that there's no towel rack in the room? Yeah. I mean, there isn't. Yeah.

Leah: Maybe they are just anti-towel racks.

Nick: Yes. These people don't believe in towel racks. That's their thing. That's their belief.

Leah: Or maybe there's no studs in the wall.

Nick: There's no studs. It's marshmallow.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: And so they just can't anchor anything into it.

Leah: I mean, there's a myriad of reasons, possibilities, we could say.

Nick: No, I think it just comes down to marshmallow.

Leah: [laughs] Marshmallow walls.

Nick: That's it. I mean, we've all been there.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So our next question is quote, "I live on the sixth floor of my building, and my parking spot is on the fourth floor. For security, there's a door between the fifth and sixth floors that's locked, so I can't take the stairs and I'm forced to take the elevator. Sometimes people give me dirty looks for taking the elevator only two flights of stairs. Is this rude? Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I assume that people who live on the 18th floor who also park on the fourth floor might not know this door is locked because they probably never take the stairs. Is there something I should say to these people to let them know that I'm being forced to take the elevator against my will? I know you're not a fan of talking in elevators, but these people make me so uncomfortable."

Leah: I understand the urge to want to explain oneself.

Nick: Yeah, I don't love having dirty looks.

Leah: But they're being rude. They have no idea. What if you couldn't go upstairs?

Nick: Yeah. I mean, there's a lot of reasons why people take elevators. Sure. And not all of these reasons are visible.

Leah: And it's none of their business.

Nick: Also that, yes.

Leah: So I don't think we explain anything to them.

Nick: So we just push the button and let them have death stares at the back of your neck, and that's the end of it. Is that—is that the advice?

Leah: That's what I think, is I think that these people are—it's rude of them to stare, because there's many reasons why people need to take the elevator.

Nick: And you know it's not just staring. There's probably a nice sigh that goes with it sometimes.

Leah: I think you should look back at them and lock direct eye contact in a way that says, "Do you want to say something to me?"

Nick: [laughs] As you're pushing the button.

Leah: As you're pushing the button. And then if they stare harder, before you get out, you press every single button between them and the 18th floor.

Nick: Oh, there you go! Yeah. I mean, it is true. I don't love talking in elevators. That is a true thing about myself. And so yeah, I don't think you need to have any conversation, but if you did want to say something because it just would make maybe the situation feel more comfortable, I think you could say as you're pushing the button, like, "I know. The door is locked on five. Have to take the elevator." Maybe you could do that.

Leah: I feel like if it would make you feel comfortable, then throw that out when you're pressing the button.

Nick: But you don't have to. And I think it's actually probably good to be able to accept death stares from people and not feel affected by it when they're not justified.

Leah: I've really been practicing working on that because it's them being rude. You don't have to explain yourself.

Nick: Right. Yeah. And that's a hard place to get to, but it's a good place to get to: being comfortable with other people staring at you mean. [laughs]

Leah: I'm working on it really hard. I have a relationship like that in this building right now, and I've really been working on being like, okay, this is where we're at. I'm not gonna work on this anymore.

Nick: Oh, with one of your neighbors? It's just like, you're in a good place where you're like, "He's not gonna like me."

Leah: And I'm not gonna work on it anymore.

Nick: I mean, what a breakthrough!

Leah: Huge breakthrough! So I think our elevator letter-writer can do it too, because you owe them nothing.

Nick: You do owe them zero.

Leah: And they're being rude.

Nick: Yeah. And also, by doing it this way, you're not talking in elevators, thus achieving what I'm looking for, which is a silent ride.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So our next question is quote, "I have a friend that calls while she's running errands, cooking dinner or replying to work email, and it's obvious that her attention is diverted. She often pauses to talk to someone else, or stops talking while she focuses on driving or her email. I've tried to drop hints like, 'Oh, it sounds like you're busy. I'll let you go.' But she is the one that initiates the calls. I know she's a busy mom with kids and has a full-time job, but I don't understand why someone would call a person if they weren't able to have a real conversation. I'm at the point where I only pick up one out of every five calls. I know I should just have a direct conversation explaining how I don't feel like she's valuing my time. Any ideas on the wording?"

Leah: I was excited to hear your ideas on the wording for this, because I've often said to people when they call and they're clearly in the middle of tons of things, I always say, "Oh, it sounds like you're super busy. Let me call you back later when we can focus." And then usually the person goes, "Yeah, yeah, yeah." So if you've already done that one ...

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: And they're like, "No, no, no, no, no." Then you have to do the next step.

Nick: Which is what?

Leah: I think you have to say, "I have trouble having a conversation when, you know, you're clearly in the middle of something else. So I'd love it if we could talk. I know you're super busy, but let's, like, carve out a time when we're both not doing something else that we can have, like, just friend time."

Nick: Yeah, I think that's the solution is to offer to schedule a time that you both will be free for a catch up. And maybe that's even a standing thing. You know, like, "Oh, let's just have a standing Sunday at three o'clock call," or whatever it is. But I have friends like this who I only hear from while they're in the car or, like, they're cooking dinner or they're doing something else. And I think a lot of people are just like, "Oh, I have a moment to catch up with Nick, so I'm gonna call now while I'm doing this other thing." So I think that's the spirit with which this is being done. I don't think this person who calls is trying to be rude.

Leah: Oh, I don't think so at all.

Nick: I think they're actually trying to catch up. And this is just like the time I have, and I'm just multitasking. Not doing a great job with it but, like, I'm trying to connect with you. I just happen to be doing other things.

Leah: Oh, I definitely think that's what this is. And I definitely have a lot of friends that call me mid because that's when they have time.

Nick: Right.

Leah: But I also—like, when they're driving. It doesn't bother me when people do that because I know they're squeezing me in. But if it bothers our letter-writer, then I think that's what they could say.

Nick: Yeah. So I think, yeah, we can just let it just go to voicemail, and you could listen to the voicemail and see how busy they sound. So, like, if you hear traffic in the background, or you hear email being typed or something while they're leaving a voicemail, you'd be like, "Oh, they're probably busy right now, so maybe I won't call them back right away."

Leah: I think a question for our letter-writer is: if our friend doesn't have sort of phone talk time at this point in her life, like, she's got the kids, she's got the job, she's running around. Would we want to do no talk time if that meant that ...

Nick: Oh, that's a good question!

Leah: Because it's possible that this is the best she has right now.

Nick: Right. Do we want perfect be the enemy of good?

Leah: And I do understand that it's you're also busy.

Nick: Right.

Leah: And so you feel like your time is not being valued. But this may be the most she can do right now.

Nick: Yeah, I think that's an important consideration. Like, is this time as good as it is right now? And if you want to stay connected, like, this is just what it is. This is just the caliber of the communication we're gonna have. We're not gonna be able to have the focused 45-minute, no distraction, catch up conversation. Like, that just is not gonna exist. And so is it all or nothing for you? Or can you accept something less?

Leah: And then you could also be like, "You know what? I just want to hear her voice. I'm gonna do a quick catch up. I know she's always busy and I—personally, it bothers me. So I'm just gonna hop in for, like, a five-minute and then be like, 'I gotta go.'"

Nick: And I know when I have friends who call me and they're clearly doing something else, I'll also multitask. Like, I'll keep checking email, I'll keep doing what I'm doing. Like, if you're not gonna give me your full attention, like, I can also not give you my full attention. I got plenty of other things to do around the house. So that's also a strategy. We can all be distracted.

Leah: [laughs] Yeah. "Oh, they're calling. This is a great time for me to do my dishes."

Nick: Right. So I think you have a lot of good options. But if you wanted to have a polite yet direct conversation, that's always a good etiquette option.

Leah: An option that's not even is instead of having conversations, you just leave each other voice audio texts, which is—Nick knows I love these.

Nick: Oh, that's a fun idea. Yeah. So we're communicating back and forth, but just not in real time. That's not a bad idea.

Leah: And it's not texting, so you can hear each other's voices.

Nick: Right.

Leah: And it's when people have time.

Nick: Oh, that's a nice option. Oh, I like that. Okay. Well, letter-writer, we've given you lots of options, so let us know how it goes.

Leah: Yeah, keep us posted. Maybe leave us a voice text.

Nick: Ooh, love that! And you can leave us a voice text or a regular text, (267) CALL-RBW, or visit our website, WereYouRaisedByWolves.com where you can send us an email.

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 repent this week.

Nick: Oh, wow!

Leah: [laughs] So my fiance and I have shows that we only watch together.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: And when one of us is on the road, we wait to watch them until the other one comes home.

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: And I ...

Nick: I see where this is going.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: [laughs]

Leah: I recently made the executive decision that I was gonna finish out an episode prior to his return.

Nick: So you knew you were doing a bad thing.

Leah: And I did it anyway. [laughs]

Nick: Wow! Okay. Wow. I mean, that's premeditated.

Leah: [laughs] It's premeditated. It's like an impulse control problem.

Nick: Okay. I mean, doesn't make it right. So ...

Leah: I know. That's why I'm repenting.

Nick: So what do we do about it now? Have we apologized? Have we made things right? Have we sworn it'll never happen again? What's the aftermath?

Leah: I'm not gonna swear it'll never happen again. This isn't the first time I've done it.

Nick: [laughs] Okay.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: Well, I don't know if I'm gonna give you a pass then.

Leah: I am going to apologize.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: I haven't apologized yet because I'm telling you guys first.

Nick: Oh, okay. Well, I think you know what you need to do next.

Leah: I'm going to apologize. And obviously, I'll watch it again. I'm gonna say, "Hey, I'm happy to watch it again, and I'm gonna react as if I've never seen it."

Nick: Oh, that's not sincere.

Leah: I know, but I'm gonna tell him. I'm gonna—you know what I mean? I'm not gonna give anything away. I'm not gonna ...

Nick: No.

Leah: I'm gonna just be like, "Oh!" You know? That's what I mean. I'm obviously gonna tell him I did it. I'm not gonna just watch it and pretend I didn't.

Nick: Okay. Yeah. I mean, I think you do have to fess up.

Leah: I'm gonna fess up and then I'm gonna apologize.

Nick: Okay. That's the best you can do.

Leah: That's the best I can do. I did it. It's over.

Nick: Ideally, you'd never let it happen again, but I'm not gonna get that assurance from you, I see.

Leah: I'm gonna actively try not to let it happen again.

Nick: I mean, do or do not. There is no try.

Leah: Yes! Thank you for making a Star Wars reference.

Nick: [laughs]

Leah: I was just about to say, in the same genre, the only other time I did this was with Battlestar Galactica, and ...

Nick: Oh, okay. Oh, those last seasons, though, weren't very good.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So it doesn't really matter. I'll give you a pass on that. So for me, I would like to vent. And so two sort of related vents, I think. Both are, like, light but interconnected somehow. So the first is I was at a coffee shop with my laptop, and I was working away. And the person at the next table was also on their laptop, and for whatever reason they decided to basically dictate out loud as they were typing.

Leah: No!

Nick: Everything. Everything! It was all spoken: every email, just everything. And that's real distracting. Like, that's really distracting to basically verbalize everything you're typing as you're going along. So I did have to cut it short. I was like, I can't stay here. And then relatedly, at the gym there is this trainer who is often there with clients when I'm there, and he counts so loud for his clients, one to ten. You know, he's counting the reps. And it's aggressive, and I'm pretty sure his clients know how to count to 10. And it doesn't feel like it's adding anything. It's not, like, motivating somehow, like, "Oh, one more rep, you could do it!" It's, like, not that. It's literally just like, "One, two, three." But it's so loud. I mean, 20 feet away, it's like he's right up to you. And that's also very distracting. So I feel like the theme for both of these is, like, be mindful of people around you and how your behavior might affect them, and whether or not the volume of your voice or whether or not you should be saying anything is necessary. Like, is that required? And if it's not, well, then don't.

Leah: [laughs] I love, "Well, then don't." Put that on a pillow.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: "Then don't."

Nick: "Then don't." Yeah, let's not. So ...

Leah: Let's not do that.

Nick: Yeah, let's maybe not.

Leah: Ear space.

Nick: Yeah. It was just like, oh, just my psychic space is just constantly being invaded. And in New York City, it's hard enough to, like, block it all out.

Leah: It really is.

Nick: And so when you have those brief moments of, like, solitude, which we all crave, and it's just sort of imploded unnecessarily, it's just particularly maddening.

Leah: Did you give the person dictating a Nick look?

Nick: I mean, I probably did because those are very involuntary.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So hard to say what kind of look I had as I closed my laptop and left.

Leah: Or you start dictating onto your computer and then it's like a dictation off.

Nick: Oh yeah, that's good. Like, "Hey, Leah. I'm at a coffee shop, and the person next to me keeps speaking out loud as they are texting. Isn't that terrible? We should talk about this on our show." Smiley face emoji.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: [laughs] Yeah. I mean, I'll definitely try that next time. This is definitely gonna happen again somehow, somewhere. So now I'm prepared.

Leah: I love how I have all these ideas of things I would absolutely never do. I would just be like, "Oh, I'm just gonna put on my earphones."

Nick: Well, you know, the fantasy is fun.

Leah: It is!

Nick: So Leah, what have we learned?

Leah: I learned that with an aperitivo I'm gonna get a little nibble, and the nibbles could range from a little nibble all the way up to a buffet.

Nick: And it's wonderful. And I learned that you're gonna pick up after anybody and everybody.

Leah: [laughs] If something happens in that dog park, I'm there. I'm gonna pick it up.

Nick: I mean, is it just limited to dog parks? Who can say?

Leah: Who can say?

Nick: Well, thank you, Leah.

Leah: Thank you, Nick.

Nick: And thanks to you out there for listening. I'd send you a handwritten note on my custom stationery if I could.

Leah: He would!

Nick: So for your homework this week, I want you to follow us on Instagram. It's a party over there. We got cute videos, cute quotes. My friend Val does amazing illustrations for us.

Leah: These illustrations are so phenomenal. I love them.

Nick: So you want to see them. So check that out. 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: So a few years ago, I was at a festival, and I met the owners of this theater, Theatre 99 in Charleston and—Brandy and Greg. And they had said if I was ever gonna do a long-form piece, I could contact them and I could run it at their theater. And I'm working on an hour, and I emailed them out of the blue—it's been years—and I was like, "Hey guys, I'm working on this thing. May I come?" And they were like, "Leah, get on over here!" And honestly, I'm so excited, I'm so delighted and I'm so grateful for their support of the arts.

Nick: That's amazing! And for me, we got a lovely note from one of our Patreon members, which is quote, "Thanks to both of you for what you are doing. Since I've started listening to the podcast, I found myself using things I learn from you on a daily basis. From Leah, I find myself saying things like, 'It was an absolute joy to have you join my class." From Nick, I find myself speaking with much more confidence and poise. I'll never have Nick's mastery of the English language and quick wit, but we can all have goals. So thank you both. Your podcast is amazing, and I'm so glad to have found it."

Leah: That is so sweet and wonderful!

Nick: I mean, I'll take those compliments. So thank you. That's very nice.