Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle enjoying Tuscan bread, handling difficult bridesmaids, blocking the boarding process at airports, and much more.
Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle enjoying Tuscan bread, handling difficult bridesmaids, blocking the boarding process at airports, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we could.)
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Nick: Do you complain about the bread in Tuscany? Do you not read the book for your book club? Do you damage things that you borrow? Were you raised by wolves? Let's find out!
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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] Here we go!
Nick: So for today's amuse-bouche, I want to take you to San Gimignano. It's a little hill town in Tuscany, and they have all these little towers, and it looks like a medieval Manhattan—or that's actually what the tour guides say when you go. Have you ever been?
Nick: Do you know what I'm talking about? Can you picture it?
Leah: I can picture it.
Nick: Yeah. Basically, you had people in the Middle Ages who were wealthy, and they built very high towers to show just how wealthy they were. And they wanted to build towers that were higher than the other wealthy people, so it just became this competition to see who could build higher towers. And honestly, if I was wealthy in the Middle Ages, would you not want to keep a low profile?
Nick: Like, why do you gotta show off? Right? Also, in a small town, do you think people don't know how much money you have? Do you think it's not gossipy where they're like, "Oh, we didn't know that the Rossis had that much money." Like, of course everybody knows your business. Like, did you have to build a tower? Anyway, so we're in San Gimignano, and I want to take you to dinner. And so now we're at dinner, and there's a basket of bread. And Leah, would you like some bread?
Leah: I can't eat bread.
Nick: Oh, that's true! Oh, what a good point!
Leah: But for the purpose of this amuse-bouche ...
Nick: [laughs] I forgot about this. Oh, well. Never mind. End of the episode. Bye! Roll credits.
Nick: Okay. For the purpose of this fantasy trip to Italy I'm taking you on, Leah? Would you like some bread?
Leah: I would love—I would love some bread. I mean, that is true.
Nick: Okay, great. Leah, have some of this bread—Pane Toscano. What do you notice about this bread?
Leah: I notice that this bread is beautiful.
Nick: Uh-huh. Okay. It's beautiful bread. Taste it. How does it taste?
Leah: Oh, it tastes like a stomach ache! No, I—it tastes like medieval Manhattan. What did you say? It tastes like the Tower of Pisa.
Nick: No, no. It does not taste like these things.
Leah: It tastes like the Tuscan—alive under the Tuscan stars.
Nick: So this amuse-bouche falls into the category of things that exist in the world that I want you to know about.
Leah: [laughs] Okay.
Nick: And so Pane Toscano is one of those things. And it's called different things in other regions, but in Tuscany, this is a name that is often used. And the distinctive quality it has is that it does not have salt, and so it is incredibly bland. And many people are very surprised by this, and don't find it delicious and are caught off guard. And I've heard from a lot of people who are like, "Oh, Tuscany was beautiful, but the bread? What is up with the bread?" And so this is what's up with the bread. So there's a lot of explanations for why this has happened in history. Why does the bread in this region—which is very wide, it's actually not just Tuscany. It extends east all the way to the Adriatic through central Italy. And so there's many origin stories for why this bread does not have salt and why it tastes like this.
Nick: And so one theory is just that Tuscan food is so flavorful that it doesn't need salted bread. It just doesn't need it. But then the other argument you hear is that, oh, Tuscan food has to be so flavorful because their bread doesn't have any flavor. So I don't know about that. Another theory, which is probably a little more reasonable, is that back in the Middle Ages, salt was just hard to come by, and it was just heavily taxed. And so most of the people in the region were quite poor and just couldn't afford it. So they're like, "We're just not gonna put salt in our stuff."
Nick: And then relatedly, there is the idea that if you don't put salt in bread, it actually lasts longer. It just sort of dries out and goes stale before it molds. And so it actually is sort of useful to not have salt in bread because you can just, like, keep it around longer. But my favorite theory is that it has to do with Pisa. And so Pisa is a city, very famous for the tower, and it's in Tuscany. And for many years it was a huge rival to Florence. In fact, the idea that Italy is one country is relatively new. That actually is 1861. That's the same year Lincoln got inaugurated. The idea of Italy as a country is a very new concept. Up until that point, there was a lot of different power centers happening, and the rivalry between Florence and Pisa is just legendary.
Nick: And they were always battling. And one story goes that in one of those battles, the people in Pisa decided to block a shipment of salt that was destined for Florence. And instead of giving in and giving those people from Pisa the satisfaction, the people in Florence were just like, "No, we don't need your salt. We'll just make bread without it." And it stuck. And I don't know about that theory, because the unsalted bread thing is not just a Florence thing, it's like a Tuscany thing. But I really like that theory, so I kind of want to go with that. And I hope it's true because I love any theory based on spite.
Leah: [laughs] I know. I was like, "I love this theory. It's very petty." And ...
Nick: Yeah. I love a petty theory. I mean, how wonderful. So it's probably not true, but you do hear this as an explanation for why the bread doesn't have salt. But then the question is okay, salt was once very expensive for whatever reason. Today, salt is not that expensive. Like, we can afford salt. Like, we could put it in the bread. Let's just change the recipe. But at this point, Tuscan cuisine has grown in a symbiotic relationship with the bread, and the cuisine is built around the bread not having salt. And it's sort of inherent, and you couldn't actually have Tuscan cuisine without the bread being the way it is. Like, there's famous Tuscan dishes like ribollita, which is like a Tuscan soup, or panzanella, which is like a Tuscan bread salad. These need the bread. You cannot make these things without this Tuscan bread. And so it kind of now is just a thing.
Leah: So cool. And delicious, I assume.
Nick: And an interesting thing I came across is that Dante, who is a famous Tuscan—he wrote The Divine Comedy—he actually writes about the bread in Paradiso in that he was actually exiled from Florence—very long story. But one of the things that he noted when he was in exile was that one of the punishments of exile was that he had to eat bread that was salty.
Nick: And so it's kind of interesting that, like, oh, this idea of Tuscan bread has really been celebrated for quite a long time.
Leah: Really cool!
Nick: Now, I'm a little disappointed in you, Leah, though, that you didn't use the phrase "take that with a grain of salt ..."
Nick: ... about any of these theories. I really feel like you missed an opportunity with that.
Leah: Me too. I'm actually gonna wake up in the middle of the night and bang my head against the wall. How could I not? Honestly, it's because I was so lost in the stories that I wasn't even thinking ahead for the next thing I should say. Can I think of another pun? We really need a pun here. I hope I can rise to the occasion.
Nick: [laughs] Okay. I'm sorry I brought this up.
Nick: You're toast.
Nick: And we're back. And now it's time to go deep.
Leah: Deep and turning those pages.
Nick: So for today's question of etiquette, I want to talk about book clubs.
Leah: I message back and forth with a lot of our listeners about books, so I feel like this is a hot topic for our—for at least some of the listeners that I've been talking to.
Nick: And are you actually in any book clubs yourself right now?
Leah: I'm not currently in a book club.
Nick: What is holding you back?
Leah: What is holding you back?
Nick: For me, committing to an entire book is a little tricky with my current work/life balance. I mean, I can barely keep up with my magazine club. Have we talked about Magazine Club?
Leah: I think you've told me personally, but I do not believe that you have shared it with our Were You Raised by Wolves? fam.
Nick: Okay. Well, I have a magazine club, which is like a book club, but instead of books we pick magazines. And so each time I pick a different theme of magazines, so we've done international tabloids or regional food magazines or animal magazines. And everybody brings a different magazine in that theme, and then brings a cocktail or an hors d'oeuvre based on something inspired by the magazine. And then we kind of present about our magazines, and then a good time is had by all. So, like, for the animal one we just did, I found Donkey Talk Magazine, which is the talk of the donkey world. And what a great magazine that is. So that is my contribution to the literary space. But I would love to be part of a book club if I had a little more time. So hopefully my life will allow for this at some point in the near future.
Leah: I do have—it's not the same, but I have a group of friends who we all read the same series, and when the new one comes out, we contact each other. "Oh, did you get it? Did you get it? Where are you at? What did you think? What do you think in comparison to the last one?" But it's not an organized club. It's just a shared love of the same books that we regularly touch base about.
Nick: Right. So when it comes to an organized club like, "Oh, Thursday, we're meeting at somebody's house to talk about this book we've all agreed on," this is tricky. And we get a lot of letters from our listeners where things go down at a book club, where things don't go quite according to plan.
Leah: Nefarious things go down.
Nick: And so the number one issue we hear about book clubs is somebody in the book club has now invited another person to join, and that person turns out to be a nightmare and now we can't get rid of them.
Leah: Oh, I'm so stressed!
Nick: And this, I believe, we have received—I actually don't know how many times we've received this scenario. This comes up quite a lot. Like, this is not uncommon. And this appears to be the worst thing that does happen in these book clubs because, like, what are you gonna do with this? What do you do with this?
Leah: Yeah. And they, like, take over and they make it not fun.
Nick: Right. They take over. They're not gelling with the group. Somebody doesn't like them. And they just decide that we're just gonna keep showing up every time now. And it's like, what happened to our book club? And then the book club ends up just sort of dissolving.
Leah: And then you have to restart it on the side without that person and without the person that invited that person. And it's so uncomfortable for everybody.
Nick: Right. And so the rule is—or should be—if you're part of a book club, you cannot bring in outside people without asking the current members first. I think that's a key first step. Like, we do need the buy-in of the group. And if there's gonna be an outside person, I think it has to be done with the expectation that this is a one off. You're only joining for this book. This does not mean you are in permanently. We're only offering a guest spot for you. And that hopefully will give you the ability to, like, screen.
Leah: And unfortunately, I feel like it often comes up because it's already happened, and then you're like, "What do we do?"
Nick: Oh, yeah. Once the horse has left the barn, it's really hard to fix this. I mean, usually the person that's responsible for this damage, the person that issued the invitation, has to be the one to clean it up. But sometimes they don't think there's a problem. They like this person. This is a friend of theirs.
Leah: They're like, "It's so fun that they interrupt everybody and talk over everything. Stop! I love it!"
Nick: So related to that, I think another key thing is you've gotta have somebody as the moderator. You've gotta have somebody who's gonna, like, take charge. Everybody agrees that they take charge. They're the ones that's gonna moderate. They'll cut people off. They'll try and keep things on topic. I mean, I think that's a key role that somebody needs to have, either the same person every time or you've gotta rotate.
Leah: And this is a feeling—I love how I put this at the top of mine, even though it's like we don't want to make other people feel stupid.
Leah: So sentences like, "You haven't read Paradise Lost?"
Nick: [laughs] Okay.
Leah: I see people do this all the time in conversation. "You never read that?" Yeah, they obviously didn't read it. You don't need to say it that way. Do you know what I mean? It's ...
Leah: I don't think people realize they're doing it. They're just like, "Oh, I didn't realize you hadn't." But it comes out as like, "You're stupid." That's how that comes out.
Nick: Oh, I mean, I think sometimes they—they intend it in that way.
Leah: Oh, I would—I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that they weren't that rude. Or if, like, the book is like a huge metaphor or you're taking something away from it, and then somebody read it in a certain way and you disagree with that, I don't think you need to say "That's not what it is."
Leah: I think you can say, "My takeaway was blankety blank blank." Like, we don't need to make anybody feel bad for where they are in their literature journey.
Nick: Yeah, that actually is probably the most important thing is that everybody needs to be respectful at the end of the day. I mean, that just is a sort of basic respect.
Leah: And to me, that was the most important. It's even more important to me than if you read the book or not is speak to each other nicely.
Nick: And I think you should have at least started the book. I don't think we want to show up to book club not having cracked the spine.
Leah: Yeah, we have to start it. And don't say "Don't spoil it for me. I haven't finished." You were supposed to have finished, so that's on you.
Nick: Yeah, that's true. Yeah, you can't demand that we can't talk about the ending because you didn't quite get there.
Nick: Right. "Did he get the whale? Don't—don't tell me. Don't want to know."
Leah: My first year of comedy I used to do a joke, and the punchline was "Ahab a joke in here somewhere."
Nick: [laughs] How'd that do?
Leah: Never did well, but I loved it.
Nick: That's so weird.
Leah: [laughs] I loved it.
Nick: I mean, you've gotta believe in your comedy, but the audience is always right.
Leah: I also tried to do puns this weekend and nobody was into it. And I was like, "I will work these in at some point in my life."
Nick: You gotta workshop it somehow, but it's called real time feedback.
Nick: So yes, I think if you have not finished the book, you cannot make unreasonable demands of the rest of the group. But I think if you haven't finished, I think that's okay. You can still attend if you have something to participate. You know, you've gotta participate in the book club. So if you've read enough or you have thoughts or you can join in the conversation in some extent, then I think that's okay.
Leah: I also think that if you feel completely useless in joining the conversation, just bring a nice snack. You know, this is the thing people want to do: to have a group thing to talk about, to be together, to spend time together. And so you just started it, you really want to go. Bring a good snack.
Nick: Yeah. And I think the style of book club you're in, I think needs to kind of be determined. Because there's a lot of different styles. Some people may want a very literary, collegiate, sort of salon discussion. Some people might want more of a Chablis direction, and more of that kind of social aspect.
Leah: [laughs] A Chablis direction!
Nick: So, you know—and all directions are fine, but you just want to be part of a book club that's, like, on your page, and is sort of like doing the types of books you want to do, and is the type of group you want to be in. Because you don't want to be in a book club that's doing all Agatha Christie novels if you're into, like, fantasy, you know? So you just need to make sure it's like the right fit for you.
Leah: And I want to say I would be in either one of those book clubs: Agatha Christie or fantasy.
Nick: Right. For me, actually, I'm not into fiction. I would rather have a non-fiction book club. And so ...
Leah: Of course you would.
Nick: Of course. And that's why I like magazine clubs, because typically magazines are not fiction.
Leah: I'm looking up the Donkey Talks. That's phenomenal. I mean, who knew that was out there?
Nick: I mean, it's hard to get. Yeah, it's not on your local newsstand, but it was obtainable at the time. Who knows if they're still around?
Nick: But yes, I think the key is to find the right fit, because I think that's a big problem with the book clubs is that the type of books that are being selected are just, like, not what you're interested in reading, and then you lose interest. And then if enough people lose interest then it dissolves. And then what have we done?
Leah: What have we done?
Nick: What have we done?
Leah: And then I think just scheduling procedure-wise, you know, we don't want one person to feel like they always end up hosting, they always end up making all the snacks.
Leah: We want to break all that up evenly, and just have a direct conversation about who's doing what. Does it change every time? Just in the front so everybody knows what to expect, and everybody feels like they have a fair share part.
Nick: Yes. And I think if everybody does take turns hosting, it's nice if the host does the host-y things, but if it's always at one person's house because for whatever reason: it's the most geographically central or it's the biggest or whatever, and they're hosting every time, then their host responsibilities do need to get shared with the group.
Nick: You cannot expect that person to be providing the snacks and beverages for everybody every time. So just know that, like, there has to be some consideration for that.
Leah: And then I think just if we're at a person's house—and we've gotten so many letters about this, where there was an event and then people won't leave.
Nick: Mmm. Gotta leave.
Leah: Book club is at nighttime. Probably the person who lives there needs to get ready for bed.
Leah: It's not a sleepover unless otherwise discussed.
Nick: Yeah, that's a really good point that yeah, you gotta get out of my house at some point.
Leah: I do think—but this goes with your conversation about know the kind of book club you want to be in, and there are some people that want to talk about the book, and then there are some people that want to use it as an occasion to talk about other things.
Leah: Both are fine, but be in the place that that's the place for that.
Nick: Right. Yes. Know which group you're in and which group you want. Yes.
Nick: Oh, that's good life advice for a lot of things.
Leah: Yes. [laughs]
Nick: Yeah. Oh, it's universal.
Nick: And we're back. And now it's time to take some questions from you all in wilderness.
Nick: So our first question is quote, "My very best friend is caring and giving, but we have very different expectations for how we take care of our tangible belongings. In the past, I've lent this friend small things like clothes and coolers, and those are simply gone with the wind. I don't even ask. I've also lent her bigger things like a 10-by-10 sun cover for her to use out by the pool with her son. It was ruined when it wasn't staked down and got blown away down a hill. Although she replaced it, she did so with a cheaper version. I later lent her a folding table for a barbecue, and afterwards it was left out in her yard and in the rain for weeks and returned to me covered in rust. Then recently, I lent her a DJ-quality speaker we purchased for our wedding. I needed it back for a party I was hosting. She returned it when she arrived at the party, but it was completely uncharged and the power cord was missing, so we were unable to use it for the party.
Nick: "Now for the same party, we purchased two large party tents like big carports. And at the party she said, "I'm so excited you bought these. I'm definitely going to borrow them for our next party." But I don't want to lend them to her. They have many pieces, and they fit in the storage box very particularly. Maybe they won't be ruined, but I know they won't be put away neatly, or things will get tattered and lost when she disassembles them. I know I just won't get them back in the condition I lent them in, if I get them back at all. What do you say when you can't trust one of your closest friends with your belongings? What do I say when she asks to use the carports? I don't think any less of her for just not caring so much about physical belongings because she's one of the most loving people that I know. I don't want to hurt her feelings, but I can't help but feel that I'm sacrificing my nice things when I let her use them."
Nick: I feel this.
Leah: Me too. I feel this because our letter-writer is like—our letter writer obviously loves their friend and loves their friend exactly as they are, knowing that this is not their skill set, they have all these other wonderful qualities.
Leah: But you don't want to constantly have your stuff come back 50 percent of what it went out.
Nick: Right. And you're not even putting any judgment on that. It seems our letter-writer is really like, "This is just who they are, but I would just rather not have that happen to my stuff constantly."
Nick: Yeah, I would not be thrilled if I needed my speaker back for my party that I'm having, and you bring it back and I can't use it because you didn't bring the power cord. Like, I would have a hard time doing that without judgment. Like, this is a very kind letter-writer.
Leah: A very kind letter-writer.
Nick: They really just accept this friend for where they are. Yeah.
Leah: And that's why I very much believe that I think you could just have a conversation with them, because you obviously love them so much, and just be like, "Hey ..."
Nick: "I can't let you borrow the carports because I like them and you'll ruin them."
Leah: But in different words.
Nick: Right. Different words, but that's the message.
Leah: I think you could start with—and I think we've talked about this before, when I used to be a manager for this—I used to be a supervisor for this calling center, I would compliment people up top, punch it in the middle, close it out with a compliment.
Leah: I think with this one we start off, "I love you. You're such a great friend. I can't let you borrow my stuff." Or I love you. You're such a great friend. I feel like you're so caring and full of love, but often when I lend you things, they don't come back, or when they come back they weren't the same as when you bought them."
Leah: I mean, it's gonna be a hard conversation, but it seems like this person is not going to change. The idea that when they showed up without the speaker charged on the day of the thing without a plug.
Nick: Or leaving out a table in the rain and then it gets rusty? I mean, that's not great either.
Leah: I mean, what's going—you know, I just—they must get it.
Nick: I mean, I don't think this is nefarious. I don't think we are intentionally trying to do any of this. But yeah, I think it is just like we have a different sense of relationship to objets. We just don't have that consciousness.
Leah: We could try—and I don't know financially how much carports are, but we could say, "I actually want to buy you your own carports."
Nick: Mmm. Okay.
Leah: As a gift, because for wherever the party is, maybe it's like a birthday. "For your birthday, I'm gonna buy you carports." And then in there you could slip in, "I want to stop lending things out because I haven't been getting them back in their full—the full way they went out, and then—so I would rather just buy you one as a gift."
Nick: Okay. Although we cannot now buy them everything that they want to borrow from us. [laughs]
Leah: No, but maybe that will be the chance for them to realize, "Oh, I'm a bad borrower."
Nick: Sure. Yes, I don't think they have the realization that this is what is happening, so I think a polite-yet-direct conversation where we bring this up is necessary. Does it need to be paired with a gift? I don't know.
Leah: I'm just throwing ideas against the wall.
Nick: Yeah. No, that's true. Yeah, just whiteboarding. I guess the question is: should this conversation be paired with a request? So should we wait until there is the request for the carport to say no? Or would we want to do it sort of more in the blue, I guess, just like a "Hey, let's just have lunch and, like, oh, by the way, here's something that's been on my mind." What do you think is better?
Leah: I would wait until they asked.
Nick: Yeah, I guess that's probably better. Yeah. So yeah, this is tricky. This is a tricky one.
Leah: It's tricky, but you're lovely and I really think that it's just pull that Band-Aid off and then close it out with a "But I love you. I can't let you do this. I can't keep doing this." You get it. She gets it.
Nick: Yeah, that's true. Yeah, she knows. She knows.
Leah: And then be like, "I love you for who you are, but I can't keep lending you stuff because then I gotta go buy new stuff. But I love you." And then it's done. It's out.
Nick: Right. And I think the anticipation of that conversation is gonna feel worse than actually just doing the conversation.
Leah: Yeah, I think so too.
Nick: So let us know how it goes.
Nick: So our next question is quote, "I was just in my best friend's wedding and was her maid of honor. Her sister—let's call her Lisa—and I haven't really been friends over the years, but have always been cordial and respectful towards each other until my best friend named me her maid of honor. Aside from the snide comments at the bridal shower I hosted, the bachelorette party I threw, or the other outings for planning that Lisa was invited to and didn't have to pay a cent for, what she did on the day of the wedding will probably not leave my mind for a very long time. While we were at the buffet to get our food and while the bride was preoccupied, Lisa 'pretended' to trip over a rock and 'accidentally' quote-unquote, spilled her food all over the front of my dress before the pictures were taken.
Nick: "Not wanting to cause a scene, I immediately started heading to the restroom to clean up. Lisa stopped me in my path and said I really should get cleaned up because the stains on the dress would not look good in the pictures. She also then made a very rude comment about my weight. How would you both handle this situation and how should I address it now? I am trying not to involve my friend, because it would cast a very dark shadow over her day, as the sister wasn't even supposed to be in the bridal party to begin with."
Leah: I mean, this person!
Nick: I think this might be one of the rudest situations we've come across, right? This is top 10.
Leah: This is top 10 because this person is straight up mean.
Nick: This is cruel.
Nick: Right. I mean, I'm gonna purposefully spill food on your dress to make sure that you don't look good in the pictures.
Leah: And then put you down.
Nick: And then put you down. And she included what the comment about the weight was. I mean, outrageous!
Leah: I think if we could just straight up say—and I hate to use this word about human beings—but garbaggio. This person is garbaggio.
Nick: Yeah. That's a real kind and charitable way to put it.
Leah: And obviously, this person is so jealous of our letter-writer because they're the maid of honor and they're not even in the wedding ceremony. Obviously, the sister knows.
Leah: Because she doesn't even want her own sister in the bridal party.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, I think the only thing you can do is not take it personally, because somebody who acts like this? It's not personal. This is coming from a place that has nothing to do with you. Like, it just can't. This reaction is so extreme that it is coming from a place of insecurity or something else. And I think all you can do is do what you did, which is to handle it with a lot of grace.
Leah: So much grace.
Nick: And just—you gotta just kind of let it go and just realize this person is damaged and you're not responsible for that and you can't fix that. So that's it.
Leah: And not that that makes it okay. Because this was done to you, and I would have trouble not doing some not polite things back. I do think the question of telling the sister—I love about our letter-writer that she didn't tell the sister during the wedding day because she didn't want to. And I personally would fall towards that side because I feel like the person who did this wants attention, wants to start things, wants people to be upset. So it's like, her main goal is to stir the pot, and so the more she's ignored, the more you sort of win.
Nick: That's a good point. Yeah.
Leah: Because if you do tell the sister, even later on, she's gonna get that attention. You know what I mean? So I feel like I would lean towards never telling the sister, but I would also feel comfortable if you see this person again icing them out and saying, "I allowed this because it was my friend's wedding, but you will not speak to me that way. You were way out of line. I understand that she didn't want you in the wedding party, so you're lashing out. But you won't do this to me." And then if the sister later on is like, "Hey, my sister's going to be there," I would feel comfortable saying, "Hey, I don't really want to be around your sister. She's, like, rude to me."
Nick: Yeah, I think something in that line is kind of how to go with it.
Leah: You can also send me her name, and I will add it to the list that I have taped on my closet wall of all the people who have wronged me since I have a formed memory, and I'm happy to put it on that list for you.
Nick: It fits only on one closet wall?
Leah: Well, some people have been crossed off because they've been dealt with.
Nick: Wow! Ooh, that's enticing and scary, and a lot of emotions for that. Love that.
Leah: I mean, I love the high road, but sometimes we go past the high road and we go on the board.
Nick: [laughs] Okay. So I guess that's the way to handle it. I think you did a lovely job, and I think you just have to realize that there are people in the world that are gonna do horrible things, and sometimes there's actually nothing you can do about it other than step away.
Leah: I love the word that Nick used, and that was "grace."
Nick: Yes, I think that is the correct word here.
Leah: You're so full of grace and obviously love for your friend who is getting married. And I think that's beautiful. And I'm sorry that this person did this. And they're on my board, even though I don't know their name.
Nick: So do you have questions for us? Let us know! You can let us know through our website, WereYouRaisedByWolves.com, or you can leave us a voicemail or send us a text message: (267) CALL-RBW.
Nick: And we're back. And now it's time to play a game we like to call Vent or Repent.
Leah: [whispering] 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 feel like you should go first. I always get to go first.
Nick: Okay. Happy to! So this week was kind of interesting. I have one minor vent, and then one weird thing that cannot be categorized.
Nick: So the first thing is I was on a flight recently, and as I was about to board the airplane—so my boarding pass had been scanned and I had not yet stepped onto the aircraft—behind me, I hear in a very loud voice, "First class passenger coming through. Step aside. First class passenger." And this was not with irony or, like, sarcastic, this was somebody who genuinely felt that between getting their boarding pass scanned and boarding the aircraft, that everybody should step aside for them.
Leah: [gasps] They were saying—for a second, I thought you were saying it was an announcement over the—they were announcing it about themselves?
Nick: No, no. This was a passenger.
Leah: Oh! Oh!
Nick: Presumably a first class passenger who was announcing for themselves that they had arrived, and that they did need some space to be cleared for them to proceed to the aircraft.
Nick: [laughs] And so I thought, "Oh, that's interesting. That catches my eye." So I think once you have your boarding pass scanned, then I think we wait in line with everybody else. I think that's how that works. I think that's kind of what happens on the jet bridge.
Nick: Yeah, I kind of love that, though, because I think it's, like, so ridiculous that it's almost sort of wonderful on some level. It kind of comes full circle.
Leah: Yeah, it really is. I mean, it's unbelievable announcing it.
Nick: And then the second thing is that I was at dinner last night with a friend. And it was a medium full restaurant, Indian restaurant near Flatiron. And I'm catching up, and they seat somebody at the next table, and they're doing whatever they're doing at the next table and I'm chatting with my friend. And then the restaurant takes those people and seats them somewhere else. And it was like, okay. I mean, maybe they just want a different table, there's a draft or whatever. So then 20 minutes go by and we're enjoying our first courses, and a new set of people sit down at that table. And then after a few minutes, those people also get re-sat somewhere else in the restaurant. And now I'm thinking, "Am I the problem? Is my friend the problem? Are we being loud? Am I wearing cologne in some way that's offensive? Like, are we the problem?" It was like, "Oh, that's a little weird."
Nick: And so, like, okay, whatever. And now we're enjoying our evening, we're enjoying our evening. A new couple is there, and I'm like, "Oh, wouldn't it be hilarious if these people also got re-sat? Well, wouldn't you know? Five minutes later, they also go somewhere else in the restaurant to a different table. And now I'm like, "Oh, this is—this is weird."
Leah: What is happening?
Nick: This is not coincidence. And so I would like to either vent or repent? So I would like to repent if it was something I was doing that forced all these people to go to some other table—I don't know what that would be. I usually have a relatively pleasant volume level for my indoor conversations at a restaurant, but maybe I'm wrong. Or do I want to vent for a restaurant who did this weird thing, and now made me question myself during my dining experience? I don't know. So it's a weird thing. I just thought I would mention it.
Leah: How odd!
Nick: Right? Very weird! Three different people!
Leah: I would have so much trouble not asking, "Hey, why is everybody moving from that table?" Maybe the table rocked.
Nick: And we can't fix it at all? Indoor table.
Leah: Maybe there was an air conditioner directly over it and people were cold.
Nick: I mean, that is the best I can do with that. Sure.
Leah: How odd!
Nick: Yeah. Isn't it weird? So I don't know what we do with that, but here we are. And you Leah, would you like to vent or repent?
Leah: I'm also gonna vent, and it's also about an airport line.
Nick: All right, bring it!
Leah: So I'm waiting, as we all do, to get—you know, some people stand up, some people may be crowding a little bit too much. We know what's going on.
Leah: And at this point, people have crowded in a lot, so there's not a lot of room for the people who are actually going.
Nick: You know what the term for this is?
Nick: "Gate lice."
Leah: Ooh, that's good. And I got the perfect visual as soon as you—yes, that is it.
Nick: Gate lice. Yeah. Don't be gate lice.
Leah: Don't be gate lice! So I'm off to the back, but I'm also gonna be one of the earlier groups to be called. So I'm ready. And then this woman ...
Leah: It's a woman and a man, push by me and all these other people, and then stand almost directly in front of the two ropes where you're supposed to go through.
Leah: So I assume they're next. I also want to say—and maybe this is petty of me, but I'm gonna say it—the woman was decked out: hat, on her tote bag, t-shirt, everything was like "Kindness is the best," there was, like, a lot of environmental stuff. All these things about kindness. I mean, she had sayings on everything.
Nick: Really? Okay.
Leah: Yes. So then she, with her "I love kindness" accouterments, is standing directly in front. The next group gets called, not her. Everybody's trying to get by them. The next group gets called, not her. Next—my group gets called. I go by her. They're still standing there. She's the last group. She ends up being sat right behind me. You're the last group! You're wearing all these "I love kindness, be good to people" and you're blocking? You push—physically push by people, and then you block the entryway for everyone so you can go last.
Nick: I mean, I guess it's aspirational?
Nick: Is that what it is?
Leah: I'm like—when she sat down, I couldn't help it. I just stared. I was like, "Really? We all had to, like, squish by you, and then you're last?" I mean! I was like, "You should change your ensemble because this is not your vibe. Do you have, like, a 'narcissist' shirt you could wear out?"
Nick: Yeah, I think actually the bigger crime here is not the behavior, it's the wardrobe.
Leah: It really is the wardrobe. I was like, "You are—did you borrow someone's clothes?"
Nick: [laughs] Yeah, because a kind person would let you borrow their "Kindness" t-shirt, right?
Leah: Yeah, I think the kind person let you borrow the shirt and was like, "This will be funny."
Nick: [laughs] Well, I'm sorry this happened to you.
Leah: Oh, my goodness! I'm sorry that happened to you, and I'm sorry that we don't know what happened at the restaurant.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, sometimes the mystery ...
Leah: The mystery would kill me. I would have to go stand in that restaurant window on another night and see if people got moved all the time.
Nick: [laughs] Okay.
Leah: Maybe it's a haunted table.
Nick: It actually is probably a haunted table. And we're gonna go with that.
Leah: I'm gonna go haunted table.
Nick: All right. And I'm gonna go with haunted passenger.
Leah: She's haunted by something.
Nick: So Leah, what have we learned?
Leah: Well, I learned the histoire of Tuscan bread.
Leah: I can't wait to drop it in a convo.
Nick: Oh, I can't wait for you to drop it in a convo.
Leah: [laughs] I will text you immediately.
Nick: And I learned that you have a list in your closet of names.
Leah: It may be metaphorical, it may be literal, but it exists.
Nick: [laughs] 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 go to our website and do all of the things: you can sign up for our newsletter, you can join us on Patreon, you can listen to back episodes.
Leah: There'll be links to follow us on Instagram.
Nick: So please go to our website, WereYouRaisedByWolves.com, and check it out!
Leah: Give us a look-see.
Nick: And we'll see you next time.
Nick: All right, Leah. It's time for Cordials of Kindness, the part of the show that you make us do, but I only give you 30 seconds to do it. Ready, set, go!
Leah: So I want to do a huge shout out to my friend that I grew up with named Aaron and his husband, Gabe. I went to San Francisco for some shows, and they were like, "Leah, come stay with us!" And they were the most wonderful hosts. And then Aaron recently opened a restaurant in San Francisco called Macondray. And they invited me, and it was just delicious and wonderful, and I felt so treated. And thank you so much.
Nick: Oh, that's very nice! And for me, I want to read a nice review we just got, which is quote, "I love this show. Nick and Leah are charming, warm and funny. Their wit and thoughtful attention make any topic an adventure. And Leah's howl is the best thing to ever happen to a Monday. When I ran out of episodes, I might just start over again. This show is a gift of humor and insight to our wild world. Thank you, Nick and Leah."
Leah: I almost started crying in the middle of that. That's so nice.
Nick: [laughs] That's very nice. And yes, please go back to the beginning. Those episodes are great!
Leah: So thank you for saying that about my howl.
Nick: So thank you. We really appreciate it.
Leah: So much we appreciate it.