Dec. 9, 2019

Extra Helpings: Greeting with a Kiss, Going Rogue at a Dinner Party, Getting Catfished, and More

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this extended bonus segment, Nick and Leah answer listener questions about greeting people with kisses, dealing with rogue dinner party guests, deciding who should go first in a buffet line, removing fish bones from your mouth, giving gifts that need to be displayed, leaving your phone number in a voicemail, stripping sheets when you're a houseguest, and much more. Please subscribe!

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  • What do you do if you accidentally went in for a kiss when they went in for a handshake?
  • How do you deal with dinner party guests who won't follow the invitation instructions?
  • Who should go first when there's a buffet line?
  • How do you remove a fish bone from your mouth?
  • Don't give gifts that have to be displayed.
  • Say your number slowly when leaving a voicemail.
  • When you're a houseguest, should you strip the bed on your last day?




Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema

Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton

Theme Music: Rob Paravonian


[Musical Introduction]

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

Leah: I'm Leah Bonnema.

Nick: And we're in New York today, and we had so many questions come in from The Wilderness.

Leah: And they're so great.

Nick: That we have a bonus episode. So here we go. Our first is from Sydney, Australia. Our writer writes, "I recently had an embarrassing moment. A female work colleague who had previously greeted me unprompted with a polite cheek kiss at a conference a month ago, was at a meeting last week. I dutifully went, followed the same procedure, during which time she stuck out her hand to shake mine rather than do a cheek kiss, which proved extremely awkward because I was already in close, and I accidentally knocked her glasses off, which went onto the ground and then became a mortifying situation. What is the etiquette for those polite cheek kisses in a work context? Shall I just avoid them? Should I follow the other person's lead? What do I do? So I feel like awkward situations like this are something you've experienced.

Leah: Oh, this is my life. This is my life.

Nick: I seem to recall you telling some story about like a hug that went out of control.

Leah: Oh. I mean, I had one this week where this -- it was almost this thing.

Nick: Oh, this thing? OK.

Leah: Someone's glasses got stuck in my hair.

Nick: Oh God.

Leah: I mean, it was a whole-

Nick: OK.

Leah: I was also in the middle of doing something. So I was like, "How did this happen?"

Nick: OK.

Leah: But I feel like this is specifically interesting because she did it first.

Nick: Yeah. That's the wrinkle here.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: And I think in general, kissing rules are totally regional, cultural, one kiss, two kiss, three kiss, left, right. I mean, there's a lot of rules. In France, it is multiple different ways depending on what region you're in.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Hard to keep track of. So I think in general, in a work context, the handshake is always safe.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: She opened the door to this, though.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: And so-

Leah: So that is not this person's fault.

Nick: Right. I think, however, in this situation, I would have waited for her to have turned the cheek to sort of invite the kiss part.

Leah: But I don't think this person should feel embarrassed about this.

Nick: No.

Leah: Because she did a cheek kiss first.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: And you were just trying to do what was done to you.

Nick: Right.

Leah: That you were just mirroring the behavior. So I think in general, that's a very good -- if we shake, we shake.

Nick: Right.

Leah: We're in this other place now. We're doing a double kiss.

Nick: Right.

Leah: You know what I mean? So I feel like this couldn't have been helped.

Nick: Yeah. This may have just been what it is. But I think in general, with the kissing that you want to be mindful of what the cultural norm is where you are.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: And in general, if you're not sure and you know a kiss is coming, always turn your head to the left. That's always sort of the default so that you're giving them your right cheek first. Most of the time that's usually the safest option if we're doing a kiss thing.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: And as a reminder, we're not actually making contact with the lips and their cheek.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: That's not something we're doing.

Leah: We're not at all.

Nick: We're not touching their cheek with your mouth.

Leah: She did a kiss on the cheek.

Nick: I think he's just referring to a cheek kiss.

Leah: No, I think she kissed his cheek.

Nick: I'm not reading this.

Leah: Oh, really? Because I always had people kiss my cheek.

Nick: And they're making contact with your cheek?

Leah: Oh they're -- yeah. They're [crosstalk] my cheek. Okay.

Nick: Okay, yeah. So we don't really want to do that. We want to get up to the cheek. We want to make a cheek kissing sound.

Leah: Oh. So we're just making noises?

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: Okay.

Nick: And then I think -- and we're not doing like a belabored moi.

Leah: Right.

Nick: Like it's just a [kissing sound].

Leah: Okay. Very interesting. Good to know.

Nick: Just a [kissing sound]. That's really what we're trying to do here. Now, in cheek kissing etiquette, it is often very awkward even people in cultures where they do this. Like, there is sometimes awkwardness, and that's part of the, I guess, the charm of this little social exercise and that's sort of fine.

Leah: Yeah. I always -- when it went weird, I always am very open about it. I'll laugh and I'll be like, "Oh."

Nick: Well, that's your default setting.

Leah: Yeah, but I feel like that way-

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: We can acknowledge it and move on.

Nick: Yeah. Anytime there's an awkward situation, trying to laugh it off is usually your best tool.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: So yeah. Writer from Australia, I think you did okay. I think if you always want to be safe, go for the handshake. And if they then see your handshake and be like, "Oh no, I'm going in for the kiss," then you have that permission.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: Okay. Our next question comes from Los Angeles, and our writer writes, "I am at my wit's end," which, you know-

Leah: This is very exciting.

Nick: Great start. So long story short-

Leah: I wish we could have gotten the beginning of what this person has done before.

Nick: Oh, for sure.

Leah: I wish I could get a full list.

Nick: So let me explain. This email came with like attachments and supporting materials. So this woman has a friend who goes rogue anytime she has a dinner party. So like, "I'll have a dinner party," and like, "Here's what we're doing for the dinner party." And this friend decides just like go off script and is not apologetic about it. And so our writer in Los Angeles is going to have a fried chicken party, which you're not supposed to invite yourself to someone's party. But like, if I was going to break that rule, this sounds great [crosstalk]. So if you are a gust at this party, you're supposed to bring a type of fried chicken, bring a Korean fried chicken, southern fried chicken, popcorn chicken, whatever it is. You, the guest, are bringing a type of chicken. And our host, the letter writer, is doing all the sides and all the beverages. Awesome. So this broke friend is like, "Great, I'm bringing roast chicken and sides." And it's like, no.

Leah: Unbelievable.

Nick: No -- I -- that's not what this is.

Leah: And our letter writing makes it clear that this person has behaved this way in the past.

Nick: This is not a first time.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: This is a pattern.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: And so the question here is like, I want to explain that this is like not OK. What do I say? So.

Leah: And you absolutely should.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: You're doing this really wonderful, nice, fun thing.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: They can not come if they can't follow the rules.

Nick: So but the question is, how do you say this?

Leah: Right.

Nick: Right. So they send a copy of the invitation. It is not unclear what is expected of guests.

Leah: Oh, it is very clear.

Nick: It's very polite, very nice. I would totally attend this party. And there is a co-host on this invitation, says letter writer and somebody else. So I think subtle hands have clearly not worked with this person. I think you have a couple options. One is you can throw the other co-host under the bus.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: So be like. "Well, I would love for you to bring roast chicken and sides, but Jasper is very adamant that it has to be fried chicken."

Leah: I don't think you even have to say I would love for you to. You can just say, "This is Jasper's thing and Jasper is really into the fried chicken."

Nick: Right. So it has to be fried chicken. You could also, if you wanted to kind of twist the knife a little bit, say something along the lines of like, "I feel like when I hear you want to bring roast chicken," use like I statements. "I feel that when you bring roast chicken, it makes me feel bad that I'm not hosting an event that would please you." Is that too far?

Leah: I feel...

Nick: That too far?

Leah: I mean, I get why-

Nick: Something in that zone, though.

Leah: It's a nice, nice, knife twisty one. I think you could -- I like to default. I always like to give somebody a, "Oh, maybe you didn't understand," even though I was perfectly clear you leave that part out.

Nick: Sure.

Leah: You write back and you say, "Hey. Oh, I think you misread the invitation. I'm doing the sides, and we're inviting people to bring the fried chicken. If this doesn't work for you, no worries. We can invite you to another event."

Nick: That's very nice. Yes. That may be the best answer, although I do like a nice I statement.

Leah: I think both of those work. It just depends on the tone you want to set.

Nick: Right. So I think either way, I think we will achieve-

Leah: You could send a first of, "Oh, maybe you misunderstood. This is it." And then if that doesn't go through, we go with the knife twist.

Nick: OK. That's your last resort.

Leah: Yeah, and that's when you're like, "Sorry, this doesn't work for your life."

Nick: Right. "Sorry, we've ruined it." Our next question is about a friend getting divorced. So our letter writer writes, "Your friend tells you that their divorce has been finalized. What is the appropriate response? I don't think I'm sorry is appropriate, given that many are happy to be out of the relationship. Congratulations feels callous. I don't want it to be weird. Just supportive. What do I say?"

Leah: I was like, "I'm hoping Nick [crosstalk] because I've been in this position."

Nick: OK. So I have to go first here?

Leah: And I mean-

Nick: I think it comes down to what you think your friend wants to hear.

Leah: Right.

Nick: So that's what it's all about, because people have many different feelings about divorce. Some of them are sort of relief. Some of them are like thrill. Some of them are just like happy that it's over. You know, there's a lot of emotions.

Leah: Some people feel like they failed at something, and they need support feeling like what they did was fine.

Nick: Right. So things you shouldn't say are like, "I saw that coming."

Leah: Yeah. Definitely not.

Nick: Or, "They weren't good enough for you anyways." Not actually a great thing because it's like you made a bad decision. "Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. So you're average." So don't say that. But I think just like follow their lead.

Leah: You could also send a gift of freedom. I wouldn't do that either. But I mean, these are fun options.

Nick: Or sing it in their voicemail. Yeah. That's good.

Leah: [Singing] Freedom.

Nick: Oh, we don't have the rights to that.

Leah: Oh.

Nick: So, I think what's nice is you just want to say, "Is there anything I can do for you?" I think, you know, that's the right response because that's open ended, non-judgmental, doesn't editorialize the situation. It's just, "Let's get together for drinks."

Leah: Right.

Nick: Or you could say, "How do you feel about it?"

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: OK. Divorce is finalized. How do you feel? And just sort of like follow their lead. I don't think this is your opportunity to ask for details.

Leah: But my guess is that if your friends, you knew the details, you knew this was happening.

Nick: Yeah. There's probably nothing new. Yeah. You know the [crosstalk].

Leah: In which case, this could be a place where you reaffirm what they've needed to hear in the past.

Nick: One thing I have seen happen because I have been the victim of this, do not say anything about the ex.

Leah: No.

Nick: Because anything you say will be used against you.

Leah: Absolutely.

Nick: "Well, Nick said that, you know, your macramé habit was a problem."

Leah: Or they get back together in some weird twist of fate, and you've just trashed them all over the place.

Nick: Right.

Leah: And then they bring it up again.

Nick: Right.

Leah: I've seen that happen.

Nick: Our next question comes from somebody who has some big dinners at home, which is had a casual dinner for family, friends who should go first on the serving line? So it's sort of like that whole like, "You go first. No, you go first. No I insist. No I insist. No, you go first." And this goes on forever. So what do you do about that? Who goes first?

Leah: I feel like it's the hosts, you get to say who goes first, you're hosting.

Nick: No. Hosts go last.

Leah: Yeah, hosts go last.

Nick: But if there's a bunch of people in back to like walk up to the buffet line, you don't be like, "Leah, you go first."

Leah: But I mean if people are like, "You go first," as the host. You're the host. You say, "No, no. You guys get to go."

Nick: Right, but now it's you guys and now there's several of you guys. Who among the you guys steps up first? And so there's two people who are like, "Oh no, you go first. You go first."

Leah: Well, we could do a -- I'm going to put numbers in a bowl?

Nick: OK.

Leah: You guys want to make [crosstalk].

Nick: That's efficient. We've really helped our writer here. Thank you so much. No, I think the method is it's, "offer, refuse, offer, accept."

Leah: OK.

Nick: "You go first."

Leah: "No, you go."

Nick: "No, I insist." And then this is where you say, "OK."

Leah: "OK, thank you so much."

Nick: Yes.

Leah: OK. Thank you so much.

Nick: Offer, refuse, offer, accept.

Leah: OK.

Nick: And that's it.

Leah: OK.

Nick: Great. Our next question. "If you accidentally take a bite of bone in fish, how do you deal with the cartilage? I ran into this problem at a lunch meeting at work. I took a bite in the midst of conversation with the co-worker and not wanting to leave the room with a mouth full of food, I discreetly grabbed the bones from my mouth with my hand. A few minutes later, this happened to my co-worker, and she stepped out into the bathroom to spit it out, which I assume is a more polite alternative. What should I do in the future? So, you've had this problem?

Leah: I've gotten a bone in a chicken.

Nick: OK. So I guess similar thing. And so what did you do?

Leah: I very discreetly put my napkin up to my mouth.

Nick: Oh, and spit it out in the napkin.

Leah: And it wasn't even a spit because it was no noise whatsoever. I made it look like it was a face wipe.

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: Like a lip dab.

Nick: OK.

Leah: And then it just oop, right in there.

Nick: Yeah, so I don't love that.

Leah: Why?

Nick: So the etiquette rule here is the way things go in are the way they go out, which actually at first glance sounds like a really weird rule.

Leah: Yeah, it does.

Nick: But what this rule means is if you eat something with a fork and then there's something that is objectionable, it should be taken out of your mouth on the fork. So you would take this little bone, and you try to like with your tongue push the bone out onto the fork and then remove the fork from your mouth and then kind of dump off the bone onto the side of your plate.

Leah: Oh, OK.

Nick: Or if you're eating soup and the same problem, get a soup spoon. That would be the same thing. If you're eating that chicken with your hand, then your hand would be the same way in which we would remove the bone.

Leah: OK.

Nick: To spit it out or to pretend we're wiping our mouth with a napkin and letting a chicken bone just sort of willy nilly drop out of your mouth using the power of gravity-

Leah: It's not dropping. It's just subtlety getting [inaudible] into the napkin.

Nick: Sure, yes. [inaudible]-

Leah: It's not causing a scene.

Nick: The verb [inaudible] is not appropriate here. So-

Leah: So then I just put it on the side of my plate with my fork or spoon?

Nick: If you were eating this chicken with your hands, you could use your hands. If you're eating this chicken with the fork, I generally would use the fork. If it is not possible to do this discreetly, then yes your hands are OK.

Leah: But I'm saying where does it go?

Nick: On the side of your plate is fine.

Leah: OK.

Nick: Yes. Not on the table.

Leah: Obviously.

Nick: Clarify.

Leah: Even I know that.

Nick: Not on the floor. Not in your water glass.

Leah: So I just shouldn't just spit it right out onto the floor and try to hit a can while I do it.

Nick: Sometimes I feel like I need to clarify. So that's I think the polite way. To get up out of the chair with food in your mouth, run to the bathroom to spit. Feels like you've made a bigger production of this than required.

Leah: Yeah, that seems like a very large scene.

Nick: So I don't care for that. So I think-

Leah: Nick does not care for it.

Nick: I don't care for that. So that's the general rule when like there's something in your mouth that you want to take out of your mouth. So our next question is a listener's suggestion about gifts. So, we have previously talked about horrible gifts, dream catchers, large photographs.

Leah: There was a huge painting.

Nick: Right? And so our writer just wants to share that her general rule is that you should never give a gift to someone that has to be displayed. For example, and this is her words, "A 3 by 4 foot mirror with an ad for southern comfort that a dear friend expects you to hang on the mantle for 20 years."

Leah: This is ditto for clothes.

Nick: Right. Yes. And also don't give people clothing. So I guess I agree if you're giving someone clothing and you don't know their taste to know they like it -- like if you give someone a bad sweater and expect them to now wear it, yeah, I guess this is the same rule.

Leah: But I don't think there's a problem in giving someone clothing and then not -- and then don't be like, "Oh, I haven't seen you in that." But you can give it to them and just-

Nick: Yeah. I mean, I guess if there's-

Leah: Just don't expect to see it.

Nick: It's the expectation of the display.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: That is the problem.

Leah: But I don't think giving clothes is -- because sometimes people purchase very lovely things. I've gotten some very nice clothes.

Nick: Yeah, if it's your taste and you like the thing, this is always a fine gift.

Leah: And also people want to take chances. It's the expecting to see it that's the problem.

Nick: Yeah. What do you mean people want to take chances?

Leah: Well, something that I might not necessarily may buy for myself, but like say you're like -- this is a great blue scarf.

Nick: OK.

Leah: And, you know.

Nick: So, if you want to take a chance on a gift you may or may not like.

Leah: No, but I mean, they think it's in my wheelhouse.

Nick: Oh, OK.

Leah: You know what I mean?

Nick: OK.

Leah: I don't want people to get so nervous that it's wrong that they don't do something they wanted to do.

Nick: Yeah. That's OK. OK. I get that. Our next question is another rant from -- well, rant is strong. Well, actually they used the word rant, so it's a rant. "Your recent show about voicemail reminded me about a pet peeve. So here's a rant." OK. "Why do people leave their call back number like they are an auctioneer ready to move on to the next sale? I always repeat my call back number when leaving a voicemail. If you really want me to call you back, can you just take the extra five seconds to repeat your number and don't rattle it off super fast?" Yeah, OK. I agree.

Leah: I think people sometimes repeat their number very fast because they're anxious.

Nick: Because leaving a voicemail gives people anxiety?

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: No.

Leah: They feel like they need to hang up before the lady comes on and says it's over.

Nick: Are you leaving five minute voicemails?

Leah: I don't know. I'm just trying to find [crosstalk].

Nick: You got a lot of time before the lady comes on.

Leah: Why people might do this. Also, often your phone tells you what the phone number was.

Nick: Yeah, I think this is becoming less and less of a problem because we do have visual voicemail, although I do have work voicemail system where it is so complicated, like you have to push like star 89 to replay and then like pound 4 to pause, and it's like nothing makes sense. And to get the actual caller ID out of this phone system is like impossible. So if someone doesn't leave their phone number like in the message, like it's impossible.

Leah: Yeah, I mean, I always leave my number, and I think because I have to spell my name so much I'm so used to speaking slowly and saying everything very -- I definitely leave my number slowly.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: I just -- I'm always like, "Maybe that person has a fear of speaking out loud."

Nick: Uh-huh. Why do always have to make excuses for people?

Leah: I don't know.

Nick: Sometimes people can just do bad things.

Leah: You're right.

Nick: So when I leave a voicemail, I like to say my name and number at the very top and at the end.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: Because if you miss it, then you can replay the message and get my number without having to listen to the whole message again.

Leah: Yeah, I do the same thing.

Nick: So, "Hey, Nick Leighton, 267-Call-RBW. Here's the thing we talked about. Okay, great. Again, it's Nick Leighton, 267-Call-RBW."

Leah: Perfect.

Nick: Great voicemail.

Leah: It's so nice to know that we're doing the same thing on one thing.

Nick: Hey, common ground. OK. We find it finally. Our next question is about deceptive dating profiles. So recently I've met -- this is a person, not me. "Recently, I've met people on dating apps that have either substantially edited their pictures or use a picture that is obviously from several years ago. I know we all like to post the best photos of ourselves on social media and dating apps. But when does editing or touching up go too far? When are photos too old to still be used? Where is that line between posting your best self and catfishing?"

Leah: I gathered from this email that it was being done to them.

Nick: Yes, I think they are the recipient of the catfishing.

Leah: And I feel like a lot of times people want their questions for us to give permission to validate that like, "Yeah, it's inappropriate that someone is being deceptive."

Nick: Yes. I mean, I think he knows the answer here.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: He just wants to hear other sane people say this.

Leah: Yeah, because you know, you want to be polite to people and be like, "I get why they did that." But no, this person is being dishonest. You're presenting dishonest information about yourself.

Nick: But he wants to know like where is that line?

Leah: I mean, I honestly think the poster knows where the line is. You know what I mean?

Nick: OK.

Leah: You know when it's too much.

Nick: OK.

Leah: You know when something is a good angle and completely unrealistic.

Nick: You know about good angles and bad angles.

Leah: I mean, it feels like a million years ago because I've been with the same person for a long time. But I went on an internet date with a gentleman who was at least 15 years older than his picture. There was no way.

Nick: So he was sepia tone photo?

Leah: Yeah, it was -- in no world was this acceptable.

Nick: OK.

Leah: And then it wasn't even brought up.

Nick: Oh, we just gonna let it go?

Leah: Yeah, and I didn't know -- you know, you're like this is unbelievable.

Nick: So I think the question here is when is it an etiquette question and when is it like a dating advice question? Because here, we try and
keep in the world of the etiquette.

Leah: Right.

Nick: You know, like, "Oh, should I break up with my boyfriend?" I don't know. "Can I do it on a text message?" Yeah. We have something to say about that.

Leah: That's a good point. That's a very good line.

Nick: Yeah, but like whether or not -- so this I think if we have to think about this in the lens of etiquette, I think the etiquette infraction here is about wasting people's time.

Leah: Right.

Nick: So I think when the deception gets to the point where you have wasted someone's time, now this is an etiquette crime.

Leah: Right.

Nick: So if you show up at the date and you look so different where it is clearly a waste of my time to be here. Crime, etiquette, crime.

Leah: Right. And I think you can say-

Nick: Cuff 'em.

Leah: "This is an etiquette crime."

Nick: "I'm sorry. I will not be able to have drinks with you because you've committed an etiquette crime."

Leah: "And I am calling... I'm making a citizen's arrest."

Nick: "You have the right to remain silent."

Leah: Yes, "while I leave." I would never. Of course, I would sit there and [crosstalk].

Nick: You would. You would just say you'll get married. You're like, "Ah, guess I have to."

Leah: Feel guilty.

Nick: But yeah, I think once it crosses that line where, like you have wasted my time now, like this is clearly just so different. But then I guess as the reality of the situation and the photograph gets closer and closer, then the crime gets smaller and small.

Leah: Right.

Nick: So I guess you know where that line is.

Leah: Yeah. I know people know and everybody's insecure about what they look like and everybody wants to show their best selves. But in the end, you're not doing yourself any favors either.

Nick: No. I mean, I think you want to have photos that look accurate. You want also a cross section of photos that provides sort of a nice 360 degree view of your world and look in some different angles and all that. And you also want, you know, truth in advertising.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: OK. I mean, of course, people put nice versions of pictures.

Nick: Yes. I don't want DMV photos, like I don't want bad photos up of myself. I don't want to look my worst.

Leah: Yeah, I was in an audition once and this is very related. And the casting director came out to yell at a girl in front of the rest of us because her photo was so different than what she looked like, that she was exactly what you said, wasting time.

Nick: OK.

Leah: And the woman, the casting director said, "I understand that everybody here has glam shots or a version of that, but if you could never look like this photo with hair and makeup, then you can't use it. You've disrespected my," And she did it in front of everybody.

Nick: Wow. So that's rude.

Leah: I mean, it was unbelievable. I had a panic attack for that woman. It was just -- I was like, "You look great."

Nick: You look different, but great.

Leah: I didn't see the photo.

Nick: Wow.

Leah: But I was like, oh, my goodness.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, that level of deception is not good professionally.

Leah: Yeah. I mean, it seems like an infraction on both parties at that point.
Nick: And a non etiquette tip, but a good dating tip is don't go on a internet date with somebody where there's food involved, stick to beverages. It's shorter. You know, if you only spend 30 minutes for coffee and five dollars and you got catfished, you'll be a lot less annoyed by it than if you spent 50 bucks in like an hour and a half with somebody and got catfished.

Leah: Right, and also you're gonna know right away whether somebody whether or not it's somebody you want to spend more time with.

Nick: Yeah, if you get hungry, want to do a nibble, extend the date. Have at it.

Leah: Have at it.

Nick: Have at it. And our last question is about being a houseguest. So if you're a houseguest, do you strip the bed of the sheets or not?

Leah: I always ask my host.

Nick: Correct.

Leah: I say, "Hey," you know when it's my leaving day, "Hey, would you like me to strip the sheets and throw them in the washer or?" Because I think sometimes people actually want to be the person to do that.

Nick: Yes. Some people like, "I'm not gonna get to it right away. So now, like, I don't want a wad of laundry in my way."

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Just leave it on the bed.

Leah: I always offer though.

Nick: Yeah. So you always want to ask. This is key. Ask your host what you should do. If you have not had this conversation and you aren't sure, leaving it is the default answer.

Leah: Leaving it and making the bed.

Nick: Always make the bed. Yes, but also houseguest tip. You should always make the bed every morning of your stay. Hosts hate when guests leave a bed unmade. So just do that as a baseline. But yes, leave the bed made even if you strip the sheets. You should also try and make the bed with whatever's left.

Leah: Yeah, just throw the blanket on top.

Nick: Leave the pillows nice and put the comforter like where it's supposed to go and do that. If you take the sheets off and they're like, "Oh, just leave them in the room," you should fold the sheets. I would fold the sheets and leave them at the bottom of the bed. Do your best with the fitted sheet. I know it's hard for people.

Leah: [crosstalk].

Nick: Do your best. How are you with a fitted sheet?

Leah: Well, you know, one of my -- my first job was in housekeeping.

Nick: Oh.

Leah: I was -- you know in Maine, people start working early [crosstalk]. You get a job before -- get a job before it's legal. So I worked at a small motel or an inn.

Nick: OK.

Leah: And so I was in housekeeping.

Nick: Oh. Oh. So you know your way around a fitted sheet?

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: OK. So not a problem for you.

Leah: And then I got bumped up to breakfast chef because the breakfast chef didn't show up one day.

Nick: Blueberry pancakes.

Leah: And they were like, "Get in there."

Nick: OK.

Leah: And then when I was old enough, I got moved to waitress.

Nick: Wow. OK. Did not notice. OK.

Leah: So I can do a fitted sheet under duress, but I don't.

Nick: OK. Do you have fitted sheets now?

Leah: Doesn't everybody have a fitted sheet?

Nick: I know some people do flat sheets. We digress. So do you have questions for us about sheets or anything else? Send them to us. You can send them to us at our website,, or you can leave us a voicemail. We want to hear your voice. Leave us a voicemail.

Leah: They're so fun.

Nick: They're kind of the best part, and we would really appreciate it. So there was a voicemail, 267-Call-RBW or if you're shy, you can send us a text message.

Leah: We appreciate you.

Nick: We like that. But we want to hear your voice. So do that, and we'll see you next time. Bye.

Leah: Bye.

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