May 4, 2020

Ghosting, Visiting Renaissance Fairs, Using Hot Towels, and More

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle using towels at a Japanese restaurant, ghosting, dressing appropriately for Renaissance fairs, speaking to flight attendants while wearing headphones, correcting people who get your name wrong, asking about a partner's opinion, visiting crowded museums, and much more. Please subscribe! (We'd write you a hand-written thank you note if we could.)


  • AMUSE-BOUCHE: Oshibori (おしぼり)
  • QUESTIONS FROM THE WILDERNESS: Is it OK to wear a superman costume at a Renaissance fair? Is it OK to keep your headphones on when talking to a flight attendant? Am I allowed to correct people who assume I took my husband's last name?
  • VENT OR REPENT: Getting a man's permission, crowded museums
  • CORDIALS OF KINDNESS: Small gifts, a nice review




Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema

Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton

Theme Music: Rob Paravonian


[Musical Introduction]

Nick: Do you wipe your face with a hot towel before dinner? Do you wear a Superman costume to a Renaissance fair? Do you ghost? 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: We're in New York today, and let's just get right down to it.

Leah: Let's get in it!

Nick: For our amuse-bouche today, I want to talk about oshibori.

Leah: I'm in!

Nick: What is oshibori, you may ask?

Leah: I may ask! I could make some guesses.

Nick: Oshibori is the damp towel that comes at a Japanese restaurant before the meal. Let's talk about what to do with it.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: It's going to be a little terry cloth washcloth-shaped thing, and it's always going to be rolled up. It's probably going to be cold in the summer and probably hot in the winter. It might have a little fragrance in it; might have a little antibacterial in it; maybe a little lemon. It usually comes on its own little tray, but sometimes, it comes in plastic, and it's sort of like a single-serve thing. Part of it is hygiene because the Japanese enjoy good hygiene; but part of it is also just sort of the hospitality of dining. It's part of the just the ritual that's been going on in Japan for- since the gosh-knows-what period, but it's been happening for a while. So, what are you supposed to do with this thing? If it comes wrapped, unwrap it. Then, you basically take the towel, and you wipe your hands with it, and then roll it up, and put it to the side. That's it. Do not wipe your face with it. Do not rub your neck with it. Do not blow your nose with it. Do not wipe the table with it. Nope. Just wipe your hands, and then roll it up nicely, and put it back on the little tray, if it came with a tray; or you can set it aside on the table if there was no tray. That's it. Then, depending on what type of restaurant you're in, it may be taken away. Or if you're maybe in a sushi restaurant, often you'll actually have it for the whole meal because, in some sushi restaurants, you'll actually eat the sushi with your fingers, so it's a little way to sort of keep your fingers clean throughout the meal. That's it. A pro tip: in Japan, if you have the plastic kind, it's a very Japanese sort of thing to tie that plastic in a little knot and then leave it to the side.

Leah: Oh.

Nick: So, if a Japanese person sees you doing that, they'll be like, "Ah, nice." So, do that.

Leah: I feel like Nick's gonna make us all seem so much cooler.

Nick: That's the whole show!

Leah: You know I really appreciate it.

Nick: I want you to seem cooler.

Leah: I love it.

Nick: Then, there is some variation on the hot-towel theme, which I think we should just briefly discuss. On an airplane, I think the same rules should apply. I know some people feel like the towel is more of a spa type of thing-

Leah: Oh, you think no face on a plane?

Nick: I don't love that for myself.

Leah: Okay.

Nick: I know people do it. I like that less. I think I'm more inclined-

Leah: You'd like that less.

Nick: I'm more inclined to let that slide on an airplane than in a Japanese restaurant.

Leah: I've definitely used a wet cloth that's been given to me, on a plane, on my face.

Nick: Yeah, I mean, live your truth, but I would not.

Leah: I didn't put any yuckies into it.

Nick: Okay, you didn't blow your nose with it.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: Thank you for that. But, yeah, I don't love that; but I guess if you really want to ...

Leah: Sometimes, you're just so dry, and your face needs to be awakened.

Nick: I see. Okay. Then, sometimes, like at a crab shack, or in Maine, you know, a lobster shack/hut ... What kind of ...? What's the name of the building?

Leah: I think you could go with either. I mean, it's gonna be a lobster shack.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: A lobster hut [crosstalk] I feel like a hut's gonna be in the woods.

Nick: Kiosk? Okay.

Leah: It's definitely not a kiosk [Laughing]

Nick: Sometimes, you may be given a towel with a lemon on it at the end of the meal. The idea there is you squeeze the lemon on the cloth. You don't squeeze the lemon on your hands directly. Squeeze the lemon on the cloth, and then take the cloth with the lemon juice, and then wipe your hands with it to get the crab scent off of it. That's how you would navigate that. That's our amuse-bouche.

Leah: Fantastic!

[Musical Interlude]

Nick: We're back, and now it's time to go deep.

Leah: Very deep.

Nick: Very deep, into ghosting.

Leah: I was gonna make a ghost noise.

Nick: Oh, please don't.

Leah: [Laughing] Well, I also couldn't think of one.

Nick: Wooooo

Leah: But, I mean, you know-

Nick: Okay.

Leah: Is that appropriate? I don't think so.

Nick: Yeah, that may be-

Leah: I don't know what kind of noises a ghost makes.

Nick: Sure. Today, we want to talk about ghosting, which is when you cut off all communication with somebody without an explanation.

Leah: Right.

Nick: Just cut it off.

Leah: This could be in multiple different kinds of-

Nick: Oh, yes. I mean, this can certainly be for dating, but it can be in a business situation, with friends, with family. Any relationship, ghosting can happen. I think what makes ghosting sort of particularly problematic is that there's no explanation. It's the lack of explanation that I feel like is what stings for most people. Ghosting should be contrasted with not making an effort. That's a little different. Like, if we're just texting back and forth and neither of us makes an effort to make plans to get together, this is not ghosting.

Leah: No, it's not.

Nick: This is just fizzling. That's different.

Leah: Mm-hmm.

Nick: That's probably fine. So, I guess the first question is: why do people do it? Why do people ghost? What do you think?

Leah: I think there's two reasons.

Nick: Yeah?

Leah: One, they don't care.

Nick: Oh, yeah, that's true.

Leah: They're thinking about them.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: The other one is explaining why they don't want to makes them feel uncomfortable.

Nick: Yeah. They are cowards.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: They are cowards.

Leah: That's a strong word.

Nick: No! No, that's how I feel about it. Yeah, no, they're cowards because they don't have the courage to express their feelings.

Leah: Yeah, I understand. I mean, I guess that is correct, but I also understand why sometimes it's really hard to tell people that you don't want to do something.

Nick: Oh, sure, but welcome to being an adult.

Leah: No, you're absolutely right.

Nick: I don't make the rules. That's just what it is.

Leah: No, you're right.

Nick: Yeah, welcome to being an adult, doing hard things that we don't want to do. Bienvenido.

Leah: Ugh.

Nick: Yeah, I mean, half my life is stuff I don't want to do. But, I'm sorry, that's just what it is.

Leah: No, you're right.

Nick: So, I think people do not care, and then people also are just cowards. This is why it happens. So, I guess there's a spectrum of relationships, when we think about our relationships. On one end of the spectrum is we matched on Tinder; we had some exchanges of messages, but we never met. Then, on the other end of the spectrum is we've been married for 50 years.

Leah: Okay.

Nick: So, I think we can agree that there is some point on this spectrum where ghosting is definitively wrong.

Leah: Right.

Nick: Right? I think if you ghost your husband of 50 years, this is bad etiquette.

Leah: Oh, definitely.

Nick: Yeah. If you only exchanged some messages with somebody on Tinder, never met them ... Is that ghosting? I'll give you a pass on that.

Leah: Yeah, that's not- there was no.

Nick: Yeah. So, then, I guess the question is: when do you have the obligation to actually end it politely and not ghost? Where is the line then?

Leah: Would we put business into the same category as this? Like, you just met- it was a networking thing. There's no ... But if you were going back and forth with something, at what point ...?

Nick: Yeah. I mean, I think, in a business relationship, I think the same rules should apply. Yeah. For me, when I was thinking about this, I guess if you've met the person, then I think you have an obligation to not ghost. I think, at that point, you are too far past when ghosting could even be potentially appropriate.

Leah: What if you met up for coffee, and both of you ... It was clearly not-

Nick: Well, then that's not ghosting. That's allowing something to fizzle. If I had coffee with you, and I followed up, like, "Hey, it was so great meeting you. Were you interested in maybe checking out that museum that we talked about?" and you don't respond to that, that is ghosting. If we both have coffee and neither of us text each other, well, that's not ghosting.

Leah: Okay.

Nick: That's just allowing nothing to happen.

Leah: Okay.

Nick: I think there is a difference, which is important. The ghosting is when I reach out to you, I'm expecting a reply, and you don't reply.

Leah: Okay.

Nick: So, I guess, if you met the person, I feel like, yeah, you can't ghost. You just have to say that either, "This business opportunity is not right for me," or, "So great meeting you, but I'm not feeling a connection," or whatever it is.

Leah: Right.

Nick: So, I think that was the line. If you've talked to them on the phone, I guess - if you've had a phone conversation with somebody ...

Leah: Are we having phone conversations with people?

Nick: [Laughing] I mean, I don't think dating happens by phone anymore, initially.

Leah: No!

Nick: But in a business, I guess [inaudible] a phone meeting. Yeah, I think if you have a phone meeting, and it's business, I think you owe them some follow-up, if they reach out again.

Leah: Okay.

Nick: Yeah, you owe them some closure. Yeah. So, now let's talk about when is ghosting actually okay? Because I think there are times when ghosting is totally fine. One of them is if somebody crossed a boundary.

Leah: Yeah, and then they wanna be like ... I've had people email me that I'm like, "Is this ... What?!"

Nick: Yeah, like, "Ooh, you have some nerve!"

Leah: Yeah, what's going on right now?

Nick: I think if the response to a text, or an email from someone is, "You've got some nerve," then, yeah, I think you are allowed to ignore this.

Leah: Yeah. You're not ghosting, you're-

Nick: You're setting a boundary.

Leah: They know; they're fishing.

Nick: Yeah, so I think that's acceptable. I think anytime there's a safety issue, either emotional safety or physical safety, yeah ... Etiquette does not trump safety.

Leah: Yeah, and your sense of personal peace.

Nick: Yeah, so you are definitely allowed ... Then, I guess, if you've set the boundary, and you've said, like, "It was so great meeting you. I just don't feel a connection," and you've sort of said the nice adult thing that you should say-

Leah: I think that you should give all of us permission, Nick - because you do this in my life - to let everybody know that you're allowed to say that to people, and it's actually the more polite thing to do.

Nick: It is way more polite to do that - yes - than ghosting [crosstalk]

Leah: -you're not saying anything mean.

Nick: No, and I think as long as it's not a comment on them .... Sidebar: things you should and should not say when you're trying to break up with somebody. The, "It was nice meeting you. I just don't feel a connection," that is a true statement, and I think that's a respectful statement. Statements that are more like, "I'm just not ready to date," or, " I realize that I'm just sort of in a different place right now," that's not a good excuse, because now it's a comment on your date with me; like your experience with me caused you to have this epiphany, and I don't like that.

Leah: Well, it's also sort of open-ended. You're like, "Do you mean, in the future, we could ..."

Nick: True. Yes. But I think the nicest is always to say, like, "I enjoyed the time we had, but that was enough for me."

Leah: I think, with work things, it's almost the exact same thing. It's, "Thank you so much for your time. This was great. Going in a different direction."

Nick: Yes, and work things should be easier because, in a business etiquette situation, there should not be emotion in it.

Leah: Yeah, but a lot of people have emotions.

Nick: Yes. So, don't have those if it fits the situation.

Leah: For those you, such as myself, who can't ... It's fair to just say that, and there's nothing rude about it.

Nick: Yes. There's definitely nothing rude. You always want to just- always sort of thank them for their time, or their effort, or whatever it is, and just explain, like, "I'm moving in a different direction, but thank you," and it's enough.

Leah: Yeah, and I always have to remind myself that I'm being polite by freeing up people's time.

Nick: Yes. Leaving people hanging is rude.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: In the end, I think that's why ghosting is rude, because you are leaving people hanging, and leaving people hanging is rude because they don't know what to do next. That awkwardness is uncomfortable, and you've made someone uncomfortable, and making people uncomfortable is bad etiquette. So-

Leah: In the end, it's not helpful. Just cut to the chase.

Nick: Yeah. Pull it off like a Band-Aid sometimes.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: Yeah. You can be direct, and polite at the same time.

Leah: Yeah, because you're respecting the other person, if you're-

Nick: Yes.

Leah: You're respecting their time. You're respecting their intelligence. "Hey, this wasn't ..." Boom. Done.

Nick: I guess etiquette is also about empathy and thinking about if I was in that other person's shoes, what would I want to hear from them.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: How would I want them to end this relationship, whatever it is that we have? I would much rather just hear from you like, "Oh, I'm good. I don't need to see you again," or, "We're not gonna use your services. Thank you so much."

Leah: Yep.

Nick: Great. I can move on. No more bandwidth for you. Thank you so much.

Leah: I'm not getting strung along, not knowing what's happening.

Nick: Yes, and on some level, ghosting actually is a gift, when people do it, I find. I try and make a little lemonade out of lemons with that because it tells you where their emotional maturity is and where their communication maturity is. I'm not super-interested in dealing with people that have low emotional maturity. When you ghost, you've been very clear with me about like, oh, this is where you're at, so thanks. You have saved me a lot of trouble. I'm not gonna invest any more effort into this relationship, and thanks for saving me the trouble. I'm glad to know this now, than in six months from now.

Leah: Yeah, I've had female friends who have been ghosted, and they'll- we'll have conversations, and they're very upset by the lack of closure.

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: I feel like that's what it is. You're learning that this is the type of person who's not ever going to give that to you.

Nick: Nope.

Leah: So, you have to ... That's your closure. They're not there-

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: -and you can't ... You don't want that in your life.

Nick: Yeah. You don't want somebody in your life that does this.

Leah: Business or personal.

Nick: Yeah. Yeah. You just don't want people who act this way in your life. So, it's just better to cut them out. That's how I feel about it.

Leah: I think it's great.

Nick: Yeah, and then, I don't know why I threw this in there. I put down a Maya Angelou quote. [Giggling]

Leah: Give it to us. I love Maya Angelou quotes.

Nick: Do you like it? Yeah, let's put this on a pillow. So, her famous quote is just, "When people show you who they are, believe them the first time."

Leah: Oh, that's a great one.

Nick: Right?!

Leah: Mm-hmm.

Nick: So ... My friends are rolling their eyes, hearing me just read that, but it's a good quote, and I actually do think this is very true.

Leah: It is very true.

Nick: So, when people ghost, yeah, that's who they are, so believe them.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Inevitably, when some people ghost, and then reemerge weeks later, months later, and pretend like they never did that-

Leah: Yeah, no time passed.

Nick: No time has passed.

Leah: It's almost gaslighting.

Nick: It is gaslighting, so now you're a psychopath. It's like, "No, no, you ghosted. That's final. That was a done deal."

Leah: Or wildly selfish.

Nick: Or all of the above-

Leah: All of the above.

Nick: All of the above. So, if somebody's ghosts and then un-ghosts? No, shut it down. You are allowed to ignore the post-ghost message [Laughing] You are allowed to ignore that. You can ghost the ghost. There it is. That's it. You heard it from me first.

[Musical Interlude]

Nick: We're back, and now it's time to take some questions from the wilderness.

Leah: [Howling]

Nick: Our first question is: "At a Renaissance fair, is it okay to wear a Superman costume?

Leah: I just wanna say that I was so happy about this question.

Nick: [Giggling] These are your people.

Leah: These are my people.

Nick: These are your people. Leah, if you don't know, has ... Well, certainly, Lord of the Rings is your go-to.

Leah: I hate to say this because I feel like I'm admitting to something, but I really am trying to be very honest with our audience-

Nick: Own it! This is a safe space.

Leah: I have elf ears that are Lord of the Rings, but I also-

Nick: Like, you wear them.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: Your normal ears are not elfish.

Leah: My normal ears are not elfish.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: But I've also worn them at a Star Trek convention-

Nick: Ah.

Leah: -as a Vulcan. Then, I'll throw them on at Christmas.

Nick: Oh!

Leah: So, I feel like a true consummate professional would have three sets of ears, but-

Nick: Well, because Vulcan ears, and elf ears, and Lord of the Rings ears, these are different ears.

Leah: Well, Lord of the Rings elf versus a Christmas elf, they're probably a little different bit of an elf, and then, a Vulcan [crosstalk] You know what I mean? I should technically have three sets of ears.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: But I just have one.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: Uh-

Nick: Well, Christmas is coming.

Leah: I have ears. I also have a cloak.

Nick: Hm.

Leah: I, of course, have a Jedi robe.

Nick: Mm-hmm. Have you been to a Renaissance fair?

Leah: No.

Nick: So, for those who don't know, I assume this is a global phenomenon and not just an American thing, but maybe it's an American thing. I don't know? Listeners, if you're outside of the United States, do you have Renaissance fairs where you live? A Renaissance fair is basically a immersive experience, where people dress like it is Queen Elizabeth I's reign.

Leah: It's in like a field-

Nick: Or there's like a little village.

Leah: Yeah, and it's not-

Nick: It's royals-

Leah: -like downtown-

Nick: It's not downtown London, no, but it's nobles; it's knights; it's ladies; it's merchants; it's peasants; it's people eating big drumsticks.

Leah: Yes!

Nick: Jugs of mead. Yeah, it's all of that.

Leah: It's corsets; it's boots.

Nick: Yeah, so that's a Renaissance fair. My personal feeling is that a Superman costume is not appropriate.

Leah: I mean, it's not Renaissance.

Nick: It is not Renaissance. True. However, at a Renaissance fair, you do see a lot of people with fairy wings and other sort of fantasy items, and I do not believe there were fairies in the Renaissance, as far as I recall.

Leah: I have no problem with a Superman costume.

Nick: You don't?

Leah: No.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: I feel like, while we're making stuff up, have a great time.

Nick: No, but that's like wearing a Darth Vader costume to a Star Trek convention.

Leah: Yeah, I know. Know that you're wrong-

Nick: Okay.

Leah: -but enjoy yourself.

Nick: Yeah, but don't you think you're taking the fantasy away from the other people who are going to experience Renaissance life?

Leah: Oh, I see what you're saying.

Nick: Honestly, if you're going to do Renaissance fair, you should try and be period. No sunglasses, no watches, no sneakers. We want to embrace that-

Leah: You know what? I'm going to agree with you. I'm going to agree with you.

Nick: If I see somebody as Mario, and Luigi walking down Main Street-

Leah: It throws you out of the experience.

Nick: It takes me out of the experience.

Leah: I think you're right.

Nick: But I do agree that it is fantasy. Live your best life. That's fine. I did look into this further. Apparently, there are a lot of Renaissance fairs, where doctor who shows up - the time traveler. So, some people find it very funny to dress as Doctor Who, and, like, "Oh, I'm time-traveling back to the Renaissance." That apparently is a well-known trope-

Leah: Oh!

Nick: -that people are annoyed by.

Leah: Maybe the Superman is trying to be like ... Because, you know, if he goes backwards, the time goes backwards.

Nick: Yeah. So, it could be that. Apparently, there's always like a Star Trek Away Team, who shows up at the Renaissance fairs. Apparently, most Renaissance fairs also have something called Time Traveler Weekend.

Leah: Okay.

Nick: So, they actually designate a specific weekend, where if you want to do that, this is your occasion.

Leah: Yeah, I think, be respectful of what the event is, and if they're really going all in on making it authentic-

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: Maybe save your Superman for the Time Traveler weekend.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, I guess I would like it to be period-appropriate, and planet-appropriate, I guess is my feelings-

Leah: Mm-hmm. Planet-appropriate?

Nick: Planet-appropriate. Yeah, I guess that's what I want for my Renaissance fair, but-

Leah: Let's all go right now. So fun!

Nick: You know, upstate, near Greenwood Lake, is like this enormous Renaissance fair that has jousting, and a little village, and the whole thing.

Leah: Oh, I've had friends go.

Nick: Yeah, it's a whole thing, yeah.

Leah: Seems wonderful.

Nick: I don't know. Our next question is: "Is it okay to keep your headphones on when talking to a flight attendant?" Hmmm ...

Leah: I always pull one out.

Nick: Yeah, I think the same rules about like if you're at a coffee shop, and you're about to order - yeah, you should take your headphones out. Now, I think we do disagree. I like both out. I want- you have my full attention; but I think at least the headphone closest to the aisle.

Leah: Yeah. I always pull one out, and say, "Oh, I'm listening. I can hear you." Whenever I pull two out, I drop it. I lose it. Where do they go? I don't know ...

Nick: Hm. Who can say?

Leah: Who can say where they went?

Nick: Who can say? But, yeah, I think you want to make eye contact, and you want to sort of be quick about it.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Yeah. Our next question is" "My husband and I have different last names. People assume that I have his and will often refer to me with his last name and, to make matters worse, call me "Mrs.." As a feminist, this is super-frustrating. I will often say, "Oh, I'm actually Smith, or you can just call me Barbara." I'm sure I'm being rude for correcting people, but I wish people would stop assuming. Is there a better way to handle this?"

Leah: I don't think this person's being ... I don't think you're being rude for correcting people. It's your name.

Nick: Yeah, that's fine. Miss Manners also agrees. You should always be addressed the way you want to be addressed, so whatever name it is that you use - and this goes for pronouns, whatever pronouns you want to use - you should be called by that, and you should let people know that. It's okay to correct people when they do call you by the wrong name. What you're not allowed to do is lecture them or chastise them.

Leah: Yeah, like if I thought you had a different last name, I would love for you to correct me. Ideally, you wouldn't be angry at me because [crosstalk]

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: -just be like, "Oh, it's Barbara," and I'd be like, "Oh, cool!" Or, "Oh, I go by Smith," and, "Oh, cool," and then, now, I know.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, it's the same tone of just, like, "Oh, my name is actually Lee-uh, not Lay-uh."

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: It's just a neutral tone, like, "Oh, you didn't maliciously call me by the wrong name. I'm just correcting you," and that's fine.

Leah: I don't think you should feel rude about correcting people at all and feel free to do it all the time, because I think there's a little bit still ... You know, "I wish people would stop assuming ..." It's the irritation of it.

Nick: Yes. I mean, people will assume; I think many people do still take a husband's last name, so this is very common. So, I don't think we want to be mad at society for having this issue, but it's fine to correct people, yeah.

Leah: Or, we can be made, but we just-

Nick: You can be mad at patriarchy-

Leah: -you could just still politely correct people.

Nick: Yes. What you don't want to do is then go into a lecture about it - why you've chosen to do this; what it means to you; what it means about the person assuming this. We don't want to go down that path.

Leah: I mean, you know I have. [Laughing]

Nick: You want to lecture people about this?

Leah: No, I don't lecture.

Nick: Oh, what do you do?

Leah: You don't wanna know what I've done, Nick ... [Laughing]

Nick: I mean, give me a flavor.

Leah: I've made comments about, "Oh, I have a permission slip to be outside from my ..."

Nick: My husband?

Leah: "... my husband."

Nick: Oh, yeah. That's a little pointed.

Leah: Oh, it's pointed on purpose.

Nick: Yeah. Yeah.

Leah: I'm not ... Some people just have it wrong. Some people dig in.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: If you dig in, I'm gonna dig in.

Nick: Okay, yeah. If they don't just accept that, "Oh, you have your own last name, which is not the same as your husband's," and aren't prepared to just accept that and move on, uh, okay ... All right, we're gonna ...

Leah: I'm gonna dig in, right back.

Nick: Okay, yeah, I guess if you want to do that. [Giggling] Yeah. All right. We have a different approach there. Well, these were very interesting questions.

Leah: Great questions!

Nick: Great questions! So, please send in your questions. We would love to answer them, and we'll call you by however you want us to call you.

Leah: We will!

Nick: We will! Actually, we don't really use your names, ever, because we want this to feel universal.

Leah: We also want to protect your privacy.

Nick: We also protect your privacy. True. Yeah, we don't know who wants their names used.

Leah: Yeah, and who's listening, and who isn't listening.

Nick: Yeah, so we kinda keep it vague ... But we want to hear from you, regardless.

Leah: Please!

Nick: So, send in your questions. Send them to us at our website,, or you can leave us a voicemail - (267) CALL-RBW (267-225-5729)

[Musical Interlude]

Nick: We're back, and now it's time to play a game we like to call Vent or Repent.

Leah: [Chanting] Vent or Repent! Vent or Repent!

Nick: Oh, that's new!

Leah: I want to switch it up.

Nick: Wow. So, this is our opportunity to vent about some bad etiquette thing we've done recently, or we can repent for some etiquette faux pas we've committed. So, Leah, would you like to vent or repent?

Leah: I'm gonna vent!

Nick: Bring it!

Leah: I'm gonna vent in the theme of our last question.

Nick: Oh!

Leah: So, I have a significant other-

Nick: Right.

Leah: -who is my fiancé.

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: -but I call him my boyfriend-

Nick: Okay.

Leah: -because fiancé just sees-

Nick: You can call him whatever you wanna call him.

Leah: So, this happens a lot. Recently, it happened a whole bunch, and I tried to let it go, and be-

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: -but it drives me crazy. It grinds my gears-

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: -where, if I am telling you something, and then, you say, "Oh, what does your boyfriend think about that?"

Nick: Oh! That's interesting!

Leah: It happens so much! It will often have to do with my career choices.

Nick: Oh ... Wow!

Leah: Immediately, you may think, "Oh, it must be men doing it." No! It's men and women.

Nick: Okay, universal!

Leah: More men, but some women.

Nick: These are typically things that would affect bigger life stuff-

Leah: Yes.

Nick: So, a career, moving, finances ...

Leah: Or even, sometimes, if it's like a joke, or I'm going to this thing ... I recently had a friend say, "Does your boyfriend know you're here?"

Nick: Ohhh! [Giggling]

Leah: What?! Also, I find it very odd where people who don't know the two of us as a couple, but just know I'm in a relationship-

Nick: Right.

Leah: -so it's different. If you asked me, or a friend asked me, because they just want to know, "Oh, what does he think?"

Nick: Yes. Okay. Slightly different [crosstalk]

Leah: -it's slightly different. We make a couple of decisions. But if you, as a person who, you've never seen us together as a couple, I don't talk to you about my relationship-

Nick: Right.

Leah: -you want to know how my boyfriend weighs in on my choices?

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: I mean, this happens a lot!

Nick: So, is it because we assume he has final say, or is it because we assume that you can't possibly make these decisions on your own?

Leah: I mean, I have to assume it's all of the above.

Nick: Yeah ... Wow.

Leah: Yeah, it happens a lot.

Nick: Okay, that's-

Leah: And it really ...

Nick: That's a good gear-grinding.

Leah: Really grinds my gears!

Nick: Yeah!

Leah: Especially when it's people who don't know us as a couple.

Nick: Yeah. What does your boyfriend think about this?

Leah: Oh, he knows it riles me up!

Nick: [Giggling] So, for me, what riles me up is I go to museums and galleries a lot. If you've seen my Instagram, there's a lot of them featured because I go to galleries probably every day. It's like a palate cleanser for my mind.

Leah: Oh, wow!

Nick: It's like a little grapefruit granita. It just sort of ...

Leah: Fantastic! Granita?

Nick: Just, you know, it's a nice thing in the middle of the day to pop out, see some art. Clears the mind. So, I made the mistake of going to MOMA, the Museum of Modern Art, and they have a new Donald Judd retrospective. But what I am annoyed by, and why this is a vent, is you need to be mindful of other people that you're not blocking the art, and you're not blocking the cards. Because I wanted just to get the number off of the card, so I could use my cell phone, and use their app, where I could listen to the information - because all of the works are untitled, so I don't need to know that, but I did want the number off the card. People were basically blocking all of it, at all times. It was so frustrating because it's like, you know you are standing right in front of this thing, and there's probably 50 people in front of every artwork. So, move it along people and be mindful that people are trying to look at art!

Leah: Yeah, you're at a group event.

Nick: Yes. You are in public. This is not about you. Yeah! So, I just find that maddening that people's sense of personal space, and their sense of entitlement just really seemed heightened.

Leah: It's a lack of awareness for other people. It's very infuriating.

Nick: Yeah, I'm totally infuriated about this. So, don't do that. Or, I guess I just need to get my own private museum and just enjoy the artwork by myself.

Leah: [Laughing]

Nick: That's the dream.

[Musical Interlude]

Nick: So, Leah, what have we learned?

Leah: I solidified ... It's not new information. Clarified.

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: I feel like you've really clarified when it becomes your responsibility, as an adult, to relay information, even if it's slightly uncomfortable-

Nick: Okay.

Leah: -to be politer.

Nick: Yes. So, we're totally on the same page, now.

Leah: Absolutely on the same page.

Nick: Okay, great.

Leah: I also feel like you very nicely described how we need to be in the same time period for our Renaissance fairs.

Nick: Same planet, at least, yeah-

Leah: Yeah, same planet. I love that. I love that!

Nick: Yeah, and I learned that you only have one set of ears, and you think that Vulcan ears, and elf ears are the same ears.

Leah: I don't think they're the same, but I do try to pass them off, which I'm admitting my guilt to.

Nick: Thank you, Leah.

Leah: Thank you, Nick.

Nick: Thanks to you for listening. If I had your address, I'd send you a handwritten note on my custom stationery. Please visit our website,, where you can subscribe to our newsletter, and you can buy some merchandise, and you can get a link to our Instagram, and you can become a member on our Patreon.

Leah: [Whispering] Yes, you can!

Nick: Which we'd really like you to learn more about and see if that works for you.

Leah: Please!

Nick: Because it works for us.

Leah: Please!

Nick: We'll see you next time.

Leah: Bye!

Nick: Bye!

[Musical Theme Song]

Nick: All right, Leah. It's time for Cordials of Kindness ...

Leah: [Singing] Thank you ...

Nick: This is where Leah makes us say nice things for 30 seconds, because that's all I give her. Ready, set, go!

Leah: Well, I'm keeping a theme. So, my significant other, we [already] spend a lot of time apart, and every time he's away from me, he brings me back a little thing from where he was from. I didn't really grow up in a family that did this, and it's just so nice. So, now, whenever we're apart, I bring him a little thing. It's just really ... It doesn't have to be expensive, or whatever. It's just so kind, and I just really love it. It's so sweet.

[Buzzer Sound]

Nick: For me, we got a really nice review-

Leah: Oooh!

Nick: -which is, "I love listening to this podcast on Monday mornings with the children on the way to school. Informative, funny, and family appropriate. It's so difficult to find things we all want to listen to. This delightful show hits the mark."

[Buzzer Sound]

Nick: Doesn't that warm your heart?

Leah: So nice!

Nick: Start 'em young, people! Start 'em young.

Leah: [Laughing]

Nick: Can you imagine ...? If I had this show when I was elementary-school age, it would've saved me a lot of time [Laughing] Would have really saved me a lot of time. I would have loved to have known about grape shears when I was 10. I mean, can you imagine how my life would be different?

Leah: I would have loved to have known how to write a lot of these notes that you very, very succinctly explain.

Nick: Yeah. Yeah. Wouldn't you wanna know how to appropriately ghost in elementary school?

Leah: [Giggling]

Nick: So, thank you. This is very nice!

[Buzzer Sound]