Dec. 26, 2022

Holiday Break: Tipping at the Holidays, Ordering Too Much at Drive-Thrus, Begging for Gifts, and More

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! This week, Nick and Leah are enjoying a well-deserved break, but they'll be back soon with an all-new episode. In the meantime, here's one of their favorite episodes from the archives in which they tackle tipping at the holidays, ordering too much at drive-thru windows, begging people to buy you presents, and much more.

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Etiquette, manners, and beyond! This week, Nick and Leah are enjoying a well-deserved break, but they'll be back soon with an all-new episode. In the meantime, here's one of their favorite episodes from the archives in which they tackle tipping at the holidays, ordering too much at drive-thru windows, begging people to buy you presents, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we could.)

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  • AMUSE-BOUCHE: Circumambulation at a Buddhist temple
  • A QUESTION OF ETIQUETTE: Christmas Tipping
  • QUESTIONS FROM THE WILDERNESS: How to respond to unsolicited requests for presents? Should my children have done more to acknowledge our big wedding anniversary? Is there such thing as "too large" an order for a drive-thru?
  • VENT OR REPENT: Intentionally splashed, Interrupting numbers
  • CORDIALS OF KINDNESS: Birthday presents, Best wishes from China







Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema

Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton

Theme Music: Rob Paravonian



Episode 64


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[Musical Introduction]

Nick: Do you walk the wrong way around a temple? Do you forget to give Christmas tips? Do you order too much at a drive-through? 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 am Leah Bonnema.

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

Leah: Let's get in it! I never know what it is. I'm so excited!

Nick: So, for today's amuse-bouche, I want to talk about the concept of circumambulation at a Buddhist temple. We're getting very specific today.

Leah: [Giggling] I mean, I don't even understand the question on this one, so-

Nick: When you enter a Buddhist temple, should you walk clockwise, or counterclockwise around it? So, the word here is circumambulation. Many religions have this concept, and it literally just means to walk around in a circle.

Leah: Are you saying ambulation, like ambulatory?

Nick: Yes, exactly.

Leah: Oh, okay.

Nick: Yeah, circum-ambulation. Muslims going around the Kaaba in Mecca - that's the cube-shaped building - they go around it. A lot of religions have this idea of going around some sacred object. So, in Buddhism, which way do you go? 50/50 shot!

Leah: I'm going to just guess counterclockwise.

Nick: [Giggling] Okay. It's clockwise.

Leah: I figured it was clockwise, and that's why I felt like I should go counterclockwise because I didn't want to ... Man, I should have trusted my gut!

Nick: [Giggling] So, it's clockwise. Basically, the idea is you keep the sacred object on your right side. The idea, I guess, depending on who you want to believe, is that the right side is more pure than the left side, so that's why you have the right side closer to that object. Other religions do it differently. In Islam, when you're going around the Kaaba, you actually go counterclockwise. If you're Bon, for example - that's a Tibetan religion ñ it goes counterclockwise. But clockwise in Buddhism. So ...

Leah: Interesting!

Nick: It's arbitrary, but a good thing to know.

Leah: It is a very good thing to know. Also, I learned a new word.

Nick: [Giggling] Right. So, for me, growing up in Marin County, like I did, the idea of circumambulation was just a normal thing growing up. "Oh, toss it in the pile with the fish liberations, and the sand mandalas," because where I grew up, there's this mountain in the middle of the county called Mount Tam - Mount Tamalpais. In the '60s, these famous poets did a circumambulation, and it became a tradition in the Bay Area. It was Allen Ginsberg, and Gary Snyder, and Philip Whalen. They gathered to circumambulate Mount Tam.

Leah: Oh!

Nick: I think it even still happens today, where there's a special trail that you can do that goes clockwise around this mountain.

Leah: That's so interesting!

Nick: Yeah, I mean, welcome to Marin. It's kind of what we do.

Leah: You're opening up whole new worlds! Whole new worlds! I love it.

Nick: The idea is if you do go to any Buddhist site and are going to be walking around it, just make sure you're going in a clockwise direction, and then you'll be fine.

Leah: Awesome!

[Musical Interlude]

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

Leah: [singing] Another holiday deep dive.

Nick: [Giggling] So, for today's question of etiquette, I want to talk about Christmas tips.

Leah: I was so excited to talk about this because you had asked me-

Nick: Ugh!

Leah: -as a deep-dive topic, did I think that people outside of New York would find it interesting.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: Because it's not as-

Nick: Common, I guess.

Leah: -common. I was really excited about it because I don't live in a doorman building, and I'm very interested to know how it works.

Nick: Hmm.

Leah: Even though it doesn't immediately affect my life, I'm still very interested.

Nick: Well, before you even get there, let's just talk about Christmas tips, in general.

Leah: Oh, that's a great idea.

Nick: Because there's some Christmas tipping going on across the country. I guess one thing to think about is that there is no set rule. As a society, we have not agreed on a standard set of rules about how this works, which is why it is super frustrating, and maddening, and nobody knows the answer.

Leah: And anxiety producing.

Nick: Yeah, yeah, it is anxiety producing because we have not agreed on what's right.

Leah: You're like, "Am I doing this right? What am I supposed to do?"

Nick: Yeah. There's all these online guides. Every etiquette guru has their guide; magazines do annual things; newspapers. Everybody has a totally different set of rules and expectations, or they give you a range, where like, "Well, for the dogwalker, it's $15 to $250." You're like, "That's not helpful."

Leah: Not helpful at all.

Nick: That's not helpful at all. I think the idea of using the word "tip" is wrong. I think if we reframe it, and call it a Christmas bonus, I think thinking of it that way is a better way to think about it. So, it's basically, you have done something for me all year long, and here's a little something extra at the end of the year to say thank you for your efforts. It's a bonus. That helps explain who should get a tip, which is people who have been doing something for you all year long. It's somebody you have a relationship with of some sort that is probably ongoing. That's your babysitter; that's your house cleaner; that's your doorman. It's anybody in that category. I think that is one way to reframe what we mean when we say Christmas tips. It's not Christmas tips, it's Christmas bonus. So, an idea ...

Leah: I think there's also this other subcategory - it's people that you see regularly, and maybe have a customer relationship with; you just want to say, "You're special to me," which is maybe more of a holiday cookie plate.

Nick: Yes. I mean, I think there's definitely a category of people that we don't actually tip, like the lawyers, and the doctors, and the teachers. For those people, I think we would give the brownie box. For everybody else, I think we're talking about cash money.

Leah: Then, with a doorman, I know we're not talking about doormen, but I'm just using this as an example to bring up the other example. You're not tipping them on the daily. A lot of these other people, you're tipping every time you're going.

Nick: That's also a good point. The idea of this year-end thing is you could have tipped along the way, every time, but instead, we're just going to do it all at once at the end of the year. So, if you always tip the garage guy every time he pulls your car out, then, at Christmas, I don't think you need to give him another tip. If you don't tip him at all, well, probably, your car has been keyed, at this point. [Giggling] I think that's a good point.
Leah: [Giggling]

Nick: Whereas your housekeeper, you probably aren't tipping every time they come. So, you should tip them then at the end of the year.

Leah: Right. That's when you think of it as a Christmas bonus.

Nick: Exactly. Right. I think one of the guidelines that people do use is, sometimes, it's one service worth is how much you tip.

Leah: Okay.

Nick: One cleaning session or, for babysitters, one evening of babysitting, or dog walkers, it's one week of dog walking? I don't know how dog walking works, but however that gets paid. So, that is one way that people do think about it. Then, I think the other thing to think about is also just whatever it is, don't go over your own personal budget. The idea is to not put yourself in financial harm just to satisfy this weird social tipping thing. You tip what you can. The dollar amount should just be appropriate for your own personal budget. If you have zero budget, but you want to do something nice, then there's other ways to do that without cash.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: So, I think those are important things to keep in mind. Well, let's talk about New York City, because, ugh...

Leah: All right, let's do it.

Nick: I mean, New York City is unique and it's insane. People in New York City also find it insane because you can very easily get to $2,000-$3,000 in Christmas tips.

Leah: [Gasping] No!

Nick: It is not inconceivable that if you live in a real fancy, full-service-doorman building with a big staff that you could definitely get to $2,000 pretty easily, yeah... Because here's how it goes down in a New York City building. If you live in a doorman building, which means you have a person at your door 24/7, seven days a week, that's not just one person. That is probably five different people.

Leah: Right.

Nick: They all have shifts. There's the morning guy; the overnight guy; the afternoon guy. So, you probably have three shifts a day, and then, those people have days off, so then, we have relief doormen. There's probably at least five full-time doormen; two relief doormen - that could be seven people. Then, also, in a big building, you have what we call the porters. These are people who take out the trash, or deal with the recycling, or help with those type of things, and there's probably a super ñ superintendent - sometimes called a building manager. In a real big building, there'll be an assistant building manager.

Then, there's probably handymen. Then, in my building - I live in a very big building - there are also the painters. Apparently, we have four full-time people on staff, and their whole job is painting. There's a lot to paint, apparently. So, what happens at Christmastime is there'll be a note that gets slipped under your door, and it'll be like, "From the lobby attendants, we wish you a happy holiday season," and then, it has everybody's names, and what their roles are, and often their photos because they want to make sure that you know who's who. That's it. The idea is you've got to come up with the dollar amount for all these people.

What is interesting is that they keep track. Doormen say they don't keep track. They totally keep track, and you've got to keep track, too. I actually have a spreadsheet, from when I moved into this building to today, showing how much I gave everybody so that I can make sure that I'm not going out of the range each subsequent year because they remember. Then, you also have to be mindful of what you tip because a lot of them talk, and they share the numbers. So, that's important... It gets complicated. It gets real complicated.

Leah: That is so complicated!

Nick: Then, also, what is complicated is it depends on what kind of building you're in; if it's a co-op building, or a condo building. We won't get into differences in this show.
If it's a rental building; if you own your apartment, or you rent it - that matters. Even if it's a non-doorman building, you don't have a doorman, but you still have a super. A lot of people would tip the super.

Leah: We don't really have a super, so that worked out.

Nick: [Giggling] Right. We have nobody attending the building. It's feral.

Leah: [Laughing] Did I tell you that my significant other did a YouTube class on how to do the piping in our shower and was like, "I think it would just be easier if I redid it myself."

Nick: [Giggling] Okay.

Leah: So, that's what I'm working with!

Nick: Yeah. So, for that, you probably... You can get away with not tipping, I guess, if you're doing your own plumbing.

Leah: [Laughing] That is a real thing that happened!

Nick: Yeah, no, I believe it. Then, one thing I tell people when they move to New York - because I get this question a lot - is that you also want to tip your doorman well if they're keeping secrets for you.

Leah: [Gasping] I LOVE IT!!!

Nick: If they're keeping secrets for you, then you might want to tip them a little extra.

Leah: Oh, that is fantastic!

Nick: Let me tell you, doormen, they keep secrets.

Leah: Well, they must know everything.

Nick: They know everything. Of course. Yeah. I mean they see who's coming and going. They know at what hours that's happening. They see what condition people are coming and going in. They know what's up.

Leah: Well, in that case, how you're saying you would- some people you would tip more than others because they're keeping your secret.

Nick: Yes, then that's how that goes. The longer you're in a building, you definitely always have your favorites. You know which staff do more things for you. If you are lightly living, and you're not asking the doorman to really do anything for you, and you just get a nice nod as you come home, then that's one tip level. If they're always helping you drag grocery bags in from the curb, from the taxi in, and doing extra things for you, then, yeah, they deserve more tip at the end of the year. It's a balance. Yeah, Christmas tipping in New York City is just like... Everybody hates it, but that's the game we play.

Leah: Wow. One... I always try around the holidays to tip a little heavier wherever I am, even if it's at just a restaurant, or a cab, just because it's the holidays, but that's not somebody that I have a continual relationship with.

Nick: Yeah. I think it's nice to just spread some holiday cheer, in general.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Yeah, it's nice to toss an extra dollar into the jar at the coffee shop. I think that's nice, to get in the spirit of things, but the tipping, in New York City, at least, that is more of an obligation on some level. [Giggling] That doesn't feel like holiday cheer. Oh, and one thing I want to mention is, when you're doing it, you want to have crisp bills. It should be crisp bills. It's not like whatever change you dug up from your purse.

Leah: Hmm.

Nick: If you're going to tip 50 bucks, 100 bucks, it is nice if it's a $50 bill, or a $100 bill. So, it's nice if it's the full bill of what it is.

Leah: Do you put it in a card?

Nick: It should go into a holiday card, yes, and you should write a nice note ñ "Thank you so much for a great year!" Then, you want to make sure your name and apartment number is on it very clearly because the whole point is for them to know that you in that apartment gave them money.

Leah: Right.

Nick: That's the whole point here. So, you want to make sure that's very clear. Then, you can either hand it to them directly, which is nice - eye contact. Thank you so much - or, usually, you can have the management office distribute it, depending how big your building is, or whatnot. That's the idea with the Christmas tips.

Leah: Wow.

Nick: New York City - greatest city in the world. Ugh! Why do we live here?

Leah: I mean, technically, I'm over the bridge. No, I live in New York City.

Nick: [Giggling]

Leah: I think of Queens ... New York City is all of its boroughs.

Nick: It is. Yes. Technically. Yes. It's also a state of mind.

Leah: You know? They should write a song about that.

[Musical Interlude]

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

Leah: [Howling]

Nick: Our first question is: "Please help with how to handle this bizarre request I just received from my sister-in-law."

Leah: [Giggling] '

Nick: "She just sent an email today to her husband and me that said, 'Just in case you need some ideas...' and it was a forwarded email from some store where I'm guessing she wants me to buy her a gift card. I think there's a presumption that because I'm a doctor, I must be rich, but I'm not. Also, they have not ever sent a gift to me. Not that it matters... Should I ignore this email? Is that rude? I should note that they live on the other coast, and we're not exceptionally close. We rarely talk on the phone, and I maybe see them only once or twice a year at most."

Leah: I think we've said this... This is not the question, but it's in the question. We've said it before - I think important to reiterate - whether or not you think somebody has money, or doesn't have money-

Nick: Immaterial!

Leah: Immaterial.

Nick: Immaterial, yes. Also, the "Not that it matters..." Oh, I think it matters to you that they have never given you a gift.

Leah: Yeah, it does matter.

Nick: Yeah. I think that matters to you. Yeah.

Leah: It doesn't matter that they're giving you a gift, it's just the idea that you would just buy somebody something-

Nick: Yeah. It's also interesting that in-laws... It's always the in-laws causing trouble. Have you noticed this? We've had a noticeable uptick in in-law letters!

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Hmm.

Leah: Again, I would love to know what the person who's related to this person, how they would like to handle it.

Nick: Yeah, they're never sending us the letter. Yeah.

Leah: I would like to know that.

Nick: I think we can agree that asking somebody to buy you a present is rude.

Leah: Well, they did it so sneaky, where they were like, "If you're looking for ideas..."

Nick: I mean, is that sneaky?

Leah: No, it's not sneaky, but I mean, it's so...

Nick: [Giggling] It's not subtle.

Leah: It's not subtle, but it's... You want to be like, "What are you talking- obviously, I wasn't looking for ideas."

Nick: [Giggling] Right.

Leah: "We haven't established a relationship where I'm looking for ideas."

Nick: Yeah. "I haven't talked to you in a year and a half, and not looking for birthday ideas."

Leah: It's almost to the point - and obviously, this isn't it - when someone writes that, you'd be like, "Oh, I think you didn't mean to send this to me."

Nick: Yeah. It's like, "Oh, you accidentally sent this to me. Oops."

Leah: "Did you mean to send this to somebody who you'd had a conversation with about whether or not they were looking for ideas?"

Nick: "Did you mean you send this is somebody who cares?"

Leah: [Giggling] I thought there was two ways to handle this.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: I think probably neither of them is correct. I think you could just ignore it. I think you could also say, "Oh, did you want to exchange gifts this year?"

Nick: Uh, all right ... I like that. I mean, that comes across as a little passive-aggressive.

Leah: I'd be happy to do gifts with... It's family. They're related.

Nick: Yes.

Leah: So, "Oh, are we going to do gifts?"

Nick: Okay. If you could say it in a way that was sort of value-neutral, and nonjudgmental, like, "Oh, are we doing gifts this year?"

Leah: Yeah. "Let me know!"

Nick: [Giggling]

Leah: "Then, I'll send you some stuff."

Nick: Okay. I mean, I feel like that's real hard to pull off, but okay... Can I just pretend I didn't get the email?

Leah: Why not?

Nick: I kind of like that idea. Yeah. Because it doesn't sound like this is the relationship that we really care about. We see them once or twice a year. We're not that close. They're on the other coast. If they want to be mad that I didn't buy them this thing, have at it.

Leah: Also, she has set you up. What are you supposed to say back?

Nick: Yes. Your options include: "Don't need ideas;" "New phone, who dis?"

Leah: [Giggling] Which is always my favorite!

Nick: "Unsubscribe?"

Leah: I mean... That would really be taking a stand. If this is like... Maybe they're trying to start having some kind of a relationship with these people that they clearly don't have, and you're like, "All right, are you trying to make an effort that we would exchange gifts this year, or whatever?"

Nick: I mean, if you wanted to rekindle a relationship, is this the way we're going to do it?

Leah: No, but I'm leaving that door open if that was what that was.

Nick: Oh, that's real charitable. That's very charitable.

Leah: [Giggling] The holiday season is a time for an open heart.

Nick: No, we don't live in a world in which that is the reality of what is happening here. Um... What if we talk to her husband, who I guess is your brother?

Leah: Why? That's the thing. Now I gotta do work? I gotta talk to somebody else that I'm not talking to?

Nick: Well, I mean, could you send him an email, and just be like, "?"

Leah: Or could you send it to him and be like, "I think this was for you?"

Nick: Right.

Leah: But that's immediately going to go back to her. Whatever you send the husband is going to her.

Nick: Oh, that's true, yeah. There's no way that he's going to keep that from her. Yeah.

Leah: No!

Nick: So, I like the deleting it. Yeah. I think deleting it is your best bet.

Leah: Or you could email back and be like, "Are you drunk?"

Nick: [Giggling] Um, yeah... Or do we just send back a confusing emoji, just like a loaf of bread emoji? We just send an emoji back, and that's our response. Let them decipher it, and let them try to figure it out.

Leah: I think what would be so fun is if all of our amazing Were You Raised by Wolves listeners and us, we become this army of people who turn the tables on people who make us feel uncomfortable by just behaving in these weird ways, like responding with emojis of loaves of bread.

Nick: Yes, I think-

Leah: Oh, I'm uncomfortable, so here is the response you get. You figure it out.

Nick: Yep. Loaf of bread emoji. Good luck figuring that out. Send.

Leah: [Giggling]

Nick: Yeah. It's not rude. I stand by that. That's my final answer. Loaf of bread emoji.

Leah: Yeah. I think it's not rude if you ignore it.

Nick: Yep, okay. Our next question is: "My husband and I recently celebrated a significant wedding anniversary. I feel sad and hurt that our grown children didn't acknowledge it other than by saying "Happy Anniversary," through text. I don't know exactly what I was expecting. Maybe a nice card, at least? A gift card to a favorite restaurant. Am I being too dramatic?" Hmmmm.

So, my first thought is I think it depends on what your family's style is for celebrating things, historically, because there are some families that are like- they're not big celebrators. This is not their thing. They don't make a big deal about birthdays, or anniversaries, or holidays, or whatever. Then, on the other side of the spectrum, there's people that go all out for all occasions.

So, I think one question is - what is the historical precedence that has been created in your family around celebrating anniversaries? That's first thought. The second thought is they said it's a "significant" wedding anniversary. So, for that, even if you aren't a household that makes a big deal... Significant wedding anniversary? What is that? 25? 50? What's significant?

Leah: I don't know. 25 or 50 both seem good. My guess is that it's 50.

Nick: 50?

Leah: That seems significant.

Nick: If it's 50, yeah, a text message? That feels a little ...

Leah: This is how I read this question.

Nick: Oh.

Leah: They are not a family that does things on anniversaries. It's never been brought up.

Nick: Right.

Leah: Except for a "Happy Anniversary." I think maybe our letter-writer is saying she feels sad that it wasn't recognized.

Nick: Right.

Leah: I think it would be nice if people recognized that it was a big deal without having to have been told, but I think, particularly with wedding anniversaries, just because of the- solipsistic, I think, is a better word than selfish...

Nick: Oooh!

Leah: Even though it's almost the same, it's not quite.

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: It's because, more than likely, your kids weren't there when you got married.

Nick: Uh, that's true. Yes.

Leah: So, it doesn't feel like a thing. I think they need to be told, "This is a big wedding anniversary for us. We'd love to have some sort of a celebration with you."

Nick: Yeah, I think they could initiate that. Yes.

Leah: Obviously, it would be nice if people just knew that.

Nick: Right, yes. I think a lot of people's inclination for a lot of occasions, like birthdays, or wedding anniversaries, is you want the person to come up with the thoughtfulness. You don't want them to have to be told to be thoughtful because it somehow feels less thoughtful, which I guess is also true on some level.

Leah: I mean, it is true.

Nick: Yeah, I mean it is true. So, are you being too dramatic? I don't think you're actually being that dramatic in the reading of this letter.

Leah: No, I think you're allowed to feel like you wanted somebody to pay attention to something.

Nick: Yes. Although, etiquette wise, we do need to be careful about celebrating yourself. That becomes a little trickier territory.

Leah: Well, I think that's why you could say, "This is a big year for us, and we'd love to just celebrate together. Could we do a Zoom call or something?"

Nick: Right. Yes. That's more mild than expecting people to throw a party for you.

Leah: Which I don't think she wanted. She wanted a card.

Nick: Yeah, she just wanted a card in the mail; she would've settled for that.

Leah: Or a phone call. Yeah [crosstalk] I don't feel like that's real low bar. She's not asking for-

Nick: Her needs were very low.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Yes. So, our next question is: "My partner and I visited his family for a few days. One night, they decided to take a break from cooking and just get fast food. The group included his parents, me, him, his sisters, and both their partners - eight people total, each with at least a standard fast-food meal order; some with modifications, like no pickles, or onions. My partner and I made a list of what everyone wanted, and then drove off to pick up food and bring it back.

My partner wanted to go through the drive-thru, but I argued that with such a large order, it was not fair to the employees, or to the other people in the drive-thru if we used it. I said we should go inside. I know that drive-thru employees are trained to move fast, but, to me, a drive-thru is for one cars' worth of food, not food for eight people. My partner disagreed. What's the right move here? Am I worrying over nothing, or can you have too big of an order for a drive-thru?" We talked about drive-thru etiquette some time ago, but I don't think we covered this scenario.

Leah: We didn't cover this scenario. I had two thoughts.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: One of them is I don't think it's the size of the order, I think it's how complicated the order is.

Nick: I think there is a size which is too large. I mean, if you go in and ask for a hundred Big Macs, I think we can agree that's too large, even though it's simple.

Leah: This is not too large. This is two families.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: I don't know what your modifications are.

Nick: Well, like no pickles, or onions, I guess.

Leah: How many? Is it like one had no pickles; one had no onions; one with ketchup, but with mustard? You know what I mean?

Nick: Right.

Leah: That's where it starts getting... That's go inside.

Nick: I think that my limit is six. Six people, assuming we're only using one payment method; no separate checks.

Leah: Oh, no separate checks!

Nick: I think six people, fast food, they can handle that, even if it's a little complicated. Six is good. If we go past six, I think we can do it, if it's simple, and all the same. So, if it's eight number-two combo meals, and that's it, okay, you can use the drive-thru.

Leah: I like that. I also think it's... If my partner was like, "I want to go through the drive-thru..." and I was uncomfortable about it-

Nick: Mm-hmm?

Leah: -then I would just be like, "Okay, then you're going by yourself. You go pick it up."

Nick: Okay. I mean [crosstalk]

Leah: If you feel that that's okay, and you want to do it, and that it makes me very anxious, I just won't go. We don't have to agree on it. You just do it alone.

Nick: Yeah, I guess that's one option. I think why we're concerned about too large of an order is that you don't want to be responsible for holding people up behind you. I think we're concerned about that. One thing I've heard about, and I don't have a lot of personal drive-thru experience, as we know, but one thing I've heard about is that if you have a large complicated order, when you drive up to the window, you can pay, and you can offer to drive through and park and ask if they'll bring it out to you, so that you can get out of the line. When they're ready with your large, complicated order, they'll just bring it out to your car. You can ask if that's a thing they'll do, and some places will do that. So, I think that's an interesting loophole.

Leah: That actually seems more work for the people working. Now they've got to leave the building?

Nick: Oh, that's true. I was thinking more about the people behind you, but then, that is worse for the staff.

Leah: Yeah, that's way worse for the staff.

Nick: Actually, that's a terrible idea! Why did I say that? That's a horrible suggestion! Yeah, retract that!

Leah: I don't think that people waiting behind you that long are going to have to wait that long for eight burgers. It just doesn't seem that egregious, but I do understand that it might make you uncomfortable just because it's not a thing... I don't do well with food delivery. So, what do I do? I'm not in the room.

Nick: What do you mean you don't do well with food delivery?

Leah: It just- I like to go pick it up.

Nick: So, if somebody comes at your door with a delivery order, you hide in the bathroom?

Leah: Yep.

Nick: Because you don't want to be present while this exchange is happening?

Leah: It's too hard for me. I just want to have a full conversation. I want to be like, "How were the stairs?" I also always go all the way down. I don't want people to have to walk up the stairs. It's just, it's so anxiety producing for me, I might as well just go stand outside. At that point, I'm just going to go-

Nick: Well, you might as well just go to the restaurant.

Leah: Right. That's what I do. I go and I pick it up. Sometimes, Justin will be like, "I really just want to get takeout," and I'll be like, "Okay, if I'm not picking it up, I'm going to hide in the bathroom when they get here," because otherwise, I'm just going to go outside and wait on the corner anyway because I feel bad people taking the stairs, even though that's the whole point. Then, I also feel rude- I'm just taking their food, and then leaving. I just... Then I over-tip, and then I just want to have a conversation about how their day was. It's too much, so, I have to go in the bathroom.

Nick: [Giggling] Leah Bonnema, everybody-

Leah: So, I understand if you're a person [Giggling]

Nick: Leah Bonnema.

Leah: -such as myself who just can't handle... Can handle very complicated things in life, but some little daily actions? Too much because it feels too layered, in which case, you want to do that? Great. Get in the car. Go by yourself.

Nick: Um, I mean, I guess it's good that you know your limits, and you know when you want to just take yourself out of the situation.

Leah: I just- I'm not going to be here. I'm going to be-

Nick: Okay.

Leah: I stand behind the shower curtain.

Nick: I feel like what we should do is try and desensitize you and ease you into getting food delivered. So, maybe it's just like-

Leah: I've done it a few times, and then, it's always like, do I have enough clothes on?

Nick: Well, what is the answer to that? Yes?

Leah: You know... How dressed do I have to be? It's just-

Nick: Dressed.

Leah: I'd rather just not. There are too many questions.

Nick: Okay. We'll put a pin in that for another day.

Leah: [Giggling]

Nick: So, if you have questions for us about anything-

Leah: Did we answer this?

Nick: Um, oh... I feel like I said six is good for me. If you want to do eight, you can, if there's really no modifications to it and definitely if it's only one payment method. That's what I'm saying.

Leah: Or you can just stay home and make somebody else go do it.

Nick: Or you could subcontract, yes.

Leah: Because I don't think it's really that big of a deal for the cars behind you to wait for eight burgers.

Nick: I guess, if eight is the limit, but then, what is the slippery slope? Is it 10?

Leah: I think once we start doing double digits, it seems-

Nick: Okay, nine, fine; 10, wrong.

Leah: [Laughing] You know what I mean?

Nick: Okay. Once we get beyond the size of the Von Trapp family-

Leah: Yes.

Nick: With Maria.

Leah: With Maria [Giggling]

Nick: Then, it's too far. Okay, so we all agree, there is some line.

Leah: There is a line. I don't think it's eight.

Nick: Okay, and we're just saying it's not eight, but it's not more than 10.

Leah: Right. I absolutely understand why it would make you nervous. That's why I'm openly admitting to all of our listeners what a weirdo I am about food delivery and hiding in the bathroom. So, you know that I totally get this anxiety, and that's why I feel like you should feel free to stay home.

Nick: Okay. So, if you have questions [Giggling] about anything, please let us know. You can let us know through our website,, or you can leave us a voicemail, or send us a text message, (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: [Whisper-chanting] Vent or Repent... 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 think I'm going to take Vents for $1,000?

Nick: [Giggling] Mm-hmm. Daily Double!

Leah: [Random unidentifiable sounds]

Nick: [Giggling] Okay. Well, I would like to have your Vent in the form of a question.

Leah: Oh, no! [Giggling] I'm going to paint a visual picture of where I am.

Nick: Please paint the scene!

Leah: So, if you live in New York, I am coming up on Bloomingdale's.

Nick: Okay, so we're on the Upper East Side.

Leah: I'm coming up on 58th Street.

Nick: Lexington Avenue.

Leah: I'm on Lexington, but I'm on the west-south corner.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: It's raining.

Nick: Hmm.

Leah: [Giggling] It's not that kind of rain. It's like an UGH!

Nick: Yeah, New York City rain, where it doesn't quite wash it off [Giggling]

Leah: It sticks to you.

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: Then, it's coming in from all sides.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: Then, obviously, we're all stopping at lights, so, we've all... The walking group have become collectively closer together.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: Because that's just happening. We're hitting all the lights. We're at that corner. This car-

Nick: [Giggling]

Leah: This car is coming across 58th.

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: It's as... We're all standing there barely staying dry under our separate umbrellas. This car had to go out of its own - they were going straight across - go out of its way to hit this puddle that was up next to the sidewalk.

Nick: [Giggling]

Leah: They actually veered... How do you not see the throngs of people standing on a sidewalk waiting for the light, when you pull... I mean, there's no way. I can only assume that they did it on purpose because they came into the curb and hit this huge puddle-

Nick: Ugh!

Leah: -which tidal-waved the whole front of the line, and they weren't even turning.

Nick: There was no need for them to be near that puddle.

Leah: There was no need for them to pull in. If, benefit of the doubt, they just weren't paying attention?

Nick: Mmmm.

Leah: You have to be aware, as a driver in a city, when there are people ñ which, in New York, loaded with people waiting for the light to change... They soaked the whole front of the line.

Nick: And the water in that puddle wasn't Evian.

Leah: The water in that puddle brought back the plague.

Nick: Yeah, I mean... There's a lot of interesting things in that water, I'm sure. [Giggling]

Leah: I think I yelled something. It was just this guttural response, where I was like, "YOU WILL BE PUNISHED!" I just... I couldn't. It was... I wasn't in the front of the line, and I did... It was almost as if I was a gymnast in the Olympics. I felt like it was sort of a back flip to just get out in enough time.

Nick: Oh!

Leah: I just... What kind a mean, evil person is soaking pedestrians?

Nick: That's evil. Yeah, that is truly evil. Yeah. That's not even an etiquette crime.

Leah: So rude!

Nick: So rude? That's sort of mild to say that that's rude. To purposely drive through a puddle so you can soak 50 people on the curb? This goes beyond rudeness.

Leah: Right?

Nick: That just goes... I mean, there's zero empathy, at that point.

Leah: Zero empathy.

Nick: Zero! Negative empathy. Yeah, that's shocking. So, you burned off the top five layers of your skin, and then, destroyed all of your clothing.

Leah: I did. I came home. I just dumped myself in rubbing alcohol, and then I just lit a quick match.

Nick: Mm-hmm. That's all you've gotta do. New York City water. It's the best.

Leah: Ugh!!

Nick: So, for me, I would also like to vent.

Leah: Oh, good!

Nick: I would like to vent about people who interrupt you, but specifically, when you're on the phone, and you're trying to give them your phone number, or credit card number, and they keep talking over you. So, we have to keep starting over. [Giggling] So, I want to do a demonstration. So, I want you to try and read this number-

Leah: Okay.

Nick: I'm going to take it down like you're placing an order with me. Okay?

Leah: Okay.

Nick: All right, Miss Bonnema, I just need your card number. Do you have your card handy?

Leah: I have my card handy.

Nick: Okay, great. So, go ahead.

Leah: 3-7-1-4-

Nick: 3-7... 3-7

Leah: 1-4-

Nick: 3- 3-7-1?

Leah: 4.

Nick: 4, okay.

Leah: 4 [crosstalk] That's two 4s.

Nick: 3-7... two 4s... Two 4s, so-

Leah: I'm just going to start over.

Nick: 3- 3-4-4-

Leah: Let me start again.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: 3-7-

Nick: 3-7.

Leah: 1-4.

Nick: Oh, I think we've gotta start over...

Leah: 3-7-1-4-

Nick: 3-7? [Giggling]

Leah: Let me just say the whole thing [Laughing]

Nick: Isn't this maddening?

Leah: It's so maddening [Laughing]

Nick: Have you ever had this happen? Is it just me?

Leah: No, [Giggling] it happens.

Nick: It's like, "Just let me say it..." or let me do the normal pauses. Then, we can edit, and then verify... I've had this happen three times this week, and it's like, A) why does your website not work so I could just place this order online? Why am I talking to you? Then, it's like, just let me get through the number. I'll do four digits at a time. No worries. Just let me do that, and then we're good.

Leah: Also, I'm sure they do this regularly. You would think they would realize-

Nick: All day long, I'm sure you're taking credit card numbers. Yeah.

Leah: If they don't let you talk, it's going to take longer.

Nick: That's my vent.

Leah: Oh, I would love to be in a room just watching your face when that was happening. [Laughing]

Nick: Ugh! I mean, just scratch my eyeballs out! [Laughing]

[Musical Interlude]

Nick: So, Leah, what have we learned?

Leah: I not only learned about circumambulation-

Nick: Mm-hmm?

Leah: I learned what circumambulation is-

Nick: Sure.

Leah: Because it was like it didn't exist. I didn't even know it was a word. Now, a whole other portal has been opened into my life, and it's really cool.

Nick: Hmm. Now, you're just going to be walking around in your apartment in a circle.

Leah: I'm going to be circumambulating.

Nick: Do it! I learned that if I have some plumbing work I need done, I can call you guys!

Leah: You absolutely can!

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: It's so fun because you just put it directly into YouTube, and there will be - I guarantee you - a dude who is like, "I know how to do this," and then, he has a video doing exactly what you want, and he breaks it down. It's incredible!

Nick: The internet ñ it's amazing!

Leah: I love it.

Nick: Well, thank you, Leah.

Leah: Thank you, Nick.

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

Leah: He would!

Nick: I would. I do!

Leah: He does!

Nick: So, for your homework this week, I want you to tell three friends about us, and I want you to send us an email with a question, a vent, or repent. I want to hear from you, so send me an email. We'll see you next time!

Leah: Bye!

Nick: Bye!

[Instrumental Theme Song]

Nick: All right, Leah, it's time for Cordials of Kindness, the part of the show that you make us do, but I only give you 30 seconds to do it. Ready. Set. Go!

Leah: I would like to thank Amber, and Andre who showed up at a show I was at, and they brought me a birthday present-

Nick: Because it was your birthday!

Leah: Because it was my birthday. It was just the sweetest thing, and very kind, and considerate, and just really made me feel special. They are always very supportive, and I just really, really appreciate it.

[Buzzer Sound]

Nick: Aww, that's nice. For me, we got a great message through, which you can send us things, too. This says, "I want to say thank you to my best friend. I recently had a scary, and emotional medical emergency, and she sent me flowers, a book, and a lovely note, all the way from China. She also introduced me to this wonderful podcast. Thanks, Twin!"

[Buzzer Sound]

Nick: Aww, that's nice.

Leah: That's so nice!

Nick: That's a good friend.

Leah: Very good friend. I hope you're feeling better!

Nick: Yes, and thank you for getting the word out about our show. Double nice!

Leah: Double nice!

Nick: Yes! So, thank you.

[Buzzer Sound]