Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle meeting Queen Elizabeth II, calling out lazy people, handling malfunctioning umbrellas, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we could.)
Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle meeting Queen Elizabeth II, calling out lazy people, handling malfunctioning umbrellas, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we could.)
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Nick: Do you curtsy before the Queen? Do you catch the bouquets of strangers? Do you give people ugly wall calendars? Were you raised by wolves? Let's find out!
Here are things that can make it better
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Were you raised by wolves?
Nick: Hey, everybody. It's Nick Leighton.
Leah: And it's Leah Bonnema.
Nick: And let's just get right down to it with our amuse-bouche.
Leah: Let's get in it!
Nick: And so for today's amuse-bouche, I want to talk about going to meet the Queen.
Leah: Whoo! I got sweaty just thinking about it.
Nick: Now of course, a lot of queens we could be referring to. But for today, I would like to talk about Queen Elizabeth II.
Leah: The Queen.
Nick: By the grace of God, of the United Kingdom and Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and all of her other realms and territories. Queen, head of the Commonwealth, defender of the faith.
Nick: What a title!
Leah: I mean, what would you even wear?
Nick: [laughs] So yes, let's talk about going to meet the Queen. And Leah, this could happen for us, right? Is this possible?
Leah: I feel like it's a possibility.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, stranger things have definitely happened. Let's put it that way.
Nick: So the first thing to know about actually meeting the Queen is that technically there are no rules. The royal family website says quote, "There are no obligatory codes of behavior, just courtesy." Now obviously, that's a trap. I mean, of course, there are certain things you should do and not do. But they technically say, like, you don't have to do anything.
Leah: Yeah, that seems very—for sure I gotta do something.
Nick: Right. Yeah, exactly. And the good news is it is very unlikely we're just gonna run into her at Trader Joe's and we'll have no warning. So if we do have occasion to go meet her, we will have some prep work. There are a lot of people around her that are gonna make sure that we know what to do and where to stand and what to say and all that. So, like, we're not gonna be caught off guard. And we'll have plenty of advance notice to Google it. But here are some things to know. So the big rules are: you only speak to her when you're spoken to, and you don't turn your back on her, and you don't touch her. Although why are you touching a stranger in general? Like, that's not just for the Queen. I think in general, we should not be touching strangers. So I think that's a nice universal rule.
Nick: And when you first meet her, you will refer to her as "Your Majesty," and then subsequent references, you'll just say, "Ma'am." And you do not call her "Lizzie," "The Lizmeister," "Lizzinator." Yeah, no nicknames. You know, just keep it to "Your Majesty" and "Ma'am."
Nick: And just follow her lead. Just stand when she stands, sit when she sits. When she starts eating, you can start eating. And for small talk, it's just light conversation like you'd have with your grandmother. We do not get nosy. We do not ask impolite questions. But also that also applies when you meet strangers who aren't the Queen, so also a good universal one. But the big question is, do you bow or curtsy?
Leah: You know, I'm racking my brain trying to go through The King's Speech, which is one of my favorite movies, and I feel like this was addressed.
Leah: I think I'm gonna curtsy.
Nick: Okay. No.
Nick: Because you're American.
Leah: It was a 50/50, and I got it wrong.
Nick: And there was, like, this whole thing about it where, like, we kind of had an argument, and I think we won that argument. And so because of that, we do not bow before someone else's sovereign.
Nick: We are not her subjects.
Leah: I definitely remember that argument. I just thought we were just doing it out of being polite.
Nick: Right. If you wanted to curtsy, no one is gonna be like, "Oh, she curtsied. How gauche!" But Miss Manners explains it like this. Quote, "We do not even bow to our own leaders. Although we believe that all human beings are worthy of respect, we do not believe that any one of them is born at a higher level than the rest of us. Therefore, we perform this symbolic gesture of bending our knees in subservience only to the Almighty. That, Miss Manners supposes, is why debutantes curtsy to society."
Nick: [laughs] Oh, Miss Manners.
Leah: I think that she's missing out on the fun-ness—which is not a word, but I'm gonna use it anyway—of a curtsy.
Nick: I mean, a curtsy? You know, it's lovely. It's a lovely gesture.
Leah: [laughs] I mean, I would curtsy to you. "Hey, what's up?"
Nick: Can we start that?
Leah: Yeah, I'll do it.
Nick: Okay. If you want to start doing that, then I'm gonna call you Leah the First, by the grace of God of Los Angeles and Maine and her other realms.
Nick: That's what I'm gonna call you.
Leah: That would be so delightful. I would love it. I would love it!
Nick: I like the "Of other realms" part. I think that's my favorite.
Leah: I do, too, because we don't know really what realms those are.
Nick: No. For you? Oh, definitely not.
Leah: For me, they're emotionally—they're emotional realms.
Nick: No, they are definitely intangible.
Nick: And we're back. And now it's time to go deep.
Leah: Deep and—well, I don't want to say what it is.
Nick: Okay. Well, for today's deep dive—drumroll, I want to talk about being a guest.
Leah: I was gonna say "Deep and plus one."
Nick: Right. So I want to talk about being a plus one, which is a very special type of guest. So Leah, what is a plus one?
Leah: Being someone's plus one is when somebody gets invited to an event and they have a plus one. They can bring another person with them.
Nick: Right. It means that you are allowed to bring somebody of your choosing. It is not an actually named invited guest on your invitation.
Leah: Right. So you weren't invited to the event. If you're the plus one, it was the person who's inviting you got invited to the event.
Nick: [laughs] Right. I think we're making it more complicated than it needs to be.
Leah: You're the plus one.
Nick: Yeah, you're the plus one. Yeah, basically, Leah was invited to a wedding. She was given a plus one, meaning like, "Oh, please bring somebody of your choice." And she chooses to bring me. I am the plus one. It is Leah plus one. Okay. And I think it comes up mostly in weddings, I think. That's the most common time when somebody would have a plus one. But it comes up in casual events too. Like, if you're invited to a barbecue and you bring a friend? Like, that's a plus one.
Leah: Or like, "We're having a big dinner. You know, you're welcome to bring somebody."
Nick: Exactly. Yeah. So I think the main thing when you're the plus one—and I kind of want to talk about it from, like, the plus one's perspective.
Nick: Is that you need to know what this event is and you need to do your homework. So you definitely need to know who the hosts are. You need to know what the relationship is between the host and the person that's bringing you. And you need to know what the event is. Like, you don't want to show up for a wedding and not know what the dress code is and show up totally incorrect.
Leah: Yeah, you don't want to show up thinking it's a barbecue and it's a ball. You know what I mean?
Nick: Right. That's embarrassing. Or if it's like a fancy ranch party, but it really actually was California casual instead?
Nick: Then, you know.
Leah: The mortification. Also side note: some of our listeners have sent me the most fun, fancy ranch ideas.
Nick: [laughs] Okay. There's a previous episode if you want to dig into fancy ranch a little deeper. So I think for weddings specifically, you want to do your homework and know, like, who is the bride? Who's the groom? How does everybody know each other? And also, you want to know, are there any topics that are a little off limits? Like, is there something about anybody's past that we should know about and not bring up in casual conversation?
Leah: I guess we can ask that in the car and the way over. "Anything I should stay away from?"
Nick: Because you want to be a good guest. And you want to be a guest that mingles, you want to be a guest that sort of socializes. You don't want to be a wallflower. And if you are the type of person that doesn't enjoy going to events and doesn't actually feel that social, you may not want to accept the invitation to be a plus one, because you do actually have to kind of step up your game a little higher when you're a plus one when it comes to, like, mingling.
Leah: Yeah, my primary, my biggest thought with the plus one is you've gotta be a good time, you've gotta be polite, you've gotta be upbeat, you've gotta be fun.
Nick: But you can't be too fun, and you can't be too good of a time. Like, you cannot be making requests of the DJ.
Leah: Oh yeah. Cap it.
Nick: And apparently—and apparently this comes up quite a bit if you go into the internet, if you're a plus one at a wedding, you cannot catch the bouquet. You are ineligible to catch a bouquet. Don't even try. Because how awkward is that? Nobody knows you. You were a guest of a guest and you catch the bouquet? I mean, come on.
Leah: Oh, wow. I never even would have thought of that. It's good you brought it up.
Nick: It's a bold move. It's pretty bold.
Leah: You're, like, pushing other people out of the way.
Nick: Yeah. Yeah, it's like, "Do you even go to this school?"
Leah: But I mean, I don't mean be too good of a time, but I mean, you know ...
Nick: Yes, you need to be charming.
Leah: Charming and nice to everybody. Like, don't show up and then be rude to everyone.
Nick: Right. Yeah. Because your behavior will now be a direct reflection of the person that brought you.
Nick: And so that'll be a real awkward car ride home if you got a little wild.
Leah: Yeah, they might make you walk.
Nick: And speaking of leaving, you gotta leave with the person that brought you. And you gotta leave with that person when they leave. So you can't leave early and you can't stay late. Like, you're the date for the evening and you're on the same schedule.
Leah: Should our plus one bring a gift?
Nick: So funny you should mention it. That's a big topic, and I assume we're, like, talking about weddings, specifically.
Leah: Weddings and also, if I got invited to—or if I was the plus one to a house party, I would feel like I should bring, you know, like, a hummus plate or ...
Nick: Oh, that's true. Yeah. I mean, I think you want to have a conversation before you go in terms of, like, what's happening with the gift and all of that. And also depends on what the relationship is between you and the person that's invited. Like, if you are actually a partner and, like, you're in the same household, then that's like a different wedding gift. Then it's like, "Oh, hey. I've been invited to a coworker's wedding this weekend. Do you want to be my plus one?" And then it's sort of like, I'm not probably gonna chip in for your gift. Like, that's on you.
Leah: Right. Would you offer?
Nick: I think it's nice to have a conversation and to offer to chip in, yes. I think that's very nice. And not just assume that it's covered.
Leah: What if they said yes, and then they told you what they were getting and you were like, "Oh, I'm not spending this much money on a couple I've never met to be your plus one." Can you then back out?
Nick: Well, I feel like we wouldn't want to fall into that trap in the first place.
Leah: Right. [laughs]
Nick: [laughs] So I feel like let's learn a little bit more about what gifts are we thinking about before we sort of have that conversation. Or is it part of that same conversation? You're like, "Oh, I'm happy to contribute something."
Nick: When it's a housewarming or it's like a barbecue or a potluck or something like that, yeah, I feel like the rules are a little different. You probably should bring something.
Nick: You shouldn't be empty-handed because you're sort of—like, especially if it's a potluck, you are one more mouth to feed, so you should then contribute one more dish.
Leah: Yeah, just bring them some coleslaw.
Nick: But I think definitely nice to also ask who's bringing you. Like, "Oh, I don't want to show up empty-handed. What might be nice for these people?"
Leah: Yeah, I think it's the communicating with the invitee.
Nick: Communication. Yeah, I think that's—I mean, as it so often is.
Leah: And being gracious to the host. "Thank you for having us. Thank you for having me. So nice to meet you. Delighted to be here."
Nick: Oh, definitely introduce yourself to the host, yes. That should absolutely happen at some point so that you're not just, like, a wedding crasher or a party crasher.
Nick: And one thing that I have experienced on the receiving end, which is super awkward and I don't know if there's a way around it, is I've been a plus one and the host didn't know I was coming.
Nick: Didn't know that there was an extra body coming. And I have had this happen multiple times over my lifetime. One of them was a dinner party. Now that's—I think that's really the height of awkwardness.
Nick: I mean, what do I do? I'm just, you know, innocent bystander at this point.
Leah: You're like, "I'll stand in the kitchen."
Nick: Yeah. "Just, you know, give me a paper plate, and I'll eat it over the garbage. No problem." But yeah, what do you do with that? Because I can recall one time where the person who brought me was like, "Oh, it'd be fine. It's super casual. Like, they won't mind." And it's sort of like, "Oh, they minded."
Leah: [laughs] Oh! Ooh!
Nick: Yeah, they minded. Yeah. So if that happens to you, you are just sort of the victim of an etiquette crime. I guess you're an accessory.
Leah: But you're an unknowing accessory because ...
Nick: It wasn't premeditated.
Nick: Right. I guess it's the etiquette equivalent of manslaughter.
Leah: No, it seems less egregious.
Nick: [laughs] Okay.
Leah: Because you thought you were being invited above board.
Nick: It's a conspiracy to commit an etiquette crime?
Leah: But there was no conspiracy. You were just blindsided.
Nick: Well, tell that to the jury.
Leah: [laughs] I would. I'd be like, "I really didn't know."
Nick: Yeah. So if we have any lawyers in the audience, what is the etiquette equivalent of not knowingly committing a crime? I was basically driving the getaway vehicle, but I didn't know a crime was being committed.
Leah: You just thought you were, like, driving to the grocery store.
Nick: I thought I was just going to a party, and I didn't know that I was an accessory to a major crime. Yeah. So however a jury would look upon that, that's what happened to me. And out for good behavior, though.
Leah: Thank goodness.
Nick: Thank goodness.
Leah: I would not put you in jail. I would know. Because I'm sure you were like, "Oh, my goodness, so sorry!"
Nick: Well, but guilt by association. If somebody commits such a serious crime and you are now a participant in this crime and you don't know me at all, then of course you're gonna think that I'm also a bad person, right? So that's why that is particularly heinous.
Leah: Yeah. I see we should always now say, "Do they know I'm coming?"
Nick: Yeah, which feels like an insane question to have to ask. But, like, maybe just verify. Like, "Oh, is it cool? Like, are you sure? Am I actually really invited? Do you really have a plus one? Can we verify this?" So I don't think there's much you can do about it, but it is a thing that happens, and it is super awkward. So if you are inviting somebody, just know that you actually do have an invite or not.
Leah: Yeah. And make sure that people know who is coming. I also thought of another one, which is when you're the plus one, and the person inviting you, it's like a business thing or a big event from them, and they may need you to be there for sort of—know if you're being invited for sort of support. You know what I mean?
Nick: Oh, sure. Yeah, there are definitely times when you're being invited for strategic reasons. So know your role, I guess.
Leah: Yeah, like maybe they need you to hold a bag or take a picture or be like, "That was great."
Nick: Right. Like, if you're inviting me for a red carpet premiere and I'm walking the red carpet, like, I do need somebody to, like, hold my wallet, I guess.
Nick: Right. Yeah. If that's what's happening, sure. Or if it's a client dinner and you need somebody to, you know, occupy one of the other partners with, like, light chit chat while, like, you have some salary negotiation over salads.
Leah: While you seal the deal for your business negotiation.
Nick: Right. When you do business stuff.
Nick: Right. So whatever it is, I guess communication is key.
Leah: It's all about communication: knowing what the event is, what's expected of you, and then just showing up, having a good time and being gracious to your hosts.
Nick: Yeah, that's it.
Nick: And we're back. And now it's time to take some questions from you all in the wilderness.
Nick: So our first question is quote, "We receive a calendar every Christmas from a distant relative. It's very thoughtful, and we appreciate the gift. However, the calendar is ugly. The pictures are not for us, and we don't hang it every time we get one. The problem now is that this distant relative will be stopping by for a visit soon, and we have thrown out the calendar and are using a different one we like better. What is the etiquette here? Do we lie and say we lost it? Do we tell them it's ugly and we throw it away every year? Please help!"
Leah: I think we definitely don't say we lost it.
Nick: Yeah, I don't think we tell them it's just ugly and we hate it and we throw it out.
Leah: I think—this was an idea I had, because one doesn't want to lie.
Leah: But one could just take down the calendar they have up.
Leah: And so there's just no calendars. And then maybe it won't come—ideally, it won't come up.
Nick: Yeah. Although it's amazing how much consternation happens around wall calendars. This is not the first question we've gotten about wall calendars. Like, this comes up.
Leah: I would just never think about it if somebody gave me a wall—if I gave someone a wall calendar, I wouldn't go to their house and then look for the calendar.
Nick: Oh, but the people who give wall calendars? They're looking for it, because who is giving wall calendars as gifts? It's not a good gift because it's a decor item. Leah, would you give me a wall calendar?
Leah: Well, now I feel like it's a challenge.
Nick: [laughs] I mean, if you got me an Anne Geddes wall calendar ironically, I'd be like, "Oh, okay. That's noted. That's aggressive, but I appreciate that. I give you a slow clap for that." But I mean, really, it's a decor item. So unless you know this person very well, and knew that this really worked with their decor and they were wall calendar people, I mean, why are you giving this gift?
Leah: Yeah. I mean, some people are just giving wall calendars. We're not gonna be able to stop this. [laughs]
Nick: [laughs] Right! Yeah. So I mean, I would like to think that this person will not come to your house and be like, "Where is that wall calendar?"
Leah: Because that would just be so rude.
Nick: It would be rude to ask about it.
Leah: That's an FSR. That's an FSR.
Nick: [laughs] So it would be for sure rude. And so it will happen, though. And if it does, I think you would say, like, "Oh, I don't know what happened to it. I'll have to look for it." Is that a lie?
Leah: Um ...
Nick: It's a little deceitful.
Leah: It's a little deceitful. And I think the idea—I would rather somebody doesn't like my gift then just nonchalantly has no idea what happened to it.
Nick: Oh, okay. So you would rather me say, like, "Oh, it just wasn't our style this year."
Leah: "It didn't match this year, but thank you so much."
Nick: Okay. So maybe we do that. "It wasn't good this year."
Nick: "It was just this last one, not the last decade of terrible calendars."
Leah: Because also—but I feel like if we remove all calendars, like, how do they know? Maybe it's at the office?
Nick: Yeah, "We're just not calendar people right now. We're just trying a different style."
Leah: "We're just not looking at time."
Nick: But I actually think removing all calendars, I think, would be good, yes. And just don't have any prompts.
Leah: Yeah. Just nothing that would like—nothing that has, like, numbers on it, you know what I mean? Just ...
Nick: Oh, nothing with numbers. And actually remove all the clocks from your house as well.
Leah: Get the clocks out.
Nick: So it's just a casino.
Nick: And maybe pump up the oxygen level, and then maybe bring in some card tables. Yeah, let's just do it.
Leah: Distract, distract, distract.
Nick: And then now there's a buffet, and then there could be a magician. And then maybe Leah, you could do a set?
Nick: Oh, let's just—oh, it's the Borgata!
Nick: [laughs] So yeah, I would—hopefully, nobody will mention anything about the calendars. If they do, I think, yeah, the honest answer, which is like, "Oh, it just didn't work for our decor this year, but thank you so much."
Leah: Because I mean, what are they gonna say? You're being honest.
Nick: Yes. I mean, sometimes the honest thing does hurt people's feelings.
Leah: But I do think that, like, "I just don't know where the present you gave me is," that would hurt my feelings more.
Nick: Yeah, I guess that does sound slightly more careless. Like, "I didn't even appreciate your gift, and I just sort of misplaced it."
Nick: That's true. Yeah. No, I'm on board. Okay. I agree.
Leah: Also, if they ask—which one shouldn't ask—then they're gonna get an answer.
Nick: Yeah, don't ask if you don't want to know the answer. That's true.
Leah: I so often do not ask because I genuinely don't want to know.
Nick: Yeah. Ignorance is bliss sometimes. And I think more people should remember that.
Leah: [laughs] Sometimes I'll even go as far as to say, "Please don't tell me."
Nick: So our next question is actually vaguely related.
Leah: It seems related.
Nick: But a different person. Quote, "I absolutely love getting handwritten thank-you cards in the mail. However, I'm trying to cut down on the paper cards I keep for sentimental reasons. Is it okay to throw the thank-you card and the garbage after you've read it? Are you supposed to display them like holiday cards for a certain period of time? I always feel a tinge of guilt when I read the card and then chuck it."
Leah: I totally get this because I also have trouble throwing things away.
Nick: Yeah, I get it.
Leah: I definitely save. I have a folder where I've saved a few, but I try—especially when we moved and I was like, "You can't keep this many."
Nick: Yes, you can't keep a presidential archive.
Leah: Some of them I took pictures of.
Nick: Yes. That was on my list. Document, and then you can get rid of the original.
Nick: Yeah, I think we could all do a little more of the KonMari method, Marie Kondo. Or the new hot thing, Swedish death cleaning. Like, whatever it is, I think we could all purge a little more. And so you definitely have my permission—get rid of the cards. Because the idea of the card is the sentiment. And so the sentiment has been received, and you will forever cherish it in your heart. And so the actual paper it's written on, like, this doesn't really matter.
Leah: Yeah, but I totally understand why. But really, we can get rid of it.
Nick: And if the card has glitter on it? Absolutely throw it away immediately.
Leah: Whoo! [singing] Nick does not like the glitter!
Nick: Sidebar for everybody at home. So we get a lot of great letters from you guys, and they come to the P.O. box to me in New York. And Leah, of course, is in Los Angeles. And so one of you lovely listeners—love you all, but one of you I don't think got to the episode yet where I talk about not wanting to receive things with glitter. And so one of you did send me a card that had glitter on it. And so there was this great photo series, because I was like, "Oh, we got to document this. This is a photo shoot now," of me in my building's hallway, opening the card and taking pictures of it with, like, plastic gloves and, like, hazmat suit. And I'm sending it to Leah. And so it was like, "Here's a lovely card we got, but it's being thrown away immediately. It's going down the trash chute. It's not even gonna enter my apartment. And I'm going to go to the nearby Starbucks around the corner to wash my hands, because I don't even want to enter my apartment with glitter anywhere on my body." Yeah. And you know when the Starbucks around the corner is the cleaner option, yeah, that's how strong I feel about glitter.
Nick: You do have permission to throw away anything with glitter, no questions asked.
Nick: So our next question is quote, "My son's girlfriend has moved in with us for the next two weeks. She's on the quiet side, but is always sweet and responsive, and I don't mind her being here, except she doesn't help out at all with anything around the house. I mean, nothing. Two weeks is a long time to host somebody who doesn't offer to chip in and help out. Maybe it's me, as I've never brought up the subject of everyone chipping in, but I wish she would. I often ask all of my family members to help out in various ways. 'Will you make dinner tonight? Wash the dishes? Do a load of laundry? Take out the trash?' And they do so with no questions asked. But I can't bring myself to ask the girlfriend anything because I don't know her that well. Truthfully, I want her to just reach out and say, 'Hey, is there anything I can do to help out?' But that hasn't happened yet. What would you do? I have other kids, and I need to figure this out for my sanity."
Leah: I've seen these people that don't help out.
Nick: Yeah, I don't think you're alone here. I think there's a lot of people in our audience that is like, "Yep, I know how that goes."
Leah: I thought of a few options.
Nick: Bring it. Start from the top.
Leah: I think this is not a person who's gonna be like, "What can I help out with?" It's never gonna happen.
Nick: No, they don't have that. They're not hardwired for that, no. They'll do it if they're asked, but they're not gonna volunteer.
Leah: They're not even gonna think to volunteer.
Nick: Yeah, it won't actually occur to them. That's true.
Leah: So I think either if you're doing an activity that you need help with, you could invite everybody. "Hey, I'm starting dinner. Could everybody come in?" And "Hey, can you chop this? And can you wash this? And can you set the table?" Sort of invite everybody.
Nick: Oh, you could definitely do that, but I think we could just call her out and be like, "Oh, Lisa, would you take care of the dishwasher? Thanks!" I think you can just say that. "Oh, do you mind bringing in a bag of groceries from the car?" And just call her out. Just assign her a task.
Leah: Yeah. I also feel like a bag of groceries from the car seems like a great start.
Nick: That's a good gateway task, yes. It's very entry level. She can handle it. Hard to mess that up.
Leah: "Do you mind taking the dog out really quick for a pee?"
Nick: Okay, that's definitely, like, next level, yeah. But that's good. And then, "Oh, would you mind doing our taxes?"
Leah: Yeah, we're working our way up to it.
Nick: [laughs] No, but I think because she's not necessarily a guest for the weekend. And she's there for two weeks. So that's like, that's kind of residency at some point.
Leah: That's half a month. And also, she's like family. I think we could say family at this point, right? I mean, like, she's family-ish. And so I think we can totally just assign her something to do for the family as a member of the household.
Leah: Yeah, like, as a household. And we wouldn't say it with any kind of like, "Get your butt up." You know what I mean?
Nick: Right. Yeah.
Leah: It would just be like, "Would you mind grabbing this from the car for me?"
Nick: I guess that's a good point. The tone needs to be very value neutral, non-judgmental. It cannot have a flavor of like, "You've been lazy for the last two weeks, and so I need you to step it up a little bit."
Leah: The other option is we say to our son, "Hey, would you and Lisa want to take one night this week to cook dinner?"
Nick: Oh, okay. Yeah, I mean, where's he in this picture?
Leah: Probably not involved.
Nick: Right. Yeah, he's like, "I'm staying out of this one." [laughs]
Leah: But I mean, you could just do it light. Like, "Would you guys mind cooking dinner one night?"
Nick: Yeah. But I totally get the instinct because I think this happens for a lot of people where there's some behavior that we want someone else to do, but we want them to come up with it. And we don't want to tell them that they should do it because we want them to just like, volunteer and know in their heart of hearts that they should do it. And so we never say anything, and then we're resentful.
Leah: And they just aren't gonna know.
Nick: They're not gonna know. No. And so I think being coy is not gonna do any favors here.
Leah: Yeah, you're just gonna have to just ask. I think when you're in a situation, "Hey, can you help me out with this?"
Nick: Just gotta ask.
Nick: And speaking of asking: do you have any questions for us? Bring it! You can ask us through our website WereYouRaisedByWolves.com. Or you can leave us a voicemail or send us a text message, (267) CALL-RBW.
Nick: And we're back. And now it's time to play a game we like to call Vent or Repent.
Leah: [whispers] Vent or repent!
Nick: Which is our opportunity to vent about some bad etiquette experience we've had recently, or we can repent for some etiquette faux pas we've committed. So Leah, would you like to vent or repent?
Leah: Oh, I'm gonna repent.
Leah: Oh, kidding! I'm kidding! I'm gonna vent. Not even kidding. I think I was thinking—what was happening there is I was thinking ...
Leah: There should be more repents. You know what I mean? But ...
Nick: Oh, I see.
Leah: So repent came out of my mouth, but I'm gonna vent.
Nick: Okay! What would you like to vent about?
Leah: So I didn't want it to be this. You know, I like to mix it up. I like to be irritated on multiple levels, but I think that, you know, our goal, our audience knows our goal is world peace.
Nick: Yes, that's where we're going with this. Mm-hmm.
Leah: So I think my first goal I'd like to hit on the march to world peace ...
Leah: ... is—I know I talked about this recently, but I'm still aghast, and it is fitness group etiquette. It just keeps blowing—and also watching my response change. This happened. There was one earlier this week that I thought, "Oh, this is egregious." And then today? This happened today.
Leah: I'm in a class. The class is starting.
Leah: There's a sign on the door, "When there's class, other people can't use the room."
Nick: Sure, that makes sense.
Leah: There's two women on the boxing bags.
Leah: One of them is stretching, one of them is actually hitting the bag. So, like, you can hear it on top of her being in the space. So the instructor starts stretching, and then he walks over to the woman who's right next to me so I could hear the whole convo. He says—and he's so nice. He's like, "You're more than welcome to join the class, but otherwise you can't be in the room." She does the same thing that the person who I vented about two weeks ago said. She said, "Oh, are you a full-time employee here who can tell me what to do?"
Leah: Right? Right?
Leah: Can you imagine saying that to somebody?
Nick: So you have to be a W2, statutory, full time, 40 hour a week employee for me to listen to you. Anything less? No.
Nick: What? How does that make a difference? Full-time employee.
Leah: And my head almost, like, blew off the back of my neck.
Nick: I—well, that's amazing.
Leah: And then he kept his cool, and then she goes "Fine." And then so she starts to take her gloves off. He goes back to the class, and then she obviously was like, "I'm not putting up for this." So then she just starts doing floor work.
Leah: So she won't leave. So then he's like—and this is where I noticed I've changed. I used to just be like, this is so uncomfortable. Why is that person being so rude? I wish they would go away. But now I'm like, "Get her! Get her! Get her! Get her!"
Nick: [laughs] Okay.
Leah: So—because I just can't believe people are this rude. "Are you a full-time employee?" I mean, you're being asked to leave, and you know that you're not supposed to be there. There's a sign. And then someone's politely asking you to leave, and you double down on being super rude. He goes to the—and I saw him leave. He walks out. We're, like, doing squats, and he's like, "I'll be right back." Goes to the front. And in my mind, I was like, he's getting a full-time employee involved.
Leah: And so two of the people from the front desk come in and talk to her and the other woman who has still not left.
Leah: And then she just eyeballs him the entire time she's, like, picking up her stuff.
Nick: Ooh, death stare.
Leah: I just—I can't even understand being in the brain of somebody who knows they're not supposed to be there.
Leah: Still thinks they do. And then when the person politely is like, "I don't think you have—are you the queen? Are you the queen of all of the realms? Then I'm not leaving."
Nick: [laughs] Yeah. I mean, I think there is a sense of entitlement that some people have that really warps their behavior in society.
Leah: And this is an adult. You know, these aren't, like, teenagers who are just being ...
Nick: Oh, yeah. No, age is just a number. Yeah. There is no correlation between age and maturity.
Leah: First, you're being rude to the class.
Leah: Then you're just being so rude to another human being directly who's been polite to you.
Nick: I think you have to switch gyms at this point.
Leah: No, I love this teacher. I also want to be like, "I can't even believe you were so calm with that woman."
Nick: Remarkable. It's truly remarkable.
Leah: "Are you full time here?"
Nick: I mean ...
Nick: What difference does it make? Yeah, okay. Well, for me, I would like to repent.
Nick: And it's a mild one. Don't get excited out there. I didn't do anything super bad to anybody. So, like, don't worry about it. I'm still fine. It's okay. But this happened today as well. And it's a rainy day here in New York City, and I'm walking down the street on 23rd Street, and I'm approaching the Flatiron Building near Fifth Avenue. And there's all this scaffolding happening and construction and, like, the path gets very narrow. And so I have my umbrella, and I lift my umbrella up to let somebody pass who's passing by me. And as I lift it up and we're passing, for whatever reason, my umbrella clicks shut at the top. And as it's happening, my umbrella springs together, and so all the water springs outwards in the reverse direction.
Nick: And so I know I was showered in cold droplets, and I definitely can assume that the person who was there at that exact same moment was also covered in water. And so I did turn around immediately. I was like, "Oh, I'm so sorry." They had headphones on and they continued walking. And I did see that they were sort of patting themselves down a little bit because I'm sure it hit their head in an unpleasant way. And so I am sorry that that happened. I did not mean for that to happen. But etiquette crimes are not always about intentionally doing something rude. Sometimes we are inadvertently rude. And so I do want to apologize to this person and for anybody else that I may have gotten wet with this umbrella malfunction. I'm definitely gonna look at this umbrella a little more carefully. Like, was it a malfunction? Was it me? User error? Do I need to replace it? What's happening? Can't have this happen again. But for this, I am sorry.
Leah: [laughs] That seems very mild.
Nick: It's very mild, but it did happen. This is a safe space. I wanted to share. Also, next time we do a little review where we do the statistics, I do want to have a few repents under my belt, so it's not a 100 percent vent.
Leah: Also, how nice would it be if the person that you accidentally got a little bit wet was a Were You Raised By Wolves? listener, and then they were like, "Oh, that was me. And they were sorry!"
Nick: Oh, that would be lovely. I wish that were the case. Statistically speaking, probably not. But ...
Nick: Stranger things have happened.
Leah: It's a possibility.
Nick: It is possible, as so many things are.
Nick: So Leah, what have we learned?
Leah: I learned that I don't have to curtsy in front of the Queen.
Leah: But I might throw it out there just for a good time.
Nick: [laughs] Okay. And I learned that at your gym, a lot goes down in that group fitness.
Leah: Yeah, this group fitness class is rife with people acting rude!
Nick: It's wild. It's totally wild.
Leah: And previously in my life, I was always a turn-the-other-cheek kind of girl.
Leah: But I think I'm exhausted by cheek turning, and I'm hoping for a little comeuppance.
Nick: Well, thank you, Leah.
Leah: Thank you, Nick.
Nick: And thanks to you out there for listening. I'd send you a handwritten note on my custom stationery if I could.
Leah: He would!
Nick: So for your homework this week, we want you to follow us on Instagram. It's a party there. We have fun posts and videos, and we interact with you guys. And my friend Val, she does illustrations for us every week, where she takes one of the things we talk about and creates this amazing illustration that really encapsulates what it's all about. So you want to see those.
Leah: They're so good.
Nick: So please go to Instagram and follow us.
Leah: Please follow us
Nick: And we'll see you next time.
Nick: All right, Leah. It's time for Cordials of Kindness, the part of the show that you make us do, but I only give you 30 seconds to do it. Ready, set, go!
Leah: I've just felt very supported by a lot of comics who have helped me get work here and recommended me for jobs. And it's just really meant a whole lot to me, especially since, you know, this is my first year in Los Angeles, and I appreciate it so much.
Nick: That is nice. And for me, you may recall on a recent episode we were talking about French onion soup, and how it's so bonkers that there's no actual tool specifically designed for French onion soup. Like, there's no French onion soup spoon. The Victorians just never got to it. And so one of our listeners is a high school engineering teacher.
Nick: And she loves our show. And she has convinced some of her students, as a design challenge, to come up with a tool specifically designed to address all of the challenges with French onion soup. You have the cheesy cheese, you have the hot soup, you have the bread. And so she promises us that we are gonna see some 3D prototypes arrive in our P.O. box soon.
Leah: Whoo! This is so exciting!
Nick: So I'm very excited that French onion soup spoons is now turning into an engineering challenge for students. And how wonderful is that?
Leah: That is so cool!
Nick: Isn't that amazing? So thank you. It blows my mind. Makes my day.
Leah: That is really cool. I can't wait to see these.
Nick: Right? So thank you!