May 25, 2020

Orienting Toilet Paper Rolls, Sending Insincere Invitations, FOMOing on Venmo, and More

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this bonus episode, Nick and Leah answer listener questions about installing toilet paper rolls, responding to insincere invitations, changing RSVPs, declining photos at tourist attractions, making inside jokes on Venmo, and much more. Please subscribe! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we had your address.)

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  • What is the correct way to install a toilet paper roll?
  • A friend invited me to an expensive destination birthday knowing I couldn't afford it...was I really invited?
  • If you RSVP "no" and then later discover you can make it after all, should you ask to be re-invited?
  • How do you politely decline to have your photo taken at tourist attractions?
  • Is it rude to have inside jokes on Venmo?




Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema

Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton

Theme Music: Rob Paravonian


[Musical Interlude]

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

Leah: And I'm Leah Bonnema.

Nick: We're New York today, and we had so many great questions from you guys.

Leah: [Exuberant Howling]

Nick: Oh, that's a good one.

Leah: Thank you.

Nick: These questions are from the wilderness, obviously. So, let's just get right down to it. The first question ... Oh, my goodness.

Leah: Divisive!

Nick: I am ready for some email. "What is the correct way to put in a roll of toilet paper?"

Leah: I love this because I have friends who are passionate about this.

Nick: Yes. People who care-

Leah: Care!

Nick: -and they typically have the same answer.

Leah: Oh, really?

Nick: I think so.

Leah: I've had people come in on either side.

Nick: Really?! Okay, well-

Leah: By "either side," I mean either side of the roll ... Haaa.

Nick: What is the "correct" answer?

Leah: Oh, I have no idea.

Nick: Oh, come now!

Leah: Must be over the top.

Nick: Well, why must it be?

Leah: Because why would you put it under the bottom?

Nick: Right? I mean, that's insane. So, Ann Landers asked this question in her column, in the '80s, and apparently, it was the most controversial. She got more than 15,000 responses, apparently.

Leah: Oh, wow!

Nick: That's a lot of letters.

Leah: It is because the people had to write the letters, then; they weren't emailing it.

Nick: I think she first said that you go under. Then, got a lot of mail, and then she said go over, and then, got a lot of mail. So, people have a lot of thoughts. I believe that the correct way is that it goes over the top and down the front.

Leah: That just seems like the more- it just seems to me like that's sort of the more- the way that it goes.

Nick: [Giggling] Well ... There are as many people who say that it doesn't go that way.

Leah: I mean, it's just sort of like a waterfall.

Nick: Yes.

Leah: Over the top, and down.

Nick: So-

Leah: However ...

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: If I walk ... If you've got the toilet paper onto the roll? Great job!

Nick: Okay. We're just happy you have toilet paper.

Leah: Yeah. Nicely done! I don't personally get ... This is not my thing. I do have friends that this is their thing. They've had couple arguments that have been heated over this.

Nick: Well, before you get married, I think you need to establish how we feel about this topic.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: This is one of those, like, "How do we feel about money; how we feel about children; how do we feel about the toilet paper?"

Leah: Yes! I personally think that if you have a toilet-paper thing-

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: -you can say, "I really need the toilet paper to be over the top or under the bottom."

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: Then, I think it's almost fair to say, "I recognize that this is my thing."

Nick: Yes.

Leah: "Please do it for me."

Nick: Oh, I recognize this is my thing. I have been in other people's homes, and I've switched it.

Leah: No, you haven't! [Laughing]

Nick: Yes!

Leah: [Laughing]

Nick: Yes because it's obviously incorrect. Because I think nobody is putting it the other way because they believe, in their heart of hearts, that it's the correct way to do it.

Leah: Well, obviously, some people have if people wrote into that woman.

Nick: Yeah, I think most people agree with me, and if they do it the other way-

Leah: I love it. Nick will come to your house and switch your toilet paper.

Nick: I'll do it. I'll do it. I'm not ashamed. I think people who do it the other way, I think, don't have a strong preference. I don't think anybody has a-

Leah: Yeah, I think it's just not paying attention.

Nick: Right. Nobody has a strong preference for doing it the other way.

Leah: I always ... I would never leave a toilet-paper roll empty.

Nick: Sure.

Leah: I always swap it out.

Nick: Of course.

Leah: However you put it in is not gonna ... I'm not gonna have my gears ground.

Nick: So, I was thinking about, like, why is it better to do it this way? Why do a lot of people, myself included, feel strongly about it? Part of it, I think, is esthetic. I think it just visually looks better. I think part of it is this is how hotels do it because it's a signal, like the room's been cleaned.

Leah: Yeah, and then we ... I used to be a housekeeper. We've discussed this. It goes over the top and then, you fold it into a triangle, so people know-

Nick: Or a diamond. Have you seen this?

Leah: Oh, fancy!

Nick: Sure.

Leah: People know it's a new- it's fresh.

Nick: Mm-hmm. So, I think there's that. I think it's easier to locate the edge. You know, it's easier-

Leah: Yeah, you don't have to- I could see that.

Nick: Right? So, then, I was doing some research, and apparently, there was a patent from 1891 that has to do with toilet paper. I'll link to it in the show notes. In this patent from 1891, it goes over. So, for a while, we've been thinking about this.

Leah: Well, it's also a Sylvester Stallone movie; "Over the Top." Nobody says, "Under the Bottom."

Nick: I mean.

Leah: I mean!

Nick: I mean ... Now, I was thinking, are there exceptions to this? Are there times when maybe it's okay to go the other way? I have heard that if you have a cat, or a toddler, it is better to do it the other way because then, the roll won't get unwound, when you have a child, or a cat batting at it.

Leah: Very interesting.

Nick: So, I thought, oh, that's an interesting point. Then, somebody online, somewhere in the deep reaches of the internet, was saying that if you have an RV, that if you do it under, it will be less likely to unroll itself while the vehicle is in motion.

Leah: Oh, very interesting.

Nick: So, I'm not quite sure how that happens. It feels as likely, either way, if there's vibration, but ... Somebody said, "Oh, no, we do it this way because it won't unroll." So, that's interesting.

Leah: There are also a few ... You know, I've performed in so many venues. There are a few venues that have a very hard, like a metal-

Nick: Yes.

Leah: -then, it has to go under because if you [crosstalk] put it over, it rips it.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: So, obviously, a few.

Nick: A few. There's a few.

Leah: But Nick will still try to flip your toilet paper.

Nick: I'll do it. I'll do it, and you'll never know. But if you have strong feelings about this, out there, I would like to hear what your strong feelings are and why you have them.

Leah: Yes! This would be a great poll.

Nick: I am happy to ... I won't be corrected because I will continue living my life this way, but I would be very interested to hear - people who go under, or people who go over - why do you feel strongly about this? What is it about it that it gives you such passion? Let me know.

Leah: Oh, and there's still ... Now, I see more and more, though, people have the stake-

Nick: Oh ...

Leah: -and then, they're just putting the rolls on top of each other on a up- it's almost like a-

Nick: Yeah, it's like a paper towel on the counter kind of thing?

Leah: Yes.

Nick: So, if that's the case, then the question is - should you pull it from the right or the left?

Leah: Oh, my goodness!

Nick: I think you would pull it from the right side.

Leah: I think it would depend on what ... Is it facing a wall? Is it in corner of a wall? I would really feel like that-

Nick: I mean, I think my orientation towards it, I would want to grab it with my right hand because I'm right-handed. Therefore, I would want it to unspool around clockwise.

Leah: I'm left-handed.

Nick: So, you would maybe want it counterclockwise.

Leah: I think it would depend on where, in relationship in the room, to me it is.

Nick: No! I mean if it's behind you?!

Leah: I have to get up. Walk over. It's chaos.

Nick: I mean, I think it's the orientation to your body, not in the room.

Leah: No, but that's what I mean. Is it over on my left? Is it over on my right? Where is the spool resting?

Nick: Okay.

Leah: Where's the resting place?

Nick: I mean, we all wanna know.

Leah: We've really opened up a whole new world here.

Nick: [Giggling] Okay, so that's toilet paper. Those are our thoughts. Our next question is: "A friend of mine, formerly my ride-or-die of 30 years ... Well, we had a falling out a few years ago, and we have slowly been in touch here and there, beginning early last year. We had our first face-to-face last autumn, and since then, just some likes on Instagram, and a few business emails, since we work in the same industry. I just received an invite to her birthday party this summer, and it's for a major birthday. The event will be held in an exclusive, small, discreet summer destination spot, where they own a home and have summered since they were a toddler. Their family will all be there, and I know them, too. The times I've gone to this particular place, I've stayed in their home, which would not be an option, even if we were on super-close terms, because, at this particular time of year, they have extended family staying in the guest rooms. I would also have to secure housing and fly in there, as I have a full-time job and can't take a leisurely road trip/ferry/sail boat to get there. Finding a reasonably priced room, or inn, or even an Airbnb is impossible. There are none, and you have precious bed and breakfasts that are ridiculously priced. The party is a full two days and a night. I'm wondering if this was an obligatory invite, as I am, by far, the most financially challenged person in their circle. I feel like they invited me as a preemptive strike, so their hands are clean and can say, 'Well, I did invite them ...,' knowing I could not financially swing it. What say you?" Mmmm ...

Leah: Mmmm.

Nick: MMMM. Well, I love the idea of this very exclusive, discreet summer destination spot that you have to road trip, ferry, and sail boat to get to.

Leah: What I also find interesting in this question is the second-to-last sentence: "I feel they invited me as a preemptive strike, so their hands are clean, and say, 'Well, I did invite them ...,' knowing I could not financially swing it."

Nick: That's the meat of the question.

Leah: Right, because I feel like that takes a different tone.

Nick: Oh, that's a totally different thing, yeah.

Leah: Because the first part of the question is like, "Hey, do I have to go to this? We just became friends."

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: Then, this is-

Nick: Mm.

Leah: "Oh, are you just inviting me because you know I can't make it, and now you feel like you have ...?"

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: So, that-

Nick: Different.

Leah: It's really different.

Nick: Well, let's take the first part of the question - do you have to go to something that you're invited to?

Leah: That you can't ... Especially if it's ... As a comic, my money is different at different times. So, a lot of times, people will be like, "Do you wanna do this thing?" and it's not a good time. I just can't.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: I will just be open about that. I'll be like, "I can't do that right now. Thank you so much for the invite."

Nick: Yeah, and when you're declining an invitation, you don't have to give a reason. "Thank you so much for the invitation. Unfortunately, I can't make it. I hope it's a great birthday."

Leah: Yep.

Nick: That's fine. That's enough. Don't make excuses. Don't give explanations. Just leave it there. An invitation is not a subpoena. You do not have to go to things you're invited to.

Leah: Yep. I do think people sometimes feel bad because they're like, "Oh, I can't afford it right now. Do I have to ...?" Nope, nope. You just can't go. Don't worry about it.

Nick: No. Now, the second part of this-

Leah: The second part of the question-

Nick: -which is the more interesting part ... I mean. Yes, I think it is very possible that this was a invitation knowing you weren't going to attend. It's possible.

Leah: My question is, I got the idea that you didn't want to go, up top.

Nick: Yes.

Leah: Then, when this sentence came in, I almost feel like you wanted to go.

Nick: Well ...

Leah: Just to be like, "Oh, did you think you could count me out?"

Nick: Well ...

Leah: Did you get that from that?

Nick: She doesn't want to go, but she doesn't want to not be invited. What she's saying is, "I'm not really invited to this thing ..."

Leah: We don't- we never know for sure other people's intentions.

Nick: Uh ... Oh, sometimes, we know for sure.

Leah: I mean, in this situation.

Nick: In this situation, we do not have enough information.

Leah: I did read this very nice quote that I've been trying to put into my life, which was, "Always assume the positive and see what happens from there."

Nick: Yes, you do want to assume people are not being malicious.

Leah: I obviously was reading that quote because that's not what I do. [Laughing]

Nick: Yes. My default setting is to not always see the best in everyone. I'm working on that.

Leah: I think it's always nice to assume that that's not what people are doing.

Nick: Yes, but-

Leah: That being said-

Nick: -it is possible that is what's happening, and that is a very varsity level etiquette move, where someone is extending an invitation knowing you won't be able to attend. They have the benefit of taking the high road, having extended the invitation, and they get the benefit of you not going. So, that is something that does happen in the world.

Leah: But then I feel like is that person really your friend?

Nick: That is also a good question.

Leah: That's why I feel like this last sentence really changes ... If you think they're inviting you because they know you can't make it, then-

Nick: Yeah, then what do we do with that?

Leah: Yeah. Then that's-

Nick: But then, I guess the question is - is there a way to clarify that? Not really.

Leah: No, because you would have ... The only way to clarify it would be to say-

Nick: "Hey, do you really want me there?"

Leah: The only way to clarify would be like, "Oh, ha, you're inviting me, knowing I can't make it, you silly goose!"

Nick: That's the worst! [Laughing]

Leah: You know what I mean? There's no other way to do that.

Nick: Yeah, yeah. I mean, I guess we-

Leah: Unless you were to say, "Ooh, I'd love to come. Can I stay at your house?"

Nick: Sure. Although, you cannot invite yourself as a house guest!

Leah: That's what I'm saying. There's no way to do this.

Nick: Yeah. Let's say you've made the decision you're not going, regardless. You can't swing it financially, so that decision has been made. The outcome here is that you will not be attending. So, then I guess the question for your future relationship is just do we have a relationship? Are we acquaintances, or are we friends?

Leah: Right.

Nick: I guess there is a opportunity to reach out to her and be like, "Hey, would love to have drinks with you. Let's catch up." If that's sort of declined, or demurred, well, then, you know.

Leah: I also think that maybe our letter-writer doesn't think of them as a good friend because if you think that they're doing that, then, in your heart, you don't think they're a good friend anymore.

Nick: Oh ... Yeah, you should trust your judgment, maybe, or your intuition.

Leah: Yeah. If you say, "I feel," you already feel that.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: That's really what you-

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: -your intuition is telling you. If that's what you really feel about this friendship, then I think this is a time to reassess how much you put into it.

Nick: Yeah, and I guess the question is - is this an etiquette crime to invite someone, knowing that they're not going to be able to attend?

Leah: I don't know. I feel like it's done. I think a lot of people have destination weddings, and they invite extended family that they feel like they're supposed to invite, knowing that people can't go to the top of a volcano.

Nick: Right.

Leah: But it was polite to invite them.

Nick: Yes. I think, for our letter-writer, let's assume the best.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: That's a nice touch, even though your instinct is probably to assume the worst, and politely decline.

Leah: But not necessarily that your instinct is to assume the worst; that your instinct is telling you that that wasn't what was happening here.

Nick: Right.

Leah: We trust your instincts.

Nick: Yeah, if that's what you think is happening, could be. Could be. But make an effort to reach out to this person, separately. Hang out with them, and see where your relationship might be, separate from this birthday party, and take it from there.

Leah: Never feel- if you have to decline, you're declining. Don't feel bad about that.

Nick: Yeah. Never feel bad about that. No. Our next question is: "My husband and I eloped, and our families chose to celebrate our marriage by hosting separate parties and celebrations a couple of months after our return. There was a party for him with only his friends and family, and a party for me with only my friends and family. We did not register for gifts, but because we have very thoughtful friends and family, we were left with several packages to open and several thank you notes to write. I insisted my husband write his own thank you notes for his party, and I most definitely penned my own notes for my party, despite the presents having been given to both of us. My husband - we're from the South - hemmed and hawed, and said Emily Post would not agree with this decision. Was I wrong to insist he pen his own notes? Was I being too "progressive" at etiquette's expense? Hoping for some affirmation."

Leah: I would like to say, up top, that I love that this letter-writer wrote hoping for some affirmation.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: It's very helpful for Nick, and I to know-

Nick: Yeah, what do you want from us?

Leah: Where are we coming in from on this?

Nick: [Giggling] So, I have some follow-up questions that were not answered. One of the questions is - does the husband feel like it's a woman's work to write thank you notes, so that the wife in this story should be writing all the thank you notes?

Leah: That was my takeaway because of-

Nick: Is that what we think?

Leah: -"Was I being too "progressive?" I also wanted to say, they're both signing; both of their names are on the both of them.

Nick: So, that was my second question. I am writing a note to my friend, who gave me a gravy boat, and I believe my wife's name is not on the card. That's what it sounds like. I'm writing a thank you note to Aunt Janet for the gravy boat. "Thank you so much," and my name is the only one on it.

Leah: Oh, I think that they're- I think it's actually the physical writing of it. She's saying, "You write your family half, and I'll write my half, and then we both sign each other's names."

Nick: That is the best-case scenario here. If that's what's happening, that's fine.

Leah: Yeah, and I don't think that's too progressive at all. You're just dividing the-

Nick: Right.

Leah: Yeah, that's totally fair. I think each of you sign each other's names.

Nick: Yes. Both cards should have everyone's name on it. But the way I read this, it sounded like that's not what was happening.

Leah: I feel like the question - "Was I being too progressive at etiquette's expense?" - is-

Nick: Should he be penning the body of the thank you note?

Leah: Right. In which case, I think it's totally fair-

Nick: Yes!

Leah: -for you guys to divide it evenly.

Nick: Sure. Yes.

Leah: Absolutely.

Nick: Yes. So, definitely, he should write half of the notes. When we say half the notes, I mean the, "Dear Janet, it was so lovely to see you last weekend at the party. It was such a treat to get together with you and the family. The gravy boat is so delightful. Can't wait for Thanksgiving when we're going to take it out for a test drive. Sincerely, Chad and Lisa."

Leah: Right.

Nick: Chad wrote most of that, but Lisa signs her name. That would be the best case, here.

Leah: Yep, or, even, I think Chad can write- sign Chad and Lisa's name. Then, on Lisa's, Lisa signs Lisa and Chad's name.

Nick: We can do that, yes. That would be okay. But, yes, under no circumstances is Chad not putting pen to paper at all.

Leah: Yeah, unless there's some kind of ... I'm just saying this as, in my relationship, things like this have happened, where one of us is significantly better at the task at hand-

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: -so we will barter with other tasks.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: "I will write all of these, if, then, you do this other thing."

Nick: Okay.

Leah: Because it's not anybody's job to do all of anything.

Nick: No, that is not the recipe for a happy relationship.

Leah: Yeah, so I don't think you're being too progressive to have it split.

Nick: Yes. So, at the end of the day, I don't think Emily Post is concerned about who is physically writing the note, as long as it is sent, and it is thoughtful, and that everybody who received the gift is signing it.

Leah: Yep. Has both names.

Nick: Has both names, yes. Although, I think it's nice to put your own name on it.

Leah: Oh, I always ... We always- in our relationship, we always both sign.

Nick: Yeah, but at least the names are there in some sort.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Yes.

Leah: And I do think- I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that if, in some place, it's said that the woman should be writing it-

Nick: [Giggling]

Leah: -that that's not an update.

Nick: That has been updated, yes. I think we're gonna update that rule.

Leah: Everybody in a relationship can be grateful.

Nick: Yes!

Leah: So, both people can be grateful and do the pen to paper on that.

Nick: Even if you're not grateful for the gravy boat-

Leah: You can fake it.

Nick: You still send that thank you note!

Leah: Yes.

Nick: Our next question is: "I have a question about invitations to events. If you have been invited to an event and you are unable to go because of a prior commitment and then, that commitment falls through, is it improper to then respond with a new availability to go to the event? Or having said no, do you just say, all right, it's now off the table?"

Leah: You know, we had a conversation about this.

Nick: Yeah!

Leah: One of our earliest episodes ... Because you said something to me that I didn't know happened, which is that some people say, "No, I can't come," and then show up, which I had no idea was happening-

Nick: Which is bonkers. That's a crazy, crazy thing to do, yeah.

Leah: I do think-

Nick: "Oh, [inaudible] I could make it guys! Look at me! I showed up!"

Leah: This happened to me ... I had no idea.

Nick: "Look, I'm here!"

Leah: I did have, this week, somebody say, "Can you do something on this one day?"

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: I had something. I said, "I have this thing. I really want to go to this thing you've invited me to. If this gets moved, may I come?"

Nick: That's a nice way to handle it.

Leah: Like, if it's something that I really want to go to because, often, things get canceled, and moved, and rescheduled. So, I just want to express my enthusiasm for it and say I had this other ... Maybe I get out early of that event; maybe I can get to both. So, I ask my host; I explain; "I had a previous thing. I love what you're doing. Love to be a part of it. Thank you for the invite. This is my situation. How is it on your end, if ...?"

Nick: I mean, that's good, if your RSVP is not 100 percent but is some degree lower. This would be like, "Thank you so much for the dinner party invitation. Can't make it." Then, a week later, the thing that was preventing me from going is like, oh, that's canceled, so I could make it. So, I do not have an opportunity in my declining to say, like, "Oh, I can't make it because I have this thing that may get canceled." It's just a straight-up "Can't go." So, the question is - do you go back to that person and be like, "Oh, actually I could go now." I think it comes down to your host and what the thing was-

Leah: And your relationship with that person.

Nick: Your relationship with that person, and what kind of inconvenience is happening. So, if this was a cocktail party for 60, and you originally couldn't make it, but then could, chances are you could probably slip back into the guest list. If it's a dinner party for eight, and you declined, your seat has probably been taken. But I think, depending on the relationship with the person, you could ask, maybe ...

Leah: I don't think there's any problem with politely asking.

Nick: As long as it's with the expectation that the answer's probably no.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: And that you're fine with that.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: So, it's sort of like, "Oh, hey, the thing I had actually just canceled. I'd be delighted to make it to your party if there's still room. Totally understand if there's not," and leave it on them to decide whether or not they can accommodate.

Leah: Yeah because say it was for eight, and you had declined, and they filled that eight. Maybe Chad canceled last minute, and all of a sudden, it was a seven. Then, you had emailed, and they were like, "Actually, Chad just canceled. You can come."

Nick: Yeah. That could happen.

Leah: That could happen.

Nick: Yep.

Leah: But I think what you said was important, that it's if you do ask, if you do have that kind of relationship with that person, be completely comfortable with it may have been capped.

Nick: Yeah, and I think the more distant the relationship is, I think you don't do that.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: If you ... A business meeting, I think we probably-

Leah: Yeah, it's done.

Nick: Yeah, I think we're kind of done. We've moved on, yeah.

Leah: Unless, like you said, it was a large event.

Nick: Yes. If it's a large event, where an additional body probably isn't going to disturb your host too much - it's not going to change the catering count; it's not going to change the seating arrangement - I think you have more leeway.

Leah: Yeah. I've often erred on too much information on the side, which we've obviously tried to curb.

Nick: [Giggling] We're working on it.

Leah: I'm always giving people explanations. But, if upfront, when you get the invite, it's something that you love, but you had something that day, I think you can express your enthusiasm for it-

Nick: Yes.

Leah: -and say, "If there's any way I can move this around, can I come to [inaudible]?" You know?

Nick: Yeah, that's fine. I mean, I think hosts do want to hear from their guests that they are sincerely disappointed that they can't attend.

Leah: Yeah, I think that's ... If you are disappointed, I would say that, up top, so they know, then, that if you change your mind later, you've already expressed how you wanted to be able to get there.

Nick: Because nobody wants to host an event that nobody wants to go to.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Right. Our next question is: "How do you politely decline to have your photo taken at the tourist attraction, when you know you aren't going to be buying the photo?"

Leah: I actually wrote it down exactly what I think people could say.

Nick: Oh, what's the script?

Leah: The script is ... You can hear the paper, people.

Nick: Okay [Giggling]

Leah: "Thank you so much for offering, but we're good."

Nick: That's nice. I like that. Okay, that works.

Leah: I feel like that's solid.

Nick: This actually just happened to me, so this was very, um-

Leah: Timely?

Nick: Timely. Up the street, in New York City, we have this thing called Hudson Yards, which is a whole new development. On the top of Hudson Yards is an outdoor observation deck. I guess their claim to fame, it's the highest outdoor observation deck in North America.

Leah: Oooh!

Nick: So, not sure who else is in that running, but it's higher than the Empire State Building, and it's outdoors. You can be very high up and see New York City. Check out my Instagram. You can see a photo from up there! So, as we were going, they did this photo thing. I have not been to a tourist attraction like this in a long time. Yeah, they line you up, and they make you do whatever they're gonna do, and, yeah, they make it super-awkward.

Leah: Yeah, it's awkward. They do it at a lot of theme parks.

Nick: Oh, sure.

Leah: So, I think that's why it's great to always have a standard sentence ready. "Thank you so much, but we're good."

Nick: Yeah, so do that.

Leah: I use that for actually a lot of situations. "Thank you so much. I'm good."

Nick: Yeah. Solicitation on the street; samples in a supermarket.

Leah: Yep. "Thank you so much. I'm good."

Nick: Yeah. So, everybody should practice that. Our next question is: "Is it rude to have inside jokes on Venmo? I don't know why, but seeing them always gives me a serious case of FOMO."

Leah: I love this because I actually think that that's exactly what it was designed for. I mean, why else would you be able to see other people's financial interactions?

Nick: Right? So, a few definitions for our international listeners. Venmo is an electronic payment system. So, instead of giving someone cash or doing a wire transfer, you can use this app, and you can transfer money between person to person. So, that's a Venmo. FOMO, in case we need to explain it, that is the fear of missing out.

Leah: Right.

Nick: I looked into this and, apparently, according to Venmo, themselves, they say that the average Venmo user checks the app two to three times a week, not for payments, but just to check up on what their friends and family are up to.

Leah: Really?!

Nick: Isn't that shocking?!

Leah: I don't scroll.

Nick: It would never occur to me to check in what my friends and family are sending payments for.

Leah: Yeah, but I do think people feel this way. They see that [crosstalk] "What did you guys do?" Because when you go to the app, you'll see whatever the last transactions were of your friends.

Nick: Right.

Leah: I'm just going there to send whoever money, or whatever, and then, you always see that. Then, immediately, I think the next question is, "Oh, they did that thing."

Nick: Yeah. Like, "Oh, I wonder why they had drinks."

Leah: But I think the- is it rude to have inside jokes? I just think that's what's happening on there.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: People do little emojis and they-

Nick: It's all emoji. I don't think people use words.

Leah: Oh, no, I have friends that write obviously not what the money was for. You know what I mean?

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: I just sort of am like ... I don't think about it.

Nick: Yeah, I don't give it too much thought, but I can see how people would feel like this makes them feel bad; that they're missing out-

Leah: Oh, I absolutely understand why it would make people feel like-

Nick: All those brunches they weren't invited to.

Leah: That's why I think it's good just to not look at it.

Nick: You shouldn't look at it, but I think, broadening this out, thinking about this through the lens of etiquette, it is rude to be talking about events in public with people who were not invited to those events. It's like talking about your wedding in the office to coworkers who were not invited.

Leah: Yeah, but I mean, if you're putting your wedding posters on Facebook, that's exactly what you're doing.

Nick: Right, and a lot of people would say that's not always fine?!

Leah: Yeah, but that's exactly what it was designed for.

Nick: Yeah, it's true. But all the birthday parties-

Leah: I'm neither agreeing, nor disagreeing. I'm saying that that's what happens on these apps.

Nick: Yeah. So, on some level, the same idea of let's not make people feel bad about events that they were not invited to, Venmo makes that very easy. Yeah.

Leah: I mean, I've definitely felt bad that I wasn't invited to things that I saw on Instagram.

Nick: Sure.

Leah: I know why the pictures were posted. You know, I get why they did it. So, it's like ... I think there's no real answer here. Yes, I understand why you feel bad.

Nick: Yeah, sorry.

Leah: I think that that's what happens on these apps.

Nick: Yes.

Leah: So, it's a part of not looking.

Nick: Not looking, or just trying to get to a good place that you will not be invited to everything.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: Not being invited to stuff is part of that being an adult.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: People don't have to invite you. That's how the world is.

Leah: I often try to think, "It's so nice that they did that."

Nick: "Oh, how nice that they had a birthday party with all these other people I know, and I wasn't invited!" [Laughing]

Leah: No, I don't even do it in a sarcastic way. I'm just like, "How nice!"

Nick: Yeah, how [crosstalk] got together.

Leah: Then, I just try to keep it in that thought bubble-

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: -so I don't ... You know what I mean? That's great. I'm glad they got out! Yay!!

Nick: Yeah, but I do think everybody should just turn their Venmo stuff to private. I don't have my stuff set to public. I don't need other people knowing.

Leah: Oh I don't either.

Nick: Everybody just turn it to private!

Leah: I think some people really want other people to know, "I'm doing stuff!"

Nick: Yeah. Yeah.

Leah: It's just like, okay ...

Nick: Yeah. Well, I guess we have our own inside jokes, right?

Leah: I mean ...

Nick: Do we?

Leah: Are they inside, or we always-

Nick: I guess not.

Leah: We always spell them out for everybody.

Nick: We do. Actually, yeah, maybe they're not so inside.

Leah: Then, we're like, "This is where this came from, and then how ..." I think our whole inside group is that we want everybody-

Nick: In!

Leah: In, and to feel included!

Nick: We want everybody to be a part. Yeah. So, you can be included. Just send us some questions.

Leah: Really quick-

Nick: Yeah?

Leah: I know we're going backwards, really quick, but I often think that people aren't intentionally trying to make other people feel bad.

Nick: Most of the time, no.

Leah: They're just celebrating and trying to have ... We often see, and this is brought up a lot because I think that social media has made people feel left out.

Nick: Yes.

Leah: We are seeing people at the happiest moments that they're trying to portray.

Nick: It is an edited version of our best selves. Yes.

Leah: So, they were just trying to celebrate for a moment, and ... You know, I always remind myself, I wish everybody well.

Nick: Yeah, and remember that Venmo was the highlight of their day. It is not the low-light of their day, whatever they're boasting about. Everyone's lives is obviously not always the highs.

Leah: Because I do think that it's a bigger topic, but that social media has made people feel this way.

Nick: Yes. This is a very big topic.

Leah: Maybe a deep dive.

Nick: It's probably a deep dive, yeah.

Leah: So, we're gonna ... We'll deep diver into this more later, but if you want me to send you emojis on Venmo, I will.

Nick: Does that mean I have to send you money?

Leah: I mean [Laughing]

Nick: [Laughing]

Leah: Uh, I mean that probably won't come through, but I will send you emojis.

Nick: Okay. Well, you can send us emojis, or questions, and we'll take them any time, any way. You can actually ... Happy to Venmo us your questions.

Leah: Yes!

Nick: We'll take that.

Leah: We'll take that.

Nick: Visit our website,, and check out our Patreon. You can become a member and support our show. We'll talk to you later!

Leah: Bye!

Nick: Bye!

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