Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle reusing napkins, attending movie premiers, hanging up on people, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we had your address.)
Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle reusing napkins, attending movie premiers, hanging up on people, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we had your address.)
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Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton
Theme Music: Rob Paravonian
Nick: Do you use napkin rings at dinner parties? Do you harass celebrities at premieres? Do you forget to follow up? Were you raised by wolves? Let's find out.
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When we have to live together
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Were you raised by wolves?
Nick: Hey everybody, it's Nick Leighton.
Leah: And I'm Leah Bonnema.
Nick: And let's just get right down to it with our amuse-bouche.
Leah: Let's get in it.
Nick: So for today's amuse-bouche, I want to talk about napkin rings.
Nick: Yes, finally! So what do you think of when I say napkin ring? What's a napkin ring?
Leah: A napkin ring is a ring.
Leah: That they come in different designs.
Leah: And they go around cloth napkins.
Nick: Okay. And when do you use napkin rings?
Leah: I use napkin rings when I go home to visit my family, and my mom has a napkin ring box. I actually think I did something on our Patreon for it. I did a little video of it.
Nick: Oh, yeah, yeah. I remember that.
Leah: I love it. My mom has, like, a box with really fun—they're all different artistic napkin rings, and when you go home, you get a napkin ring so you know which is your place at the table.
Nick: Yeah. So napkin rings are for family meals only. They are actually not meant for formal dinner parties or fancy entertaining. And a little history. So these days when families get together for meals, they're probably eating with paper napkins. Like, a lot of families are not using cloth napkins at just like a random Tuesday night dinner. But back in France, in the 1800s, when supposedly all this started, people didn't have paper napkins and they only did the wash once or twice a week. So they would use the same cloth napkin over several meals. And for upper-class families, the way everybody would keep track of whose napkin was whose was napkin rings. And this is why very often napkin rings are engraved with people's monogram. So it's like, oh, this is your napkin ring. And this is also why these are very common, like, wedding gifts. And for nuns going off to the convent, like, one of the things they would bring with them was, like, their own napkin ring.
Nick: So there's actually a lot of interesting history of, like, keeping track of your napkin. And guests that were invited to a family meal, they would just be given a fresh napkin and they would not be given a napkin ring. But if a guest was going to be staying for a very long time, you would actually give them a napkin ring, which was sort of an honor because it was like, oh, you're part of the family now.
Leah: I really love that.
Nick: Now, of course, Emily Post, she is not a fan of the napkin ring, and she doesn't even like them for informal family dinners. She says, quote, "Napkin rings are unknown in fashionable houses outside of the nursery." Ouch!
Nick: Ouch, Emily! Yeah. Yeah, only for the nursery, yes. Can you imagine having dinner with her? Like, what's that like?
Leah: Also, can you imagine what she thinks kids are like that they have napkin rings?
Nick: [laughs] Well, in Emily Post's day, yeah, they had napkin rings. But she adds, quote, "In large families, where it's impossible to manage such a wash as three clean napkins a day entail, napkin rings are probably necessary. In most moderately run houses, a napkin that is unrumpled and spotless after a meal is put aside and used again for breakfast. But to be given a napkin that is not perfectly clean is a horrid thought." So she basically says, like, it's a shame that you don't have people to do laundry for you all day long. That's what she's saying.
Leah: What a wild woman.
Nick: And Miss Manners, not to be outdone, she says, quote, "The highest level of thinking about napkin rings is that they are horrible, because they presuppose that not everyone is issued a freshly -laundered napkin at every meal."
Leah: These people are not fun. Nobody puts them on the fun bus. They're not driving the fun buses. Also, sometimes people are changing out napkins. It's just your place at the table with that napkin ring.
Nick: Well I mean, originally, the napkin ring was supposed to save a napkin through multiple meals. Like, that is the idea. And Miss Manners does allow, though, that she is okay with napkin rings because they quote, "Promote social morality by forcing people to live with the consequences of their behavior." Meaning if you're a slob and greasy, you get to use the same napkin again. And if you're very fastidious, then you get to use that napkin again, too. So she likes that you are suffering the napkin consequences of your previous meal behavior.
Leah: [laughs] I'm happy to suffer napkin consequences.
Nick: But all of this is to say that napkin rings are not historically used for formal dinners, because it's like, are you gonna save these napkins for us? Are these napkins from someone else? Are we coming back tomorrow for another meal? Are we supposed to put the napkin back in the napkin ring so you can give it to someone else? So that is why it's not done historically. Now I get that etiquette is like poetry. And so if you know the rules, you're welcome to break the rules. So if you want to have a super fancy dinner party, and you like the look of napkin rings on your table and you think they look nice, then have at it. Who am I to say no? But just don't invite Emily or Judy. That's all.
Leah: I was gonna say I think some people like the design. They pull the top, then they kind of make the bottom float out, they put it on top of the plate for, like, a fancy dinner party. I've seen it.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, it's a nice decor item. Just know that historically, the reasons why we had napkin rings is because we're reusing napkins. So just know that, and knowing that is half the battle.
Leah: Well, I love what you said about breaking the rules. I know the rules so I'm gonna break them. So it's like you're the e.e. cummings of napkins, which I think is the example I used last time, but it still works.
Nick: As relevant today as ever. And if you are at a dinner party and you are given a napkin ring, what you do is you take the napkin out of the napkin ring, you put the napkin ring on the left—far left, top left—and at the end of the meal, don't put the napkin back in the napkin ring. I think you just sort of leave it off to the side like you would a normal napkin. So that would be napkin etiquette with rings.
Leah: And then I think that napkin ring is yours to put on a necklace, like a class ring or ...
Nick: Uh, no. You do not steal other people's napkin rings, if we need to clarify this. No, but thank you for your question.
Leah: Just want to put that out there in case anybody was thinking that.
Nick: And we're back, and now it's time to go deep. So for today's question of etiquette, I want to talk about going to a premiere.
Leah: Perfect. Perfect.
Nick: So I guess first question is: what's a premiere?
Leah: I'd say a premiere of a movie.
Nick: Yeah, or TV show.
Nick: Or an app. I think everything has premieres now.
Leah: Yeah. I feel like everything has premieres now.
Leah: It's the opening of, the celebration of the opening of blank.
Nick: And have you ever been to a premiere?
Leah: And I actually learned a lot from a premiere that I was more involved in by making multiple mistakes, so I feel like this is a very good deep dive for me because I've done almost everything wrong.
Nick: Oh! Can't wait to hear about it!
Leah: I had a person who was, like, running the premiere, pull me aside and be like, "This is how we do this," which how would I know?
Nick: Oh, okay!
Leah: Not in a rude way at all. But it was just like ...
Nick: Like, "Leah, we have to discuss what is happening."
Leah: Well, it was the step and repeat. They're like, "You have to do that again." [laughs]
Nick: Okay. All right. Well, let's get into it. So I've been to a lot of premieres, both as a journalist, like on one side of the red carpet, and then I've just sort of like been a civilian. And both are fun. And so let's talk about the step and repeat. So the step and repeat is the part of the premiere that has, like, the red carpet and the background with all the logos. We call that a step and repeat, because the idea is that, like, a celebrity steps out on the carpet, gets their picture taken and then we repeat with the next celebrity. So the idea is that you go out and you get your photo taken and you keep moving. What did you do wrong?
Leah: Well, I'd been to premieres where they just had one stop. You went on, it was one stop.
Leah: And then you walked off.
Leah: But this was a long one. And you had to go and stop and go and stop. And the places where you stopped were marked.
Nick: Uh huh.
Leah: And I sort of missed. And then so they pulled me back to the beginning and they were like, "Walk and stop, and walk and stop, and walk and stop." Because I'd only been to the ones where there was one stop.
Nick: Okay, so you just got your picture taken once, and that was it.
Leah: And then I just sort of did, like, a slow walk down, Like, trying to be like what am I doing? Just making a fool of myself. That's what's great about being a comic. People are like ...
Nick: There's Leah Bonnema!
Leah: Look at them, they're funny!
Leah: If it's a long one, it's walk and stop, and walk and stop, and walk and stop.
Nick: Now for most people invited to a premiere, you're actually not gonna be walking the red carpet, you're gonna be just like moved around it into the theater. Like, you're not gonna get your picture taken. And that's fine. You're not a celebrity. So you just know that you're not.
Leah: Or just get on that carpet.
Nick: Yeah, there's security, usually. So let's not get arrested at the premiere. But just know that you're probably not gonna walk the red carpet, and you're just going to go through the side and that's fine.
Leah: But a lot of times people take pictures in front of—there'll be, like, a backdrop in one place where you can get your own selfies and stuff with all the logos.
Nick: Yeah, yeah. No, smarter event planners know that people want to get photos, and so they do set up an area where you can still do that. Yeah, totally. So what to wear?
Leah: You brought up in the episode about polo, Google an event from the previous years and see what people are wearing. I think the difference with a movie premiere is I think you really want to bring out yourself. You know, it's your celebration. So it's like—but it should be, like, clean and you're not, like, coming out in your jammy bottoms, which is how I like to usually go to the movies.
Nick: Right. The issue with the premiere, though, is hypothetically, this is the first time this has happened, so you don't necessarily have a reference point for what to wear.
Leah: Right. That's why I was saying I also think that even with these, it's a lot about your personality. Like, you're going to the premiere, you're celebrating. So you can kind of, I think, wear whatever you want. Just make sure it's—a lot of times what I want to wear is my pajamas. That's not what this is.
Nick: I guess it depends on what it's a premiere for. If it's a premier for a new sleep app, then that's great. You know then it's in brand.
Leah: Or a sleepover movie. But I think they should be—it should be on purpose.
Nick: Yes. Very often, people do like to dress in the theme of whatever it is.
Nick: So yes, if it's a reboot of The Baby-Sitters Club, and you wanted to dress in your jam jams, then that's wonderful. That's very in theme. But if you're going to, like, the opening of an action film and you're showing up in your pajamas, yeah, it's a choice.
Leah: Also remember, it's going to be—if it's a movie premiere, there will be people behind you.
Nick: So don't wear a big bonnet.
Leah: Yeah, don't wear like a peacock, you know, cape that comes out.
Nick: No fascinators.
Leah: Yeah. [laughs] Or like a huge helmet because you're the Mandalorian, you know? Or if you do, take it off and put it in your lap.
Nick: So speaking of people around you, I think it's very important when you go to one of these things that people worked on this thing and they're all around you, and so you got to keep your mouth shut if you have anything negative to say.
Leah: I wrote that exactly. Keep your mouth shut.
Nick: Yeah, Leah's showing me her paper, and she did indeed say, quote, "Keep your mouth shut." Yes.
Leah: And that includes in the parking lot, that includes in the bathroom.
Nick: Oh, within a five-mile radius. It also includes at the In-N-Out that is within a 10-mile radius of the event afterwards, because people are gonna be there, too. Yeah. Just keep your mouth shut, and it's not helpful.
Leah: It's not helpful, and it hurts people's feelings.
Nick: And also, if it's bad, they know it's bad. They just don't need to hear it.
Leah: It's really—you know how I feel about this, when people think that it's okay to just trash something while they're still at the event.
Nick: Yeah, so as a reminder, don't do that. And it is a good reminder because I hear it all the time, so I feel like people don't know this yet. And I think we need to help get the word out that, yeah, you really just can't say anything negative while you're at an event.
Leah: And that includes, "Oh, I liked their last movie better. I wonder why they decided not to do that. That would have been a good idea." Any sort of variation on anything but a nice compliment isn't appropriate.
Nick: Yeah. 100 percent, yeah. And even if you didn't like it, just lie. "Oh, it was so great, so entertaining. I had a great time. So happy to be here." Like, all of these things are fine.
Leah: "Happy to be here. Had a great time." If you're a person who can't say a dishonest sentence, "Happy to be here, had a great time." I'm assuming you had a great time, it's a premiere. And then you can pick something out that you particularly loved.
Nick: "I really liked the font that was used for the end credits."
Nick: Don't say that.
Leah: But you are a fan of font.
Leah: Oh, I love good typography, absolutely. Yeah, so I would actually call out any interesting font choices, sure. Wes Anderson, Futura. Love it. Very classic.
Leah: I would like to say that I was recently at a premiere.
Leah: And I was talking to the director without knowing it.
Leah: Because it was—the way the premiere was set up, unless you personally knew what people looked like, you wouldn't know who was who.
Nick: Right. And how would you know, like, who the director looks like? Yeah.
Leah: And I was just—A) I loved it, but even if I didn't love it, I would have picked out things that I loved about it. But I particularly loved a lot of the director choices, and so I was just talking to this person and I was saying all the things I loved. And then she was like, "Oh, I was the director. I really appreciate that you liked that part." And you just never know who you're talking to.
Nick: Yeah, because this story could have had a definitely horrible turn if you were talking to the director and criticizing all of their choices to them to their face.
Leah: And I would never do that just because I don't do that, but also you can make people feel really nice. It's just to enjoy an event that people worked hard on.
Nick: Right. And speaking of running into people, so very often, the celebrities will be there, and very often these are sort of industry events that are not open to the public, you know, per se. And so celebrities are not necessarily in "I'm in public mode," and they're not necessarily in the headspace to be approached by people asking for photos. So just kind of know that, that, like, it may not be appropriate to, like, ask them for photos or take their picture without permission or, like, stalk them around the party. So just sort of read the room on that.
Nick: Like, if you want a photo with them, maybe it's okay, but, like, ask for permission and see if other people are doing it first.
Leah: I'm going to admit to something that I know you're gonna be mortified by.
Nick: Oh, Leah.
Leah: But I think it might be helpful to our listeners.
Leah: I was running to this event, and they knew—obviously, I'm a person very aware of time. They knew I was coming from another thing. It had been discussed. I was running. So I needed a mint. I felt—it was raining. It was a whole thing.
Nick: It was rainy, so you needed a mint?
Leah: No, you're like, I feel gross. But I didn't have time in between, so I was like, I needed a mint, something to refresh.
Nick: You just needed to be refreshed.
Leah: I needed to be refreshed. Anything that I could: a little spritz, whatever, wash my hands.
Leah: I didn't have a mint. I popped in a gum.
Leah: And then there was nowhere to put it.
Leah: And then there were all these pictures being taken
Leah: And it was like a bright yellow gum.
Leah: And then I could see my gum in my friend's pictures of this premiere. And I was like, "Man, I should have just brought a little mint."
Nick: Yeah, you're right. I am disappointed.
Leah: You know, I was under—at least I got there on time.
Nick: So things that we could have done differently include ...
Leah: Brought mints.
Nick: Put it in a dollar bill.
Nick: It's worth spending a dollar to not have gum in your face in photos.
Leah: I would like to know when is the last time anybody carried cash. This was in the last century.
Nick: That's fair.
Leah: I can't roll it up in a credit card.
Nick: But, like, put it in your hand, take it out of your mouth, hold it in your hand.
Leah: I was shaking a lot of hands and holding a lot of Diet Cokes.
Nick: Left hand.
Leah: I did the best I could at the time, and I'm sharing it with you so people think ahead.
Leah: I couldn't. I had a—I'm acting it out, people at home. I have something in this hand and I'm shaking hands, so there's no extra hands.
Leah: I guess I could have wrapped it in my hair.
Nick: Behind your ear, that's a classic.
Leah: [laughs] I'm telling you, it was a learning experience. I would never do it again.
Nick: But also, one of the things that you should do when you have gum is you save the foil until you're done with your gum.
Leah: Now we know.
Nick: The gum and the foil, those should stay together.
Leah: I think it wasn't my gum.
Nick: They should always be together.
Leah: No, you're absolutely right, Nick.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, who just gives you a stick of gum without the foil?
Leah: I don't know. An animal.
Nick: I mean, it's no way to live. So yeah, don't have gum in your photos. Okay, thank you for bringing this to our attention.
Leah: Have a little mint if you feel like you're gonna need a refresher.
Nick: And speaking of mints, they're often found in gift bags, which is something that often happens—like that segue?—often happens at a premiere. So gift bags, one per person, please. Don't get one for your friend. And remember, 99 percent of the time, there's nothing in the gift bag that you actually want. Don't be feral about it. I have seen people fight over gift bags.
Leah: [laughs] Don't be feral. It's so true!
Nick: Well no, there was a time when, if you Googled "gift bag expert," my name would come first. I think I still own Giftbagexpert.com. I am very familiar with gift bags. I spent a lot of time thinking about gift bags. I've evaluated gift bags. I did a segment on the local NPR station in New York about, like, the gift bag index and how it was like a lagging economic indicator about the health of our economy based on how good gift bags were. No, I have a lot to say about gift bags. So just remember, there's probably a gift bag and you probably don't want it. So there might be mints in it, though.
Leah: I actually get really excited about gift bags, even if there's, like, nothing in it of note, because it's just so—it feels like a grab bag when you were a little kid, and you would, like, spend five cents and it's like two Swedish fish and a Tootsie Roll and you're like, "Ah! I didn't know!" It's the not knowing what's in it that's so fun.
Nick: I see. It's the mystery and the surprise.
Nick: Yeah. And then the last thing on my list is the after party. So very often there's an after party at these things, and you might not be invited depending on what kind of invitation you have. You might have only been invited to the premiere itself and not the after party. So if that happens, I'm sorry, but that is what it is.
Leah: And if you weren't invited, you can do what I do when I'm not invited to something where I go home and I tell myself I didn't want to go out anyway. Who likes to socialize? I'd rather put my pajamas on and watch more Downton Abbey episodes.
Nick: Yeah. Whatever you need to help you sleep at night, yeah.
Leah: That being said, I'd love to be invited to your after parties.
Nick: Yeah, please invite me. And it is rude to crash. It does happen, but it is technically impolite to go somewhere you are not invited.
Leah: But I do think a lot of people do it.
Nick: It is done. Yeah, it is definitely done.
Leah: And I have heard of stories of people being removed who are not invited.
Nick: Oh, yeah, that feels embarrassing.
Leah: That does feel embarrassing.
Nick: To be forcibly ejected from a party? Yeah, that's not in the spirit of Were You Raised By Wolves. [laughs] So try not to get ejected from a party, everyone. But if you do, please let us know.
Leah: Please let us know.
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, "I just visited my boyfriend's parents, and we had a somewhat awkward game of rummy. My family loves to play rummy, and it was somewhat new for my boyfriend's family, but my boyfriend and I thought it would be fun to try with them. I'm pretty average at the game, but after we played several rounds, I was winning by a substantial margin, and the family members seemed a bit down and frustrated. Then my boyfriend's dad suggested we call it quits. Should I have let his family win, or should I have suggested ending the game early when it was clear no one was gonna catch up with me? I don't think any feelings were hurt, but I want to know what to do in the future to avoid an uncomfortable situation like this."
Leah: We don't let people win just to let people win.
Nick: Mm-mm. No, you can't throw the game because you'll be caught, and that actually creates a worse etiquette situation.
Leah: It sort of makes people feel bad. Also, I think you should feel free to introduce new games to people, try new things. People can not like it.
Leah: Then you can move on to another game.
Nick: I found that people have different game personalities. Like, some people aren't into games at all. No, thank you. Just pass. Some people are more into, like, Catan, and some people are more, like, into cards. Me personally, I'm into mahjong. That's my game. So people just have different flavors of games that they like, and sometimes there's not a lot of crossover. But that's okay. You know, you just got to feel it out, and it's okay to invite people to play a game.
Leah: Yeah, and then it's okay to move onto the next game, and it was no big deal.
Nick: But I think it's also hard to have different skill levels. So, like, even though you're not great at rummy, apparently, you still know how the game is played, and you still do have an advantage over all the other players. So, like, when I teach people mahjong, which I'm desperate for more people to play mahjong. So if you want to learn now, let me know. I'll tell you all about it. But when I teach people mahjong, I actually don't play the first few rounds. I'll float. So I'll help all the other players, like, with the game, and I'll be behind them and I'll be on their team for a round. And that way I'm not playing. Everyone can have sort of an equal playing field. Everybody gets my help learning the game. And then once everybody sort of feels comfortable and is into it, then, like, I'll join and I'll play myself. And that's how I would handle that. So with rummy, I think, yeah, you could have maybe been on a team with someone else, like the boyfriend's father and be like, "Oh, let's team up." And that would be a way to handle it.
Leah: And I think also, even if you're all playing the first rounds, as long as you're not being super-competitive.
Nick: Well right, yeah.
Leah: And being like, "Ah, gotcha!" You know what I mean?
Nick: "In your face, Dad!" [laughs]
Leah: [laughs] Yeah, I think it's fine. We're all adults. I don't even let my friends' kids win straight up. I think that's a bad teaching lesson.
Nick: Yeah, yeah. No, no, you should just play to win. You should always play to win. But also after each round, I think you could always check in with everybody, and be like, "Oh, do we want to do another round?" Before you start another round. Because it sounds like these people were frustrated and down much earlier than when we actually called the game. So we were probably a little frustrated for several rounds, and it didn't need to be that way. Like, we could have called it earlier and been like, "Oh, let's save everybody the aggravation."
Leah: But I don't think that you should have let them win, and I think it's fine that you suggested playing rummy, and then now you can just see what they want to play.
Nick: What's your go to game?
Leah: I really like games.
Nick: Mind games?
Leah: No, actually.
Nick: Psychological thrillers?
Leah: I absolutely hate mind games. I just don't even—I really love this game called Dutch Blitz.
Leah: Four people play it. You each have cards with a different picture on the back, and you're trying to get all your cards. You know, it's very fast moving, everybody's grabbing their cards at the same time. Very exciting. Dutch Blitz.
Nick: Okay. I like a good, fast-paced game. So our next question is, quote, "I am a makeup artist, and I agreed to do a friend's wedding as a gift to her and her husband. However, I've just been hired on a six-week job, one which I cannot turn down. It's an incredible opportunity. I have found a replacement makeup artist that I trust implicitly to properly serve the couple in their needs for the wedding. However, my question is, how would I phrase it that I can no longer do the wedding because of this new job opportunity that's going to take me out of state for several weeks? I don't want to diminish the importance of their event. I just want to be able to say, 'Hey, listen, can't do the job. Thank you very much for the opportunity. I found somebody. I trust her. She's very talented.' I don't want to say, 'Hey, listen, I found something better, so I'm out of here.' I've got to find a nice way of saying it. Thoughts?"
Leah: I just wrote out something.
Nick: Okay, let's role play.
Leah: So I would say something like this.
Leah: "I got offered a six-week job that I can't turn down. Your wedding is in the middle of the job. I'm so very sorry for the timing on this. I have found—"and then I would explain who this person is. I would say that they're the best. I assume that you're gifting their makeup services to them, since you were going to be—so I'd say, "Obviously, I will cover," or however you want to say that. "Please let me know what you want to do and I'll make that happen."
Nick: Okay. Yeah, that's nice. I mean, I think the key is you got to do this quick.
Leah: Right away.
Nick: Because this is not gonna get better the longer you wait. So you must tell them immediately. Like yesterday. Like, you got to tell them now. And I think the trick is you just have to be devastated. You have to be devastated that this has happened. And also, you're gonna miss the wedding, too. Like, you're a friend, and you're not even gonna be at their wedding as a guest even. So I think you just want to be devastated that this has happened, but that it's sort of you have no choice, unfortunately. With the makeup artist, I think you want to definitely make sure that they know that they're not being left high and dry, but I don't think you want to impose this person on them. Because, like, makeup, that's very intimate. You may not want this other person. Or you may just not want to be told that this other person is coming. So I think you might want to have it presented as an option. Like, "Oh, here's this person. I trust this person implicitly. Here's his portfolio, here's her portfolio. Let me know if you think this would be a good fit for you. If not, I'll continue looking for somebody for you." But I think we want to give them the option of who the replacement is and not just impose it.
Leah: Yeah, I agree. I was trying to encompass that in the, "Please let me know what you want to do."
Nick: Hmm, okay.
Leah: Because assuming that they may have their own person they would rather, and then I would still offer, obviously, to schedule and pay for that person.
Nick: Yes. Your gift needs to be that you are doing the makeup in some way. So that still needs to be the gift, you cannot change that.
Leah: Yeah, because that way they aren't left with more work.
Nick: Right. But yeah, this happens, though, where, like, something comes up after you've RSVPed for something like a wedding or a dinner party. And yeah, the trick is, like, you just have to declare very early so that your host can make other plans, and you express extreme regret. And, depending on how late notice you're giving and what's happening, yeah, you might want to follow up with baked goods, bottle of wine, flowers, you know, depends on how repentant you feel about canceling, and how much notice you gave.
Leah: But I think it's fair to just straight up say, "I can't turn this job down."
Leah: "Here's somebody that I recommend."
Nick: Right. Because we don't live in a world in which you, like, don't do that job.
Nick: So you just have to let your friend know that. And if this is a good friend, hopefully they'll understand and be like, "Okay, I'm disappointed but, like, I get it."
Nick: Like, hopefully that will be the response. If that is not the response, then I might want to rethink this friendship a little bit.
Leah: Yeah, it's a six-week job.
Leah: And you're covering. You're finding the makeup person.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, this is probably a lot of cash.
Nick: So, you know, I get it.
Leah: I totally get it.
Nick: So, sorry. Hope it's a beautiful day.
Nick: Our next question is quote, "Recently, I've been noticing people hanging up the phone after I say bye, without responding with a goodbye of their own. It always feels a little jarring, almost like I'm being hung up on, but not quite because it is the end of the conversation. I was raised to always say goodbye, but it seems a lot of people weren't. Of course, there's nothing for me to do about it once they've hung up, but am I wrong for feeling this to be a little rude? What are your thoughts on this?"
Leah: I actually don't have anybody in my life who doesn't say goodbye.
Nick: Okay, interesting!
Leah: And I honestly think if I said bye and then I didn't hear anything again, I would text that person and be like, "Are you OK? I think the phone just went dead."
Nick: I have the opposite problem, where people take forever to say goodbye. And I'm like, "Okay, goodbye." Pause, pause, pause. "Okay, bye-bye." And, like, that was 10 hours of my life.
Leah: Maybe you guys should switch friends.
Nick: Right. Yeah, I'll trade ya. Yeah, I see why this feels rude, because it feels incomplete.
Leah: Feels like you're being hung up on.
Nick: Yeah. Yeah, it has a little of that flavor. Yeah. I mean, the end of a phone call is sort of like the end of an in-person visit, where you want to walk the person to the door, you want to say goodbye, and then you want to shut the door gently behind them. And what we're experiencing is like the door just being slammed in your face.
Nick: And so yeah, I guess that is rude. That is still rude.
Leah: It's a great visual analogy.
Nick: So ...
Leah: "Bye!" Click. [laughs]
Nick: [laughs] Yeah. So yeah, don't do that. Be mindful of that. Unfortunately, what do you do about it, though? I mean, they've already hung up, so I think the only thing you can do is just model good behavior and hope it catches on, right?
Leah: Well, A) you're not wrong for finding this a little rude, which we've agreed on.
Nick: Oh, yes. We'll validate you, yes.
Leah: We're validating.
Nick: No problem.
Leah: I would text.
Nick: You would follow up? And be like, "Oh, you didn't say goodbye. Are you okay?"
Leah: No, I'd say, "The phone just went dead."
Nick: Oh, I like where you're going with that. It would be really hard to pull that off, though.
Leah: No, but I would do that, because I'd be like, "What happened?" I sort of have never had anybody not say goodbye to me and I'd be like, "What happened? Did your battery run out?"
Nick: Uh, yeah. I mean, I think we let it go, because now when you send a text, now you're gonna be calling them out in a weird way because, like, we all know what really happened. The phone didn't go out. I just hung up. That was all.
Leah: I think I would be shocked. I don't know anybody that does this, so I would be like, they must have been kidnapped. "Were you kidnapped? Are you in a trunk?"
Nick: [laughs] My approach? Just let it go. Model good behavior. I think that's enough. If you would like to follow up with an interrogation? Okay.
Leah: It's not an interrogation, it's a check-in. Are they okay?
Nick: They're fine.
Leah: Do they need a charger?
Nick: No, they're fine. They're just rude.
Nick: Do you need a charger? Oh, okay. Let me come over.
Leah: [laughs] Real passive aggressive. You could send them a charger in the mail and be like, "It seems like your phone's always running out of batteries when we talk, because you never say goodbye and the phone just drops off. So I thought you might need a charger." [laughs]
Nick: So don't do that.
Leah: Obviously, that's a no, but that's just a fun thing to think about doing to alleviate some of the irritation.
Nick: Yeah. No, the passive-aggressive approach is always very fun. Yeah, I'm never unhappy about hearing people who do it. I just would rather our audience not do that approach.
Leah: No, don't do that. But ...
Nick: It's fun.
Leah: ... if you want to visualize doing it, it might set you free from the irritation.
Nick: So do you want to be set free from irritation? We can help. Send us your questions and your events to 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: You know, I'm gonna just get out there and vent, Nick.
Nick: All right, safe space. Let's hear it.
Leah: So I want to make this a little vague.
Nick: Okay, to protect the guilty.
Leah: To protect the guilty.
Leah: And this is not the first time this has happened to me, so I wanted to bring it up because I find it very jarring. When a person—so I'm trying to find an umbrella statement that covers the egregious behaviors of all of it.
Leah: I've been in conversations where a person has done something that I would never do.
Leah: That they did. And I'm listening, I'm being supportive. I'm reaching out. I'm hearing it. And then somehow at the end of the conversation, they turn it around as if they're teaching me that this is something that I should never do, and that I should have gratitude for my life.
Nick: Oh, I see. It's a morality tale.
Nick: And you are benefiting from it. Okay.
Leah: I am benefiting from it, as if I would have never known that. As if I, in my life, don't practice gratitude for these things. I really can't take it.
Leah: Because you have two options there. One of them at the end is to be like, "You realize you did this. I would never do this."
Leah: I don't want to do that. I'm not commenting on what they did. I don't want to do that.
Nick: Yeah, don't drag me into this.
Leah: Yeah, I'm not involved. This was about you. I'm just here as a friend. And your other option then, which is where the road I always take is to be like, "Oh yeah, thank you." Because you just don't want to—because the only way else to respond is then I'm making a comment on their behavior.
Nick: Yeah. And sometimes I don't want to get into it. Yeah.
Leah: It's just like—and it's so condescending. And it's also like you don't know what's going on in my life, because it's always also the people that always talk about themselves. So you're like, you literally have no idea. I would never do this!
Nick: So I guess is the lesson here to just not be a supportive friend?
Nick: Like, what's the lesson here?
Leah: No, I think the lesson here is for the other person, which is maybe if you want to share something with your friends or people that are somewhere between acquaintance and friends, you don't need to turn it around on them.
Leah: As if you're giving them a great lesson for the future.
Nick: Yeah, that's the thing that's probably the most maddening.
Leah: It's so condescending.
Nick: Yeah, it's that condescending thing. Yeah.
Leah: The condescending thing really just grinds my gears. [laughs]
Nick: Well, what grinds my gears [sighs]. So ...
Leah: I already love the breath.
Nick: So there's probably a lot of recordings of me with customer service people at various corporations. Like, ugh! I mean, I try and be polite, but it doesn't always happen. I'll admit it right here. So long story short, I bank with a certain bank you probably heard of, and I have a checking account, I have a savings account. And I get two statements. And I would just like these statements to be on one piece of paper, because I save them every month and it would just be easier to download one thing, not two. And it's called a consolidated statement. And it's a thing that this bank and every bank does. And it's just something I wanted, and I called customer service and I asked for it. And they said, "Oh, yeah. We'll take care of it." And it never happened. And, like, months, every month I call again and be like, "Oh, can we make this happen?" And it just wasn't happening. And I just found that annoying because every customer service person promised. It's like, "Oh, yeah. No, I see it in the system. Like, it should be happening." And it's like, "But it's not. So can we fix this?"
Nick: So one day I'm walking down the street, and I pass a branch of my bank. And I thought, "Oh, you know what? I'm just gonna go in, and maybe I'll just have a real person and I'll be like, I'll just explain it. So I go in and I meet Lisa—not her real name. And I go into her office, and I explain how frustrating it's been that I've, like, had conversations for, like, the last nine months with all these people at, like, the main 800 number and, like, no one seems to do it. And she apologizes. She's like, "Oh, don't you hate it when people say they're gonna do something and not?" Do you see where this is going?
Leah: [laughs] Yes.
Nick: And so she promises that she's gonna do it. She promises that she's gonna follow up with me in two weeks after she's put through the change. And she gives me her business card and it's like, "Oh, how nice. Lisa, so great to meet you. So nice to have a personal contact who has solved all my problems." So needless to say, Lisa did not follow up two weeks later. And then two weeks after that, I sent her an email because I have her business card being like, "Hey, I just want to check in on this." No response. Two weeks after that, I also followed up. And then a month after that, so I think now we're, like, two and a half months post me sitting down in Lisa's office, I just sent one last email and was like, "Hey, just want to check in. Like, were you able to fix this thing, by any chance?" No response. So now cut to last week—six months after I first met Lisa—she calls me and pretends like nothing has ever happened. She's like, "Hey, just checking in. Want to give you an update. Still working on it, but I'll be in touch." And I was like, "Oh, I'm so sorry. Let me stop you right there, Lisa. I met with you six months ago, and you told me this point blank that you're going to check in with me, like, six months ago and you didn't. And then I send you all these emails that you ignored." And she's like, "Well, I wouldn't say I ignored them."
Nick: And I was like, "Lisa, what word would you like to use to describe the situation in which I sent you multiple emails and I never got a response?" And she's like, "Well, I wouldn't use the word 'ignored.'" And like, "You pick the word, then."
Nick: So long story short, I was like, "Lisa, I just don't think that you're gonna be able to solve my problem, so I'll figure out another way to solve this. But thank you so much for your time." But I think my frustration is the people who go through this world making promises to people, big promises, or this is a little promise, but promises nevertheless, and they just feel totally comfortable breaking their promise. Like, Lisa knew what she said. She saw my multiple follow-up emails. And in her head she was like, "Yeah, I promised this guy I would do this thing, but like, I'm just not. And I'm perfectly comfortable with that." Like, for me, I physiologically could not do that. My body would react in such a way that would prevent me from not actually following through on a promise. And I just don't understand people whose brains are broken, who can go through life this way. I just don't understand it. And that is what I'm working on. That's my journey. I'm trying to understand how people can live their lives this way so that I can have more compassion and empathy for them and why they do this. So that is my vent.
Leah: I'm, like, squeezing my face off for the people at home, because that's so annoying.
Nick: It's the gaslighting, I think bothered me. She was just like, "Oh, yeah, it's like no time has passed." It's like, it's been six months. I've rotated my entire wardrobe.
Leah: You're like, it's actually dated. Like, we can see it on the emails. I have physical proof.
Nick: I have the receipts, yeah. You know, so, ugh! Lisa.
Leah: It is weird that people just say they'll do things. It's like, what happened to, like, when you say something, like, that's how you represent yourself in society? You know I'll do it because I said I would do it.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, how you do one thing is how you do everything, so I would hate to be invited to a dinner party at her house. Let's put it that way.
Leah: I also know how you feel about time being robbed.
Nick: Well, there's also that, yeah. No, there's a lot of crimes that have been committed by Lisa. So that's my vent.
Nick: So Leah, what have we learned?
Leah: Well, as a lover of the napkin ring, I was very excited to learn the history of the napkin ring.
Nick: Mm-hmm. And Emily Post? Not a fan.
Leah: Oh, Emily!
Nick: And I learned that you'll go anywhere in your pajamas.
Leah: I actually am wearing my Christmas pajama bottoms right now.
Nick: And for the record, it's nowhere near Christmas time right now.
Leah: But it's always Christmas in my heart.
Nick: Well, thank you, Leah.
Leah: Thank you, Nick.
Nick: And thanks to you out there for listening. If I had your address, I'd send you a handwritten note on my custom stationary.
Leah: He will.
Nick: I will. So for your homework this week, did you know that this show doesn't make itself? It's true! It's just Leah and myself doing the whole shebang. So if you would like to help us keep this show going, please visit our website. Check out monthly membership and support our show.
Leah: We would love that.
Nick: We would. And we'll see you next time.
Nick: All right, 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 say a huge gratitude, grateful thank you to all the people—I've had a lot of people reach out to me since I've moved to the West Coast who either also moved across the country or have lived here a long time and want to share things that they love about it. And I really appreciate it because it's definitely a very jarring transition.
Leah: And the amount of people who've reached out just to see if I need anything, or if I needed any recommendations or if I was doing okay, it's really meant a lot to me and I very much appreciate it.
Nick: Oh, that's very nice. And for me, I want to give a shout out to some of my friends. I recently had a birthday, and some of my friends got me a cameo from a reality TV star who shall remain nameless, but who I like very much. And if you don't know what a cameo is, it's basically you can pay money and then, like, celebrities will, like, do a video just for you. And so my friends knew I liked this person, had them do a video for me for my birthday. It was very thoughtful, very sweet, definitely appreciated it. And it was definitely one of the highlights of my day. So thanks for that.
Leah: That's so fun and great!