Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah answer listener questions about sending unimpressive flowers, running other people's AirBNBs, abandoning friends in airports, 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 answer listener questions about sending unimpressive flowers, running other people's AirBNBs, abandoning friends in airports, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we could.)
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QUESTIONS FROM THE WILDERNESS:
THINGS MENTIONED DURING THE SHOW
YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO...
Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton
Theme Music: Rob Paravonian
Nick: Hey, everybody. It's Nick Leighton.
Leah: And I'm Leah Bonnema.
Nick: And we had so many great questions from you all in the wilderness ...
Nick: That we have a bonus episode. So here we go. Our first question? Oh, buckle up. This one's a bit of a journey.
Nick: Quote, "I recently moved to a new company, where one member of the janitorial staff does most of the washing up at the end of lunchtime. Once she's finished, she goes around the office and delivers employees their clean, dry food containers. One day, my food container was not returned to me, but because I was busy and stressed, I didn't really notice it at the time, and it took another couple of weeks for my wife and I to notice. So I looked around all the cupboards and drawers at the office, and I found a stash of what appeared to be unclaimed food containers. I saw one of a different size, but in the same style as my missing one, and I took it. I felt a bit bad about it because it clearly wasn't mine, but I reasoned that as someone else was probably using mine, it wasn't too much of an issue. Fast forward another couple weeks, and I spot what I'm sure is my original food container in the fridge with some delicious looking lunch inside. It quote-unquote 'belongs' to a colleague of mine with whom I'm friendly, and because I couldn't demonstrate it was mine and I didn't want an awkward conversation over something silly, I didn't say anything. But now, things have become fiendishly complicated.
Nick: This week, I returned to my desk to find what appeared to be my original food container. It's a bit more tired looking than I'd expect after only a couple of months' use, but it's the same size and style as the one I lost. So while I'm not convinced it's mine, it very well could be. Paralyzed by indecision, I left it on my desk for a day to allow the colleague mentioned before, who I assume was now one food container down, to reclaim it. He did not. So now I've taken that one home, too. This was briefly satisfying, but now feels wrong. I'm sure I should return one of them, but which? Or do you think I should return both? Please help!"
Leah: I have a definitive answer for this one.
Nick: Okay. Oh, I love definitive!
Leah: You return the one that you took from the unclaimed food containers that clearly wasn't yours.
Nick: Yes. I feel like returning the one that you know definitively isn't yours, yeah, that feels like the answer here. Sure.
Leah: Put it back.
Nick: Now there's this other container that may or may not be yours. Apparently, this style of container is very popular, so it's very possible that this is not yours and yours has been lost for good. And so to keep this one that you think might be yours? Yeah, I feel like there is some ambiguity here. And because of the ambiguity, I think we want to solve that. And the way we solve that is to ask this other colleague who might also have some claim to it.
Leah: Yeah, I like that. I think return the original one, and then just go to your colleague and be like, "I lost my dish a few weeks ago, and then this one showed up. I think we have a similar dish. Whose dish is which dish?"
Leah: And just say it like very light. Like, "Oh my goodness, we all have the same dish."
Nick: But then you have to be prepared for that colleague to say, "Oh, that ismine." And I think that's what our letter writer doesn't want to have happen because then he will have no containers."
Leah: But then there may be another container floating around that we don't know about. Maybe that colleague is like, "Oh, I saw another one. Let me show you where it is."
Nick: Oh, that's true. This colleague might be waiting for the rightful owner to appear.
Leah: They could be like, "Oh, I'm so glad you asked because I was like, 'Is this a different dish?' Because it looks like mine, but it's a little different. Oh yay!" And then it's this triumphant moment, like the end of a Disney movie.
Nick: Or if this is a rom-com, like, this is how it happens.
Leah: This is how it happens.
Nick: This is how our protagonists come together.
Leah: And you form a team who betters the Tupperware community at the office.
Nick: Oh, and then harmony reigns. Okay. So long story short, you should not keep things that aren't yours, and if you're not sure if something's yours, you should try and clarify it.
Leah: Yeah, and I think just go to that person with an upbeat, inquisitive attitude.
Nick: Attitude is everything.
Leah: And definitely return the original one that you know isn't yours.
Nick: Yeah, please do that. So our next question is quote, "I sent flowers to a friend out of state as a thank you for something, and they just sent me a photo of the flowers thanking me for them. I was shocked to see the flowers were way less impressive than I paid for. What does one do when one is embarrassed by the less than impressive flowers they've sent?"
Leah: Do you want to go?
Nick: This is tricky.
Leah: It is tricky.
Nick: This is tricky, yeah.
Leah: I had a thought that it is neither A or B, even though A or B isn't listed there, but it was an afterthought I had, which is could you call the flower company first and say, "Hey, I ordered flowers through you. This is what I paid for. This is what I thought I was getting. My friend just texted me the picture. It's a different flower, different arrangement, significantly smaller. Could you clarify for me what happened here?" And maybe they'll just send off the bouquet, and then you tell your friend, "Oh, hey, there's another one coming, because that actually isn't the one I sent you," and then they'll see this gloriousness that you sent them.
Nick: So what was missing from this question was what was wrong, because they're saying that it wasn't as impressive as what they paid for. So a question is: is that actually true or not? And were the expectations of the sender correct for what was happening? Like, for example, $50 of flowers in New York City? That's a wilty gerbera daisy in newspaper. $50 in a small town florist, you get a beautiful arrangement. And so, you know, your money goes very different lengths depending on where you're going. So it may be you just had different expectations for what this florist was gonna provide for the budget. Possibility. There's also the possibility that the flowers were incorrect. It was not what you ordered. And then there's a possibility that, like, the flowers were correct, but they were just sort of like wilty or old or, like, arrived in a not great shape.
Leah: Well, I think that all of that could be clarified by calling the florist.
Nick: Yes. I think definitely you want to maybe reach out to the florist first because you don't want to make this the recipient's problem. Like, you don't want to get them involved.
Leah: Yeah, you don't want to give them something else to do.
Nick: Right. But as the recipient, if you receive flowers that you think are incorrect, don't loop in the gift giver. Like, don't bother them with that either. You should call the florist if you get something that's, like, wilty or damaged or, like, old. You should call the florist and be like, "Hey, I just got flowers. Like, this probably wasn't what they meant to send because of XYZ." And then, like, have the florist deal with it. It's similar like if you get a wedding gift and you get, like, a crystal gravy boat and it arrived broken, you're not gonna complain to the person who sent it to you. You're gonna complain to, like, UPS or the store that sent it. Like, you deal with it. Don't bother the sender with that.
Leah: I do think, though, that the people that received the flowers were just grateful for the flowers, they didn't get that feeling at all.
Nick: Right. So then the question is: should you do anything about it? Because the recipient apparently likes the flowers and thought they were great. So do you want to emphasize the fact that they weren't great? Or do you want to send new flowers? Like, what do you want to have happen here?
Leah: I mean, I get the idea that they want the recipient to know that they actually paid for something more quote-unquote "Impressive." So that's why I think call the florist, and then if the florist is like, "That's what you paid for, that's what it is," then ...
Nick: That's the end of it.
Leah: Then I think that's the end of that.
Nick: Yeah, unless there was a mistake here, I don't think we're sending a second set of flowers.
Leah: Well, I also don't think—I mean, the other option is to say to your friend, "Oh my goodness, I felt like I ordered something different for you that was more—more flowers, but I'm glad you like it." But that seems like a weird thing to say.
Nick: [laughs] Well, it's a weird thing to say if you're not prepared to do anything else, then.
Nick: Like, "Oh, I wanted to get actually something better for you, but I didn't, and I will not still do that. So enjoy what I got you now." Like, that's weird.
Leah: Yeah, I think that it would just come out weird.
Nick: Yeah. Well it's like, "Oh, yeah, I meant to get you the more expensive chocolates, but they actually sent you the cheap ones. But hope you like those." [laughs] "I'm not gonna send you the things I wanted to send you. So enjoy the cheap chocolate. Bye!"
Leah: That's why I think we call the florist first and see if there was a mistake.
Nick: Yeah. Florist first. Clarify whether or not something has actually gone wrong, or if your expectations were just incorrect for what was happening. If something has gone wrong, then yeah, the florist should fix it, and should do whatever that means. And if it's just that you hoped to have something more impressive but that just wasn't what the florist was gonna do for your budget, well then pick a different florist next time.
Leah: And I also think that people receiving flowers know—it's like the gesture of flowers that people are really appreciative of.
Nick: Oh, absolutely. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, if you get long-stemmed roses or you get an orchid or you get, you know, some daisies or tulips, like, the sentiment is sort of similar for all of these things.
Leah: Yeah, something arrived in the mail that was like a happy, thankful moment. And I bet they were delighted by it.
Nick: And they sent you a photo and they thanked you. And so they're delighted, and so on some level, just let it go.
Leah: Call the florist and then let it go after.
Nick: [laughs] Okay. So our next question is quote, "I need the courage to shoot down a friend who's asking for too much. A college friend of mine let me crash at her house for a weekend when I was between apartments. And I was very thankful for this, and I bought her a meal to make my appreciation known. Two weeks ago, she asked if she could crash at my place for a weekend while she puts her apartment up on Airbnb. Naturally, I said yes, since she's been there for me and I can totally be there for her. But then things took a turn. She's since been leaving town every weekend to visit her boyfriend and leaves her keys with me, expecting me to drop them off to her Airbnb guests. I said I could do it once, but her apartment is pretty far from mine and I don't have a car. I still did it because I'll be there for her in her time of need, but now she's expecting me to host her whenever she puts her place up on Airbnb, and she just asked me what I was doing for weekends for the next two months. I responded with, 'I have no idea, ha ha ha.' She doesn't need a place to stay, she's just using me as a hostel while she makes money over the weekend. And while I love helping my friends, I also can't help but feel used in this dynamic.
Nick: Yesterday, she wanted me to drop off the keys to her Airbnb guests again, but I've been under the weather and I said I couldn't because I wasn't feeling well. And she said, 'Oh okay, no problem.' Today, I've been feeling slightly better, and some of my friends dragged me out to get some hot bubble tea. And my friend posted a picture on her Instagram story, and then my friend with the Airbnb sends me an Instagram story saying, 'Oh, I guess you're not too sick then. LOL.' I feel so policed right now. I know I told her I couldn't help her out because I was unwell, but I also don't want to feel like my friends can't post pictures of me because I have to be sick in bed all day. How do I establish a boundary with this friend and let her know I'm done being used, and also done being shamed for refusing to do her a favor?"
Leah: I don't know if when you read this question to yourself, the hair on the back of your neck stood up, and then you started sort of sweating. But I most definitely did.
Nick: Yeah, I did not love receiving this. Yeah, that was not thrilling.
Leah: I just—there's so much to this. A) if somebody does you a favor and lets you stay with them, you don't owe them the rest of your life.
Nick: Yes, that is not in perpetuity. Correct.
Leah: That's just up top. That's just up top. I feel like there's just—I don't know how we want to attack this question, because there's the layers of what's being asked of her to do: to drive across town, to bring keys to Airbnb guests so your friend can make money. Or the idea that you went out the next day after not feeling well, and then she's like—the words you used: "Policing your behavior." These are just, in my mind, egregious.
Nick: Yeah, there's quite a few things to address here. I mean, broadly speaking, I think we all know this person who has the attitude of, "Well, if I don't ask, I don't get. And I'm just gonna continue asking until you tell me no." And there are these people who just like to push and push and push until you sort of set that boundary and they're like, "Oh, okay. There's the boundary." So I think this person is that type who just feels like, "Well, I'm just gonna keep asking because if you don't ask you don't get. And we'll wait until I hit a wall." So I think how to deal with those people is to, yeah, gotta set that boundary and gotta hold that boundary.
Leah: And with those people, I think things like, "Oh, I don't know what I'm doing," or, like, they don't read the room. There's no room reading with these kind of people.
Leah: You have to say things very directly with these kind of people. Like, "I'm not available to do this. I can't use my weekends this way. I'm sure you understand. Thank you so much."
Nick: It's like multi-level marketing. Those friends who are trying to sell you, you know, multi- level marketing products. They are trained to overcome objections. So you do need to be very clear, and be like, "It's not for me. Thank you so much." Not like, "Oh, I'm not free for the party on Thursday." "Well, like, what about next week?"
Nick: Or like, "Oh, maybe not right now." "I'll follow up with you in a month." So you just have to really be very clear. Absolutely.
Leah: And I think with something like the—well, as I was saying, these are, I feel like, two different issues with the apartment, but also with this somebody responding to your Instagram story being like, "Oh, you're not—" I feel like this happens a lot. There has to be a thing where people can't do that. We're adults, and it's not appropriate.
Leah: The Instagram thing, the social media thing, watching people and commenting happens a lot, and it has to be nipped in the bud.
Nick: Yeah, that is not great because it makes people feel policed like she said.
Leah: It's very inappropriate. It's inappropriate behavior.
Nick: Because it feels—condescending is not the right word. What is the right word? What's the feeling?
Leah: I was trying to think of what the word is, because it's ...
Nick: Judged. I feel like I'm being judged, yeah.
Leah: But it's also parental in the negative sense.
Nick: It feels chaperoned.
Leah: It's chaperoned. It's like, are you my parole officer? That's what it feels like.
Nick: Right. And do I need to answer to you?
Leah: Why do I need to answer to you? Is what it is.
Nick: Yeah. That's what it is, yeah. And it's sort of like, we're all adults, so I think we should all treat everybody like adults.
Nick: And not a child. Okay. Yeah, definitely that's not great. But also, and I don't want to blame our letter-writer at all because there's no blame here. But had our letter-writer felt more comfortable being direct with this person, they would not have felt the need to sort of give excuses like, "Oh, I'm not feeling well today, so I can't do this favor for you." And so that's why I was like, the Instagram story where, like, oh, maybe you're not actually as under the weather as you said you were, why that sort of felt hypocritical to this other person, and why they called you out on it. Whereas had you felt more comfortable with just being direct, which is like, "I'm feeling under the weather," okay, this is true. "But also, I don't want to do this for you because you're taking advantage of me, and I feel like we need to end that." You say that in a nicer way, but I think if that was the conversation, who cares if I'm under the weather or not or having bubble tea or not? I'm just not available to do this favor for you. And so who cares if you see my Instagram story?
Leah: Yes. And in the same tone, you're fully welcome to be sick on a Friday and well on a Saturday, and it's nobody's business.
Nick: Also that.
Leah: Yeah, and it's like, you want to say something like, "Oh, I'm sorry. Should I get a permission slip from you?" But obviously we're not saying that, but that's the feeling.
Nick: Yeah. "Do you want a doctor's note? Do you want to see the blood test results?" Like, you know, what do you want from me?
Leah: I had a friend say something similar to me a long time ago, and I still remember it.
Nick: I was gonna say it stuck with you.
Leah: Oh, it stuck with me, and I forget a lot of stuff because my memory? Not so great unless it's song lyrics, but ...
Nick: Unless it's Toto's "Africa."
Leah: [laughs] Unless it's Toto's "Africa," and then wow, boy, do I know every single word!
Leah: Boy, do I know every single word. But it's—because it is so—it's just really inappropriate. A) she's calling you a liar.
Nick: She's calling you a liar. Yeah, that actually is why that is such a problem, because she's just straight up saying you're lying.
Leah: Which is definitively rude.
Nick: Yeah, that is definitively rude. Yeah. Well, it's rude if you aren't lying. If you are a liar, well then, okay.
Leah: Which our letter-writer is most certainly not.
Nick: Definitely not. So point being, I think we just have to have a real polite yet direct conversation about how you want to be able to help your friend out, but that unfortunately this is not possible on an ongoing basis.
Leah: Also, and I do think that that is true, it's no longer that she needs something, it's that she's making money.
Nick: That also. That detail, there's so many details.
Leah: Is she splitting the money with you? Since you're taking the—half the part of the Airbnb stuff is bringing the keys, meeting the people. Are you getting paid for that? Or if you knew that your friend was, like, in a financial place where they needed money?
Nick: Oh, totally different story.
Leah: Totally different story. I'm not getting that that's what this is.
Nick: No, I'm getting a "I have a boyfriend and I'm at his place anyway, and so why let my apartment go to waste? Let me make some cash. And on those weekends when I don't want to crash with my boyfriend, I will still Airbnb, but I'll just stay at your house and pocket the difference."
Leah: "And when I'm not there, I'm just gonna have you bring the keys over because you love walking across town and taking whatever." I don't—yeah, if this was a feeling like this person needed it, was trying to make their bills, but I don't get that at all. That would be a different conversation.
Nick: No. Because if that was what was happening, you're not gonna write us a letter about it.
Leah: Yeah, you'd be like, "Oh, I want to help my friend out. They're in a certain way."
Leah: And I also think that a person who was in a certain way and needed help financially wouldn't behave so flippantly about it.
Nick: Yeah, because also what is also missing here is a sense of appreciation.
Nick: It does feel like our friend is taking advantage of us, doesn't appreciate what we're doing for them, and is just sort of assuming that this is an obligation that we have now, which we do not have an obligation to run the Airbnb for you.
Leah: Or that it's somehow fun for you to have her at your house every weekend and walk keys over to people across town?
Nick: Yeah, so shut it down.
Leah: Yeah, you gotta shut it down. Direct and ....
Leah: Direct and ...
Nick: Direct. [laughs]
Leah: Direct and direct.
Nick: Yeah. And polite. But direct, please. And please keep us posted. We'd love to hear how this one works out.
Leah: Please keep us posted!
Nick: So our next question is quote, "How does one properly address an envelope for a thank-you note when knowing the last name of only one spouse, and being unsure whether the other spouse has taken the same last name? Is it a terrible faux pas to address both by one last name, only to find out later that they both kept their own? Thank you for answering this question that has multiple people puzzled."
Leah: Multiple people!
Nick: Multiple people! Wow!
Leah: I was thinking about what I've done with envelopes where I've had said problem.
Leah: And I was like, "I don't think that Nick is gonna appreciate what I've done in the past."
Nick: Not with that introduction.
Nick: No, what are you doing?
Leah: I think that I have—one time, I think I definitely put the one person's last name.
Leah: But I'm pretty sure that on multiple occasions I've written—say it was Chad and Lisa. "Chad and Lisa!" And then I put, like, little hearts next to their name, and then I put no last name at all and just the address.
Nick: Okay. I mean, clever approach.
Leah: I'm just on a first name basis with both of them. Maybe I put a little XO next to their name or whatever.
Leah: It's going to Chad and Lisa at 123 Main Street. You know what I mean?
Nick: Okay. I mean, it's casual. Okay, sure.
Leah: It's personable. I like to say it's personable.
Nick: What I also love is that apparently you have asked around, and that you're having this etiquette debate amongst yourself, and so multiple people have weighed in. So I like the fact that people are having etiquette conversations out there. That does warm my little heart. So thank you for that.
Leah: That is really fun. I think you'd also ask around and say, "Does anybody else know if said person took somebody's last name?"
Nick: Well, okay, yeah. So what are your choices here? So you could guess. You could just guess that they took the other person's name. You can just leave the name off like what you do. Add some hearts. You could add, like, "And the other person that lives there." Or, "And guest."
Nick: Or you can, you know, toss in some other thing. But I mean, I think at the end of the day, let's just ask. Like, why is that not on the table as an option?
Leah: I mean, I understand why they feel like they should know. I think that's where the people feel embarrassed. And by people, I mean myself. I don't want to speak for other people, but you feel like you should know.
Nick: Well ...
Leah: You know what I mean? You're like, was this information given out and I missed it, you know?
Nick: Okay. But you don't know, and so I think guessing is not a good option because, you know, if you guess wrong, that's not a good look. Leaving the names off, I mean, you could get away with that if you're super casual with these people, but it's a little weird.
Leah: Bring in some colored pencils, you know?
Nick: [laughs] Okay. I mean, you have to know your audience if you want to start doing illustrations on your envelope. But asking, I mean, I think so often with thank-you notes or other things, there's this idea that, like, they should be surprises that you don't know are coming, that are, like, sprung on you. And so we don't want you to know I wrote you a thank-you note. But, you know, if given the choice between a thank-you note that has the wrong name on it, or you know it's coming? Then, like, I would just rather know what's coming. And you could just ask and be, like, "Hey, it was so lovely getting together with you and Lisa last night. Your lamb tagine was to die for. I was just updating my address book. What name does Lisa use socially?" And just ask. Just ask. And you could ask Lisa directly. "Lisa, what name do you use socially?" Or ask the partner or anybody else in the household. You know, just ask.
Leah: Nick, I love that. I love it.
Nick: Right. And you could just say, "I'm updating my address book." You don't have to say "I'm writing you a thank you note for the lamb tagine."
Leah: I love it. I think that's so perfect.
Nick: Great. So when in doubt—with so many etiquette issues, when in doubt, just ask. When we assume, this is really the space where a lot of etiquette crimes happen, when we assume things. "Oh, I'm not pregnant. Why did you say I was pregnant?" You know, that's an assumption. That's an etiquette crime. Like, "I didn't take his name. Why would you assume?" So just ask.
Leah: Well, I think it's also in this case, it's not even assuming, which is a great point that that's when things happen, but this is also being afraid to ask because you're afraid that that's somehow rude or, like, you should know.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, I do see a world in which I have been having dinner at Chad and Lisa's house for the last 10 years, and I don't know her last name. Like, there is a world in which it's like, how do you not know that? So if that's the situation ...
Leah: Then I would ask around.
Nick: Then you have to ask around. I mean, there is the point of no return sometimes for some etiquette questions. Like, about what name do they use or, you know, what is their job title? You know, what company do they work for? Like, there is a point where you get too far into a relationship where, like, some of those basic biographical questions now feel, like, awkward. Like, actually, I just had coffee with a friend who didn't know I went to college in New York City. And I was sort of like, I mean, I guess fine that you don't know that, but it's sort of like, where did you think I went to college? I've known you for 10 years. Like, what is that biographical detail that you just don't have? Like, that's weird. So it caught my eye. I mean, it wasn't catastrophic for our relationship, but it was like, oh, we're a little too far in our relationship for you to ask that.
Nick: And this actually comes up a lot for people who do a lot of online dating, where you might meet them first online and you see their name, but you don't necessarily know how their name is pronounced.
Leah: Yes, yes!
Nick: And so then you have the first date and you're like, "Oh, so nice to meet you," And you're always talking to them directly. You're not using their name. And so you could get to a point where you're like, you have no idea how it's pronounced.
Leah: It's so true. I think that's—nip it in the bud, you've got to go right up top.
Nick: You got to nip it right in the bud and be like, "Oh, I wasn't sure how it's pronounced," you know? And like so many etiquette crimes, you know, they don't get better the longer you wait. So earlier is always better.
Leah: I think you knocked this one out of the park, Nick, as you normally do, but this one was like, I heard it. I heard the bat hit the ball.
Nick: Oh, thank you so much. Well, this was an easy one, I mean, something involving envelopes and invitations and thank-you notes? Like, I got that in my sleep.
Nick: So our next question is quote, "I'm currently on a multinational work trip, and since I had a week and a half in Brazil before heading to Colombia, I invited a friend to join me for my last week in Brazil, and then for a week in Colombia. At the airport as our flight was leaving, I was stopped because I did not meet travel requirements. Turns out I needed a yellow fever vaccine. My heart is broken that my companion got on the flight instead of waiting for the next one and maybe rescheduling our vacation. Was it rude of them to go without me? I'm hosting and I pre-paid the hotel, airfare, champagne, rose petal bathroom. Thousands of dollars. On one hand, they might as well enjoy it, but I'm still hurt that they didn't even check to see when the next plane out was." Whoa!
Leah: I'm hurt.
Nick: Can we just recap what happened here? So I'm at the airport, we're boarding. You're stopped, and you're like, "Oh, you don't have the right paperwork." I'm your friend. I'm like, "Bye!"
Leah: "See ya!"
Nick: And I board the plane.
Leah: Yeah, that's just ...
Nick: Is that what just happened here?
Leah: That's what just happened. I think if we backed up a few, what happened was I spent my time and energies making this vacation for the weekend.
Nick: I mean, what a nice friend!
Leah: What a nice friend! I paid for my friend. We go to the airport. I get stopped. My friend just continues on.
Nick: I mean, I want to hope ...
Leah: You want to hope that what, they didn't notice the friend got stopped?
Nick: I want to hope that there's that, or that there's some conversation that did happen at the gate that is not being included in this letter.
Leah: I have a feeling that it didn't. I feel when I read this that the friend just continued on.
Nick: Continued on and got on the plane.
Leah: In which case I feel like we're gonna have to put "friend" in quotes.
Nick: Okay, and I guess we're on the airplane and we see our friend has not boarded, and we don't think that's a problem.
Leah: I mean, benefit of the doubt.
Leah: We would have to—like, maybe they're on the plane, they're having a panic attack. They don't know what to do. Maybe they're not familiar with traveling. They don't know if they get off they can't get back on. Maybe they have a price on their heads.
Leah: Maybe there are bounty hunters.
Nick: Maybe they're smuggling wild birds who will die.
Nick: If they don't make it to the destination.
Leah: And so they're like, "I'm worried about the bounty hunters and the wild birds. My friend will understand." Let's leave that caveat open.
Nick: Okay, sure. Put that on the list. What this should have been was a conversation at the airport, which was, "Oh my goodness, that's terrible you can't get on the plane right now. When is the next flight? What would you like me to do? Do you need help? What can I do to make this better?" That would have been a nice conversation. And then if your friend was, like, going to be okay with, like, getting rebooked and all of that, then the person who paid for all of this should then say, "Please go ahead. Enjoy the hotel and all that. I will see you in five days," or whatever it is. Like, someone should enjoy it. But that should be a conversation.
Leah: It should definitely be a conversation, and also it's possible that you can't get the yellow fever vaccine quick enough, in which case do we know that the friend should even necessarily go?
Nick: Yeah, I actually think that the letter-writer cannot actually go to Colombia for the vacation. There's not enough time.
Nick: So they will not be able to actually do it. So yes, it's a valid question of, like, should you just let it all go to waste or not? You know, is it all nonrefundable? Does it all go to waste? I think what I would do if I was the friend who could board the plane, I want to hang out with my friend. Like, that's part of what this vacation is about. I don't want a solo trip to Colombia on my own. And I would just say, "Well, let's just bag it and let's just stay where we are for another week. We have the time available, and let's just do that." I mean, I feel like that would have been the nicer outcome here.
Leah: I definitely agree. And that's also what I would do unless my friend was like, "I paid for it. Please go."
Nick: And insisted.
Leah: Insisted. You know, I would leave it up to my friend because it's their money, but I think I would say, "Look, I'll just stay with you."
Nick: Because I don't think I would be able to enjoy a bubble bath and champagne and rose petals on my own knowing my friend was, like, back in another country unable to travel.
Leah: I don't think so, either.
Leah: I think this should be a vent.
Nick: This is really a vent, and this is the sort of thing where it's like, am I really friends with them? Is this a relationship that we want to continue? Do I have the same values as this person? How aligned are we on the fundamentals?
Leah: On the fundamentals. I think a lot of questions we get, they feel rude, like people have been rude, and this one actually, to me feels hurtful. Not that rude isn't hurtful, but it's an insensitivity that sort of made me a little sad. Can I say that?
Leah: I think it's because I visualized the airport, and airports inherently are emotional.
Leah: And I feel bad that somebody just sort of left and got on the plane without you when you were so kind.
Nick: Yeah, and at that moment where the plane's taking off and you're just, like, at the window watching it. Yeah.
Leah: Yeah, I guess it's very—like, I have a soundtrack.
Nick: Oh, absolutely. A lot of high strings.
Leah: Yes, a lot of strings.
Nick: Yeah. And of course, it's raining. There has to be some water coming down the glass pane overlooking the airport tarmac.
Leah: Mm! Mm!
Nick: Yeah. And yeah, I'm sorry it happened to you.
Leah: Very sorry. And I hope that somebody treats you to a trip, because you deserve it.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, we'll take your bubble baths and rose petals and champagne vacations. Sign us up. Let us know where to be, we'll join you.
Nick: So do you have questions out there for us? Let us know. You can let us know through our website, WereYouRaisedbyWolves.com, or you can leave us a voicemail or send us a text message, (267) CALL-RBW. And we'll see you next time.