May 8, 2023

Skipping Sit-Down Dinners, Using Too Many Towels, Upgrading Friends on Flights, and More

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah answer listener questions about skipping sit-down dinners at weddings, using too many towels, upgrading friends on flights, and much more.

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Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah answer listener questions about skipping sit-down dinners at weddings, using too many towels, upgrading friends on flights, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we could.)

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  • Do people expect a sit-down dinner at a wedding in exchange for their attendance and gift?
  • What do I do about someone in my home who uses too many towels?
  • If you're flying with a friend and upgrading yourself, do you have to upgrade your friend, too?
  • What do I do about a friend who is always copying my style?
  • I hired my boss' daughter to babysit at a party...should I now invite my boss and his wife as guests?







Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema

Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton

Theme Music: Rob Paravonian



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Episode 183


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

Leah: And it's Leah Bonnema.

Nick: And we had so many great questions from you all in the wilderness ...

Leah: [howls]

Nick: ... that we have a bonus episode. So here we go. Our first question is quote, "My fiancé and I are in the beginning stages of wedding planning, and have been trying to come up with ways to have a wedding without spending tens of thousands of dollars. One option is to have a small church ceremony followed by heavy appetizers and drinks for a couple hours at a favorite restaurant. However, the host in me is horrified at the idea of not feeding our guests a full meal. Do people expect to eat dinner at a wedding in exchange for their attendance and possible gift? What are your thoughts on this kind of event? Please help!"

Leah: I feel like you and—neither you and I have the most formal thoughts on weddings.

Nick: True. Yes.

Leah: So as this question is coming to us, I feel like it might be differently answered by other people.

Nick: Well, let me stop you there. It's not that, like, we don't like formal weddings. We just like fun weddings. And I feel like the casual weddings tend to be the more fun ones.

Leah: Well, that's what I was gonna say. I feel like we like a full range of wedding.

Nick: Oh, yeah, I will take wedding any which way. I just want to have a good time.

Leah: And I believe that you want your invite to match the tone.

Nick: That is true. Yes. If you have a bouncy house, I don't want to see an engraved invitation.

Leah: And I think that hors d'oeuvres are often the most fun food.

Nick: Oh, a hundred percent. How many weddings have you been to where you remember what the chicken was, but you might remember what the appetizers were Like, that's always the star.

Leah: I feel like we've all spent time trying to look very casual around the door that the waitstaff is coming out of with hors d'oeuvres because it was so good. We were just like, "I need to get one more of those!" And you can't run at them, so you just kind of have to look like you were just standing there.

Nick: And I actually like the appetizer party instead of a sit down because I actually prefer not to be tethered to my seat. Like, I don't want to have to, like, be with the same people all night. I would rather be able to mingle more easily. And when you just have the appetizer style of party then, like, I can do that.

Leah: I think it sounds like a lovely night. You're having your ceremony and then you're having a party, which sounds lovely.

Nick: Totally. Now here's the trick, though, into doing this. So you do want to make sure your guests know that that's the deal because some guests might actually expect to have a full sit down dinner. And so you need to either have your event at a time when, like, that's not gonna be the perception. So, like, you need to have event that's, like, middle of the afternoon sort of between lunch and dinner to make it very clear, like, oh, this event is not lunch, is not dinner. Or you just need to straight up say it in the invitation, which is like, "Please join us after the ceremony for light hors d'oeuvres and drinks," and, like, just say it.

Leah: I also want to make a note on that, Nick. She said, "heavy appetizers." It's not light appetizers. They are going to rain appetizers down upon us, which I think ...

Nick: It does sound great.

Leah: And I think you could just say it. It sounds great to say, "Here's where the ceremony is. Join us afterwards for dancing, drinks and heavy appetizers."

Nick: Yes.

Leah: "We're going to have a party. Come celebrate with us."

Nick: Now one thing that I want us to touch on, because it caught my ear and I don't love it.

Leah: I knew what it was. I underlined it.

Nick: [laughs]

Leah: I was like, "Nick's gonna—Nick's going to address this."

Nick: Yeah, I am. And here we go: the idea that your wedding gift or your presence is in exchange for the food, that this is some quid pro quo kind of situation? Do not love that. I don't like that idea. I know a lot of people feel this way about weddings, like, oh, it's an admission ticket and, like, that's not what weddings should be. So I really want to, like, kind of nip this in the bud a little bit.

Leah: I underlined it. I knew you would nip it in the bud.

Nick: Yeah, I don't love this because I think the idea, like, oh, my wedding present has to actually equal the value of the food I'm receiving. Like, that's a thing that people feel. Like, oh, I have to, like, figure out how much they spent on every head and, like, my wedding gift has to be that dollar amount. It's like, oh, we cannot go down that road. So these need to be two separate things. People need to show up because they're genuinely happy for you and they want to be there to celebrate with you. And you want them to have a good time, so that's why you offer refreshments. But, like, those are separate ideas.

Leah: So I think this sounds great.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: And Nick thinks this sounds great. And just have an invitation that says "Ceremony and join us for a party afterwards with drinks, heavy hors d'oeuvres and dancing."

Nick: Great. And we would never want to invite ourselves to a party but, like, if we were gonna do so, this sounds like a party we might want to invite myself to.

Leah: I'm already thinking about what the hors d'oeuvres might be.

Nick: [laughs] So our next question is quote, "My significant other's 16-year-old son, who lives with us every other weekend, uses a new towel every time he showers or uses the pool. If it touches his body one time, he doesn't use it again. My partner has commented that it is unusual, but seems unwilling to ask his son to change his habit. At the end of a weekend I'm left with 10-plus towels to wash or more if he has friends over. Is there a polite way I can suggest to the son or to my significant other that he uses a towel more than once or that he washes his own towels? Truthfully, this isn't the end of the world, but I did just do three loads of towels and I am hoping to avoid this in the future."

Leah: I want to throw a few things up.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: Much like the mother-in-law rule, I feel like we would want our partner to talk to their child.

Nick: Yes, it does feel like he needs to be the point person here.

Leah: But I also feel like you don't have to do the laundry.

Nick: Oh, twist! Right.

Leah: Also, I have friends that are extremely clean and don't use things more than once because they have, like—they're very germ focused.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: So I don't know if that's what this is, or if they're just unaware. So I would like my significant other to get to that issue because I think we would handle it differently. I also think that if they just aren't thinking about it, a conversation could be had about people trying to do less loads of laundry because of the effects on the environment.

Nick: Yes.

Leah: And we could talk about how we don't want to wash this many towels because it's not good for the environment.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, I think all those are good points and things that we could explore. I think the first thing on my list, though, was just let's hide the towels. If you only have one towel available to grab out of the closet, then there's only one towel. So, like, let's just hide all the towels.

Leah: Solid.

Nick: [laughs] I don't know if that's practical, but that was my thought. It was like, can't use more towels if you don't have more towels. So here's your one towel for the weekend.

Leah: And I think I would—I would have another discussion with my significant other. I would say, "Hey, the towel washing is ..."

Nick: It's a lot.

Leah: "I don't want to do it. It's a lot. And so I'm ..."

Nick: Three loads is a lot.

Leah: "I'm putting the towels in our room, and if they would like another towel they should wash their towel."

Nick: Yes. But I think what you said earlier, which is really astute, is just like, let's have the significant other take care of the laundry. So, like, if he doesn't want to fix this with his son, okay, no problem. The towels have to be washed, and I just don't want to be the one to do it. So, like, you do it then. So you can either have a conversation and fix it or you could do the towels, but we'll leave it to you to figure out which one you would prefer to do.

Leah: Yeah, that's what I would do.

Nick: Yeah. The other thought I had was just just do the towels. It's probably another 20 more months before this person moves out and lives on their own and, like, has their own apartment and, like, does their own laundry. So, like, maybe just toughing it out for another two years is fine. I don't know.

Leah: Nick's really giving you the full span: hide the towels ...

Nick: Hide them, or just do it. [laughs]

Leah: I like the bringing your son together. Be like, either have the conversation about the environment and people not washing towels for you and taking responsibility, or do you feel like if it is, like, a clean issue, figure that out, or you just do the towels, but I don't want to wash the towels.

Nick: Or let's have this person who's using all the towels, do the towels before they leave for the weekend. Like, "Oh, before you leave, would you actually just do a load of laundry?"

Leah: Which I feel like isn't a big deal.

Nick: Yeah, actually, I feel like that request is totally reasonable.

Leah: I think I would still rather my significant other say it.

Nick: Oh, yeah. I think it still needs to go through that person. Yes.

Leah: So I think that's in the conversation. Either you have them—tell them that they have to do it or you do it. I'm not doing it anymore.

Nick: Yeah, I think I do want this to end with the letter-writer not washing more towels.

Leah: I think that's it. Just take yourself out of the equation.

Nick: Yeah. And I think if you can achieve that, this is great.

Leah: I mean, you can achieve it. It's how long—you may have to wait it out until there's no towel left and you're, like, drying off with a ...

Nick: You're using just paper towels, toilet paper.

Leah: [laughs] But I mean, I will do whatever to prove my point. I—you know, I'll air dry. Whatever it takes.

Nick: That's true. Yeah. I mean, that might be what it takes. We'll see. So our next question is quote, "I have a friend—let's call her Lisa. Lisa is going on a vacation to Paris with another friend, somebody I don't know. Let's call him Chad. Lisa has a significant amount of miles, points and upgrades to use. Chad does not. Lisa will be upgrading herself and Chad is paying for his own flight. Is Lisa obligated to upgrade Chad using her points? I'd note that Lisa is already footing the entire bill for the apartment in Paris they'll be staying in. Here are some of the options I presented to Lisa to start the conversation: 'Hey, Chad. I got an upgrade. They have one more available for about $600 if you're interested.' Then Chad will hopefully offer to pay for his upgrade or say to Lisa, 'No, it's okay. I'll take a cheap seat and you go ahead.' Or another option: 'Hey, Chad. I got an upgrade, but they only had one seat. So sorry, you're out of luck. What do you think?"

Leah: I wish I knew what the relationship between Lisa and Chad was.

Nick: Okay. Yes, I think that's material. Because if they're friends, that's one path. If they're spouses, that's definitely another path. I don't think these are spouses.

Leah: I don't get that idea either.

Nick: But when it's spouses, I think that's not an etiquette question, that's a marriage question.

Leah: [laughs] Yes.

Nick: Whether or not you want to leave somebody back in coach or not. And, like, that's for you guys to decide if that's healthy for your relationship.

Leah: And it might be.

Nick: Could be. Maybe. Yeah. Or maybe not. And then the question is: which one of you is back in coach?

Leah: Well, in this case, it's for sure Chad.

Nick: It's definitely Chad. My thought is that Lisa does not need to upgrade Chad. No, Lisa can sit wherever she wants to sit on the airplane.

Leah: Yeah. My first reaction to this when I read it was, I don't see why she would—I think she can just do her—she's already paying for the apartment.

Nick: I think that's also very material. Yeah.

Leah: Which is very generous. And you have all these points. Upgrade yourself.

Nick: Yes. I mean, I guess if Chad wanted to buy the points off of Lisa to upgrade himself, I mean, I guess that's fine if they want to have a conversation about that.

Leah: I think it's not Lisa's responsibility.

Nick: No. And then this other option, which is like, "Oh, I got an upgrade, but there's only one seat and there's no more, and so sorry," like, that does sound a bit of a fib. And so I don't love that option.

Leah: Yeah, I would just be like, "Hey, I've got an upgrade. I have a lot of points."

Nick: Yeah. So see you when we land. And I think one thing to be mindful of is that Chad is gonna be a little more tired at the end of this flight. And so Lisa just needs to be mindful of that and needs to, like, know that he's gonna be draggin' the first day or two, maybe more so than Lisa is because, you know, it's a different experience and different level of relaxation depending on what seat you're in. So Lisa can't, like, blame Chad for being a little more tired than she is. Like, we can't have that attitude when we land.

Leah: I also think that probably Chad isn't upset about it. Chad is probably just delighted to have a place to stay in Paris.

Nick: Yeah, I would hope so. Yeah. Free place to stay in Paris? That sounds nice.

Leah: Yeah. So I just wouldn't make it a big deal. "Hey, I have points so I upgraded myself." Boom!

Nick: Now I think it would be courteous for Lisa to wait for Chad as soon as you exit the airplane. So let's go through customs and Immigration together.

Leah: Yeah, I visualize Lisa waiting.

Nick: Right? Yeah. I feel like that would be courteous. And Lisa shouldn't be like, "Oh, here's all the free chocolates I got on my flight. Do you want some, Chad?" Like, I think let's try not to rub it in Chad's face.

Leah: I maybe would rather the free chocolates.

Nick: Okay. Uh, yeah, I guess. Yeah. "Oh, here's a chocolate I got in my business class seat."

Leah: Well, you don't have to say that. You could just—you're waiting in line for customs, and you're like, "Hey, do you want a chocolate?"

Nick: Okay. Yeah. And I guess as long as you didn't rub it in my face that like, oh, this was a business class amenity. Yeah.

Leah: Because I don't want people missing out on available chocolate just because ...

Nick: That's fair. That's fair. Just because it has a KLM logo on it? Okay.

Leah: Yeah. That's fine.

Nick: [laughs] Okay. Fair enough.

Leah: I think just don't make it a thing and then it's not a thing.

Nick: Yeah, I think that's a good etiquette advice in general. Like, if you don't make it a thing, then it's not a thing. So don't make it a thing.

Leah: Chad's an adult man. He can upgrade or not upgrade.

Nick: Yeah. And if he doesn't have points then, like, he doesn't have points.

Leah: That's just what it is.

Nick: So our next question is quote, "I'm in high school, and I have a very close friend who consistently copies my style. I started wearing floral mini scrappy dresses a while ago and she said, 'Where did you get your dress? I need one just like it.' I shared the store with her and it's all she wears now. It's happened a few times now with several things from hair accessories to our backpack. I feel like I take a lot of pride in my identity and individuality, and there's a certain appeal to the uniqueness that is special to me. I don't mind sharing beauty products and things that make our own personal beauty shine, but the replicated marks of expression have started to really bother me. What can I tell her to make my feelings clear and make sure I can keep my look my own?"

Leah: Really quick, I just thought of another towel situation.

Nick: Okay, let's hear it.

Leah: It's not a good idea, but I like this idea.

Nick: [laughs] Okay.

Leah: You could just leave the towel. You could have your towels, right? Your towels that are for you.

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: And then whatever towels you're using for guests. And if he just keeps using towels, you just leave them in the room on the floor, and when he comes back, he can use them again or he can wash them.

Nick: Oh, you mean, like, next weekend when he comes back, like, there's just the damp towels in the corner?

Leah: Yeah. And that—that would be a hard—I get it. You're like, there's towels in there getting ...

Nick: I think if we could avoid the mildew situation.

Leah: Yeah, the mildew situation. I just—also once somebody realizes the joy of doing laundry. I love doing laundry.

Nick: Oh, interesting.

Leah: Be like, "Why don't you try washing those towels? It's a good time!"

Nick: Um, okay. I mean, that's a bit of a hard sell for some people.

Leah: It's a hard sell. It just popped into my head and I thought maybe I should say that.

Nick: [laughs] Okay. It's not a bad idea. Well, it is a bad idea. It's not a bad thought. It's not a bad thought.

Leah: It's the—the thought of that when getting—if it's not like a hygiene thing, then it's like, how do we sort of get the idea that this just doesn't get done on its own, a person is doing it?

Nick: Right. Yes. There's no staff here that does towels. And so it's a little passive-aggressive. But I like trying to make the point that ...

Leah: [laughs] See, if I was doing it, it wouldn't be passive-aggressive. It would just be like, "Oh, I forgot there were towels."

Nick: [laughs] I mean, I guess, yeah, could you just hang up all the towels that are used and then there'll just be 20 towels hung up?

Leah: Yeah, just hang them up in the—in the guest bedroom and then baboom!

Nick: Yeah. Okay.

Leah: I mean, this is just a thought.

Nick: Yeah. No, I like it on the whiteboard. Yeah. I just worry about the mildew situation.

Leah: Well, we'll leave that window open.

Nick: Okay. Well, then done.

Leah: Either we'll hang them up on, like, a coat rack and we will leave the window open.

Nick: Okay. I mean, it's an option. It's an option.

Leah: Back to the question that we're actually talking about.

Nick: Unique style.

Leah: I tried to write out some sentences.

Nick: Okay, let's hear one.

Leah: So the vibe I was trying to go for was, "I love that we enjoy the same fun styles."

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: "I like to have my own." Like, when it would come up is the next time this friend says, "Hey, I love that blank."

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: "Where did you get it?"

Nick: Right.

Leah: And you could say, "Hey, I love that we like shopping at the same places, but I would love to not have the same things."

Nick: Okay. Yeah. So something in that world.

Leah: Something in that world.

Nick: Right. Okay. I mean, the first thing I wrote down was "Just have more expensive taste. Just price her out. Just have more expensive taste." [laughs]

Leah: I felt like—my guess was that you were gonna say, "Don't tell her where you got it." That was my guess. But you leveled up. [laughs]

Nick: Well, the next thing on my list is "Or buy things from places that are hard to get to." So, like, "Oh, I love that tea canister." "Yeah. It's just, like, from this little store in Kyoto I just stumbled upon. Like, I don't even know the name of it. I could never find it again. Yeah, but it's great though, right?"

Leah: I guess it's how long can we be vague about where we got stuff until the point where we might as well just have the conversation of finding a nice way to say, "Please stop copying me."

Nick: Yes. No, that's true. Yeah, I think—my thought was actually let's help her find her own style. Like, if we're close friends, then, like, maybe find her own voice and, like, see if there's maybe something adjacent to your style that works and maybe explore that a little bit.

Leah: So next time the person asks, you could say, "How about—oh, I got this at the mall."

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: "How about I go shopping with you and we'll find something fun for you?"

Nick: Yeah. I mean, I think that could be one way to do it.

Leah: I get it, though. You don't want—you have, like, how you feel like you express yourself through clothes, and you don't want somebody doing the exact same thing.

Nick: Okay, So did we come up with anything?

Leah: Well, yours was price them out.

Nick: [laughs] Right.

Leah: And then be very vague about the location that you bought on another continent.

Nick: Uh-huh. Or vintage. It's something that's just like, you know, they don't make it anymore. It's 80 years old, so you just can't find this jacket anymore. Went out of business. The looms are closed.

Leah: So if you don't want to say the looms are closed—which is a great sentence and I hope you do get to utter it ...

Nick: I think the best we could do is to help our friend find their own voice.

Leah: I think that's really fun, and I think we could—just when we tell our friend, let's not say "Don't copy my style."

Nick: Right.

Leah: I think we say, "I like to be the only person wearing—" so it's more about how you like to not be wearing something that somebody else is wearing, as opposed to them copying you. And then we offer, "How about we go shopping and we'll find something super fun for you?"

Nick: And then we get to do that montage—which I love that montage.

Leah: A shopping montage.

Nick: Great soundtrack. And then you come out of the dressing room, and then we're like, "No." Come out of the dressing room. "No." Then wacky hat. And we're like, "What?" And then you come out and it looks perfect and we're like, "Thumbs up!" And then we cut to us walking down the street with all our shopping bags and we're laughing and then end of montage.

Leah: And I think something that I wish that I felt comfortable with younger in my life is that you're allowed to have these feelings and say to this person, "I would like to have my own style." And if you say it in a polite, friendly way, they could be mad at you but it's still okay that you said that.

Nick: Yeah, I think that's a valid feeling, for sure.

Leah: And I think we just don't want to tell other friends, "Oh, look. So-and-so's always copying me."

Nick: Yeah. I mean, I think we don't want to make fun of our friend, which is kind of what would happen if we, like, gossip about them behind their back and be like, "Oh, do you see that Lisa bought the same dress?" Like, we don't want that.

Leah: And I don't think our letter-writer's doing that. They're obviously very thoughtful. They don't want to hurt their friend's feelings. They wrote to us. So I think knowing that you're obviously a kind and considerate person, you're allowed to have feelings and to express that to this person.

Nick: And then for our letter-writer, I think if your style is copied, then I think you just need to evolve your style even faster. And so, like, "Okay, my friend is now doing this dress? Okay, I won't do that dress anymore. I'm gonna go on to the next thing." And just have your finger on the zeitgeist and, you know, dress accordingly.

Leah: You also may just be a fashion icon.

Nick: True.

Leah: And this is just the beginning of a long career of people wanting to do what you do because you make it look so cool.

Nick: Or you just get a silhouette. Just Steve Jobs, one black turtleneck, and that's just what you wear and just, like, pick a lane.

Leah: Nick's really coming up with some interesting options for this one.

Nick: [laughs] I would love it if I could actually just have one thing to wear for the rest of my life. Like, I totally get why that's so freeing.

Leah: Oh, I've been wearing the same—well, I have multiple of the same—the same onesie. It looks like a work—like a—like a zip up.

Nick: [laughs] No, there's footies on it.

Leah: Yeah, I wear footies. I love it. You just put it on and go. You don't have to think about it.

Nick: Yeah. No, actually I do like wearing suits for this reason because this is like, oh it's so easy. It's just like, oh it's just like what I'm wearing.

Leah: Well, zip-up's even easier. I'm not even picking a shirt. I am wearing one thing.

Nick: That is the one in the onesie. That's true.

Leah: Should we make a Were You Raised By Wolves? onesie?

Nick: Um, I mean, I'm not mad at that idea. Sure.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: [laughs] I'll get the looms opened again and we'll get that going.

Leah: Open up those looms!

Nick: So our next question is quote, "My husband and I are throwing a house-warming party, and we have a number of friends who will bring their kids. So we've decided to have a babysitter on site for those guests so they can have some time to themselves if they like. In trying to find the babysitter, I asked my boss if his daughter might be interested. She is. However, I have no interest in inviting my boss and his wife to this party. We are an office with pretty strong boundaries between office and personal life, but is it rude to have the daughter babysit for me and not invite the parents? I would be okay with them coming to see the place if they were to drop her off and pick her up, but not much beyond that. What do you think?"

Leah: I wrote ...

Nick: Uh-huh?

Leah: ... IDK.

Nick: [laughs] Okay. I don't know.

Leah: I underlined IDK. And then I know we can't go back in time and we can't unring a bell, but I wish ...

Nick: We could unring a bell.

Leah: ... we could ask somebody else to babysit because it's making me anxious.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, I am concerned that if we really want to have a strong boundary between office and personal life—which I get, I respect, nothing wrong with that, very healthy in a lot of respects—then asking the boss if her daughter could babysit at your party, that's definitely crossing that line.

Leah: And I just want to agree with our letter-writer and be like—I feel like our letter-writer wants us to say, "Yeah, have them pick up. No big deal. You have a strong boundary at work." But it does feel like we've now asked their daughter to come to our house.

Nick: Which is actually a bigger can of worms because, like, let's say it doesn't work out and, like, there's some problem. Now we have that problem, and then we also have now the relationship with the boss. And it's like, oh, that could actually get very messy very fast. And so I was like, "Ooh!"

Leah: But I mean, we can't undo it.

Nick: We cannot unring this bell.

Leah: And I even feel guilty bringing it up.

Nick: The bell ringing?

Leah: The unringing. I feel guilty that I said it.

Nick: So I think that the boss and his wife cannot have the expectation that just because their daughter is hired for an event, that they're now guests. So I think the boss and the wife should not have that expectation. So I think on some level, you do not need to invite them. I think etiquette-wise, you would technically be in the clear there. Do you feel this way?

Leah: I feel like the boss does not think that they are invited.

Nick: Right. And they shouldn't think they're invited just because the daughter is hired.

Leah: Yeah. No, they shouldn't.

Nick: But then the question for etiquette is: would it be polite to extend an invitation because their daughter is working the party? And it's kind of like, maybe? Maybe?

Leah: And I get the serious feeling that our letter-writer does not want to do that.

Nick: Oh, I don't think I get a feeling. I think didn't she say I don't want them coming? [laughs]

Leah: Yes, she 100 percent says for sure, I don't want them coming.

Nick: Right. So I think yes, I don't think you need to invite them. I think then you won't. And then if there's gonna be etiquette consequences, then I guess so be it at the office.

Leah: I did think of this.

Nick: Mm-hmm?

Leah: It's quite possible that the boss doesn't even want to go.

Nick: Yes, that is a possibility.

Leah: And then you could rest your conscience by having this awkward conver—"Hey, I invited Lisa to come babysit. You know, this is a bunch of my close friends—not work related. But if you wanted to stop by, I want to know you're more than welcome.

Nick: Okay. Yeah. Stop by. Yeah. That kind of is not, like, full-throated invitation, but it's not just like a—yeah, I like that language. Oh, actually, that actually checks off a lot of boxes.

Leah: But then know that you've opened the door and they may come and they may stay for the whole thing.

Nick: Yes, I think that is definitely possible. In which case ...

Leah: That's what it is.

Nick: Yeah. Now that I'm thinking about it, I think actually that's the move. I think you would actually want to give a sincere invitation. Be like, "Be so nice if you wanted to stop by." If the boss shares your sentiment that there is a strong boundary between personal and office life, then the boss would decline, in which case, okay. If the boss wants to show up, well then I don't know. Maybe it actually is a good thing. You never know where that might lead.

Leah: Well, I don't even think we need to say, "It would be so nice," because we don't want our boss to feel like they have to show up either. So we'd say, "These are friends outside of work. I know Lisa's gonna be here. You're more than welcome to come by."

Nick: Right. We just don't ever want to give an invitation hoping they won't say yes. Those type of invitations are always tricky.

Leah: Yeah. No, when we give this invitation, it means they might come by.

Nick: Right. And we have to be good with that. And it should be a sincere invitation. Like, "I am actually sincerely inviting you. If you want to come by, okay." And so I think yeah, I think that would be the move. I think I would maybe—I would do that. Yeah.

Leah: Because I don't think we can un ask Lisa to babysit.

Nick: Oh, that's not a possibility.

Leah: That's not a possibility.

Nick: Oh, that didn't even occur to me. Oh, no. Mm-mm.

Leah: I wrote down all the options and then I was like, that's not an option.

Nick: Yes. Because also watch Lisa not be able to do the babysitting but now you've invited the parents, the boss and the wife, and they come to your party anyway. It was like, oh, isn't that interesting twist?

Leah: I think a lot of times people actually don't want to go out. So you can put that invitation out there if they want to stop by, and maybe when they drop their kid off, they'll come in. But they're probably like, "I also want to leave work at work and I'm gonna go home and sit on the couch and watch The Last of Us.

Nick: Yeah, I think that's totally possible. So letter-writer, I think we'll extend the "Feel free to stop by. You're welcome" kind of invitation, and whether or not they come or not, we'll leave it in their hands. And in the future, if you really want that boundary set, then yeah, you can't actually do anything with anybody work related in your personal life.

Leah: As a side note, I would like to say I love that you thought, "Oh, I want to have a party. I want my friends to be able to bring their kids, but I also want to have somebody there to help with their kids in case they just want to, you know, walk around, have some apps." You know what I mean? I think that's very giving of you and very kind.

Nick: Yeah. Oh, that's a great host move, for sure.

Leah: So thoughtful and lovely.

Nick: So letter-writer, please let us know what happens. We would love some aftermath on this.

Leah: I love an aftermath!

Nick: Who doesn't? And you out there, if you've ever heard something on the show and you want to know what happened, how did it work out? What was the aftermath? Let us know. We'll reach out to these letter-writers and we'll ask and then we'll let you know. The aftermath!

Leah: I'm sure there are questions that people are like, "What's going on with that? I gotta follow up."

M: Oh, I'm haunted by many of these questions, for sure.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So please let us know. You can let us know through our website,, or you can leave us a voicemail or send us a text message: (267) CALL-RBW. And we'll see you next time.

Leah: Bye!

Nick: Bye!