Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle throwing parties for disliked bosses, taking responsibility for dryer lint, cleaning rugs late at night, and much more.
Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle throwing parties for disliked bosses, taking responsibility for dryer lint, cleaning rugs late at night, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we could.)
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Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton
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Nick: Do you rest your hands in the wrong place when eating? Do you not tip on walking tours? Do you leave lint in the dryer? Were you raised by wolves? Let's find out!
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Were you raised by wolves?
Nick: Hey, everybody. It's Nick Leighton.
Leah: And it's Leah Bonnema.
Nick: And let's just get right down to it with our amuse-bouche.
Leah: Cannot wait!
Nick: So for today's amuse-bouche, I want to talk about witchcraft and poison and murder! But first, let's go to France. So Leah, let me take you to Paris. Let's go to Paris.
Leah: I'm ready. I'm already blown away. I have no idea where we're going.
Nick: All right. Well, bonjour. Let's have lunch in Paris. And so let's go to a Michelin-starred restaurant and let's have lunch. And we're sitting down. And so Leah, we're dining. Where do you put your hands during this meal? Do you have them above your head like it's a touchdown? Do you have them out to the side like you're a scarecrow? Are they under the table? Are they on the table? Are they in your hair? Where do you keep your hands? Remember, we're in France. What do you do in France?
Leah: I'm pretty sure I can take above my head off the table and out to the side.
Nick: [laughs] Okay, yeah.
Leah: And on my hair. Those three, I'm gonna take off right away.
Nick: Okay. So we're left with under the table or on the table.
Leah: I don't know how I'm gonna eat if they're under the table. And I feel like it would make me slouch.
Nick: Well, like, between eating. Like, when we're resting, we're waiting for a course to happen. You have a lot of places to put your hands. They're not being used at the moment.
Leah: I mean, am I supposed to put them under the table in France? In America, I would put it between my wrist and my elbow. You know, in that area, on the side, the angle of the table.
Nick: In America you do this?
Leah: In America, I would do that.
Leah: I'm not leaning onto the table, but I would probably have my hands ...
Nick: So, like, right below where you would wear a watch.
Nick: Interesting! Okay.
Leah: Just on the corner of the table, not in the middle of the table.
Nick: But on the sides.
Leah: Just on my corner.
Nick: Interesting. Okay. I was not prepared for this answer from you. So that is what you would do in France, but that is not what you would do in the United States or in the UK. That's the continental way of doing it. So oh, that's a twist!
Leah: I'm very continental.
Nick: You are! Oh, that's—okay, well, that just, like, changed my whole thing. Well, yes Leah, you do rest sort of that wrist-forearm-y place in France and really most of the continent, that's what you would do. And then in the United States and in the UK, we would typically leave our hands in our lap under the table. And when I'm in Europe, this is actually one of the dining things I have the most trouble with because my resting position is below the table, hands on my lap. And so when I'm in Europe, I definitely have to make a very conscious effort to, like, throughout the meal be like, oh no, hands at all times above.
Nick: Because the etiquette rule is: on the continent, you have to show your hands at all times. You cannot hide your hands. And so that's why you would sort of rest them. And even when you're eating with your right hand, you would rest your left hand or your left wrist on the table on the side so that your hands are visible at all times. And so then the question is: why is this? Where did this come from?
Leah: Should I make guesses?
Nick: I mean, let's hear it! Where do you think this comes from?
Leah: Well, I mean, for me, it comes from the fact that I talk with my hands. But maybe it comes from they don't want you to be carrying a weapon under the table.
Nick: So that is definitely a very popular theory, and it's probably not incorrect. I mean, there's a lot of weapons throughout history at the dinner tables. And so, yes, the idea of like, oh, I don't have any weapons. Yeah, I think that's definitely a possible theory.
Leah: That's why I do it.
Leah: I want people to know I come in peace. I just came for the food.
Nick: Okay. Leah is not a threat. You can see no weapons, Leah Bonnema.
Leah: No weapons. Just let me eat.
Nick: Now a lot of people, though, do point to Versailles and Louis XIV as the source of this etiquette rule. And so here's what happened. In the late 1600s, there was this major murder scandal called the Affair of the Poisons. And basically, it started with this one woman who poisoned all of her male relatives so that she could inherit all the property and run away with her lover. And poisons at this time were called "inheritance powders" because they helped you get inheritance.
Leah: Oh, wow!
Nick: And so she killed all these people and she got caught. But then I think she ratted other people out, and then this thing snowballed. And then there was this web of sorcerers and magicians and witches who had spells and charms, and were doing all this sort of like off-label ceremonies and all sorts of stuff. And so everybody was doing it.
Nick: And during this time in, like, Louis XIV's reign, like, there was a lot of jostling. People were trying to get ahead. And the way you got ahead was you gotta, you know, poison people and you gotta, you know ...
Leah: [laughs] Oh no!
Nick: ... basically, like, you have to keep your lovers and you have to steal lovers. And there was a lot of jostling. And so everybody got super paranoid—including the king. And the king was like, "Shut it down." So there was this big investigation of, like, who's who? Everybody's ratting everybody out. And one of the names that kept coming up was the king's mistress.
Nick: And she apparently was using all sorts of aphrodisiacs and sprinkling it in the food of the king, and had all sorts of, like, black masses where she was trying to, like, make sure that he didn't have any eyes for anybody else. And then there was this other woman he did have eyes for who, like, did die mysteriously. And everybody was like, that's shady. And so a lot of drama was going on. And turns out that woman actually died of natural causes, apparently but, like, there was still drama because everybody was like, oh, obviously she did it.
Nick: And so hundreds of people got rounded up. 32 people got executed, dozens more got exiled out of the kingdom. Like, this was a major scandal.
Nick: And so as part of this, one of the things the King did was like, oh, if you're gonna be dining in Versailles, I gotta see your hands at all times. No hands under the table. Hands on the table all times. I want to make sure you're not poisoning anybody—or me. And so one of the theories is that is where this rule comes from. It comes from the King Louis XIV in Versailles, being worried about being poisoned. And then, of course, because Versailles was sort of like the center of the etiquette world back then, this etiquette rule sort of like trickled out throughout the rest of the continent.
Nick: Wow! Right?
Leah: Wow. That was like a whole limited series. Like, I would watch that.
Leah: That's wild!
Nick: Yeah. No, the Affair of the Poisons? If this is not a movie yet, it should be.
Leah: It should be!
Nick: Yeah. So that's one explanation for why you have your hands on the table at all times on continental Europe. But this rule never made it to the UK and then subsequently the United States. And there is less information about why that is, like, why this rule never made it. But I think one theory, and this is just my own personal theory, is that in British etiquette—dining etiquette especially—and then subsequently American etiquette, one of the ideas is, like, oh, this thing is not happening. We are gonna pretend that we are not doing a bodily function. Which is why we don't make noise. We go very slowly. We pretend we're not even interested in the food. You know, we're, like, very casual about it. Like, "Oh, is there food here? Are we eating? I had no idea." Like, that's very British table manners. Like, a lot of it is just, like, based on that. And so maybe the idea of, like, hiding your hands is like, "Oh, I'm gonna make this even harder. I'm only gonna use one hand. We're gonna hide anything that looks like I'm feeding myself as much as possible. And so, like, maybe that's where this comes from? It's like some Victorian thing. So that's one idea. I don't know if that's true, but that's an idea.
Leah: I mean, it makes total sense then when I—why I wouldn't do that. [laughs]
Nick: That does help explain a little bit. That's it. So point being though, when you are in continental Europe and you are dining, it is important to show your hands at all time, keeping them above the table and usually resting them on sort of the wrist-y/mid-forearm-y area, or just, like, resting lightly on the side of the table. That is what is done.
Leah: So interesting!
Leah: The drama, Nick!
Nick: And we're back. And now it's time to go deep.
Leah: [laughs] I'm immediately like, "And far."
Leah: "And circular."
Leah: "And around the park." [laughs]
Nick: Okay. Any more you want to add?
Leah: "And down the road."
Nick: Okay. So for today's question of etiquette, I want to talk about going on walking tours.
Leah: Which I think our long-term listeners know, one of my favorite things to do when I travel.
Nick: So you were actually recently in Charleston and you did a walking tour.
Leah: I did, yes.
Nick: How did it go? What etiquette advice do we have?
Leah: I love walking tours. I try to do them every city I go to because it's great storytelling. You always learn about the city. I usually do the ghost tours because you get history and then a little drama.
Leah: And so for me, I always try to get there a little early to check in.
Nick: Yes, I think that's the number one tip: be on time. Because if you're not, you're gonna hold up everybody else, and that's rude.
Leah: And I would assume—I always assume I'm probably not gonna find it immediately. So I'm gonna leave a little extra time in case.
Leah: Because they're usually like, "Meet me on this park."
Nick: Well, because also inherently you are going to a place that you're not familiar with.
Nick: And so by definition, you should give a little more time then.
Leah: Schedule that in. Schedule five minutes being lost.
Nick: A little buffer.
Leah: And then this is a thing that often happens on many walking tours.
Nick: Oh, I know where we're going with this.
Leah: There's always a person who sort of seems to want to make the tour about them.
Leah: And I would say the big etiquette rule on a tour is that it's not about you.
Nick: [laughs] Right.
Leah: There's a whole group of people listening to these stories, and if you keep interjecting, it's throwing the tour guide off their rhythm.
Nick: Yeah. I just wrote down "Don't be that person." [laughs]
Leah: Yeah, don't be that person.
Nick: Don't be that person, yeah. And similarly, don't be the person that wants to fact check the guide in real time, be a little arrogant, think that they know more than the guide.
Leah: You don't do that.
Nick: Yeah. Even if you do, you don't have to volunteer this information.
Leah: Let it go. Also, there will be a time for questions.
Leah: The guides are always like, "Does anybody have any questions about this?" That would be your time to ask questions.
Nick: Also on my list is: you should be a good sport, and approach any of the walking tours in, like, the right spirit. So you should, you know, be cordial to the other people. Like, you should introduce yourself. There'll be that small talk like, "Oh, you're from Omaha? I'm from Omaha." Like, you should have that, you know, little back and forth. And so, yeah, you should be friendly and cordial to the other people. Like, it's a group activity.
Leah: Yeah, exactly. I was gonna say know this is a group activity. If you don't like group activities, don't do it.
Nick: Right. Yeah. Don't sign up.
Leah: I think those are the big ones for me: being on time, and not sort of holding everybody hostage in the group by the amount of talking that you're doing.
Nick: Yeah. No, those are big ones. I think other big ones are: you should give your guide the attention when they're speaking.
Nick: Like, I think you should participate and be engaged. And if you're gonna leave the tour early for some reason, you also need to let your guide know that that's happening. And I think for people who do walking tours, I think that's a number one pet peeve for them is that, like, oh, people just, like, disappear and, like, don't say that they've decided to bounce.
Leah: Yeah, I don't know. That has never happened to me, but I don't like that at all.
Nick: Well, apparently the other pet peeve is that people bounce right before the end so that they don't have to tip.
Leah: Mm. Mm-mm-mm.
Nick: So let's talk about tipping. You should tip.
Leah: I think people—I'm trying to think of the word. It's not "traditional," it's ...
Leah: Customary. Thank you, Nick. It's customary to tip your tour guide.
Nick: Yes, for sure. And there's a lot of walking tours that actually are free walking tours, and the expectation is, oh, no, no, you should pay for it, but it's just in the form of the tip at the end. It's not actually zero dollars.
Leah: But if you took a walking tour and it was—you know, you paid for the ticket, just I think a few dollars is fine. A fiver?
Nick: It's whatever is sort of typical for wherever you are. But definitely the idea that you leave a walking tour without a tip, I'm not sure there's many places in the world in which we probably wouldn't do that.
Leah: And I think it's also fine if you're a group and one person tips for the group, that's fine.
Nick: That's fine, yeah. Big tip for everybody. That's great. But yeah, I think most places in the world tipping is sort of expected. And so it's sort of very rude if you don't.
Leah: And like a nice thank you and, you know, like a proper exit.
Nick: Yes. Don't ghost, I guess, at the end of the day.
Leah: Don't slip, don't ghost on a ghost tour. Hello!
Nick: Another thing I know that people who give walking tours find sort of objectionable is when people on the tour might make disparaging comments about the place or the culture. And I think in general, we don't ever want to do that. But definitely, like, how rude on a walking tour when you're, like, with a local ambassador to whatever this place is to sort of make fun of the place.
Leah: Yeah, do not do that.
Nick: Yeah, don't do that.
Leah: Also, don't be on your phones. I mean, obviously you're gonna take pictures, you know what I mean? You want to do a little Instagram tag, and I'm sure people appreciate the promotion but, like, don't get on phone calls and do not do that.
Nick: Oh! That would not even occur to me.
Leah: Oh, but it happens.
Nick: Where I'm just like taking calls while we're on the walking tour?
Leah: People do these things.
Nick: Oh, that's rude.
Nick: I mean, that's rude, because a walking tour is kind of—it's a live performance.
Nick: At the end of the day, I think. Is that what it is? Maybe that's the rules.
Leah: It's a live performance.
Nick: Yeah. And we happen to be moving. The stage keeps moving, but it's a live performance. And so we want to be respectful to the performers, I guess.
Leah: And I think also because it is moving, you want to be respectful of the performers, also be wary that you're a group and you're walking down the street. Like, you don't need to ...
Nick: Oh yeah. I mean, don't block the sidewalk for people who aren't on your tour. Yeah.
Leah: Be aware. I feel like always we end up with "Be aware of other people."
Nick: Yeah. I mean, at the end of the day that is what it is.
Leah: But really, as an avid walking-tour taker, there's always a person who just thinks that they can just ask a litany of questions that really aren't questions, they're actually openings for them to talk about their opinion on whatever. And you're like, we all now have to listen. We paid for this person to give us the tour, and now I'm hearing about your personal life, which is not why I'm here.
Nick: And I have found when this happens that the tour guide is usually too polite.
Nick: To shut them down. [laughs]
Leah: They don't know what to do. That's not their job. They're not bouncers.
Nick: Yeah. And I do wish that tour guides felt more comfortable being like, "That's a great question. Let's get back to that at the end." But no, usually they just, like, let it go.
Leah: Well, I think they want to be welcoming, and they don't want to hamper enthusiasm. And it's hard to come back from that without damping the energy.
Nick: But yeah, if you can avoid being that guy, that's great.
Leah: I would actually take a tour guide of just tour guides because I love them all so much. They all have their own styles. They get really into whatever their subject is. I find it so interesting.
Nick: Yes. I mean, I think people who do tours are passionate about it, because you don't do it for the money. So you do it because you like where you live or you care about the museum or you want to share your knowledge or your experience. And so yeah, I think that is a wonderful thing. And so ...
Leah: And I love it so much, and that's why I hate it when people interrupt them.
Nick: Yeah, let them do their thing. Let the professionals do their thing.
Leah: Let the professionals do what they do.
Nick: Yeah. Across the board.
Leah: Across the board.
Nick: Across the board. If only we could just do that, oh, we'd be so much closer to world peace.
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 work in a small office, and our boss is leaving for another position after a little more than a year in the job. Our staff considers her difficult to work with at best, and a lot of ill will has been generated in a very short time. We all have a hard time remaining cordial with her in group or individual meetings and interactions. Is it rude to not plan any kind of goodbye event? It seems like any option would be extremely awkward."
Leah: I feel like my answer to this was wrong, so I was really looking forward to your answer.
Nick: Oh! I mean, the only thing worse than not having a party is having this party.
Nick: So I think not having the party is a better option because what would this party be? I mean, can you imagine everybody standing around eating cupcakes silently, not talking?
Leah: Being like, "Can't wait for you to leave."
Nick: I mean, what is that small talk?
Leah: Oh, good. That's what I thought as well. That's what I thought as well. I thought, don't have the party. It's clearly uncomfortable for everybody. Let's just pretend it didn't happen and move on to the next boss.
Nick: Yeah, I think we just don't have the party. And that's fine. I mean, you're not obligated to have parties for people in general. Like, even if you like them, you're not obligated to throw a party. And so because you definitely don't like them, you definitely shouldn't have a party.
Leah: I'm so glad we're on the same page. I thought that this was gonna be a ...
Nick: You thought I was gonna be like, "No, you should have the party. You tough it out."
Leah: I don't know what I thought you were gonna say. I thought there would probably be some, like, random third option.
Nick: Well, the third option is she has a party for herself and invites you. And then what do you do?
Leah: I would just show up with, like, a box of donuts. "Hey!"
Nick: That's fine. And you don't have to stay long.
Leah: No, you have somewhere you have to go after.
Nick: Right. Which is not here.
Nick: But yeah.
Leah: I feel like a lot of this is us just giving people permission. You don't have to go. You don't have to plan a party. No.
Leah: You don't have to plan a party. It's clearly very uncomfortable and hasn't gone well. Best to just move on to the next thing.
Nick: And she can't want to party with you people either. I can't imagine she's like, "I love all my old coworkers. I'm gonna miss them so much!" Like, I can't imagine she's in the dark.
Leah: I mean, I can. I've met some people that are just horrible and they're like, "Everybody loves me." And you're like, "Where is the disconnect?"
Nick: [laughs] Okay. Well, I think when you don't throw a party, then maybe she'll get it. But yeah, we don't live in a world in which everybody is obligated to give people parties, because also what an insane world that would be.
Leah: Especially when they made you feel bad, and made things uncomfortable.
Nick: Yeah. So it's fine. Move on. Hopefully that'll be the end of it.
Nick: So our next question is quote, "Who's responsible for cleaning the lint filter on the dryer? The person who just pulled their dry clothes out of the machine or the next person who uses it?"
Leah: The person who pulled their clothes out of the machine.
Nick: Okay. Wow. Just that's it. That's just the answer.
Leah: That is the answer for sure.
Nick: I mean, it is interesting that next to mother in laws, the number one category of questions we get have to do with shared laundry rooms.
Leah: [laughs] Well, it's so stressful.
Nick: [laughs] It's really interesting that etiquette has not really resolved all the problems that take place in these spaces. Yeah, I mean, I guess the etiquette rule here is that you are responsible for cleaning up the mess that you make, right?
Nick: Like, you clean up after your dog. You clean up dirty dishes that you leave in the office sink, right? Like, that's the general rule. But we don't clean the crumbs in a toaster in an office, do we? Like, I just made some toast and there are crumbs in there. I don't empty the crumb tray every time, do I? Is that related?
Leah: I feel like you've gone into a whole other world with this.
Nick: Well, I just want to cover our bases here. I mean, maybe your answer that you had at top, that's as far as we need to go. But I think a little further exploration is warranted. Is it that simple? Is it black and white?
Leah: It is that simple. You clean out your dryer.
Nick: So, okay.
Leah: If that means that you feel like you should start cleaning out your toaster too, then that's fine. I don't think you have to clean out the toaster because I don't think it affects the next person's toast.
Nick: I see. So it's about affecting the next user of the item. That's sort of the key detail.
Leah: The lint tray can't be full for the next person.
Nick: And we're assuming we are filling it every time we do the drying.
Leah: Well, I don't even want your excess lint.
Nick: Oh, your lint. Your lint is sort of contaminated?
Leah: Your lint is your lint.
Nick: I see.
Leah: Take it out.
Nick: Now one wrinkle is that ...
Leah: No pun intended.
Nick: [laughs] Okay. One wrinkle is that, at least in my building, we have industrial machines. And these are real hot. They probably get to 500 degrees. And so that lint thing is very hot at the end of a cycle. And so the question is: do I need to, like, wait for the machine to cool down to deal with my lint? Is that my obligation?
Leah: Or develop some hand calluses.
Nick: Or do I need to bring an oven mitt?
Leah: [laughs] Bring an oven mitt.
Nick: Is that what it is? Okay. All right. We explored it.
Leah: I really find this definitive.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, I wanted there to be more gray, more charcoal, more heather, more concrete, more other words for gray. But yeah, I guess you should clean it out. Now most people don't. So I think the prudent laundry doer should be prepared to clean the lint out before as well as after. I think that's worthwhile.
Leah: I always check.
Nick: But yeah, I think it is courteous. It would be courteous to your fellow laundry people to clean out the lint that is your lint.
Leah: Your lint.
Nick: Your lint. Okay. So our next question is quote, "Over the weekend, I invited a co-worker friend for a shopping outing together and she accepted. Right before meeting up, she messaged that she was bringing her husband along. I said, of course, as I was happy to meet him and have him join us. However, when they arrived, he clearly did not want to be there. We were introduced, but other than that he made no effort to return my attempts at polite conversation. My co-worker was having a great time shopping, and found things she was excited to share with us, but he was clearly disinterested. They ended up leaving after a short while because she said he was hungry. I was hoping to have a fun afternoon with my co-worker, and I would have been happy to have him join had he wanted to be there, but his whole attitude brought me down. Was this rude of him, or could I have avoided this by making my invitation clearer? I want to invite my friend out in the future, but how do I avoid this happening again?"
Leah: I think I just have this one opinion on it.
Leah: And I can't not have the opinion that I have.
Nick: So what is it?
Leah: My opinion is sometimes we want things to be a certain way.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, for me all the time.
Leah: And it's just not the way they are.
Leah: It's just not the way they are.
Nick: True. Yes.
Leah: And I think one of those things is how people interact with their significant others.
Leah: And if this is the kind of person who you guys had a plan and then they bring their husband last minute and then their husband walks around disinterested and they don't seem to be bothered by it, and then he gets hungry and they leave together?
Leah: That's the way they're going to be.
Nick: Yes. That's the dynamic. Right.
Leah: And so I think in the future, we invite somebody else.
Nick: Okay, that's the solution. It's just like no more invitation.
Leah: Well, I feel like this is how they are. Sometimes that's just how people are.
Nick: Right. But can we do an invitation in the future that's like, "Hey, do you want to have, like, a one-on-one shopping trip? Girls' afternoon?" Like, do we narrow the invitation down to make it very clear that it's just like one on one?
Leah: Well, we thought this was one on one.
Nick: That's true. We were sort of hoping, at least.
Leah: I guess you could try that. You could say, "Hey, do you want to have a girls’ ‘one-on-one?" I'd give that a shot.
Nick: But yes, it is rude for the husband at least to sort of bring everybody down. Like, he didn't want to be there, and he really made that clear. And if he didn't want to be there, like, he could have just left on his own. Like, "Hey, I'll see you guys later," or "Hey, I'm gonna go to the Sbarro's. See you in the food court when you're ready." Like, he could have just checked out without ruining the afternoon.
Leah: Yes, totally. And I would put money on the fact that the co-worker knew that he was going to be this way and wanted him to come anyway.
Leah: So my guess is that she does that.
Nick: Oh, this is a character flaw.
Leah: I wouldn't say a character flaw. I would just say that that's how it is.
Nick: Okay. This is just what it is.
Leah: Because I think she was like, "You come with me." And he was like, "I don't want to come." And she's like, "Come!"
Nick: Oh, I see. Okay. And the co-worker was like, "It'll be fine."
Leah: Yeah. And then he didn't want to be there. And then she's used to him not wanting to be there. And so then the person who feels like the third wheel is our letter-writer.
Nick: Right. Yeah. So okay, I can see how we come full circle to this is just what it's gonna be if you invite this coworker again. The risk of this happening is quite high.
Leah: Because it seems to be that's—like, if I brought my partner to something and they openly acted disinterested, I would be embarrassed.
Nick: Right, yes. Like, "Oh, I invited you along. I'm having, like, fun time this afternoon and you're ruining it for everybody."
Leah: "And you're making the person that we're with feel uncomfortable." This person clearly isn't embarrassed at all.
Nick: Yeah. And I guess that's why it's rude for this co-worker, because she is not mindful of our letter-writer's feelings.
Leah: At all.
Nick: At all.
Leah: And that's why I think that maybe it's not a thing that's gonna be—is gonna change.
Nick: Right. Because the co-worker is just not a thoughtful person.
Leah: Or they think that this is normal.
Nick: Right. That being not thoughtful is normal. [laughs]
Leah: "Oh, I'm just always there and he's disinterested. I make him come anyway, and then I leave.
Nick: And then I end up cutting our plans short to accommodate the fact that he doesn't want to be there.
Leah: Because I was like, "Come anyway."
Nick: Right. Okay. So I guess it's just unfortunate. [laughs]
Leah: I think we could try the "Do you want to do a girls' afternoon" and see what happens.
Nick: I would try that. I would try a new invitation, which is like, "Hey, let's do something one-on-one." And then I will say the coworker did ask if it was okay for the husband to tag along, right? It wasn't that he's coming.
Leah: No, it says right before meeting up. So it wasn't like an advanced—she messaged that she was bringing her husband.
Nick: Oh, you were just told this was happening. Your permission was not requested.
Leah: Yes. This wasn't like three days before, "Hey, do you think my husband could come?" And you were like, "Oh, I wanted—" this was "I'm on my way. I'm bringing my husband."
Nick: "He's already in the car. We're in the parking lot. See you in five."
Leah: "See you in five."
Nick: Yeah. Okay. Because if that happened again, like, "Oh, my husband's coming," do you really have the opportunity to be like, "Oh, I was hoping this would just be one-on-one today." Like, I don't think you have that opportunity.
Leah: There's not enough time in there.
Nick: No. Okay, yeah. Oh, that got awkward. That got awkward. Yeah. So yeah, sorry, letter-writer. I think you just need other people to go shopping with.
Leah: That was my gut instinct. But I do think you could slip in there and before that a quick "Want to do a girls' afternoon?"
Nick: Give it a shot. Maybe this was a one off. Maybe she realized that, oh, the husband does not like shopping like this. And I didn't know that before, and now I do.
Leah: She knew it.
Nick: And so it won't happen again.
Leah: She absolutely knew it.
Leah: She clearly doesn't care that he's uncomfortable or you're uncomfortable.
Nick: I'm just being charitable today. You should try and embrace this and encourage this, Leah.
Nick: So do you have questions for us where you want maybe some charitable answers? Let us know. You can let us know through our website, WereYouRaisedByWolves.com, or you can leave us 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: 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: I think I'm gonna vent, Nick.
Nick: Oh, all right. Let's have it.
Leah: So I'm coming home after a comedy gig, which means it's nighttime.
Nick: Uh-huh. As it is, yeah.
Leah: And it's a weeknight, so people who work day jobs are already tucked in.
Nick: Okay, so very late.
Leah: My upstairs neighbor, who we have discussed before.
Leah: This is not the neighbor who parked in my parking spot, the neighbor who we just now openly are not polite to each other.
Nick: Just where it's chilly.
Leah: I'm not impolite. I just am not making an effort.
Leah: I come home. So I'm walking towards them so they can see me. It's him and the person he lives with.
Leah: They are shaking out their rugs.
Leah: At what was probably 11:00 p.m. 11:30.
Nick: Okay. So that felt like a time when one does not shake out one's rugs.
Leah: And not only just one—he wasn't just shaking. He had, like, a stick and they were banging it.
Leah: And they were banging it so loud that my significant other while I was walking in actually came out to see with a flashlight.
Leah: Because he thought somebody was trying to break into the building. That's how loud it was.
Nick: Because that sound is sort of like an unusual sound.
Leah: It's an unusual sound.
Nick: Which if you don't know what it is, you would not necessarily be able to place it just by hearing, like, a stick against fabric sound.
Leah: Yeah. And it was like a—you know, some of those rugs are, like, thick. So it's like, whoof, whoof.
Leah: So it's loud enough that you can hear it through the doors and the walls that he came out.
Leah: As I'm walking in. They see me coming. I assume they're going to stop. I look up, acknowledge them.
Leah: They keep banging as I walk under the awning.
Nick: [gasps] Oh, so now you have, like, rug dust falling on you?
Nick: That's what's happening?
Leah: Yeah. As they wake up the entire building and everybody thinks that we're getting broken into, they just rug dust me.
Nick: Oh, I don't care for that.
Leah: I don't care for it at all.
Nick: Um, what is wrong with these people?
Leah: What is wrong with these people?
Nick: Like, honestly. Like, what is broken? Something is broken.
Leah: Something's broken. Something is so broken. [laughs]
Nick: Is this the first time they have, like, lived in society? Were they feral, and then this is like their first apartment among humans?
Leah: I don't know.
Nick: But, like, something is wrong. Like, this—I don't know how we arrive at this where they're like, "Oh, we're gonna just bang our rugs at nighttime, and we're gonna, like, sprinkle dirt on our neighbors." Like, I don't know how we arrive at that.
Leah: And you know me. I haven't had open warfare with anybody. It's not like they were like, "We're gonna wait for her to come home because she did something bad." You know what I mean?
Nick: [laughs] Can you imagine?
Leah: I just ...
Leah: I mean, do you know what I mean?
Nick: Yeah. Well, relatedly, I would also like to vent. And so, oh gosh. I mean, I apologize to our audience in advance for the visceral reaction all of you are gonna have.
Leah: Oh no!
Nick: And so I was recently in Venice, Italy. And there's this thing that happens in Italy every other year called the Venice Biennale for Art, and it's a global sort of festival of contemporary art. And I love it. I've been a few times. And it's enormous—it happens over multiple sites throughout the city, and you can only see it over, like, multiple days. You can't even do it in one day. And so I am taking a midday pit stop for coffee with the friends that I'm there with, and we're talking about all the art we've seen. And I'm sipping an espresso. And we're in this sort of like medieval courtyard in an old shipbuilding yard in Venice, and it's very cool. And the Biennale had just opened, and so it's packed, a lot of people and it's fun.
Nick: And so I'm saying to my friends, like, "Oh, what did you think about, like, the Italian pavilion? I thought this ending was really cool." And then they freeze. They freeze. Like, like they're silent. And I'm like, "Is there a glitch in the Matrix?" And this lively cafe we're in gets quiet and it's like, "Oh, did I say something? Did I—like, Italian pavilion?" I'm running the sentence I just said back in my head. I was like, "Did I say something that sounds offensive in another language? Like, what has happened? Why is everybody, like, frozen?" It's very disconcerting.
Nick: And my friends sort of like start whispering to each other, like, "Is that …? Am I …?" And what is happening directly behind me that I cannot see is a woman checking her daughter's hair for lice. But not just, "Oh, let me just, like, peek into the scalp with my hands." No, she has a lice comb that she is using on her daughter. And then when she finds a louse, she goes down to the ground to the decking and taps the comb on the ground to, I guess, free the louse to the ground, and then goes back to the scalp for more. And when I tell you how horrified this entire courtyard of people was by what was happening, I'm speechless. I'm speechless. And this is happening directly behind me, like, two feet away.
Nick: And now I'm feeling itchy, and I'm like, "Do lice jump? Am I in danger? What is happening? What do I need to do right now for my own safety and sanity?" So that happened. [laughs]
Leah: I don't even know how to—I don't even know how to process this. I'm like, I want to run away from just the store, I'm so nervous.
Nick: Telling the story now, I actually feel—I'm like, "Is there something on my skin?"
Leah: That's so itchy!
Nick: I feel a little scratchy. And it's like ...
Nick: What? Global contemporary art fair? [sighs] I don't know. I don't know. I mean, lice is a serious issue. I don't think we should, like, let it go. I feel like you should address lice if it's a problem. I do believe in my heart of hearts that there is a time and place to do that, and I don't know if this was that time for it.
Leah: [laughs] I don't think a global art fair in the middle of it, and then you're tapping your lice out on the ground.
Nick: I can still hear the comb banging the decking, the tapping. The tapping. The tapping.
Leah: It's your own Poe poem.
Nick: Yes. Nevermore.
Leah: Did you jump up and run away?
Nick: So basically I downed the espresso, and I told my friends, like, "Oh, I think we should continue on." And everybody else in a 15-foot radius was also doing the same. And I just looked at this family with just, like, a look of just like what is happening right now. And you want to be culturally sensitive because you're like, "Oh, maybe this is done in this other country where I am a guest." and it's like, "No, I'm pretty sure this is not done. I don't think there's a place in the world in which we're doing outdoor delousing in public in a cafe. I'm not sure this is a thing." So yeah, I mean, horrifying, terrifying, disappointing. I mean, what other words do we want to use?
Leah: I'm probably gonna come up with the words tomorrow because I'm processing physically ...
Leah: ... through my body, the shock of this. Bugs!
Nick: [laughs] Luckily, my pomade is very thick, so I have some natural defenses.
Nick: But I mean, yeah, what a world we live in.
Nick: That's it.
Leah: I bet they're related to my upstairs neighbor.
Nick: So Leah, what have we learned?
Leah: Oh my goodness. The phrase "Inheritance powders" is—the drama, the story that comes with it. And I've never heard the term. I mean ...
Nick: Now don't try anything. I do have food tasters so we will—we will catch you.
Leah: I would never mess up somebody's food experience. You know me. I love food.
Nick: And for me, I learned that you eat quite continental. Very unexpected.
Leah: Tres continental, Nick.
Nick: Well, thank you, Leah.
Leah: Thank you, Nick.
Nick: And thanks to you out there for listening. I'd send you a handwritten note on my custom stationery if I could.
Leah: He would!
Nick: So for your homework this week, we want to make sure you subscribe to our show. Just click the little bell or the subscribe button or whatever it is in whatever app you're using.
Leah: Whatever app. Any app. We support all apps. Just click the "Subscribe" please.
Nick: This way you'll never miss a new episode. And we really need the validation. So please do that.
Leah: [laughs] We deeply need it. We really appreciate it.
Nick: And we'll see you next time!
Nick: All right, Leah. It's time for Cordials of Kindness, the part of the show that you make us do, but I only give you 30 seconds to do it. Ready, set, go!
Leah: I would like to say a huge cordials of kindness to our Were You Raised By Wolves listeners who have been—I've had a few people coming out to shows and chatting with me after or sending me lovely messages, and I can't tell you how much it means to me.
Nick: Oh, that's very nice!
Leah: So nice!
Nick: Yeah. If you are a listener, and you ever go and see Leah live—which you should—yeah, definitely, like, say hi to her afterwards.
Leah: And they've just been such wonderful people, which I know our listeners are wonderful, but it's so great to meet them in person. And it's just been an absolute delight for me and I really appreciate it.
Nick: That's very nice. And for me, I want to give a shout out to my neighbor down the hall. And my neighbor accidentally left for work one day and left her alarm on. Like, I think she hit snooze and then, like, left, and then it went on all day long. And okay, it happens. But what she did is she left all of us on the floor a very nice note apologizing for it, promising to be more mindful about it. And she included a gift card to a local coffee shop. And I really appreciated that. I thought that was very polite, and I thought that was, like, really the right way to handle it.
Leah: That's very thoughtful. It's like a great awareness of oneself.
Nick: Yeah. So, like, etiquette problems happen, but it's like, how do we handle them? And I think this was a very nice way to do it.
Nick: So thank you!