Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle wearing name tags, shopping yard sales, fat-shaming pets, 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 tackle wearing name tags, shopping yard sales, fat-shaming pets, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we could.)
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YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO...
Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema
Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton
Theme Music: Rob Paravonian
Nick: Do you wear your name tag on the wrong side? Do you criticize people's taste? Do you shame pets for their weight? Were you raised by wolves? Let's find out!
Here are things that can make it better
When we have to live together
We can all use a little help
So people don't ask themselves
Were you raised by wolves?
Nick: Hey, everybody. It's Nick Leighton.
Leah: And I'm Leah Bonnema.
Nick: And let's just get right down to it with our amuse bouche.
Leah: Let's get in it!
Nick: So for today's amuse-bouche, I want to talk about name tags. So Leah, what side do you wear your nametag on? And I'm talking about, like, the "Hello, My Name Is" sticky tag. Like, we're at an Embassy Suites ballroom at a medical device conference, and we all have name tags. That kind of name tag.
Leah: Oh, my goodness. You know ...
Nick: 50/50 shot.
Leah: 50/50 shot.
Nick: Or maybe, I mean, there's a lot of places you'd wear name tags, so maybe it's more than 50/50.
Leah: It is more than 50/50, because you could technically put it in the middle. Or on your bag because you're like, "This is a really nice shirt."
Nick: Or your forehead or wear it as a fascinator, have it on your low hip pocket or under your right buttock. Yeah, a lot of options.
Leah: I feel like if I take those off the table and I'm gonna go with a 50/50, and I got to stay up top, I'm a person who has always had trouble with left and right. It's just been ...
Nick: Just which side is which?
Leah: I'm sure I have some kind of undiagnosed thing that we don't know about with directionals, but ...
Nick: I mean, you're left handed, so you should be more aware of, like, left and right than the average person.
Nick: And yet here we are. Okay.
Leah: Yet here we are, Nick.
Nick: So left side, right side, where are we putting the name tag?
Leah: So the left side, you'd be like, it's over my heart.
Leah: You know, that's, I guess, lovely.
Leah: I'm trying to think of when I see people. Although I'm sure I've been out there with oceans of people doing it incorrectly, such as myself. So I don't know if I want to use ...
Leah: I just feel like everything in the world goes on the right side as a left-handed person.
Leah: You know, this feels like a really easy question, and yet I'm gonna stick with the left side. But it's probably right.
Nick: So the right side is correct. Right. Right. And it should go pretty high up towards the collar. That would be the right zone. And the explanation for this is you want it on the right side so that as they're looking at your face and are about to transition down to your hand for a handshake, they can easily see the name on the way. That's the idea.
Nick: And I was looking at the etiquette greats. Emily Post actually never weighed in on this. And I would assume it's just because she would never be caught dead wearing a name tag. Like, can you imagine?
Leah: I can't even imagine that she would wear a lanyard.
Nick: Right? [laughs] Yeah, she'd be like, "Oh, bless you, dear. A name tag does not go with this ensemble." But those actually "Hello, My Name Is" name tags? I was looking into this. Those were only invented in 1959. Those are relatively recent.
Nick: Yeah, fascinating. But Miss Manners, she has something to say about name tags, of course. She actually disapproves of them at strictly social functions because she says it, quote, "Makes things too easy, and thus takes away the fun." So I think Miss Manners has a very interesting idea of fun.
Leah: [laughs] Yeah, very interesting.
Nick: And by fun, I mean ...
Leah: Makes things too easy.
Nick: ... torturing people when they don't remember people's names, yeah. So she delights in that.
Leah: Wow. I, as a person who I struggle with names. I do struggle with names, but I never put my nametag on because I'm like, oh, it's gonna get sticky on my shirt.
Nick: Okay, so you're one of those rebels who doesn't want to follow instructions in an event. Okay. Now there is one etiquette expert, a contemporary, who does say that the name tag should be on your left.
Leah: Oh, thank goodness!
Nick: No! Because the explanation given is that, by wearing it on the left, it won't obscure your nametag as you're going in for the handshake. Now this explanation? Reach out your hand, and now move your arm to cover an imaginary nametag on the right side.
Leah: Oh, yeah.
Nick: Where does your arm have to be to cover the nametag? [laughs]
Leah: You have to be shaking at a 180° angle.
Nick: Who is shaking hands like this? And if that's how you shake hands, then okay, wear the name tag on the left side. But if you don't do it that way—and I really hope you don't—then yeah, ignore that advice, because I think that's just wrong. And wear your name tag on the right side, please.
Leah: Or if you want to wear it on the left, just to keep it over your heart.
Nick: So it is true that flags and flowers actually do go on the left side because of that sort of heart relationship. But, like, the "Hello, My Name Is" sticky thing? Put that on the right. Although Star Trek comm badges? Those go on the left. So that's where those go.
Leah: And that's the most important one.
Nick: I mean, live long and prosper, Leah.
Leah: Live long and prosper.
Nick: What you can't see is Leah's doing the Vulcan thing with her hands.
Leah: My #LLAP.
Nick: And we're back, and now it's time to go deep.
Leah: Deep. And this is really in my family.
Nick: Okay. So for today's deep dive, I want to talk about yard sales and estate sales.
Leah: Which, I'm not sure if everybody at home knows, I come from a long line of yard salers.
Nick: Okay. I don't think we know that.
Leah: I feel like I sort of slip things in kind of—oh, scoped out a yard sale.
Nick: I also come from a yard sale, thrift store, flea market, garage sale family. Although I think I, as an adult, I have let the pendulum swing and I'm much more of a minimalist now. So I don't actually want to acquire. I'm all that deaccessioning.
Leah: Deaccessioning! What a word!
Nick: [laughs] Yeah. No, I'm trying to use, like, Marie Kondo, but also Swedish death cleaning. That's my new thing.
Leah: Phew! Well, I actually don't even know if I enjoy—it's not necessarily the purchasing of items at yard sales that I enjoy so much now as an adult as the going to yard sales, the sort of ...
Nick: The thrill of the hunt?
Leah: The thrill of the hunt. The getting up early, to having a coffee. You know what I mean? What's there? Who's getting what? You know?
Nick: It's a treasure hunt.
Nick: Yeah. Are there certain things you always look for, or have an eye out for?
Leah: I think my mom is top-of-the-line yard saler. My grandfather was like a professional yard saler. Like, he would turn stuff over.
Nick: What do you mean, "Turn stuff over?"
Leah: Like, find things that were worth a lot more than they were being sold for.
Nick: Oh, he's like an American picker.
Leah: And I often—like, maybe I'm looking for a pair of pants.
Nick: You're buying clothing?
Leah: Oh, yeah. I buy tons of clothing at ...
Nick: Oh, you're the one.
Leah: ... yard sales, flea markets, church sales.
Nick: I'm not interested in soft goods at a yard sale.
Leah: Oh, I love a soft good. I've gotten some great bags, some fun shirts.
Nick: I always have my eye out for champagne buckets, because they're very useful. And I like vintage cookbooks. I'm always looking for etiquette books. And I always look for mahjong sets in case they're around. And they do pop up. And then, pro tip for our audience: I always look for stationery. Usually there's gonna be just unused cards. And if they're not personalized, they're usually great and fun and different and vintage. And so I have a lot of sort of vintage stationery in my stationery wardrobe. So something to look out for next time you're out and about.
Leah: I will say I always look for Christmas items that I don't have yet.
Nick: I have noticed that there's never anything mid-century at any of these yard sales. Like, where are all the Florence Knoll cadenzas? Where are the Noguchi coffee tables? I can only conclude that if you own an Eames lounge chair, you will never die. So I guess for immortality, you should just buy George Nelson something and you'll live forever. I guess that's what it is.
Leah: Or they're just giving it to family members. I mean, that's the other option
Nick: Or it's already been claimed before it makes it to the yard sale. That also may be true. I prefer to think that Charles and Ray Eames leads to immortality, but that's me.
Leah: Yeah. [laughs]
Nick: So I think the most important thing when we go to a yard sale—and especially an estate sale, is keep your mouth shut. Like, do not criticize what is happening, the quality of the items, the goods. Like, no one needs to hear your commentary.
Leah: Oh, yeah, that's—I mean, you just said it out loud and I felt hurt. Definitely. These are people's things.
Nick: Right. These are people's things. Things definitely have a lot of emotion with them. In Buddhism, attachment is suffering. It's one of the four noble truths. And people have a lot of emotional relationships. I mean, this is what Marie Kondo's all based on. And so yeah, I think just—there's no need to comment, criticize. That dining table that you think is ugly? Well, there were 50 years of Thanksgiving dinners on that dining table for the people around. Like, we don't need to hear what you think about the walnut.
Leah: Unless you're throwing out compliments. You know what I mean? "Oh, so cute! Oh, so fun!"
Nick: Well, sure, yes. No, if they're compliments, okay, how nice. But if they're not—and usually they're not.
Nick: And yes, very often, you know, these people, their taste is not your own. Okay, that's fine. We don't all have to have the same taste. But we don't need your commentary in real time.
Leah: And I think the other thing is, don't get there before it starts.
Nick: Oh, I think that's probably the number one thing.
Leah: Because that—I mean, when we've had—you know, this is when I'm in Maine, because it's not so much in the city, but you know about a yard sale, people want to stake it out early. Where is it? Is there gonna be things that I want? Are there gonna be competitive yard saler gonna to be there? Maybe you do a drive by. You see what time you think it's gonna get set up. Where are you gonna park? Fine. But you don't expect to go in early. That's the start time.
Nick: I was looking into this, there are horror stories online about people who had yard sales where people showed up the night before.
Leah: Oh, yeah!
Nick: Knocking on the door. "Hey, hear you're having a yard sale tomorrow. Can I take a look at what's on offer?"
Leah: People get competitive. They're like, "Maybe they have a record. I want to get there—maybe their vinyl section, I want to get it in first."
Nick: Apparently, like, video games, that's a very hot item for yard salers, right? So yeah, don't be an early bird, I think is the term that is used in the yard sale culture. Yeah, whatever time it starts, that's the time it should start. And if you are hosting a yard sale or an estate sale, you should stick to that time. Don't allow people in early. You should maintain the start time that you promised everybody. So everybody's sort of equal playing field.
Leah: And I think also—I think it's polite as the yard sale goer to, like, greet people when you come in and say thank you when you leave. I see some people just, like, walk in, walk out. But you're, like, on their property.
Nick: Yeah, but also, that's nice to do kind of anywhere? Like, if you walk into a small store ...
Leah: Oh, I would say do it anywhere.
Nick: ... you should say hello to the clerk and, you know, goodbye.
Leah: I mean, I say hello in a big store, even when nobody's there. I'm like, "Hey, I'm here. Thanks for having me."
Nick: You're walking into the Safeway, you're like, "Hey!"
Nick: "Hello. I'm here now."
Leah: But I see people do it and I'm like, just throw out a, even a wave. Maybe you're not—maybe you're a bit of an introvert. You want to be there. Just do a quick wave. You're acknowledging. And wave when you leave. I think it's polite.
Nick: Yes. Yeah, I think acknowledge the humanity of the people running the sale. Yes. I didn't have that on my list because I thought that was a given, but okay.
Leah: No, you would think it's—I've seen a lot of people not do it.
Leah: So that's why I'm—obviously, I do it. I do a double wave. "Hi!"
Nick: Oh, you do jazz hands, really.
Nick: Now what about bargaining? I feel like this might bring you some anxiety.
Leah: Oh, you nailed it. Obviously, I'm not gonna bargain.
Nick: Oh, you're not gonna bargain.
Leah: I think this is standard. A lot of people bargain.
Nick: Yes. Because I think people who are not professional yard sellers or estate sellers, they don't know pricing. You know, they don't know what the going rate for things are, or they might just sort of infuse their own emotion into something, thinking it's more valuable than it really is, or it's just priced wrong. So yeah, you could always ask. Sure.
Leah: I think it's very standard to bargain. That's normal. I just don't personally do it because it gives me a rash.
Nick: So there are two bargainers. There's the bargainer that, like, actually wants it, but feels like the price is sort of like maybe not what the price should be. And then there's the bargainer that just does it for sport, and just wants a lower price for the sake of something lower, and that has no relationship to, like, anything else. They just want to win. So ideally, you're the former, not the latter. But I know there's a lot of people that like bargaining just for the sake of bargaining.
Leah: And I know a lot of people also, like, they group. "How about if I took these three things and together we make it blank?"
Nick: Yeah. Yeah, like, "Would you give me three for $20?"
Nick: Sure. And I think a nice way to always phrase it is like, "Oh, would you take $10 for this?" I think that's always a nice way to say it.
Leah: I think that's the perfect way to phrase it.
Nick: Or like, "Oh, are you able to do better than $100 on this table?" I think you could also say that. And whatever the answer is, then that's what it is. Like, let's not berate them or argue or tell them why that number is wrong or, like, let's just accept the number and, like, move on.
Leah: Yeah. And if it's too much, you can just not buy it.
Nick: You can also not buy it. That's right.
Leah: The things I like are usually, like, five cents. So bargaining on it would be ...
Nick: Yes. Yard sale pants I don't think are very expensive.
Leah: I mean, I've got some great pants.
Nick: And there are things—I have walked through yard sales, where the item is like, no one's gonna pay $3,000 for your rusty Soloflex. Like, that's bonkers.
Nick: Like, that has no relationship to what the real world is. And so some sellers just don't know how to price things.
Leah: I also think a lot of times one of the people in that family didn't want to sell it.
Nick: Oh, yeah, that happens.
Leah: And everybody was like, "You should get rid of that." And they were like, "Okay." And then so they put that price on it knowing that nobody will buy it because it's their way of keeping it.
Nick: Oh, that might explain—there was this one yard sale that I was at where there was a yellow goldenrod tweed BarcaLounger that had, like, duct tape on one arm, like the set of Frasier. Like, it was that chair. But without the provenance. And there was a sign on there that it was like $1,500. And I was like, "Who—who is going to be?" So I'm sure what actually happened was yeah, Grandpa was like, "Oh, you're gonna sell my chair? Okay, I'm gonna price it."
Leah: Yeah. And that way they know they're gonna get to keep it.
Nick: Yeah. Oh, that's clever. I had not considered that.
Leah: It's the same thing you do with gigs you don't want to take. You're like, "What would be the amount of money that would make this horrible thing I'm about to agree to worth it?" And you overprice it so that way you can be like, "Well, if they pay that, then I'm willing to put myself through that."
Nick: Oh, that's fair. Okay. All right, I can actually see that. Also on my list: don't go anywhere that you're not supposed to. Like, this is someone's house.
Leah: Oh, yeah. You're like, "Oh, I was just looking at your living room."
Nick: Right! "Oh, I was just in your bedroom in your bed." Yeah. No, don't do that.
Leah: People definitely do that.
Nick: Yes. And don't use the restroom. I think generally speaking, the restroom is always off limits at a yard sale.
Leah: Although I do think sometimes in, like, smaller communities, you'll know the person and maybe there's a situation and you can say, "Excuse me, may I use your restroom?"
Nick: Yeah. I mean, if you know the person, yeah, then that's a whole different thing.
Leah: Just ask.
Nick: Yes. I guess asking is always the polite answer. Correct.
Nick: Oh, and parking. So usually these are residential areas, most likely. And usually this little neighborhood is not used to 50 cars. And so wherever you park, make sure that you're parking legally and not on someone's lawn, and not ruining the grass and, like, not blocking someone's driveway. Like all of these things you should be mindful of.
Nick: And then lastly on my list: cash is king. Bring small bills. Don't expect them to break $100. Don't expect them to take a credit card.
Leah: Yeah, absolutely. I always bring my nickels, my 25 cents.
Nick: Oh, so many pants!
Nick: And we're back. And now it's time to take some questions from you all in the wilderness.
Nick: Our first question is, quote, "Is it rude for people to make comments about how fat my pet is?" [laughs]
Nick: Yeah. Yeah. It sounds like someone has a pet, and someone is calling it fat. That's what this sounds like.
Leah: It sounds like some fat shaming is happening.
Nick: Sounds like some animal fat shaming, yeah.
Leah: I was trying to think of, like, have I ever used a compliment—you know, sometimes you see these, like, very roly dogs that are just so cute?
Leah: So I was searching my memory banks. Have I ever used a word that was obviously a compliment, but maybe it meant rounder?
Nick: Like, "Oh, your Chihuahua is so zaftig."
Leah: [laughs] What a Botticelli of a dog! Maybe I have.
Nick: [laughs] Rubenesque!
Leah: Yeah. Or, like, there was a word that meant like, you know, very full of life, you know, that was obviously like, it was a ripe—it was a ripe looking—that was obviously a compliment. I think that that's—I actually think that's okay. But if somebody is like, "Ooh, have you looked into dieting for your dog?" Or like, "Is your dog—" I've seen people do that online to cats. They'll be like, "Your cat's really unhealthy." It's like, stop it.
Nick: Like, "Oh, does he really need a treat?"
Leah: Yeah, things like that. I think that's rude. Or being like, "Have you looked—aren't you worried about their health?" Or like, "That's going to be bad for their back." Like, these comments—or, like, "What a fatty!" Like, no!
Leah: And it's also not your dog. If, like, you're worried about your dog's health because you think they're a little chunks. I could see you being like, "Oh, we got to cut down on your food once a day." But I don't think we're being like, "Oh, you're not gonna fit in those jeans this year unless we cut it down." Like, don't talk to your animal that way.
Nick: [laughs] Right. Yeah, "There goes the Halloween costume I planned."
Nick: I mean, I think the way to think about this question is that a pet is like someone's child. So I think the same rules should apply. Like, we don't criticize the appearance or the weight of other people's children. So that's why we would not also do it to their dog or cat. And I think just in general, I think it's always just tricky when we comment on other people's appearance. And things that we think might be a compliment might not be received as a compliment. So even with the tone, even with sort of our intent, like, there are times we might say things that we mean as a compliment that is not heard that way. So I think we always just want to be a little mindful. But, like, if you know the dog owner, the pet owner and you're making a compliment about adorableness, then you're probably in the clear. But just know that, you know, that's not always the case.
Leah: Yeah, and if you're not making a compliment about adorableness and you're going up to somebody and saying, "Did you know your pet was fat?" I think you're clearly in the wrong.
Nick: [laughs] Right. Yeah, don't do that. So our next question is, quote, "I recently purchased a new vehicle and still have my old car. My niece will soon be driving age, and my in-laws have now mentioned to my husband on three separate occasions that we should give or sell my old car to my sister-in-law for my niece's use. The thing is, this old car is currently not for sale because I'm not ready to part with it—it has been in my life longer than my husband. And I also hate being pressured into doing things. And I know that it wouldn't be at all taken care of in this new home. I don't particularly want to watch my first car be trashed. It was a graduation present from my parents, and it has sentimental value. My husband has made it very clear to them that the car is not currently for sale, is not his to sell, and he will not be encouraging me to do so as they have requested. So here are my questions: am I wrong for not giving or selling my car to them? I technically don't need it. If they continue to address my husband instead of me, and he continues to reiterate that the car isn't his and isn't for sale, would it be rude for me to bring it up to them myself? And if they do address me, do I have to provide an explanation for why I don't want to sell the car? Is it rude to just say no?"
Leah: I can't say what I wrote because it has expletives in it.
Nick: Oh, no, you cannot. But that's how you feel.
Leah: That is how I feel.
Nick: Okay. So you have that kind of strong reaction to this.
Leah: Yes, I very—the idea that somebody would bully you into selling your car to the point where you feel like you have to give them reasons other than ...
Leah: "I'm not selling my car."
Nick: Yeah, that's the end of it. Yeah.
Leah: It's your car!
Nick: [laughs] So a couple things that I actually wanted just to sort of note. So I get the sense from this letter that our letter writer would like to say something to these people.
Leah: That was also my read.
Nick: Yeah. I feel like she would like to say something. She has words that she has inside that she would like to get out. I think I wouldn't say anything.
Leah: I mean, there could be this question with my—you could speak with your spouse and say, "It's really starting to bother me that this keeps coming up."
Leah: "Do you want to either tell them it's a closed issue, or would you like me to speak with them?" Because I can understand that after a while, if it keeps coming up, I would start to feel really disrespected.
Nick: Yeah, that's true. They've asked three times now.
Leah: And I think that I would understand why that would really grind my gears.
Leah: Pun intended!
Nick: Oh! Boo!
Leah: And you would want to say, "We need to pump the brakes on this." And ...
Nick: No. Uh-uh. No, you get one more pun. That's it. Use it wisely.
Leah: But I do think that if you want to end this conversation by saying "It's not coming up anymore," I think we can do that. I would discuss it with my spouse first and say, "It's your family. How would you like to handle this? This is making me very uncomfortable at this point. Should I talk about it with them, or do you want to either tell them it's done? And if they keep bringing it up to you, don't mention it to me because I don't want to be involved anymore. Or do you want me to say no myself?"
Nick: But what is this car? Is this the only used vehicle in a hundred-mile radius? Like, why do we need this car?
Leah: Well, exactly. They should just move on. The answer is no.
Nick: I guess they really want a free car. That's really what they want.
Leah: Well, I think they're also deciding that it's okay for them to say you should only have one car, and because you're married into this family, it should go to somebody you're—you know, which—no!
Nick: Yeah. Yeah, I could see how we kind of got there. Sure. Although I do think we should keep the door open, though, because I think the sentimentality that we have right now will fade when you have to do the smog check and renew the insurance on this extra vehicle. Like, there could be a time when you're like, "Oh, actually, we don't need it. I don't want to pay another year of this. Like, let's just get rid of it now." So I think you do want to keep the door open if your sentimentality does sort of wither.
Leah: Well, I don't know. I feel like she's really irritated with these people, and she's also specifically said that this family doesn't take care of their vehicles.
Leah: So she wouldn't sell it to them anyway.
Nick: But I mean, what are you gonna do when you get rid of it? Call Kars4Kids? I mean, what's gonna happen here?
Leah: Other people will buy it. People who don't trash their cars.
Nick: Oh. I mean, can you imagine, "Oh, we're gonna sell the car, and we're not gonna sell it to you?"
Leah: Well, you just wait until that person buys another car and then you sell it.
Nick: Yeah. You would have to do it that way, yeah.
Leah: You just wait it out. I understand not wanting—I understand having—I had my grandfather's car for a very long time—not wanting somebody who doesn't take care of their stuff to have it, because it meant something to me.
Nick: Yeah, I get that. Sure. Yeah, you don't want to see something that you love get trashed.
Leah: And you're allowed to feel that way. Would I give them an explanation? I don't think you have to.
Nick: No. Well, because the explanation is, "I don't want to be pressured, and you would trash the thing."
Leah: And also, it's sentimental. If you want to say "No, it's sentimental." So adding sentimental, I think is fine if you want to.
Nick: That's fine.
Leah: But you don't have to. But beyond that, I would not explain.
Nick: So I think, yeah, I probably would not bring it up unless you really felt like you needed to. If they bring it up with you directly, then yes, that very polite and direct, like, "Unfortunately, it's not currently for sale. It's sentimental. I'll let you know when it is." I think that you could just leave it there.
Leah: And beyond that, I do think that if you don't want to hear about it anymore, you can speak with your spouse and say this has to be off the table. How do we do that?
Nick: And props to the spouse here, who appears to be doing everything correctly.
Nick: He is making it clear that this is not his to do, and he's not gonna pressure you into doing anything. Like, I think he is really nailing it there. Props to this person.
Leah: Yeah. And that's why I think it's good to, like, get it out so it's no longer in between the two of you.
Nick: Okay. So our next question is, quote, "I've gone to three birthday parties in the past few weeks for people aged one to 38, and it seems like it's a recent trend for people to have generic printed thank-you cards at the party that you're supposed to grab on your way out. I don't know how I feel about this. Are we allowing this behavior? Would it be that hard to stick one in the mail and write a small note? Do you think this is what I want to be doing on a Saturday afternoon?"
Leah: [laughs] I love that last sentence.
Nick: Uh huh. I mean, I know how I feel about this. Leah?
Leah: I just love these because I know so strongly how you feel.
Nick: Mm, yeah. Yeah, we're not allowing this behavior. No. I mean, how lazy can you be? Like, why are you bothering in the first place? Why are we even bothering with this? Because what this is, is we're at the party, and I basically put a sign at the exit that says, "Thank you." That's what this is. And instead of a sign at the exit that says "Thank you," I put a sign and made them smaller and had you grab it on the way out. But that's the same thing. It's a sign that says "Thank you." That's not a thank-you note. That's not the same thing. And that doesn't count. So yeah, what is happening?
Leah: I've actually never heard or seen of this. So ...
Nick: It is a recent thing that has developed. It's relatively new, as far as I understand. It's problematic. I hope it's a blip. I hope it's not a trend. But yeah, I mean, I guess the problem is we have forgotten why we do it in the first place. Like, what is the point of the thank-you note? And the point of the thank-you note is that we want to express gratitude for people who've done nice things for us. That is the point. And so you can't do that generically. It has to be specific. It's a specific expression of gratitude to somebody specific for something specifically that was done. And you can even make it a selfish act. Like, I would like more people to do nice things for me and give me presents. I want that. And one way I can encourage that is by writing these thank-you notes, which would then encourage them to do it again. So you could just think of this as a totally selfish thing, that if you want more free stuff, then you got to do this thing. So that's fine. I'll take that. No problem.
Nick: But also, the fun part of giving gifts is watching someone get the gift and enjoy it, and bringing some delight to their life. Like, as a gift giver, that's part of the fun. And so if you have not expressed any delight whatsoever, then you have deprived me of that part of the gift-giving experience. And so that is rude.
Leah: When I see these questions, I just think of you. So I feel like this is ...
Nick: Yeah. Mm-hmm. Yeah. All you have to do is just push the thank-you note button and I have a lot to say. Yeah, that's it. But I do hope people remember why we do this. Why as a society we do this. Because, like, do we want to live in a society where we don't express gratitude for people who do nice things? Like, I don't want to live in that society, because all that's gonna do is make people not do nice things if there's no gratitude for it.
Leah: Right. I love gratitude.
Nick: Gratitude is great. And whatever reason why you want the gratitude, selfish or not, we want it. So I think we want more of it, and we want to encourage more of it. And one of the ways we do it is by telling people that we like it. We like that gratitude. And the way we do that is through a mechanism we call a thank-you note. So until society comes up with a different way to express gratitude in a meaningful way, this is what we got. So everybody get on board with the thank-you notes, people.
Nick: So do you have questions for us that Leah and I might be passionate about? 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.
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: You know, something a little different, Nick.
Leah: Little different. I think I'd like to vent. [laughs]
Nick: Okay. [laughs] Twist! All right, what do you got?
Leah: Twist. I'm venting. This has been—it was irritating the first time, and then it's happened multiple times, so I thought I would just address the behavior.
Nick: Okay, umbrella.
Leah: An umbrella. And, you know, it's quite possible that I've done this at some point in my life, at which point I apologize. I don't think so, though.
Leah: Any time people find out I've moved to Los Angeles. So this usually happens, like, on a phone call or maybe it's a message. Somebody I haven't seen recently. "Oh, you moved to Los Angeles?" I've had multiple people then respond by telling me why they hate Los Angeles.
Leah: "Oh, I tried living there. It's too big." "Oh, everything was this. I hated this." "I didn't want to live there." You're like, I honestly don't understand why you felt like that's something that you should share in this moment.
Nick: Yeah. Also didn't ask you.
Leah: I didn't ask! You asked me. Why are we just making it negative? And the same thing, I'll tell people I just moved from New York, and then people will then tell me what they hate about New York. "Oh, people are mean. Oh, it's such a hard city."
Leah: And I'll be like, "Well, I liked it."
Leah: I just don't know why people feel the need to respond, and then negatively.
Leah: Well, I'm here.
Nick: Yeah, that's the problem.
Leah: I wanted to move here. I'm excited about it. I'm sorry it didn't work out for you. Are we talking about your life decisions, or did you ask me what I'm doing?
Nick: Yeah. I mean, you don't want to criticize the place that people call home. I think that's a general rule, that that's just very rude. Like, I live there. So don't criticize the place that I live. Like, that's not for you.
Leah: Thank you.
Leah: Maybe I'll just say that. "Please don't criticize." Because it immediately puts you on the defensive. And I don't want to be rude, so I'm always like, "Oh, I'm sorry that you had—oh, well, I hope you found it—" Why am I all of a sudden having to do that?
Nick: Well also, I mean, this happens for New York all the time.
Leah: All the time, people with New York.
Nick: "Oh, you've lived in New York?" I mean—and it's like, "Well, A) I'm sorry you couldn't cut it."
Nick: No, but it's also like, I am not responsible for defending the city of New York City. Like, I can't do that. And yes, New York City? It has its highs, it has its lows, its extremes. That's part of the fun. That's part of the challenge. And it's not for everybody, and that's okay. And nowhere is for everybody. There's not one universal place, other than probably like Scandinavia, that, like, is good for everybody. And, like, it's just about taste. Cities are on different wavelengths, and it's just whether or not that wavelength resonates for you or not. Like, New York does not resonate for everybody. LA? Not for everybody. Small town USA? Not for everybody. And places that fit, that are on your wavelength, those are good fits. And if it's not, if it's discordant, then it's not a good fit. Doesn't mean it's a bad place. It just means it's not a good fit for you. So just because it's not good for you, doesn't mean you need to open your mouth and criticize it for other people.
Leah: Exactly! And may I also say that because I moved, it doesn't mean I hate New York. People look at me and are, "Oh, New York wore you out." No, I absolutely love New York. I'm moving for work stuff. Stop jumping in with opinions that have nothing to do with my life.
Nick: Yeah, that's what it is. That's the kernel. Like, stop criticizing my life.
Leah: Thank you.
Nick: Yeah, I guess that's what it is.
Leah: I needed to be—I needed to be validated. Thank you, Nick.
Nick: [laughs] Well, I'm sorry this happened to you.
Leah: Thank you.
Nick: Well, I would also like to vent.
Leah: Thank goodness!
Nick: So I was actually just at Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, which if you've never been? Phenomenal. I mean, gorgeous. It's acres and acres. It's a cemetery with these gorgeous mausoleums, and all sorts of famous people are buried there. And The Moth, the storytelling group, was having an event. So I went to Greenwood Cemetery, and we are out in this sort of like area between, like, a crypt and a chapel, and there's like a little stage and it's outdoors and there were little folding chairs, and it's like a totally lovely, warm evening. And in front of me are two women, and they're chatting and they're chewing gum. And one of the women takes one of the silver foil wrappers and wraps it around her thumb and then, like, twists the little top and it kind of creates, like, a little dunce cap shape. And then she takes this and she puts it in her palm in such a way that when she smacks the bottom of her hand, the wrapper shoots out of the top. And it shot so high up, like, 10 feet. And it was outdoors, and so there was a little bit of a breeze. And so this fell on some woman, like, four rows forward. And so I see all this happening because it's right in front of me. And I see the woman who got hit, and she doesn't know what happened. All she knows is, like, something just hit her head that was, like, light but, like, noticeable. And then it, like, fell on the ground behind her. And she didn't know what happened.
Nick: And it's like, oh, okay. So not only have you made a loud, disturbing noise, but you've also hit a stranger with something, and now you've littered in a cemetery. We have done all of these things. And then the friend was like, "Ooh, that looks fun. I want to try." And then does it and hits someone else!
Nick: And luckily, it was just two, because the show was about to start. But I was wondering, like, should I say something? Like, what's my role here? I'm seeing all this happen, and they're close enough for me to be able to lean over and say something. So luckily, I was not presented with this choice. But like, should I have said something? I don't know. Like, what do you say? Like, "Hey, can you not?"
Leah: "Can you not hit people with your garbage?"
Nick: Right? "Like, on behalf of society, we had a meeting, and we all agreed you shouldn't do that." So ...
Leah: [laughs] It's like, did you switch bodies with toddlers?
Nick: Yeah. So like, don't litter in a cemetery. Don't hit people with garbage. Like, all of these things. So yeah, that's my vent.
Leah: People are just so—what's going on?
Nick: Yeah. Absent-minded. That's the most charitable explanation.
Leah: Very charitable explanation.
Nick: Yeah, I'm feeling very charitable today.
Leah: And in a cemetery!
Nick: And in a cemetery, I mean—I mean, there's no places this is good, but cemetery? Definitely not good.
Leah: Definitely disrespectful.
Nick: Yeah. 100 percent.
Leah: Imagine if you just leaned in and really you were like, "Ruuuuude."
Nick: Like a ghost?
Leah: [laughs] Yes, like a ghost!
Nick: "Ruuuuude. You're being ruuuuude!" [laughs]
Nick: So Leah, what have we learned?
Leah: I learned that you have your name tag on the right side.
Leah: So—there's actually a logical reason. So when you handshake, it's like a direct line.
Nick: Yes. Some etiquette is logical.
Nick: And I learned that even though you know it's on the right side, you may have trouble knowing which side that is.
Leah: That is very true.
Nick: Well, thank you, Leah.
Leah: Thank you, Nick.
Nick: And thanks to you out there for listening. I'd send you a handwritten thank-you note on my custom stationery if I could. So for your homework this week, we want you to follow us on all the social medias: the Facebook, the Twitter and Instagram.
Leah: Come join us on Instagram. It's a fun time.
Nick: We make all these delightful little posts and videos, and you should see them. So please check it out. Please follow us. 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: So previously I discussed my phenomenal dentist in New York, Dr. Tim Culotta, who one of our listeners actually wrote in, and also knew him and loved him.
Leah: Such a delight! He's making people's lives better all over. And he hooked me up with somebody that he knew in Los Angeles, Dr. Disraeli, who's a dentist. And they communicated with each other about, like, my dental issues. And I get very anxious with things in my mouth. And I went, and he'd already talked with Dr. Culotta, and he was totally prepared for me. And they had the Animal Planet playing in the background.
Leah: And they were just so absolutely terrific and wonderful and good to talk to. And I'm so grateful.
Nick: That's very nice. And for me, we got a lovely review, which is quote, "*Were You Raised By Wolves" is wildly entertaining, educational and relatable. Nick and Leah are a perfect pair, just simply a delight to listen to each week. The show is expertly organized and edited. No rambling or long-winded tangents here. Although I wouldn't mind a little of that from these two. Can't get enough. My only criticism is that the bonus episodes do not include the amazing and very danceable theme song at the introduction."
Leah: So sweet!
Nick: That's very nice. And I do run a very tight ship in the show. But if you want rambling, head on over to Patreon. I just gave Leah permission to post on her own, so she's now unsupervised. And so there's lots of content she's posing on Patreon. So check that out if you're interested. And thank you.
Leah: Thank you. And I think maybe this is a great time to steer people over to our Cordials of Kindness?
Nick: Oh, third pun!
Leah: Third pun!
Nick: That was your limit.
Leah: Had to get it in!
Nick: But yes, you could also submit your own cordials of kindness at CordialsofKindness.com.
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