Chopstick Etiquette, Removing Socks on a Plane, Splitting the Bill, and More – Were You Raised By Wolves?, Hosted by Leah Bonnema and Nick Leighton

Check out the Were Your Raised by Wolves? Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • Chopsticks should not be scraped together, placed vertically in rice, or used to “harpoon” food
  • It’s rude to ask someone what they do for a living or where they went to school
    • Why? – These questions have socio-economic implications
    • Instead, for a better conversation opener, ask: How do you spend your free time?
  • Only take your shoes off on an airplane if you’re wearing socks and you don’t have a foot odor problem!
  • When splitting the bill at a restaurant, 99% of the time, just divide it equallydon’t pull out the calculator
    • If one person ordered a considerably more expensive meal, they should offer to get the tip
  • If your wedding is outside or has potential environmental challenges for your guests, disclose that information in the invitation or provide for their comfort


Japanese Chopstick Etiquette              

  • Wooden chopsticks are called waribashi
  • Avoid scraping chopsticks together when you split them apart (it’s considered rude)
  • Never pass food from one pair of chopsticks to the other
  • If reaching for food on a communal platter, flip the chopsticks around and use the back side
  • Use a chopstick rest if one is available (or make your own out of the chopstick wrapper)
  • Don’t spear food – a chopstick is not a harpoon!

Is it okay to ask someone what they do for a living?

  • No, it puts a person in a socio-economic box
    • If someone wants to talk about their job, they’ll bring it up
  • For a conversation opener, try: How do you spend your free time?
  • It’s also rude to ask where someone went to school – again, it’s a socio-economic question

If you’re a house guest and the place is messy, is it okay to clean it?

  • “There is no way to do this without it being an implicit critique of your host” – Nick Leighton
  • If the home condition bothers you, decline future invitations and stay in a hotel
  • However, doing the dishes is okay
  • Rearranging furniture is not okay

Is it acceptable to take your shoes off on an airplane?

  • Ground rules:
    • Keep your socks on
    • If you have a foot odor problem, keep your shoes on!
    • Never walk down the aisle with socks, especially if you’re heading to the bathroom

Bill-Splitting Etiquette

  • Most of the time, just split the bill equally
  • When the check comes, be quick – don’t pull out the calculator!
  • What about big eater (steak/wine) vs. modest eater (salad/water) situations?
    • It helps if the person who spent more offers to get the tip
  • Another option: one person pays the full bill and Venmo requests everyone later with what they owe
    • This is a preferred method to doing calculations table-side
  • A note on tip etiquette:
    • You have to tip, even if your meal was just $5
      • “The waiter should not be penalized because you feel like you’re being screwed by you friends” – Nick Leighton

Do you need to give specifics about the wedding environment to your guests?

  • If there are environmental concerns (such as mosquitoes in Maine) you should disclose that in advance or provide for the comfort of your guests
    • For example – hand out citronella candles
  • If it’s an outdoor wedding, specify this in the invitation
    • Be clear – a vague reference such as “stilettos not advised” isn’t helpful

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