Nick Leighton, Host of the “Were You Raised by Wolves?” podcast, is a two-time Emmy® Award-winning talk show host and journalist originally from a small hippie commune in Northern California. Nick also produces and edits the podcast and currently resides in Manhattan. Along with acclaimed comedian Leah Bonnema (Late Show with Stephen Colbert), this perfect odd couple is trying to make the world a nicer, more polite place and offer up practical advice to help you smoothly glide through any situation.
We are so excited to bring you this collaboration with WYRBW, and recently spoke with Nick about etiquette, manners, and beyond!
1. So, why etiquette?
Society is like a big machine with lots of moving parts…and etiquette is the lubricant that keeps everything running smoothly. Without it, the machine quickly breaks and then stops working. And a society that stops working isn’t a society anyone wants to live in. But what is etiquette? For me, it simply comes down to being mindful of other people…their feelings, their property, their time, and their space. And all etiquette “rules” essentially boil down to “what is the thing that will show the most consideration to another person,” even the seemingly arbitrary and fussy ones about what fork to use or whose name gets listed first on an invitation.
2. Who is your go-to manners guru when faced with an etiquette conundrum?
Among the etiquette greats, I am most philosophically aligned with Judith Martin, better known as Miss Manners. For any etiquette conundrum, I always reach for her “Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior” first…it’s a classic and a must for any home.
3. Do you find the rules of etiquette are changing as we move towards a more digital world?
There’s always the temptation to try to come up with new etiquette rules for new technologies. But at its core, being kind and considerate is timeless, no matter how digitized our lives become. Is it rude to make fun of someone’s weight by telegram? Yes. Is it rude to do it in a TikTok video? Still yes!
4. What is your favorite piece of etiquette advice that most people might not know about?
Lovers of Dempsey & Carroll are surely an exception, but most people don’t know about slashing names on personal correspondence to make the note even more personal. What I particularly love about it is that this thoughtful gesture is simply not something that can be achieved in an email or text message.
5. Do you set aside time to write each week? Catch up on correspondence when the mood strikes or as needed?
For hand-written thank you notes, those are almost always in the mail within one business day. The trick is to ensure that everything you need is always available and easy to grab…I have all my stationery and stamps in a box near my desk, so it’s easy to grab and go. (If you keep your stationery on a high shelf in the back of the closet or don’t ensure you always have stamps handy, the chances of forgetting to send that note dramatically increase.) And even when I travel, I always bring a handful of blank cards, envelopes, and stamps with me in case I ever need to write a note while away from home.
6. What was your inspiration behind this stationery collaboration?
Every week on Were You Raised by Wolves?, we try to help make the world a kinder, more polite place by reminding everyone that good manners isn’t just about what fork to use or not taking your socks off on an airplane. At its core, it’s really just about being mindful and thoughtful of others. And while there are certainly lots of ways to be mindful and thoughtful, there are few more powerful tools in our arsenal than the handwritten note. And what I find particularly amazing is that the huge impact these notes have is so disproportionate to the incredibly low effort actually required to send them…it’s truly shocking that more people simply don’t do it. But maybe they just don’t know? So, we were inspired to create a line of stationery and could think of no better partner than Dempsey & Carroll to help introduce more people to the wonderful world of stationery so they can experience first hand just how life changing sending hand-written notes can be.
At Dempsey & Carroll, we’re all about #makingtraditionsmodern and the stationery collection we’ve created with WYRBW does just that.
Our Were You Raised by Wolves? boxed stationery pairs classic Dempsey stationery hand-painted with a gray border, and envelopes hand-lined in a bold pattern with pops of WYBRW Signature Red.
The Bespoke Collection has stunning mix-n-match options, from something streamlined and chic to something luxurious and magnifique, for those who want something a little more custom.
Our “No Excuses” box contains everything you need to get writing right away (we even threw in some stamps, on us!), as well as some advice for sending a great handwritten note no matter the occasion.
Ready to start writing? Shop the entire collection on our site here.