Questions for Reflection
In each episode, we offer you a few prompts to think about how that day's conversation applies to you. Our supporters over at Buy Me a Coffee now have exclusive access to the PDF versions of all our Questions for Reflection. Join us today!
Beth Demme (00:03):
Welcome to the Discovering Our Scars podcast.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:05):
Where we have honest conversations about things that make us different. I'm Steph.
Beth Demme (00:09):
And I'm Beth.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:10):
I've been in recovery for 14 years, and am the author of Discovering My Scars, my memoir about my mental health struggles, experiences, and faith.
Beth Demme (00:16):
I'm a lawyer turned pastor who's all about self-awareness and emotional health, because I know what it's like to have neither of those things.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:23):
Beth and I have been friends for years, have gone through a recovery program together, and when I wanted to start a podcast she was the only name that came to mind as co-host.
Beth Demme (00:30):
I didn't hesitate to say yes, because I've learned a lot from honest conversations with Steph over the years.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:35):
We value honest conversations and we hope you do too.
Beth Demme (00:38):
That's why we do this, and why we want you to be part of what we are discussing today. On today's show, we're going to have an honest conversation titled, "Excuse You?"
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:46):
Then we'll share a slice-of-life and the show will close with questions for reflection, where we will invite you to reflect on the conversation in your own life.
Beth Demme (00:54):
So what if, right now, as we're recording, I were to sneeze? What would you do or say?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:01):
First of all, I would roll my eyes and I'd say, "Are you done?" And then, I would cut it out of the episode.
Beth Demme (01:07):
Right, right, right.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:09):
And then we'd move on, because sneezing is a normal human function that happens, and you do that function and then you move on.
Beth Demme (01:20):
Yes. This is one of my, in my views, one of your flaws. Maybe your only flaw.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:25):
That I think sneezing is a normal human function?
Beth Demme (01:28):
That you won't say, "Bless you" when somebody sneezes.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:30):
Beth Demme (01:30):
Why is that ... It's not a hard thing to do.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:32):
Why do you need to be blessed by me when you sneeze? What? How does that make any sense? What if you hiccup? Do I say, "Bless you" to that?
Beth Demme (01:45):
No. Let's see. If I got the hiccups, I think I would say, "Oh, excuse me."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:49):
Why? It's a normal bodily function.
Beth Demme (01:52):
I mean, it's not ...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:54):
Can you control hiccups?
Beth Demme (01:56):
No, I guess not, although you can make them stop.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:58):
Can you control a sneeze? Should you stop yourself from sneezing? Is it important to sneeze?
Beth Demme (02:05):
Well, I think there are ways you could minimize a sneeze.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:09):
No, I'm not saying sneeze on somebody. You can control where the sneeze lands.
Beth Demme (02:13):
Yeah, and how big and loud it is, I think. This whole conversation is really making me want to sneeze.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:19):
You know what makes me sneeze?
Beth Demme (02:20):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:21):
Beth Demme (02:22):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:22):
Yeah, there's a certain percentage of people, maybe like 10% or 5% of people, that the sun makes them sneeze. And it makes me sneeze.
Beth Demme (02:30):
Well, if we were outside on a sunny day and you sneezed, I would say, "Oh, bless you" or, "God bless you" or, "Gesundheit."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:37):
And I would just roll my eyes like, "Girl, I'm just having a normal bodily function." Why? Why do we say, "Bless you"? Even better, "God bless you"?
Beth Demme (02:48):
Yeah, I don't know the whole history of it, but I don't think it has a bad intent.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:53):
No, I have heard ... and I probably should have looked this up before. I have heard that the reason we say, "God bless you" is because, back in the day, people thought when you sneezed, that the devil could enter your body during that moment that you sneeze, and so people say "God bless you" to you so that God keeps you safe from the devil. Come on.
Beth Demme (03:14):
Yeah, and I heard something about like, you lose consciousness for a moment, and so it's like an offer of protection.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:22):
Beth Demme (03:22):
But I don't say it for those reasons.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:24):
Beth Demme (03:24):
I think those ancient, ancient reasons are gone and it's more just a matter of common courtesy.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:29):
Beth Demme (03:30):
Why does there have to be a why? Why can't it just be?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:33):
Why? No, this is one of those things that's like, why do we do this? There are so many things that we just do automatically because it's what we do, like handshaking. Why do we handshake? Why did that become a thing that we do? And how do we stop that from happening? I think we figured it out.
Beth Demme (03:51):
Well, I think it probably started because humans like to have ways to greet each other. It's a part of interpersonal communication. So it's a form of greeting. Excuse me.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:59):
Well, I don't even know what that was.
Beth Demme (04:06):
It was almost like a couple of little hiccups.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:10):
That was great. That was a great example here. And you were trying to hold them back, right? Because we're doing an audio podcast. You didn't want that to be in the audio, although I would just edit it out and it would not have been a big deal.
Beth Demme (04:26):
But it's not a big deal to say, "Excuse me." It's not a big deal to say, "Bless you." It's not like-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:29):
Beth Demme (04:30):
It's not like I'm really sacrificing something if I say, "Bless you."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:33):
Beth Demme (04:35):
But I don't understand why not? Why? Because it is a way to be polite. Why? Because it is a way to acknowledge care. Why? Because it is a way to offer kindness.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:46):
About what, though? I just don't get it, we have to acknowledge that you made some kind of ... your body did some kind of action. I don't know why that has to be acknowledged. I just don't get it. I don't understand why we need to do that.
Beth Demme (05:01):
I don't understand why you don't want to acknowledge it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:05):
Do you acknowledge when someone walks? Their body is making an action happen.
Beth Demme (05:08):
If they trip, I would acknowledge it because that would be an unusual way to walk, just like if you sneeze, that's an unusual way to breathe. Or you yawn, or you ... you know? Those are unusual things.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:21):
Okay, so one of our guests, Emily, we had early on in the podcast, she has a different type of walk, right? When she walks.
Beth Demme (05:30):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:30):
So, would you acknowledge that? Because that's different than what you're used to seeing in a walk.
Beth Demme (05:35):
No, because I think I would recognize that that is a normal walk for her. But I hope I would still acknowledge it if she tripped.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:44):
So you're saying, if someone trips and you want to make sure they're okay?
Beth Demme (05:48):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:49):
I mean, I'm not against making sure someone's okay. But if someone sneezes, has there ever been ... I mean, probably, very rare.
Beth Demme (05:59):
I would say it's-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:00):
But how often, when someone sneezes, are they in distress that they need assistance? And if they needed assistance, I think I would have no problem helping someone in that situation. If they sneeze and then blood came out or something. Okay.
Beth Demme (06:15):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:15):
Well, I'm just saying, that would be something to acknowledge. That would be something to acknowledge. But why are we acknowledging just a sneeze?
Beth Demme (06:27):
Maybe part of it is to acknowledge that it was out of their control, to acknowledge that you know they're not being rude, right? Because it's not like you sneeze and then you say, "Excuse me." You sneeze, and then whoever's around you ... I'm looking at you, Steph, is supposed to say, "Bless you." That's how it works.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:43):
Why? What do you say if someone burps?
Beth Demme (06:45):
Well, if I were to burp, I would say, "Excuse me." And that's what I taught my children. If you're the one who burps, you say, "Oh, excuse me."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:52):
Beth Demme (06:52):
Because really, you should be able to control that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:54):
No, you can't control your burps. And you don't need to hold back a burp. Your body needs to get it out. That's why it's-
Beth Demme (07:00):
You can let it out without it being a belch.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:03):
Well, you do have control over like, how intense it is. But I mean, a burp is a burp. Why is that something to be ashamed of? "Oh, I'm so sorry that I made a noise. I so sorry." Why is that necessary?
Beth Demme (07:20):
I think it's part of how we interact in society. So for my kids, I think it would have been bad if I hadn't taught them that, because then they're going to go out into the world and not know the societal conventions that we all operate under.
Beth Demme (07:36):
But what you're saying is, why do we operate under those? And I don't really know, but I also don't really feel like I need to change them. Not those. There may be other things, I don't know, that need to be changed. But it's not hard to say, "Oh, bless you." It's not hard to say, "Excuse me."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:50):
It's not hard to do it, but why are we doing it? And why are we making it seem like it's not okay for your body to go through normal processes? I feel like if you say, "Excuse me" or "I'm sorry, dah dah dah," you're putting shame on something that is normal for everybody to do.
Beth Demme (08:08):
I disagree. I think that by acknowledging it, we're acknowledging that it's not shameful.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:13):
I completely disagree. I think it's completely the opposite. I think by acknowledging it and by putting these standards that people have to apologize for these things, we're putting shame on it and we're saying, "That's not okay. You don't need to do that around people."
Beth Demme (08:28):
So, "Excuse me" is an apology?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:31):
"Excuse me." Yeah. I think you're saying like, "I'm sorry that I took up this space and time and I should have been able to control my body and I can't." No, you shouldn't be able to control my body. Your body needs to do what your body needs to do. I think there's so much where like, we try to ... I mean, that's a little extreme, but people have plastic surgery because they're aging and their face is changing and they want to look young.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:01):
And aging is natural. Aging is what our bodies naturally do. Everyone can make their own choice. I'm not putting people down for the choices they make, but I think it's important ... For me, I want to age naturally. I earned those wrinkles.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:20):
That shows my age and where I am in life, so I mean, obviously, I will feel differently and I'm a human being, so probably I'll have all the feelings that people have. I'm still asking my hairdresser, "Do you see gray? Is there any gray in my hair?" "No, no." "When will I get gray? Will I need to dye it? How does that happen?"
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:41):
And I have no idea. I don't know how I'll address all of that. But where I am and sit today, I think it's important to let our bodies do what they are made to do. And so, I don't understand why we have these social norms of apologizing, blessing for things that are just normal.
Beth Demme (10:01):
I'm going to stick to what I said. I think that it's to acknowledge that it's not something to be ashamed of. "Oh, yeah. That's normal." So you just say, "Oh, excuse me," and you move on. And also, you know that you try to do your best to minimize how it comes out, right? So a small burp is more acceptable than a loud belch.
Beth Demme (10:22):
For example, I wouldn't want to be in a restaurant and hear someone at the table next to me belching. That's unpleasant. So I like that we kind of encourage people to minimize those things, and to acknowledge them in a small way.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:40):
Well, you're just a proper lady, now aren't you?
Beth Demme (10:42):
I mean, if you sneezed, I would say, "Bless you."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:48):
"I like people to be seen and not heard."
Beth Demme (10:48):
I would say, "Bless you," not with the intent of shaming you because had sneezed, but of saying, "Oh, yeah. That's something that happens. Are you okay?" I mean, that's what "Bless you" really is.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:57):
Who is not okay after a sneeze? How often are someone not okay after they sneeze? In normal, just general everyday, if someone sneezes ...
Beth Demme (11:08):
Well, one sneeze, maybe. But I have actually been in situations where ... I'm thinking about many years ago, many years pre-COVID, when I went to a convention, a women's convention. It was a Mothers of Preschoolers convention.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:23):
Oh, I'm sorry. I noticed that you had to clear your throat.
Beth Demme (11:25):
Yeah, excuse me.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:25):
I apologize that you had to clear your throat. Wait, what's the word? What do you say when someone clears their throat?
Beth Demme (11:30):
I don't think you have to say anything for that. So anyway, there was a woman who was having an allergic reaction to something that someone else was wearing, and so she was having a sneezing fit, right? And she needed help. She needed to be helped out of the room so that she could get fresh air.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:49):
Well, I would agree with that. I would say that, if someone sneezes multiple times, there could easily be a situation ... or someone even turning red in their face, they could be having an allergic reaction. And I think I totally agree, if you have any suspect that someone is in distress and in need of help, for sure, asking if they need anything. For sure. And that's not what I think we're talking about. We're talking about just an everyday occurrence, someone sneezes. I just stand by, I don't know why we do it.
Beth Demme (12:20):
I think it's interesting that you need a "why" in order to do it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:23):
I need a "why" for everything.
Beth Demme (12:24):
Yeah, that's interesting.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:26):
I'm not a big fan of weddings, because I feel like they're just this ... I feel a lot of weddings are, "Well, this is what we do. We do this because it's what we've always done." I am not someone that enjoys doing things just because this is how it's always been done. I want to question. I want to know why.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:44):
And if you do a wedding exactly how they've always been done because that's meaningful for you, 100% I support that. But just doing it because that's what we do? Why? Do something that's meaningful to you. If it's meaningful for you to do all the rituals of everything, do that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:01):
But I want to know why everything is done, and I want to consciously make those choices in my life because I know what the meaning is behind it. I mean, I think that's a good thing to question because there's a lot of things that we've done, and now I'm learning, there's a lot of things that we've done in our lives that are racist, that have been perpetuated racism, that we just have done and not even known why we're doing them.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:28):
And things we've said and not even realized how racist they are. I mean, just the sheer fact of, "Oh, I don't see color." I've said that before. That's wrong. That's racist. Things that I didn't even know, because I never even questioned. "Oh, that's just what we're supposed to do. We're not supposed to see color."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:45):
But by questioning these things, by stepping back and ... And so I do question everything. I try to question like, "Why am I doing this? Why am I saying this?" I'm not saying I don't do things that are social norms. Yes, if someone sneezes, I can't say 100% I'm never going to say that I don't acknowledge it. It depends on who I'm with, and if they know my stance on it, then we're good.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:05):
And also like, Santa Claus. If I'm with somebody that knows my stance, I'm going to come at Santa. But if they don't, then I'll just be like, "Oh, great. Santa." I believe in respecting the people you're with. If that's what we're getting down to, I do believe in respecting the people that we're with, and making everyone comfortable.
Beth Demme (14:24):
If I burp or have some other bodily function in front of you, I'm going to say, "Oh, excuse me."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:28):
And I'm going to roll my eyes. Just so we're clear on that.
Beth Demme (14:32):
And you're not going to grant me the excuse that I am requesting.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:35):
What happens if someone vomits in front of you?
Beth Demme (14:37):
Oh, my word. I'm probably going to vomit myself.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:41):
But what's the social norm if someone vomits in front of you?
Beth Demme (14:47):
I think it's to go, "Ugh!"
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:50):
It just irritates-
Beth Demme (14:51):
When's the last time somebody vomited in front of me, who wasn't in my care?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:55):
At a theme park. I've had it happen. As a cast member, it's called ... Oh, it's called a "protein spill."
Beth Demme (15:01):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:02):
You call it in to maintenance as a protein spill and they have this stuff they pour on it that makes it ...
Beth Demme (15:08):
I remember that from elementary school. [crosstalk 00:15:10]
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:10):
Yeah. Yeah. We'll just say it puts it together and then they just wipe that right up.
Beth Demme (15:13):
Yeah, they sweep it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:14):
Oh, I've had a lot of those. Yeah, so it wasn't even from my rides, because I worked at a show first and then I worked at Toy Story, which was not really ... It doesn't make people get sick.
Beth Demme (15:23):
It's not vomit-inducing.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:24):
No, but it was probably ... They must have vomited from something else, something they ate or something they had gone on before. Yeah. Yeah, I've seen many protein spills in my day.
Beth Demme (15:35):
I went whale watching many years ago, off the coast of Boston, and it was rough seas. And I have a tendency to have motion sickness, but I never had had it like this. And I spent the entire whale watching cruise or whatever you call it, the couple of hours, I spent the entire time vomiting into a bag.
Beth Demme (15:52):
And it was super embarrassing, because I knew ... and I wasn't the only one. It happened to several people, but still, I knew that was gross for the people around me, but what could I do? I had a bag and I got sick into it over and over and over again.
Beth Demme (16:08):
I tried to do it as quietly as I could, but yeah. There was no controlling it. There was no stopping it, and I'm sure that it was gross for all the people who were whale watching. It was also the first time that Hannah ever vomited. And it happened, and then she looked at us and said, "What jus' happ'ing?"
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:27):
Aw. How old was she?
Beth Demme (16:28):
She would have been like three. Sorry, Hannah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:34):
It's interesting you say, "Sorry." That you were so apologetic.
Beth Demme (16:38):
Well, that was sort of an off-hand "sorry," wasn't it?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:40):
Well, I guess that's an interesting thing too. How often do we off-hand "sorry"? How often do we really mean, "sorry"? And why does it seem like women say, "I'm sorry" so often?
Beth Demme (16:51):
I did have a social situation recently where I made a mistake and said that I was sorry, and it was not accepted. And I'm still a little bit aggravated by it. We had gone down to visit our son, who is in college, and so we were out of town.
Beth Demme (17:06):
And we were waiting in line at an ice cream shop, and you could only have a couple of people in the shop because of COVID. And so, the rest of us were waiting. The line kind of forms outside the shop. It was one of those situations where it wasn't completely clear where the line was supposed to be, so there had been some confusion.
Beth Demme (17:24):
But we had found our place and we were waiting in line, and we were the next ones who were going to go in. And as we were waiting for our turn to go in, a dad and two small children came up and went to the door. And I said, "Oh, hey. The line's back here."
Beth Demme (17:36):
And he said, "I'm not going in there!" And I said, "Okay, sorry. I misunderstood what you were doing." And then he circled back to berate me some more. "Yeah, you are sorry, aren't you?"
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:48):
Beth Demme (17:49):
Yeah. Yeah. And he was like, "I'm a veteran. You shouldn't be talking to me." And I was like, "Or you could just accept my apology since I misunderstood." It was weird.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:00):
"I'm a veteran so you shouldn't be talking to me." There's a lot wrong there. Wow.
Beth Demme (18:04):
Yeah. There's a lot wrong. There was a lot wrong with the whole situation, and it was-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:07):
He was trying to say he wasn't going into the shop, so you didn't even need to point out?
Beth Demme (18:10):
Yeah. He was saying that I was wrong to have assumed that he was trying to cut in the line. And that really wasn't what I was doing. It was more like, "Oh, if you're going in, you must not realize that the line is back here. So hey, the line's back here." I wasn't rude about it. I wasn't like, "Hey, you! The line's back here!"
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:26):
Beth Demme (18:26):
"What do you think you're doing?" I really wasn't. I was light-hearted about it like, "Hey, the line's back here." And he had a way overblown reaction to it. And I know it embarrassed his kids.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:38):
It sounds like he realized he did something wrong when you said that, but he doesn't like being pointed out that he did something wrong. And then he was just ... That's what it sounds like to me. Like he was going to get ice cream.
Beth Demme (18:51):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:52):
And he didn't realize the line was longer, and he didn't want to look like he was ...
Beth Demme (18:58):
Doing the wrong thing.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:58):
Yeah, doing the wrong thing or ... and especially to bring up the veteran thing.
Beth Demme (19:02):
Yeah. I mean, maybe he thought I was saying he was a bad person and so that's why he was like, "I'm a veteran. I'm not a bad person." And I really was not saying he was a bad person.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:09):
Yeah, you were just pointing out. Yeah.
Beth Demme (19:09):
Especially, it was so easy to misunderstand where the line was in that situation, so that's why I was just like, "Hey, by the way, the line's back here." It's no big deal.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:17):
Yeah. Well, and that's why a lot of times, I just don't say anything because I ... especially in this day and age, for those kind of things, I just don't say anything because people just are reacting horribly. I feel like more than ever, in society, people are acting horrible.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:34):
If someone's not wearing a mask, I know that's a statement. And I think if someone's not wearing a mask and forgot it, and if you were to say something to just point it out and they go, "Oh, I'm so sorry." I think that's probably like 5%, maybe, of people not wearing a mask.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:55):
My mom, we were going into Sam's the other day, and we're walking. She's like, "Oh, that smells so good." And I was like, "What?" Because I thought, I was like, "I don't smell anything." And I realized she didn't have her mask on.
Beth Demme (20:04):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:04):
We were outside still. And I was like, "Mom, where's your mask?" She's like, "Oh my gosh!" She goes back to the car. And I think that's-
Beth Demme (20:11):
I've done that too. I've had to go back to the car and get my mask and it's like, all of a sudden I realize, "Oh, wait. I don't have my mask on." And I go back to get it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:15):
Yeah. I think that's a very small percentage. But the people that are inside, not wearing a mask, smiling at you? They know they're not wearing a mask. When they've been walking around a while, they know. And I'm not going to say anything to them because I know it's not going to end well.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:31):
And so, a lot of times, those kind of situations, I just don't say anything anymore, because I've gotten beat up like that, where people just will yell at you. And it's just like, "You know? I got to protect myself. I don't want that in my space."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:45):
And so I would probably just let them ... I don't know. Because at that point, then you feel like you're defending the line for everybody that's been waiting patiently, so I don't know. I don't know what I would have done specifically in that situation.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:59):
Also a lot of times, people will realize themselves and be like, "Oh, wait. Was this the line?" And you go, "Oh, yeah. It's back there." And then they just do it. And I would say, "I'm sorry" if I realized that I had cut it in line. I'd be like, "Oh, I'm so sorry. I didn't realize." And then I would go.
Beth Demme (21:15):
Right, because you would genuinely be sorry. You didn't intend to cut the line. That's a genuine thing. "I made a mistake."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:22):
Yeah, I think there are people that intend to.
Beth Demme (21:27):
I had someone basically accuse me of overusing the word "sorry" in a way that still kind of irritates me, because instead of saying, "I've noticed that you use the word 'sorry' a lot," they said ... We were working on a project together and they said, "You probably started your email to so-and-so with 'Sorry.'"
Beth Demme (21:49):
And I was like, "No? I didn't. What are you trying to say?" I mean, it was just this weird thing. But it made me realize that some people are sensitive, maybe, to the overuse of the word "sorry." Whereas I probably do tend to throw it around quite a bit.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:05):
Well, I feel like ... like I was saying, I do feel like people overuse the word. I haven't really noticed you doing that specifically, so I don't know about the situation. Maybe it was somebody that was just really sensitive with that word, which I'm not really sensitive with the word.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:23):
I just feel like when you overuse a word, it loses its meaning, and then you can't really trust, "Is somebody sorry, since they always say that word?" So, yeah. I don't know that I'm sensitive to the word in the sense of like, if people say it to me ... Was it somebody that you said "I'm sorry" to a lot?
Beth Demme (22:41):
I didn't think so.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:43):
Beth Demme (22:44):
I am pretty quick to own my own stuff, and so if there's been a miscommunication, I'm very likely to say, "Sorry I didn't communicate that well." Right? Because I don't like it when there are miscommunications, and if I have had some part in that, then I am sorry for that. But I'm not sorry that I am taking up space or that I exist. It's not that. It's just, I do want to own my own stuff.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:13):
Yeah. Well, I think that's a good way of using "sorry," is owning your stuff. Exactly. Maybe people that are sensitive, it's hard for them to own their own stuff. Maybe that's where that comes from.
Beth Demme (23:25):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:27):
If you're with somebody that constantly says, "I'm sorry" because they're taking responsibility, and you're not able to do that, I could see where that could irk you, to see somebody being healthy and taking responsibility. Interesting.
Beth Demme (23:41):
Yeah, being self-aware enough to know, "Oh, I could have done this better." Yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:45):
Yeah. It is hard. It is hard to own your own stuff. I think it's a pretty normal, human thing where we don't want to be wrong. And I think that's kind of what that guy was realizing is, he was wrong. And he didn't want to own that, and he didn't want that pointed out in front of a group of people and his kids.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:04):
And obviously, that was not your intention, but it was his past that must have created his reaction, his overreaction to something as simple as, "Oh, the line's back here."
Beth Demme (24:17):
Right, yeah. He definitely received it as an assassination of his character, which is not the intent with which it was offered. It was like, "This is an honest mistake, but the line's back here."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:28):
Yeah, which I mean, I can't see how you could have done that any differently.
Beth Demme (24:33):
Yeah. Do you think this is more of an issue for women than for men?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:38):
I feel like I hear women say it all the time. I do feel like I hear ... There are certain women that I hear say it all the time, especially people online that I hear just say it all the time, just for everything. Yeah. I don't know. I can't think of specific examples but I feel like it's a term that I do hear women say a lot.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:01):
And that does kind of bother me. I feel like it's very social ... a social norm for women to apologize for everything. And in that sense, I feel like it's overused and it loses meaning when we just say it for everything.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:17):
I probably say it ... I don't know. I've never really noticed how often I say it, so I don't know. And I don't interact with a lot of people, so I probably say it to my mom, but probably not as much as I would to somebody else. I don't know. I feel like I only say it if I really mean it.
Beth Demme (25:33):
Have there been situations that you've been in where you felt like somebody should say, "Excuse me" and they didn't? Because you're not big on, "Bless you." I get that. We've established that. But have there been times where you were like, "Yeah, that needed an 'excuse me'"?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:47):
Like for a bodily function that happened?
Beth Demme (25:50):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:51):
I guess the good thing about when someone says, "Excuse me," is pointing out that something out of the ordinary is happening. And so, by them acknowledging something out of the ordinary is happening, I can then acknowledge it, that I recognized it as that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:07):
So, if that's the bar that we're talking about, it makes me think of this ... Okay, this is so weird. This is weird and probably not related, but ...
Beth Demme (26:17):
Lay it on me.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:18):
I was in my 20s or right before 20s or something. I was in community college at the time. And I had randomly met this guy in New York that was from Tallahassee. So random. Guess what store I met him at?
Beth Demme (26:35):
The Apple store?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:37):
So close. I met him at this store called, "B&H Photo and Video," and it's a video and all technology store.
Beth Demme (26:46):
That wouldn't have been my second guess. My second guess would have been Lego.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:48):
Beth Demme (26:49):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:49):
Yeah, I've met some guys there. Yeah. Anyways, I was buying a hard drive. And there, I met this guy that lived in Tallahassee, and that's where I'm from, and that was so crazy. So anyways, we started talking online and were friends.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:04):
And he was going to be in Tallahassee, and so we were going to go see a movie. And I was like, "Oh, do you want to grab some food before in the food court?" And he's like, "Oh, yeah. Let's do that." So, that was the scenario and we go. We ate at Chick-Fil-A in the food court. And we sit down and we go to get our food, and then he takes his teeth out.
Beth Demme (27:26):
Oh, my word.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:27):
And puts them on the table.
Beth Demme (27:29):
Wait, wait, wait, wait. How many teeth did he take out, do you think?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:33):
It was front teeth. It was maybe like, four or five teeth. I don't know.
Beth Demme (27:39):
Oh, no. Bless his heart.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:40):
I was disturbed the whole teeth, so I don't really know and I didn't know what was happening.
Beth Demme (27:45):
Surely, he said, "Excuse me. I just have this thing that I can't eat with."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:48):
No, see, that's what I'm saying. He didn't say anything, and so for me, I wish I had something ahead of time so I would ... If he was like, "Hey, yeah. I'm totally cool with going to food first, but just so you know, I have a couple missing teeth and I have this retainer thing that holds my teeth ..." Yeah, I don't know. If he had told me ahead of time, I wouldn't have been so freaked out in the moment. But yeah, he didn't-
Beth Demme (28:10):
And also, he could have said, "No, let's just go to the movies."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:12):
I know. That's what I was thinking, too.
Beth Demme (28:13):
Why agree to a meal? Oh, my word.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:14):
I know. Because it was just going to be like a quick thing, because in a movie, you don't really get to talk and so that's why I thought we would be able to talk before. But I had nothing to talk about because I was just so distracted by this teeth thing.
Beth Demme (28:26):
Well, and he probably didn't want to talk while he had his teeth out, right?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:30):
Oh, just the memories. They're not the best. Oh my gosh. Yes. Yeah. I don't know. I hope he doesn't listen to the podcast. He's a good guy. He's married now. I think he has some kids. That's awesome. That's cool. I don't know.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:47):
But in that situation, yes. I would have liked him to acknowledge that that was out of the ordinary for normal situations and to have said something, or even just joked about it or something. That would have helped alleviate the awkwardness.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:00):
Because I do agree. If there was awkwardness created, I do think it's important to acknowledge it. But to me, someone sneezing doesn't create awkwardness, because that's pretty normal. That's a normal thing. My body does that. Your body does it. That's normal. But it's out of the norm for people to take their teeth out. It just is.
Beth Demme (29:19):
It is. It is.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:19):
And so, to acknowledge that, I'm cool with that. Yeah, so I guess that would be a situation where I thought maybe a little "excuse me" would have worked, or just acknowledgement.
Beth Demme (29:27):
Some way to acknowledge it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:27):
Acknowledgement, it doesn't have to be that you're sorry. You don't need to be sorry that you have fake teeth. Obviously, there might be a story there of how that happened. But just a heads-up, I would have enjoyed. So I guess, bottom line, I think there is no need to point out normal bodily functions. And you think it is highly important to point them out for people so they know that it is okay that their bodies did a normal thing.
Beth Demme (30:00):
Bottom line is, I'm not offended as long as somebody says, "Excuse me."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:04):
Well, you just brought in a whole new thing. You said bottom line is that you are offended when somebody's body does a normal bodily function unless they acknowledge it. That's a whole nother level. You are offended when someone burps at you? Well, they're not burping at you.
Beth Demme (30:21):
I mean, I do think it's rude. I think it's rude to-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:23):
Well, is "rude" and "offend" different?
Beth Demme (30:25):
I was using them interchangeably. I don't know. To think that something is rude means that I am offended. That's how I use those words.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:34):
Okay. "Offended" is like, something is personally attacking me, is how I would take an "offend."
Beth Demme (30:41):
It could be. It could mean that. But that's not the only way that I can use it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:45):
I just can't see how I could be offended, how it could offend me, how I could be personally attacked if ... I mean, maybe if someone burped directly in my face intentionally. That's a whole nother thing. But I just don't see how I could be offended by somebody ...
Beth Demme (31:01):
Are "rude" and "offensive" not synonyms? I think they're synonyms.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:03):
I don't know. I don't know. I see them differently. Whether that's actually true or not, I just see them differently. Well, I don't think we're going to see eye-to-eye on this. I think we definitely see this issue differently, and this is definitely an issue that probably no one has an issue with except for us.
Beth Demme (31:28):
And it's not like it's a big issue for us. It's just, we rarely disagree so this is, "Oh, something we disagree on. Yay!"
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:38):
Okay. I didn't see it that way, as a "yay," but okay.
Beth Demme (31:43):
I think people are going to be like, "Wow. I can't believe Steph doesn't say 'bless you' when Beth sneezes." That's what I think people are going to say.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:49):
How often do you sneeze? I can't even think of you sneezing.
Beth Demme (31:52):
I don't know. But I know if I did sneeze, you wouldn't say, "Bless you."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:56):
I guess, bottom line, would it make you more comfortable if I say, "Bless you" when you sneeze?
Beth Demme (32:01):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:03):
Well, you know what? I'm not going to, because sometimes it's important to be uncomfortable.
Beth Demme (32:12):
We have so much fun making this podcast, and we've heard from some of you that you're wondering, "What is the best way to support us?" So we've decided to expand the podcast experience using buymeacoffee.com. You can go there and buy us a cup of coffee, or for Steph, a cup of tea.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:27):
Beth Demme (32:27):
Or you can actually become a monthly supporter, and that will give you access to PDFs of the questions for reflection, as well as pictures, outtakes, polls, and more.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:36):
The kinds of things that we would put on social media if we had a social media channel. But we actually don't for the podcast, because we decided from the beginning that we didn't want to add to more white noise in your life.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:47):
So, one of the great things about Buy Me a Coffee is that you'll be able to actually get an email when we post new content. You can go straight there and you don't have to deal with ads or being bombarded with other content. You see exactly the content you're looking for without a bunch of distractions.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:59):
We plan to post probably once or twice a week, and we're excited to get your feedback as members on our Buy Me a Coffee page, which we are loving calling our BMAC page.
Beth Demme (33:09):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:10):
BMAC. So, you'll be able to find a link in our description to find out more, and to sign up. And this is a tough one. I mean, another one where we disagree. I'm a little offended that we didn't end with a resolution. I feel like we're back to our Santa episode, where you did not agree with me on my Santa ...
Beth Demme (33:32):
I just don't agree on this one, friend. Yeah. We're just going to exist in our disagreement.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:36):
Ooh, we will exist in our disagreement.
Beth Demme (33:38):
Yes. Ad our friendship and our podcast will go.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:42):
Beth Demme (33:43):
No, with our disagreement.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:45):
Oh, with us. Yes. Okay, good. Good, that's what I was hoping. So, I think I mentioned it on the podcast. Whether I edited it out or not, I'm not sure, so I'm going to reiterate that me and my mom just got back from Walt Disney World. We went for just a couple days. We only went for two days because we left the dogs at a new kennel in town, and so it was kind of a test, in Tallahassee. Left the dogs in Tallahassee.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:10):
We went to Orlando, had an awesome time. Now, last time we went to Disney, we went to this new cookie shop, bake shop. And there is no words that will really describe the amazingness of this place. It's called "Gideon's Bake Shop."
Beth Demme (34:27):
You made it sound really, really amazing.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:29):
I did. And so, nothing is ever going to ... I mean, I talked it up probably more than I needed to. It is amazing, though. So, I got you a cookie.
Beth Demme (34:40):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:40):
Yes. And okay, but I have to preface. This cookie has been kept in a plastic bag in the fridge since I got it. I got it on Tuesday.
Beth Demme (34:49):
Okay. And today is Friday.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:51):
Yes. And I failed because I was going to take it out of the fridge before we stated podcasting, and I didn't, so it's probably cold and hard, maybe.
Beth Demme (34:59):
I like cold cookies.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:59):
But remember, so I want your reaction, your live reaction.
Beth Demme (35:04):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:04):
I put it in a Gideon's box so you have the full experience, but you can't keep the box. It is my box. I have them on top of my fridge and I look at them and I go, "Oh, the cookies." So I brought it for you.
Beth Demme (35:16):
Excellent. I didn't know we were doing a live reaction thing with the cookie.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:19):
We are doing a live reaction. I also brought you a napkin.
Beth Demme (35:21):
This is a pretty cool box.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:22):
I know, right?
Beth Demme (35:23):
Yeah. I don't want to rip the box. I feel like there's a lot of pressure about the preservation of this box.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:28):
The box. So this is how they come. They come in a box in this wrapping, and so I haven't unwrapped it. I had it in this bag the whole time.
Beth Demme (35:36):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:37):
Beth Demme (35:37):
This is a big cookie.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:37):
It's a half-a-pound cookie.
Beth Demme (35:39):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:39):
And I got you the peanut butter one, so ...
Beth Demme (35:41):
I love peanut butter cookies.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:42):
I wanted to get you the peanut butter chocolate, but they only had that last month.
Beth Demme (35:46):
Honestly, I would prefer peanut butter over peanut butter chocolate.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:48):
Beth Demme (35:49):
Yeah, so this worked out really well.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:50):
Okay, so the edges are not the best part of it, so you might want to break it in half and start from the middle.
Beth Demme (35:58):
Oh, yeah. This is a lot of cookie.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:02):
It's a lot of cookie.
Beth Demme (36:03):
This is like six cookies in one.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:05):
Yes. They say to think of it as four cookies when you're eating it.
Beth Demme (36:09):
Four cookies, okay.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:09):
But they don't list the calorie count, because they don't have to, they say.
Beth Demme (36:14):
This is really good. This is really good.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:18):
It's really good. It's really good.
Beth Demme (36:18):
You know that thing when you eat something really good and you can feel it in the back of your jaw? That's what happened. This is really, really good.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:28):
Yeah. So these are cookies ... So I will say, these cookies are the best cookies in the world. They have all the allergens, so I apologize to anyone that has allergies. And they can't be shipped, so again, apologies for anybody ... I'm going to say, "I'm sorry." Look. I am sorry for you, because these are the best cookies. They can't be shipped, so you have to actually go to Orlando.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:52):
There's two locations in Orlando. We went to the Disney Springs location. So, if you are in Orlando in Disney Springs, the wait is long but it's worth it. There was a virtual queue. We waited 80 minutes in the virtual queue, which means we just walked around. We didn't have to do anything, and they text us.
Beth Demme (37:07):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (37:07):
Yeah, but we were already walking around anyways.
Beth Demme (37:09):
Right, right, right. You just got to know to get in the virtual queue right away.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (37:11):
Yeah, you have to know to get it right away. And they'll just text you, and then once we got the text, it took us about 20 minutes in that little short line, and then we got the cookies. And you can get six per person, so we got eight, because there was two of us. So we could have gotten 12, but we did eight. We regretted that.
Beth Demme (37:30):
You could have brought me two.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (37:31):
I know. We regretted it the moment we walked away. We were like, "Oh my gosh." I didn't even think of bringing you a cookie, though. I didn't think of it until we got home and I was like, "Oh my gosh, I need to give Beth a cookie." And I was like, "I think she'd like the peanut butter one. I think that's the one." Because we actually got two peanut butters. We got two of all of our favorites, and then one of the ones we hadn't had before.
Beth Demme (37:55):
Another thing that's really good about this cookie? It reminds me of my mom's peanut butter cookies. When I was growing up, every Christmas, she would make these really delicious peanut butter cookies that had just a hint of saltiness in them, and this has that. It's so good.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (38:06):
Yeah. Every cookie they make has sea salt on top, because that's one of the questions. "Can you get it without salt?" And they say, "No." Because that is what makes it-
Beth Demme (38:14):
Yeah. It really brings out the flavor. Yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (38:15):
Yeah, it does. It really does. And that's, when I first had it, that was my thought was, "It tastes like every single peanut butter cookie I've ever had combined, like the best of peanut butter cookie combined." Yeah. Every cookie. And that is a couple days' old cookie. Think about that. Yeah, so we hae the other ones in our freezer and we're going to slowly but surely get through them. So, that was a live taste test on the podcast. I mean, what could be better?
Beth Demme (38:45):
I'm sure that's great for an audio format. It's amazing.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (38:49):
We had to get your reaction. So, do you think the hype is real, or it's over-hyped?
Beth Demme (38:53):
Oh, I think the hype is real. I mean, I would definitely ... Next time I'm in Orlando, I'm going to make time to go, because this is really, really good, for sure. Well, I wasn't sure what I was going to share for my slice-of-life today, because I like to bring you weird news.
Beth Demme (39:03):
And man, was there some weird news out there this week, like a woman who got hit in the head by a flying turtle outside Daytona Beach. Amazing stuff that was happening. Or the girl from the ... This girl who was, when she was a child, she became part of a meme and now she's sold the original meme for the equivalent of half-a-million dollars, but if something that's like Bitcoin.
Beth Demme (39:26):
But I'm not going to tell you about any of that. Since you shared your favorite cookie with me, I have a new favorite thing that helps me go to sleep that I want to share. I'm a big fan of Audible. I Audible a lot of books. I always have at least one Audible going, sometimes two.
Beth Demme (39:40):
Well, they have a feature now for sleep where you can go ... In your app, if you go to "discover," and then "sleep" is one of the categories. But the best one is, even if I wake up in the middle of the night and have a hard time going back to sleep, which I think is a thing when you get into your 40s, honestly. But anyway, so that's been happening.
Beth Demme (39:59):
But this always puts me back to sleep, and it is Tony Shalhoub reading A Short Account of the History of Mathematics. And it's as boring as it sounds, but also there's something about the quality of his voice that's very soothing and comforting. And so, so far, 100% success rate. It has put me to sleep every single time I have tried to listen to it, so I would highly recommend that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (40:23):
Wow. And that's weird. Good job.
Beth Demme (40:25):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (40:26):
The Calm app, it's like a meditation kind of app? They had that a couple years ago, they had ... I think they called them, "sleep stories." And I used to listen to some of them, because I had trouble getting to sleep. And they were okay. Yeah, it was kind of boring, and it was hard for me to tell if it really did help, but what really has helped me sleep is adopting two greyhounds, and they wake me up really early in the morning. So if I don't go to bed, then I don't get enough sleep. So that's really helped with my sleep. So, highly recommend.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (41:03):
At the end of each episode, we end with questions for reflection. These are questions based on today's show that Beth will read, and leave a little pause for you to answer to yourself, or you can find a PDF of them on our Buy Me a Coffee page.
Beth Demme (41:16):
Oh, excuse me. Number one: When someone sneezes, do you say, "Bless you"? Why or why not? Number two: How do you feel when your body makes noise in public? Number three: Do you feel like you overuse the phrase, "I'm sorry"? Why is that? And number four: Do these types of social norms bother you at all, or do you find them easy to accept?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (41:41):
This has been the Discovering Our Scars podcast. Thank you for joining us.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (41:49):
Have we jumped the shark with this episode?
Beth Demme (41:51):
I don't know what that means.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (41:52):
You don't know what "jump the shark" means?
Beth Demme (41:54):
I don't know what that means.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (41:54):
Oh my gosh. Okay. Well, google it, but I'll tell you.
Beth Demme (41:57):
Okay, tell me.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (41:58):
In Happy Days, the TV show Happy Days, you know The Fonz? "Eyy"?
Beth Demme (42:02):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (42:03):
So he, in an episode, kind of towards the later seasons, he wears a leather jacket and he jumps over a shark with water skis on.
Beth Demme (42:15):
Oh, and it was unnecessary and ...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (42:17):
Well, yeah. So just imagine that. And it came off as stupid as it sounds, and so that's when they say that show stopped being a good show, when he jumped the shark. So that's why I was wondering, as you read those questions for reflection, I was thinking, "Did we just jump the shark?"