Welcome to the Carriage House Style Guide

Before You Submit a Question

Thank you for considering submitting a question to the Carriage House. We know you are very desperate and likely sitting at the edge of your fainting couch before clicking submit on your question.

But before you send in your question, please do all of the following:

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kisskisssupersmall

The Model Letter

To the right is a layout of the ideal letter, as designed by Naomi Ekperigin and adapted for this style guide.

Your subject line should be topical and to the point. Things like “hey” or “question” are not OK.

Greet the hosts and guest cordially but formally.

Everyone loves to be praised and flattery may save you from a more scathing takedown depending on the content of your letter. Limit your praise to two sentences.

The most important part of the letter is the thesis statement.
For example:
  • My uncle poured wine in my dog’s bowl and I don’t know what to do.
  • The exchange student next door has been murdering frogs and I don’t know whether to tell her host parents.
  • Every time I see a friend of mine they tell me I would be happier if I just lost ten pounds.
These are short and to the point and summarize the issue.
This is the hardest part. Include enough background to explain your situation but not too much. When you’re done, read the letter out loud and edit it. See below for more practical tips on what to include (and exclude).

When Ronna and Bryan answer these questions they are digging deep and giving a piece of themselves. So feel free to thank them dear. Even if you were raked over the coals, because you probably deserved it.

See below on names.

Yes we are checking.

Dear Ronna, Bryan, and [insert complimentary adjective] guest,

[Praise – limit to two sentences]

[Thesis statement – limit to two sentences]

[Background information]

[Gratitude for reading and answering the question],

[Your name or a made up name]

[Your Instagram handle so we can make sure you are following Ask Ronna on Instagram]

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kisskisssupersmall

General Advice Which Has Been Given Ad Nauseam

If you are looking for general advice, please read below. If it answers your question, feel free to keep the question to yourself dear.

Gifts

Why are you writing in about a gift? We do an entire special every year for Ronnukah. Open up Instagram and scroll back to 2022, 2021, 2020, or 2019 and see all the amazing choices and the terrific work Tony and the rest of the team did in making it all look good. And of course do not forget Ronnukah.com for all of your terrific alcohol and non-alcoholic gifting needs.

Relationships and Friendships that End

Every person that we encounter in life comes into our lives for a reason or a season. And seasons pass and reasons change, as do relationships.

If a friend is telling you a friendship is over, then it is over. You are allowed to mourn the friendship and you are allowed to be upset. It is likely not in your best interest to try to salvage the relationship if the other person is not interested. Nor is it advisable to get on the phone with them and confront them with “but, but but….” It will not give you closure. You may never get closure. It is not that person’s responsibility to give you closure, that comes from you.

Of course, if you are the violating party who dumped someone or ghosted someone for seemingly no reason, you can give the dumpee some clue as to why, whether they don’t wear deodorant or you once shtupped their father.

The Woes of 29 & 30 year Olds

You are a maniac at this age. Your friend turning 30 is trash. Someone is making a horrible decision at the precipice of adulthood. This is not an excuse to act horribly to people, but it is an explanation for why the people in your life may be acting like crazy people at the moment.
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kisskisssupersmall

Rules for Editing, Formatting, and Submitting

The Content of the Letter

Rules on Conciseness
Mrs. Glickman and Bryan must read these letters out loud. When they are too long, it makes it difficult for our intrepid hosts to get through them without becoming bored, angry, annoyed, or fatigued. And you do not want them in any of those moods when answering your question. So please, keep it as concise as possible. So far there is no word count limit. But go back to your letter before clicking send and read it out loud. Did you get tired or bored halfway through? Then think of Mrs. Glickman and Bryan. Think of our listeners. Use the delete key.
A Note on Juicy Details
Despite the need for conciseness, sometimes we need juicy details. The color of your fiancé’s tie on the day they left you at the altar does not matter. How your friend’s parents are undermining their religious decisions? Essential. If you can imagine Bryan reading the details and being in shock, include those details. Simply put: do not skimp on juicy details. It is what makes good podcasting (besides expert hosts and fabulous guests and terrific support and a charming Carriage House President). But if in the back of your mind you can hear Mrs. Glickman chastising you for verbosity, cut those details out. And if you do bring up something, you better close the loop on that detail. If your letter contains phrases like “but that’s a story for another time” or “I will fill you in on that later” then be prepared for Mimi to delete the letter and block you.
Cliches
Are there cliches in your letter? If they are quirky, we want them. If they are something Mrs. Glickman has seen in a rom com, cut them out. Do not write “I will try to be brief.” You just added a whole sentence you did not need.
Names

If you do not want to use people’s names, make up names for the hosts to read. If you do not want your name used, give yourself a fake name. Here is a list. Or here is a fake name generator.

Locations
Who are you, James Bond? If you want to tell us what midsize city you live in, just tell us. It gives context. If you live in a small town and you are identifiable, we get it. Say you live in a small town outside of Chicago, not “thirty minutes from a mid-size city somewhere in the midwest.”
Gaslighting
The term gaslighting has become a staple in contentious relationships and tense arguments. Most of the time, this so-called gaslighting is a literal misunderstanding. Just because someone does not agree with your point of view, or does not want to talk about something, does not mean they are gaslighting you. Or if someone remembers a detail or event you do not remember? That’s not gaslighting dear, that’s too many vodka redbulls and blacking out. While denying the existence of an event or detail can be gaslighting, gaslighting is much more pathological and inherently sinister.

According to Ronna’s dear friend Merriam, of the acclaimed Webster family, gaslighting is “psychological manipulation of a person usually over an extended period of time that causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories and typically leads to confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, uncertainty of one’s emotional or mental stability, and a dependency on the perpetrator.

Notes on Submitting Questions

Spell Check

Spell check is built into your computer. It is built into your phone. While you are reading your letter out loud, look for those red squiggly lines under words. Those are not fun graffiti, it means you spelled a word wrong (or made one up). Fix it.

Grammar Check

Like spell check, grammar check is built into every computer. Not as easy on phones of course. We recommend Grammarly, which can also help edit out the words you did not need.

Repeat Questioners

If you are a repeat questioner, first of all, good luck. Second, if you want to reference the first question you sent in or let the team know that you are the same person who wrote in about the cake with a bunny popping out of it or whatever, take some time and tell us the date of the episode or the episode number. Do you think the staff has nothing better to do?

Double Dipping
How dare you. If you submit a question to this podcast, you’re going to get a bespoke answer. This is not something you just shop around to every pod under the sun.

Before shopping your question around please wait at least 30 days from submission to the AR team.