Episode 10: The History of Toasting
Speaker 1: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social
Speaker 1: watch. How busy
Speaker 2: post and damn posts Actors hosting.
Speaker 2: They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person. Really Friendliness. Welcome toe. Awesome etiquette. Part of the infinite guest network. I'm Dan Post sending,
Speaker 1: and I'm Lizzie Post from the Emily Post Institute.
Speaker 1: Lizzie, you had
Speaker 2: something interesting happened? Do the yesterday.
Speaker 1: Yeah. No, I I did. Actually. Yesterday was a fun day, but it started the day before. I hadn't heard from a good friend of mine in a while. And she's one of those friends that you're so close. It like it kind of doesn't matter when you fall out of touch a little bit. And it had been about a month and a half since we'd actually,
Speaker 2: those are the best friend.
Speaker 1: They are the best friends. But it had been about a month and a half since we had
Speaker 1: connected, and it was sorry, but he's just like hacking in the background. Um,
Speaker 1: it was bumming me out cause she's someone I definitely lean on kind of It wanted a friend a lean on, but at the same time, well, the times we have connected. I I heard from her that she'd been seeing someone new and she was over the moon about it, like two dates. And she knew that this was the guy. So yesterday she calls me up and we were connecting. And she's totally in gaga love world. I could like period in her voice and she goes, I hear her say, You know Teoh, Dave in the background Should we tell her? And I said, You're engaged. She goes a little more than that. We're getting married tomorrow morning at 10.
Speaker 1: So she's a therapist. And in between her sessions for the day, they were going to go down to the lake and just them in an officiant on get married and and that was it. And she hadn't told anyone. I feel confident saying it now because, you know, a little time Well, fast. But, um, she said, You know, you're the only person I'm telling, and we discussed. I was like, Well, what should we do? Should we do something to celebrate? Do you want anything to celebrate? And Jesus, Let's just go just the two of us for coffee at kind of our place And so at two o'clock yesterday afternoon, a few hours after she got married and went back to work after she got very, um, we went just the two of us and had, like, pastries and cafe lays and celebrated and sort of talked about this giant step that she made so suddenly like there wasn't a range. She has, like, just a little band, you know, and that's it. And she couldn't be happier. But it's so
Speaker 1: refreshing. And this isn't at all to put down the wedding that you're about to go through, but so amazingly refreshing, especially being one of our wedding etiquette experts. Teoh here about a wedding that was so incredibly simplistic. Yet Justus joyful justice, fulfilling Justus satisfying and as her best friend. It was really fun to just have. It was it was weird, but it was fun to just have this reception without even the groom There it was just into it. Sounds enchanting.
Speaker 2: It really dio
Speaker 2: and I love the idea of even just bringing one person in to bear witness. And what an honor it is to play that role.
Speaker 1: Yeah, well, I wasn't even there to witness. I wasn't at the actual I asked. I was like, Do you need a witness? Like I'm happy to take time out of my schedule. And she goes, No, no, no. It's just gonna be the two of us. And it just love it. It was this. It was a ceasing. So we decided that tonight we're gonna have a belated reception with oysters and whiskey at at hen of the woods. So at 5 30 we're gonna go do that.
Speaker 1: Definitely. Definitely One of the cooler, more relaxed. No gifts involved. Waiting I've ever been to
Speaker 1: Right.
Speaker 1: So much to learn how to dough. Sure, there's a lot to learn, but it's worth it.
Speaker 1: And learning is easy. One way is by
Speaker 2: watching others on every episode of awesome etiquette. We take your questions on how to behave,
Speaker 1: Tom writes. Hi, I love your podcast. I always enjoyed the once a month segments on dinner party download, but I always wanted more. Yeah, we're so glad we're giving it. Dio. My question is about hats and when and where to wear them. Growing up, I was always told that a gentleman always removes his hat indoors. Nowadays I see men wearing hats indoors quite a bit. Was I misled? Has it become acceptable toe wear hats indoors? If so, is it venue specific, such as bars are okay and restaurants or not. Or maybe hat specific. Top adds air. OK, but baseball hats are not. Please let me know.
Speaker 1: Hi,
Speaker 2: Tom. Thanks for your question. This is a classic, and it's a classic with a bit of a twist. People have been wondering about hats for ever, and that's where the that really traditional rule that you're referring to comes from. And it is a really solid traditional rule that used to be that men always took their hats off indoors. We do live in an increasingly casual and informal time, and I'm sure you've witnessed, like I have, like many of us have that that this tradition isn't observed as firmly as it used to be. There definitely lots of people that give themselves the exception may be there at the gym or at a sort of casual indoor location, whether it's a sports arena, maybe even for some people, a bar. Ah, one of the places we really still draw the line firmly is that when you're somewhere that people are eating. You absolutely want to take your hat off. You want to show that respect other people. When you're visiting someone's home, you absolutely want to take your hat off and show that respect to people.
Speaker 1: I like
Speaker 2: to take a pretty firm line here. I say whenever you're in a new situation, when you're ever you find yourself somewhere new or unfamiliar, it's a really good idea to take your hat off when you're indoors.
Speaker 1: So I totally agree with a lot of what you said. But I think it's even a bit more lax in that. And I like that. You said that you take a firm position. I may take more lax position and say that most places nowadays, it's pretty much OK if you're in the mall. If you're you know, if you are at a bar, it's I rarely take my saints cap off when I go to a bar to watch football. In fact, I've got it on because I'm watching my team. I'm supporting my team, but also I think about the golf club that I go to, and when I first joined, I wasn't sure if hats were allowed at the bar or not, And sure enough, I noticed a lot of guys wearing their hats of the bar, so I felt comfortable doing it as well. And let's face it, after four hours of golf, my hair doesn't look too good under team, so I'm very happy to leave my hat on. But I do think you're right that it nowadays it's very situational e specific. And one of the things that we've always tried to tell people is that if you're I love the fact that he said, If you're in a new situation, if you're gonna be greeting someone new or meeting someone new, you want to remove that hat so that your face can be seen. And that's a welcoming and friendly gesture that we as a society still make. So even though when you step into the elevator lobby, you know, lobby of a building and then into the elevator, maybe you don't remove your hat. Maybe it's not considered bad manners anymore, but if you were going to be meeting a client in that in that lobby first and then riding up the elevator, you would remove your hat because you're starting an interaction with the person that you want to be friendly and that you want tohave, um, that I contact. That's so much easier when you don't have a brim. I love the way
Speaker 2: your painting, the picture of joining someone in an elevator because it makes it really, really for me. And I think about what it means when someone does take their hat off when they're near you, and I definitely don't think it's a social requirement. But, boy, it's so nice when someone joins that close space with you and I love the way you talk about seeing your eyes. My mom used to say, You can get any haircut you want growing up, but I want to be able to see your eyes. I wanna be able to look you in the eyes, and it's such an important part of establishing trust and relationships and the gesture of taking off your hat so you make your eyes available. What it reminds me of is that maybe if I stepped into that elevator and I was with someone that was a little older than May, I might really want to take that hat off to show respect to someone who's a little bit older, and that gesture might really matter to that person in the same way that holding the door might or offering someone a seat. It really is a generational etiquette, and I don't think most of my peers would be offended if I left my
Speaker 1: hand. When you and the guys watch football, you know when you and will get together, go to the hockey game together. But in those situations where there is something that I want to bring up in, this one is for a close family friend Pops, who has since passed away. But he was always real stickler for removing your hat during the national anthem, and that is still one place where absolutely you cannot get away from it. It is disrespectful if your hat is on, no matter what type of had it is, ladies, gentlemen,
Speaker 1: doesn't matter,
Speaker 2: and you bring up another good point. It used to be that there was an exemption for ladies. Ladies did not need to take their hat off indoors, and this
Speaker 1: is one of
Speaker 2: those I love. It's the classic etiquette question with the current twist where we're going to say that that gender equality applies to women here. If you're wearing a baseball cap, take it off. And I appreciate your situation after golf, where your hair
Speaker 1: is a mess. Because that was the initial
Speaker 2: idea was that if you had your hat pin to your hair was attached to your head. It was part of an outfit or an elaborate hair. It
Speaker 1: could be a real pain to take back. That might even be
Speaker 2: impossible. So there was the exemption for women in those situations. But let's face it. These days, not everybody's in that particular type of situation. It's not your Sunday had it didn't take a half hour to get it in place. So show the respect of the people around you, particularly the meal where you take that hat off before you come to the table indoors. More generally, you could think about it. Play with it. Look at the situation.
Speaker 1: All right, Tom. I hope that sells solves your question and hats off to you,
Speaker 1: Jessica Rights.
Speaker 1: I'm writing from
Speaker 2: Zurich, Switzerland. Here it is common to greet acquaintances and neighbors by name. If you're close, which everyone in my building is, you greet them with three kisses and ask for their well being. But
Speaker 1: I have
Speaker 2: crone's disease and no large intestine. When I arrived, when I arrive home, I typically have a private priority that precludes a leisurely greeting. So what can I do to show kind, considerate neighbors that their well being is important to me but that my well being is on the brink at the moment? Apologies for any crassness. Thank you for Thank you. And be, well, Jessica.
Speaker 1: Oh, Jessica, I feel for you. That's no crassness at all. This is this is exactly the kind of question Dan and I really love because it is. I love that you're putting such an importance on these greetings and this custom within within Switzerland and within these people in your building that you're close with. And that just shows that you are very aware and very considerate of the fact that interactions mean a lot. So that's like thumbs up to you. You're you're giving us not only a challenge, but you're also coming at it with such a great spirit. Um, greetings are really important, and every culture has, um, has its greetings in America were actually very lax about our greetings. We kind of, Ah, quick High is totally sufficient and friendly. But here, that's not the case. And you definitely have a medical condition that, like you said, precludes the greeting. So I think that if you feel comfortable with it what my suggestion to you would be and we'll we'll give you two.
Speaker 1: But what my suggestion would be is that if you're comfortable letting the closest of these neighbors know that I'm sorry, but I I do need to step inside. There is something I have to deal with. I have a medical condition. I really need to be ableto use the restroom, get settled. Whatever it is that makes you feel comfortable explaining what you have to go dio Either we've actually explaining it or with gently hinting at it, um, you know, practice the language, find it on your own, but but saying to these folks and say it would be great if you just know that I'm gonna step inside for just a minute and then I'll come right back out cause I really want to greet you and say hello and and spend a minute with you during my day. I think that would be totally polite, totally reasonable. And if you have the confidence to do it, to go for it. But if you don't have the confidence, I think
Speaker 2: that that's a great place to start. You try to head it off ahead of time. But
Speaker 1: how do you handle
Speaker 2: it in the moment when you find yourself in that situation right is you're getting home. Sometimes the magic words are magic. Anywhere we find ourselves just a brief Excuse me or pardon me, I'd love to catch up in just a minute when I've had a chance to get situated. My most people are gonna understand that, and that can mean get the bags out of your arms as much as getting into, Ah, a detailed medical explanation of what's going on. So those magic words air really magic just to excuse yourself or pardon yourself for a minute and then really make that effort to come back and complete that greeting and give it the time and attention that you clearly want to give it and that it deserves in this situation.
Speaker 1: So we hope that helps in that either. Either way, you choose to go whether the big explanation or sort of the quick, Um, you know, excuse me for just a minute. Either one. You'll be safe and you'll The idea is to communicate to your neighbors that the greeting is valuable to you and you don't want to lose it.
Speaker 2: And we really do understand. Oftentimes it's these times in life when we're when, When things are a little rougher, difficult, the little niceties take on the most importance. And I can really understand not wanting to sacrifice those interactions. So I definitely think it's worth taking the time and good luck.
Speaker 2: Our next question comes from K. M. A
Speaker 1: colleague
Speaker 2: approach me to report that a client in her office retrieved a tissue from a box on a nearby table, blew his nose and then tossed the tissue into her trash container. She expressed dismay that the person did not ask permission to dispose of the tissue. She indicated that it is proper etiquette to do so and that she has the right to decline that request if she chooses.
Speaker 1: What is
Speaker 2: the etiquette for nose blowing? Is
Speaker 1: my colleague correct?
Speaker 1: Um
Speaker 1: correct. Yes, extraordinarily nit picky. Yes, Teoh. I'm gonna say it, man. I'm gonna come down a little harsh on his colleague.
Speaker 1: This is so so technically, yes, you know, at someone's trash can under their desk. It's nice to say, Do you mind if I throw this out in your trash? But you're talking about a colli int. Are you really going to decline a client throwing a tissue out? You're gonna make him hold a snotty tissue just because it's your quote unquote etiquette, Right to do so. Sorry, honey, but those rules aren't made for that kind of standing like Emily Post always said. In fact, just in In listening to her radio show the other day, she said, You know, it's the principle on the intention behind the rule. It's not the rule itself. So the intention behind that rule that she's talking about is just be considerate that you you know, you're gonna use someone's,
Speaker 1: you know, sort of part of their office and to throw out your duty Kleenex. But I really want her to look at this situation and think, OK, this is a client. I want to make them feel as comfortable as possible. I'm not gonna get bent out of shape because they wanted to use my receptacle like Sorry, that makes so much sense
Speaker 2: to me that you're really getting to the heart of the point and that the rule is there to give you a guide for a way not to offend someone else. It's not a tool toe hit someone with if they fail to use that behavior with
Speaker 1: yeah, or to get all bent out of shape. Beth. It's like, you know, Come on. And everyone has their bad days and I mean clearly I was being a little strong saying, Come on, honey. But it's like, Come on, Really? Like this is what you're gonna This is what you can go after right now. You know, a tely east. He didn't throw it on the floor. It's the
Speaker 2: season. We all don't want to get sick, but we all might find ourselves in a situation of just really needing to blow our nose and giving each other a little latitude. I think is going to go a long way towards getting through this coming winter.
Speaker 1: Remember, too, that the rules of etiquette are there to make people feel comfortable now. Maybe she didn't feel very comfortable when someone just used her trash can without asking her first. But you're in a business situation. This is your client. Make your client feel as comfortable as possible, and it's just it's not one to get bent out of shape over.
Speaker 2: I like how you're thinking about the client as a guest. I think that's a really that's really appropriate thought.
Speaker 1: And then on the flip side, you know you can always you can always go and blow your nose in the restroom. You know, you could say, Excuse me for just one minute and go do it there If that If that's something that would make you more comfortable And frankly, it's nicer for the other people around
Speaker 2: you. Clients and guests take note.
Speaker 1: Thanks so much for writing in KM. We hope that that helps solve your your etiquette dilemma at work,
Speaker 1: she says. You're not as rude as you used to be.
Speaker 2: Thanks to everyone for sending in your questions we really appreciated. It truly is the beating heart of the show. We couldn't do it without you.
Speaker 2: You can submit your next question toe awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can also send them in via Facebook or Twitter. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette so that we know you want it on the show.
Speaker 1: Today. We're gonna bring you a section out of one of our favorite books. It's called The Rituals of Dinner. The origins, evolutions, eccentricities and meaning of table manners. It's by Margaret Visser, and it is one of our favorite favorite favorite books. It's a fascinating history of dinner, Um, how we celebrate the meal together and we're going to start bringing you sections of it from now on because we thought that would be a good idea. So today, the first one that we're bringing is actually about, um, is about toasting rituals, and we will go further into toasting at a different point. But we wanted to get through this today.
Speaker 1: Modern European toasting rituals are strongest and most formal in Germanic, Scandinavian and Eastern European countries. No one should taste wine or other alcohol in Scandinavia until the host has made a toast. All lift their glasses and look around at everyone present. They toast taste, then look around it. Everyone again, guests and Denmark may give subsequent toasts. The guest of honor is expected to express thanks to the host by tapping his or her glass to attract attention and then proposing a toast.
Speaker 1: The drama of toasting has never been very strong in Mediterranean countries since the rise of Christianity, which gave to wine a gentler, those still sacred mystique than the one that had enjoyed in the classical world.
Speaker 1: Toasting is given German names in French, Italian and Spanish. The custom seems to have been reintroduced in Germanic form to those countries during the 16th century, probably by the and forgive me on the mispronunciation. Here
Speaker 1: lands connect Barrett bands of German mercenaries who fought wherever they could find employment. So in Spanish and Italian to toast is Brynjar and bring data from German. It bring dears a toast, meaning I bring it to you. French Trinh Trinh Quer trunk rare. How do you? You're my closest French help on this
Speaker 1: drink. Grayer is from German drinkin to drink in English. The word toast comes from the British practice of floating a piece of toasted bread on top of the wine ale or mead of the loving Come I know, right Once the bull had gone around, the host was expected to drain the last drops and consumed the toast in honor of the guests.
Speaker 1: How much
Speaker 2: fun is that? I just love this book. It is so, so good. It's one of the absolute fear that really dives into the details in the depth of the history of dining etiquette. And and this is one of my favorite topics. Also, I absolutely love toasting. I think it's it's one of those real opportunities for distinction in an increasingly casual world. It really is an opportunity to take any meal or gathering and turn it into an occasion by proposing an informal toast. You can really honor somebody and and and taken opportunity, toe, take a meal and really crystallize it for just a moment into something really special. And because it doesn't happen all the time, I think you can surprise people in the most pleasant of ways by by offering an informal toast so
Speaker 1: almost like getting a thank you card. It's like it's like that simple thing that just makes it all the better, because
Speaker 2: and it's no, it's fun. It's nice to know all of the elaborate traditions and how to do a very formal toes where everybody stands and
Speaker 2: toaster exchanged and given back and forth. It's so nice to just really keep it simple. You can make eye contact, say something sweet about somebody. Um, the important thing to remember is that when you're being toasted, you don't drink immediately, as we learned when we when we heard that the history right there toasting comes from a tradition where you shared a communal mug jug. So when the glass was poured, the host offered a toast, and they drank first to show everybody it wasn't poisoned that it was gonna be saved to share this beverage. So you waited to your host, drank first, and then you followed as the guest. The simplest thing to remember about toasting.
Speaker 2: You don't need to clean glasses. You can just make eye contact, and it's a really nice thing to do.
Speaker 1: Great. That's our history on toasting. We hope you enjoyed it and let's get on to our tickets.
Speaker 1: Today's etiquette salute is for a friend who has passed but remains a presence in our writers life, and I thought that this had such wonderful sentiment. I really wanted to share it.
Speaker 1: Dale from Texas, writes. I'm very much enjoying the podcast When I listen today, I remembered that I had intended to write last week about the guest noticing the less than generous tip given by a host. This was from our conversation with just Walter.
Speaker 1: I often host business and social events in restaurants as my apartment is just too small. Following the example of a dear friend I knew in the early 19 eighties, I arranged with the manager or server to pay away from the table. I've done this various ways, depending on what the restaurant prefers. Sometimes I have a special menu prepared with a limited number of choices. And while this approach can seem fussy, it can also be simple and elegant.
Speaker 1: If not for my late friend Charles, I would never have approached a public meal this way, But it has worked well for me for many years. While my gratuity is generous, my guests can't be concerned about it. I just wanted to share those thoughts in memory of my friend, the most gracious man I've ever had, the privilege of knowing
Speaker 1: sincerely Dale in San Antonio, Texas. Dale, that is just a beautiful sentiment and what Dan and I both love so much about it is that we do the same when we have a friend who has influenced us in some way, you know, especially when it comes to your actions. Um, it's a wonderful way to continually remember this person and the influence that they've had on your life. And I love that your memory has to deal with etiquette. So thank you for submitting your salute.
Speaker 1: Well, wasn't that better?
Speaker 1: Look at the effect of a little collection.
Speaker 1: Well, that's our show for today. Thank you so much for joining us. We love to hear from you, so please send us your questions, your etiquette salutes or your suggestions to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com.
Speaker 2: If you like what you hear, subscribe on iTunes and leave us a review. We love the feedback.
Speaker 1: You can also find us on Facebook. Weird. The Emily Post Institute
Speaker 2: on Twitter. I'm a Daniel Underscore Post,
Speaker 1: and I'm at Lizzie a Post, or you can
Speaker 2: visit our website. Emily post dot com.
Speaker 1: Our theme music was composed and performed by Bob Wagner, who's awesome band. The Dark side of the mountain performed this weekend. I went got enjoy a Little Pink Floyd cover band on a Halloween weekend.
Speaker 2: Awesome etiquette is part of the Infinite Guest Network, which has all kinds of podcast for you to listen to.
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