Episode 2: Centerpieces, Louis XIV, and Celebrity Apologies
In this episode of Awesome Etiquette
Lizzie and Daniel talk about their relationship, hazardous road trips, and a very important upcoming event in Dan’s life. Later on, they discuss the origins of the word “etiquette” in the court of Louis XIV, forks, lay offs, flowers, and Jonah Hill.
Speaker 1: have.
Speaker 1: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy. That's old fashioned.
Speaker 1: Watch how busy Post and Dan, Post Center actors, host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person. Really. Friendliness. Welcome to awesome etiquette, Part of the infinite guest network. I'm Dan Post sending, and I'm Lizzie Post from the Emily Post Institute. And we are so glad to have you here with us today. A bit of a confessional. Lizzie and I are meeting today for the first time, And I know we've known each other since I was born. Well, okay, okay. Okay. So we've known each other for a long time. We've worked together for seven years, but usually the way the day starts, the Emily Post Institute, a small family business, and Lizzie and I are often the first ones into the office. So the day often begins with Lizzie and I sitting around and processing what happened the night before or the day before. Sometimes we talk a little bit about any kit, but sometimes we're talking about our relationships are personal life and generally what's going on in the world and part of the inspiration for this podcast was to bring some of some of those moments and some of that experience that the Emily Post Institute out from behind the curtain and to share it with with all the folks out there that love etiquette because
Speaker 1: that's often a part of what we're talking about, if not the totality, what we're talking about. So in some ways, this is a very honest version of that today. Yes, yes, on. And I just have my morning coffee. So look, dance ready, Thio. He's talkative this morning.
Speaker 1: No, but it's true. We do. Dan and I have a really special bond. We are almost like brother and sister, which is something I'm really grateful for. Um, having grown up in the family with Anna and I are the only two. My sister, Anna and I are the only two girls, and I always really valued my relationships with my cousins, and most of them are like brothers. But Dan and I see each other every day, and a lot of really important life decisions have actually happened between the two of us. Um, way back when I was 23 years old, Dan um drove all the way across the country with me when I was getting out of a relationship and leaving California when I lived there very briefly, and that was like a really monumental part of my life. Was making that decision to not stay on the West Coast instead returned to the East Coast. And Dan is getting ready for his own big, monumental decision in life. Well, it's true. We have a couple of things going on right now, and I just returned from California just yesterday. Um, was out there on business, was thinking about that trip that drive from California 2.5 3 day drive from California. Yeah, maybe three days. We booked the storm in Texas. There was this crazy ice storm in just the Panhandle of Texas, and it was literally you cross the state line sheets of ice on the road. There were 18 big Mac trucks that had all flipped over one way. Actually, we all got out to just kind of, you know, use the restroom on the side of the road. I would say I mean, people were going like, 15 miles an hour and and when we were returning to the cars. We almost couldn't get back into the car because everything was so caked in ice. You literally couldn't hold on to it. There was. I remember there was one tractor trailer flipped over that had all oranges in it. So just oranges all over the side of the highway. It was probably the most terrifying couple of hours I've ever spent in a car that was a bad driver. Was bad driving, No question. I lived on the West Coast for about 10 years, so I was used to making the trip back and forth. That was closer to my student days when I used to drive it pretty regular. So it wasn't as out of the ordinary for me. But that was definitely one of the craziest one of the craziest trips that we've been on. But the big life news that Lizzie is alluding to is I have, ah, very significant other in my life, a partner who I care about quite a bit and, um, Lizzie's ah, professional when it comes to thinking about maybe taking a relationship to the next studio, that could be that danger for any potential dates. I might go on. Well, OK, take that with a grain of salt, wrote a book about wedding etiquette. Has been invaluable to me is I think about an engagement ring and how toe how to go about doing that search really well, and it's it's definitely new territory for me. It's not something I've grown up thinking about. This wasn't a vision I had in my head from the time I was a little boy. But like so many people, when you when you hit that important transitional stage in life, you're looking for some good advice, some good ground to stand on. And for some folks, that's been the Emily Post Institute. For me. It's been my cousin Lizzie Post, and I will tell you that it was not even one month into this relationship when, after I had met her, that I just said, This is it. This is This is your person. This is your other person, Dan.
Speaker 1: Um, you know, without making it sound cheesy. Dan is a really special guy. He's not just one type of person. He is many, many different aspects to him, and they are unique and they are different. I mean, I remember having a teacher in school once using example of unless you're going to grow up to be a mime. And I raised my hand and said, My cousin is actually studying how to be a mine. I mean, he's definitely had a lot of very cool experiences under his belt and a really deep thinker, and I think it takes a really special woman to be the right type of person for you. And the moment that Pooja walked in the door, you could just feel how bright and light she waas and that she was totally the right person for you and like and it's been really fun to see them grow and even more fun was going around and helping you try to pick out a ring on. We're getting close and we'll keep you updated on exactly what happens. But that's one of the big, exciting things happening. Dan and I talk a lot about other people's weddings and other people's engagements, and we talk a lot about sort of the etiquette around those things and it's been really interesting watching Dan go through his own process with it. Um whether that be Pooja asking her father if she should ask you to marry her on him immediately, saying no, let him do this. This is his thing. Um, which I thought was awesome. Are at my non traditional girlfriend and her very traditional father. Yes, um, but it's it has been It's always really exciting when one of these events that we talked so much about becomes something that's that's actually an experience that you will have. And I think that that's really exciting because in a few months you'll be talking about this from the other side of it. You know, absolutely. I think that's really cool. Similarly, watching Ana go through the planning, go through the planning of her wedding. You know, once once that great date, August 16th happens. You know, she will have been there and done that and can really speak from personal experience as opposed to the experience of helping others through it, which is really exciting. And to that, let's get to some of your etiquette questions should be a right. There's so much a lot how to dio. Sure, there's a lot to learn, but it's worth it on. Learning is easy. One way is by watching others here on awesome etiquette. We take your questions on how to behave. Let's get started wall eating. I occasionally glide my teeth instead of my lips over the fork. My husband can hear my teeth gliding over the fork and says that it's very bad manners. Is it bad manners to use your teeth to scrape food from the fork into your mouth? Know about bad manners? But your dentist would definitely tell you not Thio. I mean, you're just great. You're gonna have little chick lit teeth by the end of it. Like
Speaker 1: I'm trying to imagine what it sounds. It sounds awful. I mean, it's it's not okay. Personally, I wouldn't hold it against you. But
Speaker 1: what I am going to say is that when someone like a spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend notices something about your eating habits that is offending them in some way or very distracting to them,
Speaker 1: if it's gross, I think it's important to pay attention. This is someone that you are going to share the majority of your meals with, and
Speaker 1: I think that matters, and I think that you should probably stop doing it. It isn't good. It's not good manners to do it. Um, I think originally and I could just be full of BS on this one. But it's, I think, that it has to do with the fact that, you know, a lot of silver really was silver back in the day you're scratching, you know, you know that ring true to me a little bit. That being said, you know this person also put it out for you to stick it in your mouth and your teeth in your mouth so I find a little bit of like with that. But I do think that this is something that it's the less you could be noisy. When you eat, the less you can call attention to food going into your mouth, the better. So I say, Quit scraping with your with your teeth. It's not good for your teeth, and it's clearly not appetizing to the people around you. I think Lizzie got to the heart of the matter there that that the bad etiquette is the etiquette that someone else is noticing on is bothering them like that. That's when you know it's gone a little too far. We all have lots of choices to make and an increasingly casual and and complex world. And when someone near you is commenting on something, it probably means that they're noticing it, and they're they're trying to raise it somehow, and I like the frame of reference of looking at it from the perspective of the spouse. I'll tell you, it's a conversation we have at the Emily Post lunch table, not infrequently, that it's not just enough to eat with your mouth closed. If I can hear everything that's going on, it's really one of those. There are very few etiquette faux paws that I noticed in my own life, But one of them is the sound of food being masticated. On the other day, I was mentioning, I'm grossing out my cousin. She reminded me that oftentimes it often is mixed in with, like heavy breathing from the mouth that you're here.
Speaker 1: It's really gross. It's really too much. I never listen to us again after having heard that, but it's gross. So be careful. Be careful about the sounds you make. A swell is how you look and also the idea of just pulling something off the end of the fork with it It's funny, it might add a certain affectation to your eating, but it's bothering the people around you. It's probably an affectation you could do with that.
Speaker 1: One of our lovely listeners wants to know. Next question. If some company employees air being laid off due to economic conditions, what's the appropriate manner in which fellow co workers can acknowledge the many years of service he's laid off? Employees have given the company. What does the retirement party look like for someone that's been laid off? It's a bit of a tricky situation because people might have very different feelings. The person who's being laid off might be feeling good about their departure, and they might not. In fact, Laid Off implies that the decision might not be up to them, and you could be dealing with something that sensitive. I think it's a really good idea to talk to the person, so let them know individually what you how you feel, how much you appreciate them in the work that they've done, and maybe even depending on how well you know them. To talk to them about what they'd prefer is the best way. If you feel like organizing a goodbye or something from the group for the team, what they'd be comfortable with. And, yeah, my personal m o like, I'm just I think Dan, What Dan said is a good idea is to talk to the person and find out what they want. But for for me, I think if it's someone who was laid off, as opposed to someone who's retiring or moving on to another job, which is generally when you would then do kind of an office celebration because it's it's more of a celebration. Getting laid off is not something to celebrate. But when you wanna honor the time that you spent with a coworker, personally, I would say, I would love to take you out to lunch next week or something like that. And if you want to include other people in that lunch or that gathering for, you know, drinks on Friday night, that sort of thing, go for it. But I would do this for someone who had been laid off off company time off company premise that take them somewhere else and recognize your friendship and your camaraderie there. I think that's why I think one of the only reasons. I was even a little bit, um, who was sort of a little bit more of an open question for me is they say, due to economic conditions, that it's not necessarily about poor performance or and and sometimes a layoff due to economic conditions is very much like a
Speaker 1: ah moving on type party. It's It's not about a particular bad performance, it's it really is just You've been here and this job no longer exists. The nature of the industry is changing. Eso its's a little different than just a little different the same time. It isn't the person's choice, and they might be. They might be dealing with a lot of emotion, a lot of emotions and maybe some pretty damaging economic realities. It's it's It's an important It's important to be aware of all of that and not approach it to celebratory and public a manner for everybody's sake, both the individual and the company.
Speaker 1: It's a tricky one. Good luck with that and and don't let it dissuade you from from being kind to the person that you care about.
Speaker 1: Let's tackle a wedding at a question. I was at a wedding recently and noticed a number of people leaving with baskets of flowers that had been on the tables are guest supposed to take the table decorations? Not unless it's offered. So this is not an uncommon question, because often the bride and groom we'll offer or if there's been an event, the host of the event will say, You know, there's beautiful flowers on all the tables. Please feel free to take them home A za, uh, other way. I totally do that whenever they say that I'm like three flowers. Are you kidding me? Being in the fortunate position of sometimes being a guest of honor at a function, maybe you're doing it. You're often offered to take some flowers home, and it is. It's it's really is free. Go for it. You don't want to assume that's the case. You wanna wait till the offer is made, uh, to elaborate just a little bit. Sometimes the flowers were donated. Sometimes people haven't intended recipient for the flowers. Sometimes they go to a local hospital and you just don't know. So wait till the offer is made, and if it is made, feel free to take them and enjoy them. Social courtesy does pay, doesn't it? Thanks.
Speaker 1: Thanks to everyone for sending in your questions. If you'd like to submit your question, email us at awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com.
Speaker 1: Along with answering your questions, one of the things that we really are looking forward to doing here on this show is talking a little bit about etiquette more generally. So sometimes we're gonna tackle a traditional etiquette segment. Sometimes we're gonna talk tackle a current etiquette segment today. We'd really like to explore the history of the word etiquette. It's kind of a funny little story, but we call it the King Louie's Story. And actually, you can find it on our YouTube channel. Emily Post Productions. Um, basically back in King Louise day. King Louis the 14th, right? Yeah, something. Yeah, King Louis, the 14th. He would throw these massive parties at Versailles and the gardener would keep getting really upset, like all the groundskeepers, because they would just the gardens would be ruined. People would walk through them. They might even dip their toes into the fountains, you know, they would leave their cups and glasses everywhere. I mean, basically, like they trashed the place. It was like he was getting really, really frustrated, and he wanted a way to be able to let people know, You know, don't pick the flowers. Don't leave your glasses here. Don't step on the grass. And the way they came up with doing it was putting these little signs everywhere. And the word in French for Little Sign is etiquette. And so etiquette is really about kind of a little sign, a little a little note, a little something that lets you know what to dio when you're in a certain situation. Absolutely. It's a little indicator of what's the expected behavior in a given situation, oftentimes a new or unfamiliar circumstances situation. So Lizzie just gave you the very artful Children's version of the etymology of the word. Uh, Dan says artful because of the YouTube video that I made. That's kind of a funny, silly little thing. If you haven't seen that, you really should check it out. It's it's It's a fun little stop animation. It's not our best version, but is there any way you've got more? Absolutely. Okay, so let me, um, not a historian. Caveat emptor. Buyer beware, but definite history. Buff King Louis was sometimes known as the Sun King. I'm gonna mangle a little French here. The famous phrase associated with King Louis was late. A Sam wa This state is me, uh, Louise. Some people who thought built Versailles as a way Thio
Speaker 1: exhibit his own grandeur, but also is a place toe. Occupy the aristocracy of France at the time, which was large and growing, even cleared them. Keep your friends close. Keep your enemies closer. Louis like to really occupy his aristocracy with a Byzantine set of social rules and codes and structure. So he's making this stuff up just so that he would keep them busy. Absolutely. Your ability to navigate that, that social hierarchy and your ability to get physically present close to the king. The person that helped him with his stockings in the morning had a higher social standing. The person who stood in the back of the room when he took questions. A court, yes. So the core dozens around King Louis took to exchanging these little cards that helped each other figure out what was expected in different situations again, remember, this was intentionally complex. I'm blown away. I'm sorry. I've never heard this before. I'm, like, really excited. Okay, going. So the etiquette became critically important. And maybe maybe you were visiting from your castle in the south and you're there to conduct some business, and you need to get it done. That means you need to approach the king. At some point. You need to figure out how you need to figure out how to navigate the social code of court and the court is on would give you a little ticket that told you some little info are like trading magic cards? I don't know exactly. But that's the way I imagine that. They told you what was expected in a given situation. So, um, that's awesome. Over time, these little signs, these little tickets, the word became etiquette. It's a French word. It's a little ah, little story version of the history of the word etiquette. I like your story version more. I think we need to do a new second video and expand on that. I love it. Absolutely grown up version kid version.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: we truly like to celebrate good behavior at the Emily Post Institute. So each episode we like to do an awesome etiquette salute. So I'm going to tackle our etiquette salute today and our salutes a bit of an unconventional one and that I'm going to give it to Jonah Hill, who recently got himself in a bit of hot water with some things that he said that weren't appropriate. And I don't wanna to investigate that too much, because what I really want to focus on is his apology, which was remarkable. It was an example of what I would call a Nepal aji done well, and the celebrity apology has become a thing These days we're hearing about the Emily Post Institute. People want to know about celebrities who feel the need to apologize and what makes a good one. And what makes a bad one in this increasingly public world, knowing how to handle your mistakes says as much about you is how you handle your successes. We're all gonna make mistakes. Accidents are gonna happen in life. And, um, Jonah Hill took the time to go on the Late Show with Jimmy Fallon and offer a sincere and genuine apology. He put on a suit. He tackled the question of his mistake with seriousness. He talked about the circumstances and conditions that that, um, generated it. But he didn't use that as an excuse. He took responsibility for what he did, and I really appreciated that. I appreciated watching him do it, and it actually made me think mawr of him. I'm sorry. And I
Speaker 2: don't deserve or expect your forgiveness. But
Speaker 2: what I ask is that at home, if you're watching this
Speaker 2: and you're a young person, especially
Speaker 2: if someone says something that hurts you or angers you
Speaker 1: use me as an example of what not to do
Speaker 2: and don't respond with hatred or anger because you're just adding mawr ugliness
Speaker 1: to the world. And
Speaker 1: again, I just I'm so sorry. It really reminded me that good etiquette happens all the time. And I wanted to give a salute to Jonah Hill for Hiss. Um,
Speaker 1: for his excellent apology.
Speaker 1: Well, now wasn't that better? Look at the effect of a little polite.
Speaker 1: I think that's the end of our show for today. I want to thank you so much for spending some time with us. We often say at the institute that human attention is a gift on. We appreciate the gift of your attention today.
Speaker 1: Thanks so much for joining us for the awesome etiquette podcast. As Dan said, It is a gift to have you with us, and we definitely appreciate your attention and your spirit and your generosity for sharing your time with us. Please remember to write your questions into the awesome etiquette podcast. Awesome etiquette. Emily post dot com We love getting your questions. If you have an etiquette salute that you'd like to nominate, we'd love to hear about it. So definitely get in touch and find us on Twitter and Facebook. This is awesome etiquette, part of the infinite Guest network from American Public Media. The Infinite Guest Network has all kinds of podcast for you to listen to, including the Splendid Table, Dinner Party download and wits. Find them all at Infinite Guest or gig.