Episode 273 - Serving Leftovers
In this episode of Awesome Etiquette
Welcome to Awesome Etiquette, where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On today’s show Dan and Lizzie take your questions on sisters as bridesmaids, shared office temperatures, changing birthday plans, thanking wedding guests for attending, and serving leftovers to guests. For Awesome Etiquette sustaining members we talk about wedding postponements and the gift questions that come with them. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript segment on the spirit of gifting.
Speaker 1: maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social, couldn't see that's old fashioned,
Speaker 2: Watch how busy post and then post to act as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness.
Speaker 1: Hello
Speaker 2: and welcome to awesome etiquette
Speaker 1: where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty.
Speaker 2: On today's show we take your questions on sisters as bridesmaids, shared office temperatures, changing birthday plans, thanking wedding guests for attending and serving leftovers to guests
Speaker 1: for awesome etiquette sustaining members. We talk about wedding postponements
Speaker 1: and the gift questions that come with them
Speaker 2: plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript segment on gifting all
Speaker 1: that's coming up
Speaker 2: awesome etiquette comes to you from the studios of Vermont public radio and is proud to be produced in Burlington Vermont by the Emily Post Institute,
Speaker 1: I'm lizzie post
Speaker 2: and I'm dan post sending,
Speaker 1: hey you bad. You did. We weren't quite sure that we were going to make this recording happened. It was closed. It was ahead by had dad, my dad online Peter post
Speaker 1: on backup. He was on call on standby ready to come in just in case.
Speaker 2: I'm loving your dual script. If dan X Y Z If peter abc
Speaker 1: I know I feel kind of badly that our post script today. It was like, I was like if it's dan we're going to talk gifting etiquette. If it's dead. I think we should talk like Emily Post institute history, you know, get that older generation telling some stories,
Speaker 2: maybe we should just have a peter Cindy show. I think
Speaker 1: we should at some point. Absolutely, we should totally have a show with the fourth generation, but you're back.
Speaker 2: I know I aced them out
Speaker 1: today.
Speaker 2: I was catching flights and connecting through these snow storms that are just
Speaker 2: ruining holidays all across the country. I don't want you ruining holidays but making it more difficult,
Speaker 2: we should tell everyone, we're recording this on Wednesday afternoon the day before thanksgiving. That's true. And I was tasked with getting from michigan to Burlington Vermont, so from saginaw michigan to Burlington Vermont, you're going from kind of small regional airports through the major hubs and
Speaker 2: figuring out a way to time that connection so that I didn't end up
Speaker 2: Sitting somewhere on Thanksgiving morning while three ft of snow falls all around me. It is such a relief to touch down in Burlington, it is so good to be here with you to be within a short drive of my family and to be with our entire awesome etiquette audience.
Speaker 1: I'm really proud of our audience right now because a lot of them are joining us on Patreon.
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Speaker 2: as well as from people who have thought for a while about joining the sustaining member community who are giving it a try because
Speaker 2: it's a moment of transition and change. That's a good thing to give things to try
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Speaker 2: One of the things that I am liking so much is that something about that
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Speaker 1: but their notes and messages in email and they
Speaker 2: feel kind of personal and I'm always sort of a little jazz Doha new Patreon and
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Speaker 1: I was going to say after you get a nice holiday with your family and before you fly out to Arizona for your next business trip,
Speaker 2: we will get it done and it makes perfect sense. People don't want to always have to visit unique websites to listen to their podcast. They want them all in one place, we're going to get you that rss feed so you can plug it into your favorite podcast player and listen to your ads free version of the show wherever you like to listen to podcasts,
Speaker 1: awesome. I absolutely love it and you know what else? I love,
Speaker 2: what would that be answering
Speaker 1: etiquette questions. Well let's get to it. Let's get to it,
Speaker 1: awesome etiquette is here to answer your questions on how to behave. And if you have a question for us, you can email it to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. Leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 K I N D. That's 8028585463 on twitter. You can find us at Emily post inst on instagram. We are at Emily Post institute
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Speaker 1: where you can access a totally ads free version of the show and all your bonus questions.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 2: Our first question today is about sisters of the bride who
Speaker 2: lizzie and dan. I have an issue with making a decision on how to handle choosing my bridesmaids.
Speaker 2: My fiance has already stated he is going to have four grooms men. So I want to have the same amount of bridesmaids.
Speaker 2: I'm not close to my sisters but we do love each other and truly enjoy spending time together?
Speaker 2: I just think we wouldn't be friends if we were not related,
Speaker 2: we are very different people. So at first I thought I knew I was going to have my friends be in the wedding, but one of those friends also happens to be my future sister in law. So then I wondered if I should invite my sisters to be bridesmaids not wanting them to feel left out while my fiancee's sister is in the wedding.
Speaker 2: I know my middle sister will probably say no due to her discomfort in these sorts of things. She doesn't like people looking at her and she will definitely hate having to get her hair and makeup done and take bridal party photos
Speaker 2: that being said. If my oldest sister says yes, my middle sister will feel obligated to be in the wedding and say yes even if she doesn't want to,
Speaker 2: I plan on inviting them all to the bridal parties and gatherings, even if they are not in my wedding, so they will be included in the festivities.
Speaker 2: I also already know who my maid of honor, my best friend and not a sister will be, regardless of which decision I make. So they don't have to worry about maid of honor duties. I just don't want them to feel left out of the formal ceremony.
Speaker 2: Should I even ask them in the first place to be in the wedding or should I just save them the trouble and just get my friends to do it.
Speaker 2: Is it a slight to have my future sister in law in the wedding while my blood sisters are not sincerely bride with sisters?
Speaker 1: I feel for all the levels of simplicity and practicality and looking at people's preferences, but also, you know, recognizing it's a big day, you might want to feel left out. Like there's so much that dear reader here, dear listener, I should say, is balancing in her brain. I love the little
Speaker 2: detail, the very human detail that
Speaker 2: the middle sister probably wouldn't want to do it. But if the oldest sister does
Speaker 2: and I'm doing it, then the middle sister would probably want to. It it makes perfect sense. And so middle and so old. I
Speaker 1: mean it's just it's fabulous! So kudos to you, first of all for thinking all this through Second of all, I think that
Speaker 1: because you wouldn't
Speaker 1: be upset with either of your sisters participating in your bridal party. This answer is really simple for me. You just ask
Speaker 1: ask them if they want to let them know, there's no pressure for them to be, that you want them to be happy and comfortable celebrating you. However they feel comfortable doing that, but that you wanted to give them the option of being in the bridal party? I think that's the way you go with this.
Speaker 2: It makes a lot of sense to me,
Speaker 2: sibling relationships are so important,
Speaker 2: My mother told me once long ago and it really made an impression on me that your sibling is likely to be the longest relationship you have in your life. Very true. This is someone who matters a lot. You're going to go through a lot with them and these big moments, these big transitional moments are real opportunities to
Speaker 2: thai bonds and to cement that relationship in ways that are significant, meaningful and important.
Speaker 2: There is nothing that says, they have to say yes or they have to participate. Exactly. It really is something that
Speaker 2: people can decide for themselves based on their comfort and it is really nice for you to ask.
Speaker 1: I think when you make that ask explaining to them that you understand that one may want to, one may not want to and that again, your big goal is just to make sure that they are there on the day, however they feel comfortable being there for you is the way to go
Speaker 2: fried with sisters. We hope this helps you check this one off the list and wish you best of luck with all the rest of your planning
Speaker 2: in any family. We are bound to encounter a certain amount of rivalry among the brothers and sisters. The Children learn early that they are all to a degree interdependent and in the process, they learn to respect the others as well as themselves.
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled, it's getting hot in here,
Speaker 1: dear lizzie and dan, thank you for the wonderful podcast. I'm a longtime listener. First time question Askar. Thank you so much for writing in.
Speaker 1: I live in boston. So the cold winter days are quickly approaching. I started a new job in october. I share the office with four co workers. However, the space is divided so it's more like two rooms, each with their own ability to control the temperature. Oh, I know where this is going.
Speaker 1: I share my section with one coworker, let's call her Sandy and our desks are directly next to each other with a small partition dividing us. I sit in the doorway leading into our office from the busy hallway and Sandy sits next to the window.
Speaker 1: Sandy comes in every day and turns the heat up high. That sounds like someone else that I know and worked in an office space with.
Speaker 1: She often remarks, Wow, it's cold, I'm putting the heat on higher. Then she turns the heat as high as the thermostat will go. It goes up to 85° while the room gets hot. It does not actually get to 85°, but it's still making me sweat while I'm sitting at my desk. It's uncomfortably warm.
Speaker 1: I've started making comments while she is adjusting the thermostat to say,
Speaker 1: oh, I'm in a very comfortable temperature or I'm sure you'll warm up in a few minutes or you can put your sweater on?
Speaker 1: But she still turns it up.
Speaker 1: I have turned it down slightly a few times and about 20 minutes later she is over at the thermostat complaining that someone changed the temperature.
Speaker 1: I have started telling her that I had to adjust it because I'm sitting at my desk sweating. But she says, well I am cold and increases the heat. Oh no,
Speaker 1: I am the new employee and also about 10-15 years younger than she is. So I think she feels like she has control.
Speaker 1: Sandy keeps mentioning how she thinks the cold air maybe from the window, but that she has earned that window by working there for about 15 years. Please help. I don't know where to go from here. I have the sleeves of my cotton dress pushed up as I type this email and I'm still sweating. How do I get her to keep the thermostat at a reasonable temperature? Thank you
Speaker 1: kate. Oh,
Speaker 2: this is such a tough situation.
Speaker 1: And again, another awesome etiquette listener who is really thinking beyond just the immediate situation. This, I've tried some light nudges. Uh, this person made mention that they don't want to switch seats with me because they feel like they've earned the windows seat.
Speaker 1: There may be and this is where we're doing some guests work a little bit of age and longevity coming in to hear some seniority potentially even though there at the same job, What do you think, dear? Because how do we, how do we handle this thermostat?
Speaker 2: It's tough because a lot of the incremental approach suggestions that would be where I would start are already clearly illustrated here, Kate has done the work of mentioning it, of escalating her mentions a little bit of going from just talking about how she feels, even making little suggestions about ways that
Speaker 2: her co worker might
Speaker 2: make some adjustments to make accommodation if there's some middle ground
Speaker 2: that they could agree on together.
Speaker 2: I think that we might already be at the point where a more direct conversation is in order.
Speaker 2: I think so, because this is about your comfort and even to little details like the thermostat
Speaker 2: Only goes to 85 and it gets cranked up to 85 all the way and the temperature doesn't even get there and instantly my Vermont brain starts saying the room doesn't hold heat. That probably means the heat's running all the time, which means you might be sitting there with 85 degree are blowing on you. That's never going to shut off.
Speaker 2: This is a really awkward, difficult situation and this is coming from someone who loves the heat on about 85. Like
Speaker 1: I would still be in my jacket over in my office and I'd walk into dan's office is like a sauna, It was, I was so jealous of your heating system in that office, but I'm hearing this and I'm hearing that we've already tried to just deal with it
Speaker 1: right.
Speaker 1: We've already mentioned a few times subtly and directly. Um well I'm hot and, and what you're getting back is someone else putting their comfort above you and demanding that because they are cold, you should have to deal with being hot.
Speaker 1: I feel like there's two options here. You can either try to point that out in the next time that you have that very exchange. But I think you start to get into a place of being combative. I think it's time to go to management. I think it's time to go to your boss, go to someone who manages the office and say I'm having an issue here. I've tried dealing with it in these subtle ways. I've tried dealing with it in these direct ways and at the end of the day I'm now really uncomfortable and I'm dealing with someone else who is also really uncomfortable. There has to be some middle ground we can find, can you help us find a solution?
Speaker 2: It's definitely what
Speaker 2: management and organizational hierarchy is for that. There is a place you can go, they
Speaker 1: may not think that they're there to solve heating problems, but technically they are there to solve the problems of the workplace and this one also might be jumping into the category of cost
Speaker 2: kate has also done the other
Speaker 2: beginning step that I would suggest which is where layers
Speaker 2: and when this question began and I didn't know which side of the heat equation are question asked her was going to fall. It's either
Speaker 2: bring layers that you can put on if the temperature is too cold or wear layers, you can take off if the temperature is too hot, that's been done.
Speaker 2: I think there's a possibility for a discussion that's more direct, that's not combative. And I also want to tease out that possibility just a little bit,
Speaker 1: because let's hear it, let's hear it.
Speaker 2: I'm inspired to try it because sometimes going over someone's head is really awkward.
Speaker 1: It can be, especially on these interpersonal levels,
Speaker 2: it's there, it's a recourse.
Speaker 2: But those interpersonal dynamics can suffer. And this is someone you work very closely with, you share a small space with. And I also want to respect 10 or 15 years of seniority.
Speaker 1: I
Speaker 2: don't want to hear that it's being wielded
Speaker 2: in a way. Yeah,
Speaker 1: I don't I don't love that when I hear her her mentioning that as to why she's staying at the window, you know?
Speaker 2: But I also think it's worth saying if I were sitting in this person's shoes, if I had been working in this office for 15 years and someone who'd been here a much shorter period of time, months or even a year or two.
Speaker 2: I might say, no, this person
Speaker 2: has to earn a window seat or I've earned my window seat and I'm not just going to seat it, even if it might be a little cooler for this person.
Speaker 2: I think that's not unreasonable. I do think it's unreasonable to use that as a cudgel to
Speaker 2: not take into account someone else's comfort at
Speaker 1: all. That's the part that's really getting me on this one.
Speaker 2: I wouldn't want to confront them about that. I would want to keep the discussion about the temperature in the room and I think you could because you've already done the subtler messages, have one of those difficult or awkward conversations and this is a great time to
Speaker 2: review some of our tips for having one of those conversations. Well,
Speaker 2: you ask permission to have it. You say something like, you know, there's something
Speaker 2: that's been bothering me or something that I feel awkward bringing up, but I would really like to talk with you about it.
Speaker 2: Do you have a minute? Is now a good time.
Speaker 2: It's a prime ng strategy. It's a prime ng tactic.
Speaker 2: It's giving someone else the opportunity to give you permission to bring up something and once they've said, yeah, sure. I've got a minute or so. Can we talk about that at lunch? You've now got an opening, You've got an invitation to
Speaker 2: be a little more direct. You can talk about your experience in the situation.
Speaker 2: I'm really uncomfortable in the office when the heat's on at 85,
Speaker 2: you can also be very explicit about your good intentions and your understanding of someone else's position.
Speaker 2: If there were an issue like this, I'd really hope that you would come and talk to me about it. I really respect
Speaker 2: and appreciate that you like it a different way. And what I'm hoping is we can find some sort of middle ground or some way to work through this so that we can keep working together. Well you can
Speaker 1: add in the part about, I also appreciate that you work near the window, which is cold, but that that's a seat you've really earned and like you've spent a long time here and it's got a great view, I know why you wouldn't want to leave that seat
Speaker 1: At the same time. I have a hard time focusing on my work and I, you know, I start to sweat, I start to feel really uncomfortable at my desk when the heat is at 85, is there some kind of middle ground we can reach?
Speaker 1: The one thing that I'm a little concerned about here dan is that we've we've basically had some of this conversation, not the full extent, not the full wraparound of asking permission, not the full acknowledgement of where the other person is at, but we've had the part of the conversation where we say
Speaker 1: we we reduce stand up for kate's perspective and she says I'm hot, I'm uncomfortable, this is, this is creating a tough working environment for me and the other person just shuts it down and says, yeah, well, I'm cold? And that's it.
Speaker 1: How can we move if we get that same kind of resistance in that moment? If we don't get someone saying, Okay, no, I'm hearing you. How about we put it at 84? Um or what if she does do the thing where she just puts it at 84 instead of 85, and you're going that didn't really solve the problem.
Speaker 2: I think by having the direct conversation, by standing up for yourself, by being really clear about your perspective on the situation and being really clear about your willingness to listen to compromise, to suggest solutions, but also to stay open to ones that you haven't considered
Speaker 2: if you really get shut down at that point, you're in such better shape having that next level discussion or talking to someone else about
Speaker 1: I like that, I like that.
Speaker 2: And I don't want to say that kate hasn't brought this up
Speaker 2: because she has,
Speaker 2: but it's been brought up in a sense of up down, up, Down, up, down,
Speaker 1: right, no middle ground here.
Speaker 2: And what I really want is that search for the middle ground, an acknowledgement that there's a bigger problem emerging than just I'm hot right now, I'm cold right now, there's a I have a preference and you have a preference and we work in the same room together
Speaker 2: and those preferences are impacting each other and that's a bigger discussion. So that's not just where are we putting the thermostat right now. It's how do we share this space? And
Speaker 2: I want to give these two a chance to work that out between themselves
Speaker 2: before I bring in that higher authority. Oftentimes when I'm giving advice about having difficult or awkward conversations, the final piece of advice, the exit piece of advice is
Speaker 2: having an understanding of what your bottom lines are, can be so helpful in managing yourself in managing your own emotions as you're having this discussion and one of the tricks to having this discussion well
Speaker 2: is not responding with anger. If someone is surprised and not ready to have this conversation to be respectful to listen to, not be accusatory or demeaning about someone else.
Speaker 2: In fact, previous generations of the Emily Post institute have had this exact discussion.
Speaker 2: Good luck. Stay cool. It's going to help both get your work done and navigate this particular situation.
Speaker 2: These Manafort, Knox Kentucky being shut off in the world for 26 days. There volunteered to serve as Guinea Pigs for the Army Medical Research.
Speaker 2: It's 120° or higher for 10 hours of each 24, they have a feeling they can last only a few minutes, but within three days
Speaker 1: these men will find themselves immune to heat exhaustion.
Speaker 2: Hi Lizzie & Dan, I'm from Australia and have been listening to your show since about episode 50.
Speaker 1: That's so cool.
Speaker 2: I grew up in a family where etiquette just wasn't a thing at all. I often don't even get a hello, how are you when I visit family? So your podcast has been very enlightening and has made my relationships much smoother.
Speaker 2: I have always had the honesty thing down pat, little wink emoji. Now I've got more respect and consideration to complement it though, I'm always learning me too.
Speaker 2: Anyway, I have a conundrum. A friend asked us verbally to save the date a month before a birthday, high tea to celebrate her daughter's fifth birthday. Just us and our girls.
Speaker 2: The plan was to dress up and play at being ladies. My daughter was pretty excited. We discussed what to wear and I turned down another invite to attend a week before my friend confirmed that we were still available. Then three days before the planned celebration, she sent a text giving an excuse which read,
Speaker 2: do you mind we just grab an ice cream?
Speaker 2: The excuse she gave was weak. I suspect she just decided it was all too hard and expensive.
Speaker 2: The way she worded the text sounded like she was offering the second plan out of guilt rather than it being something she actually wanted to do to celebrate her daughter's birthday.
Speaker 2: Although I'm not sure of her exact reasons for changing. I feel insulted myself and on my daughter's behalf and I do mind, especially as she booked us so far in advance and talked it up.
Speaker 2: I wish you'd been honest and cancelled outright rather than offering up this consolation prize
Speaker 2: I don't wish to accept, but I can't say no without explanation because we've already confirmed we are available that afternoon or can I,
Speaker 2: I could say yes, but I'm going to feel uncomfortable during the celebration.
Speaker 2: Should I just get over it? Any ideas about how to respond
Speaker 2: for the record? My daughter is very disappointed, but I think she'd be happy to eat ice cream any day. I'm the one having the dilemma. Kind regards jennifer,
Speaker 1: jennifer, thank you so much for being a fan for so long and
Speaker 1: this is such a tough one and I just want to, I want to use this question as an opportunity to encourage parents and non parents alike that keeping your plans is really important. You never know how much someone has been looking forward to something, how much they've been talking something up and really
Speaker 1: the only reasons to cancel our for like, you know, something unexpected happens. I think that if it's an issue of expense, I as being jennifer in the situation, if I have it in my budget to offer to help. Well, would it make it easier if we hosted it?
Speaker 1: I mean this is I know this isn't exactly the idea behind it, but is there some way that you could still make it happen is the other parent just feeling a little overwhelmed and needing a little pep up and encouragement, you know, every now and again, my girlfriends and I have, you know, a date scheduled for a lunch or dinner or something like that and
Speaker 1: they've had a really long day, a big fight with a partner, just something going on and they just don't feel up to it. And sometimes they just need a little encouragement to say, hey, no, this is the thing that will make you feel great. You know,
Speaker 1: we don't know what the exact excuses,
Speaker 1: but I do think that it's important to try and offer to keep the day own and to have that kind of positive view and I know this is gonna sound weird because what I'm gonna say is I'm so disappointed but to say, oh no, we'd be so disappointed. Is there any way we can still make this happen
Speaker 1: so much different from, I can't believe you're canceling on us. Really know we're not going to go get ice cream with you now and I really don't think jennifer would ever say that to this person. She does not sound like that type of person, but and I agree with you, I do think your daughter would probably love to go get ice cream and that would be fine, but
Speaker 1: if you can't get the other parent to commit, talk to your daughter about disappointment, talk to her about the fact that some things don't go the way we plan on them. Sometimes people have to cancel for reasons we don't know about and we just have to find a way to be okay with it.
Speaker 1: Mom and daughter jennifer and daughter could maybe do their own special ladies T for the day.
Speaker 1: Maybe you turn around and invite other friends for a special ladies T and not to purposely exclude this child and her mother, but
Speaker 1: to just do something that you said you were going to do and get excited about doing. You know, my vote would be that you
Speaker 1: first ask if there's any way you can salvage the ladies t second say yes to the ice cream and use it as an opportunity to talk with your daughter. How do I do? Dad dan dan. The dad
Speaker 2: was a plus etiquette gold star. I love that answer. The very first thing that you said made my
Speaker 2: little parent heart sing,
Speaker 1: Is
Speaker 2: there any way we can, Is there something I could do to help?
Speaker 2: Could we host it? Could I help with the expense and you
Speaker 2: without knowing what the excuses? It's hard to know which approach is going to be exactly right. But I love that idea of offering to share some of that burden to make it happen to me. That's the perfect middle ground.
Speaker 2: I also really like the way you use it as the teaching moment or opportunity right now, Anisha, my three year old's favorite book is about
Speaker 2: etiquette princess tea party and it's this like wild red hair
Speaker 1: etiquette Princess tea party.
Speaker 2: I know I'm going to promote this book on this show in coming episodes because it's so much fun and the little girl that throws it is so exuberant and extraordinary and Anisha so clearly identifies whether it's so much fun and she
Speaker 2: throws this sort of very child like an elaborate tea party for a friend, but she decorates the chairs that they sit and she draws faces on balloons and put them on the chair and the pink ribbons all over the table. It's not expensive, but it's
Speaker 1: fun, elaborate
Speaker 2: and its elaborate and it's special to do and then its social because there's all of this stuff with the inviting of the friend and the friend's coming and you're excited and she arrives and some things go well and some things don't and you navigate it and that's awesome. It's an awesome little book and I want
Speaker 2: jennifer's daughter to have that experience. I wanted to share that with her friend and that made me just love your idea of what can we do to make this happen. And if it really can't, you don't
Speaker 2: get revenge, you go do that other thing, you participate, you participate well and you think about having that tea party maybe with that same person later on, maybe with some other people, but
Speaker 2: you don't let that disappointment sit for too too long because this would be a special and fun event
Speaker 1: and it's hard, it's hard as adult emotions knowing how people should behave. It's very hard when they don't and it's hard to see that impact our Children and the experiences that they've been looking forward to. So I sympathise a lot and just straight up take kids out of the equation as an adult dan knows, especially since we've moved our offices and we both work from home. I call him sometimes because I'm like, oh my gosh, I haven't seen another person, I've talked to people, I haven't seen another person, can we face time for a minute? You know something?
Speaker 1: And sometimes I'm so looking forward to that evening gathering with friends and when it doesn't happen,
Speaker 1: having to put away the side of myself that is deeply hurt, deeply upset, feels like not even excluded, like, oh everyone's getting together without me, but just like excluded from opportunities to go engage with people, you know what I mean? It's like, oh, I was so looking forward to that,
Speaker 1: I have to put that part away and say no, I'm hearing you, I understand. Or I asked that question of is there any way we commit, Would you rather just like do popcorn at your house instead? Like something? No? Okay, well we'll do another time, have a great night, then pick up the phone and go find someone else to hang out with the bad. Can
Speaker 2: emotions are emotions whether you're an adult or a child and I love jennifer is honesty. These are my emotions. I'm not going to put them all on my daughter.
Speaker 1: I
Speaker 2: love the motherly training advice. The way you're talking about learning to process that disappointment. It is so important,
Speaker 2: jennifer, great work introducing some consideration and some respect to your excellent honesty.
Speaker 2: Good luck navigating this tricky situation. I'm sure you're going to find a good solution mother.
Speaker 1: What do you suppose I didn't invite me to her party?
Speaker 1: Are you sure you didn't get an invitation? Maybe they tell you wouldn't want to go to a party? They probably thought I wouldn't know how to add. Hey, now you're named Cindy, my Cinderella, You will get an invitation to the party.
Speaker 1: We've just been some mix up. We'll see. Oh, it's not important any hell. Goodnight mother. Good night Cindy.
Speaker 1: Our fourth question today is titled wedding. Thank you's for attending
Speaker 2: question mark
Speaker 2: Emily and
Speaker 1: dan happens
Speaker 2: all the time. Thank you so much for your wonderful podcast. I love tuning in and appreciate your modern approach to etiquette. I'm hoping you'll be able to answer a wedding related etiquette question for my now husband and me.
Speaker 2: We got married this fall and finished up our wedding. Thank you notes last week bravo
Speaker 1: serious. That's like that gets etiquette rounds of applause
Speaker 2: we sent thank you's to all of our guests, including those. We did not receive gifts from our guests, traveled far many coming from the other side of the country and it meant so much to have them with us for our celebration.
Speaker 2: Did we make a mistake since dropping the letters in the mail? I've read varying opinions online. One side suggesting that a thank you note to a guest who didn't give a gift is rude and can be seen as a way of fishing for a gift.
Speaker 2: Another side suggesting you should thank all of your guests for helping you celebrate your marriage.
Speaker 2: I'm so worried that our thank you notes might have sent the wrong message. Can you set the record straight? Thanks again for all you do worried and wondering in California,
Speaker 1: so worried and wondering in California. I like I still want to set the record straight. I would love to have that kind of authority.
Speaker 1: The reality is there are different perspectives and
Speaker 1: I think it really comes down to the tone of the thank you that you wrote.
Speaker 1: And I think that if you wrote something along the lines of dear guests,
Speaker 1: thank you so much for only coming to my wedding.
Speaker 1: I really appreciated your presence. Some even say that presence is better than presence like you know what I mean. You could, you could see someone saying something like that and it just being such a dig at the fact that these people did not get a present.
Speaker 1: If you wrote a thank you note that said thank you so much for celebrating with us. It was so wonderful to have you there and I was so grateful that you took the time to come from so far away. We, it meant the world to us. I just don't think any of your recipients are going to give you flak for that. I have heard actually really frequently from media people calling in to do interviews about wedding gifts
Speaker 1: that people really get told often that if you have to fly to a wedding, you're not required to give a gift. And as listeners to this show, no, we don't quite subscribe to that same idea. We say, just go with a small gift, put something in your budget. You know, don't try. You don't have to get a big gift. You can get something small and simple and it can be really quite lovely.
Speaker 1: But this whole idea of if you took a plane or if it took you more than four hours to travel, we just don't get that nitty gritty about it. And so I think you did the perfectly right thing in this situation. I think that if you're tone was pleasant
Speaker 1: and just really focusing on how wonderful it was to have the person there. I don't think they're going to sense anything wrong or any kind of fishing for a gift going on here,
Speaker 2: worried and wondering, I want to add my voice to the chorus and put your mind at ease. Do not worry about those. Thank you notes that are already in the mail.
Speaker 2: I'm teaching my daughter to not worry about spilled milk and that's something that's already happened.
Speaker 2: And 99.9% of the time people are going to receive a thank you. Note, a handwritten thank you note and think it's wonderful
Speaker 2: if there's anyone out there listening, wondering how they could avoid this question in the future,
Speaker 2: you could always write your notes,
Speaker 2: post them
Speaker 2: and then just hang on to them for
Speaker 2: a couple weeks or a month. If there are people on your list that you knew you hadn't received a president trump,
Speaker 2: you could just hold on till the end of a pick, an arbitrary time frame, maybe a two month window or a three month window after the wedding, you don't have to. But if it would make you feel more comfortable to give those guests a little more time to
Speaker 2: get a late wedding President delivered,
Speaker 2: you could do that, you can still get your writing done and then just hold on that send moment. But I wouldn't worry about the letters that are already in the mail.
Speaker 1: Bear in mind that people do have three months after the wedding to get there, get to you. So, so it stands in that wheelhouse, I would probably wait till the end of those three months if you're in the position to do that. I think what our listener here has done is perfectly fine that they've already gone out, We're probably right on the edge of that, depending on if they got married in early fault, they get married in late fall then
Speaker 1: then I think we probably still have a few, a few more months where you might actually be getting some gifts coming in over the holidays or things like that. So just be aware and you can always send an extra. Thank you note afterwards for the specific gift that came in after.
Speaker 2: In fact, I think it would be advisable to do so
Speaker 1: I think so, too
Speaker 1: worried and wondering in California, we hope this eases your mind.
Speaker 2: You see now are different letters have different purposes. They
Speaker 1: do all kinds of things. These are letters of thanks.
Speaker 1: I just love this leftover cake question. I think it's really good.
Speaker 2: Our last question is about leftover cake.
Speaker 2: I baked a cake for thanksgiving and a week later I'm having a dinner party and I thought I might put the leftover cake in the freezer and bring it out for the dinner party where I will also be serving another freshly made dessert
Speaker 2: Friends I approached about this were horrified at the idea that I would serve half a leftover cake to my guests who are very casual people. Your thoughts.
Speaker 1: I loved overs forget, what do you think? Like, I love, I just love the gasping horrified moment of these friends and this other person sitting here going, dude, I'm trying not to waste food or this is a really good cake. Like, come on. Um I think that you're thinking about the right things. These are very casual people. I think rather than serve it up. My guess is that the people who are horrified are imagining you trying to pass this cake off and you've already got a freshly made dessert for the evening. I think saying something like I also want to just set out this fabulous cake that we had. You know, it's been in the freezer for a couple days. But I just it's so good. I wanted to offer everyone the chance to enjoy it.
Speaker 1: So different from feeling like you're getting someone scraps or leftovers.
Speaker 1: Also just a small suggestion, there are plenty of ways to make a quote unquote old desert look new and you might look into, could you take this half a cake and use like a cookie cutter or something to cut it out into small rounds that look like fresh new pieces.
Speaker 1: That's like the kind of tricky stuff you can do behind the scenes to pass things off. But
Speaker 1: I just don't see this being a problem with these very casual guests
Speaker 2: unless it's out of character for the type of event you're hosting.
Speaker 1: Yeah, well, very good point. Very good point.
Speaker 2: And that's essentially what you're saying. These are very casual friends, you're the host, you're acknowledging the scenario, you're setting the tone the way you want to set the tone if it's
Speaker 2: a fancy dinner,
Speaker 1: I'm probably
Speaker 2: not going to bring out a serving dish that's got a half made cake in it. But
Speaker 2: I would trust you not to do that in this situation.
Speaker 2: We hope that you can have your cake and eat it too.
Speaker 1: Thank you for your questions. Please send us updates, comments or feedback on our answers to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. You may also leave us a voicemail or text. We would love to hear from you at 802858 K I N D. That's 8028585463
Speaker 1: on instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute and on facebook we are awesome etiquette on twitter. You can find us at Emily post inst just use the hashtag awesome etiquette in your social media posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 2: it's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer and the topics we cover and today we hear from Katie.
Speaker 2: Hello Posts. I'm listening to episode 2 72. When it comes to paying for Uber's the line, I usually hear from the person calling the car goes like this.
Speaker 2: Hey, I'm going to call an Uber. Does anyone want to split it?
Speaker 2: The caller then invites all of the riders to pay for their share of the ride using Uber's split fare button.
Speaker 2: I think all the question Askar needs to do in this case would be to make it clear the fair is split and let the app take care of the rest. Katie
Speaker 1: Katie, we love it. I love I went that advice, no
Speaker 2: technology solutions. This is one of those examples where the tools themselves start to
Speaker 2: give us answers. The software guides us into the expected behavior.
Speaker 2: Maybe somebody doesn't have an Uber app to share isn't as familiar with it. But even introducing it like this brings up that splitting the bill in very concrete terms.
Speaker 1: Absolutely. Thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please keep them coming. You can send your comment or update two awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 K. I N D. That's 8028585463.
Speaker 2: It's time for our post script segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette and today we're going to talk about gift giving
Speaker 1: yes and no, I wanted to cousin dan just like tossed it right over to me and I'm going to say I want to toss it right back to you because I'm the thanksgiving girl in the family and you are the christmas dude in the family. You love christmas and you love gift giving
Speaker 1: and I, I even know that when there have been like like whisperings of oh we just don't want to do a lot of gift giving or oh materialism dan
Speaker 1: champions for diving in and doing whatever you can to make beautiful wrapped packages appear as surprises for people on this special day for us, it's christmas, but for whatever gift giving holiday, your celebrating, whatever the time of year, I want to hear some of my cousins thoughts about gifting well.
Speaker 2: So
Speaker 2: one of the reasons I love it so much as I love giving people things, it's not that I want to sit at the tree with a big pile of things that all have my name on them and I tear through them, although that is kind of fun.
Speaker 2: I really enjoy the experience of finding something that I think someone's going to love and giving it to them and
Speaker 2: I think it's a way to show appreciation for a person. It's also a way to show appreciation for the relationship that you have with them and they're slightly different things and I like to think about ways to honor and acknowledge both. I think that
Speaker 2: for me, the oldest cliches about gift giving are all true. It really is the thought that counts and it's so cheesy. It's not about how much you spend, it's about the attention that you put into it, it's about the effort, it's about the care,
Speaker 2: it's about the quality of the delivery sometimes something that's very inexpensive and little but that really speaks to a shared moment or experience or shared passion
Speaker 2: can really be meaningful or significant for someone. So
Speaker 2: put your head into that space, set a budget for yourself. This is where we're going to start to get into some of the gift giving advice so that you feel comfortable with what you're spending, know what you can afford and then stick to it
Speaker 2: and maybe what you can afford his time. Maybe what you can afford is money. Maybe what you can afford is your creativity. But set that budget, stick to it and then spend some time thinking about how you can distribute it and
Speaker 2: and deliver
Speaker 2: so that it really connects for other people as well because then you're going to shift your focus a little bit. You want to think about the person is going to be receiving the gift,
Speaker 2: keep your attention on them and you're likely to make good choices all along the way. Whether it's about what you're going to get or how you're going to present it or what you're going to
Speaker 2: say to them as you enjoy seeing it together. There's a slightly risky move
Speaker 1: okay with that. This is something you
Speaker 2: and I have discussed before
Speaker 1: smile, What is this cousin?
Speaker 2: Occasionally when gift giving, I like to think about sharing a passion that I have with someone
Speaker 1: that can be a risky move because if they don't have, if it's not their thing.
Speaker 1: Yes or maybe not
Speaker 2: or maybe it's even something that I'm not particularly interested in, but I know them well and I think they might be interested in it. I think sometimes
Speaker 2: there can be a delightful surprise that's part of a gift. And the unexpected is often times achieved by
Speaker 2: getting away from someone's expected interests, hobbies,
Speaker 1: passions, expecting like yoga class tickets or you know, like passes to yoga classes this year.
Speaker 2: I had some family members that suffered through that for a while.
Speaker 1: Absolutely.
Speaker 2: It will not be happening to you this year. But that would be an example, although maybe I gave five family members yoga mats or class passes. If just two of them discovered a new passion in that
Speaker 1: in a worthwhile gift.
Speaker 2: It's a little riskier, but it can also reap rewards if done well and I will put the lizzie post cautionary advice on it as well, which is that you're not just promoting what you're interested in regardless of what someone else thinks.
Speaker 1: I think it's really important to keep that in mind. Like dan. This is a running joke between us that whenever I say I feel older, I need things shaken up in life dances, get thee to a yoga class.
Speaker 1: Um dan met his wife at a yoga class is also where this comes from.
Speaker 1: But I think that it is good advice, but and I would I would welcome that if that that came to me. You know, it is something social, it's something good for the body, it's it's all these wonderful things, but I think you're smart to say that you do want to be careful. You know I'm an avid golfer, I know plenty of family members who are not golfers, not interested in taking up golf, me getting them. Golf balls is not a good idea. Um getting my father golf balls is like the best thing ever I never have to worry about is the easiest gift to go toward. But I do love both the idea of sharing something that you love with someone, but also really thinking about them and thinking about what they would appreciate. And one of the questions that we get asked so frequently about
Speaker 1: is about gifting money because so many people appreciate cash, so many people appreciate getting checks. And I was talking with a reporter recently about how awkward gifting money can be.
Speaker 1: It's so funny because I don't really want to put too many rules on it. I do think it's, I think it's a great gift
Speaker 1: But I can also see how like imagine if in the Christmas exchange that are cousins did if I just handed you a $20 bill and was like here you go. You know or what if our cousin exchange was actually a whole family exchange and I hand grandma like a $20 bill or
Speaker 1: Or if you hand someone like a $5 bill and I don't want to say that $5 is worthless, it's not, it's five whole dollars that gets you a whole lot of things and it might be what's in my budget.
Speaker 1: But for some reason that it's like different amounts and different delivery methods and different giver to recipient relationships can make money awkward. I was thinking about if a friend instead of like I had given a friend a gift and they handed me like a check for for $25, am I going to be like
Speaker 1: thank you.
Speaker 1: It's a little, you didn't have to, you know, I don't know but I don't want to say like I'm turning down and give the money.
Speaker 2: Well this is a perfect setup for another piece of etiquette advice when you're choosing gifts, you personalize the gift with a little bit with the choice you make. If you're giving money. I think it's really important to personalize that gift in other ways. I agree. You really want to have some kind of note with it. I was thinking about you this season and wanted to get you something that you can enjoy in any way that you like, like
Speaker 1: in any way that you like part of that
Speaker 2: especially and I'm thinking about you that you make an effort to personalize and connect that gift to your relationship with that person, your thoughts, your care for them, your good intentions for them.
Speaker 2: Gift cards can be great.
Speaker 2: In fact gift cards that expose someone to a particular story that you like can be great like
Speaker 1: yoga rama, I
Speaker 2: do think that you also present an appropriate caution
Speaker 2: if it would feel awkward
Speaker 2: to give someone cash if that
Speaker 2: Raises a little trigger in your mind, a little discretionary voice that says, oh that feels a little impersonal, that doesn't feel quite right for our relationship. Go back to that first piece of advice and honor that thought, try to think about something else, spend that $5 on a diary or a book or something else that would be more appropriate to that relationship.
Speaker 2: My
Speaker 2: Final thought on this one
Speaker 2: still thinking just about gifts selection you and I talk about this, it's nice to have some go twos, it's nice to have some things that
Speaker 2: are, you don't want to say universally appreciated but are almost universally appreciated, disposable luxury things that are yummy and expensive things that you use one time
Speaker 2: and are a little expensive, they can be really nice treat gifts for just about anybody at any occasion. It's nice to
Speaker 2: have a few of them that you can turn to
Speaker 1: buy disposable. I think you're meaning like consumables, it's not so much something you're going to get that someone's going to throw away immediately. But one of the things I was talking with my family about because we all have done a great amount of cleaning out and trying not acute not to accumulate things.
Speaker 1: So when my family have been asking for ideas for birthday and christmas and things like that, I said, oh man,
Speaker 1: things, I actually use all the time are really great. A really nice selection of spices or baking ingredients that I don't typically get for myself, you know, or that I'm thinking about. But boy, it's really nice when it's just on hand in that cupboard for me,
Speaker 1: a gift certificate to favorite restaurants that I could go out with some girlfriends and have a great meal or participate in that those are the kinds of things that start to engage my life. I even, I even put on the list like you know,
Speaker 1: car wash gift certificate, you know, like practical but so awesome when you're sitting in your car, you know there's a ton of salt on it and you're like boy, I should really take care of this and you open up your glove box and there it is right there, waiting for you. Hahahaha, Problem solved.
Speaker 2: I did car detailing last year,
Speaker 1: that kind of stuff. So there are some very practical gifts, some very things that can seem like, oh that's not gift E enough and instead it turns out to be a great gift,
Speaker 2: wait till you're driving down the road and your freshly detailed car just totally appreciating
Speaker 1: on your way home to use the spices that you've got a great, I
Speaker 2: hope that some of our enthusiasm for gift giving comes through in this segment and that it's something that you can approach with joy
Speaker 2: this holiday season.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Mhm
Speaker 1: mm.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: we like to end our show on a high note. So we turn to you to hear about the good etiquette you're seeing and experiencing out in the world and that can come in so many forms. And today we hear from Stephanie,
Speaker 1: I want to salute the hostess carrie who seated us recently at Cheddars. I specifically asked for a table because my father in law was with us and he is very round
Speaker 2: around the middle and cannot
Speaker 1: fit into a booth. And when I asked for a table, she looked up at me and listened and nodded
Speaker 1: to tell me she understood
Speaker 1: many times. When I specifically asked may we please have a table instead of a booth
Speaker 1: and are shown to a booth. It embarrasses my in laws when we have to refuse the booth and ask again for a table and sometimes even have to explain that it will not be comfortable for everyone in our party.
Speaker 1: It was so kind of Kerry to stop,
Speaker 1: listen and confirmed the request and save us from that very uncomfortable moment,
Speaker 1: sincerely comfortably seated,
Speaker 2: comfortably seated. You paint a vivid picture and I'm thinking about that moment of understanding that happens between people with just eye contact and how important, how meaningful, how significant that can be.
Speaker 1: I love this too because listening is so important and paying attention and it's not that every single thing that is said has has a double meeting or a hidden meaning to it.
Speaker 1: But when someone does make a request, sometimes not giving a whole lot of pushback or questioning as to why it's so important
Speaker 1: saves people from a lot of embarrassment. And I think that we're hearing that in this particular scenario with this particular family. It's not true for everyone, but it does mean something when you choose to make a request and someone just simply entertains us
Speaker 2: comfortably seated. Thank you for this salute.
Speaker 2: Yeah,
Speaker 2: yeah.
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Speaker 2: Our show is edited by Chris Albertine, an assistant produced by Brigitte Dowd. Thanks Kris and Brigitte.
Speaker 1: Thanks Kris and Brigitte.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: Yeah.