Episode 281 - On Robocalls
In this episode of Awesome Etiquette
On today’s show Dan and Lizzie take your questions on pay raise celebrations, handling robocalls, lost-gift guilt and a post wedding brunch. For Awesome Etiquette Sustaining members our question is about a party incident that left a stain and who should make up for the damage. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript segment on wedding attire.
Speaker 1: maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social, could you see that's old fashioned,
Speaker 1: watch how busy post and they're supposed to act as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness.
Speaker 1: Hello and welcome to awesome etiquette where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On today's show we take your questions on pay raise celebrations, handling robocalls, lost gift guilt and a post wedding brunch for awesome etiquette sustaining members are question is about a party incident that left a stain. And who should make up for the damage? Plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript segment on wedding attire. All that coming up.
Speaker 1: Mhm,
Speaker 1: 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. I'm lizzie Post and I'm dan post sending because how's it going go? And we are ever dealing with little things at the institute and some are little, some are big, but whatever
Speaker 1: ever a work day ever on monday, you know, absolutely, the new year has begun. We are moving forward. We are and part of our moving forward is as you have heard us talk about on the show in recent weeks, moving forward to Patreon dot com
Speaker 1: and with that move, we are very excited because dan announcement when we launched the Patreon account for awesome etiquette, we set a goal of getting as many subscribers on the new platform as we had on our old platform and we reached that goal last week and
Speaker 1: I'm ecstatic about this, I don't even know what to say, I want to thank our community so so much for sticking with us for being so supportive. When we put that goal up. It was sort of prompted by Patreon as I was setting up the new platform and I thought to myself, this is a little ambitious, we're not going to hit this anytime soon, and I didn't want to put it up. In fact, I wanted to set a smaller goal, but I said, you know
Speaker 1: why not the goal to do it? And
Speaker 1: our community came through, thank you so much to everyone out there who's gone to Patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette become a sustaining member or even if you thought about it and you put those vibes out there, someone else felt them.
Speaker 1: If you were a member on the old platform and you haven't made the switch, we also want to thank you for your support. When I was closing that account out for the last time, I was
Speaker 1: looking at the emails of people that have been members for years and
Speaker 1: it reminded me of how lucky we are, how fortunate we are. So thank you so much. We truly, truly are. This is definitely one of our most favorite parts of our job and we really appreciate the support of our sustaining members, dan
Speaker 1: dan was raising his hand in studio call on me call permission to talk, please permission to dog. So funny.
Speaker 1: Um, I remembered something else that I have to share about Patriot.
Speaker 1: I have been getting a lot of feedback through that platform from people who are now users there and they're telling me that it's easier to see the bonus question that comes with each show. So when you go to the Patreon page, there's the this week's ads, free show. And then right below it is the bonus question we have over 100 bonus questions from shows that predate the move to Patreon.
Speaker 1: So I'm going to be clustering bonus questions together in groups of five and putting them out each week. So for the next you do the math 100 divided by five weeks, there will be a shows worth of bonus questions going up on the Patreon account, it's not going to have all the bells and whistles, you won't get an intro like you're hearing right now, but that's a lot of content that's going to be appearing on that site over the coming weeks.
Speaker 1: Thank you for the encouragement from our audience and for those of you that aren't sustaining members. Thank you for bearing with us on a very sustaining member focused intro today. No, no. For those of you that aren't sustaining members, come join and be a sustaining member and come get your bonus questions and your ads, free version of the show, join us, join us, join us. Or that
Speaker 1: speaking of joining us, do you think that we should join our audience for some questions? Let's do it.
Speaker 1: Mhm
Speaker 1: awesome etiquette is here to answer your questions and you can email them to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. Leave a voicemail or text at 802858 K. I N. D. That's 8028585463 Or reach us on social media on twitter. We are at Emily post inst on instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute and on facebook we are awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: Our first question is about a pay raise celebration.
Speaker 1: Hey Daniel and lizzie, first of all, I love your show. It's made me so aware of how positive little actions can make a huge difference in my social circles and I really enjoy listening on my way to work.
Speaker 1: I have an odd question for you regarding celebrating a pay raise at work.
Speaker 1: My friend got a pay raise at work today and texted me and one other woman about the raise, the specific percent increase and how proud of herself she was.
Speaker 1: She then invited us out to celebrate with dinner and wine that evening.
Speaker 1: She's definitely worked hard and earned this, but I was a little confused by the text. First of all, our little group doesn't typically discuss salaries, so it felt out of place.
Speaker 1: Second, it was a celebratory event. Typically I would bring a gift or offer to pay for dinner or wine, but as we have never done this type of celebration for raises and bonuses, We have done them for promotions.
Speaker 1: I wasn't quite sure how to tackle it.
Speaker 1: Was this appropriate for her to initiate a celebration in honor of her new salary?
Speaker 1: Should me and my other friend have brought a gift and paid for the meal. Thanks for all you do. Best anonymous anonymous. This is such a great question and one that we have never addressed in the five years that we have been operating the show.
Speaker 1: I think it's so great because there are so many delicious little details in here. The specific percent of the increase, which doesn't necessarily tell you the dollar amount or how much someone or what they were paid. So that's an interesting thing to choose. But it's pretty specific share, but it is specific and at the same. Uh, there's so many things to talk about here. Okay, so the percent is the interesting thing being shared.
Speaker 1: But then the request by the person who is celebrating, who is happy, who the good thing has happened to to celebrate with two of her friends and these are specifically to work colleagues. So it sounds like they've done other things like this promotion, you know what I mean? And so that's this is not
Speaker 1: out of the realm of possibility, it's something that these people do celebrate, but at the same time
Speaker 1: you're asking for people to come out and celebrate you and they have questions, do we have to bring a gift? You initiated this. That's kind of odd. We feel this when we also answer them. May I throw my own birthday party question? But this is like, you know also I got to just put it out there empowerment
Speaker 1: people who are on their own in the world and I don't mean that this person has no family, no friends, no nothing, but
Speaker 1: just
Speaker 1: might really want to celebrate themselves. And as a single woman I really identify with, I had an amazing work day, I want to go out and celebrate, but I have to ask other people to join me for that. And no, I'm not expecting for them to pay for me.
Speaker 1: It's a funky little spot of etiquette. It really is. And this is where I'm sort of parsing it. I'm saying to myself,
Speaker 1: are these friend friends or work friends
Speaker 1: interesting why that divide social friends? I'm totally comfortable saying
Speaker 1: I got great news, I got a raise, I want to celebrate, let's go do it. I could call my brother and say that. But when you do that, are you thinking that they should be celebrating that they're going to cover it or are you thinking I just want to go out and celebrate? Good question. Because it starts to answer the etiquette questions that this is
Speaker 1: built on, The situation is built on. If I'm
Speaker 1: making that kind of offer to close friends, know I'm not expecting them then to play that host role, be prepared, have gifts, pick up the tab,
Speaker 1: suggest I order the steak, whatever it is. Me either for the record where it starts to feel a little awkward to me as if I'm turning to colleagues who I don't have that same sort of closeness and
Speaker 1: for personal social rapport with. And this is where it becomes a judgment call because it's not that your friends at work can't be that kind of close circle, but if they are, but they're not necessarily and I wouldn't necessarily turn to my work colleagues and say, yea, big raise for me, let's go celebrate. Okay, hold on one second. Um, but you do, because you work with me and you and I are very close and here's a moment where I could see
Speaker 1: it actually almost being more appropriate for the two of us to go out and celebrate something together, we work together, we work really closely together, we work really hard.
Speaker 1: Each of the successes at the company really come down to the two of us. I could almost see it in my life, for instance, I could almost see it being more appropriate
Speaker 1: to choose you and Susan to go celebrate a big, let's say the today's show thing or something else. I could see wanting to go celebrate that with the two of you over wanting to do it with my friends. Great point. And if I were to receive an invitation like this from a co worker, I would take it in that spirit. I would say,
Speaker 1: uh, no, this doesn't hit all of the marks of sort of a more formal work relationship. That probably means they feel differently about me, close to me and we're but you sort of take that as a sign of affection, good report. And you participate, you participate the best you can. We often say an etiquette that you look to the invitation to figure out how to
Speaker 1: proceed with an event. And
Speaker 1: this might have been an invitation. It might have been more of one of those in formal invitations. How do you feel about as opposed to would you join me?
Speaker 1: And that's where the language starts to matter a little bit. Something tells me that the tone of this didn't quite land right, just based on the question
Speaker 1: that we received that. Something about the way the ask happened
Speaker 1: made someone feel a little uncomfortable so that it may be that note wasn't struck perfectly. My thought is a little different on this. I think we live in a casual society and I think that we live in one that communicates quickly via text often,
Speaker 1: and I think that I can picture this person, this friend having received the raise at work, being really excited about it and wanting to go out and celebrate just like anonymous says throughout this entire piece, You know,
Speaker 1: and I can just see that coming in the form of I'm so elated, I'm so excited, these two people know what this is like for me, I want to celebrate. Can we go grab dinner together, we go do something fun. I'm hearing that kind of attitude and spirit about it. So here's where for me, the etiquette comes in if we're not in a formal structure and we're not in this case, this was an invitation via text message. If we're not in a formal structure where someone, you know, days after the event is sending you an email or a handwritten card or leaving a voicemail that says, I'm really wanting to celebrate something great in my life, hoping that you can come out to this part, you know, this event, that kind of thing.
Speaker 1: That's the more formalized, I think, and almost like natural way that that would happen nowadays, as opposed to receiving a handwritten note about it. You know what I mean? Like, or a handwritten invitation. So when we come to this more kind of casual text message in the moment, I'm excited. Today's the day that it happened. I want to go out and grab a drink.
Speaker 1: I think we're actually in pretty good stead to find some comfortable zones and I think the comfortable zone is that you you go out
Speaker 1: and you celebrate with this person. Maybe you buy a glass of champagne or a round for the group of three, but you don't assume that you're on the hook for a gift and dinner. You might choose to pick up a card on your way,
Speaker 1: but this doesn't sound to me like this person was looking to set up a party in their honor, whereas the other version of, I'm gonna kind of plan this out and picking a spot, I'm gathering it. I'm telling people a couple of days ahead, that sounds more planned out and more like we could get into some awkwardness of etiquette on it, you know what I mean?
Speaker 1: And I do believe that the 100th anniversary edition of the book that we are we are looking to come out with Next is going to address the issue of how do single people celebrate themselves properly and well, so that you don't create confusion among friends or coworkers like this, But
Speaker 1: my guess is that we were in a pretty casual place of in the moment excitement
Speaker 1: that this person, this friend isn't looking for everything to be taken care of. It's not a heavily structured event. I would take it in that vein
Speaker 1: if you can afford to offer to buy one round of drinks, but don't don't try to feel like you have to pay for everything. I love that spirit. I love using the nature of the invite, how quick and in the moment it was as your indication that this is in that casual informal space. And I'm going to go with the enthusiasm that I'm feeling here
Speaker 1: in the interest of not interrupting that enthusiasm, and I'm thinking about advice for both sides of this equation. If I'm sending that text, I might not include the percent of the rates. Yeah, that's the part that feels a little a little like, it's a little less like, Yeah, it's a psych. Let's go. And a little bit more.
Speaker 1: Yeah, I'm just like, look at this, let's go. Yeah, you just be careful with that details. Like a percentage.
Speaker 1: It's a hint of impropriety that otherwise I think might have interrupted What is a really celebratory moment
Speaker 1: anonymous. Thank you for sharing this question with us. It is a great one. Meet joe, The king of the workers of the world. Hi folks, joe's the king because he can buy more with his wages than any other worker on the globe.
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled Robocalls
Speaker 1: and I'm totally tossing this one too, dan.
Speaker 1: Hi, who has his face in his hands right now. Hi, lizzie and dan with the delusion of robocalls and spam calls, what's the best way to handle them? I usually don't answer the call if I don't know the caller, but occasionally a call will come through on my business line and could possibly be legit, but usually not
Speaker 1: if a real person is on the line, I usually simply say I'm all set, thanks and hang up,
Speaker 1: but why am I thanking them for disturbing my day In the past, I've simply hung up. But that feels rude. What do you do when you receive unwanted calls? Thanks Pat, in Vermont, hey Pat in Vermont, we love our vermonters. We do. And there's a reason I have my face in my hands. When I hear lizzie read this question,
Speaker 1: you have asked a question that is constructed in a way that is very pointed. You haven't said what is the way I should handle this? How should one handle this? You've asked, what do you do when you receive unwanted calls? And that was a big moment for me of of those three fingers pointing back at me when a finger is pointing at someone else, I handle a lot of the remote phone calls that come into Emily post, they go directly to my cell phone. I faced this exact problem. Unknown numbers.
Speaker 1: I don't have the luxury of ignoring them. And that means I take a lot of spam
Speaker 1: solicitation calls. And I also means that the phone goes to voicemail a lot because screening is necessary for us. My phone has started to warn me spam risk. There are some towns I know that of call centers that I recognize this is going to be a marketing call or a call that I'm not interested in.
Speaker 1: But
Speaker 1: that's not true of every call. So I take a lot of these calls and it is a challenge for me. It is a particular challenge because there are some
Speaker 1: marketing firms and companies that I've gotten to know very well and they won't take me off call list if I asked to be removed from call lists or for people not to call back or even to talk to someone higher up the chain, they hang up on me, which I believe is illegal of them. You're supposed to be able to be placed on a do not call list. So there are some providers who I know what they sound like and I know where their call scripts begin and I hang up before I even
Speaker 1: let them finish a couple of words and I want to make a distinction here. Are they real people? Or are they automated people? Because I hang up on automated people all the time. I feel no bones about that. As do I. These are real people, real people sitting in a call center
Speaker 1: and the relationship between me and the business they represent has deteriorated to the point where I don't follow the advice that I like to give, which is that you treat people like people and you treat them with as much respect as you possibly can. Patent Vermont asks, why am I thanking them for disturbing my day? I don't think you need to thank them, but you treat people with respect because they're people, it doesn't matter what they're doing. We say on the show all the time
Speaker 1: when you're faced with rudeness. Those are your opportunities to shine, to hold yourself accountable to be the bigger, better person to take the high road because that's where you want to live and be.
Speaker 1: And I do think that's important and that is at his advice that
Speaker 1: important to give. And it's why I start off defensive of myself and my bad behavior because this question has to come around to and you have to give the good advice that people deserve respect because their people and that's where you start from. Its very true people deserve respect because they're people.
Speaker 1: When you ask the question, why am I thanking them for disturbing my day? I think one of the things that we
Speaker 1: do need to remember is that if our number is publicly out there, if our number is something that we aren't choosing to protect, then technically the phone is one avenue that people traditionally get ahold of us via
Speaker 1: and it's our responsibility to control our devices and to control how we respond when they behave in ways we don't like, um or when other people are choosing to to call us in ways we don't like. And I think it's really important to recognize that
Speaker 1: that phone is a gateway for people to get to you and you have chosen to be a part of that system. And just the same way you couldn't control it long ago when we only had landlines who was calling in. I mean caller I. D. Was huge in stopping people from answering
Speaker 1: potential robocalls. It was, you know,
Speaker 1: things like that made a difference to these problems we face. But if you had a phone in your house, you were subject to it ringing unless you unplugged it at any hour of the day and subject to whomever was choosing to reach you. And that's just kind of a part of the way phone systems work with our cell phones.
Speaker 1: We have so much control now at our fingertips literally for whether or not we answer that call or how to know who is calling in on the other line, dan mentioned that he knows some of the
Speaker 1: areas are some of the numbers that start to show up regularly.
Speaker 1: We have that because these devices are amazing. But I think changing your brain to that place of you know,
Speaker 1: there's another human being on the other end that human being has a job and they're doing a job. I don't necessarily agree with their job but they are doing it. The only thing I owe them is the respect of being another human being. So what does that look like to me? Was he that that looks like
Speaker 1: just simply saying in a really pleasant voice to this person.
Speaker 1: I'm so sorry, but I'm not interested. I hope you have a nice day and that's when I hang up. I don't say thank you for calling, but I say I hope you have a nice day or you know, best of luck today, and that's it. And then I'm done and I'm out, that works for me as a sort of a minimum standard. The tone is important, that
Speaker 1: we get so much emotional information from each other, just based on tone of voice. Just keeping a pleasant tone of voice, saying, I don't have time or I'm not interested. Have a nice day
Speaker 1: to acknowledge a broader point about there being a person on the other end, we hear stories all the time about people that get into discussions longer discussions with people at call centers and
Speaker 1: have a moment of change, either in their day or the day of the person that they're talking to. A willingness to go beyond those bare minimums and really engage sometimes is surprising in ways that you wouldn't expect out of a call center call.
Speaker 1: I also want to start to descend down the list of acceptable responses just a little bit. So at the peak human connection, there's the deeper engagement discussion, there's the close the discussion down, but do it in a pleasant way, option.
Speaker 1: There's the I've recognized that this isn't a real person, that there's a
Speaker 1: no answer when I pick up the phone and I or it's clearly an automated system. I don't think you're responsible for that same human respect in those situations. You can go ahead and hang up. I want to return to the situation. I described the start of the call where there's a particular business that
Speaker 1: I now don't take calls from any longer.
Speaker 1: To me that's
Speaker 1: a tear that kind of drops out of the etiquette question and into the safe personal boundaries question that you do
Speaker 1: have the option of saying to yourself, listen, this is a relationship that's deteriorated. I need to protect myself from it, that I don't get the same respect coming back that I would give and that's happened enough historically, that it's okay for me to
Speaker 1: put up
Speaker 1: a boundary and
Speaker 1: it's important to be able to set up those boundaries for yourself to maintain your mental integrity. We talk about that in other etiquette situations. How does that look different though from the sample language that I used? Because to me,
Speaker 1: you can still be polite. You can always maintain your own politeness. So when those calls that are the repeated ones, that's the company that has not put you on their do not call as calls,
Speaker 1: that's where I would feel comfortable saying
Speaker 1: to the person high. I've actually repeatedly asked to be placed on your do not call list and that hasn't happened. I would like to be put on that list. I do not want to receive calls from you anymore. Have a good day, goodbye and then hang up. Can you go that route or does it look different to you where Because I sense that you want to justify some rude behavior here
Speaker 1: and that you're finding the way of doing it by saying I've done the polite things and now you're still badgering me
Speaker 1: and you know, the person on the other end doesn't. You know, they may have no idea that you've done the polite things already. So how do you handle it with your best self
Speaker 1: in that moment on that call, when I've tried that longer script, they hang up on me. Okay, that's good. That's happened consistently and that actually starts to be mentally draining, emotionally draining. That when you respond with that
Speaker 1: basic courtesy, basic human courtesy, you get hung up on.
Speaker 1: I'd like to talk to a supervisor, I'd like to get removed from the list or the person doesn't work click
Speaker 1: if I've gotten that enough times from the same company and they're calling repeatedly in the same day and blocking the number hasn't helped to stop the repeated calls. There comes a point where I think it's okay, it's okay to protect yourself. And I think that's tough. So what does it look like and sound like as soon as I recognize who it is
Speaker 1: and I don't want to identify the business, but they identify themselves. I hang up before it gets to the end of the sections, hang up. so it's it's just a refusal to engage. And I say that in response to your broader thought about phones are about engagement and you put yourself out there into the world and
Speaker 1: we tell people if you're walking down the street, you're responsible to treat people with respect. At the same time, if someone shoves you, we say that safety is more important than etiquette and mental and emotional, safety is part of that. And I think people have to make their own decisions about what that is. I'm going into this in a deep way because
Speaker 1: I struggle with it. You tease me about it, you guys have to understand. I do, I tease down about this all the time because it would be the only time I would ever hear snark and disdain
Speaker 1: and like this this other version of dan would come out when he would answer the phone and we were in the same office and I could hear it and I'm not trying to defend that. I've gotten better than that. This is the kind of interrogation that you want to do if you're going to excuse yourself from. Basic courtesy, the kind of self reflective thought. Yes, absolutely. And I think it's worth wrestling with, I think it's worth wrestling with publicly. I feel like I've exposed myself a little bit on this question, but I wanted to do that in some ways. Also, it is a tough call, especially when these companies are as relentless as they are. So patent Vermont we do think it is in your hands, you've got sample language for how to proceed if you would like to be polite and not thank them for calling.
Speaker 1: You also have dan giving his own personal admission of and there are some companies I just choose to hang up on right away
Speaker 1: and that's going to be a decision you'll have to make for yourself. But we hope that this helps and we hope that the calls can be blocked. Did you ever notice how some people treat others? We like people who are polite, we should always try to be thoughtful
Speaker 1: when we talk on the telephone, we should be kind and considerate.
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled I lost their gift.
Speaker 1: Hi lizzie and dan, Happy New Year. I love your podcast and have enjoyed listening every week for the past year. Congratulations on your new baby dan. Thank you so much. We have a new baby, Congratulations
Speaker 1: which has kept us home and your podcast have been entertaining me and now my husband, who is a new listener, thank you for the positivity and great advice.
Speaker 1: I have a recent situation that I mishandled when I was eight months pregnant, my husband brought home a bag of gifts his friends had given him in person for the baby. The next weekend we saw that friend and his wife at another friend's party and they handed us an additional small wrapped gift that they had forgot to include in the bag.
Speaker 1: I thank them but did not open the gift in front of them. The next morning I was looking through my bag and jacket from the night before it was a rainy night costume party and I was excited.
Speaker 1: So I both had a lot of stuff I was carrying and passed out as soon as we got home
Speaker 1: for the gift to open and could not find it. I searched our apartment, our parking garage and the neighborhood for hours and could not find the gift.
Speaker 1: I called the party hosts who live an hour away from us and they did not have it either.
Speaker 1: I felt so guilty and was torn about whether or not I should tell the gift giver I lost their gift.
Speaker 1: I was so grateful for their kindness and didn't want it to seem like I didn't care enough about the gift to hold on to it.
Speaker 1: Ultimately, I had the baby early and got wrapped up with that and never ended up telling them. I wrote and mailed to thank you know, specifically talking about the gifts we did open and sent texts of the baby using them after she was born. I still feel badly though, other than being more careful. What should I have done?
Speaker 1: Should I have told them I lost their gift before I opened it.
Speaker 1: Best wishes pregnancy brain pregnancy Brain. This is such a tough one because it's all right. In an effort not to swear. You darned if you do and you darned if you don't
Speaker 1: he darned if you do because it's like, okay. So I tell them that I lost their gift. Now, it's up to them whether they can afford to replace it or not,
Speaker 1: whether they want to help me look for it. Like it's just, it's it's awkward and then you darned if you don't because it's like, you don't have the gift, you can't thank them for the gift, you're feeling the way that you're feeling right now.
Speaker 1: I will pretty much always come down on the case of open up and tell them what happened because that's just me. I tend to do that more often than not. I noticed that that seems to be my default. I would rather try and just have it all out there in the open than try to cover something up or get by or you know, get away with something and and not get away with like you did some kind of crime, you didn't, you lost a gift at a costume party. It's very easy to have it happen. And for just that reason I'm hearing
Speaker 1: a very easy to hear lizzie, post sample script. I'm so sorry. I darn my pregnancy brain. I can't believe this, but I've searched through everything and I can't find it anywhere and I'm so disappointed because I didn't even get to open it.
Speaker 1: And I just want to tell you how sorry I am. You clearly went through the time and effort to to pick a great gift for me and I'm so sorry that I lost it.
Speaker 1: That's what I would do.
Speaker 1: And I don't think that requires or obligates them in any way. I don't think so either. That doesn't mean that they have to replace the gift or figure it out or do anything except say, oh, don't worry about it. We understand it wasn't a big deal, which is the most likely response. It was just a solid gold baby rattle, that's all.
Speaker 1: Exactly. That is
Speaker 1: not the likely gift inside that small package, not the like I'm thinking little ones, these little bibs. Little book books. Yeah, exactly.
Speaker 1: It is really thoughtful of your friends. It is really thoughtful of you to be thinking about how to honor their good intentions and maintain integrity in the relationship and in your own mind,
Speaker 1: congratulations on the baby and joy and joy and joy.
Speaker 1: The last word is, I'm sorry you say, I'm sorry like this.
Speaker 1: I'm sorry.
Speaker 1: Our next question is about a post wedding brunch, but not a post
Speaker 1: wedding branch. Post wedding. You got me? You feel me okay? Just checking.
Speaker 1: Hi. I would like to have a brunch the morning after my wedding at the hotel restaurant where we have our room block. We are expecting around 150 guests and approximately 90% of the guests are from out of town.
Speaker 1: I feel that because we have so many out of town guests, it would be nice to have an additional opportunity to see some family and friends that we don't see very often.
Speaker 1: The problem is that my fiance and I are paying for our rehearsal dinner and can't afford to pay for another event. How can I let my guests know about the brunch but also make it clear that we will not be paying for it.
Speaker 1: I have been told that if I included on my wedding website or in the welcome bags at the hotel, then it would technically be a hosted event and we would be expected to pay.
Speaker 1: A few people have suggested that letting guests know through word of mouth would be a good idea. But with so many people I would hate for someone to miss out and then find out after the fact what is the proper etiquette for this? Is there a way to have a brunch and not be expected to pay? Thank you. Anonymous.
Speaker 1: First answer is yes there is. I believe there is. Yeah. And the slightly longer thought is I love hotel breakfast at weddings. There is so much fun. It's oftentimes the place where you catch people at their most at ease and I think both guests finding each other and also the wedding family, The special guests get to interact in ways that aren't quite so formalized. Are you talking about like just casually people in the morning who happened to still be there on the sunday after as opposed to because a farewell brunch is actually technically a wedding event. Yes. And both, I like that farewell brunch. I like formalizing that
Speaker 1: experience a little bit and I also like the way it happens very casually and informally as well throughout the weekend, but I sometimes just happens, but it's nicer when it's kind of planned on
Speaker 1: and I think that by planning it, you give more people a chance to participate. Think it's a good idea. I say go for it. And the trick is figuring out the wording, so your damn hands off the quest, able to do it without creating an expectation that you don't want to meet later. Like I had a wedding, we had a farewell brunch, I don't remember what we said to make it okay we hosted it. I know, I totally understand that you can't afford to host this event and that means that what you're, you aren't going to host a farewell brunch and people are right, you shouldn't put it on the list of wedding events
Speaker 1: that are events that really are hosted by the couple or whomever is paying for the wedding. So it's it's really important that you not listed as an event instead. What I think you can do is get out via word of mouth whether that's an email to everybody, whether that is putting up
Speaker 1: a sort of paragraph on the wedding website that says
Speaker 1: while we won't be having a farewell brunch. Since almost everyone is gathered at the hotel. We are hoping to be available to hang out with people from
Speaker 1: you know, 10 a.m. To noon on sunday after the wedding and catch you, you know, as you, as you grab your breakfast before you head out the door or something like that, what you don't want to say is we would like to invite you or we're going to hold, please join us instead. It's, we figured while everyone is gathering and having their coffee and breakfast in the morning, that we would love to come to the hotel and have a moment with people.
Speaker 1: Um I think that that's, that's kind of the type of language you would want to use, the type of setup that you would want so that you aren't inviting, you aren't uh declaring that you're hosting anything. We have this question in reverse when it comes to um
Speaker 1: after the rehearsal dinner, people wanted to gather at the place, the rehearsal dinner was held at for beer and wine and you know, just general kick off, you know, kind of like a wedding kickoff party. But for everybody. And the idea was to say, hey,
Speaker 1: the rehearsal dinner is happening here and well that's just for the bridal party, We're going to stay afterwards and have a few drinks if you want to come
Speaker 1: and you know, grab drink or have dinner at the restaurant, we'd, we'd love to cross paths with you and it's more of a, you know, we're gonna be here if you want to stop by and say, hey, I like that spirit. I like the parallel with that rehearsal dinner after party.
Speaker 1: We live in an increasingly casual and informal world and figuring out how to take advantage of those opportunities without sort of stepping on the more formal structure of the wedding that have a lot of very sort of concrete expectations that guests will bring to them.
Speaker 1: I think it's worth thinking about and being careful with that language. I like the idea of keeping those announcements off the list of wedding events. That's another way to start to
Speaker 1: put up that boundary or that firewall between those two types of gatherings
Speaker 1: anonymous. Thank you so much for this. Great question and we hope you have a wonderful wedding.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: thank you for your questions. Please send us updates or feedback on our answers to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463
Speaker 1: You can reach us on social media on twitter. We are at Emily Post inst on instagram, we are at Emily Post Institute
Speaker 1: and on facebook we are awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts so that we know you want your question or feedback on the show.
Speaker 1: If you love awesome etiquette, consider becoming a sustaining member by visiting us at patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: You'll get an ads, free version of the show and access to bonus questions and extra content plus you'll feel great knowing that you help keep awesome etiquette alive.
Speaker 1: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer in the topics we cover and today we have two pieces of feedback and our first one is on episode 2 78 and the messy stepson.
Speaker 2: Hi, this is an I'm calling with feedback on episode 278 and the feedback is for Tom
Speaker 2: Tom called
Speaker 2: discussing the issues with his 20 year old stepson who was not helping around the house or cleaning up after himself.
Speaker 2: As somebody who's been in this situation in the past, I can tell you that although your suggestions were terrific, it may be that none of
Speaker 1: them will work,
Speaker 2: and I would suggest that tom consider what his first priority is. In terms of relationships,
Speaker 2: I'm guessing it's with his spouse and if that's the case, he should try to refrain from allowing this to become a problem between himself and his spouse. I think first, he needs to take care of himself
Speaker 2: and I had this similar situation and I eventually painfully learned that I need to choose the actions that result in my own happiness and
Speaker 2: make decisions for myself. And by that, I mean,
Speaker 2: if there's dirty dishes in the kitchen, I can either feel better about leaving them, recognizing it's not my work
Speaker 2: and turn the other way or I can clean them up because I feel better if the kitchen is clean.
Speaker 2: I think this situation is very similar to gift giving, to those who don't say thank you. Um I have many adult nephews and nieces and I would say 30% of them say thank you or write thank you notes,
Speaker 2: they're all adults.
Speaker 2: So at this point,
Speaker 2: I give gifts
Speaker 2: when I want to do it and it makes me happy to give them,
Speaker 2: not when I expect thank you.
Speaker 2: I believe the situation is similar,
Speaker 2: he should do what makes him feel best about himself,
Speaker 2: and not expect that he is going to be able to convince his life to help him in this uh battle and eventually, probably his step son will grow up and begin acting like an adult.
Speaker 2: That was my experience.
Speaker 2: And I would like to sign off as the wicked stepmother who now has a good relationship with her stepdaughter,
Speaker 1: Wicked stepmother who now has a good relationship with her stepdaughter. We thank you so much for your advice. I was going to say we love your advice and we do thank you so much for sharing it. It's such a good thing to take stock of the fact that when we want and are really able to we can choose our perspective on something.
Speaker 1: And I like the way that Wicked no longer uh Stepmother or I said no longer wicked stepmother is thinking about this in terms of,
Speaker 1: okay, if the situation isn't going to change and I want the house clean, maybe I need to just shift and say, okay, I am going to make the house clean and hopefully eventually the rest of the marbles and the bowl will shift around me. It's a good way to kind of buck up
Speaker 1: and move forward and do what you want for you because you believe it's right. And I like the liking to the thank you notes circumstance of
Speaker 1: I could choose to not give a gift because I don't get a thank you, but in reality I want to give a gift and that is why I'm choosing to give gifts.
Speaker 1: I just I like. It was really good. I love happy endings. Me too.
Speaker 1: Our second piece of feedback comes from Allison who was commenting on the sustaining member question for episode number 2 77. And in that sustaining member question, we talked about
Speaker 1: women continuing to use their first name as part of a formal title after getting married.
Speaker 1: Alison begins a fellow person with my title and name. Configuration two exclamation points. Yes, I would absolutely not be opening anything addressed to mrs his name. Our name because there is no mrs here and I am also not my husband nor his possession.
Speaker 1: The title thing was made quite clear at the wedding when our celebrant introduced us as Mr and Mrs.
Speaker 1: Most people of my age don't do the form of address that you've experienced because we consider it to be incorrect and disrespectful to women.
Speaker 1: We had had a question that had a number of how do we handle titles and how do we handle? You know, a woman taking her husband's name and then women who also take on their husband's first name. When we're talking about formal use of titles
Speaker 1: and names because there are there are variations. There are lots of women who take the surname but they will not be addressed
Speaker 1: mrs paul smith. The reason why we love this feedback so much
Speaker 1: is that because it really gets at perspective
Speaker 1: when Allison says I am also not my husband nor his posession.
Speaker 1: That is how the usage of Mrs husband's first name and then surname makes Alison feel. And it's really really important for people to recognize that when it comes to names and titles. This is incredibly personal and that your reason for not using a name or title
Speaker 1: may be very different from someone else's reason to not. And it's probably very likely very different from someone else's reason to use names and titles in a certain way. And there are many people who love the connection of of having uh everyone in the family under one last name.
Speaker 1: There are many people who love the connection of and the kind of old school tradition of using a husband's first name
Speaker 1: with their own and using that Mrs husband's first name. And our job at Emily Post is to not tell you that one is better than the other. But instead to tell you that it is your choice and that people have reasons for making this choice. Which is why you respect it. You don't say she's wrong for doing that. I'm going to use my way on her
Speaker 1: to tell her that she's wrong or to be correct. It's not correct. It's correct. To do what the person would like with their own name.
Speaker 1: Mic drop lizzie Post. I don't have a lot to add. I think that is a really important point. That's why we included feedback about a sustaining member question. We really wanted to share that with you. Thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please keep them coming. You can send your feedback or update two awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com or leave us a voicemail or text
Speaker 1: at 802858 K. I. N. D. That's 8028585463 It's time for our post script segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette and today we're starting a series on our top 10 most searched and viewed content on Emily Post dot com. So we're starting today with the article that had the 10th highest traffic on our website last year. And we will be
Speaker 1: climbing the ranks to the number one most viewed article on Emily Post over the coming weeks and article number 10 is titled wedding guest attire. We know that many people meet Emily Post for the first time when it comes to a wedding.
Speaker 1: Something else that we've known at Emily Post for a long time is that we could write a book just on wedding guest etiquette that there is always a chapter or a section in our big book on wedding etiquette that is for guests. But we've often suspected that that book ends up in the hands of people who are planning weddings and
Speaker 1: that a book that really was great wedding advice for guests is something that there is a,
Speaker 1: a desire for in the market. And one of the reasons we know that is that wedding guest attire is such a soft piece of advice from us. So we thought we'd review some of the tips about wedding guests attire because it is, it is such a broad category these days. I mean I went to this year, a backyard wedding
Speaker 1: that was super casual invitations were called into people,
Speaker 1: everyone was bringing a dish, I brought the wedding cake like and this really was a casual backyard barbecue. After getting married at sunrise on a mountaintop in their beautiful wedding attire, the bride and groom then switched to Hawaiian shirts and jeans and guests were showing up willy nilly late early everywhere.
Speaker 1: There was no like general air like the whole house was free range. So you had people who had kids running around the house, you had people playing long games, you had some people cooking food, other people just sitting and chill in. It was a really casual wedding. So the entire there could really be anything.
Speaker 1: Whereas other weddings you know you go to and it is, it's very specific attire, whether that's because the ceremony is taking place in a house of worship that demands it or whether it's because the club that it's being held at has an attire or because someone just really wanted a very formal wedding and they are requesting black tie or a specific type of black tie or a white guy.
Speaker 1: There are just so many different ways to go when it comes to wedding attire. And this is where, because our world is so much larger and because our experiences in life are so varied, we don't all have the perspective that shows that
Speaker 1: a wedding invitation that looks like this
Speaker 1: means I wear this to the event and we do have this sort of confusing space nowadays where even though that invitation is supposed to be the real, real setting of the tone for everything that I guess should be able to expect.
Speaker 1: If someone decided to not do formal wedding invitations for a formal wedding, you might not pick up on that clue. You know, if they didn't put a white tie or black tie or black tie optional on it, you might not pick up on that clue. In fact, a really hard time picking up on that blue.
Speaker 1: Um, but I think it's important to recognize that not all weddings are thrown in a way that makes it easy for guests to tell what to wear to the wedding,
Speaker 1: but let's go through some of the classics. So like number one, almost everyone does know this role is that especially when it comes to women, we are trying to avoid white. And what we're really trying to do is actually to avoid looking like a bride or
Speaker 1: stealing any attention from the bride or the happy couple.
Speaker 1: How do you do that though? And you don't know what the bride's dress looks like, right? Um, it's a general blanket statement and, and today we still see incredibly high trends of brides wearing white dresses and so white. A solid white dress is the dress we say do not go for. If we were talking about two grooms,
Speaker 1: I might be really trying to think about those two grooms, how well I know them and not try to wear the exact same type of tux or suit that they are wearing. Let them stand out. If you don't know, the best thing that you can ever do is to call and ask
Speaker 1: and say, hey, I wasn't quite sure what the attire might be or what you were hoping guests would wear. I wanted to check in about this particular outfit if that's okay in the same way that you're trying to avoid distracting from the bride by looking just like her. You also want to avoid distracting from the bride and groom or brides and grooms by not distracting from them with a tire that's too outlandish or two
Speaker 1: different and this, I just don't want to say, don't be different. Don't be unique, don't be yourself. But
Speaker 1: at a wedding, maybe try not to be your most
Speaker 1: I catching your most eye catching individual self. That really, this is an event about honoring these people and you really want to participate in that, participate by feeling celebratory, but also not by distracting from them.
Speaker 1: I love that because distractions can come in so many forms, right? It's whether you show up to a very formal event in a very casual attire
Speaker 1: or maybe if you know this isn't like distracting doesn't mean going full on camp for this. Okay, this is not like, you know, giant wings and 25 ft trains and make up, you know, to the high heavens, this is about, you know, if you're too casual at a formal wedding, that could be a distraction.
Speaker 1: Sometimes it comes in the form of the level of, of body exposure and what you're wearing is a plunging neckline going to be really risque and eye catching among this group or would a high necked color be really odd and different and, and you know, I catching in this particular group,
Speaker 1: one of the other when it comes to colors, there are two other thoughts that we have and one is that when it comes to black, there's nothing wrong with wearing a black dress to a wedding. You just want to make sure that you don't look like you're in mourning. Obviously don't wear a black veil with it, but also, you know, try and dress it up with either a,
Speaker 1: maybe it's a pashmina or a shawl that's really beautiful and brightly colored,
Speaker 1: Maybe it's that all your jewelry is really brightly covered or your shoes have a lot of color, add something to it that sparks you out of the category of funeral and into the category of sheep. And I would say the same thing for men dressed up that dark suit, choose a colorful tie, choose a kerchief, some laces in your shoes and socks. Take a
Speaker 1: little
Speaker 1: chance and introduce some color into the outfit unless of course it's a black tie event and then adhere to the black bystander. The other color that you want to be careful of, especially for ladies, is the color beige. It's iffy.
Speaker 1: It's, it's not bad. We see a lot of mothers of the bride in beige, but that's often because the bride has approved that dress in that color,
Speaker 1: but beige and really, really creamy color, whites and, and and things that run the gamut kind of in that in between. Again, you just don't wanna, you don't want to make it look like you were in any way
Speaker 1: trying or even breaking a rule about this at a wedding. So I do think beiges unless you've had it approved by the bride, don't wear beige. Final tip. We've said that you can always ask, you can always call the venue and ask what the dress code is. You can always call your hosts or your contact in the wedding party and ask what
Speaker 1: they're hoping or expecting people to wear.
Speaker 1: You can also be a little bit of a detective. Earlier in the show, we talked about those informal opportunities to encounter people around the hotel.
Speaker 1: I find that saturday morning breakfast often before the ceremony is a great place to lean to the couple next to you. And I'm asking usually the suit wearing member of that couple, are you going suit or jacket for this? And when I hear suit and I hear suit from a couple of people, I say, oh suit, I'm gonna wear a jacket and tie. The question is, are the pants gonna match in? And
Speaker 1: if I get a couple other people there in that zone then I'm going that way, dan you're so good because that totally means that you've brought a wardrobe that had options, which is probably one of the best pieces of advice we can give to wedding guests is bring more than one. Look when you go to a wedding, just in case,
Speaker 1: you know, goodness knows, something might spill on it, you might end up with a meatball on your shoe,
Speaker 1: whatever it is, I think it's important to try to bring some varieties so that you do have options. So if you get there and it turns out to be more formal than you were expecting or less formal than you were expecting, you can work with that and still feel really comfortable.
Speaker 1: The final thing I want to address is that length of dress because often formal is gown length, it's full length. However, in today's day and age, we have a lot of really casual maxi dresses that I think are actually very wedding appropriate if you're going to that semi formal or casual wedding.
Speaker 1: And I think you want to make sure that whatever length you choose
Speaker 1: and we often see for very formal weddings, it's almost always a long dress and for semi formal and casual you can get away with both depending on the dress. So a shorter dress, you just want to make sure that the rest of it is really formalized and that it's not, you know, short dress and plunging neckline
Speaker 1: and super body tight.
Speaker 1: You know, pick pick one or two of those three and then if it is more, if you are going long for more casual event, you want it to be more of that summery dress kind of style, that, that casual, almost day maxi dress that can go into night and I think that that would be really good. But the length is something we still get asked questions about.
Speaker 1: There's a reason we could write a whole book about this. We haven't really talked about hats yet. No, we'll have to save that for some other time. That's it for wedding attire today. We know there are probably more burning questions so please please please send them in and next week you can look forward to wedding replies and we promise not all of these are wedding.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Mm
Speaker 1: Yeah,
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. Today we hear from Sasha in Ontario.
Speaker 1: Hi lizzie and dan. I wanted to write in to salute the restaurant my husband and I went to for our anniversary.
Speaker 1: We are from Southern Ontario but had the opportunity to travel to Halifax nova Scotia for our anniversary at the end of october.
Speaker 1: A friend who used to live there recommended we go to a restaurant called the Five fishermen if we wanted a nice dinner. So I opened my open table app and made a reservation. When I finished I was asked if there was any type of special occasion, for example, a birthday anniversary etcetera. So I checked anniversary
Speaker 1: we arrived for the dinner at what was indeed a beautiful restaurant expecting to enjoy a nice meal but they went completely over the top. They brought out complimentary champagne to celebrate our anniversary, made every moment of the entire dinner feel incredibly special. And then brought out a complimentary dessert sampler with Happy Anniversary written in powdered sugar on the plate.
Speaker 1: It was an experience we will never forget
Speaker 1: both for the absolutely delicious meal and the extreme kindness and consideration offered to us by the owners and our server. Thank you Sasha in Ontario. Tasha, thank you. That's a wonderful salute and we're so happy that you had such a wonderful anniversary. Congratulations.
Speaker 1: I
Speaker 1: thank you for listening and thank you to everyone who sent us something and thank you to everyone who supports us on Patreon. Please connect with us and share the show with friends, family and co workers and on social media.
Speaker 1: You can send us questions, feedback and salutes by email to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com.
Speaker 1: Leave us a message or text at 8 to 858 kind. That's 8028585463 On twitter. We're at Emily Post on instagram. We are at Emily Post institute and on facebook were awesome etiquette and the Emily Post Institute. Please consider becoming a sustaining member. You can find out more about this by visiting Patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: You can also subscribe to the ads version of our show on Itunes or your favorite podcast app and please consider leaving us a review. It does So help our show rank.
Speaker 1: Our show is edited by chris Albertine. An assistant produced by Bridget down. Thanks kris and Brigitte.
Speaker 1: Mhm