Episode 283 - Informal Place Setting
In this episode of Awesome Etiquette
On today’s show Dan and Lizzie take your questions on wedding hosts who foot the bill, replacing a duplicate gift, an awkward thank you note situation and baby shower RSVP's. For Awesome Etiquette sustaining members our question is about wedding guests with doctor titles. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript on informal place settings.
Speaker 1: maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social, could you see that's old fashioned.
Speaker 2: Watch how busy post and they're supposed to act
Speaker 1: as host and hostess.
Speaker 2: They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness.
Speaker 1: Hello!
Speaker 2: Welcome to awesome etiquette where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty.
Speaker 1: On today's show, we take your questions on wedding hosts who foot the bill
Speaker 1: replacing a duplicate gift, an awkward thank you. Note situation and baby shower RSVPs
Speaker 2: for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our Question of the week, it's about wedding guests with dr
Speaker 1: titles plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript segment on informal place settings. All that
Speaker 2: 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: at this point in time, I'm back from the stationery show, but at this point in time I am still prepping booth things and getting ready to head out on friday. So it's a it's kind of that funny spot. But one of the exciting things at the stationery show
Speaker 1: is something that I know some of our audience members have been listening for for a long time and that is that we have launched
Speaker 1: the Emily Post Garden collection greeting cards by Ece Salazar. So we finally have greeting cards. We actually worked very hard to choose to work with the designer, the designs of her cards and her natural artwork. Not only we felt fit the Emily Post brand
Speaker 1: but also would really fit almost any occasion. We wanted you to have access to something that if you needed to send that condolence note, if you needed to send the happy birthday, if you needed to send a thank you or just a hello. We wanted this collection to be incredibly
Speaker 1: user friendly and really give you that card that you know, you can trust and feel good about. It's not going to be hokey, it's not going to beautiful. Yeah, it's not it's not going to be too fancy, it's not going to be too light, it's going to be just right. And esa's artwork is fantastic. She does beautiful water colors of florals and that's why we did the garden collection as many of you know, Emily Post
Speaker 1: was a master gardener and her garden on Martha's vineyard in *** town was famous and still is. So we really thought flowers were actually the right place to enter this world with. And we love esa, she's based out of Oregon and her product is printed in the USa which we love. And it is all original artwork by her
Speaker 1: and she's a dream to work with. She's very Emily Post etiquette, e she in terms of just she's a nice person, a good person, you know what I mean? And she's a small business owner. We we kind of loved just just how great it was as a small family business to support another small business.
Speaker 2: I wish everyone could see the faux ticker tape. I'm throwing into the air with the fanfare. I am so excited about this lizzie Post really took the initiative the last time we were down at the national stationery show and
Speaker 2: looked around and tried to find the right partner to introduce Emily Post stationary and she found someone she found esa. And I was also really delighted to hear you mention how much you like her because I know that relationship that the two of you formed, its foundational for this whole project is really cool.
Speaker 2: It's also really cool to watch it come together when we got the first images from the greeting card line as we're building out the web pages and all the ways we're going to share this with everyone. It's been really fun for me to see a product that I'm
Speaker 1: like, you actually using you would
Speaker 2: pick at the store. I think to myself
Speaker 1: this would be useful job.
Speaker 2: It would be nice to have this in the writing desk at the Emily Post Institute.
Speaker 1: Nice. That makes me really happy.
Speaker 2: Me too. And I know you're about to head back to the stationery show to launch this line.
Speaker 2: Step back in time. I wish you great success. And now projecting myself forward to the day this podcast airs. I know it was a smashing success.
Speaker 1: Congratulations. Thanks. Good. Thanks. We are really excited about it. This is hopefully just the first step into this world and we hope to be able to increase our options in the future.
Speaker 1: We will have a fall and holiday and winter line coming out
Speaker 1: later on this year. But we wanted to start with spring and summer and we hope that you will all join us in checking out the collection. You can definitely see it at www dot Emily Post dot com. We will have a page up for it and there will be promotion on our home page to get you to that page
Speaker 1: and then
Speaker 2: and have no fear. There will be plenty of social media
Speaker 1: postings. Yes, there will be a lot of social media posting and we will also put an announcement or blast out through our newsletter service. If you haven't signed up for our newsletter, please consider doing so at a milepost dot com.
Speaker 1: You will be able to order everything through esa Salazar's site and our site in the collection on our site will take you straight there. So please come visit us at Emily Post dot com. Check out the new collections. Get set up so that you are ready with the most appropriate card to bring to your next occasion or to send to your family and friends.
Speaker 2: Well, we get lots of questions about stationary on this show. I don't know if we have any this week but shall we find out?
Speaker 1: Yes we shall,
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
Speaker 1: and on facebook we are awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media post. So we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: 23
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 2: Our first question has to do with wedding hosts footing the bill. Hello, I am hoping you can give me some advice for invitation wording. I am officially desperate. I have spent hours googling and realized I should just go to you. The pros,
Speaker 2: my parents are divorced, my father has since remarried and my mother is still single. My father and stepmother are kind enough to be contributing the vast majority of the funding for the wedding. Each separately. By the way,
Speaker 2: the balance is left to my fiance and I to come up with my mother is not contributing at all. Which is okay. I understand
Speaker 2: in wording my invitations, the stationary place I am getting them from says that only the people who are hosting the wedding picking up the vast majority of the bill should be listed on the invitation since they are the hosts. I understand this, however, I know this would create an unbearable situation with my mom if she was left off,
Speaker 2: what does etiquette say in this scenario? I want to properly respect my father and stepmother for being very generous with their finances, but I don't want to leave my mom off the invitations to
Speaker 2: to add to this. My mom insists on going by mrs, even though my father is remarried and there is a new mrs. Would my mom now go by Miss?
Speaker 2: Thank you so very much in advance, Courtney
Speaker 1: Courtney, thank you so much for writing in to us. These are definitely like etiquette questions. I mean these are straight up, we've got two of them. A titles question and the who's hosting a pretty simple
Speaker 2: one. A slightly more complicated one. I know. Let's start with the simple one.
Speaker 1: Which one do you think is the simple one?
Speaker 2: I'm going with? The title
Speaker 1: question. You know the title question is that if you were both on the same page, the title question is the simpler of the two. It's just a little more clear cut. Your mom is perfectly within her right and within tradition, even to stay a mrs, it used to be that she would revert to being mrs
Speaker 1: and then her maiden name followed by her married, her former married name. So if her maiden name was Hughes and your father's last name was smith, she would
Speaker 1: as a divorced woman in olden days, be mrs Hughes smith on anything
Speaker 1: that really changed over time. And women's first names became more acceptable and more proper to use proper or more proper to use more common to use in everyday and so now we have the rule in quotes that
Speaker 1: if you took your partner's name when you got married, when you get divorced you can keep your partner's last name but you revert to using your first name. So if your mom was mrs Susan smith, she can stay mrs Susan smith after the divorce. It doesn't matter whether your father is remarried or not.
Speaker 1: This is a name that she changed and she accepted and she is allowed to move forward with it if she so chooses or she can revert to miss. But the important thing is that no matter what,
Speaker 1: whether she's on the invitation or whether she is receiving an invitation, she needs to be referred to the way she prefers to be referred and that that would be in her case, misses her first name and then
Speaker 1: her last name from her marriage.
Speaker 2: Perfect. So now the question of whether or not she is included on the invitation as a host or co host.
Speaker 1: This one I think is a little bit tougher. This one in my mind, the proper way to go about this is to talk with dad and step mom
Speaker 1: to make sure that they feel good about including mom on that your station er is not typically the person who's going to dictate this for you. They're going to be really helpful. They're going to give you advice from places like Emily Post dot com.
Speaker 2: Some good guidelines
Speaker 1: but sometimes that advice is just in text and there's little room for interpretation I think,
Speaker 1: and they're actually should be a little more room for interpretation. And that's something that especially as we put this advice out, we we try to make clear to people that this isn't hard and fast on this particular rule.
Speaker 1: It's tradition that whoever is hosting and paying be the person who is listed as the host on the invitation with weddings. There are so many times where
Speaker 1: either people who would traditionally be hosts, like parents aren't paying but would like to still be traditional hosts or they're doing so much coordinating that they feel like traditional hosts that they end up on the invitation. There are people who pay for any everything and choose not to be on the invitation. There are lots of ways that this goes down.
Speaker 1: So I want you to feel confident Courtney talking with your stationery and saying I understand that we're still going to move forward and you know, we've all decided that it will be okay having my mom on this invitation or
Speaker 1: okay, I checked in with my dad and actually he does have feelings about this. And because he is paying a considerable amount, I'm going to respect his wishes and deal with explaining them to mom. And that's the situation where I think if that ends up being the path you have to take,
Speaker 1: you're already prepared for it to be a slightly difficult conversation. So prepare yourself well
Speaker 1: to expect for her to not be happy about it,
Speaker 1: expect for her to be a little confused and and want the backstory on how we came to this decision and expect to just stay positive and say, Mom, there's so many other things I would love for you to participate in. You know, I I hope you can just respect the understanding of you know dad and step mom and
Speaker 1: that we can find a way to include you in other things that will really highlight how important you are to me and how special
Speaker 1: special it is for me to be at this time in my life and have you there?
Speaker 2: To me, that sounds reasonable. I'm also just double crossing both my fingers and hoping that
Speaker 2: dad and step mom are magnanimous and generous of spirit and kind and will want to include your mother on this invitation. We
Speaker 2: talk about how weddings are stressful and sometimes they bring out the worst in people. It's also true that weddings are celebrations and they bring out the best in people and there's a very good chance that that's going to be the spirit of this whole exchange as you raise it, the whole idea of having hosts issue the invitation in some ways, it's a
Speaker 2: a way to honor them away to acknowledge the role that they're playing and
Speaker 2: sharing that honor, figuring out ways to include people. And it is one way to
Speaker 2: set a wedding off on the right foot and I really hope that's the route that you all end up
Speaker 2: finding yourself on
Speaker 1: Kourtney. Best of luck to you and congratulations on your upcoming big day.
Speaker 1: Using the johnson family for illustration, you've seen several
Speaker 2: possible ways of meeting
Speaker 1: typical problems
Speaker 2: that affect
Speaker 1: every family group, including your own, Remember what these problems are? Will review them for you briefly.
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled gift card replacement, question
Speaker 2: Mark. Hi lizzie and dan. I love your show. Each year at thanksgiving. My family draws names for christmas gifts so that none of us are overwhelmed financially. We always include a small wish list to help out. Our gift givers
Speaker 2: certainly takes away the mystery, but it works well for us. This year I drew the name of my young cousin who generically requested typically boy things, nerf guns, legos.
Speaker 2: We were recently seated next to each other at a family dinner when he said he was excited to get his gift card from me
Speaker 2: confused. I asked what he was talking about. Apparently he already has the particular lego set. I picked out for one of his gifts and it seems like his parents told him I'd be willing to swap it and give him store credit.
Speaker 2: They seemed a little flustered when he brought it up and quickly shut him down.
Speaker 2: I wasn't sure how to respond
Speaker 2: though. I don't think it would be an unreasonable thing for me to do. It seems a little rude that it would be assumed.
Speaker 2: I mean he wasn't very specific on his wish list. So how do I know which leg goes to buy? Any advice would be appreciated? Anonymous,
Speaker 1: anonymous. This is it's such a you could just see the moment around the table. Right. What happened? Yes, that you do deal with this a lot, buying gifts for the kids and stuff.
Speaker 2: I am very sympathetic to the parents in this situation because I am in the heart of
Speaker 2: gift giving season. Anisha had a birthday recently and we celebrated with family. But now we've got the
Speaker 2: school birthday party still coming.
Speaker 1: So it's
Speaker 2: birthday season.
Speaker 1: You did hear dan just say birthday season not for all the Children, just his daughter. Like I'm just
Speaker 2: teasing presidents are coming in the mail. We've got a bouncy house set up in our basement. It's definitely feels very birthday. E OK, I digress.
Speaker 2: Let's talk about presence. So one of the things that we're doing with Anisha is preparing her and trying to teach her some basics about gift exchange.
Speaker 2: Try to emphasize thanking people appropriately or at least acknowledging where gifts come from. Were
Speaker 2: also working on preparing her for the experience of the gift exchange, How to share, how to be
Speaker 2: president with other people.
Speaker 2: What I'm seeing here is parents preparing their child and trying to avoid what is a very common situation, which is the gift exchange tantrum. I didn't get what I wanted. I didn't get what I expected. I already have it. I don't like it. It's the wrong color.
Speaker 2: It's almost a rite of passage
Speaker 1: management. This was like learning. I'm with you 100%. I'm picturing that conversation of
Speaker 1: Oh, she got him this well,
Speaker 1: cousin carol is going to give you something, you know, she's got you in the exchange.
Speaker 1: I find it interesting that were like, we know as parents, it's like we're like kind of scooping the surprise of the gift by then prepping the kid for the fact that they're going to get something they've already gotten and instead they'll exchange it for a gift card, you know,
Speaker 2: And I can see how this could come off as rude. In fact, this kind of a comment, if you weren't
Speaker 2: doing all of that work to understand where it might be coming from
Speaker 2: comes off as a bit
Speaker 2: presumptuous, it comes off is
Speaker 2: maybe entitled or even like you're not giving the gift giver space to really do the work of thinking about you, caring about you and these are all important
Speaker 1: part you a gift before you talk to them about it. Yeah.
Speaker 2: Of that exchange. And
Speaker 2: I would chalk it up to this person's young. They don't know how to manage all of that. And the parents are probably doing the best they can to help this child manage it. Well,
Speaker 1: you do say, I wasn't sure how to respond. Maybe you're in your twenties and your your cousin is like, you know, approaching tens like, you know, and so you're looking down at this eight year old who is so excited and says, I can't wait to get the gift card that you gave me. I'm gonna go buy these legos, it's gonna be great. And that's where you might say, oh, is that what you think that you might be getting? Ha ha, like, you know,
Speaker 1: you can play around a little bit until the moment of the actual exchange. You know, and that might have been a way to handle this particular awkward moment. I don't think that you need to try and go have a serious conversation with the parents.
Speaker 1: I think that in the future, you know, the next time you get this child in the cousin swap that you might ask for more specific things or it gives you the knowledge to say, oh, why don't I call and ask what type of lego set he's already got or which one he doesn't have and is really looking forward to.
Speaker 1: Um it can kind of be like in the future for next time type of type of advice. But
Speaker 2: the other thing I'm thinking about in that moment is the parents and I agree with you. I don't think you need to pull them aside. Have a long conversation with them. I think really understanding that
Speaker 2: they're doing their work to maybe avoid that meltdown situation. They're trying to prepare their child with. These are the future steps that you can take if you get a gift, that's something you already have and
Speaker 2: it's a good outcome. So let's all be excited about it together. Let's thank uncle so and so for getting us these legos. And in our mind we're thinking of that historic credit. That is to me a very forgivable and understandable
Speaker 2: piece of work that's happening between those parents and their child.
Speaker 1: You don't need like a big hey, why did you guys tell him what I wasn't expecting? This kind of have it out conversation about it.
Speaker 2: That hiccup moment where you're kind of caught off guard or surprised. I like your idea of a little good humor. Put a smile on your face, baby. Also
Speaker 2: use some of those other tactics that you might have to get through those moments. Move the conversation on to something else till you have a second to digest and process emotionally and you can find the right tone to proceed.
Speaker 2: I also like lizzies advice that when the moment of the gift exchange actually happens, that's a moment to
Speaker 2: enjoy. But enjoy it with a little bit of I don't wanna call it seriousness but sincerity.
Speaker 2: I got this for you. I'm really hoping that you enjoy it or find something else
Speaker 1: that you know, I was going to say like showing, showing the child that that can be that can be something adults say or that gift and gift exchanges. That can be something that gets said.
Speaker 1: Um I think not setting up a child to expect it to be said, but to just give them that experience of, oh, I receive something I've already had and the person who's giving it to me is saying it's okay if I already have this and I want to exchange it for something else.
Speaker 2: We talk on the show all the time about how important gift giving is gift receiving is also really important and learning how to receive a gift. Well is a skill and it
Speaker 1: doesn't come naturally. It's not the first
Speaker 2: instinct I would strongly encourage you as
Speaker 2: you're thinking about this, to think about yourself as part of that learning process and to enjoy being part of a child's life in a way that
Speaker 2: you get to participate in those ways.
Speaker 2: Good luck with next year's exchange. But
Speaker 1: how did you know I mean? It's a very one line and he seems to know what you wanted. He insisted we get that particular life.
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled is writing a note required
Speaker 1: is a written thank you note required. That's in quotes after thanking a person for the gift received in person
Speaker 1: my teen son received and opened a gift in front of the bearers relatives.
Speaker 1: He thanked them for the gift verbal plus hug.
Speaker 1: Three weeks later he received a blank envelope, blank note card and a stamp
Speaker 1: in the mail with a newspaper article about the power of thank you. Notes and future connections.
Speaker 1: No note inside the package. A text message followed, asking my son the following, were you planning on thanking us for our gift?
Speaker 1: Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. Kindest regards terri ouch.
Speaker 2: Continuing with our theme of education, giving and receiving gifts.
Speaker 1: Well
Speaker 1: who do lally clearly? Yeah, this question gets at the heart of something that we talk about a lot, which is that idea that the handwritten thank you note is often touted as the most
Speaker 1: most special thank you that you can give. But Dan and I were really pleasantly surprised in our readings of Emily post etiquette to find out that Emily herself actually believed that the in person thank you was of the utmost
Speaker 1: uh, status status stature. What would you call it? I felt
Speaker 2: it was the closest most personal, most intimate was connected
Speaker 1: way that you could thank somebody because they see they see all of the genuine excitement, enthusiasm, appreciation, gratitude in your
Speaker 1: face, in your gestures, in the hug that you give,
Speaker 2: throw your arms around them and hug them. I
Speaker 1: bet that this teens in person thank you was awesome. Like it just sounds verbal. Thank you and a hug. That's great. I mean that's most, most parents come to us saying that teens don't even want to open their mouths or
Speaker 1: they wouldn't dane to hug anyone else. Or at least they have said that over the years, today's teens are a bit more huggy. But
Speaker 1: I think that it's
Speaker 1: it's a real shame that the people who gave this gift decided to handle this this way, What I wish they had done is simply called you and said, you know, I'm sure that this probably isn't as important to other people but thank you notes are actually really important to us and we were kind of hoping to receive one from
Speaker 1: junior. You know, I was wondering if maybe you might want to give him a nudge.
Speaker 2: I couldn't agree more
Speaker 1: like within family circle like I could picture your, your parents doing that just to teach a lesson or to have that moment and but you try to do it gently. You don't
Speaker 1: send a card with the newspaper clipping and the card you sent wasn't hey thought you might be interested to read this article and thank you notes which is equally not subtle.
Speaker 1: They actually sent this teen a blank card, a stamp and an envelope. They didn't send him a pen but they could have like it was that level of write us a note for this.
Speaker 2: I think that for some people they think the handwritten note is part of every gift exchange and I can understand the perspective of
Speaker 2: the gift bearers, these relatives if they are saying you know it's, it's a standard for us that we all do handwritten thank you notes.
Speaker 2: Maybe even within our immediate family. Maybe not, maybe it's anything outside the household but you could draw the line different places
Speaker 2: for me there starts to be another rudeness here, another crossing of the line that has to do with parenting and deciding that you're going to apply your standards and try to teach a lesson to someone else's child or family. And it's a comment both on
Speaker 2: the role that the parents are playing as well as how well executed this teens. Thank you was
Speaker 2: to me that's almost a bigger, uh, a larger or more significant infraction than the difference
Speaker 2: between getting that personal note and that handwritten note as a follow up to an in person. Thank you.
Speaker 1: This is a point in
Speaker 1: dealing with parents, whether you're a parent or not, but dealing with other parents. That it's a really important point
Speaker 1: in
Speaker 1: distinguishing the difference between
Speaker 1: teaching a lesson because you're an individual in the world and you interact with other individuals in the world
Speaker 1: and taking a moment to recognize that the particular individual is, Yes, this is a teen. So we're talking about someone who has the capability to listen to other people other than their parents. They listen to teachers, coaches, mentors, babysitter, you know, whoever relatives, family members. So there's a lot of the time that feeling like it's okay for me to do this and be and treat this person like an adult even, you know,
Speaker 1: and yet when you still got kids living under mom and dad's roof,
Speaker 1: I think that's a time when we were still really aware of. And as a society, we tend to go to the parents first. If we have a problem with the child. And I think that's, that's important here. And I would say that there's a big difference between choosing to teach a lesson to a child
Speaker 1: in your own way and of your own terms and with your own agenda than telling the parents of that child how you felt and how the child's actions are making you feel. And I would have rather that these relatives had done that
Speaker 2: a little test that I think works well. Is would you do this with another adult?
Speaker 2: Probably not. You're probably not going to put together a package with blank stationery and article about the importance of thank you notes to a appear or a fellow adult that didn't write you and know that would be viewed as a really rude thing
Speaker 1: to do. But that litmus has my backfire if the person thinks, well it's me working with another adult. You know, I can do what I want. I can put out my lesson, put out my perspective put out by this. But in this situation when you're talking about parenting and you're talking about someone's child that they're still rearing, I think that's where it's just not a it's like so not a line I think you cross. You know,
Speaker 2: I do. And I understand the importance of handwritten thank you notes. We advocate for them all the time. And I would probably agree with everything that's written in the article that was cut out and sent
Speaker 1: along.
Speaker 1: We in fact we might even agree that it would depending on the nature of this occasion, it might have been smarter for this team to send the note because
Speaker 1: sometimes when it comes to something where you're an honoree where you're being celebrated and people are giving you gifts. That sometimes a place where even though you open and say thank you in person, you also send the note, right showers are a lot like that bridal showers and baby showers. You're thanking people in person. The whole events about opening the gifts,
Speaker 1: but you still send a note afterwards and I would probably apply that if it was a celebratory situation as opposed to a big open exchange. I
Speaker 2: might even think in the same way if it was family that I just wasn't quite as close to
Speaker 1: totally, totally
Speaker 2: have that same, real familiar rapport and
Speaker 2: it really was a nice gesture and you want to go that extra step and really add to that in person. Thank you with a little follow up note that says how much you appreciated it.
Speaker 2: I care so much about the thank you know, I care so much about
Speaker 2: the good teaching and the good reminder to do it that I want to see that reminder done well that I would love this mess. I would love, I would have loved for this message to have been delivered in a way that made it possible for everyone to hear it. Teen parents
Speaker 2: and there are so many ways that would be easier to do that, reaching out to the parents saying I so would have appreciated a little handwritten note and if they still want to descend it I would still so appreciate it and I would figure out a way to let them know how much it meant to me.
Speaker 1: So here's the big kicker of the question.
Speaker 1: Do you have your teens send the note when someone applied that note and requested that note in an aggressive way. I would say
Speaker 2: that's a tough question. I say why
Speaker 1: not? I say send the note.
Speaker 2: If it really matters that much why not do it and make someone else feel good and start to build and repair that relationship
Speaker 1: terry. Thank you so much for your question. We hope that this helps.
Speaker 2: Yes we do need these simple expressions all the time to show that we are thinking of
Speaker 1: the other person.
Speaker 2: Thank you is a simple way to repay those who do things for you.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 2: Our final question is about R. S. V. P. Deadlines for a baby shower.
Speaker 1: We do apologize. We are getting to this question after the fact
Speaker 2: hello I'm hosting a baby shower in March. The venue needs a list of guests by february 22nd. I would like to send the invitations this week. What is the proper amount of time to put on the invitation for an R. S. V. P. Deadline? Thank you. Kristen
Speaker 1: Kristen often you
Speaker 1: you do you want to be thinking about when do you need to know these numbers by? So if the caterer says by february 22nd I would put three or four days before that and then the day after the day after. Um So let's say on the 18th you decide to make the R. S. V. P. Four.
Speaker 1: Then on the 19th start making your phone calls to ask people who haven't yet. RSVP'd
Speaker 2: that's how I'd handle this. How about you?
Speaker 1: I think that's it. You did it the same, same, same, same zeal.
Speaker 2: I like that. My face was an agreement face and I'm glad you registered that.
Speaker 2: That's a pretty practical question. It's a pretty practical answer.
Speaker 1: As you say in Danny's we could say same seas. Indeed. I really like your same kristen.
Speaker 2: We hope this helps with future planning.
Speaker 2: 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 2: You can reach us on social media on twitter. We are at Emily Post install on instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute and on facebook we are awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your posts so that we know you want your question 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. You'll get an ads free version of the show and access to bonus questions and content plus you'll feel great knowing that you helped to keep awesome etiquette alive.
Speaker 2: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer and the topics we cover today we hear from Eileen.
Speaker 1: Hello lizzie and dan. I just listened to the episode which included the mother writing in regarding the purchase of her daughter's wedding dress as a daughter with an overbearing mom. I can't help but wonder if the mom may need to do some self reflection.
Speaker 1: This may not be about the money at all, but rather about wanting mom there while picking out her dress as much as my mom and says she doesn't, she'll make snide comments regarding what I'm wearing. She also offers her opinions when she's promised she won't.
Speaker 1: I could absolutely see myself using, I'm paying for it so you don't need to be there as an excuse, albeit an impolite one to not have her there and avoid having my feelings hurt. I just wanted to share my two cents on this sensitive topic and I hope that the mother and daughter can find a compromise that respects both of them.
Speaker 1: Thank you for all you do. Eileen,
Speaker 2: Eileen thank you for filling out all sides to this equation. We definitely know this is a situation where people can feel very intensely. There can be very strong emotions and it's really helpful to get those different perspectives.
Speaker 1: It wasn't all bad mother and I had good times together
Speaker 1: shopping for instance.
Speaker 1: I could learn a lot from her, her experience in getting bargains.
Speaker 2: Thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please do keep them coming. You can send your next feedback update or question to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463
Speaker 1: It's time for our post script segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette and today we're going to continue with our top 10 most search content on Emily Post dot com. We are bringing you number eight informal place settings
Speaker 1: and dan and I kind of laughed at each other when we were like, okay, so what do we do for this one? And it turns out there was actually a lot
Speaker 2: do we post the diagram,
Speaker 1: what goes on here?
Speaker 1: But the funny thing is that there's a lot about this conversation, because the informality opens up a lot of options. You know, it's not just your very best and you know, your most detailed silverware, this is the setting where your fork, your dinner fork could be placed on the right, or your spoon might be on the left, on top of a napkin, because if they're the only implements you're using. And I think that's interesting where sometimes they switch sides depending on what's going on or
Speaker 2: because it's informal, people have paid no attention and given no thought to it whatsoever.
Speaker 1: Or you're at a restaurant, you get a roll up. Are you supposed to unroll it and set your own table in front of you? Do you do that only when the food arrives, do you do it right when you sit down? I mean, informal dining gets really interesting from a medical perspective.
Speaker 1: Let's start with the basics
Speaker 2: when you're talking about setting your place at the table or setting a table for others. The same basic rules that apply for formal table setting apply to basic or informal table setting, and in some ways that structure makes it so much easier
Speaker 2: when you get that rolled up napkin and you unroll it and you put the napkin in your lap and you're left with a knife and a fork. Where do you put them? Well, you put them where knives and forks go. Forks go on the left hand side of the place, setting knives go on the right with the blade pointing in towards yourself. If there is a spoon, which there often isn't in those kind of roll up scenarios or situations, the spoon goes outside of the knife on the right hand side
Speaker 2: where it's available to the right hand that most people are going to use
Speaker 2: to hold their knife or their spoon because you're not going to be using a knife and a spoon at the same time.
Speaker 1: It's true. Sometimes when we're talking about this place setting, you will choose to set glasses out and other times you won't, this is the basics and when you think about when you choose to use a basic, is it
Speaker 1: most week nights with the family, But on Sundays, you know, we go more formal and that used to be a very common tradition in many american homes, is it? You're me and you've been dining alone from the corner of your couch, with your feet tucked up under you for a little too long and you decide it's time to put down a fork
Speaker 1: and a knife
Speaker 2: and to the table
Speaker 1: and sit at your, well in my case it's a coffee table, but you know, but actually you know, put the napkin down. So for me, for instance, when I go to do an informal setting for myself,
Speaker 1: I often, because it's useful, I use a placemat and I have a place mat and I have a napkin and they're both cloth and I put my fork on my left and my knife on the right and my spoon just after the knife and my blade is facing in because don't worry. And then I do actually go and get a glass and I usually try to use something
Speaker 1: for me because my informal is still trying to be a notch up. I try and grab a pretty pint glass instead of like, you know, my one that's all scratched up or something,
Speaker 2: A logo, company
Speaker 1: logo, company logo on it. And so I sit that down but it's really basic. But I do try to get those simple elements in their other nights. It's just the fork and it's, you know, no place mat and it's a, it's a paper napkin but I often will fold that paper napkin or that that
Speaker 1: paper towel that I'm using as a napkin in half and put it under my fork just before I started.
Speaker 1: But the informal, it can be, it can be a good place to even still set a tiny bit of structure and it's a place. This is one point of advice that Cindy post setting loves to give where it doesn't have to be at the table for this to happen. You heard me talking about doing this at a coffee table, but it could easily be from the car seat.
Speaker 1: We talked a lot about how even when a kid gets something like a happy meal,
Speaker 1: they're probably not going to be using forks and knives. But what if you simply ask that their napkin goes on the left and then into their lap? And it's just a moment,
Speaker 1: a moment of structure to that table setting, even though it's informal.
Speaker 2: I love the degree of choice when you start to remove elements,
Speaker 2: but that you've still got a broader picture that applies to help you choose whichever elements are in play. You can use those rules from the more formal place setting to guide you. And I love how you mentioned the paper napkin versus the cloth napkin, the versus the paper towel, the glass of the table, not a glass at the table.
Speaker 2: Some people would even think of a bread plate as part of a
Speaker 2: informal place setting. You might or might not need it or a salad plate and that would go sort of
Speaker 2: up into the left of the plate is where that traditionally lives. But if you've got those elements in play, you know what to do with them and if they're not there, you just omit them and proceed. But the same logic, the same coherence that guides that formal place setting and the reasons that you would use it guides the basic or the informal
Speaker 2: place setting as well.
Speaker 1: You can make decisions about whether or not you put the plate down at the place setting or whether or not it's stacked for people to serve themselves off a buffet or whether it's down. And then people grab it and go serve themselves off the line of I say buffet, just so you know in my head I am picturing a few dishes on the counter by the stove that folks are serving themselves off of because that's what it used to look like in our house growing up for the
Speaker 1: informal, casual family dinner night. You know,
Speaker 1: you've heard us talking about a lot of singles in this, so a fork, a knife, a spoon. And that's because we've been mostly covering the basic table setting and that is a style within the category of informal
Speaker 1: informal. Could also however, mean that we are still at a casual lunch in or casual dinner, but we are going to see multiple utensils used. So if we have an informal multiple course meal, so
Speaker 1: think of casual dinner with friends, where you order appetizers and a main meal and a dessert,
Speaker 1: it's still informal. And the way that that table is set will still indicate informality. You're not going to use the nice glasses, you're not maybe going to switch over to the nice dishware or the if you're lucky enough to have it silverware, you know, you're using your casual sets,
Speaker 1: but you might be using multiples. This is the kind of place where
Speaker 1: you might not see as much differentiation in the size of your silverware, You might not be using designated
Speaker 1: implements for specific dishes. This is where your entree fork can be a salad fork and we personally recommend that you give people one utensil for a set of utensils for each course. But this is the place where your utensil might be the same type of utensil just being used.
Speaker 1: You know, just seeing duplicates at the actual
Speaker 2: setting. And again, the same rules apply that apply with very formal dining. You work your way from the outside of the place setting towards the center through successive courses. So
Speaker 2: there's no need to count the times on the fork or keep track of the size of the knife that you're using. You're just going to work your way from the outside in through successive courses.
Speaker 2: The napkin oftentimes starts on the left, it could sit in the middle of the plate, Don't worry about it for too long because it's going to end up in most people's laps right away as soon as they sit down at the table. Anyway,
Speaker 2: the only other thing that I could think of that might come into play as you start to notch up as you start to push towards, the more formal end of the informal table setting would be is if you have multiple glasses. And again, the same logic that applies when you're thinking about silverware or flatware that you're moving from the outside in arrange classes in the same way so that the glass that you're most likely to use first goes on the outside of the setting and you work your way towards the center,
Speaker 2: sort of with degree of likelihood of use.
Speaker 2: I was so not surprised to see the informal table setting on the top 10 list because
Speaker 2: it's the table setting that's most common. It's the one that you're going to see in use the most frequently. It's the one that we teach the most frequently and we hope this helps everyone out there navigate the informal place setting.
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 it can come in so many forms And today we hear from susie in michigan,
Speaker 1: dear lizzie and dan. This past week my family had a wonderful opportunity to visit with some extended family that we hadn't seen for several years. My mom and I flew from michigan and my brother and his wife flew from Utah. We met at the charlotte north Carolina airport and drove to newberry south Carolina to spend a lovely day with my dad's sister and her two Children.
Speaker 1: My dad passed away many years ago, so was extra special for us to see extended family on his side.
Speaker 1: The next morning we hopped in the rental car and made the two hour drive back to the charlotte airport.
Speaker 1: We would be saying goodbye to my brother and his wife and mom and I would continue on to florida where we would visit with my cousin on mom's side of the family.
Speaker 1: When we arrived at the charlotte airport, I realized that I didn't have my favorite jacket. Love this jacket.
Speaker 1: I've had it for several years. It's lightweight, perfect for layering it compacts neatly and it never looks wrinkled. I was pretty upset.
Speaker 1: On the one hand, I realize it's just a jacket, not that serious. On the other hand, I really liked it and was sad I'd lost it.
Speaker 1: I used the time on the plane ride from charlotte to Panama city florida to think about where I could have lost it. I finally realized that it must have fallen out of the truck of the rental suv. When we pulled into the parking lot to switch drivers, I had gotten my backpack out of the truck, pushed my jacket out of the way and pushed the automatic button to close the trunk.
Speaker 1: I then walked away before the trunk closed. My jacket must have fallen out at that moment.
Speaker 1: Once my mom and I landed in florida, I texted my brother and he actually remembered the name of the store where we had stopped to switch drivers. My mom pulled out her map. Remember those? I used to love maps before Gps took over and I pulled out the google and together we started researching. It turns out that the store
Speaker 1: Milo is a chain and there were many of them.
Speaker 1: We picked the one that we thought was likely Mom's very good at geography
Speaker 1: and I called them and I explained what had happened. The very nice clerk, checked lost and found and it wasn't there. So she went out to the parking lot and found it. I could not believe that we had actually tracked it down. I explained that I was from michigan. I would happily pay her to ship it to me. She said that wasn't necessary for me to pay her and she would mail it to me as soon as she got off work. If I would be so kind as to put in a good word to her manager though she would appreciate it, which I absolutely said I would do. She sounded so nice on the phone that I was hopeful that she would carry through.
Speaker 1: But you never know right. I'm a perfect stranger to her who would cost her both time and money. She had no obligation to follow through on what she would do. But guess what
Speaker 1: the jacket arrived today? I'm so thrilled.
Speaker 1: So, my great big shout out goes to Lindsay at Gilo in Chester south Carolina. Thank you for your act of kindness and thank you for making the world a little bit better and for you being in it
Speaker 2: Lindsay, Lindsay
Speaker 1: Lindsay.
Speaker 1: That's awesome.
Speaker 2: It really is I that was almost like a surprise ending that she offered to do it and it sounds like she's offering to do it on her own time and on her own
Speaker 1: time. Absolutely!
Speaker 2: Thank you so much for sharing this susie and put a smile on all our faces.
Speaker 1: Oh
Speaker 1: and thank you for listening.
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Speaker 2: Our show is edited by Chris Albertine, an assistant produced by Bridget Down.
Speaker 2: Thanks. Kristen budget.
Speaker 2: Mhm
Speaker 2: mm.
Speaker 2: Yeah.