Episode 290 - From our Home to Yours
In this episode of Awesome Etiquette
Welcome to Awesome Etiquette, where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On today’s show Dan and Lizzie take your questions on birthday wish-lists, weddings postponed by the coronavirus, canceling plans because of anxiety and paying respects when you can’t attend a funeral. For Awesome Etiquette sustaining members our bonus question is about guests who expect hosts to pay for everything. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript on number three in our top most searched content, forms of address for correspondence.
Speaker 1: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social goodness. 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 birthday wish lists. Weddings postponed by the coronavirus, canceling plans because of anxiety
Speaker 1: and paying respects when you can't attend a funeral for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about guests who expect you to pay, plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript on number three in our top most searched content forms of address for correspondence. All that's coming up
Speaker 1: Awesome etiquette comes to you from the studios of our home offices in Vermont and is proud to be produced by the Emily Post Institute. I'm Lizzie Post and I'm Dan Post sending,
Speaker 1: and I am so happy to be here with my cousin right now. Hey, guys, how's it going? Virtual podcast recording partner. We're zooming in from our home offices home office. Life is a thing we're pretty much most Americans are experiencing right now. I feel like
Speaker 1: a lot, a lot. A lot of the American workforce is now
Speaker 1: zooming in from home. The whole idea of a zoom meeting, I think, is definitely penetrated a much larger popular consciousness. I was telling you before our call, I had an email that made me laugh. Just yesterday, where someone declared herself the queen of the zoom meeting,
Speaker 1: I I had to respond that I felt like teleconference royalty myself. Did you like you really had a handle on this? You knew how to do it? Well, of course, having said all that, you showed me how to set up a zoom meeting on my phone this morning. So clearly, I've still got strides to bake. Hey, you know, hey, you've got you've got goals, aspirations. I'm glad I could set the bar,
Speaker 1: But with so many people working from home and like we said, videoconferencing in and really changing the structure of their workday with so many people staying at home and really, really social distancing by not going out, whether that's by order of their state or by personal choice.
Speaker 1: You and I had a had a moment the other day. Where was now? This is so appropriate. The other thing to talk about. We couldn't figure out what day it was all Wednesday. I thought it was Thursday. Dan thought it was Wednesday, all Thursday. You have to check with your mom. Well, she's the one that reeled me in in the middle of the afternoon and told me it wasn't the day that I thought it was. That's the other thing. Is that this? This recognition of what day it is or getting that correction? It's not happening. Like, you know, at 9 a.m. When you stroll through the office door, it's happening like at four PM when you check in with someone else. Finally, you know, it's definitely different times, but I'm curious. What are you guys doing in your household to handle kind of the work home divide?
Speaker 1: Because I know that my workday has definitely been a little more staggered than typical. Like I'm trying to get outside a little bit more in the ways that I'm allowed to that kind of stuff. How are you guys handling it up on the Hill. Well, I want to answer your question, and I want to respond to what you just said first because some of my favorite podcasters we're talking about this a couple days ago and they were saying, sometimes it feels like they're working from home. But with that staggered workday kind of extending, they were talking about how sometimes it feels like they're homing from work
Speaker 1: and that the way work is sort of penetrated all aspects of their lives that they find themselves, you know, in in in the evening, after dinner, all of a sudden they're back into their work because it's there and it's omnipresent. It's always available to them. So this idea of homing from work is something that I'm kind of playing with in my mind also
Speaker 1: sort of the way it's going the opposite. Yeah, but to answer your question, I think for for us, for me and Pooja and the girls,
Speaker 1: we did some work about a week ago where we we really mapped out a schedule because Julia still has work that she has to do on certain days, and I have work that I have to do. So we really wanted to get clear about our schedule so that we knew who had childcare duties, who could count on work time when they could count on it.
Speaker 1: And that's been so helpful. And we had done that the two of us
Speaker 1: over the last
Speaker 1: two or three days, maybe this week, as we really executed on that schedule,
Speaker 1: Anisha has started to pick up on it, and she's starting to ask the question. Ah, data, Is this your? Is this a workday for you? Or I'll come upstairs and she'll be like, Are you done work? And
Speaker 1: I've so appreciated hearing that from her, I can hear the conversations that she and Puja have had about respecting work time, not bothering data when he's downstairs, or sort of how that is starting to
Speaker 1: to be taught and how she's starting to understand it. So that's that's been, I think, the big development this week on that front.
Speaker 1: That's awesome.
Speaker 1: Speaking of potential distractions, distractions, I know as my small six month old puppy goes tearing through the background, chasing the cat who is not a dog, much to my
Speaker 1: dogs. Disappointment, Um, I hope chimes in on the show a little bit, right? Yeah. If we do end up doing the recorded zoom versions and releasing pieces of them, you'll definitely see him running running around in the background.
Speaker 1: Yeah, for me at home, it's just me, me and the cats and the dog. And what has been really nice has been at around like somewhere between three and five o'clock and three and six o'clock. A lot of people in the neighborhood tend to go out into their yards. They tend to talk to each other across the street, over the fence, that sort of thing.
Speaker 1: So that's been where I'm getting my human connection
Speaker 1: and we do go for walks. I appreciate seeing people 6 ft apart from each other on those walks and really using a 6 ft distance to pass people or when you know, crossing paths with people. I get more encouraged the more I see that kind of stuff. But
Speaker 1: I do try to kind of keep in my own zone right now.
Speaker 1: We did a really fun dog training class via zoom call, which worked so well that I I hope they choose it as an option for people in the future. Um, what a green way to do a lot of dog training, but it was really, really fun, really cool, really fun To get to see other people is kind of like
Speaker 1: home spot or their their teleconferencing setup spot. That's the other thing that we could get into is you know, I painted my office
Speaker 1: and I'm feeling good about my zone, but we talked about kind of Where's your background? How are you setting yourself up? How are you making space for these calls? And these types of interactions, when you do have kiddos and propose and everything in the background
Speaker 1: a Nisha's daycare classes meeting the assume once a week, and it is like being transported into people's homes. You see the siblings, the pets, the living room, the
Speaker 1: the parents work desk, which is often times where the these conferences happen totally. Which reminds me that some of the things people have been writing in about some of them have been frustrating things like when noise on a group called gets really loud and the person leading the call doesn't mute everybody.
Speaker 1: And a lot of that background noises, even things like you're in the living room. But you have an open layout and the person in the kitchen shuts a Cabinet
Speaker 1: and you end up hearing it on the call. And when you've got 20 people on a call and like three cabinets go one dog and a baby all of a sudden it's like really like a lot of extra noise on that call. So really remembering to mute yourself if the moderator or the person leading the muting leading the muting leading the meeting hasn't muted everyone.
Speaker 1: We've also heard a lot of people debating how much they're getting dressed for work and when they decide to get dressed for work and what they're wearing to work when they work from home, by the way, nicely done today, because looking you too, you too. I did. I put on pants, they say, I would say I did it special for you, but I didn't. I've been really trying to do this pretty regularly because it helped me so much. If I do the things that sort of make some routine out of the day and give me some markers that okay, now I'm turning it on. I'm getting ready to go here.
Speaker 1: I think of it as Yeah, I'm super comfy working in my hoodie, for sure. But when I'm trying to present myself as my working self two people and with you, Dan, I'm gonna be on a call with you. I want to feel like I'm giving you that feeling of war on work time here. And so for me, that's like, that's one of the differences and
Speaker 1: it kind of depends on what we're doing. You and I have had plenty of calls where,
Speaker 1: you know, I'm, like, still in my workout gear from the morning because I haven't somehow made it to the shower just yet, you know, And that just kind of happens. But those calls are not, for instance, our podcast recording where I kind of want to have more of that feeling that I'm used to having
Speaker 1: We talked about creating the space, that kind of work space and the not workspace. When you're in the same
Speaker 1: for walls all the time, finding ways to transition is really helpful. And for me, a tire can be one of those transitions. Absolutely.
Speaker 1: I feel like we're going to anticipate so many more etiquette topics coming in the in the future? Absolutely. And I was going to say, Speaking of transitions, this is often where we make a awkward transition.
Speaker 1: Got some questions to get to, cause I was going to say, Do you want to get to some questions? Do it.
Speaker 1: Awesome Etiquette is here to answer your questions. You can email them to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463
Speaker 1: Or 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 remember to 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 titled Birthday Buyer. Good Afternoon. About a month out from my friend's birthday. I asked him if he had anything in particular on his birthday list. I could consider when I get him a gift.
Speaker 1: He said he would think about it and get back to me. About two weeks later, I saw something that looked like a good match for my friends, so I bought it. Should I let my friend No. I don't need birthday ideas from him anymore, perhaps only if he eventually does get back to me with a list
Speaker 1: or, if he gets back to me, simply thank him and let him know I'll keep these things in mind. Thank you Anonymous. That's a good question. I like it. I like the degree of forethought and attention that's being paid to this gift. That to me says it's probably going to hit a sweet spot.
Speaker 1: I think so, too. What do you think? Do you tell? Do you tell them that you found something and don't need the list anymore?
Speaker 1: You know, there's no strong etiquette on this. My instinct is no, I probably wouldn't bring it up. I, particularly if you haven't heard anything from him. I think there's a very good chance you won't that they're just not getting back to you. It's been two weeks, and I know when. It's been two weeks that I ever got back to someone and it's something like, Oh, I wanted to get you something and you're getting closer to the thing itself. You start to say to yourself, I don't want to give them news after they've got some. Anyway, I'm thinking you might not ever here, so I wouldn't bring it up again unless they ask,
Speaker 1: Um if they do, you're none the worse. Then you've got ideas for next time and there's no obligation when someone gives you a list of potential ideas that you stick to it. There's not that kind of direction on gift giving.
Speaker 1: Just suggestions. No, but you could stave them off from having to go through the effort and then have you not get something? I think that's the idea that our question Askar is getting at is like, this is efforts someone's going to take to send me information I'm asking for. And if my gift isn't on that list by happenstance, they're gonna you know?
Speaker 1: No, that I didn't go with the list. I think you could send a quick note
Speaker 1: quick text message that just said, hey, found the perfect gift for you. Don't worry about sending ideas. I'm so excited for your birthday whenever it is or in the current circumstances so excited to send you this gift, that kind of thing.
Speaker 1: I like the tone of that. I had this, like, little caution light in my head that says, if you get back to them and say, Oh, don't don't bother at this point that there could be the potential of calling them out for having not responded to you sooner.
Speaker 1: Oh, don't bother with that lift. I already found something very different tone than what you just did. So I think as long as you're avoiding that, you know, you might save them the effort and you're not likely to offer any offense. Anonymous. We hope this helps and that your friend loves the gift and happy birthday to him. What a fine birthday. Surprise
Speaker 1: a cake and presents from her friend. Everyone has brought a present.
Speaker 1: Everyone has a hat and a place at the table.
Speaker 1: Oh, Mother, thank you so much. Christ, Jean.
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled Cancelled by coronavirus. Hello. We are wondering what we should be considering if we are forced to cancel our wedding due to the Covid 19 crisis. My husband and I were married in a courthouse earlier this year with close friends and family in attendance.
Speaker 1: We wanted to host a larger, more traditional reception when we were able to currently planned for June 13th 2020 but are concerned that we will have to cancel the event.
Speaker 1: What should we keep in mind? How should we handle gifts that have already been sent to us, etcetera? Question Mark. Thank you. Stephanie and Dylan and many other brides. At this time,
Speaker 1: I was gonna say brides, grooms, couples all over the place are dealing with this right now. And it's a really uncertain time in the wedding industry because we don't know just how long we are going to be social distancing.
Speaker 1: We've heard stories of people throwing a gathering but really implementing social distancing. So everyone was dancing 6 ft apart and eating 6 ft apart.
Speaker 1: I think there are small groups of people who can do that, and I think for everyone else, it's probably not a good idea and not going to be something that is going to be a solution for you.
Speaker 1: I think it was, you know, nice to see one couple highlighted in the news and I wouldn't wash, rinse, repeat on that. Personally,
Speaker 1: um, it is not our advice right now for those of you who are trying to figure out what to do when it comes to your wedding. We do have a page on our website with some ideas and some of the bigger topics that are getting covered, and we invite you to visit. It will be sure to put it out via social media. Um, but you can also find it at Emily post dot com.
Speaker 1: But a lot of the big things you want to do our first everyone in different areas is going to experience this a little bit differently. And that's one thing that because we don't know what the laws are in your state or the restrictions in your county or town are. For the most part, every gathering with 10 people or more has been banned on a federal level. But
Speaker 1: it's really hard to tell exactly what's being allowed and what's still being done out there. So our recommendation is that you you definitely look to your local area and laws and respect them
Speaker 1: that you contact your vendors and find out what they are doing and what is possible, depending on how far out your wedding is, the answer may vary, but getting on the phone, talking to people, finding out if their business is going to carry through or not
Speaker 1: where you're at for being able to postpone to a future date,
Speaker 1: whether or not you're going to want to cancel instead, I can't stress this enough. It is really going to be different for every single couple and every vendor that they work with. There will be commonalities that will come out of this eventually. But it's so hard to pinpoint a blanket statement. But we do encourage you to talk to vendors.
Speaker 1: We encourage you to make a decision that makes sense for you. For lots of people. They feel comfortable postponing their wedding a year or two for when the venue they really want is going to be available, or when it seems like it's more of a guarantee that people will be able to travel and get together again. Other folks are trying to figure out if they if they postpone for a month or two months
Speaker 1: or if they just cancel. We've seen a lot of couples make the decision to get married anyway,
Speaker 1: and to do that in a ceremony that respects social distancing that does not have an audience, but that simply allows the legal part of getting married to happen. So we've seen a lot of people embrace that for a lot of different reasons. One groom I heard on the radio today.
Speaker 1: They did it because they wanted to make sure that they would be there for each other. If anything did happen,
Speaker 1: the insurance wise and legally wise, they were partners. So there's there's lots of different things people are choosing to do. You need to figure out what is going to be the thing that's going to work for you, whether that's a postponement or cancellation or moving forward with a wedding with just you and your partner.
Speaker 1: And I think that once you make that decision, the really big step and the really hard one is communicating it to everyone.
Speaker 1: So you put it on your website. You reach out via email, you call as many people as you can, and right now a lot of people are looking for connection and looking for things to connect about. So calling and talking this through with people is important. I would be prepared for a range of emotions.
Speaker 1: People are experiencing a lot of different emotions simply because of the health crisis that we are in.
Speaker 1: Add to it a big change of plans, potential loss of money in some cases. And I think you should just be prepared to be a very sympathetic ear. You can hold your ground that yes, we are cancelling or yes, we are postponing. You can, uh, apologize for any negative impact this may have on someone.
Speaker 1: But the best you can do is to really sympathize and listen.
Speaker 1: But hold your ground that you're making the decision that's safe and and right for you and makes the most sense for you and your partner.
Speaker 1: So what do you think? Because how would you handle the gifts? Question? Well, my instinct is that if you're postponing, if this ceremony is likely to happen again at a future date with the same people that we're sending gifts for the original plan, that you can probably just hang onto those gifts,
Speaker 1: that the whole idea of sending something back so someone can send it to you at a later date is sort of needlessly complicated. Um,
Speaker 1: if you've communicated well, with people that you're postponing, that you really are looking forward to rescheduling for a later date, that people are going to understand and be on board with that kind of thinking
Speaker 1: if you're really canceling the event or if you're really changing the nature of the event in a way that the same people aren't likely to be invited aren't exactly if you're going from like a 300 person event to really like the 10 of us close family members, you know, that's that's a big change in the type of wedding that you're going to throw. It's a big enough change that a lot of people are canceling plans for it.
Speaker 1: My instinct, then, is that you might really start to go the direction of returning, or at least offering to return the gifts that you've received. I love the idea of making the offer right now because a lot of people who are in a privileged position to be able to give a gift at this particular time in life,
Speaker 1: I think that they would just say Oh, we understand No, keep the gift
Speaker 1: and I think you don't want to fish for that But I think you can put the offer of the return out there so you might say something like, we have decided to cancel the wedding, you know, in the form that it was going to be due to the virus and I wanted to take the opportunity to ask you in what way would be best for the gift to be returned. The gift that you sent to be returned that allows this is kind of like that host guest dance thing that allows the other person to say, Oh, my gosh, that would be really wonderful. I appreciate it. Please feel free to ship it here or Oh, no, please. By all means. Keep that gift. You know, we'd love for you to enjoy it. You know, we're sorry that we won't be there for a big celebration, but we can't wait to see you and
Speaker 1: do a dinner, Get together. Something like that. You can hear how the conversation can happen. Well, either way, when you present it as an opportunity or a you know, an offer rather than presenting it as a settled question.
Speaker 1: Stephanie and Dylan, we are sorry that this particular health crisis is happening at the time of such a happy event in your lives, but we hope that you are able to find ways to celebrate your love together during this time.
Speaker 1: Get the facts, make your plan
Speaker 1: and carry out the plan.
Speaker 1: Maybe I've been worried and trying too hard.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: This question is titled Anxious and anti social.
Speaker 1: Dear Lizzie and Dan. As someone who cares a lot about the people in my life, I try my best to follow through on my promises and be accountable. As I know it's rude to cancel plans last minute,
Speaker 1: but I also have an anxiety disorder.
Speaker 1: The best way I can describe it is sudden fear for no reason. My panic attacks can be anywhere from the onset of over thinking and worrying too much to feeling like I can't breathe.
Speaker 1: Either way, they make me not want to go anywhere. This has happened with me several times when I had planned to go out with a friend. I don't like letting people down, but when I'm feeling anxious, going out is the last thing I want to do.
Speaker 1: I don't like lying about why I'm canceling our plans, but explaining all that seems like a lot of unloading to justify not going to dinner.
Speaker 1: Do you have any suggestions or perhaps a sample script? Thank you. Anonymous Anonymous. I so appreciate this question. This is a version of a question we hear, not infrequently that Emily Post. There are a lot of people who identify in a much
Speaker 1: sort of, with a much smaller version of this problem. They think of themselves as introverts or experiencing some social anxiety. They don't experience it in the same way with the same intensity.
Speaker 1: Or maybe the the experience doesn't doesn't come and go in an episodic way with that kind of intensity. But
Speaker 1: there is a version of this question that I think will resonate with a lot of people who listen to this show. And I think my first piece of advice is to try to prepare people ahead of time. If this is a reality for you, if this is something that you wrestle with that
Speaker 1: a little bit of preparation ahead of time can go a long way. I can understand the feeling that it might feel like a lot of explaining to do in the moment when you're canceling,
Speaker 1: but if you've got longer term relationships with people where you can talk to them in a way that that's not with a lot of intensity, but with some realism about. This is something that you deal with, and you can share as much about that as you're comfortable sharing, but
Speaker 1: with an eye towards giving them enough information to understand where you're coming from. I think that's a really good idea, particularly if it ends up
Speaker 1: impacting relationships and impacting the ways that you may can cancel plans. So set yourself up for that success. Obviously, you do your best to keep the commitments that you make, and you might even use making those commitments as a way to to nudge yourself into doing things that you know you want to do, even if you're experiencing a little bit of anxiety.
Speaker 1: But I can see that you're already sort of working with that as a baseline assumption. But I kind of have to say it when we're talking about etiquette advice that the good etiquette is. If you make plans, you keep them as best you can. You try not to cancel without good reason. So those are my two initial thoughts, set him up early and then do the best that you can to commit and do what you can, if you can.
Speaker 1: I'm wondering if there isn't a way and of course, anonymous. This really depends on on you and how you feel each time this happens. But are there times when this feeling happens to you where you would say, Boy, I just wish we could do dinner at my house instead or dinner at home instead of going out. I know personally,
Speaker 1: I've had times in my life were going out created enough anxiety for me that I was really grateful for friends that were willing to hang out kind of in our homes with me.
Speaker 1: Right now, we're struggling a bit with going out and hanging out at all. But I was curious if maybe that there were some times where you felt that you could lean on, offering for a change of venue for the get together to still happen. So on those times where you would feel safe staying at home, still offering, you know, would you be willing to come and do dinner at my house instead? Tonight
Speaker 1: might be something that you could lean on in terms of how much you have to say, I think that it doesn't have to feel like an unloading, you know, when it comes to us. As you mentioned a simple dinner plan,
Speaker 1: I think that you can a by first tell them early, as Dan says, you know, preparing people ahead of time, that this might be a part of your friendship.
Speaker 1: Um, and it's a part that you don't want to have impacting other people. But if you haven't done that coming up with some simple language, I think that just explains it really quickly. Like Sam, I'm experiencing a strong, anxious reaction to going out tonight was hoping
Speaker 1: that maybe we could stay in or, you know, it's better for me to stay in. I'm really sorry to cancel last minute if you have to cancel or I was hoping you might be able to change plans with me and be willing to either hang out at my house or if your house is an option. Your house. Those things might be ways that you can keep it simple, but just say I'm experiencing a problem here, and I'm sorry because I recognize it will affect the plans we had.
Speaker 1: I think when it comes to a group dynamic, I would just bow out
Speaker 1: unless it's really close. Friends like, If I was experiencing this and the dinner date was with Dan and Pooja, I would definitely ask if they would be willing to change the plans to accommodate us all getting together. But if it was a it was a bigger group of friends or if it was a hosts personal dinner party,
Speaker 1: I would then just let myself bow out and excuse myself for the evening. And I do think
Speaker 1: that as soon as you anonymous have made the decision and feel comfortable committing to the decision of bowing out of whatever the plans were that you communicate that as quickly as possible, since it does seem to be happening within that shorter timeframe,
Speaker 1: I really like that advice to cancel. Well, from an etiquette perspective that's so important. The idea that you let people know as soon as you know and that you offer whatever
Speaker 1: kind of dosage or level of apology is appropriate. It's not that you're a terrible person and you're not throwing yourself at the feet of your friends or the group, but you're just saying, you know, I I acknowledge this is a cancellation. That's a little later than it is sort of
Speaker 1: more than I could do without saying I'm sorry about cancelling so late.
Speaker 1: Anonymous. We hope this helps, and we do hope that you're able to get together with friends and also take the space and time you need for your own health and well being.
Speaker 1: That way you
Speaker 1: gain a perspective that will make your attitude better, make you feel better.
Speaker 1: Well, I've lectured long enough. I must get along. Our next question comes from Facebook and is called Condolences From Afar. I have just had an uncle pass away who lives in Boise, Idaho, are larger. Family will not travel at this time, and his wife and adult Children will hold a private family service. Now
Speaker 1: the plan is for a larger, full military memorial. Later, when we are cleared for gathering,
Speaker 1: I'd love to know the best way to send sympathies amid this coronavirus.
Speaker 1: When is the best time to send flowers or thoughts of sympathy when we can't gather for a proper funeral? Should we send flowers now for the immediate family only service or wait until the larger services arranged Post virus or a card.
Speaker 1: Thank you, Jill in Missouri.
Speaker 1: Jill. First off Let both Dan and I say that we are so sorry to hear of the loss in your family. Um, and at this particular time, it must be extra difficult because of all the prohibitions on gathering and on physical contact. And those are things that really bring us together.
Speaker 1: You know, almost every single culture has has really specific ways for processing grief and death, and it's just it's really hard when we can't do those things together. So we just want to extend our condolences.
Speaker 1: I think that it's wonderful to try and connect in ways that are safe to do so, and I haven't heard anything yet on some of the national flower delivery services like Farm girl flower and 1 800 flowers and things like that. So I'm not sure what their policies are.
Speaker 1: But I would imagine that if they're available for sending out that sending something now and something later would be great. And if your budget is tight,
Speaker 1: make your something now small and you're something later small. You know they don't have to be big displays. We couldn't recommend cards more heavily. Using your words at a time like this is great if you know that someone is particularly cautious. So far, the mail According to the U. S. P s website,
Speaker 1: United States Postal Service website,
Speaker 1: they aren't anticipating male being problematic because of the number of different conditions that the mail goes through from trucks and planes and cars and things. It's hard for the virus to actually survive and then be transferred. So sending a card right now would be okay.
Speaker 1: If you were worried about it, you could write your card. You can still get your card, take a picture of it and message in an email or a text to someone.
Speaker 1: So there are lots of options dance, like giving me the thumbs up across the mic right now. He particularly likes that option, and I think that that those are definitely ways to connect. But I wouldn't shy away from trying to connect at this time. Use your words, use your technology
Speaker 1: and you use snail mail if you if you feel like it's okay.
Speaker 1: Dan, what are your thoughts for Jill and Missouri. I was giving you that big thumbs up because I really like the creative approach. I think that that's so important right now is you figure out ways to connect and you think about what's reasonable, what makes sense and
Speaker 1: what's safe, and then you go for it. And that connection is so important when we lose someone, it's so important that we're able to reach out to each other, take comfort from each other and go through that grief together. And it is going to be harder to do that right now. So so staying,
Speaker 1: really willing to try lots of different things to make that happen. To not let your uncertainty about it prevent you from reaching out is so important. So I like that idea of Take that picture and do it. One creative solution that we've seen and heard about already is people using social media
Speaker 1: to do condolences, and
Speaker 1: it's another way that you might be able to open up the possibility for people to share their thoughts and connect, figure out a way to get that message to that person. They will appreciate it. I remember that when we were dealing with a time where we couldn't see our grandfather and we all really wanted to. I think it was for Christmas.
Speaker 1: We all recorded video recordings for him
Speaker 1: and for anyone who couldn't gather and we strung them all together. And it was it was it was really meaningful to our family. And I hope that things like that can really bring that person to person touch when we can't be person to person. Emily, you know, always said that being able to see someone's expression,
Speaker 1: their body language and hear their tone when they say words is so impactful and so wonderful. Um, it was in her ways when it came to thank you is the most most important. Thank you was the best version of a thank you. You know, the handwritten thank you came second to that.
Speaker 1: And so that's one thing to think of, and that video really allows us to do that. So you might consider taking a video of yourself, saying what you would say if you could say it in person and sharing that you're taking me back because I was with your father in Dubai when we did that, and I remember we found a Christmas tree in a mall there to stage our holiday message in front of
Speaker 1: That's true, I forgot that you were there with him when that all happened. Well, there are many ways to connect and definitely do what you can. And Jill, we just once again would like to issue our condolences to you and your family at this time.
Speaker 1: Thank you for your questions. We 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 80285 a kind that's 8028585463 You can also 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.
Speaker 1: 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 you helped keep awesome etiquette on the air.
Speaker 1: 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 Michelle about Episode 2 88. Hi, Lizzie and Dan. I wanted to follow up on some advice. You gave an episode to 88.
Speaker 1: A writer asked about turning away door knockers and the idea of a no solicitors sign came up.
Speaker 1: I wanted to share that. I worked as a political canvasser for a few months, and we were instructed to ignore no solicitor sign, since we weren't selling anything. If the writer truly wants to discourage all door knockers, she might want to make a more specific sign. Perhaps no solicitors or canvassers.
Speaker 1: I've often thought for myself
Speaker 1: as the millennial that I am putting up a sign that says, I don't answer the door unless you text me first, which is truly my own personal policy. If I'm not expecting anyone, I simply don't answer the door. And I figure anyone who really needs to get a hold of me has my phone number.
Speaker 1: This did backfire one time when a friend needed something and was without his phone. But he was able to get my attention by knocking repeatedly. Thanks again for all your great work, Michelle, thank you so much for that piece of feedback. It's a really interesting thought, and I think it's worth putting on that sign.
Speaker 1: Exactly who is not welcome. And I think that's also why I would might lean towards a sign that says Baby sleeping, No visitors at all, Please, no knocking those sorts of things because then you're right. You're getting everyone solicitors, canvassers, neighbors who are next door those you know, coming by for the proverbial cup of sugar.
Speaker 1: But I think that those are definitely a good ideas. Go further beyond just no solicitors and
Speaker 1: our question. Askar will probably have a quieter time at home for sure. Thanks again, Michelle. We really appreciate your input
Speaker 1: and thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please keep them coming. We love hearing from you. You can send your feedback or update two awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 k. I N D. That's 8028585463 It's time for our post script segment, where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette, and today we're going to resume our series on our top 10 most searched content on Emily post dot com with Number three, which is about forms of address or addressing correspondence.
Speaker 1: Addressing correspondence is such a classic etiquette topic, Dan it is. It is one of those where people save old books of etiquette just to be able to go look things up. You know what I mean? Like we hear from the stationers and the people who do invitations and things like this on a regular basis. And sometimes it's those old etiquette books that are the only source. This is material that isn't always available in a Web article or where you'll even get competing or conflicting information, depending on which online source you're looking at
Speaker 1: and whether we look at
Speaker 1: 20 year search history of Emily Post are up one year search history History of Emily Post this fall somewhere in our top 10, no matter what the time frame,
Speaker 1: absolutely. And I think that because most of us aren't sending letters and cards on a regular basis
Speaker 1: using uh, formal forms of address. And also just simply addressing envelopes in general is something we don't do on a regular basis. And we had a lot of folks at the national stationery show tell us that either employees of theirs or, uh, they've been surprised sometimes with folks in their families, sometimes their own Children, when it comes to
Speaker 1: addressing envelopes. So, um, it is it is really great to kind of brush up on this, but also know that we have this information at your fingertips at Emily post dot com
Speaker 1: to start us off. We now have this wonderful universal title that can be used by anyone. It is the title of mix or mucks, depending on how you how you pronounce it. It's either M I X R M, U X
Speaker 1: and then the abbreviation for it is M X, with a period following, and mix is a gender non identifying title that can be used by anyone even if you identify specifically. But it is most often used by people who don't identify as gender binary.
Speaker 1: I'm going to be really interested to see if more often we start seeing
Speaker 1: sort of general addressing to anyone being used with mix. You know where if you haven't identified as a particular gender on a form or under someone's contact list that you then automatically get put in as MX so
Speaker 1: personally, even as someone who identifies in the M s category, I'm wondering if I'll start receiving mail in the future. That's MX addressed until I state otherwise,
Speaker 1: but it is the most the most sort of general option. And if you didn't know, this would be something you could turn to to use
Speaker 1: Dan, What's up next in our list? Do you want to take us through the misters? I was going to say, Mr Sending, would you like to take us? Mr Mr
Speaker 1: um, Mr is the title that's designed for an adult man, and we define adult man as someone who is 16 years of age or older. It's the short for Mister or Monsieur in French and
Speaker 1: is, I'd say, a pretty familiar title. For many people, there isn't a lot of confusion about the use of Mr The other sort of male title that we get asked about is master, and
Speaker 1: this is often or was once upon a time used more frequently, and you see less and less today. But it was used for boys for people that weren't yet men until about the age of six or seven. And
Speaker 1: you might say to yourself as a logical person, what happens to someone whose age eight or nine or 13 but isn't yet 16? And the answer is there isn't really a formal title for someone who falls into that category. And
Speaker 1: this is, uh, creates a bit of a question mark for many people and
Speaker 1: allows us to also talk about another option when addressing people, which is that of not using a title that if you're really familiar with someone you might not use a title or if they happen to fall into this particular age range, there isn't a title that applies to them,
Speaker 1: and we do see some people choose to go the route of just using Mr. In this. In this form, some people just go the route of using master and extend it all the way to those boys age 16, you know, age 15. Excuse me, but they're so far we don't have something great I'm in the camp of Let's just call them Mr Why not?
Speaker 1: But you know, if anyone else out there has a suggestion, if there's a version of this word or this title designation in your culture, that's just a different culture from kind of Western American culture. We'd love to hear it clearly. We've adopted things from the French, so why not? Um, you know, look to other cultures. But for right now, this is a gap.
Speaker 1: There is one thing that I have have learned in recent days, and that's that Messers, M. E S s R s
Speaker 1: is a plural for Mr When you have more than one gentleman around. It also happens to be the plural that you would use for companies. And the example I came across was the Messers Sotheby, And I thought that just to me sounded so different, you know, um, as a different way to think about it. But, you know, in in various Internet searches over time, you know, every now and again you come across some legal document that says, like the mess or so and so. And I'm wondering now if those were companies and not gentlemen,
Speaker 1: but I think it is really interesting. And I am curious as to whether, um, uh, male couples
Speaker 1: are
Speaker 1: utilizing the option of the Messersmith. For instance, if they share a last name or whether or not they're preferring Mr and Mr Smith and my guess would be right now that the etiquette would be to ask a couple whether or not they prefer to be Mr and Mr or whether they prefer to be the Messers and then their last name.
Speaker 1: For those of you that are regular listeners to the show, you might remember we discussed this topic a little bit on a postscript. Or maybe it was part of a question recently. And there are some people that have the impression that matures refers to brothers, which isn't necessarily true. But it is an impression many people have. And
Speaker 1: there's some question about whether or not it makes sense to to use matures as a couple. If it might create that impression that your brother's, although you wouldn't be
Speaker 1: running counter to any official etiquette if that was the case, it's almost like some of the issues where people think that you do a wedding present based on how much the wedding cost per head or per plate. And it's like it's a really common assumption, but it's not actually true. And you have to kind of
Speaker 1: find your way around that delicately because so many people think it's true.
Speaker 1: Yep. Next up on our list are forms of address for addressing a woman
Speaker 1: when it comes to maiden names, which would be the name you were given at birth, your first middle and last name or your first and last name.
Speaker 1: Uh, most women are going to be Miss M s. And then the example name we've chosen is Jane Johnson. So Miss Jane Johnson or Miss Jane Johnson and typically, Miss M. I S s is used for girls under 18.
Speaker 1: Now, once women choose to get married, they have different options, whether or not they are choosing to take their partner's name or do a combined name. If you are married and keeping your maiden name, you often just continue to use your maiden name title, which is M s. So
Speaker 1: if I got married and kept my maiden name and didn't use my partner's title socially, then I would just be Miss Lizzie Post, and our example is Miss Jane Johnson.
Speaker 1: If you are married and you choose to use your husband's name socially, which we find, women tend to be split on some some like this tradition, some don't. But if you do choose to use your husband's name socially, you would be Mrs M. R s period.
Speaker 1: And in this example, we're using John Kelly. So you would be Mrs John Kelly, Mrs. Plus your husband's first and last name.
Speaker 1: You could also be Mrs M. R s period. Jane Kelly. This didn't used to be acceptable. But nowadays it is. It's considered a modern version so that you have a shared last name,
Speaker 1: but that the woman is retaining her first name and is still being indicated as a married woman.
Speaker 1: So that would be Mrs Jane Kelly.
Speaker 1: You could also, if you are married and use your husband's name socially, use miss. So you could be Miss Jane Kelly again. Jane's original maiden name was Johnson. So these are all examples where she's using her husband's name socially.
Speaker 1: Okay, Lizzie. Question Question. Would you ever be Mrs Jane Johnson used the M. R. S with your first name and maiden name. If you wanted to indicate that you were married but had retained your maiden name,
Speaker 1: typically not. It's the one example that we don't really have. Instead, you would be Miss Jane Johnson, but I think that it would be really interesting to hear from married women who like the idea or who have chosen to keep their own name.
Speaker 1: If being a Mrs would be more important to them or if they prefer using them is still.
Speaker 1: But right now that option is in the Miss Jane Johnson category instead of the Mrs Jane Johnson category. So let's get a little more complicated. Let's talk about separation and divorce, and I'm saying we very generously including myself, but I'm really curious to hear you break it down for us. This is again where we have to recognize that we do come right now in the world of names and titles from a patriarchal society. So
Speaker 1: when it comes to being separated, not divorced or being divorced were often just looking at how women have choices about their names as opposed to how a man's name would change. The man's name doesn't really change in any of this and because women make choices about whether they change their names or not, when
Speaker 1: those relationships end, they then sometimes make choices about what name they will use moving forward. So if you're separated and not divorced, you might choose to use Mrs John Kelly. So that's Mrs your husband's first and last name. That's still very much so, indicating that you are married.
Speaker 1: You might use Mrs Jane Kelly, or you might use Miss Jane Kelly. Now, remember, that's for a scenario where you have not actually officially filed for divorce yet. So that's where you get that legal name still very much so tied to the partner.
Speaker 1: Once you're divorced. Officially, you get choices. Once again, you can be Mrs Jane Kelly, Miss Jane Kelly. Or you could go back to your maiden name. Miss Jane Johnson. Dan, what about when we're in a situation where a woman has been widowed?
Speaker 1: That's where the option that wasn't on the list of options. When you're divorced comes back into play, you have the option of being Mrs John Kelly or remaining Mrs John Kelly. So you're,
Speaker 1: uh, to use an old expression allowed to continue to use that first name as part of your title, whereas traditionally that wasn't done after a divorce.
Speaker 1: And if you're not sure how to address someone if you haven't spoken to them about it, the default is this traditional option of continuing to use the husband's first name as part of the title. If that's the way they were addressed while they were married, of course, all of the other options that were on the list are still available to someone who is widowed and
Speaker 1: broadly, the modern or contemporary advice is that you address people the way they would want to be addressed. These are all guidelines. They're the sort of default assumptions that you would use if you didn't know if someone has expressed an interest in being addressed in a particular way.
Speaker 1: The courteous and polite thing is to address them the way they would like to be addressed.
Speaker 1: One of the distinctions here that's really different between being widowed and being divorced. You'll notice that the Miss Jane Johnson doesn't come up as a suggestion under widowed,
Speaker 1: and that's because rather than really not being a part of the Kelly family anymore because they have chosen to go separate ways. In this case, Jane Johnson, our our bride, are widow. Now. She's still a part of the Kelly family, and I think that they still think of her that way by name. And therefore she doesn't.
Speaker 1: It's It's not an instant, I think, or or even, um, always
Speaker 1: common option to jump back to your maiden name after you've lost your spouse. Whereas after divorce, it's very common for people to revert to their maiden name's. It's amazing to me how quickly you get to a lot of complicated set of choices and options. We've only talked about three
Speaker 1: categories that all depend on gender, and
Speaker 1: all of a sudden there's there's there's quite a bit going on, and it can be hard to to follow. Definitely. I think it's easier and simpler sometimes when you see it written out, and I would definitely encourage people. If you're curious about
Speaker 1: these titles and the use of these titles, take a look at the article. It is helpful and it's not as complicated as it might sound.
Speaker 1: Some of the other topics that you're going to find in this article and there are many are addressing a couple, and we definitely go through both the kind of more formal and the less formal version. So sometimes where it's just the names you know Jane and John Kelly or Jane Johnson and John Kelly, that sort of thing.
Speaker 1: But it goes through, you know, married. She prefers Miss Married informal address, married. She uses her maiden name,
Speaker 1: Unmarried but living together, a woman who outranks her husband or partner because of elected office or military rank. Yeah, you got it. A woman who outranks her husband unprofessional or educational degrees. So we do degrees versus rank
Speaker 1: when both partners are doctors, but she uses her maiden name. We go through business, and we do women
Speaker 1: women with professional designations that they use only for business. The use of Esquire so attorneys and some court officials. So this really does kind of get you far down the list. Juniors seniors.
Speaker 1: As you can see, there is a lot to choose from a lot to think about when you are choosing to send out
Speaker 1: formal correspondence or more formal correspondence or even informal correspondence. Please definitely visit us at our third most search page for Emily post dot com. This is our article on the guide to addressing correspondence and tune in next week, when we continue to tick down our top 10 list with the second most search article on Emily post dot com.
Speaker 1: We like to end our show on a high note. So we turn to you to hear about all the good etiquette you're seeing and experiencing out in the world, and that can come in so many forms. And today we hear from Cheryl,
Speaker 1: Cheryl Begins. I'd like to give an etiquette salute to my neighbors, Brian and Debbie. I'm a senior. So right now we are supposed to stay home and not shop even for groceries. They called last night to say that they were at the store and asked if I would like anything. I gave them suggestions. And not only did they bring what I asked for but a few extras as well.
Speaker 1: The neighbors across the street
Speaker 1: have also said to call if I need anything. Here's a big salute to all those who are helping folks who can't get out right now.
Speaker 1: Oh, that is such a timely and good salute. Thank you, Cheryl. We really appreciate hearing about this It's nice to hear about the good that people are doing for each other right now. It absolutely is. We want to end our show by thanking you for your participation and by encouraging you to stay safe and to stay positive out there.
Speaker 1: We are so excited to be able to carry on the conversation with you, and we hope to hear from you soon.
Speaker 1: And thank you for listening. Thank you to everyone who sent us something and thank you to everyone who supports us on patreon. We appreciate it now more than ever. Please connect with us and share the show with friends, family and coworkers on social media. Or however you like to share podcasts.
Speaker 1: You can send us your next question feedback or salute to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com.
Speaker 1: You can reach us by phone where you can leave us a voice message or text, and we love to hear your voice. That 8 to 858 kind. That's 8028585463 on Twitter. We are at Emily Post inst on Instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook were awesome etiquette and the Emily Post Institute.
Speaker 1: Please consider becoming a sustaining member by visiting us at patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette. 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. Our show is edited by Chris Albertine, an assistant produced by Brigitte Dowd.
Speaker 1: Thanks Kris and Brigitte.
Speaker 1: Mhm,
Speaker 1: mhm.