Episode 292 - Daytime Diamonds
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 wearing diamonds during the day, sending wedding invitations during a pandemic, supporting your friend’s faith and a baby registry with no date for a shower. For Awesome Etiquette sustaining members our question of the week is about responding to a overbearing neighbor. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript on number one in our top ten most searched content online, the table setting guide!
Speaker 1: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social goodness. See, it's old fashioned
Speaker 1: watch how busy post
Speaker 2: and then post to act as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means
Speaker 1: showing respect,
Speaker 2: thinking of the other person, real friendliness.
Speaker 2: Hello and welcome to awesome etiquette, where we explore
Speaker 1: modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty.
Speaker 2: On today's show, we take your questions on wearing diamonds during the day, sending wedding invites during a pandemic, supporting your friends, faith
Speaker 2: and a baby registry with no date for a shower.
Speaker 1: For awesome etiquette sustaining members, Our question of the week is about responding to overbearing neighbors,
Speaker 2: plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript on the number one most searched and viewed piece of content on Emily post dot com.
Speaker 1: 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
Speaker 2: and I'm Dan Post setting, and it's good to see you.
Speaker 1: It's good to see you, too, because I
Speaker 1: I always like it when our video chats working and you and I can see each other during the podcast. We do a lot of hand gesturing to each other while we talk.
Speaker 1: I'm like, Oh, I've got something to add to that or you just keep going, Take us out. I don't want to talk
Speaker 2: anymore
Speaker 2: and and I would say what's new? But in some ways I've probably got a pretty good idea what you've been up to, because I'm guessing if it's anything like me, it hasn't been much different than what you were up to the week before, and maybe the week before that. And maybe the week before that.
Speaker 1: Totally. And I feel like almost all conversations now have like this. I won't call it obligatory, but there is a check in, and I think depending on the nature of the relationship of the call, there's like either a long check in or there's like a short check in. But there's kind of always how are you? Are you and your family and friends well,
Speaker 1: that I think most people, even when they're talking day to day, are giving when they're dealing with people in business. Whether that's reporters who are calling us whether it's,
Speaker 1: uh, new prospects for train the trainer programmes. I feel like no matter who or it's just friends I'm talking to. No matter who I talk to you, there's kind of this this quick check in that's happening and you you and I kind of do that very regularly with one another. So, um, despite our kind of different work schedules, right now, we kind of only overlap on three days of the week as opposed to our usual five.
Speaker 2: No, it's an emerging courtesy, the nature of small talk, that thing that you do to sort of build a little report at the beginning of an interaction
Speaker 2: and how deep in your are you okay, check in. Do you go ends up being this subtle little dance where
Speaker 2: you don't want to be too probing. You don't want to ask questions that are too personal. If you're
Speaker 2: having one of those days where you're maybe not feeling so good, you don't want to burden someone with a lot of that feeling. At the same time, it's important to be able to talk coherently, and in a way that's that's not overly emotional about the emotions that we're having and experiencing and figuring out how far it's okay to go in that space is
Speaker 2: a really important and really subtle social courtesy
Speaker 1: well, and I think that people are also realizing now that someone and I think we talked about this on the last show that someone's day could could change kind of at any minute. And
Speaker 1: it is it is like that for all the It feels like we're just sitting around waiting or we're just sitting around at home looking for things to do. Or we're
Speaker 1: you know, for all that so many people have that feeling going on. There's also the You get news from someone and you know, either they're impacted by this, physically or financially or emotionally. Just things can happen,
Speaker 1: you know, even for folks who are kind of waiting through it. Sometimes it's just that they're they're having a day where they're foggier and more tired, and
Speaker 1: things just aren't firing quite as quickly as they have been. Other people have days where they're like, you know, today's the day I'm feeling good and it's so there is there's kind of this check in because we aren't all on this kind of level emotional
Speaker 1: spectrum that we're used to. I think operating and it's like the ends of the spectrum are further apart, and I think they can happen more frequently.
Speaker 2: Yeah,
Speaker 2: so and this is all for for me, on a baseline of a new routine that has really started to be pretty routine. I'm starting to notice the
Speaker 2: one day following. Another is is stacking up and it's stacked up enough that those things that we said, Oh, this is gonna take some adjusting or this is gonna take some getting used to.
Speaker 2: I've had a chance to do a lot of that adjusting, and a lot of that getting used to has happened, and in some ways, that's that's great. In fact, you and I are more efficient doing this. We
Speaker 2: get set up and record a podcast, and
Speaker 1: it's
Speaker 2: not. It's not. This
Speaker 1: morning I couldn't find my headphones.
Speaker 2: It's not as tight as shit, and maybe it once was. But it's a tighter ship than it was three weeks ago, when it took two or three days to get through that whole process. And,
Speaker 2: um, I'm trying to remind myself now to keep things fresh, to not fall into patterns and habits that I'm not as happy with to stay, sort of engaged and
Speaker 2: focused on being present, being aware and and and not just letting one thing run into another until months disappear. And you're not happy with where you land,
Speaker 1: exactly. That's for me that comes in the form of every single morning. I've committed to some form of exercise. So I'm I'm really fortunate that a long time ago I was able to invest in having a treadmill at home
Speaker 1: and so through the bad weather that really helps me. I'm not someone who likes running outside in the cold, and so I'm very happy to hit the treadmill. That was a priority for me. But that's it's something that kind of even if I'm like having to adjust my schedule a bit, it's something that I'm keeping in. My routine is that morning exercise for me checking that either going for that run or going for that long walk.
Speaker 1: That's one of the things that's been helping me in that realm.
Speaker 2: I so understand what you're saying. I added a little bit of exercise to the routine. I think regular listeners to the show will remember a New Year's resolution. Well, if it finally we actually got an exercise, a daily exercise routine going. And the other thing that's happening here in Vermont, we are just on the cusp of spring. The crocuses have popped around the house. You're you're a little,
Speaker 2: you're a little closer to the lake. You're a little lower latitudes. So I keep just imagining you in, like Springtime Burlington while I'm still up on the sort of north
Speaker 2: facing slope of the mountain. But
Speaker 2: it is a
Speaker 1: joke. I have popped.
Speaker 2: It's pushing me to get outside where I get exercise. I clear the brush, I take care of the lawn and it does feel good.
Speaker 2: And it reminds me springtime is coming, and there's a lot of good feeling coming with that springtime and everything that it represents
Speaker 1: well, with one of our classic bad jokes to transition. Should we spring into some questions?
Speaker 2: Let's do it.
Speaker 2: Awesome etiquette is here to answer your questions. You can email your next question to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 You can also reach us on social media
Speaker 2: On Twitter, We are at Emily Post install on Instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook. We are awesome etiquette. Just remember to use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: Our first question is titled Diamonds by Day. Question Mark,
Speaker 1: Hi, Lizzie and Dan. I am a very big fan of everything etiquette related. So of course I really love your show. I have a very small question, but I would like to know if I have to do what I think I have to do.
Speaker 1: I have passed to the other side of 40 so I feel like I have to take even more care than I used to in dressing nicely but age appropriately.
Speaker 1: My question revolves around a very lovely ring that I inherited from my husband's grandmother. It is a beautiful emerald surrounded by diamonds. I really love it both as a piece itself and as a remembrance of her. My question is, should I wear it during the day?
Speaker 1: I am wearing it on my right hand as my classic and understated wedding set is on my left.
Speaker 1: Do I need to abide by the rules of gemstones and diamonds only in the evening. I fear that this is probably so, but I just thought I would ask. I hate leaving it in my jewelry box. Sincerely, Joan.
Speaker 1: Dan, you want to take a stab at this? I
Speaker 2: I would I really appreciate this question, Joan. It's to me a perfect illustration of a big picture etiquette concept, which is that you have to know the rules to know when and how to break them or how to break them well.
Speaker 2: And I think this is a perfect example of that. I think that it would be a shame not to wear jewelry that you love for all kinds of reasons that you want to have fun with it. But you also want to pick your occasion. And there is this
Speaker 2: sort of etiquette rule, or idea that you only wore special jewelry, particularly diamonds at night or in the evening.
Speaker 2: And
Speaker 2: I appreciate the spirit behind that rule that you want to be circumspect. You don't want to over dress for occasions you don't want to be ostentatious or showy with something that has a lot of value. At the same time,
Speaker 2: there are all kinds of occasions, events, social functions that I can think of. That would be a daytime function where you could have a lot of fun with an emerald ring and it wouldn't be inappropriate at all. So it's not so much the
Speaker 2: night day rule that you have to abide by, but the spirit behind that rule. What it was meant to remind all of us of
Speaker 2: are things you want to keep in mind as you pick your occasions
Speaker 1: totally. I also think that in today's day and age, we really in many, many ways where what we want. And I don't want to say that as a way to say that you should
Speaker 1: throw the rules out the window or not abide by guidelines set by certain groups, institutions that you belong to.
Speaker 1: But I think it's important to consider the peace
Speaker 1: because there are plenty of women who wear and men for that matter who wear emerald rings every day. And it's a part of the ring set that they wear and it's just it's a part of the jewelry that is their everyday jewelry.
Speaker 1: And I think that if it's a giant size of your eyeball emerald,
Speaker 1: you know that that yeah probably falls into the evening special category, you know, And yet we know lots of people who wear the fake or real gorgeously large and even like you use the word I think ostentatious before, like jewelry, you know,
Speaker 1: for the thrill of doing it
Speaker 1: to have it be exaggerated in those ways. And so it's by today's standards, Really, it's your choice when you choose to wear this when it suits your outfit when it suits your mood.
Speaker 1: I do think that it's thoughtful to consider situations and and just take that into account no matter what we're doing. You know, um, I think that that's that's a part of being someone who pays attention to
Speaker 1: they retire and how they present themselves.
Speaker 2: So in the spirit of setting off a piece of chunky jewelry that you like to wear day or night,
Speaker 2: a very quick Google search on this topic one of the top articles gave some fashion advice that I sort of liked. I thought I might say they said wear a white
Speaker 1: shirt, and
Speaker 2: then you can wear sort of a signature piece with it and almost anything that you do with it. The accent becomes, the flare becomes the thing, and
Speaker 1: you're not
Speaker 2: breaking with the too much going on aesthetic that can sometimes be troublesome for people. I love your idea of thinking about the piece itself also, and that it's not just the size of the stone, but there are some stones and settings and cuts that are really elegant. They're they're more evening where jewelry, and it would go better in that type of a scenario or situation.
Speaker 2: And then there's other things that
Speaker 2: no matter what their sizes, they've got more of a casual sort of presentation, and you could wear them anytime, anywhere, and you wouldn't need to think about it in quite the same way.
Speaker 1: Joan. We hope that this helps, and we hope that whenever you choose to wear it, you enjoy wearing that ring.
Speaker 1: For the American people are one small, ready and eager for the finer things of life.
Speaker 1: Once more faced their future with courage and resolute self confidence.
Speaker 1: Mm hmm.
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled Early invites in a covid 19 era
Speaker 2: Dearest Lizzy and Daniel. My husband and I have planned a destination wedding for our daughter in Charlottesville, Virginia, on July 18 2020. We are optimistically looking ahead and would like to send out the wedding invitations in light of the Covid 19 pandemic here in the United States and worldwide,
Speaker 2: we plan to wait and see the timeframe of the wedding schedule as this virus unfolds in the United States and Virginia.
Speaker 2: How early can I send out her wedding invitations? They are addressed and ready to be mailed. Please respond at your earliest convenience. Most sincerely yours. Rebecca.
Speaker 1: Rebecca, This is a great question. And a lot of couples are really struggling with how to balance the planning of their wedding. We do talk about this on our Emily Post com website. There is some advice,
Speaker 1: but not specifically for when to send out and my ventured guests here. Is that what you really want to be doing, especially for those of you that have weddings in the date times where it's starting to be a question mark for whether we're going to have social distancing still, in order or not,
Speaker 1: there has been really positive reviews this week. The week before, Not so much.
Speaker 1: It's gonna be different in different areas, which is why this can't be blanketed. Advice for everybody. So the way I think to handle this is if your wedding is in as you mentioned yours as mid July, a lot of places are looking like there's something that might be lifted by then. We don't know what we don't know whether that means just gatherings of five are going to be allowed or whether it means
Speaker 1: schools will open back. I mean, well, it'll be middle of summer. Schools won't open back up, but we don't know what it's going to mean. So I say that you send your invitations out there ready and mail to go. I think now is a fine time to send them. It's much earlier than you usually need to. Usually, you need about eight weeks
Speaker 1: when it comes to giving people a heads up.
Speaker 1: We tend to go a little earlier, even nowadays, because so many people are making travel arrangements and it just gives people the time to process and make those travel arrangements. So
Speaker 1: three months, four months, not crazy to send them out because of Covid. I actually think sending them out now is not a bad idea. Send them out, but include an extra letter with them or if you have to send a message that goes with it, that follows up. If they're already sealed envelopes. Sorry, that's what I'm trying to say that says we are keeping tabs on the current situation.
Speaker 1: We are hoping that we're going to be able to do this. Here are the dates that we are going to reach out and connect with you by or on in order to give updates of our plans of whether this wedding will be an option to be held or not, but not knowing where we stand now. We're hopeful,
Speaker 1: but we definitely have to keep making decisions and keep abreast of the news and and respect whatever social distancing orders are in place. The one thing that I think is really important with anybody who is choosing to think about moving forward with their plans in hopes that we're going to be allowed to move forward with some of these plans
Speaker 1: is that you really want to express to your guests that they should feel no pressure to come that you would love for them to be there if they can only be there via video chat, that that is perfectly fine. You don't want anyone to feel a lot of pressure. We don't want people
Speaker 1: to jump the gun in starting to gather. And I think you don't want people to fret about having to think about gathering when Right now we're all being trained not to gather. So there are kind of just some, um, I would love it if we had a therapist on the show to weigh in on that kind of stuff. One day we might have to loop Kujan on this, but I think you you want to be aware of the fact that
Speaker 1: putting that event in the future that's a gathering event can have very positive influences in giving people something hopeful to look forward to, and it can also cause a lot of stress and anxiety for whether or not it's going to be possible. How much pressure do I feel to have to go just because it's being held? So
Speaker 1: we are going to come out of this? Weddings are going to need to happen. Eventually, we are going to have gatherings again. But there's this kind of balance that we're in right now when it's all still a question mark. Dan, I have been going off. Please jump in. Let me know your thoughts. Uh,
Speaker 2: I'm just sitting there grinning at Lizzie Post because I'm learning as we go. And
Speaker 2: one of things I was really curious about was the timing of the invitations or the main question of this question. And I I thought I almost read it wrong when I heard How early can I send it?
Speaker 2: And I'm thinking to myself early, I
Speaker 1: want to send it late.
Speaker 2: I'd want to be as close to the wedding as possible because I know the most, and, as you said, sort of with things potentially changing, not being so certain. My instinct would be not to get it out sooner, but to get it out as close to the event as possible because I would have the most information.
Speaker 2: But I completely hear all of your thinking about giving people more time to prepare, both in terms of actual planning but also mentally and emotionally. I like the idea of setting up those those dates certain when hopefully you will know more and you'll check back in with people. All of those things
Speaker 2: make it not as important or, uh, run counter to my idea of Wait till the last minute and and that you'll know more at that point. You know, you just say, Listen, I'll know more now and I'll let you know and I'll know more at this point then and I'll let you know, then
Speaker 2: and and that really functions well, So
Speaker 1: I was communication,
Speaker 2: appreciating both the amount of work that that takes when you said an extra thing in a wedding invitation. I was like, Oh, boy, I can't even imagine, um, adding that level of complexity, Um, but it's important, and these are These are times where
Speaker 2: you got to do the best you can. Um, the other thing that I was thinking to myself is that on a very personal level, there were three weddings I was planning on attending this summer and once been canceled. One they're going to try to hold and one is a big question mark. Still, So we have all three categories and roughly in the same time, window,
Speaker 2: and I just really appreciate the difficult choices a lot of people are making right now.
Speaker 1: I think it's really true. I mean the exact same category. I've got one that was definitely cancelled, one that is there holding it and they've got. I think the venue is giving them up until two weeks before the date of the wedding to be able to solidify, whether they're having the wedding or not.
Speaker 1: So that's one where, luckily, for me, it's in our hometown, so it's just whether or not they choose to host it and can host it.
Speaker 1: But for people travelling to that wedding, they might. A lot of them, the bride said, are just choosing to cancel the plans. And they say they'll meet us via Zoom and it, she said. Frankly, it's sad, but it's helping them solidify what their guest list is more likely to be. And that's helpful in a lot of ways, to the to the venue and and her and everybody else. So,
Speaker 1: um, that's good, and then I have one that's in October, and that one is definitely still on.
Speaker 2: I can imagine that the decline percentage for your guest list is likely to be higher at the moment that I forget what our usual averages expect 10% to decline or 15 or something like that,
Speaker 1: Yeah, and I feel like it's even more. At this point. I feel like a lot of people decline going to weddings nowadays.
Speaker 2: Well, and
Speaker 2: particularly with Covid being a part of the equation, People not wanting to travel, just not wanting to gather, not being sure,
Speaker 2: I think, as a host of a wedding, I think it's important to remember that I liked the way you have that understanding quality to issuing the invitation of. I understand if you don't want to commit right now or if you
Speaker 2: I want to say no and and really remembering that as a host and also as a guest, that it's okay to say no
Speaker 2: and that if you are going to say no, letting your host no communicating, that is an important part of the etiquette in this situation so that they understand what they're dealing with. The question marks the tricky thing on the guest list. The yes is manageable, the no is manageable. The question mark is really difficult
Speaker 1: and a lot of people have question marks right now. So hosts being understanding about that. Guests realizing that
Speaker 1: once they can make a decision doing it, is a good thing again. It all comes back to communication right now in the world of weddings.
Speaker 1: Rebecca, we hope that this helps. We certainly hope that by July 18th you are able to have this wonderful wedding for your daughter in Charlottesville, Virginia. And, uh, if not, we hope that it's able to be easily postponed to a time when everyone can gather and celebrate. Well,
Speaker 1: you may feel that your home is safe.
Speaker 1: You've taken every precaution to keep your family well,
Speaker 1: but you don't live in isolation.
Speaker 1: A neighbor stricken by an infection can suddenly be a menace to your family's health.
Speaker 2: Mhm.
Speaker 2: Our next question is titled Faith and Friends.
Speaker 1: Hi, Lizzie and Dan. I'm a new listener and already feel your podcast has opened my eyes to the many opportunities I received throughout the day to be kind and courteous. Thank you.
Speaker 1: I've got a dilemma about using religious expressions when one is not religious. I was not brought up in a church and am spiritual but not religious. Many of My friends, however, are to varying degrees. My best friend, in particular, is a devout church member and often talks about her relationship with God.
Speaker 1: She knows that while I may not share her level of faith, I am glad she still feels comfortable discussing it with me. Even knowing this,
Speaker 1: my question is this. My friend often texts or calls me during particularly happy or particularly sad times. I always let her know that I am thinking of her, but I feel like it would mean a lot if I expressed that I was praying for her. Also,
Speaker 1: would it seem insincere or inappropriate to say this to her? I often choose not to, as I don't want her to think, I am taking her faith lightly. I would love your advice. A loving friend
Speaker 1: that is such an interesting question.
Speaker 2: It's a very thoughtful question.
Speaker 1: I was going to say it's a very thoughtful question and we sometimes see this during the holidays when people are wishing people well for specific holidays and it's interesting when you feel comfortable expressing something that you don't do. A lot of people also get questions about either saying grace or taking a moment before you eat. These are other times where we see kind of
Speaker 1: other gestures. Other greetings, other wishes of well and words used sort of. Do I use yours? Do I use mine? How do we do this?
Speaker 2: Absolutely, it's and it's a an etiquette question that doesn't, I think, have a particular rule that we can refer to in terms of providing an answer. This is a very personal choice,
Speaker 2: and in that spirit I want to look back to our core principles of consideration, respect and honesty. And for me, this is a question of honesty. If this is something that you can say and it feels true to you, if it feels like something sincere and authentic,
Speaker 2: then I think it's something that you can say. Praying or prayer means very different things to different people,
Speaker 2: and I think it's very hard for anyone to define for someone else what prayer is.
Speaker 2: So there is some latitude in terms of how you talk about it. You can say I'm praying for you or I'll pray for you, and that is going to mean different things to different people. What's important is that it has significance to you, the person saying it,
Speaker 2: and that you recognize that it has significance for the person who's hearing and I'm hearing both of those things in this question. I'm hearing a lot of integrity in terms of taking someone's faith and faith tradition, seriously recognizing the ways that you both interact with it and don't and what it could mean for someone else what it means for you.
Speaker 2: I think as long as all those thoughts are alive and present in your mind, you can trust your instinct about
Speaker 2: about whether it's something that feels right to you, to say
Speaker 2: there's a parallel, uh, language choice that comes up telling someone that you love them. I think is something that can feel kind of similar to people. It can feel really fraught, like it would be very significant, and
Speaker 2: it's also something very personal. It means different things for different people,
Speaker 2: and how you say that is something that
Speaker 2: it's not just completely up to you because how it lands will impact someone. It will make them feel a certain way. Hopefully, it'll make them feel good, and with that being the spirit and intent behind this question being asked. I almost want to say Go for it. I want to offer the encouragement that if you feel okay about it, it would be okay.
Speaker 1: I think that in that realm,
Speaker 1: you can also refine your language to reflect you.
Speaker 1: You know if if the word prayer makes it feel like that's her thing and I don't want her to feel mocked by it. And I'm uncertain of whether that word is going to land, right? Don't use the word prayer.
Speaker 1: Instead, you know, you mentioned being spiritual. You might say, I'm really thinking of you and sending good wishes or sending goodwill or I'm holding you in my intentions.
Speaker 1: Those kinds of things are letting people know that you are spending time thinking about them in a caring way. And I think that's mainly what we're trying to communicate here. That you're you're doing the things that you know how to do as a person, as a believer, as a non believer, to reach out and say, I support you during this time.
Speaker 1: So those are other things that you can turn to if that word is getting you stuck and I would say for anyone who's getting stuck on a particular word.
Speaker 1: Find ways around the word If the word isn't working, you know, try to find a different way to express what you actually mean. Sometimes dialing it back to
Speaker 1: if this part is sticky. What do I really mean? I really mean
Speaker 1: I hope that you have a great time celebrating with your family. I hope that you have a lot of love and support right now. I hope you have the right kind of love and support right now. I, you know, hope that God heals you. Whatever it is. I think that feels correct and true. I think you kind of want to go towards
Speaker 2: that. I want to affirm your taking care with religious language because I also can't
Speaker 2: think about the answer to this question and not say to myself, Blasphemy. The concept of blasphemy is such a big deal.
Speaker 2: The idea of using religious language in ways that isn't appropriate or aren't appropriate
Speaker 2: is is so important. And I think one of my examples when I'm teaching business seminars is that OMG text speak that we are so used to seeing at this stage it might not even register
Speaker 2: are you saying? Oh my goodness, Are you saying Oh my something else which might be really offensive to somebody of a certain faith, tradition and
Speaker 2: really staying aware of of how you use religious language is one way to avoid giving very serious offense to
Speaker 2: people who that language has very specific meaning.
Speaker 1: A loving friend. We hope that that helps you come up with some language that does feel comfortable for you when trying to connect with your friend.
Speaker 1: No matter how we worship God, we must grant the same freedom of worship to our fellow man if we are truly religious.
Speaker 2: Our next question is titled Registered, but no real date.
Speaker 2: Dear Awesome etiquette. I am pregnant and do with my first child in July 2020. Congratulations.
Speaker 2: A friend had planned to host a baby shower for me at the end of May. But with Covid 19 sweeping the nation, I cannot imagine being able to hold an in person gathering because the proposed date of the shower is still weeks away. No invitations have been sent out.
Speaker 2: Some people are sending broad save the date messages with links to their registries and the promise of an event after social distancing ends.
Speaker 2: Others are organizing virtual showers over video chat.
Speaker 2: In this context, what etiquette rules say about the appropriateness of sending out links to a baby registry Absent a date specific in person, party invitation?
Speaker 2: Thank you, Elizabeth B.
Speaker 1: Elizabeth B. Congratulations. Dan and I have both kind of come to the space of as long as there's some kind of event either planned in the future or done via,
Speaker 1: you know, even if it's if it's not a video chat, because connections are bad. But you like
Speaker 1: recording and opening of the gifts with your partner and being really excited and enthusiastic and talking as if everyone was there and sending that to people, I don't know. Maybe that doesn't sound right,
Speaker 1: Um, but I think you definitely want to try to get some kind of video chat established as an option for people to to kind of tune in for the actual
Speaker 1: day that the party was supposed to happen on, or if it needs to be rescheduled for something more convenient for that sort of thing than that. But what I wouldn't do in any kind of shower situation is cancel the shower and then just send out, like the registry list saying, But these gifts would still be helpful. They would probably be helpful. But I think you you want to kind of have something that
Speaker 1: that resembles the exchange part of it. Am I getting at that right? Dan like, Are you feeling that like it's the exchange part? I think you don't want to lose.
Speaker 2: I agree. I think it's
Speaker 2: a difficult situation that people are presented with, and there is this impulse to help by getting a registry out there.
Speaker 2: But usually that registry is connected to an invitation. And and to me, that's where you get an etiquette. Answer to this question because we often say the nature of an invitation starts to give a guest clues about how to participate in an event. And
Speaker 2: if you're not inviting someone to a shower, it's hard to include registry information. It's it's a non invite invite. Now that that virtual shower, I think, starts to be enough of a there There, there starts to be the potential for that quality of exchange that I think you're talking about. That
Speaker 2: starts to give the the event itself enough substance to make that invitation or a real thing that you can attach that registry to.
Speaker 2: It might be the reality that people would like that registry information, But you just want to be careful how you disseminate something like that and how you connect it to the idea of a party.
Speaker 1: Having said all that, I
Speaker 2: do think that you have a bit of latitude here in terms of the traditional etiquette. These are trying times, and we're all getting to try out some new things to figure out how to make this work
Speaker 2: and that the virtual or zoom shower obviously comes to mind. When I think of other ways, you might
Speaker 2: creatively create a shower feel. And I'm imagining a scenario that's a
Speaker 2: sort of a running reception where maybe you can't get everybody logged onto the same video call. But you can choose a date when you're going to open presents and then call one person after another after another after another and
Speaker 2: everyone gets some personal contact, you get the experience of being showered. Um, maybe you could even film little thank you that you send out. There'll be lots of different ways you can do it that aren't just, uh, everyone get together on a virtual call kind of experience where you're ticking off some of the important boxes for what a shower
Speaker 2: should feel like and how it should function for everybody.
Speaker 1: Yeah, have a good time with people. Share an experience and be able to express your gratitude and appreciation.
Speaker 1: Um, those are those are the boxes you're looking to check. And, um, I think some people might say, Oh, well, I could just cancel everything. People could send me stuff and I could send out thank you notes. That's that's showing that gratitude and appreciation. And it is. But I think in this case, that's 11 step not far enough. And so I would for those who are also considering doing this, I would play some form of a
Speaker 1: a video chat or, uh, a way to share that experience together, um, as an option or, as we said, postponed to postpone to the future.
Speaker 1: Elizabeth. We hope that that helps, and we hope that you find great ways to celebrate during this difficult time
Speaker 1: At school, we were all taught the value of teamwork. Well, good grief. America was built by all of us working together.
Speaker 1: And our whole future depends on you helping him and you helping her and all of us helping each other.
Speaker 1: I'm for it.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Mm
Speaker 1: mm.
Speaker 1: Thank you for your questions. Please send us updates or feedback on our answers to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. Leave a voicemail or text at 802858 k i n d. That's 8028585463 Or you can reach us on social media on Twitter. We are at Emily Post inst
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Speaker 1: Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: Mm.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 2: If you love awesome etiquette, consider becoming a sustaining member. You can find out more about this by visiting patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette.
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Speaker 1: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer and the topics we cover.
Speaker 1: Today we hear from Laura and Emily on Episode 2 90 titles
Speaker 2: Hi, Lizzie and Dan. I'm writing in response to the postscript segment in episode 2 90 On titles I am a bit of a rule breaker in this area. I got married this past September and kept my last name.
Speaker 2: I also work in an elementary school, So I've been called Miss Maiden name all day, every day for the past five years.
Speaker 2: While I still use Miss in every other setting, I decided to go by Mrs Maiden name at work. It just makes me feel a little more married and gives me a smile when I hear it. I know that may sound silly, but it works for me. I'm interested to hear if anyone else does the same.
Speaker 2: Thanks for your totally awesome podcast. You guys are the best smile. Laura.
Speaker 1: Laura. I have a friend who what she did was she kept her name so professionally she went by. You know, we'll call her Mrs or Miss Betsy Smith,
Speaker 1: but then, socially, she went by Mrs and then her husband's last name. so a little different from you. But like I, I think a lot of people find ways of doing it. That makes them smile and makes them feel good about it and makes them feel connected to the people in their lives.
Speaker 2: Emily writes. Hi, Dan and Lizzie, longtime listener, first time writer. I have greatly enjoyed your podcast and have shared with many co workers. Now more than ever, I'm looking forward to new episodes each week as we isolate at home in North Carolina.
Speaker 2: This isn't feedback to Number 2 90. I am married but kept my name for a number of reasons, like mentioned in the podcast. Some married women from what I found. It's mostly millennial women keep their name. But take the missus title. I was under the impression that Mrs signified I was married, but following that with my name let people know I kept my name.
Speaker 2: Is that not the case? We have been receiving wedding invitations from friends in our age group to Mr his name and mrs my name. Is that not correct? I consider myself an etiquette stickler, so I need to know.
Speaker 2: I hope you're both having a wonderful week. Thanks for taking the time to review my feedback and question. Keep making the world a more kind place Best Emily.
Speaker 1: Emily. It's kind of a question and feedback together, but I think that this is something that that welcome to changing times and we aren't talking covid right now. This is something you see, I I actually appreciate you writing in and saying that you're seeing a lot of your friends
Speaker 1: put it this way. Sometimes that drives a change more than anything else is how a new generation accepts and identifies
Speaker 1: so more to come.
Speaker 2: Absolutely. This makes so much sense to me. It really has me thinking about the way these these titles have worked traditionally and the way they're starting to work and are being used today
Speaker 1: Well And will, you see, like a next generation of people who identify with male titles saying things like, We want something that indicates when we're married. So you could have, uh will there be a male version of Mrs or a male version of Miz
Speaker 1: You know, um, to indicate, because it seems like what people really want is an indication of whether or not they are married. They want their title to indicate that. And it's some people don't think that a title should reveal that about you and other people want a title exactly to reveal that about you.
Speaker 1: And so it's until the world settles on one. We will have boats nice to have options.
Speaker 1: And Emily, it's a great thought. Thank you so much for writing in and for for continuing to think about it and give us perspective on it.
Speaker 2: Thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please keep them coming. You can send your next piece of feedback or update or question to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463
Speaker 1: Mm.
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 resume our series. Actually, we're going to conclude our series Top 10 most search content on Emily post dot com
Speaker 2: with
Speaker 1: number one drum roll, please. Table setting guides.
Speaker 1: You may have thought that well, we've covered table settings already and that is true. But Dan tell us a little bit about why table setting guides ends up as our main page search on Emily post dot
Speaker 2: com. Well, I think the short answer is because it is the most immediate association many people have with the whole concept of etiquette. And
Speaker 2: it is the information that people want from us. More than anything else. They want to know how to set a table, how to use utensils, and
Speaker 2: that is it. That is the specific question that drives more search and traffic on Emily post dot com than anything else. Our favorite story to tell about our website is that on Thanksgiving Day, our traffic spikes off the charts. It goes orders of magnitude higher than any other day of the year,
Speaker 2: and it is entirely our table setting guides that drive that interest in that traffic.
Speaker 2: So
Speaker 2: if you feel like you've heard this before, it's because you have, and you've heard it at least three times because we have gone over the basic or informal table setting the semiformal table setting and the formal table setting.
Speaker 2: The table setting guide is the overview article on our site that has all three of those table settings described in less detail compared to each other, and
Speaker 2: also gives a couple of broad principles for table setting in general that apply as you escalate your formality game from informal to semi to very formal dining.
Speaker 1: This is also the guide that has some decent photos on it of our table settings to go along with the guide. So it's actually it is one of our most used pages,
Speaker 2: and the big header at the top of the article itself reads table setting. 101 and
Speaker 2: three basic rules are presented at the very top of this article, and I thought it would be a nice review to go over those.
Speaker 1: Let's do it.
Speaker 2: The first and most basic rule to get you started is that utensils are placed in the order of use from the outside in, so that's one course following another. You're just starting
Speaker 2: with the utensil that you're going to grab first and putting it on the outside of the table setting
Speaker 2: as the meal gets more elaborate. As you add more and more courses, you add more and more utensils. But the same basic logic applies. And if you're just doing one course, guess what? There's only going to be one utensil, so you're only going to set the table with one utensil. But I'm getting ahead of myself. That's actually Rule three.
Speaker 1: The
Speaker 2: second rule is that forks go on the left of the plate, and knives and spoons go to the right in that order. So if you can spell the word forks, that's the little pneumonic. That's the way you can remember it. Fs for forks Those come first on the left. Oh is like the plate that goes in the middle
Speaker 2: and then to the right come the knives and the spoons in that order. So if you can spell the word forks, you can remember the second rule of table setting.
Speaker 2: And the final
Speaker 2: basic rule is that you only set the table with the utensils that you're going to be using. So there's nothing on the table that's designed to confuse you or be an obstacle to anything that you're going to do. You're just going to set the table with the utensils that you need.
Speaker 2: As the demands of the meal dictate a more and more elaborate table setting, you're going to get into more and more elaborate table settings.
Speaker 2: But again, the basic logic that applies for a meal that has one course that you're having with a good friend, a casual acquaintance or anybody will also apply. If you're
Speaker 2: dining at a restaurant that's going to be serving you seven or nine courses or if you're planning a multiple course meal at your own home.
Speaker 1: I think this is now explaining to me why I get so irked when I do see table settings that are inventive, where the forks and knives, maybe our diagonally off the top of the plate or something like that. You know, when people are switching things around. I think
Speaker 1: I think the fact that the big overview of all table setting that one of the big things is that the forks are on the left and the knives and spoons on the right with, as we know, one or two very few exceptions with very specific
Speaker 1: implements. I think that probably now explains to me why I just can't get behind those, like let's tackle everything up from the top, you know, or something like that.
Speaker 1: I've always wondered why they irked me so
Speaker 2: much. Well, to the extent that creative equals fun or
Speaker 1: inventive, that's good. Yeah, but if one of the whole
Speaker 2: purposes of the way you set a table is to make it as easy as possible for people,
Speaker 2: any divergence from that, I think the person doing it has to just register that for themselves that I'm actually I'm adding layers of complexity here that,
Speaker 2: um, might be fun. But they also might just be
Speaker 2: needlessly
Speaker 1: complex. Put me in the category of the contestant at the table setting competition. Who would? Who would get creative with the napkins and the decoration and that sort of stuff. But my forks and knives and spoons, they will be lined up. I like that distinction.
Speaker 1: So we are just me, though.
Speaker 2: No, I think it's actually a really I think it's a good point. I think it's it actually carves out a line of demarcation between where I would say Go for it, have fun and where I would say just
Speaker 2: in some places, uh, stand on the shoulders of giants, lean on that tradition, and you're going to be in great
Speaker 1: shape,
Speaker 1: like how you went big with the encouragement there stand on the shoulders of
Speaker 2: giants.
Speaker 2: So I'm also thinking, as I sort of scan back in my mind over our top 10. And when I think about the emphasis on the table that clearly emerges, I also want to invite our audience to ask us anything that you want to know about table settings about utensils, holding utensils,
Speaker 2: how utensils are used, what they're used for.
Speaker 2: Bread plates, glasses, that utensil that you're not so sure about that in the family box of silver that you've always wanted to use.
Speaker 1: But like all the coatroom on, like the little personal salt and pepper shakers or the butter plates or the,
Speaker 1: uh, what I was always amazed at with all the beautiful silver and other,
Speaker 1: they're almost like container covers so that you could, like put your Tabasco on the table but not have it be a labeled product on the table. And so it's like hidden by like a silver sheet almost. Um, I love like I love hearing about people who are like, Oh, I came across this in an antique shop and
Speaker 1: you hear me laughing. It is very jovial. It's not that I don't I don't really actually cringe. I don't have a moment of clutching any pearls. Um, when I see things done, not the right way. But it is fun for me because the table has been a place that we have engaged at together for so long.
Speaker 1: It is so deeply rooted in our cultural identities. It is different around the world. For those of us who, as Dan and I were talking earlier, for those of us who are in the fork knife spoon world of the table that it's and as Margaret Visser has taught us for years, it's
Speaker 1: It's a place we seem to just never give up on.
Speaker 1: It's something that we always come back to and throughout all of Emily Post etiquette. I love seeing the advice of that thing that's been so big and has such a huge history and means so much to so many people
Speaker 1: kind of boiled down to these three really simple, really actionable, fairly practical
Speaker 1: pieces of advice
Speaker 2: because I couldn't say it any better, and I want to offer a final thank you to everyone for
Speaker 2: cruising through this series with us with one little divergence along the way. It's been a lot of fun to review the most searched, most viewed content on Emily post dot com, and we will return to our usual post groups in the coming weeks.
Speaker 1: This is a correctly set place at a dinner table.
Speaker 1: The silver, as you see, has been arranged. According to courses.
Speaker 1: There should never be more silver than there are courses for which is intended
Speaker 1: for each cost. You take the implement furthest from your plate.
Speaker 2: We like to end our show on a high note. So we turn to you to hear about the good etiquette you're seeing and experiencing out in the world, and that can come in so many forms today. We hear from Danny,
Speaker 1: dear Awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: I wanted to give a general shout out to all of the people I've seen helping others over the last few weeks. This pandemic has not been easy, but during this time I have seen so many people perform random acts of kindness
Speaker 1: while in line. At the grocery store, an older woman was having trouble paying for her food, and another woman in my line volunteered to pay for it.
Speaker 1: I've seen several posts from friends on Facebook talking about how a stranger paid for their coffee or lunch and how they wanted to pay it forward.
Speaker 1: And while some have tried to mark up toilet paper and other necessities for profit, I've seen so many offering up what little extra they have to help their older and less fortunate neighbors.
Speaker 1: It's just a nice reminder that there is still good in the world. Stay healthy, Danny
Speaker 2: Danny, Thank you so much for that reminder. I feel like I need to hear a salute like this every day, and it's so important to remember there are so many people doing so many good things, and
Speaker 2: that's the point of this etiquette salute. It was our idea behind it when we first started thinking about what we wanted to have on a show called Awesome Etiquette, and
Speaker 2: this was a perfect salute at a time that really matters.
Speaker 1: Don't forget to send in your salutes. We are really excited to hear them, and they are certainly encouraging. We also want to thank you for listening
Speaker 2: and thank you to everyone who sent us something and thank you to everyone who supports us on Patreon.
Speaker 1: Please connect with us and share this show with friends, family and co workers. And, of course, on social media,
Speaker 2: you can send us your next question piece of feedback or salute by email to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can leave us a message or text at 802858 kind That's 8028585463
Speaker 1: on Twitter We're at Emily Post Inst on instagram were at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook Were Awesome Etiquette and the Emily Post Institute.
Speaker 2: Please consider becoming a sustaining member. You can find out more about this by visiting patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: You can also subscribe to the ads version of our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast app. And please consider leaving us a review. It does help our
Speaker 2: rankings. Our show is edited by Chris Albertine, an assistant produced by Brigitte Dowd.
Speaker 1: Thanks Prison. Bridget.
Speaker 1: Yeah,