Episode 294 - Slacking Off
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 Lizzie and Dan take your questions on titles for family members when you choose not to get married, contacting your colleagues while working from home, publicly announcing you don’t have time for thank you notes, and getting RSVP's for events other than weddings. For Awesome Etiquette sustaining members our question of the week is about opening gifts in front of your guests. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript on saying no to and leaving video calls.
Speaker 1: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social goodness. See, that's old fashioned.
Speaker 2: 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.
Speaker 2: On today's show, we take your questions on titles for family members when you choose not to get married,
Speaker 1: contacting your colleagues while working from home
Speaker 1: publicly announcing you don't have time for thank you notes
Speaker 1: and getting RSVPs for events other than weddings
Speaker 2: for awesome etiquette sustaining members are Question is about opening gifts in front of your guests,
Speaker 1: plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript on saying no to and leaving video calls.
Speaker 2: All that 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: I'm Dan Post sending How's it going?
Speaker 1: Because it's good and it's funny. We decided to talk about something in our intro today that
Speaker 1: is like kind of both excitement and complaint.
Speaker 2: Uh
Speaker 1: um, We're building a new website, and we're working with people to do it, which is awesome. We are really excited. Dan and I do a lot behind the scenes here, and it's really nice when we are able to find ways to partner with other businesses and get work done. Especially work like Web work. Yes, Dan, talk about our new website for people. Talk about the exciting part, and then we'll joke about our complaint and how we're taking it with a good smile. It would be
Speaker 2: my pleasure,
Speaker 2: as many of you who are longtime listeners to this show. No, When I'm not recording a podcast, I wear different hats at Emily Post, as does Lizzie. And one of the hats I often wear is Web master, keeper of the website. I know there are professional titles for these things,
Speaker 1: Dan The man is one. We often say one Dan is wearing this hat because nobody else at the company ever wanted to wear this hat,
Speaker 1: and Dan jumped right in like Danda.
Speaker 2: I recognize myself as one of those horrible cliches in the world of Web, which is I'm the nephew that got handed the family business website because I was the youngest person in the room at the time.
Speaker 1: Uh huh.
Speaker 1: Hey, wait a second. I must have not been in the room. That's
Speaker 2: true. How come you didn't get the website?
Speaker 1: They stuck me with all the video work. I had to learn how to create videos.
Speaker 2: The actual answer.
Speaker 2: Um and I I love it. Actually, it's a challenge. It's fun for me. I enjoy exercising a whole different part of my brain and
Speaker 2: that, All aside, you and I have been wanting to do a website redesigned. There are some sort of user usability issues with our current site that we've identified. There are some user let's call them usability issues with our website that we identified a long time ago and we like our site basically functions well, but
Speaker 2: we've aspired to, as every small business does, do a redesign and relaunch, and we always thought it would happen next year.
Speaker 2: But with this sort of window of time where
Speaker 2: I'm not traveling and we have
Speaker 2: an opportunity to focus, we decided to accelerate the project and we've gotten to work on it, and we've begun we've actually started the process of
Speaker 2: developing and launching a new website for Emily Post. Yes,
Speaker 1: this is dream come true type stuff for us right now. Audience members. You're seeing Dan and I smiling from ear to ear. It's true. I am. I'm
Speaker 2: sitting here with a grin plastered on my face, talking about this.
Speaker 1: We have long, just long wanted to get a handle on our Web space. And it as ever, whenever you've
Speaker 1: traveled in time, far from the time when you've created something, it changes and how you need it to function changes. And we're really excited to bring you all something that we hope will function better and be a lot more reflective of the voices and the
Speaker 1: content that you're used to hearing on this show here, but also all of the wonderful details that we aren't able to actually get to on the show because their visual things. And so we are really hoping that in the end, I would guess sometime by next year, Dan, you and I will have. This will have gone on long enough that we will fully populated it with everything that we want. But in the next couple months. It's gonna be really exciting just to see
Speaker 1: what the start looks like and what our new space that we're operating and looks like.
Speaker 2: I can't wait,
Speaker 2: but
Speaker 1: I don't want
Speaker 2: to jump ahead too far because you kind of teased it a little bit. The beginning of this project started with something that I think that you may be dreaded a little bit and
Speaker 1: oh, no, definitely, like Dan and I, we
Speaker 1: I don't know. Can we Can we spill the secret?
Speaker 2: Dan, We
Speaker 1: we secretly grown every time we have to join a new thing that requires a new app and a new system to check in on.
Speaker 1: And it's not because we don't love connecting. It's just because it becomes like the same for everyone else. One more space that you have to pay attention to and respond in and jump back and forth between. And when you've got email and now a lot of people reach out for business via D. M s and you've got what are some of the other places we get our social media accounts of like just the direct one. The system
Speaker 2: males and has its own contact management system
Speaker 1: and then just regular text messages and phone calls and everything. Yeah, it ends up just you're kind of like the more I can have most things in one space the better. And
Speaker 1: Dan and I both were very reluctant to join the world of slack. How many people have you turned
Speaker 2: down? Someone asking you to collaborate on a project via slack?
Speaker 1: I have, I really have. And this was one where we knew we couldn't. This is how the team that we're working with operates, and we also really view this as a wonderful opportunity. We know that so many communicate and work on slack and value it and
Speaker 1: that as a two person team, we may not need it, but that when communicating with other teams, it's really valuable. And so we're excited. We are excited to learn it.
Speaker 1: But there was this funny funny moment yesterday when Dan and I both felt like we were surrendering to slack. As we downloaded the program onto our computers and
Speaker 2: everything. We sat there on our phones as our apps updated and played like old people with each other.
Speaker 2: How do you make this work? Where's the button? to turn this
Speaker 1: on.
Speaker 1: Am I going to remember how to do this tomorrow? I mean, we're being totally silly, but we definitely we we we were intrigued with how it works. We're excited to look at it, but we had our first kind of back and forth conversation with one of the other guys. And
Speaker 1: and he's a dad, too. And he and Dan start Dad Dorking on on the slap tap emoji pictures of independent without kids had to chime in and just say Y'all are dorks, like, jokes
Speaker 2: about being slackers
Speaker 1: bad. Those were the bad, fun ones. I think I might have a new friend. I think you guys were hash tagging yourselves in your in your slack chat. Like hashtag dad door or something?
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Is it possible I could make a new friend this way? Is that is that Is that something that could happen? I think you're going to have a dad in kind, in this case, much like my friendship with Kelly Williams Brown as an authoress in kind.
Speaker 1: I feel like this will be your professional friendship. That is awesome.
Speaker 1: No pressure, Mike. No pressure was going to say right?
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: no, but we are really We are actually excited to learn slack. It is going to be really fun working with the team on this. And, um, we couldn't be more grateful, especially in a time that that seems very constrictive to be having the opportunity to work with others, um, and just kind of keep each other going
Speaker 2: well, because it's going to be a journey both learning how to work in slack and
Speaker 2: building out a new website for Emily Post. I can't wait to see where we are with both things in two weeks. In four weeks in eight weeks,
Speaker 1: I totally agree.
Speaker 2: Well, despite all the excitement, we have some work to get to today,
Speaker 1: absolutely. You know it's coming. Next audience. Let's get to some questions.
Speaker 2: Let's do it.
Speaker 2: 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 2: You can also reach us on social media on Twitter. We are at Emily Post install on Instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook. We are awesome etiquette. Just 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 Happily Unmarried
Speaker 1: Hello, Lizzie and Dan. My boyfriend and I have been in a long term relationship, and we both feel like marriage is not something for us. So we're both very happy being unmarried for the long run.
Speaker 1: We are both very involved in each other's families and in the lives of each other's Children. We both have our own kids from previous relationships. My question is, what familial titles are we allowed to use? Can I refer to his Children as my stepchildren? And can he be called uncle to my sister's kids?
Speaker 1: Or since we choose to remain unmarried, do we forgo these titles?
Speaker 1: Thank you so much musically. Yours, Megan. I like the musically yours when you like. You know, that's very cool.
Speaker 2: It is cool. And I like this question. Families look all kinds of different ways, and this is a great reminder of that. It also makes me think instantly of the way pretty much everybody that I meet through pooches. Family is an uncle or an auntie in some way.
Speaker 1: I am a cousin and you guys call me Auntie. It's
Speaker 2: the aunties. It's the uncles, the bosses and the messages. It's awesome. And it creates this very close feeling with everybody that I just
Speaker 2: treasure.
Speaker 2: And it makes me think that if the label makes sense to you, if you're comfortable using it and the people who you're interacting with, our comfortable using it, if it makes sense in all of your lives, I think it's perfectly OK.
Speaker 1: Yeah, I think so, too. I think that the label that you probably wouldn't use would be the title of Mrs Period
Speaker 1: and that it doesn't sound like you're asking about that. But that would be one of the titles that you just wouldn't typically see
Speaker 1: and even that it's not like it's a law. It's not like you only receive the ability to attach M. R s period to your name. If you file for a marriage certificate, you know what I mean. It's not like they hand you like permission to use the permission to use exactly.
Speaker 1: It's a choice that you make it something that I think very, very, very few people choose to do without actually being married to someone. But
Speaker 1: it is technically like
Speaker 1: the people might be very confused. But that would be the one that I wouldn't go for on uncle stepchildren bonus Children, Children if that's preferred, whatever it is that makes sense and gives respect to the other members of the family
Speaker 1: that are attached to the kids, too. I think those are those are the big considerations. But I see no reason why Megan can't be uncle or
Speaker 1: step mom or something like that if she wants to be. Well, Uncle, I'm sorry. You know what I'm trying to say? I
Speaker 2: do. But I think you also tiptoed up to the caution there, which is that words do have meaning
Speaker 2: and you don't want to confuse people. The the etiquette police don't exist. No one's going to come check your using the title license, but the reason we have those titles is often for clarity's sake. It helps people understand relationships, and
Speaker 2: labeling them consistently is one way that you give people very clear cues as to what those relationships are. So
Speaker 2: I'm also thinking about a willingness to operate
Speaker 2: in that confusion. Well, about a willingness to be prepared to answer questions that people ask them or be really understanding if someone makes an assumption about your relationship
Speaker 2: based on their understanding of the way you're using words that isn't exactly technically correct.
Speaker 1: Absolutely
Speaker 1: musical. Megan. We hope this answer helps
Speaker 1: when everyone does his regular job and helps out by doing extra work. Then things go better for the whole family.
Speaker 2: Our next question is about texting about talking.
Speaker 2: Hello, Dan and Lizzie Hope things are going well with you both. Despite our new world and work constraints, I have a question for you regarding reaching others in our new workplaces.
Speaker 2: I'm with my colleagues in a new way during our shelter in place here in California and struggle with how best to determine if people are free to chat with me. I work in a medical clinic, and sometimes people are working from home but should be available as if they were here in person.
Speaker 2: But of course I have no idea if they are actually home and ready to talk or are out on an errand, etcetera.
Speaker 2: I start by sending a general text message to them, which is appropriate in my role as supervisor. Are you free to catch up sometime today, which is often followed by a? Sure then I text back. How about 11 to 12 or 3 to 5?
Speaker 2: My conundrum is that sometimes I get texts from other colleagues who send a text with Can I call you Now, which makes me feel pressured to respond.
Speaker 2: Once I was in the middle of checking on my beehives out in the backyard, and it was not a good time.
Speaker 2: What do you suggest as the most ideal way to request someone's attention and determine a good time without too much back and forth texting? Thanks so much
Speaker 1: anonymous. This is a really, really great question, and I like it because it gets at the idea of efficiency
Speaker 1: and consideration and reality.
Speaker 1: Um, these are spaces I like playing in, but I think that either is technically fine and that there are benefits to both. The back and forth can kind of be obnoxious sometimes, and the advantage to can you talk now is that if it's a good time, it's easy. It's quick. You don't have to do a whole lot of back and forth thing.
Speaker 1: There's a lot to be said for that. But at the same time, if you can't talk now, then you're launching someone into back and forth thing or you're making them feel like they might need to respond to you right away, even though they just said now isn't a good
Speaker 2: time.
Speaker 2: I think about the sort of parallels to that in person experience that if you were
Speaker 2: walking down the hallway at work and someone said, Oh, can I grab you for a minute? You would not hesitate a second to either say yes or let me get back to you. If that was the answer, that was the appropriate answer. And I think the same is true from a distance.
Speaker 2: You just have to add that tone so that someone can hear that it's not a big deal. You're not rejecting them. They're just asking, Can you Can I call you now? Now is not the best time. Can we do it in 30 minutes?
Speaker 1: Absolutely. I think that the good ask is what we talked about that before on this show, but I think a good ask also helps
Speaker 1: here,
Speaker 1: you know? Hey, can can you talk now? Understand? If you can't, I think adds that little bit of relief to the person hearing it. So it's It's not just, hey, can you talk now? And someone's feeling the immediacy and the pressure of that,
Speaker 1: Um, and if they are out checking their beehives that, you know, that's like you're trying to keep calm, keep the bees happy. I think you want to feel less pressure when you extend that. Understand? If you can't, I understand if you can't no worries. If it's not, you know, I think those are if it's not a good time,
Speaker 1: those are ways that you can soften that ask and make it a really good ask.
Speaker 2: Yeah, there was something that jumped out at me here also.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 2: I'm not sure that sure is enough of a response from a supervisor who asks if you're available.
Speaker 1: Glad you brought that up. Don't you think that someone should respond with if they are with, like, the times that they're available? So it's like, Hey, are you available? Or when? When might be a good time, you know? And then you say,
Speaker 1: Sure, here's what I'm available?
Speaker 2: Yes, to me that would so obviously truncate two or three back and forth. It would break three texts and make it one text. And those are the places I'm just looking to seize an opportunity these days. And I would
Speaker 2: consider talking to people, particularly if I was their supervisor about responding to it. Are you available?
Speaker 2: Text with some availability with Sometimes.
Speaker 1: Dan, there's one last piece that you're making me think of with this and that. It's not just about having the good ask, but it's all in how you do it. And our medium. Here are method. Here is text messaging, and if it's not a good time for someone
Speaker 1: getting a whole bunch of really short texts that are firing off, whatever their notification system is, each time once coming in
Speaker 1: could be really annoying. So
Speaker 1: if you are going to say something like, Hey, can you talk now? Totally understand. If you can't, I'm available from you know this afternoon till tomorrow morning, feel free to call any time. Make sure that's all in one block of text.
Speaker 2: I like it. Send one time not four times.
Speaker 1: Yes, I really dig
Speaker 2: okay, Before we leave this question, I have to say one more thing. What? I want bees so badly.
Speaker 1: Do you Do you think you might get them?
Speaker 2: I think we will. And pooches. Sister keeps bees and has maintained a call any now and gives us honey and is totally my inspiration. My parents had bees when I was growing up also,
Speaker 2: so I know it's possible. I've early be memories. And just having my own homemade honey is such an ambition. I'm so jealous of
Speaker 1: our, uh,
Speaker 1: well to our anonymous beekeeper. We hope this helps you have much smoother conversations and communications while working remotely.
Speaker 1: When we talk on the telephone, we should be kind and considerate.
Speaker 1: It's really very simple. If you know three words, please.
Speaker 1: Thank you.
Speaker 1: And I'm sorry.
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled No thank you Notes high. I hosted a baby shower last year for a new mom to be and made sure someone kept track of all the gifts opened at the shower. I also sent an email with the home address is used for invitations trying to make the thank you note process as easy as possible.
Speaker 1: Just before Christmas I asked my mother if she had received her thank you note, and she said, No, I, too had not received any kind of thank you other than a comment on the way out the door of the shower
Speaker 1: just after Christmas, the new mom announced on social media with a picture of a box of unused thank you notes that she was not going to send any of the thank you notes for any of the gifts she had received. She just didn't have time.
Speaker 1: I am really trying hard not to judge, as I am not a new mom, and I don't know what it's like to manage a new baby, But I'm hurt that the guests I invited into my home and asked were never properly thanked. I knew from past experience that the thank you notes would not be timely,
Speaker 1: but I never dreamed she would not send them at all and make a public pronouncement about them.
Speaker 1: To be honest, it is the public refusal to send the notes that really stung.
Speaker 1: I've never sent thank you notes as the hostess of a shower. Should I have done something for my guests? Other than thanking them for attending the day of the shower.
Speaker 1: Thanks. Appreciative host.
Speaker 1: This is a really interesting question. I want to just highlight something that appreciative host is doing here because
Speaker 1: they are actually reflecting on their own behavior and experience after experiencing something negative. And they're wondering if their own actions are causing hurt to other people or if they've been lacking in some way.
Speaker 1: And I just got to give kudos and props to that. I think that's really important. At first, I was a little confused as to hearing a story about the thank you notes and this kind of egregious way of telling people. No,
Speaker 1: um, I'm not going to be sending them to you. Um, I'm wondering if that Facebook post actually had thank you for the party in it or anything that said thank you for everything. You know what I mean? Or if it was just straight up, I'm not sending these end of story.
Speaker 1: I thought it was gonna be about that. But what our question Oscar is really asking is when someone leaves my house from a shower. Should I be thanking them afterwards as the hostess? I know that the that the guest of honor should. But should I as the hostess do it, Dan, what do you think? We'll handwritten thank you note. After baby shower.
Speaker 1: I don't think it's
Speaker 2: necessary. I think that for the hostess know exactly that. That really is the guest of honor's role for that particular event to write. Thank you for the gifts that they received. I think of the host role as much more akin to that of, say, hosting a dinner party at your home. It's important that you're a gracious host, that you welcome people when they arrive that you say goodbye when they part you thank them for coming
Speaker 2: warmly. Personally,
Speaker 2: Um, that is to me the
Speaker 2: the expectation of a host that you don't usually as a host, follow up with written thanks to people for attending, and that's about what you'd be doing here.
Speaker 1: People will thank you for hosting because you put on so much and did so much,
Speaker 1: um, often, it's really it is very gracious. One, a hostess says. Thank you afterwards to everyone, especially if, like
Speaker 1: if it is the kind of situation where the invitations happened, you know, on Facebook, often people go in afterwards and post thank you to the space, that sort of thing
Speaker 1: and a hostess thanking everyone in that space or on a group text that organized everything. And this is a shower. Chances are invitations were actually sent out or they might have been E V E invites. Excuse me,
Speaker 1: but I think that that's that's kind of enough.
Speaker 2: The other thing that I've definitely heard about is host thanking a co host with something extra special so I could completely see a handwritten note or even a little a little gift for a co host that put a lot of time and work into decorations or invitations or
Speaker 2: transportation, but really went above and beyond, and a co host really appreciated it. But that's not what we're talking about here.
Speaker 1: And I don't always see gifts between co host Thank you's. Yes, for sure, but we do see gifts and thank you is coming from the guest of honor to the hostesses or the host,
Speaker 1: and I think that that often happens. But yeah, I think our question Askar is in a really good place. I think appreciative host has done
Speaker 1: all the boxes that they need to do to feel checked all the boxes. Excuse me,
Speaker 1: but there was one question. We shorten this question and I was wondering your thoughts on it, that the regional aspect of it,
Speaker 1: because in different regions we do have slightly different expectations and kind of even sometimes from social group to social group, things can be a little bit different. What do you think, Dan?
Speaker 2: There are definitely regional style differences. Sometimes there are just friend group style differences. It might be a generational question or,
Speaker 2: um, a good point, just just whether or not someone happened to have an Emily Post book on their shelf while they were growing up or not and had this expectation established in their mind.
Speaker 2: If I was a hostess and I was operating in a community where hitting your marks on things like sending thank you notes to people was
Speaker 2: a really serious affair, I think there might be some room here for
Speaker 2: the appreciative host to talk to the guest of honor about the potential impacts. And that's a much more serious discussion, and I would be careful about it. I was even in my own mind, saying, I think that there might be some care that needs to be taken thinking about sending out thank you notes as a host.
Speaker 2: Mhm
Speaker 2: in that it might call out the bad behavior of the guest of honor in some way. If you're thinking to yourself, Oh, I'm going to make up for this lack or this omission by doing it myself.
Speaker 2: In some ways, you might highlight
Speaker 2: that it hadn't happened. And so again, I'm thinking
Speaker 1: delicate, delicate. It is delicate.
Speaker 2: And depending on the severity of the consequences, you may or may not want to talk to the guest of honor about how that choice could be perceived or how you perceived it. Even
Speaker 1: I was gonna say it might. That might be a good place to start from the when you I feel
Speaker 1: it can feel like like pressure and and sometimes in position when you then start to count higher numbers like boy, Everyone was really upset by that, you know? So I wouldn't I wouldn't go that route. But I do think saying, you know, I was I was kind of surprised by that, and I was also I was surprised I was actually it hurt.
Speaker 1: Um, you can have those conversations. You can own up to those feelings only if you think that it's going to be useful and
Speaker 1: and move things forward and you're willing to work through it that way. But again, coming back to just the original question, I don't think that our host here has to be writing handwritten thank you notes when hosting a shower
Speaker 1: to all the guests who came, especially if she has or or he has. Or they have at the door done a really sincere thank you.
Speaker 2: And I want to do everything I can to put our appreciative hosts mind at ease that the rudeness of the guest of honor doesn't rub off on. The fact that she made this choice doesn't mean that you made it. And most people are going to recognize
Speaker 1: that
Speaker 1: appreciative host. We certainly appreciate this question, and we hope that you have many more wonderful gatherings.
Speaker 1: Leave on time and courteously to
Speaker 1: thanking your host sincerely for the good time to happen. All these things help to make a good party
Speaker 1: a party that's fun for all
Speaker 2: Thanks.
Speaker 2: Our next question is about rare RSVPs
Speaker 2: Dear Lizzie and Dan. What is the etiquette and strategy for hosting events that require RSVPs when I have found it impossible to get friends to R. S V p for events.
Speaker 2: I'd like to throw my sister 1/40 birthday party. Good for you. Nothing too lavish. A small space rented a meal catered from a local favorite restaurant and a swing dance band. Her social groups favorite hobby.
Speaker 2: I just want her to feel loved and hope it could be an opportunity for her friends to show up for her as she has showed up for their celebrations.
Speaker 2: I'm not very experienced at hosting, but I know that I'm not the only one who has trouble getting RSVPs. I love cooking for others but have wholly given up hosting dinner parties for friends. Even if I get a guest list to R S V. P. By following up individually,
Speaker 2: half the guests will choose not to attend the day of and probably text me a cancellation during prep for the ongoing event.
Speaker 2: Our RSVPs only to be expected for weddings Should I step this plan back to an informal gathering that is more scalable and assume that only 40% of invitees will come I hate to discard this plan only because I don't know how to get a head count or proceed without one. Thanks. Headcount,
Speaker 1: head count. I'm gonna call out my generation for a minute. My blessings were close to the same generation. Or at least in the same like 20 years. Man,
Speaker 1: the idea that RSVPs are only for events that we are rarely ever invited to to me feel silly because I feel like I'm asked to r S V p two stuff on social media all the time.
Speaker 1: I think that the phrase and the term R S v p is something that we're familiar with. So headcount, I think if anyone is claiming, Oh, I never have to r S v P. I think they're just not thinking about the fact that they do r S v P regularly in lots of ways.
Speaker 1: They accept and decline invitations for their work calendars and co workers. Often they accept and decline invitations to Children's birthday parties. They accept and decline invitations in dating apps.
Speaker 1: Um, they accept
Speaker 2: so right about this because I am just sitting over here just nodding and
Speaker 1: agreeing wholeheartedly. Someone I wish like I'm not gonna jump on Facebook right now to check, but isn't even called rsv peeing on Facebook when you r S v p to an event on Facebook
Speaker 1: like, I'm pretty sure it's called R S V P. And I think they even have a maybe category, which we don't usually tell you to put on anything.
Speaker 1: RSVPs are not out of place. It's just people don't always think of them. And for many people, when the invitations, I mean, forget social media, forget any kind of a, you know, work calendar type situation. But when
Speaker 1: a lot of your socializing is done and organized just via text message or email, even those have RSVPs. It's just we don't always spell it out that we're looking for one. So it might not always registered to friends when it comes to smaller gatherings. But this sounds to me like you're putting together something that's, you know, formalized for sure. I mean, it's organized, you're planning ahead. You're figuring things out. You're renting spaces,
Speaker 1: you know, renting help to cook things like that. Hiring a caterer. There's there's the language, like getting a band. I mean, like, this is actually big deal I am guessing that you're thinking about doing mailed invitations for this. And if not, my guess is that you're thinking of doing some kind of, uh, somewhat special or noticeable e invite as opposed to a mass text message
Speaker 1: or a mass email that doesn't have any graphics to it or a, um, what's another casual way of inviting people Just phoning the invitation in my my hope not my I shouldn't say hope, but my thought is that the party you're throwing warrants that actual mailed invitation at this point
Speaker 2: it sounds like that
Speaker 2: to me as well. And you're walking up to what I think is an important part of our advice in this answer, which is that that r S v p r. That request for reply is functional in ways beyond just getting that reply from someone in the methods suggested on the invitation. And
Speaker 2: I'm
Speaker 2: liking the way you're imagining this event, which I also want a second sounds to me like an awesome event. I don't want to tell anyone to scale back a swing dance party to celebrate their sister and her swing dance friends.
Speaker 1: This is awesome part people are going to want to go to this party. I want to guess party.
Speaker 2: So it's about figuring out how to make it happen. Which is another thing that's really great about this question. It's about the future, which makes it something you can act on and let's get a solution that make this party possible.
Speaker 2: The
Speaker 2: invitation that's either mailed or sort of a notched up e invitation starts to set the tone for the event. It starts to be the queue to the people receiving and how you're approaching this event and what would be expected broadly from them as a guest participating and
Speaker 2: the nature of that invite the medium that arrives in as part of that but also the request for a response tells people things like, Oh, someone's trying to manage a head count.
Speaker 2: It also allows you to set up those windows that I can tell you're already aware of because you talked about in your question, following up with people individually,
Speaker 2: And I think ultimately that's going to be part of the solution here, that there is no magic cure that's going to get everybody to respond effectively. But by having a date for that R S v. P. You give yourself a window where you can start that follow up process with people.
Speaker 1: Absolutely. And the final thing I'd add is that before laying out any cash, I'd take the temperature of the group so that the date and the time you've got to make sure everything kind of works for
Speaker 1: at least enough people for you to feel like it's worth it. And I don't mean that it's not worth it to throw the party for your sister. I mean, it just might be on a better day. Might end up being better for the entire group.
Speaker 1: That being said, it also might be that this is the day the venues open and the caterer can do it and all those things, especially if we're already down that path, we might. We might be beyond it. But if you have the opportunity to kind of take the temperature,
Speaker 1: find out if you're really going to have a good showing of guests for this, that then move forward with your deposits and things like that.
Speaker 2: That pre invitation feeling out for the practical feasibility of an event is an important part of the planning process that we don't always fully acknowledge.
Speaker 1: Yeah, and it's not that you're asking people to decide early, but it's it's kind of a soft ask, you know, It's like if someone had to cancel, you wouldn't ever tell them. Wow. Gee, thanks for last minute canceling. You wouldn't say that anyway, but
Speaker 1: again, it's not to, like, push people to commit, but it is to get them, at least you know. Are you actually around on this day?
Speaker 1: That kind of a thing?
Speaker 2: Headcount. We really hope that this party goes off without a hitch and that you don't have too much trouble getting your head count.
Speaker 1: Thank you for your questions. Please send us updates or feedback on our answers to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. Or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 k i n d. That's 8028585463 Or you can reach us on social media on Twitter. We're at Emily Post inst on instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute
Speaker 1: and on Facebook were awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts so we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 2: If you love awesome etiquette, consider becoming a sustaining member. You can find out more about this by visiting us at patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette.
Speaker 2: You'll get an ad free version of the show and access to bonus questions and content. Plus, you'll feel great knowing you helped to 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. And we first hear from Kate on Episode 2 93 about donations for the deceased
Speaker 2: offering feedback on the question about donations in lieu of flowers, in addition to the traditional methods of noticing obituaries both online and print and other communications. Often the funeral home will take care of connecting with the charities. The dearly departed, selected
Speaker 2: as the funeral home, will have an online obituary. They can add a link
Speaker 2: to the charity donation Web page. Also, charities will sometimes provide donation envelopes to the funeral home for the visitation and funeral services. Just a thought to add love. The show.
Speaker 1: Oh, thank you so much.
Speaker 1: We also heard from Anonymous on Episode two nineties Post script about titles
Speaker 2: Lizzie and Dan. I wanted to give feedback on Episode 2 90 about titles I A Woman recently got married to another woman. I took her last name and used the name Mrs Ross as I took her last name.
Speaker 2: But she also goes by Mrs Ross, though she didn't change her last name. We both wanted to indicate that we were married, but we couldn't both change our names.
Speaker 2: Thank you for keeping me company during self isolation Anonymous.
Speaker 1: That is an interesting part of that. I've often wondered if hetero men felt that way when they got married, because their title doesn't change
Speaker 1: and they're often not taking someone else's last name just the way things are typically done here. Although there are times where that's changing, and I know a couple couples for whom that's changed. Um, but it's an interesting idea that women kind of in general
Speaker 1: have this expectation, or at least a question that gets posed to them about it in general,
Speaker 1: whereas men it's a little bit less so. Not always but a little bit less. But what I was getting, too, was that I've noticed a lot of younger men really wanting to wear a wedding ring when they get married to show that they have actually made that cross into that world some way.
Speaker 1: But you're right, that it wouldn't appear on paper in any way. They would just be Mr so and so and Mr so and so or Mr and Mrs, you know what I mean?
Speaker 1: So unless you're attaching the names when they're spoken to solely you're right. It does just kind of sound like you. Same with If you keep miss. If I stay Miss Miss Post when I get married, then there wouldn't be any way for me to be indicating that I, too, had been married. You know what I mean?
Speaker 2: Which is kind of the default that we went with in the seventies.
Speaker 1: Yeah, but
Speaker 2: it's nice to have an option on the other side.
Speaker 1: Yeah, but I feel for Mrs Ross is Mrs Ross because she's sitting there saying, Well, I didn't really get to change my name, but she changes to a mrs as opposed to a miss. That's one thing that does happen.
Speaker 2: And this is what we've heard about. I'd say increasing frequency is the use of the Mrs as a way to indicate that you're married even if you retain your
Speaker 2: pre married name. For whatever reason,
Speaker 1: I would love to hear back from Mrs Ross if they prefer to be the Mrs Ross or the Misses A. Ross and Mrs B. Ross. You know, if they use their initials to distinguish themselves on when they're receiving invitations and that sort of thing, if you feel like sharing
Speaker 1: Anonymous, thank you so much for sharing this with us. We are glad that we're keeping you company during self isolation, and we are also just really grateful that you're keeping us company and continuing to listen to the show.
Speaker 2: Thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please do keep them coming. You can send your next piece of feedback question or comment to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can also leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463
Speaker 1: Mother's Day is right around the corner, and our Emily Post Garden Collection greeting card line by ECE Salazar has the perfect card.
Speaker 1: We can't think of a better time to send a beautiful handwritten card and express your gratitude and love for your mother or all those wonderful mom figures in your life.
Speaker 1: Now is the perfect time to order. Visit us at Emily post dot com to view the collection and find out how to purchase so that you can send a little love to your mom today.
Speaker 1: It's time for a postscript segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette, and this week we're talking about saying No. We've had a number of interviews this week asking about how to get out of socializing via zoom or a video chat with a friend.
Speaker 1: And despite people having more time at home and
Speaker 1: often more incentive to connect, not everyone wants to all the time. And people are looking for polite ways
Speaker 1: to disconnect Dan Post setting. How can we say no?
Speaker 2: Can I give the bad answer first?
Speaker 1: Give the bad answer first. Just do it because go for it
Speaker 2: from the woods on the side of a mountain.
Speaker 2: What? I just never saw the invitation to begin
Speaker 1: with. I o. That is a terrible answer audience. Don't listen to Dan. Don't take the bait. Don't be tempted.
Speaker 1: Don't be tempted. You
Speaker 2: mean I have to stand up and be forthright and honest and say no when I mean no.
Speaker 1: The things that we actually do, advocate. Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 2: Minus the things we actually do, Advocate. Just say yes. That's what I was
Speaker 1: exactly, uh,
Speaker 2: um
Speaker 1: saying no when it feels right now, like everyone should want to connect. This was something I had mentioned on the show. I think a couple weeks ago that my therapist had told me she's found a lot of people she works with are saying that
Speaker 1: they feel pressure to want to connect, but that they actually don't want to connect that they're tired from their days. They're tired from their kids. They're tired from things. And,
Speaker 1: um, it's like, more. I I should say it's about more spaced out when they actually want to connect. It's not that they don't want to connect. But how do you tell someone? No, I just don't feel like it. I would rather watch Tiger King and put my feet up with Ebola popcorn.
Speaker 1: What do you think? And then someone will pipe up and say, But we could do that together like
Speaker 2: Well, and you're anticipating sort of the rebuttal to the answer I was going to give you, which is I think it's perfectly okay to say to someone, You know, I was about to put my feet up. Watch Tiger King with some popcorn.
Speaker 2: I think so, too. In fact, I've watched the comfort with delivering a message like that get greater and greater. Just in my personal relationships,
Speaker 1: it's easier for you to do it. You mean it's easier for you to just say the real thing. Yes, and
Speaker 2: I've watched it happen on the other side of things. I'm
Speaker 2: used to put his parents just loving to facetime chat, and we spend a lot of time face timing with them and their granddaughters, Anisha and Aria, because it's
Speaker 2: a lot of our favorite things to do. And
Speaker 2: at the same time I've noticed al Capuchins mother getting much more comfortable just saying I'm in the middle of cooking dinner right now. Let's do this later or let's do it tomorrow and it seems like as the frequency of those calls has increased
Speaker 2: the comfort of saying, Oh, let's do this a little later tonight. Let's do this. Tomorrow has also come along with that, and I imagine that's going on for a lot of people.
Speaker 1: I think so, too. And it's definitely why I suggest Don't feel guilty about it when you don't want to connect. And when you when when all your friends are gathering, You know, like I have a big family. Zoom called, and it's actually my first big family zoom call, so I'm really looking forward to it. But for a lot of people,
Speaker 1: they're probably not or for my sister, who it's going to completely depend on how you know the schedule with her newborn is going today.
Speaker 1: Whether or not she makes that call that it's it might not be as easy. And I just think people shouldn't feel guilty about when those times don't coincide well with their mood or with what's going on in their household. Um, but try to rally yourself for the times when you can, and that's one thing I try to do. If I've turned a friend down for a video chat
Speaker 1: or any kind of chat, really, that's when I try to find a time when I am feeling good or when I am feeling up for it when I can plan for it. I actually do that. And I think that that's something that's important for people to do to
Speaker 2: absolutely from my personal experience. Where
Speaker 2: what are we now? Week? Six weeks? Seven in the same location, with a lot of the same routine.
Speaker 2: Having those planned calls
Speaker 2: has functioned in a lot of the same way an outing used to function for me. I can count on that church service on Sunday morning. I can count on that Friday evening.
Speaker 2: Larger Gupta family just hang out. Call where people pop in and out for
Speaker 1: So can you talk about our plus? Because that's really different. So obviously it's It's one thing I think we're all pretty comfortable when a friend directly says, Hey, do you have time to chat? And you don't Most of us feel pretty good about saying no to that. But hangouts and larger zoom things are like things that are like
Speaker 1: a lot of people have celebrated birthday parties, um, via group hangouts online and stuff like that. I'm curious about the differences. You see for saying no in the different scenarios we encounter
Speaker 2: for us. Those group talks are so low pressure,
Speaker 2: they really are. It's, you know, maybe you have 10 to 15 different households, all with
Speaker 2: a station set up somewhere and different family members. It's not always the same people.
Speaker 2: Different family members are coming and going from the computer without a lot of structure or rhyme or reason.
Speaker 1: So is that for hang out? Or is that for like a group chat? Or are you thinking of those as the same thing?
Speaker 2: My language is not specific. I was thinking of that as a group chat hangout.
Speaker 1: Gotcha. Gotcha. Gotcha! I was thinking, for me, group chats might be more like when, um, the girls that I golf with that we hop on a call together so that the 456 of us can all catch up together.
Speaker 1: But I think of a group hang out more like what you're describing where you kind of just say from, like,
Speaker 1: I don't know, 6 to 8. We're going to leave our zoom group hangout on, and anyone who wants to pop in can join.
Speaker 1: People might chat. They might not. You might just see people cooking dinner, not interacting with the screen. You know what I mean? I feel like there's there's a difference between we're all sitting here and actually looking into the camera and trying to talk to one another, and we're just all tuning in and our households are participating together. And it's funny because
Speaker 1: there they are very different things
Speaker 2: and and that second one I found much more satisfying than I thought I would, and I find that it works much more like a casual gathering works than I ever thought it would,
Speaker 1: really. It doesn't feel like it doesn't feel like people just observe each other. They actually go in and interact at times. Yes,
Speaker 2: the example that's coming to my mind immediately as Pooja has a cousin group. So all the cousins get together on the chat and they're the sort of primary connectors.
Speaker 2: But while that call was going on food, just cooking and Owen Isha runs off and she runs off. I sort of come over to the table and Ari is there, and I'm feeding Aria and I say, Oh, hi, Abba High, pretty
Speaker 2: Oh, and then a little sort of side conversation develops because maybe the people who had been talking or running around or doing something, it was very natural,
Speaker 2: sort of casual environment where you sort of bumped into family members the way you would if we were all gathered at someone's house. And there were some people in the kitchen and some people in the living room and some people in the backyard.
Speaker 1: Yeah, that's really nice. I really like that. And did you feel like you could say no or exit when it was time? What did you say to leave the Gert chat? Great question. Hang out because of the
Speaker 2: casual nature of it. It's a lot like a party. It's like, Oh, you got to get trapped in a little conversation yourself. I've got to go do something. You go do that thing or,
Speaker 2: um, it's very low stakes in terms of how you enter or exit.
Speaker 2: Either the conversations that you're participating in or the call as a whole.
Speaker 2: And
Speaker 1: but they're nice. That takes the pressure off.
Speaker 2: It does. It does so with less formality. There's less formality.
Speaker 1: Well, we hope that this gives you some confidence in saying no, no explanation needed and in navigating our new social lives that are very much so. Video lives,
Speaker 2: indeed. And as we figure out this new world of video socializing, we hope you're all staying safe and healthy
Speaker 2: to get the best use out of party line service. This means first
Speaker 2: avoiding lengthy conversations.
Speaker 2: Long conversations. Keep others from using the line.
Speaker 1: Depends. You better hang out, Peggy. Someone may want to use the line.
Speaker 1: Oh, Mom says I've got to hang up now by Susie.
Speaker 1: Okay,
Speaker 1: we like to end our show on a high note. So we turn to you to hear about the good etiquette you're seeing and experiencing out in the world. And that can come in so many forms. Today we hear from Robert.
Speaker 2: Hi, Lizzie and Dan. I'm a longtime listener. I've been listening since Episode one. Having discovered you during the dinner party download
Speaker 1: days,
Speaker 2: I wanted to submit an etiquette salute in this time of chaos and craziness.
Speaker 2: When my university closed down classes for the semester, I was left with a ton of free time to ease my cabin fever and contribute to my community. I applied for a job with a local grocery store as an overnight stocker.
Speaker 2: My salute is to my shift leader, John, and all my co workers at the store. Since my very first night, I've been made incredibly welcome. Everyone has been friendly and interested in getting to know me. The first night I was introduced to everyone and immediately put to work with some guidance.
Speaker 2: My co workers are happy to answer questions and help me when I can't find things on the shelves or I'm confused about what to do next.
Speaker 2: I was blown away at how quickly I felt like a part of the team. Even though my work is technically a temporary job, I feel like part of a family, and it's a genuine pleasure to work with this group. It's been tremendously productive, and I'm happy to see such dedication and kindness in this crazy time.
Speaker 2: Thanks to the overnight crew at Martin's groceries and thanks to the two of you for being a beacon of goodwill and wholesome spirit every week,
Speaker 1: Robert Robert, Thank you so much for that. I actually grew up with a Martin's groceries. I'm sure it's not the same gene, but it's a familiar name, but that is that is really sweet and also
Speaker 1: awesome of you to be jumping in and helping out where you can. I think that you deserve a salute. For that.
Speaker 2: I will second that salute, and I will add my appreciation to everyone who is helping to keep us fed right now.
Speaker 1: Thank you for listening
Speaker 2: and thank you to everyone who sent us something
Speaker 1: and thank you to everyone who supports us on Patreon.
Speaker 2: Please connect with us and share this show with friends, family and co workers. However, you like to share podcasts,
Speaker 1: you can send us your questions, feedback and salutes by an email to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com.
Speaker 2: You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463
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Speaker 2: on Instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute
Speaker 1: and on Facebook. Were Awesome Etiquette and the Emily Post Institute.
Speaker 1: Please consider becoming a sustaining member. You can find out more about this by visiting patreon dot com
Speaker 2: 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.
Speaker 2: Our show is edited by Chris Albertine, an assistant produced by Brigitte Dowd.
Speaker 1: Thanks, Chris Bridget.