Episode 296 - Honestly
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 picking bridesmaids, using your phone in the bathroom, sending a card to someone who’s terminally ill, titles for older unmarried couples and after party invitations for guests who traveled far. For Awesome Etiquette sustaining members your bonus question is about keeping your wine glass rim clean at dinner. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript on Honesty.
Speaker 1: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social goodness. See, that's old fashioned
Speaker 1: Watch how busy post and then post to act as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness.
Speaker 1: Hello and welcome to awesome etiquette, where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On today's show, we take your questions on picking bridesmaids, using your phone in the bathroom, sending a card to someone who is terminally ill
Speaker 1: titles for older, unmarried couples and after party invitations for guests who traveled far for awesome etiquette sustaining members, Our question of the week is about keeping your wine glass rim clean during dinner, plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a post script on honesty. All that's coming up
Speaker 1: Awesome etiquette comes to you from the studios of our home offices in Vermont and is proud to be produced by the Emily Post Institute. I'm Lizzie Post, and I'm Dan Post sending
Speaker 1: Good morning because
Speaker 1: good morning, it's, um you know, another day
Speaker 1: our state hasn't started quite to open back up the same way some other states have, so we're still very much so working from home and and connected that way. But you had your first venture out last week. I did. I went to the office,
Speaker 1: which is a totally empty office. No one is there. We've started to schedule Webinars again. It's been
Speaker 1: fun for me over the last couple weeks to watch clients start to pop up again
Speaker 1: and have discussions that sound in some ways very similar to discussions I've had before and in some ways very different. And the different part had made me nervous at first. But I've started to get used to saying to people,
Speaker 1: I've gotten really flexible about how we deliver these trainings. Let's get together and talk and it's taken me out of all of my usual pitches and put me in a place of really just talking to people about what their interests are, what their needs are as an organization and how we can work something out that's feasible for them and for me, which
Speaker 1: has been kind of nice in some ways. While it's not totally normal, it feels like some kind of normalcy starting to emerge, at least within the work life
Speaker 1: I was gonna say so, Dan just cut to the work life. I wasn't talking about that at all. I mean, you and I need to actually came to Burlington and got at the waterfront and go for a walk and eat cupcakes together. And, like, we actually saw each other for the first time in over 45 days. Oh, that happened to
Speaker 1: Yeah. So, paws, I have to pause on this whole discussion until everyone about the cupcakes that you delivered. And so Lizzie showed up at our social distancing walk on the bike path rendezvous. And
Speaker 1: she had in these perfect little to go cupcake containers to cupcakes each that fit exactly right.
Speaker 1: Um, four cupcakes and Anisha had one right then and we each split one later. And then I haven't told you this part yet, Lizzie. But two days afterwards, Pooja and Anisha busted out one of those cupcakes, and it was like a major event in our house. And Anisha in particular,
Speaker 1: kept talking about Lizzie. You know, she got this cupcake from Lizzie, and I was Lizzie's favorite. How good it was. Anyway, it was pretty good. That makes me feel good.
Speaker 1: That's that perfect chocolate cake recipe, and I added Cherries to it. And I think that was the one that we did. The creme patisserie light. Yeah, the cream it's you take so like as a quick way to to a makeshift creme patisserie. Like the kind of thing you'd get inside and declare. You can do a cup of cold milk and a cup of cold cream
Speaker 1: into your vanilla pudding mix instant mix and just hit that with the electric whisk. And off you go well, you have a new fan. That's a good recipe. More important, I had a lot of fun going for a walk with you all. It was kind of a rainy, drizzly day. We were down at Burlington's waterfront,
Speaker 1: and it was it was really nice to be down there, and I think because it was a rainy day, there was no one around. So we all felt quite quite safe to kind of just go and see each other for the first time in so long, which was really nice. It was, It was, and hopefully we won't wait another 45 days to do it again. Yeah, no, I hope not. But we've also got some familiar faces showing up for us tomorrow night. We're actually doing something special as a family.
Speaker 1: Uh, tomorrow would have been our grandmother, Mud, who you've heard us talk about on the show. Elizabeth Post, Libbie Post.
Speaker 1: It would have been her 1/100 birthday on the seventh. Uh, and so we are all going to get together for a post family zoom call to check in with everybody, see how everyone's doing. We haven't really done that as much as a family. Um, I had my first family zoom call on my mom's side of the family last week,
Speaker 1: but this is a little different for us. We don't This will be fun.
Speaker 1: I was thinking about it, too. And in some ways, the post family really leans on a lot of traditions to maintain the connections. We've got certain things that I feel like we've done that we've always done that are the the links that keep those bonds.
Speaker 1: And
Speaker 1: it wasn't at all surprised to me that it was an event like what would have been muds 100th birthday. That motivated everybody getting together because it's in some ways a new version of that nod to tradition that we've always relied on as a family, Absolutely
Speaker 1: well, in honor of both bad transitions and doing some questions. Shall we get to it? Let's do it.
Speaker 1: Awesome Etiquette is here to answer your questions, and you can email them to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. Leave a voicemail or text at 802858 k i n d. That's 8028585463 or reach us on social media on Twitter. We are at Emily Post instead
Speaker 1: 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 post so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: Mm hmm.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: Our first question this week is about a wedding party predicament.
Speaker 1: Hi. I really enjoy listening to your podcast. You guys make etiquette so fun, and it's nice to listen to while I'm working from home alone.
Speaker 1: I'm hoping you can help me with this thorny question. I'm getting married this fall, assuming we're out of quarantine, and I've recently asked some of my closest friends to be my bridesmaids I have two friends who I met at about the same time, but one of them m. I grew much closer to over the past several years.
Speaker 1: The other friend, K. I enjoyed being around, but we aren't as close.
Speaker 1: I've asked them to be a bridesmaid, but I didn't ask Kay.
Speaker 1: My question is, should I tell K that I'm not asking her to be a bridesmaid? I don't want to hurt her feelings, but I don't know how to tactfully give her a heads up.
Speaker 1: Should I give her another job in the wedding like an usher and just let her naturally find out that M is in the wedding party?
Speaker 1: I'm worried that I'll hurt her feelings by not asking her to be in the wedding party, but I want to hold firm. I don't want a million bridesmaids.
Speaker 1: Thanks for all your insight, people pleasing bride, people pleasing bride. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and also on the fact that it's in the fall. So right now, you're probably in a good place to keep it going at this current time, and we hope that continues.
Speaker 1: This is one of those interesting places of etiquette where Technically, you don't have to explain anything to your friend.
Speaker 1: It's the friend that you're not asking. In fact, I think sometimes this is the kind of situation where it can be more awkward to explain to someone why they didn't make the cut. Sometimes someone might make a mention. And if they do, if they make a slight joke, you can always, you know, come back with Well,
Speaker 1: I know. Unfortunately, the numbers were what they were, or unfortunately, we decided to keep it to in. In your case, this isn't the right reason, but just family. But
Speaker 1: there's typically a truthful reason to why that person wasn't included beyond just I'm not your, uh, you know, bestest of besties. Or I'm your fourth best friend, not your third best friend. So I didn't make the cut.
Speaker 1: And you you can provide that if you need to. But I'm in the boat here of Let's find a different job to ask this person to do. Traditionally, ushers tend to be gentlemen. If you want to go gender traditional, I wouldn't assign her an usher job. I might assign her a different job, either maybe giving a speech, doing a reading. I think that's another suggestion here. Um,
Speaker 1: so those are the kind of directions I lean in, but certainly not uncommon circumstances at all. Dan, I think even you and Pooja debated at your wedding who was actually going to be standing where and doing what we did and a little bit like you came up with lots of jobs for lots of people. That was one route that we took.
Speaker 1: I also can't read this question without reflecting.
Speaker 1: Personally, this
Speaker 1: completely happened to me. I e being the friend. That was the tier two friend
Speaker 1: and sorry. I say that as if it's like, higher tier, different. We're all two or 2 to 3 to 20 friends to somebody. Exactly. But the reason it made me think about that was in this particular case, it was a guy friend, and he delivered
Speaker 1: the offer or the invite to do something that wasn't being one of his best men
Speaker 1: in a way that it was so classically him. He did it really well, and it made me feel included. Honored, um, like someone that he wanted to get involved and we didn't get into the reasons or the details. but he's also a very gregarious social person with a lot of friends and people who he currently spends a lot more time with than me. I'm the long term friend. I'm the friend since high school. We have a deep bond. We we stay connected. But I'm not as present in his life as those people. Anyway.
Speaker 1: I could do that math in my head. I didn't need him to map it out for me. So in some ways I sat there reading this question, thinking there is a way to do this. Well, there's a way to do this that doesn't leave anyone feeling hurt. And in my case, that was following exactly your advice. No need to get into all the reasons. That's
Speaker 1: an uncomfortable conversation. Whereas the
Speaker 1: I'm excited to have you there,
Speaker 1: conversation is much easier to have it. Even if there isn't a special role, I think you keep the focus on. I'm really hoping you can be there. I'm excited you'll be at the wedding if you're inviting them, which I assume you probably are. If you're thinking about a bridesmaid's relationship here,
Speaker 1: you know, I have to say that your friend sounds really tactful and awesome. But the fact that the entire act of dividing your friends into groups and assigning some tasks to some and some not to others and inviting some to
Speaker 1: extra parties and not inviting others to extra parties but still inviting them to the wedding it starts to feel like you're ranking your friends.
Speaker 1: And it's one of the reasons why we see a trend towards no bridal parties. And we also see trends towards very small weddings where, you know, you're really only inviting maybe your family and each one best friend or something like that.
Speaker 1: But it's because people start. They do start to feel like this sort of places a hierarchy on friendships and
Speaker 1: relationships and dynamics, and it can get incredibly uncomfortable. And it doesn't surprise me that even among groups of friends that are really good groups of friends and women and especially, who have really
Speaker 1: strong bonds and I say I say women because this is particularly bridesmaid one. But guys can obviously have strong bonds do
Speaker 1: with their male friends. But it's interesting to me that a lot of people start to feel the uncomfortable social dynamics of giving titles and roles to certain friends,
Speaker 1: and I'll be interested to see how this tradition plays out over the next like 20 years.
Speaker 1: Well, in keeping with that thinking about sometimes all of this structure and hierarchy doesn't work the way it is intended to work.
Speaker 1: I think there are a few people out there that might really appreciate not being invited to be bridesmaids. That there is a theme among wedding comedy writers that there is a certain burden to being a bridesmaid again and again and again. And,
Speaker 1: um, I think it bears some thinking, and it might also help just in terms of delivering the news of
Speaker 1: you're not a bridesmaid or not delivering the potentially happy news of you are a bridesmaid. To keep that in mind, I would say, omitting the news,
Speaker 1: people pleasing bride. We truly hope that this answer helps and that you are able to enjoy all the aspects of wedding planning and that hopefully you're wedding in October is a beautiful celebration.
Speaker 1: Jeez,
Speaker 1: it's fun of you with people you like, isn't it?
Speaker 1: Yes, it's always good to be with your friends, your friends at school and your friends at work
Speaker 1: and defend it. Holy
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Our next question is a personal favorite potty phone. Please settle an etiquette concern. My husband believes I am quote unquote on another planet regarding his use of the cell phone in our homes bathroom while conducting business or personal calls.
Speaker 1: He also flushes without mute because, as he commented, they probably will not notice. Is that appropriate? Thank you for your help, Robin.
Speaker 1: Was he post You wanted to read this question because you wanted to watch me squirm and have a hard time answering it? No, I'm not that evil. I just think it's hysterical because this is something where you and I have a mutual friend who I will leave anonymous.
Speaker 1: We talked about him on the show frequently, and I swear to you on our very long marathon conversations with him that the phone goes suspiciously silent for a moment or two. And he's not responding, not responding. Not, And I swear that he has muted himself and is going to the bathroom.
Speaker 1: And then secretly, I have this whole like
Speaker 1: image in my head of our friend.
Speaker 1: So So what you're saying here is this is a reality. This actually happens such a reality. This happens all the time. Um, I think that this is first of all. Okay, it's a two parter. Part one happens all the time. Part two. I think we have some advice to dispense here.
Speaker 1: I might not go there, but I will say Now Dan's making me squirm. I will say that we do not typically try to settle major debates, especially among couples. There's a few that we've decided to jump into, but I think that we can actually find an etiquette line to draw here.
Speaker 1: And I think that unless your husband has a magic phone or has made some kind of after market adjustment that we don't know about, everyone can probably hear him doing. And I'm just going to say it this way. Whatever he is doing
Speaker 1: as well as Flushing, they might also notice if he doesn't wash up afterwards. But from what I can tell noises like the flushing of the toilet, the running of water, that kind of thing can be heard over most cell phones. And so I think
Speaker 1: I think that would be a wise thing to tip him into that. His sense of what's happening and the comfort level he's likely providing to the people on the other line isn't what he actually thinks it is.
Speaker 1: I would run a test. I would have him call me from the bathroom and I would have him flush or I would have him stand outside on the line and I would flush well from in and ask if he could hear it.
Speaker 1: If I thought he might try to fudge the experiment, I would probably try to record the phone calls from NASA and I can hear it play back. But I think that there's nothing wrong with using the mute future on our cell phones. And there's nothing wrong in my mind Dan with saying to someone.
Speaker 1: I'm going to mute the call for just a second.
Speaker 1: Well, there's some background noise you could even say if you want to do, um to give some kind of reason, um and then you and just say, Please keep talking and I'll come back in, you know, once this is done, but I think that's like as limited, I would get with any kind of other person
Speaker 1: other than, like you, who you and I talk enough that this would probably be something we would be comfortable doing and saying, Uh, I know we have to continue. I'm just gonna hit mute for a minute, like feel free to keep telling me the story rather than making a phone call back. I also argue,
Speaker 1: Is it really that hard to put the phone down for 60 seconds and come back to? I like getting this little window into your mind? I really do. And the particular thing that is appealing to me is this idea of running a test and then as your as your gaming out running the test. It occurs to you that you should record the call, so you have proof of the test.
Speaker 1: Um, yeah, Who's been locked up for too long? Me. I actually like that idea. If the test just sort of say, let's take a look at this and I agree with you 1000%. I think there is a firm etiquette line that you don't subject someone to the noises of your bathroom. Whatever those noises might be
Speaker 1: that it's impossible to read their reactions. You
Speaker 1: I have no way to know what their responses, and while someone might sort of smile to themselves. Someone else might be pretty grossed out, squeezed out, find it a little uncomfortable, find it seriously uncomfortable.
Speaker 1: And because there's no way for you to know that, I think I mean people might. You don't do it downright offensive. Yeah, exactly like that's the thing is that you really might be turning someone off for making them uncomfortable to a degree that I think is especially on a business call completely inappropriate. And it's Squiggy enough that I don't just even want to lean on that business side of it. I think you could potentially really,
Speaker 1: um, change the way someone perceives you personally, and I think that's worth that's worth taking into account in terms of how you treat people. Um, the part of this question I didn't want to even get into is whether you should ever have a phone
Speaker 1: in your hands in that position to begin with. I know people used to read the newspaper in the morning or whatever, but they read they read their phones in the morning and their computers, and I believe Oprah had a phone in her bathroom like they have certainly been installed in bathrooms before. So to that end, I want to say there's a part of good etiquette that involves good hygiene, just being clean and just offer that as a broad reminder. But as far as how you treat other people, I'm right there with you. I think there is a for medic it line and we can laugh about it. But I think there could also be some unfortunate negative consequences to this one. So I think you keep that good humor,
Speaker 1: but you try to address it and you try to help your husband out. I love your idea of the test
Speaker 1: Robin. We hope that this helps and we will end this question by saying the bathroom remains a private space. Let's learn some ways to be kind and considerate on the telephone. We like people who are polite. We should always try to be thoughtful.
Speaker 1: Our next question is about a card for the terminally ill.
Speaker 1: Hi, Lizzie and Dan. Thank you so much for your delightful podcast. I've been with you since the dinner party download days, and I have enjoyed every minute of your content. I know.
Speaker 1: This morning I got some bad news that My sister's husband's father has been given two months to live. I'm not very close to him. He and his wife hosted me for a few days when I visited their country with my sister. He was at my sister's wedding, and we exchanged cards at Christmas time.
Speaker 1: Is it appropriate to send some type of card in this situation to let him know I'm thinking of him? If so, what type of card
Speaker 1: I know both get well and sorry for your loss Cards are inappropriate, so I'm thinking of sending just a blank card. However, I'm at a complete loss as to what to say.
Speaker 1: Do you have any suggestions for sample language when someone is at the end of their life?
Speaker 1: I could also use sample language regarding what to say to my brother in law, who I'm closer to.
Speaker 1: The whole situation is made worse by the fact that all his Children live in different countries and travel right now is so difficult.
Speaker 1: Thanks for any insight you are able to provide Michelle
Speaker 1: Michelle, thank you for this question. I I just have to jump in right at the start and say, Do it. It's such a good idea. It is one of those moments in life where connection is so significant. It's so meaningful for people, and it can feel a little awkward. But getting over that awkwardness and making that connection will matter so much to both your in law and to you. So
Speaker 1: just big picture. Do it, do it, do it. I think it's a really good idea. It is definitely a good idea, and I can understand the desire not to want to send like a sympathy card just yet. Even though it is sympathy that you're extending, it almost feels like it's ahead of its time, you know,
Speaker 1: and you don't want to ignore it and just act like everything is fine because you do know some pretty big news in somebody's life. I think that for me, I would I be going for that. I'm thinking of you style card where, whether it says that or whether it's a blank and you write it in there, I think that's the sentiment you're trying to extend.
Speaker 1: I would first reach out to your brother in law because he is the person you're closer to,
Speaker 1: and you can certainly send him a card, and I'll do sample language for that in just a second. But I would also be reaching out to your sister and your brother in law to take the temperature of whether or not to send a card to your brother in law's father
Speaker 1: directly addressing it. Some people really want support and a lot of direct support. Other people
Speaker 1: aren't interested as much or don't want people knowing their news right away. And I think it's really important to respect the wishes of the person who's battling their illness right now. That's a good temperature read to take. But to your brother in law, I might write a card that says something like, You know,
Speaker 1: dear So and so we'll say, Jim, I heard news from Cara of your father, and I wanted to send you my love and support at this time. I think fondly of the cards we exchange at Christmas, and I hope that you're filled with
Speaker 1: strength and surrounded by comfort right now, and I think that those are the types of sentiments you want to express, So it's okay to just say them, you know, here's here is someone I've been connected to through you, and I just I'm sorry that you're going through this and that he's going through this, but I would take that temperature read from the couple that you're closest to before extending
Speaker 1: to the father right away.
Speaker 1: What I really like about that sample script is that it's short. It doesn't have to be a letter. This is This doesn't need to be a long exposition. The act of sending the note is in many ways almost as significant as what you say. What you say matters. But
Speaker 1: it's the whole package that really that delivers that sentiment, so it doesn't need to be long. It doesn't need to be detailed or go into a lot of large accounting of all of the information exchange. It can just be I'm thinking of you and I'm wishing the best for you right now.
Speaker 1: Michelle. We really hope that this helps and our deepest sympathies to you and your brother in law and his family at this time.
Speaker 1: This question is titled Common Law Marriage Titles,
Speaker 1: and it's very short
Speaker 1: for an elder couple who never formally married but consider themselves married and effectively common Law married 25 plus years. Is it proper to address the lady as any of the following Mrs First name? Mrs Last name. Using the maiden name.
Speaker 1: Mrs Last name. Using his name
Speaker 1: in this example, She maintained her maiden name. Thank you. Anonymous
Speaker 1: Anonymous. Thank you for a question that adds a new wrinkle to a conversation we've been having, sort of ongoing across shows now for I think it's been, you know, 678 shows now. Yeah, um, and
Speaker 1: I want to look at sort of two pieces of etiquette advice that run a little contrary to each other here, Which is that traditionally, the way these titles were used the missus title was reserved for someone who was married. You didn't use it unless someone was actually married. We have another very strong piece of etiquette advice that we give often these days, which is that you address people the way they would want to be addressed. So
Speaker 1: the technical answer to your question is you wouldn't use the missus title.
Speaker 1: But if someone really wants to use it and they're effectively married, we're talking 25 years living together. Common law, married. There is no reason why it would be inappropriate to use that Mrs title if it's what they preferred with any combination. First name, last name. Maiden name. Which sounds like would be the case in this
Speaker 1: situation Or last name married lessons.
Speaker 1: Yeah, if she's maintained her maiden name, then I don't think just because we're under common law marriage that you would automatically drop his last name with her Mrs title. I would keep her no matter what was her maiden name, because that's what she's, that's that's what she's chosen if we're saying she's maintained her maiden name,
Speaker 1: but yeah, this is totally a
Speaker 1: technically yes, technically now, like on both sides of the issue. Like
Speaker 1: it's funny. I don't know much about common law marriage laws and how they function in H State. And if it's different, I believe Vermont has a common law marriage. It doesn't I don't like this is how far I don't even know is whether or not it's in our own state. If you were with someone for
Speaker 1: 10 years, 25 years 30 or like what's What's the number that makes you qualify
Speaker 1: in this particular couples case? I think that when you have put those 25 plus years into a marriage and you're going strong or not? Marriage. Yeah, or not marriage. I think I'm putting it totally in their hands. Like at that point, you've just You've been so incredibly established as a couple.
Speaker 1: I just can't. I can't imagine anyone having problem with someone calling themselves. This is what they're gonna do run down to the courthouse and no, you're not.
Speaker 1: I can see you're not. Come on. When? Technically the court might say yes. You are technically know exactly if what other thought to complicate uh, an already sort of simple but complicated question, which is that
Speaker 1: I was thinking also about Vermont and the culture of Vermont. And there are people
Speaker 1: here who I can think of who are decidedly not married and prefer it. So
Speaker 1: So they live together. They have long established relationships, but there's a contrarian iconoclast. The last thing they want is that title of married in their life. It's not something that interests them, and
Speaker 1: I would want to honor that also, if someone said we chose to live together for 25 years and we don't need a marriage license to prove that we love each other.
Speaker 1: I might not default to that Mrs title to honor their partnership. It really depends on the person and how you know them. And if you don't know, a good solution is always to ask.
Speaker 1: I remember hearing of a couple that had been together for 10 years, and he finally got her an engagement ring or something like that. And I think she refused it when it was given to her because she said, Are you kidding me? After 10 years of living without it, uh, we're not going there that that ship has sailed.
Speaker 1: So lots of lots of different perspectives on this one. Anonymous. Thank you so much for asking this question and giving us a chance to carry on the conversation about names and titles and marriages.
Speaker 1: Well, I think that love
Speaker 1: a real mature love is
Speaker 1: more than I'd imagine. I guess so.
Speaker 1: I'm Bob and Jeanne. It looks all right.
Speaker 1: But we're not ready for that kind of
Speaker 1: attachment, Ali.
Speaker 1: But we can still have a lot of fun, can't we?
Speaker 1: Sure we can.
Speaker 1: Our next question is about an awkward after party.
Speaker 1: Is it improper to leave out the aunts and uncles of the groom for the after rehearsal party when they are coming from 5 to 600 miles away. Thank you for responding. Mary Lou. Hi, Mary Lou. Technically, no,
Speaker 1: though it feels a little odd to say. But technically, the rehearsal dinner is really only for those who participate in the wedding ceremony itself and are rehearsing the actual wedding ceremony along with their date spouses or Children, Um, and Children is even questionable. Sometimes it's like the Children who are in the wedding party often, yes, um, the Children who are Children of people who are in the wedding party. Not always, though it is, I think it's considerate to do, but
Speaker 1: yeah, this is one where it's a very common misconception that all out of town guests, especially family
Speaker 1: or close family, will be included in that party. And it's just not the case. Oftentimes, what instead happens is that we suggest that hosts plan to let their guests out of town. Guests know of good places to go eat.
Speaker 1: Sometimes family members who live in the area will host
Speaker 1: a dinner that night. That's what our family did for Anna. My sister's wedding, both the post side and the coward side of the family each hosted for the respective aunts and uncles coming in. And it was a nice family gatherings for each of those while the rest of us were at the rehearsal dinner.
Speaker 1: So there are tactful ways to handle it, but technically not an obligation by the couple to invite out of town guests who aren't actually participating in the rehearsal. So I like the name rehearsal dinner because it reminds me of a time and a function where
Speaker 1: the wedding itself required planning and practice. There was a certain execution to the processional and the way people arranged themselves and what was said and when the music started and stuff. Whoa, What do you mean, back to a time? That's still a thing. It's still a thing, but I feel like it was more structured. There were more parts and it was more defined, and I feel like people are comfortable with a little bit more sort of shuffling about these days. I don't know. I felt it was more choreographed, staged affair, and I know those weddings still happened. That's so funny, I was going to say, because to me. All I hear about is how you get people up to the actual rehearsal and nobody knows what to do because they have. They've never done it before.
Speaker 1: And it's one of those moments where all of a sudden something you've seen in a million TV shows and movies and read in a million books and even attended on your own, your brain goes blank. Wait, when do I walk? What do I say? What do I do? Who goes first? What's on second? Wait? It's not baseball. It's a wedding like I have to tell everybody to sit, or everybody will just stand while this wedding begins.
Speaker 1: No, it's really looks. We forgot the rings like you know, it's a thing. So even a less formal wedding there is a purpose to rehearsal, and there was a purpose to the rehearsal dinner. If you've got to get everybody and get their time and get them to come to a thing, that's not even the real thing just to practice them,
Speaker 1: give them some food
Speaker 1: and it makes so much sense that Oh, we've got some other people who were in town who came along way we could add them in and bring them along. But that wasn't the purpose. And it happened enough that I think it created this idea that,
Speaker 1: oh, you should invite anyone who's there from out of town. I can see where it came from, how it could make sense or feel like the fair thing to do or a good idea,
Speaker 1: but it really isn't extra. It's an add on to the function of that rehearsal dinner.
Speaker 1: Now there's another thing that Mary Lou might be talking about, And that's that sometimes after the actual rehearsal and the actual rehearsal dinner, because we just can't help ourselves from wanting to party when we're all together, people create kind of the pre wedding party.
Speaker 1: It's not something we advise heavily to do only because you really do want to make sure that you have energy for the next day.
Speaker 1: You know that things aren't getting out of control. You kind of want to try to keep things somewhat calm the night before. But a lot of people end up saying everybody's here for the weekend. We want to make the most of seeing everybody we possibly can.
Speaker 1: So after the rehearsal dinner is complete, we'd love for you to all join us for drinks at such and such.
Speaker 1: That particular type of gathering is one that I would say If you're going to do it, I would just make it open to anybody who's in town that night before the wedding. And if you're not going to do, I just I wouldn't do it if I wasn't going to kind of open it up. But I've heard a lot of couples wanting to use that time as a time to greet their guests,
Speaker 1: and I think there's nothing wrong with that. But I would make sure you're inviting everyone, especially the aunts and uncles from 5 to 600 miles away.
Speaker 1: And I'll just throw one more monkey into the ranch.
Speaker 1: You could have a large Indian themed wedding and do a sank it the night before, which is a huge party that everybody comes to and everybody performs and it's so much fun and there's food and dancing and
Speaker 1: it's just a whole different thing. But everybody gets to go, and that, I believe, is what our cousin Jeep and Jessica did. But they did that big rehearsal dinner,
Speaker 1: that was it really was a huge party the night before the wedding. I mean, even Poppy danced and our grandfather, Poppy, never danced. So
Speaker 1: it was a huge, huge party. But we kind of all knew why. That was a good, fun party family who is ready to party the whole weekend. Mary Lou, we hope that this helps. And we hope this wedding is a smashing success. 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 reach us on social media on Twitter, We are at Emily Post inst on Instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook. We are awesome etiquette. Just remember to use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: 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. You'll get an ADS free version of the show and access to bonus questions and content. Plus, you'll feel great knowing you helped 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 today we hear from Karen, who asked us a question in the last episode. Hi, Dan and Lizzie. Your advice and wording about difficult family relationships so helped me.
Speaker 1: I used your philosophy of consideration, respect and honesty as well as some of your wording.
Speaker 1: And now I'm not estranged from my mother in law. I am so, so grateful. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I wish I had been in tune with etiquette before, but now going forward, I will be thanks so much to you both.
Speaker 1: That is so nice to hear more feedback like this. Please. I know I am. I'm also just so it's
Speaker 1: for us. It's such a relief when we hear that the wording actually work that sample scripts actually work. So I'm really glad that that did work. We know we know very well that sometimes the sample scripts
Speaker 1: make someone feel comfortable delivering that. But that it's not always well received. We know that that's the part of this advice we can't control is how is the other person in the situation going to react?
Speaker 1: And it is just so heartwarming Karen to hear that you had a good reaction that this has helped you build your relationship and your your not so estranged from your mother in law. At this point, this is just a major etiquette win. Thank you, Karen. You really made our day and thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please keep them coming. You can send your feedback or update two awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 k i n d. That's 8028585463
Speaker 1: It's time for our post script segment, where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette, and this week we're going to talk about not lying. In other words, about honest. I was going to say we're going to look at the third principle of good etiquette, CRH consideration, respect and honesty. Let's talk about honesty with concepts like
Speaker 1: exaggeration
Speaker 1: innocent lies,
Speaker 1: omission and pro social lying, very present in our society. How we envision being honest doesn't always line up.
Speaker 1: It's not always clear cut, and I think that it's actually important to take a minute and really look at what does honesty with all these kind of variations of it look like in our society when we're in that social and work world for each other? Before we go too far down the honesty path, I want to give us a complete other option, a different
Speaker 1: route on the journey if we want to pull the escape hatch lever of safety.
Speaker 1: None of this advice applies that Lizzie Post and I both talk about If someone's choking, you knock over a chair, you give him the Heimlich maneuver. You you do what you have to do when safety is the concern. Generally speaking, the advice that we give on the show is about managing and and and
Speaker 1: participating in relationships and social interactions. And in those circumstances,
Speaker 1: I think holding yourself really accountable to that principle of honesty is a great way to guide yourself and really sticking to it and thinking about what that standard of honesty means is a
Speaker 1: is a core principle that we use to define the advice that we give on this show. So, safety aside,
Speaker 1: honesty matters. So why do all those little
Speaker 1: options to not be totally honest,
Speaker 1: peak up all the time and how do we avoid them? And I think that when we're looking at things like we know how exaggeration happens, whether it's from excitement or whether it's because we're boastful or whether it's, you know, because I was going to say, because we wanted to be that way. Or maybe we need to be that way.
Speaker 1: You know, exaggeration is it's an interesting term for an extension of the truth. Um, it's it's something that's a little bit beyond right. Innocent lies. Um, we used to hear them referred to more as white lies often benefit the person more than anybody else.
Speaker 1: Omission is one where the benefit could be to either party. You might be trying to save save someone from knowing or hearing about something you might be trying to protect yourself and save yourself
Speaker 1: by omitting something. Yes, Mom, I was out last night. No, I'm not going to tell you. I stayed at my boyfriend's house. Um, and I think that pro Social lying is more so when you tell a complete lie
Speaker 1: in order to somehow benefit someone else. So the idea that the example that a woman who wrote a book on honesty um gave me was that she saw someone at a at a gym facility
Speaker 1: doing something incorrectly, and she went up to that person and talk to them about it. From the perspective of I used to do the thing you were doing, and I didn't know at first, either.
Speaker 1: That's completely untrue. She never done it. She did know at first beforehand she was lying in hopes of making him feel better about having made a mistake that's considered pro social lying. I did it for someone else's benefit. Exactly. You do it for someone else's benefit.
Speaker 1: And so I think that we understand why people lean on all of these tactics at various points and
Speaker 1: and one of the reasons we tend to lean on them, at least from from my perspective and I think my cousin would join me on this perspective is that sometimes it's faster.
Speaker 1: I was going to say it feels easier somehow it's easier or it's the first thing. We think a boy would be nice if this were true. Let's just say it out loud. Maybe we can make the world be that way,
Speaker 1: and I think that that's often because we aren't doing the first two steps of of the principles which are the consideration and the respect steps. And those two steps often focus
Speaker 1: on things like thinking first and making decisions that are going to build relationships and respect the people around us and honor them as they are and honor the situation that we're in. And I think it's really easy to not want to have to deal with something in a moment,
Speaker 1: to not be sure of how to handle something in a moment. And so we a tiny little lie pops out of our mouth,
Speaker 1: and I think that one of the things we try really hard and Emily opposed to do is to encourage people to find the honest path, and that can be really different, looking for different situations so
Speaker 1: it can be things like deferment where you just someone asks you a question and you might say something like, I don't feel like that's something I can share right now. So you you have that uncomfortable moment where you know, Gosh, someone's asking me to say something I don't want to say or I don't feel like I have the authority or position to say
Speaker 1: I don't actually feel like that's something I can talk about or share right now. Or, you know, I'd have to ask so and so before talking about that with you or I'm not comfortable discussing that at this time. Those are, like three really good deferment language that you can use and have in your back pocket because sometimes
Speaker 1: you can't think of the right thing. To say fast enough and having something that is both truthful
Speaker 1: but does not make you engage with the subject matter that you don't want to lie about is really handy. It is your escape hatch. In some ways, escape Hatch number two differ. Yeah,
Speaker 1: I love that deferrals. Oftentimes not lying is about setting boundaries, and that's a skill that were not always so practiced at. It can almost be easier to lie than to tell someone. No, I really shouldn't be talking about that, and in either case you have choices to make, and the thing that I like about committing to honesty is that ahead of time, you just give yourself a set of choices. You've still got a
Speaker 1: figure out something, but you have a narrower set of choices because they're defined by the truth. And as you get better and better at staying in that lane,
Speaker 1: then the art of good etiquette of finding that kind truth or that benevolent truth starts to be the skill. And you start to play with that awkwardness in that decision making moment where you get further and further away from just having to defer or say no. But you start to find things that you can share, where ways that you can participate that are
Speaker 1: that are kind truths or R truth that you and the people around you can live with. And ultimately, that's that's foundational for a good relationship. That truth,
Speaker 1: Dan you mentioned saying no, and that's one of the biggest places where you hear us talk and give sample language on this show about what to say. Um, some, some of you, in your questions to us, have given us circumstances to play within, and others haven't. Um so sometimes our sample language leans into the circumstances you set forth and telling someone I don't feel well is the truth.
Speaker 1: You don't have to tell them I have a flare up of Crohn's disease today, and I'm basically stuck to my toilet. But you can tell them, you know, I'm you know, I'm not feeling well or, you know, tonight really isn't going to be a good night for me. But that's saying no and being comfortable leaving at that or saying no and being able to then extend a well wish afterwards is the type of sample language is really great to get comfortable delivering.
Speaker 1: So, you know No, I won't be able to come Friday night, but I hope you all have fun as opposed to No, I won't be able to come Friday night. We're just too swamped. And I've got so much going on, you know, it's like where you start feeling like you have to build an excuse.
Speaker 1: That's the feeling we want to help you eliminate. You don't need to build excuses for things in your life. If your language is simple and clear and also I think well, wishing That's the polite part of it at the end, right that I hope you all have fun, or I'd love to join you for the next one again. You only say those things if they're true,
Speaker 1: but I think that there are ways that you can get out of feeling like you have to explain your schedule as the next thing you say after you say no, that building of an excuse or an explanation can feel so awkward. I think most of us know what that feeling is, where we're sort of hunting for or you take that thing that is true. And, oh, now we're exaggerating. We're just puffing it up or inflating it a little bit so that it takes on that level of seriousness that we want to impart.
Speaker 1: So Dan
Speaker 1: tell me about omissions because they're a little bit trickier.
Speaker 1: They certainly are. Omissions are tricky because there are times when not saying something is really the courteous thing to do. It's about respecting privacy or having a little bit of discretion or just being able to regulate what you say. And don't say depending on the situation you're in
Speaker 1: and other times. There are very clear lies of omission where the omission is glaring it
Speaker 1: It lives in a place where there's some expectation of information or where if you don't say it really creates a whole different impression than is really true. And I think it's up to everybody to really keep track of themselves, to be honest with themselves, about when that omission is really in service of a relationship and when it's designed to deceive. And it's that deception
Speaker 1: that I think is really problematic and where not saying something can start to cross that line and become a real lie. I think so. And I think that's a good way to parse out the difference between when omitting something can be a good thing or even a necessary thing. I don't
Speaker 1: I don't tell you about all the adventures that my body takes me through in a given day, you know what I mean? I appreciate yeah, you know, um and it doesn't mean those are bad things to talk about. It's just that in our relationship, I know they aren't things that make you comfortable. And similarly, you know, there are topics that I find squeamish or things. I just don't love
Speaker 1: discussing or don't need to know about your life. And so we omit those from our conversation. But that's very different from
Speaker 1: you, omitting to someone that you did something that you know, if they knew about it, would hurt them and really caused them to think differently about the circumstances around them and might impact them in some way. Yeah, and
Speaker 1: you know, these are the judgment calls that make etiquette not some clear cut path forward, but something that we have to think about regularly.
Speaker 1: And when we're talking about how honesty functions, how etiquette can function as a powerful tool for self assessment, I think that's one of those places where you say my honesty with myself about what this is is really the application of the honesty that's important. So another side of honesty isn't necessarily omitting something, but making sure that you have something to say and in an effort to not have that be an innocent lion, necessarily told, we often talk about what we think of as the benevolent truth
Speaker 1: when your friend uh is so excited about are often example that we use in our seminars and Children's programs is that brand new coat that they got
Speaker 1: and you think the color is terrible, but they're excited. You don't want to harp on their excitement. It's really not. It's not necessary for you to put them down or their purchase down or their gift down in some way. So you find what we think of as the nice and true benevolent thing to say.
Speaker 1: Boy, I bet that coat is going to keep you really warm or oh, I love the cut of that coat.
Speaker 1: You don't comment on the color. It comes up in business context as how do I give critical feedback and in having that discussion, oftentimes the question is, Do you have the standing to offer that feedback to begin with?
Speaker 1: Sometimes you're in a position where giving someone a harsher truth is important and appropriate.
Speaker 1: But if it's not, maybe you serve the compliment sandwich without the tough news in the middle, you start off with the version or the part of the truth. That's kind, and that's as far as you go, because it's not your job to fix or correct or point out fault or flaw,
Speaker 1: as you can see honesty is not a clear cut, one answer subject matter for us, it's something that
Speaker 1: is dependent sometimes on our perspective. Sometimes on our situation. It's something that our values and views on it may change circumstance, to circumstance or as we grow and change and experience different things in our lives. And that's not saying that you're a liar versus you're an honest and good person.
Speaker 1: It's saying that the truth is hard to talk about sometimes, and it's hard to find ways to talk about it appropriately. And the goal, I think because correct me if I'm wrong. But the goal is to be aware of this and to ask yourself, Why am I choosing to say the thing I'm choosing to say or omitting to say
Speaker 1: final thought? In some ways you're kind of you're stealing my fire. There's a version of my final thought that you just delivered. It's no, it's perfect, I think, to myself about honesty and how it functions when you're assessing other people, but then also how it functions internally and that was the part of your message there that I
Speaker 1: really like, which is that
Speaker 1: there's a cost that we pay. If we think that we're lying or we don't recognize that we're lying, there is an internal mental cost, and I think being aware and
Speaker 1: holding that standard and wrestling with it is the thing that makes you an honest person. I love that idea. It's not whether that lie escapes or not. It's not whether you tell the truth all the time, but whether you wrestle with something that's difficult, like the truth and
Speaker 1: and in many ways commit to doing your best to holding yourself accountable to that standard of honesty, truthfulness, sincerity.
Speaker 1: We talk about consideration, respect and honesty. And it's certainly nice to spend a little time really looking at that third principle and how it works and how it functions.
Speaker 1: This hasn't been easy, I know,
Speaker 1: but you've learned a lesson,
Speaker 1: a lesson and honesty, honesty to yourself and honesty to others. That lesson will stand you in good stead all your life. I think we've all learned a good lesson.
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 Megan, who's reflecting on a wonderful vacation from last year.
Speaker 2: Hi, this is Megan. I just wanted to leave an etiquette salute.
Speaker 2: It's way overdue or at Disney Cruise that we went on last summer with my son and my husband went with me. And I know that Disney is known for having a good service, but I was really blown away. It was our first time, our first experience with Disney. It was so much fun, and everyone was so polite on the ship.
Speaker 2: There was a lifeguard in particular that was really helpful with my
Speaker 2: three year old son.
Speaker 2: He was afraid to go down one of the water slides, and he had made it all the way at the top of the line and then kind of chickened out. And so, in order to get him to go down the slide and stop holding up the line, the lifeguard walked all the way upstairs
Speaker 2: to the top of the slide, and she told him that she was going to leave a little turtle at the end of the slide for him if he made it all the way down to the bottom. And so she had this little plastic toys hurdle, and
Speaker 2: that's what she did. She put it at the bottom of the side, and that gave him enough courage to
Speaker 2: go down the slide. And he ended up loving it and went back up the slide like, 20 more times after that. So that was really nice. And we also had a great stateroom host, and I was just really blown away by the courtesy of everyone on that ship. So I wanted to give them a big salute.
Speaker 2: Thanks,
Speaker 1: Megan, Thank you for that salute. Thank you for taking us back in time to a place where we're all out playing together and taking trips. It's really nice to think about. It's also really nice to think about how incredible service can make such an impression.
Speaker 1: Well, thank you for listening and thank you to everyone who sent us something and thank you to everyone who supports us on Patreon. We so appreciate it.
Speaker 1: Please connect with us and share the show with friends, family and coworkers on social media. You can send us your next question feedback or salute to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. You can leave us a message or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 On Twitter, we are at Emily Post. Install on Instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook or Awesome Etiquette and the Emily Post Institute.
Speaker 1: Please consider becoming a sustaining member by visiting patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette. You can also subscribe to the ads version of our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast app. And please please consider leaving us a review. Our show is edited by Chris Albertine, an assistant produced by Brigitte Dowd. Thanks, Christian. Bridget,
Speaker 1: I think,
Speaker 1: yeah.