Episode 304 - Musical Choices
In this episode of Awesome Etiquette
Welcome to the Awesome Etiquette podcast, where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On today’s show we take your questions on: friends who get divorced but are both invited to your wedding, asking for gifts not gift cards, differing music tastes during quarantine and a poorly attended drive through birthday party. For Awesome Etiquette Sustaining members our question is about the use of the phrase 'best wishes'. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript RSVP’s.
Speaker 1: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy. That's old fashion.
Speaker 1: Watch how busy Post and Dan Post Center act as host and hostess.
Speaker 1: They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person. Really Friendliness.
Speaker 1: Hello
Speaker 2: and welcome toe Awesome etiquette,
Speaker 1: where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On
Speaker 2: today's show, we take your questions on friends who get divorced but are both invited to your wedding asking for gifts, not gift cards. Differing music tastes during quarantine Let's just say it involves Taylor Swift and a poorly attended drive
Speaker 1: through birthday party for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about the use of the phrase best wishes,
Speaker 2: plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute, which is very special this week and a post script on the importance of RSVPs.
Speaker 1: All that coming up
Speaker 2: 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 1: and I'm Dan Post sending
Speaker 2: Danno Lizzie Post. How are things in Berlin? Did they're They're going, It's It's a hot it's hot Fourth of July weekend. I'm I'm redoing, um, upstairs room in my house and eso always seem to pick hot weekends to do like hard labor. But other than that, it's it's Fourth of July. I'm gonna go cherry picking with some friends. Uh, roasted marshmallows last night looks pretty good, but it's it's fairly quiet around here. Still, we're not doing a whole whole ton of gathering, but I know that over in your neck of the woods on the mountain, there's not only a birthday but some other big events happening. I know what's is a busy weekend
Speaker 1: for me, for the sending family up here.
Speaker 2: What's going on over there? Well, we
Speaker 1: had my brother's birthday pooches birthday. Oh, we're kind of half hosting a wedding.
Speaker 2: That's right. It's obs wedding this weekend. Pooches Sister is getting married, and you they are performing basically like a within regulation style wedding.
Speaker 1: It is not the original plan. It is a much reduced sort of co vid style, very immediate family ceremony. And the fun of it is that now this much smaller group has come together and is doing all of the work that they can to create a feel of a wedding celebration. It's almost like there's this wedding instinct that has kicked in, and it's like we're doing all of not all of but many of the things that you would do for sort of a big, full scale wedding. But okay, we're just managing it as a group of eight.
Speaker 2: 12. Totally, Totally. What's on your honey do list for? For managing this wedding weekend?
Speaker 1: Oh, my goodness. What isn't on my honey do list S Putin? I have been at this for about a week and a half a this point and stick around for the salute if you want to hear a little bit more about that. But it has been a lot of fun. It's been fun to kind of get out of for me my own world, just a little bit and to really be thinking about other people and doing things for other people, which is something I miss doing right now and totally. It's enlivening. It's connecting. It just feels it feels really good. And I'm so happy for a bond. Brendan. I wanna wish them the absolute best. By the time the show airs, they will be, I think, in a little cabin in the Adirondacks somewhere. But
Speaker 2: lucky them, Enjoying married? That's awesome. That's really, really awesome. Well, you have to let us know how it all goes next week. I can't wait to hear the updates and give my love to the happy couple this weekend. For sure,
Speaker 1: I will definitely do that.
Speaker 2: In the meantime, do you think we should get to some questions?
Speaker 1: Let's do it.
Speaker 1: Awesome Etiquette is here to answer your questions. You can email them toe awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 You can also reach us on social media on Twitter. We're at Emily Post Inst on instagram were at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook were awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 2: Our first question is titled Divorce Dilemma. Hi, Lizzie and Dan. I have a unique situation concerning my wedding that has both my fiance and I completely stumped. As to what to Dio. We had originally planned our wedding for this summer, but because of the coronavirus, we opted to move the wedding to next summer. Luckily, we had not yet sent out the wedding invitations. We had, of course, already sent everyone save the dates. Last fall, we decided to send out save this date instead to formally let everyone know about the new date. We also contacted everyone by phone or text prior to mailing out the new safe. The dates. As soon as we had the new date booked,
Speaker 2: we found out when I texted a member of a couple about the new wedding date that she had just been served divorce papers by her husband. That's how she put it.
Speaker 2: We liked them both very much, and we were surprised and sad to hear the news.
Speaker 2: She said she was excited for the wedding and would likely becoming stag. So my question is, how do we address the new Save the date? She is the person who will still come to the wedding with the mutual friend, and that makes sense because I'm closer with her than her husband.
Speaker 2: We don't want to be insensitive and addressed the news. Save the date to them both. As if she and I had never had the exchange about the divorce.
Speaker 2: We also don't want to exclude his name on the envelope because that seems wrong to we really like him a swell and don't want to take sides. As far as we know, they're quarantined together for the time being, I know this situation is a little unique because it's not often that people are sending multiple save the dates. But I imagine couples sometimes get force between the time to save. The date is sent and the wedding invitations were sent months later. Is there a proper way to handle this type of thing? We really wanna handle it in a way that is kind and sensitive. Signed Rescheduling Bride. If I'm reading this right, Dan, we've got a couple whose rescheduled their wedding for next year, and upon letting guests know this, they found out that one couple is divorced but likely still living together. And they're thinking about how to reissue these invitations. Do they have to issue an invitation to the couple as a couple until they're formally not living in the same place do you issue separate invitations to each of them? Do you invite one? Not the other. Do they get plus ones? Um, I reading this right that these were some of the questions and invitation wording issues that we're up against here. Yeah. No, that's
Speaker 1: the rabbit hole that we're going down. And this sort of pending divorce. Definitely. Add Cem. I don't wanna call them complications, but they're gonna etiquette technicalities on when you add in the added complication that the couple that are
Speaker 1: and I only want they separated that are anticipating an official divorce might actually not be separated might be living in the same place. Basically, let's take it part by part and see how how far we could go. Let's do it. First of all, we have toe congratulate our rescheduling bride. Good luck with this planning during tough times a someone who's in the very final final stages of wedding planning and prep. Right now I know how daunting it could be and also how much fun it can be if you let it. So that's my first bit of advice. Is let that fun seep in a little bit and I think emailing etiquette podcast about what you're doing indicates to me that you're having fun with all of this.
Speaker 2: So
Speaker 2: I'm gonna say, Take folks I know. Well, if you've
Speaker 1: got the time and the enthusiasm Thio, check with the experts. It probably means you're enjoying the process in some way. If the couple is not married, it's okay to invite one. The rule is that you invite spouses and long term partners as a pair. And the technicality that I'm going thio go with on this one is that with knowledge of a divorce coming, it's okay to treat that couple as if
Speaker 1: they're separated or to treat them is independent and autonomous people.
Speaker 2: I think so, too. I think it would be fine to not have them on the same invitation. What do you What do you think about the question, though, of should they both receive invitations? Still, because they're saying we like the guy. We like the girl. We like both of them. We don't want to take sides. This is where I think
Speaker 1: there's some really good etiquette advice, Which is that just because a couple is divorced or separated or planning to be divorced or separated doesn't mean you can invite both of them. Eso
Speaker 2: glad you said that Big picture etiquette
Speaker 1: says we're all grown ups here and we can handle it and we can manage it. And if you can't handle it or manage it, it's your responsibility as a guest to let someone know or not attend, but that it is okay if someone is hosting an event whose planning an event to invite both parties. If you feel connected to both of them and you would like Thio, it's also okay to just invite one. If you're much closer, toe the wife or if you're not as close with the husband or you just like one more than the other, that is up to you and and you shouldn't feel compelled to invite both. But it is. But it's completely an option.
Speaker 2: Although you do wanna be a little careful of the fact that you you did send to save the date to both parties, you don't you don't wanna end up uninviting someone. I think that's one of the things and there are some. I think, relationships and circumstances where it's it's quite clear that ties are being cut on social and family lines. And this person, just you don't you don't need to worry about inviting them. But I think in other cases where it's a bit unclear, I would just be careful to remember that a save the date does indicate an invitation is coming. Um, that you're intending to invite somebody to something, and if you are getting along with him and that is okay, I would leave it up to the two of them to decide if if socially, they don't appear in the same places rather than you un invite someone and make the decision for them. That's that's my personal take on that one. I hear
Speaker 1: you that that the save the date Although it's not the official invitation, you don't respond to the Save the date with a gift. But it does sort of a presage, is it? It tells you it's coming. It's reasonable to expect that, and it starts to build that sense of social expectation. I don't wanna say obligation, but I think you're wise to say, really think about to what degree that that applies in this particular situation, and it sort of leads to the third piece of advice that I was imagining offering here, which is to really be realistic and that while you have a lot of latitude as a host about who you invite, how that you don't want to set people up for failure and having said we're all grown ups, we can expect people to behave well, you also don't wanna put people in situations that are gonna make them feel awkward or uncomfortable. So doing just a little bit of work, figuring out whether this is an amicable divorce, whether, um, it would present a problem to invite one or the other or both, or if it would be beneficial to invite one or the other or both, that those air are worthwhile considerations as a host to think about in fact are really advisable.
Speaker 1: And, of course, the degree to which you can find any of that out depends on a whole other set of factors. How close you are to the couple or either person in it. And you don't wanna be snooping around in someone's private life, which is why we say big picture. It's okay to invite both and
Speaker 2: let them work it out. Figure out exactly the same But if you know something,
Speaker 1: don't ignore what you know and make a better choice for everybody.
Speaker 2: My thought is that if you if you do invite both. But this is as you either hear from the couple themselves or and they're still living together because of the circumstances that were under addressing, I think separate invitations to each of them at their house would be certainly acceptable whether or not you choose to give them both plus ones, neither of them plus one or one of them A plus one, I think, is a bit more up to you and the circumstances you find yourself in both for budget and for knowing the couple of themselves and what they're going through. But those would be some some of kind of those those finer point details that you do have to actually like, figure out as you go down this route on DSO Some of it might be, you know, Dan said, you might have to figure some things out and lean in and ask some questions, and they might be a simple as are you still living together? Should we address both invitations to you at the house you know things like that for very practical type Question. They don't have to tell you many details, but they can say yes. Separate invitations would be great. Thank you. Or know you could just send one to both of us at the house or Yes, we have different addresses now, Andi, just keep it
Speaker 1: simple.
Speaker 1: So what about if you're not going to invite him and you're trying to get her an invitation,
Speaker 2: Then I think one option is to find a way to meet for coffee, hand deliver the invitation to her. But this would be addressed to just her if even if they're living together. But we're certain they're divorcing. And he's not even interested in coming to the wedding, you know, then I think you can feel confident mailing it to just hurt that address.
Speaker 1: I would agree 100%
Speaker 2: rescheduling bride. We hope this helps. And we hope that next year you have the wedding of your dreams. Will you
Speaker 1: enjoy this special evening among your friends? Will you really have a good time? Or will you be a little unsure? Ah. Little uncertain about the right thing to do when the right time to do it.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Our next question is about gifts, not gift cards.
Speaker 1: Hello. I hope this finds you safe and healthy. I love listening to your show as it helps me start my week on a high note. I'm pregnant with our first child and my husband and I couldn't be more excited. Well, congratulations.
Speaker 2: Hey, my mom and
Speaker 1: mother in law have offered to throw a baby shower
Speaker 2: and are still trying to
Speaker 1: figure out how to execute one. During these times, however, it happens. Having supportive friends and family will mean the world
Speaker 1: on To my question, I was wondering if there is a polite way to ask for no gift cards. I'm horrible about using them. And
Speaker 2: I don't wanna
Speaker 1: waste people's money. I know some people have wedding or baby showers that request money, gifts or gift cards only. However, I'm the opposite. I understand some people are on a budget, so my registry does allow people to contribute money toe items. Any feedback will be much appreciated. Thank you. Warmest regards. Kate.
Speaker 2: Kate, Congratulations. And this is your right. Often we get the question about Wow. I really want give cards. How do I ask for them. I'm with you. Though I often forget to use my gift cards, I've got some really interesting stuff kicking around the house. Um, that I'm sure, is unfortunately expired at this point. But I feel you on that. I think this is one of those where you use the wonderful word of mouth and that, as your mom and mother in law find ways to connect with guests and talk with guests about gifts and things like that that they speak on your behalf and say, you know, if someone says, Oh, what about a gift card to they can say, Oh, actually, you know what? She would love the physical thing. You know, here's a link to the registry or something like that, and you can kind of maneuver the conversation that way towards the idea that no gift cards aren't quite what she loves. But this this would be really helpful for her right now. The other thing that you might dio Dan, tell me what you think about this is that you might try also saying to Mom and mother in law, Hey, if we get any gift cards, any chance you would be willing Thio make the purchases happened so that I don't mess up and forget and not have them while I'm dealing with new baby and everything like this and not not actually enact the card. And so that might be a way that mom and mother in law, who are the hosts of this party for you could also help facilitate any. I don't want to call them inconvenient gifts, but gifts that wouldn't be as easy for you to really appreciate and enjoy right now and turn them into things you can appreciate, enjoy and use right now, which is what they're intended for. I think you can always
Speaker 1: ask for help.
Speaker 2: Oh, I got these gift cards
Speaker 1: and I'm terrible at online shopping. Would
Speaker 2: you sit
Speaker 1: down with me and do this, or
Speaker 2: would you help me
Speaker 1: get this list of things from my registry with this stack of cards that came from my
Speaker 2: shower? Do it for me. I'm sure there is a way to make it not so totally like that. Yes,
Speaker 1: the word of mouth advice that it is great Showers are such intimate affairs. It's such close friends and family. Oftentimes, part of the planning is the discussion of how the gift exchange is going to happen, what it's gonna look like, what people's hopes dreams. Expectations are both from the host perspective and guest of honor's perspective. So there are good opportunities to kind of get this information out there. It's hard to give direction about gift giving. The shower is the great exception. In some ways, if people ask for advice, you can always give it. But it's hard to tell someone what to get for you. And having said that, there is an etiquette follow up that I think is important whenever we're talking about a question like this, which is just the gentle reminder that whatever anybody gives, it's your responsibility to thank them sincerely and genuinely for what they dio. Even if you've done a great job of getting the word out and someone is frankly lazy or just a little obtuse and doesn't get it or doesn't want to do it for you that way, you thank them for what they did and and then you'll be in great shape no matter what happens.
Speaker 2: Kate, we really hope that your mother and mother in law are able to find a really cool way for you to celebrate this baby's birth and and Thio have that shower in that experience That is so lovely. I know Dan loved his shower, but that also is useful. And that is what it is intended to be. Four. So we hope you have a great time celebrating and congratulations on the new baby.
Speaker 2: Our next question is titled Too many Taylor tunes and I am going to say I'm very sympathetic to the girlfriend. In this particular case, I'm gonna try to lead this. Read this without laughing. Dan, please, please help me if I if I can't do it. Dear Lizzie and Daniel, my girlfriend of six years, is a huge Taylor Swift fan, and unfortunately, I'm not a fan. She gets a big kick out of listening to her music and singing along, and I love how happy it makes her. It really does make you happy. At least it makes me happy. I'm just going to say that having said that, I'm hearing an awful lot of it since we've been quarantined. Oh dear. Making matters worse, we live in studio Apartment, which adds to the difficulty of shaking it off. Fortunately, I still get to go toe work, but we are at home a lot more now. Often, when I'm riding my motorcycle to my job, I begin to hum a delightful heavy metal tune when all of a sudden the station in my brain changes to Taylor's latest lover album
Speaker 2: or even a tune offer. 2000 and eight album. Fearless. Sometimes I try to say something to her when I'm not in the mood to hear Taylor Swift's music, but I don't want to make her sad or discourage her. It's important to me that she gets the joy of the music she loves. This is a quote, delicate situation. Do you have any advice for me? Thanks, Shane in Oakland. Shane, I have
Speaker 1: so much advice for you, but
Speaker 2: we just
Speaker 1: have to spend a minute acknowledging that
Speaker 2: this is
Speaker 1: maybe an awesome etiquette all time. Great questions.
Speaker 2: So, my gosh, I wish. Yeah, a man. This is awesome. This is such a great question.
Speaker 2: Having become personally addicted, T. Taylor Swift. Um, I just I feel I feel for this situation. So what would you do? Because what if someone tried to shut off your tailor. I know I loved you first. Earbuds. Hello, Like I'm a huge like I will often put in ear buds and dance in the backyard like that's That's a that. I'm happy to do that. And, you know, sometimes I have the music playing out loud. Sometimes I don't. It depends on my neighbors, but I liked your suggestion. Try Duffy. That just shows you dance knowledge of pop culture music. I admit you like it. I like that, too. I like your suggestion there because, okay, those were
Speaker 1: script notes not necessarily intended to be read on the show. Do you want me to not go there? We know it's quite all right because I offer this advice is sort of the best possible spirit. I am imagining a couple in a studio apartment, and he jumped on his motorcycle to Goto work and is listening to heavy metal and saying to myself, This is the awesome etiquette audience that people probably aren't imagining
Speaker 2: necessarily when there were some of the show and at the same time, this is
Speaker 1: such a rich etiquette, questions about sharing space and how you spend time together and what you
Speaker 2: really away relationship fighting each other. I e each other's individuality e no like, But by the way, can we just say, like Shane's getting an awesome etiquette salute for boyfriend like he's so like I want to support her. I love the joy it brings, but I can't shake this
Speaker 1: off. And so one of my sort of just initial goofy thoughts was Try Duffy and Duffy Zahra, female vocalist that I really like. I think she's, uh, British got, like, sort of like a deeper voice. And I guess what I'm imagining is this might be an opportunity to explore some new music for both of you and to find some some common ground somewhere in the middle. That might not be 1000% where both of you are coming from. Initial initially heavy metal Taylor Swift. But is ah, new space you can share together.
Speaker 2: I like it. I also still like the advice of just put her in headphones like get her to wear headphones and then she could dance around to it as loud as she wants. It's no problem for you.
Speaker 1: Make it a gift.
Speaker 2: Yeah, yeah. You wrote beats. I was like, Yes, get her something like amazing headphones of some kind like
Speaker 1: and then sort of
Speaker 1: sort of a little bit. As an aside, I was thinking to myself, you could just take the plunge and admit you like it. If you're referencing 2000 and eight albums, you're in Guy, You're all the way in
Speaker 2: it Z way. No, he totally is. By the way, I've got like, I think he knows Just like bopping through my head Right now we might have to take a dance break like it's such a jumpy like Happy. There are so many catchy tunes on that lover album. We will not turn this show into a me discussing Taylor Swift and my new found love of her like You gotta stop me, Dan. No, I'm gonna let you
Speaker 1: go because I'm kind of feeling the same way. This question, uh, got both of our excitement levels up because I think it it feels so, Really, this is such a
Speaker 1: such a really etiquette issue.
Speaker 2: Well, no, it is because I literally before all this quarantine stuff happened, guys, I actually drove up to dance house. We were swapping Mondays every Monday. We would go to each other's homes for it for a workday so that we could be together, but not, you know, not have to leave home because that's nice, although we didn't realize how much of that we'd be doing in the months to come. But I remember distinctly driving up in my car and saying, Dude, we're going to dance or listening to this music for a bit before we get started And I put on a bunch of Taylor Swift song from Lover and we just danced her. Well, you didn't really dance, but I danced around in the driveway while we talked and like, got things going for the day.
Speaker 2: Yeah, you have been Shane tolerating Taylor Swift before for someone else's joy. No, it's true.
Speaker 1: Eso all humor aside,
Speaker 1: is there a way that you could ask someone to not do it just and I'm not thinking all the time? I'm not thinking as a blanket thing, but in the moment something's going on. It's just it's not the day. It's not the afternoon. What do you
Speaker 2: say? Absolutely. You say I love you so much and I love seeing you dance around the Taylor Swift. But is there any way we could save it for a little later tonight or different time. I just don't have it in me too. And then you are very clever with her lyrics. Pop something in there and I don't have it in me to shake it off. I don't have it in me to whatever. Um, I think, you know, I think you know, I'm a little over Taylor right now. I need a tailor break on.
Speaker 1: The only thing I could add any of that sort of very good. More serious advice is you could set the table. You could mention it
Speaker 1: once or twice before you make the ask, so that when it does come in the moment, she knows where it's coming from. She knows it's not you just snapping or throwing something out there. But that actually is something that has gone on long enough that she's got some context for the request.
Speaker 2: I think, too, that you make sure what you just said is a part of it. And it and Shane, frankly, we didn't include this advice because you already seem to be a wizard with words. I'm sure your sample scripts are awesome, but you want to make sure that you don't have that annoyed tone that you don't choose to do it in a moment where you are really, really ticked about it. You do want to try to save it for, you know, when you can put all the loveliness that you put into this email to us out there through your voice and have it really matched that that
Speaker 1: tone.
Speaker 1: I want to wrap this question by asking our audience for playlist suggestions. I'm looking for that common ground where Shane and Taylor fan can meet in the middle and enjoy their studio apartment together.
Speaker 2: Shane in Oakland Thank you so much for submitting this question. It is definitely going down in the Awesome Etiquette Hall of Fame. A
Speaker 2: human voice. What a wonderful instrument man's principal means of communication since time immemorial way. Laugh with it, Cry with it,
Speaker 2: work with it,
Speaker 2: play with it
Speaker 2: yet how little we know about it.
Speaker 2: Our next
Speaker 1: question comes from the other end of the emotional spectrum, and it's about a drive thru party disaster. Hi, Lizzie and Dan, I love you both and have been around since the beginning. I wanted to ask a question about quarantine kids birthday parties. My daughter recently turned five, and today we hosted a drive by birthday party due to the limits on large gatherings due to Cove in 19. Most of her friends have done the same thing recently.
Speaker 1: I invited her preschool class of about 20 kids, specifying no gifts. Seven Children RSVP'd. Yes, and about half did not R S V P at all to families. A total of three kids actually came Onley. One out of the four no shows emailed me to say an emergency came up. My daughter didn't understand why her other friends didn't come. She herself participated in a couple drive by birthday parties from kids in her preschool class that were filled with other kids and festivities, which is what I think she was expecting today to be. She also hasn't been to school or had any playdates since mid March.
Speaker 1: I'm flabbergasted, an angry that people wouldn't have the courtesy to follow through on a 5 to 10 minute visit for a child when they committed to it. I'm also frustrated by the lack of RSVPs. I realized these are unprecedented times, but is this experience unusual. If it's not, how are we to plan anything anymore when people don't stick to their commitments? Thank you so much. All my best. J.
Speaker 2: Jay. This is really tough and really unfortunate. I'm sorry that you guys were going through this right now, especially for your daughter, and especially given the just the added pain of there's been such little social interaction. It does make the sting worse right now, um, in terms of what's common, what's not common? Um, it's really common for people to not R S v p that for them to just not respond. And one of the things you hear us talk about on the show a lot is that
Speaker 2: you should reach out to people if you haven't heard from them by a certain date, so that you can get that conversation that you need to have happened going whether that's, you know, a text message, whether it's a phone call. Sometimes it might have to be one or two of those, not one or two.
Speaker 2: Sometimes it might have to be a follow up. If you haven't gotten a response to your follow up, it can feel like you are having to track people down to make this kind of thing happen. Um, it's something I personally find really frustrating about the way we socialize and behave today. It's It's one of the things that you haven't heard us give up on trying to encourage people to behave differently. Thio actually said. Those RSVPs We think it's important. We don't think that we as a society should just change and be difficult for hosts to plan for. I think that these are important things, and when you have a moment like the one that your experience, it really, really reiterates it. So in terms of common, very, very common, the way to combat it is Thio and I don't mean to say hound, um, dial that back like 10 levels, But you wanna be persistent. You want to follow up with people, you want to find out what's going on. Not afterwards for the no show, but for the R. S. V. P. And trying to figure out who is going to participate. Dan, what do you think about the four people who just didn't show up? She said. I think one of the four gave an emergency, like wrote an email. That emergency came up, but there are other three who didn't. What would you do as a parent? Would you call to find out what happened? Would you tell them the sad story of how your daughter was disappointed? What would you do?
Speaker 1: I would be tempted to do that. And I probably wouldn't.
Speaker 1: I would want to follow up and say something like, Oh, did something happen? I'm so worried about you. And I would know that nothing probably happened, and I probably wouldn't be so worried about them. But I would have to say those things in order to justify the call, the intent of which would be toe ultimately, Tell them that my daughter was heartbroken and it's their fault.
Speaker 1: So
Speaker 2: it would be it would be too tempting to kind of really be be using it. Not in a very honest way, like Thio to make the phone call. Really? Actually, you're like, I can't actually inquire, genuinely. I know. I'm enquiring toe actually twist the knife on. Hey, did you know did you did you find out my daughter was really sad about this? Nobody can. And
Speaker 1: what I want you to picture is her heartbreak and me as a parent trying to explain that to her. And this is me reaching out to you because I want you to help me explain it to her
Speaker 2: because I'm mad that you put me in a situation of having Thio.
Speaker 1: I am so sympathetic to the situation. And I don't think that that's that's the way the way to go out. Um,
Speaker 2: yeah, I can respect that decision for sure. What? So Yeah, What? What might you do? Instead?
Speaker 1: I'm going to start paying attention to that and just registering who those people are not to punish them, but just to know when I make plans in the future, if I'm planning a birthday party for my kid, maybe they're not the parents I can count on. Maybe. And you don't always have a choice. Kids make friends with who they make friends with, and and did you deal with their parent? But you can also say to yourself, Oh, I know among her close group of three or four, there's a couple that are kind of maybes, or if he and I'm gonna try to make plans that don't count on them until I start to see them perform socially and show up. I'm thinking about how you might talk to your daughter about what happened and learning how to deal with disappointment or expectations. Not being met is hard, and it's a really good chance. And as a parent, I would really encourage you to lean into that, to talk with her about those feelings, to be realistic about how this is a time where a lot of people are challenged and and to tell her honestly that it might have very little to do with how much they want to celebrate her birthday and mawr about
Speaker 1: whether they were ableto to get free that day at that time to come show her.
Speaker 1: And I think that's, ah reasonable decision toe have the other realistic thought that I have in terms of the other kids having had parties that worked. And this one not having worked so well is that as we get further and further into this thing, people's energy for these types of events might be waning. I know people are getting tired of zoom calls and tired of, ah, lot of things that were sort of new three months ago, four months ago and now aren't as exciting to people. So it might just be the The fact that you were the third or fourth is the reason it wasn't as well attended. And it's it's too bad that the first couple created a different expectation
Speaker 2: J. While it is really disheartening it as Dan said it, it is. It is a teaching moment. It is something we all have to kind of learn to deal with. You guys have heard me talk on the show about, you know, trying to throw a party, and nobody comes and it is frustrating or the I had an interesting invitation come out the other day where someone reached out to ask me to go do an activity and then asked, We haven't yet settled on a date and time, but we knew we were going to do it over the weekend, and then they asked me to remind them about it later in the week. So I was like, Wait a second, you're inviting me to do something and you're asking Meet to handle all the organizing and reminding of you that you invited me to do this? What, like it seems to me that there is a little bit of an epidemic of of these social arranging courtesies that are disappearing. And I don't know if it's going to get worse because of Cove it And we've all been not gathering and not flexing those host guest muscles. But I can tell you that we are always going to be encouraging it here. We're going to be encouraging communication. We're going to be encouraging response. We're gonna be encouraging follow through. And I think that the more of us here in the automatic community who could be out there doing that, the
Speaker 1: better was he? I couldn't agree more. And you just hit the three points that I think are where you can transition from acknowledging the disappointment, the emotional hurt with your daughter and turn it into action where you say to her, you know, we're gonna be really good so that nobody else feels this way because of something we did.
Speaker 2: Yes, I think that's a really empowering way to go about it, especially with your child.
Speaker 1: And we're gonna respond to invitations. And when we respond to an invitation and we say we're gonna go, we're gonna make every effort we can to go. And if we can't, we're gonna let people know. And now you've mapped out what makes it possible for people to organize and plan well, for your daughter transformation. Turn this moment on its head. And at that same moment, you could make that commitment yourself. And I want you to know, personally, hearing about your daughter experiencing this, I was saying to myself, I'm going to recommit to being a little bit better on this one myself. Um, sometimes seeing things through the eyes of a child clarifies things for us. And I think you really provided that for me. So I want to thank you for this question. Also, Jay, we hope this answer helps, and the next year your daughter's birthday party goes much, much better. I just thought you might want to go to that party. Oh, I do. I do. We've got some work to do. We've got to get you ready. Oh, but I wasn't invited to the party. They probably thought I'd rather play basketball or go fishing or well, you've been invited. All right, but hurry up or you'll be late.
Speaker 1: Thank you for your questions. please send us updates or feedback on our answers toe awesome etiquette. Emily post dot com You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 You can also reach us on social media on Twitter. We're at Emily Post Inst on instagram were at Emily Post Institute on on Facebook. We are awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
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Speaker 1: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer and the topics we cover. And
Speaker 2: today we
Speaker 1: hear from Sam about essential workers fielding invasive questions about pay high. Lizzie and Dan. I am writing in regards to the question. Asked about a polite way to decline, answering questions about pay for essential workers, though I think your advice for the question asked her was spot on, since they specifically wanted to know how not to answer questions about pay. I think it's worth noting that in the US it is actually illegal for employers to disallow nonsupervisory employees from discussing compensation or punish them for having those discussions. If the question asked her or their co workers wanted to answer these questions or discuss their pay with one another, they would be within their rights to do so.
Speaker 1: Moreover, the American taboo around discussing pay is thought by some to contribute to ongoing pay disparities which negatively impact women. People of color, etcetera,
Speaker 1: while the question asked her certainly should feel comfortable not answering the types of questions they've been receiving from customers. I think that in general it's really good to challenge some of our cultural discomfort around money talk and when that stands to advantage or disadvantage certain people or groups. As the Emily Post team continues to revisit etiquette for the modern world, I would love to hear a discussion around whether or not talking about finances really should be as much of a taboo as it is today. Hope you and your loved ones continue to stay safe and healthy. Sam
Speaker 2: Sam, thank you so much for this feedback I am. I am in your camp of thinking that talking mawr about finances or at least feeling like we don't have a social silence on them but instead leaving the conversation open for those who want to and feel comfortable engaging in it much, I think like we do with medical things, you know, it's like, you know, your friends. You can discuss stuff with, and you know, your friends that you would rather not. I think that's the way at least, that I tend to present it and look at it a bit more. I do think that you are right that not discussing it often ends up being a disadvantage, and for people who have wealth and talk about it or who choose to talk about finances, that tends to be something that helps to raise finances in their life, and that is a good thing. And I think that It is really, really, really important to recognize that that is the kind of thing that, as we write the 20th edition, we look to reframe that advice. When we think about. We often say family and finance are in that third category and the third tier of conversation, and they'll remain in that third tier of conversation, but not as something taboo. That third tier isn't taboo. It's just more delicate, and it's something that you want to be aware of. Maybe taking that first step of offering are asking to have a conversation or open the discussion around it or saying I'm willing to share with you. You know what I make or what I this or what I that I don't have a problem talking about it. I want you to know I don't expect the same of you in return. That's one way to let someone know you're OK talking about it, and you understand if they're not. But it's It's interesting. Some people don't want to know. That's like the flip side of the money conversation. Some people don't want to know how much your house cost, or even though you can look it up Um, but like it's it's interesting to hear people talk about when they feel comfortable engaging with the conversation of finance and when they don't.
Speaker 1: I think this is such a important discussion, and I'm
Speaker 2: really glad Sam wrote in with
Speaker 1: I couldn't say it any better. Say I'm thank you so much for contributing, and we will definitely continue to think about this and continue to talk about
Speaker 2: it. Thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please keep them coming. You can send your feedback or update to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com, or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 Hey, I m d. That's 8028585463
Speaker 2: It's time for our post script segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette, and this week we're talking about the state of the R S, v. P, and I was so glad that we had our question despite kind of how disheartening it is on was for the our little girl's birthday party. But it's really important. The R S v P is not going away. This is not a piece of advice that you are going to see us phase out. This is important to the planning. This is important to friendships. This is important to relationships and actually making get together successful for people. And so when it comes to the r S. V. P, you're going to see this carry on and carry on strongly for a long, long time. Dan, let's talk about the main points of the R S v p. Because we've got to encourage people to be better about this so that, quite frankly, little girls aren't standing there waiting for a birthday party. That doesn't happen. You know what I mean? Yes. And little boys and people and everything. You know, there's a lot of people get affected by the RSPB failed. No, pretty much everybody. This is This is a
Speaker 1: topic that we hear about from so many angles, from frustrated hosts, from disappointed, sad guests from all from all kinds of people around all kinds of events, whether they're professional, whether their formal, whether they're incredibly casual and informal, and I think that's part of where I want to start. This question is the idea that the R s V P. It's not ah, structure that
Speaker 1: is arbitrary. It's not one of those pieces of etiquette that we've held onto for a reason that existed at one point. And now we've got the structure and we still do it because that reason existed once upon a time, it's a functional tool in our social lives, and it's gonna look very different in different situations. And maybe calling it an R s v P is part of the problem. Respond a sea view play The the pleasure of your reply is requested.
Speaker 1: What we're really talking about is just replying to an invitation. And maybe thinking about it like that makes it easier to dio what is a good R S V P? Well, it's an R S v p that gives the person who's invited you enough information to know what to dio. What does that look like? Well, sometimes it doesn't look like anything. Sometimes it sounds like something. If someone verbally invites you to do something or over the phone invites you to do something, you wouldn't just respond with silence.
Speaker 1: You could just think of that that silence as a failure to respond in writing toe a written invitation, but it's still a reply when you say,
Speaker 2: Yeah, I'd love
Speaker 1: to go or no, I really can't do that. You
Speaker 2: know, I'm not sure what I'm
Speaker 1: doing on Friday. Let me get back to you as soon as I can. It's S o whether that goes in a card or in an email or in a hand written note on your own stationery
Speaker 2: or casual like text messages or, you know, checking the little box on on an E form somewhere. Whatever it is, that kind of fits the nature of the party or the gathering, right? Absolutely
Speaker 1: a good point about a text. I mean, this could go from one end of the spectrum to the absolute other end of the spectrum. What's important is the information exchange that allows people to get together. So how
Speaker 2: do we
Speaker 1: fix it? We know what a good R S V. P is. We know that it doesn't happen all the time. I want to start with the place where we can all affect the most change the most quickly, and that's with ourselves. So
Speaker 1: that's the thing we've had on the show for a long time. And the easiest place you could do that work yourself is to commit to replying to invitations and to do it consistently, and to do it well, it's going to feel good. It's that classic overcoming procrastination. It's harder worrying about it than it is doing it. So give yourself the permission to feel good about being a good responded to invitations, and I guarantee it will have a positive impact on your social life. You will be amazed and this is advice. I feel really comfortable giving how much people appreciate that about you, whatever area of your life it's happening in.
Speaker 2: I think one of the other places that we can look at ourselves is how good are we as hosts at following up with our guests Right now, we know we live in a time where people are not good. They're lazy about the R S, V P. They let it slide. Sometimes it's because there's too many invitations coming, you know, for too many things, whether it's, you know, a rally for something that you support or it's a lot of birthday parties through a day care center or a school or it's, you know ah, pretty active social group and don't get me wrong. It's nice to be invited to things, but there could just be a lot coming at us. It's easy to get lazy about that, but it's also easy to get lazy, is the host and just think I'll just throw these invitations out there and somebody you know it'll be fine. Whoever shows up on Lee, it's not really fine. Whoever shows up, you get sad when not enough people come. So as hosts we do have to do the work right now off following up on our invitations and when we haven't heard from someone by the date that we need to know by, we need to feel comfortable and confident reaching out, even if it's annoying, even if it's not the way that the host guest dance should be played or danced. I think that it's it's important to recognize that right now is host. We do have this obligation to follow up and to try to get an answer from our guests one way or the other. We have a lot of work to do, is hosts to be polite and friendly and encouraging so that people want to come to this party and don't feel hounded to come to this party. I wouldn't recommend, like following up three or four times. I think once and then twice is enough. And if you really don't get an answer by then, you could probably let it go is a no or a you know, a non response. But I think it's host that we also we need to take the reins and do that.
Speaker 1: Lizzie, I love your, um, sort of to follow up plan because it in totality it's a very easy for me to remember three strikes and you're out. Invitation is the first touch. There's probably a plan follow up to the invitation, and then a certain subset are gonna maybe warrant Ah, a second reminder or a second check in. And that's just enough. That's enough so that you've touched everybody and the sort of more extreme cases you've given a couple of a couple of good efforts are made. A couple of good tries and three strikes were moving on. We're having this party.
Speaker 2: Okay, so you got to tell me about the next point on our list because this is new to me and I think your parenting strategies air coming out reward the ones who play well with a surprise like, Are you thinking that we should have, like, R S V P kind of like door prizes?
Speaker 1: I was thinking about half the kids showing up for a kid's birthday party, and they're being like a giant, bouncy house there that wasn't part of the promotion for the party. And then the next week in school, when everybody's talking about the bouncy house
Speaker 2: Dan is Dan is strategizing how the school rumors will go and encourage more kids to say yes to more parties because you never know what might be there. Although I don't think anybody is doing bouncy houses right now because no, probably not. I thought this one would
Speaker 1: click with you because
Speaker 2: this is to me this is
Speaker 1: so Lizzie Post in some ways where
Speaker 2: you're do a dangle treats in front of people, I don't know because I'm not seeing this. I think that you're incredibly
Speaker 1: good at like a motivating people with with rewards. You wanna do nice things for people you want to make people feel good on my
Speaker 2: guys now, understand how I work, really well with my cousin for 10 years. 12 years? So you think I reward? Well, I do. And so good
Speaker 1: I think that could be part of the I don't know what we call the seduction of good etiquette that you can draw people into playing well.
Speaker 2: He's let that be the next like title of our book, The seduction of Good Etiquette on
Speaker 1: I even sort of follow up thought on this. And this is this is getting into that world of me sort of imagining. And I was thinking about your grandmother and her social diary the way she
Speaker 2: used to track her
Speaker 1: parties, And I can imagine one of the things that happens pretty quickly as you start toe. Make note of your social interactions in that way is that you start to get guest lists that are the people that you know, play well, the dance, the host guest dance well and that you could start to cultivate that,
Speaker 2: and they do it well for specific types of parties like it. Family might be really great at showing up Thio shower type events or holiday events, but not really great at showing up for the barbecue that you invite everybody to in the summer. You know what I mean? You might figure out that one group of friends that you know through a particular club or activity that you do, you know, are are great in really casual events, but they kind of never end up coming to the bigger, larger holiday gatherings or things like that. You know, it's like it does give you this chance of seeing everything when you have that history. Exactly. It's a way to
Speaker 1: dig deeper into that larger social relationship to start toe.
Speaker 1: I don't play with it in a in a certain way where you start to learn more about yourself and other people. And ultimately, I think that's one of the path to success. So we're thinking about
Speaker 2: I wonder if it would make it feel a little less personal when certain types of friends don't end up coming to certain gatherings like it almost just categories. Is it for you? Rather than makes it feel like a disappointment that everyone's not it? Everything I don't know, Maybe
Speaker 1: no. That makes a lot of sense to me. I think the other little side benefit I can imagine is it would be so much fun to have a social diary to have a record of things. I've been invited to people who came for this or that. I just I've always been jealous.
Speaker 2: Asks what you want for your birthday. I'll put it on the list of suggestions.
Speaker 1: All the complication aside, the very practical advice here is that the R S v p the reply to an invitation is an incredibly important tool in your social toolbox. So use it. Use it. Well, keep it sharp. Help other people figure out how to use this tool. Help him practice if they need it. This is a discussion that will continue. We look forward to continuing to have this discussion and to continue to encourage everyone to think about the importance of the R S V p
Speaker 1: oh manners.
Speaker 2: We like to end our show on a high note. So we turn to you to hear about the good etiquette you're seeing and experiencing out in the world, and that can come in so many forms. And this one actually comes quite close to home. So today we have a salute from Dan for Pooja and we don't typically do personal salutes on the show. We really like to leave them to you, but this I don't know. Dan and I both felt this one
Speaker 1: was really warranted. It's it's an etiquette e salute, so I think it fits. Putin has done an incredible job in helping her sister plan a wedding at a really difficult time. And the wedding the her sister ended up having looked very, very different from the initial plan for this summer. And in Pooja's family, Weddings are a really big deal. And
Speaker 1: as the change in the wedding plan kept happening, Mawr and Mawr of the planning and the work for the new wedding started to fall into ah category, where Pooja was really involved and involved in in pretty deep in intimate ways. And we've been doing this for a little while for a few weeks. And Pooja's mother sort of acknowledged her and her emergence as a woman planning weddings in her community or being part of hosting weddings in her community. And there was a word for it, for the playing this role as ah
Speaker 1: as a person that it was something that you sort of arrived at later in life and represented a maturity, a social maturity, and I really felt like I was seeing that also, she was so adept at handling the the little interpersonal emotional things that emerged, the bigger structural things, talking to caters, negotiating, exiting contracts, anything that came up. She was able to handle it from one end of the spectrum to the other and tow watch. Her mother acknowledge. That sort of growth in her really reminded me how much I love her and how much she continues to grow and change and learn. And she was already an incredibly competent, capable, loving, caring, kind person when I first met her and toe watch. Those attributes just continue to grow is something that I really appreciate, that I want to salute her today for being an awesome sister and an awesome daughter and an awesome wife, and specifically for doing such a good job
Speaker 1: helping to plan a wedding for her sister, who I know she loves dearly at a really difficult time. So, Pooja, this salute is for you.
Speaker 2: Oh, and all the audience tears up, including me. Oh, that's
Speaker 1: a really beautiful salute, Dan Lizzy, Thank you for indulging me in a personal salute today and thank you to everyone out there for listening.
Speaker 2: Thank you to everyone who sent us something and thank you to everyone who supports us on Patryan.
Speaker 1: Please connect with us and share this show with friends, family and co workers on social media. Or however you like to share your podcasts. You
Speaker 2: can send us questions, feedback and salutes by email. Toe awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com by phone. You can leave us a message or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 on Twitter We're at Emily Post Insta on Instagram were at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook Were Awesome Etiquette and the Emily Post
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Speaker 2: Our show is edited by Chris Albertine, an assistant produced by Brigitte Dowd. Thanks Kris and Brigitte