Episode 321 - Long Term Guest?
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 we take your questions on mentioning social media posts when you see someone in person, responding to generic emails, sending holiday cards at the end of a tumultuous year and how to thank a very generous friend. For Awesome Etiquette sustaining members our question of the week is about differing love languages. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and postscript where we discuss Children Are People.
Speaker 1: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy. That's old fashioned.
Speaker 2: Watch. How is he post and damn posts and act as host and hostess.
Speaker 2: They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person. Really Friendliness. Hello
Speaker 1: and welcome toe Awesome etiquette,
Speaker 2: where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On
Speaker 1: today's show, we take your questions on hosting etiquette for those with long term guests addressing letters to a couple with a name that includes the Suffolk's finding a happy medium with the thermostat and writing a thank you for an ambiguous
Speaker 2: gift for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about keeping up a relationship when you can't offer up your home to entertain,
Speaker 1: plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript segment where we discuss what it is. We haven't
Speaker 2: been discussing all that coming up.
Speaker 1: Awesome etiquette comes to you from the studios of our home offices in Vermont and is proud to be produced by the Emily Post Institute. I'm Lizzie Post
Speaker 2: and I'm Dan Post sending
Speaker 1: Hey kuz How's it going? It's going well. I feel like We need to paint the image for our audience that the two of us are sitting in our little a little cold Vermont houses. It's a little cruel. That's a little cruel. It was the lap blankets that we both decided to pause, starting to go get and sit with little blankets on our laps. That made me that go. Oh goodness, we're getting old were getting old and cold. And Vermont?
Speaker 2: Are we getting older? Is it getting cold or a little of both?
Speaker 1: Oh man, but yeah, so that's That's the image today. Audience. It's a brisk 30 something degrees out, 32 degrees out. Nothing like a very
Speaker 2: soft, like alpaca wool lab blanket
Speaker 1: you in nice life because new lights life. I like it. I think that's a good way to look at it like, Yea, I get to curl up in this not like you. But if I just put this on, I don't have to turn the heat up. Okay, so I love my October, the fall wardrobe. It's just the best. I'm wearing
Speaker 2: a cardigan to a cardigan. I've been waiting all summer for this
Speaker 1: e totally have on, like the flannel and the sweater over it. Z keep warm. Time for sure. And for those of you in warmer states, we hope you're keeping cool. Um, yea. Yea, For a show today You had something you wanted to talk about this morning. Well, I don't know if it
Speaker 2: was the intro per se where I wanted to talk about it,
Speaker 1: but it's fair. We could do it here. Let's go. Um, you would be
Speaker 2: doing some work on the It was a chapter of the book about sort of how you present yourself. Maybe once upon a time, we thought of his image and attire. Now I think we think of it a little more broadly, like your personal brand or your the story about yourself that you want to tell you. And you were saying, boy,
Speaker 1: like, What is it? Whatever. This is what I've
Speaker 2: got in my table of contents. What? What else would go in here? Just like help me, like, start to map it a little bit. And
Speaker 2: my great contribution Bao Bao. Thank you. Thank you was some of the things that affect your image that aren't the clothes you wear but your actions And I'm thinking not like the choices you make a Muchas those unconscious gestures, your posture, um, nervous habits, things like your tone of voice or the the quality of your voice, all of these things that come
Speaker 1: together on. Then he listed among the items. What was it among
Speaker 2: the nervous habits or unconscious actions that you would want to be aware of? The yawn emerged again as, uh ah, point where? Let's say you're in my etiquette advice. There's, Ah, there's a little wiggle room between them.
Speaker 1: It was fun. Thio reopen this wound between us, that 01 Excuse me? Yeah, and it's so so for those who either haven't gone back and listen Thio Episode one in a while or just want to refresher Dan and I differ on yawning because basically, I think that the point that we contend over is how much you can
Speaker 2: control. I think that's fair
Speaker 1: that if it's happening, and I didn't even want to say the thing that we actually looked up because I don't even think that's it. I think it's how much you can control it. The point of contention that we got Thio and then this afternoon of etiquette g eking out was when it came Thio Yeah, whether or not you can stifle a yawn control a yawn or whether it is an involuntary action and something you just simply have to excuse when it happens. And way did start comparing Janz two passing gas and whether or not that was involuntary volunteer. And then we just started hitting Google and tell them what we found out about yawning as a voluntary or involuntary
Speaker 2: act. What we discovered is that a cursory Internet search. I'm gonna call it cursory because I wanted Thio guys basic. That yawning was described as an involuntary action and the degree to which you have control over something that's defined as involuntary. I would acknowledge that it being defined as such probably puts a little more weight on the Lizzie side of the
Speaker 1: scale. Thank you for saying something. Wow, I'm gonna write so much later today just because of that confidence that you just didn't Still no, I will not rub this in anybody's face. Is I still think it's
Speaker 2: really rude to you on it. Somebody I
Speaker 1: gotta agree. I'm there, I'm holding there. But I agree that that the big gaping yawn and just, like talk trying to talk through it a ton as if someone's gonna understand you. I am totally there with you because in terms of that, but I do think there are times just when you're hanging out and a young creeps up on you. And I think the degree to which you mask it and cover it up is gonna vary based on formality. But I think it might be really hard for some people to completely be ableto let one pass without showing any tension or tweak on their face. You know? I mean, the active it alone pulls it. Oh, gosh. Now my anatomy is failing me. Um, but something around your ears because you do that, you know, you try. They say, try to yawn, to pop your ears If there ever plugged that kind of stuff, you know? And I just feel like that's gotta show some little twitch on your face, like, probably shows. But I do think covering your mouth would be an option. Yeah. Yes. And this is where I'm gonna Can we agree There? Yes, on. I'm gonna keep
Speaker 2: holding my life. E Just think there are ways
Speaker 1: you work on describing it and all work on practicing your descriptions. How's that? I like it and it's more sort of circumstantial
Speaker 2: situational. And and I think that the idea of, like, what proceeds the involuntary whatever, whatever the trigger is that causes that involuntary action. Yeah, if, as the
Speaker 2: as the stakes go higher, I'm going to try to be in a place whether it's mentally or physically, where whatever it is that pushes that involuntary action isn't happening. So if I've got that big meeting with my boss, it's like even if I stayed up all night prepping my materials,
Speaker 1: retired, Do you feel the on coming on? Maybe someone else in the room, Iand And we did learn that there is a phenomenon, a really phenomenon, yawning being contagious and that that then plays into your social awareness, which was interesting.
Speaker 2: The social nature of the yang was also confirmed by our cursory research, which
Speaker 1: was e cursory research, Wikipedia just saying like but no, you're right. It's depending on where I am and the type of situation I am. I think how far I take it or the degree that I try to hide it stifle, it is going to change for sure. I'll concede that, or if you're in a place
Speaker 2: where you're just feeling tired in that place where the yawn might come, like do the other thing like get your brain going so they get your body sitting up straight. Or
Speaker 1: I thought you were going to say Excuse yourself or excuse yourself if you're really not to
Speaker 2: the point where you can keep your focus attention like sort of in the room. Um, you might not be able to excuse yourself, but that I try to keep that moment from arriving, where the yawn is unavoidable and it's one of those words.
Speaker 1: It's involuntary. You don't know what it's gonna happen
Speaker 2: yawning in the pinky 321 episodes later,
Speaker 1: and we're still delighting in this topic. That was it was a fun afternoon. The audience. I wish I wish you could have seen it. We also did discover that passing gas is both voluntary and involuntary. So work on that. Well, okay, before we
Speaker 2: go down this road too much further No,
Speaker 1: we're done. We're done on the topic for now. Should we get to some questions
Speaker 1: I think question This is
Speaker 2: such a good time to transition to some question. Let's do it.
Speaker 2: Mhm.
Speaker 2: Mhm.
Speaker 2: Awesome etiquette is here to answer your questions. You can email them toe awesome etiquette and Emily post dot com. Leave a voicemail or text at 802858 kind That's 8028585463 Or you could reach us on social media on Twitter We're at Emily Post Inst That's I m S t on instagram were at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook were awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social
Speaker 1: media posts. So we know you want
Speaker 2: your question on the show.
Speaker 2: Our first question this week is about a long haul guest. Hello, Awesome etiquette. My mother in law has moved into our guest bedroom and will be with us for the next 2 to 6 months. Were a young couple in a home with one guest bedroom, hers, one kitchen and we all three working from home. While there are too many questions I would like to ask the heart of them is how long or how in general do I go about the host guest dance for an extended stay guest,
Speaker 2: things that would be brushed off for a weekend guest, leaving the toilet lit up late. Loud phone calls are piling up on me since this has been ongoing and will remain ongoing for a few more months. We have done host E things, such as giving her the prime garage parking spot, giving her the best room toe work from home in converting a corner of our basement into her puzzle spot, adjusting our regular meals to be mindful of her tastes. Etcetera, I feel, is if I'm giving the effort of a host. But this cannot be sustained over the course of months. She has a very pleasant, positive demeanor and common manners or something that have never been on her radar. I
Speaker 1: mean this in
Speaker 2: a positive way, but she lives in La La land most of the time. If she knew, I would prefer the toilet lid shut or her phone calls to please stop by 10, she would gladly do so, but I do not want to hurt her feelings by bringing up her actions Now. I wish things would have maybe been addressed prior to her moving in. My husband, her son is aware of these issues and has taken the stance of it is only temporary. I wish I had his serenity. Any advice is appreciated Best. Christina
Speaker 1: Christina. Oh, this is a really good situation for you to be thinking about and don't feel badly about being like 2 to 6 months. Sounds like a long time to host my granny Pat on my mom's side of the family, who is kind of like in our world, my little post world is, like, infamous for being the stickler for manners. She would tell the kids that would come stay the night night, one year, a guest night to your family, like the first time you stay with us, your guest. After that, your family, you do the dishes. You help put things on the table. You know you don't have to vacuum the carpet, but obviously a little harder when the person that you're dealing with this with is your mother in law and you're trying to create a welcoming space for but honestly, listening to the list you just listed off to say list again, you've done plenty here. I think you have set this person up to be really welcome for the time that they're gonna have to be in a stranger's home. That's one thing I always try to keep at. The forefront is just This person has been displaced from their home for a bit. Whether that's because they're switching homes or their home wasn't tenable for a while. It za displaced feeling, and it it can be awkward to know how much to lean in and someone who's presenting a lot of very beautiful hosting options to you. You might lean into that because you're going to the trouble to do it for her. You know what I mean? I could just see truthfully wanting to sit down as a group like a few more weeks in or something, and say, now that we know about how long this is gonna be because you did say that it had potential to be like two months to six months. Um, if you gnome or or if this is a good time to check in because everyone's now have been living together for two or 34 weeks, use that that that timeline as your reason to get together and say we want to think about how this is going to function as a long term arrangement
Speaker 1: and that gives you a chance to bring things up and ask her if she has any thoughts on how the three of you can work and live together well and feel like everyone is really participating and feeling
Speaker 2: good about it. I love that idea of a check. It
Speaker 1: s so good, because to me, that makes perfect sense of everything
Speaker 2: was going beautifully. Having a check in meeting would be great to say, Oh, this is just really going smoothly And it would give someone a chance to say I so appreciate having a place to do my puzzles or having a spot in the garage that's easy, for maybe it's attached to the house or something.
Speaker 2: But I I love that idea of a broad check in meeting where everything's on the table, where you can talk about the good, the bad and the ugly.
Speaker 1: That advice comes straight out of the How do you work this life thing book that we discontinued and it makes a lot of sense because this is a
Speaker 2: new arrangement and you just you just don't know. There might
Speaker 1: be some things on
Speaker 2: her list to, And if you really approach it like that, I think that the conversation can be a very natural one. I was thinking a little bit about your transition night. One your guest night to your family. That transition also is much easier when everyone's family that, you know you might. You might hang on to the formality of that host guest role and dance longer with someone that you don't Noah's well or a first visit, Um, but for an extended stay like this, I wanna extend the metaphor, the idea of the host guest dance. But it changes over the course of the night as the tunes change or the calls change. And this is definitely one of those circumstances where, for everyone's sake, you want to be sure that you've you've reached some accommodation. The Onley addition that I would make is go into that meeting, prepared to ask for a few things or go into that discussion. Andi, think about a couple of things that would make a big difference for you, that there is going to be some natural disruption bringing a whole other sort of fully functioning person into a smaller living space. And while you might not be able to fix everything if you could if you could work out something about just maybe the late night phone calls and the toilet seat or the dishes in the sink or the two or three things that would really make your life easier, I think it's really reasonable toe. Have a couple asks like that of a long term houseguest?
Speaker 1: Absolutely. And I really like your idea of prioritizing, too, because you're right. You don't want to just lump everything on me like, Okay, here's you know, here's how how we deal. I just, you know, make it. It's all piling up. Yeah, yeah, exactly. But I do think that having for yourself, knowing what the things that are really bothering you and that need to change, or the things that are just a little bit like a little inconvenience or getting used to having someone else around, I think it's good to prioritize it and then pick a few. That really will make a difference for you and try to see if you can get some commitment on DSM. Compromise on those few things, and then you could, you know, talk again later, maybe Chip chip away at some of the other ones, one or two at a time. You know what I mean? It's take your time with it, but also it is important to be prepared Thio here, things in return, and I would discuss it with my partner to I would probably
Speaker 2: feel comfortable doing that first before addressing it all just so that they know the page that I'm
Speaker 1: on to. Not that you can't be independent
Speaker 2: within a relationship, but just I think that's I don't know. I would feel comfortable doing that. Christina, we want to applaud you for making the effort. We know that a lot of people are dealing with situations like this right now, and we appreciate the question, having an opportunity to talk a little bit about some of the difficulties and hopefully some of the ways you might work through. Everywhere you go, your manners are with you and they leave their mark.
Speaker 2: They help you feel sure of yourself, too, and they make an impression on people on everyone you meet.
Speaker 2: We could listen in on jeans, thoughts, for example, But well, you take it from here.
Speaker 2: I'm our Our
Speaker 1: next question is about addressing a couple with the Suffolk's on a business letter high. I'm hoping that you could help me with a question that I didn't see answered on your website or any others that I would consider authoritative. And I just want to say thank you for considering us authoritative.
Speaker 1: How do we address business letters to a husband and wife when the husband has a junior or a third after his name and we want to use the wife's first name?
Speaker 1: Then how would we list them in the salutation? And then Celeste to this is written by has a sample. So the sample reads. Would it be on the first line? Susan and James Johnson, third on the next line, the street address followed by the Town State Zip code. And then the salutation being dear Mrs and Mr Johnson.
Speaker 1: Or is it something else? Thank you, Celeste. Dan, this is always a tricky one to do via podcast. But what do you think about this one? This is this is some of the trickier New Yorker to your etiquette stuff.
Speaker 2: It really is this is Ah, where tradition meets practicality meets personal identity, and there is a lot going on. It's good etiquette to pay attention, Thio. Now let's parse it and break it down in terms of the details of the the address and the salutation. But before we do that, I want to give a great big piece of advice about addressing people in general, which is that you always wanna, um, take your cue from the person themselves. So by my first piece of advice, and this is in our etiquette advantage in business book, when you go to the section and look addressing a business letter, we recommend that you look for some letterhead that you've received from them, or a letter that you've received from them, or an annual report from their business or something where they identify themselves professionally and you take your cues from them. So sometimes a little bit of detective work can answer this question definitively in a way that the rules of etiquette could never.
Speaker 1: This might even be like their email signature might might be enough
Speaker 2: to do it. There you go,
Speaker 1: the business card, you know. Yes, it's and it's
Speaker 2: 1000% acceptable to call and ask. And it's It's not being deceptive to call their office and ask someone who's an office manager how to address a letter to this person or this couple and they'll help you out with it. It shows respect. Toe, take that care. It doesn't show that you don't know what you're doing.
Speaker 1: I was going to say, and though today we do have a lot of people who clearly this is a husband and wife team and we don't know if they are the only people that worked at their business. If there is a reception place to call or a man in office manager to call, you know it can. It can sometimes be really hard when you go to search in those spaces and they draw a blank. But they are 100% from from traditional days to now. Still, the things to do It's to pay attention to the people that you're reaching out to and see what you can find out, especially if this is a starter conversation. See what you can find out ahead of time so that you start off on that right foot. But if this is a relationship that you've built, and now you're adding this. Oh, I've got to send them something and it's a business letter. So now I really want to put it in that business format. You might do a little detective work and see the materials that you've already exchanged and received. And if you have to, you also can just simply call up in this case, our Susan and James couple, and ask them and say, Hey, listen, we've got some stuff we want to send you and we're all about doing it right. Would you mind letting us know what titles you use or you know whether or not you use the third in your name? Those sorts of things there's There's nothing wrong with doing that, either,
Speaker 2: Absolutely, But we also want to give you our best possible answer based on the traditional air quotes around rules of etiquette
Speaker 1: well, and for this specific situation, which might be stepping a little outside of the traditional box a little bit just a little bit. Although I would say
Speaker 2: it's a pretty contemporary approach. It's a very contemporary approach
Speaker 1: audience. We recently heard from someone in a feedback on a recent episode that they do this very well and that that nobody that's their eyelashes twice at it. So I think that that we're watching something that was traditional morph a little bit. But let's get to the specific So our audience knows what we're talking about. Dan, what do you think about the basics of this? We're looking at the address on the inside of a letter, so give us a little structure business letter structure to put people in the right mind frame. So this is the
Speaker 2: address that appears at the top of the page when you're doing a business letter and it's a repetition of the address of the recipient, who's going to be receiving the letter. So if you think about you know something arrives in an office, it gets opened. It's no longer with the envelope that sent it right. On the top of that document is the intended recipient. Their address, their information. It's really useful. It's really practical, and it's a nice way to start to build a formal tone to a business correspondence. Also, it starts to give a letter some real structure on the page, so there's that top address and then below it. A few spaces on its own line. You get a second salutation that sort of directly addresses the person or people who are meant to be the recipients of the letter. So there's an address at the top that's really sort of defining for the whole thing. And then there's actually a personal salutation, essentially your beginning of the message where you acknowledge the person who you're talking thio most. Formally, that salutation begins with dear. So if you're trying to imagine a letter, the salutation is the deer. And then in more formal circumstances, courtesy title, full name, um inm or informal circumstances. Just someone's name.
Speaker 2: Um, so let's start with the top of that address line at the very top of the letter. The 1st and 2nd line are the name and maybe professional title or name of the company. And then you get the the physical address, the mailing address that follows. But the question here is really about that name, top line and whether or not and how to include information about position at the business and the company that they work for.
Speaker 1: So for this first line, we're looking at a couple of different things that might end up in this space. But we're also looking at it for two people for two people who happen to be married. And if we're going on the on the on the desire where it says we want to use the wife's first name first. I just want to say, Make sure the wife wants you to use her first name. That that's that is her preference. We do still see a lot of women divided on that one, but if you know that that's her preference and that she prefers to go by Mrs Susan Johnson or Miss Susan Johnson, I would I would get that right and I would use her name as a single unit, then followed by and Mr James Johnson. You know, the third when it comes to the business title and business name that typically follow. It's a when required kind of situation, Dan, When would you think of it is being required, and when would you think it is something you could drop off and leave off and not deal with? I think of it is
Speaker 2: a requirement requirement. So if I know the position that someone works out at a company and the name of the company. I include it and, um, oftentimes that's in the signature of an email. That's oftentimes something you can just grab. Um, this is a business letter, but we don't necessarily know of. It's being sent Thio for formal business entity. It might be entirely possible. This is a business letter that's going to a couple that don't necessarily have,
Speaker 2: um, incorporated business around them like
Speaker 1: a lot of a lot of formal formal nous around it. Exactly. We're not exactly sure of the nature
Speaker 2: of the business or the relationship between everybody. It's entirely possible they don't have titles within that business or very true descriptions of their roles. And those would be again, relatively easy to find. And if I was responding to an individual, it would be very simple. The courtesy title would be included Mr or Mrs or Mrs or Mix, and then you would follow that with their full name.
Speaker 2: Then there would be a comma. You'd have their position, there'd be another comma, and you have the name of the company spelled correctly. Exactly exactly, I think is the way we describe it in the book
Speaker 1: with all the mash ups and capitalizations and punctuation is and e
Speaker 2: i n C periods at the end like you really include all of that. You know, it's a formal address. You're acknowledging their position. You're naming their company in a way, that is how they've named themselves. So you're
Speaker 1: let me ask you something. This is a couple, and so they are married and typically on any any space where we'd be addressing them, including an inner on the actual letter itself. Like this, you would typically make sure that they're on the same line to indicate that they're married, if especially if we're not doing Mrs Husband's last name, which is a really big indication that they're married. Her husband's first name eyes real big indication of the marriage. But here, in a business, if you were gonna add the business title and the businesses name to both addresses, would you stat, would you separate them and stack them? Or does that? It's like I can't decide here. Social business, social business know
Speaker 2: that, frankly, that would be a tougher call for me if I knew their positions. I knew they both both worked at a company. In some ways, I'd be tempted to treat them as autonomous individuals within that organization and to stay. In that case, I would stack them on by the number of instances where you would send the same letter to multiple parties. I can think of enough instances where e think it's a reasonable template to have in your mind those those stacked names. Um, but I'm also gonna lean back into the
Speaker 2: sort of social side here, and and I do wanna honor that relationship, that marriage. And if your intent is to address them as a couple in their capacity as a couple, not as individuals working for a business, then I think having them on the same line makes the most sense. And it's the most coherent way to approach it in a lot of ways, in terms of even the impression that you're trying to create on the other end.
Speaker 1: And I do think that if you're not using that business title and business name, if if it's not at that level of formality that keeping them on the same line, it doesn't seem
Speaker 2: to do much harm. And from my perspective, no, the major difference between the answer that we just gave and the sample that Celeste included is that you absolutely want to use those courtesy titles. And
Speaker 1: in this space, yeah,
Speaker 2: and I will confess in doing the research for this question. Um, I was unsure about that, and when I looked it up, it's It's very clear you want to use those courtesy titles, and the confession is that I write a lot of business letters and I don't always use them. I wasn't entirely
Speaker 1: and self reflection and learning and moving yea, accurate
Speaker 2: in terms of how I've been doing this myself. So I appreciated the sort of push to get down into the weeds and the details of this. The question I asked you, Lizzie Post that I thought you had a really good answer for is what's the difference between Mrs Susan Johnson and Mr James Johnson? The third and a shortened version of that which is Mrs Susan and Mr James Johnson? The third, and your answer made a lot of sense to me. I was hoping you would also share that with our with our audience.
Speaker 1: Yeah, you would never choose to use a formal title a formal courtesy title like a Mrs With just a person's first name. You're you're using the title to be formal and last names or what's formal? One might say that Mrs Susan Johnson. It technically is formal. I mean, I'm going to call it. It's new. Traditional formal, traditional formal, new traditional formal Oh gosh, Everyone in the station in your world is just gonna come after us with pitchforks, or they'll be very relieved, I think. Relieved, but way to put the positive on it. Damn. Okay, so the But the idea is that if we're going formal, we don't drop someone's last name. The last name is the formal version. The informal is to be invited to use somebody's first name, so it's It's like leaving off the formality of her name. It's like you start with it and then it just drops. Mrs. Susan, there is no Mrs Susan. There's a Mrs Susan Johnson or there's a Mrs James Johnson. But there isn't just a Mrs Susan. She has a last name, especially if we're going to be using it with her husband's for for me, this is where, when it's the joining of them And, as Dan said, that was an example to try to shorten it, to try to join it up more and instead you really end up leaving her out of it are sort of d formalizing her. I mean, really is just confusing. Mrs. Susan doesn't work, But when you do the shortening of it, you don't want to, like, just leave someone else. Somehow I feel like
Speaker 1: Why would it be Mrs Susan and Mr James the third, you know, or Mr James the third and Mrs Susan Well, and I don't have a good answer
Speaker 2: to. That's why I bought the answer you gave me and really appreciated hearing it, because it makes perfect sense to me in all of my sort of the way I keep track of etiquette, hierarchies and formalities. There was a lot of logic to that answer, frankly,
Speaker 1: and there is the whole thing that someone must be thinking about it right now. The Miss Susan. We hear that a lot, especially more in the South, but that Miss Susan would be away. Thio affectionately address an adult that you knew, especially if you were someone younger. It's not the only way that dynamic works like that's common, but you wouldn't you wouldn't be using that in a formal business letter or in a business letter. Typically anyway. So that's
Speaker 2: that's just another one that would drop off. But
Speaker 1: you wouldn't. You would not right that. Or use that in this type of. Let me ask
Speaker 2: you one more question. Just so we cover all of our bases and this answer. Okay, a
Speaker 1: long answer. Appreciate you guys sticking with us. It's a lot to mentally put in places. You you mix things around and
Speaker 2: try different versions. Um, give me the option for the top line address line. If Susan decided to use her husband's name, um, formally. So how would you address this if she did take her husband's full name and use it?
Speaker 1: So if she did use her husband's first name, then it would be fairly simple. Mr. And Mrs James
Speaker 2: Johnson, the third excellent, relatively simple,
Speaker 1: relatively simple, relatively simple. But the main idea here is that because she doesn't we're separating out the two people so that you're not trying to connect them, and you just let let her be. In this particular case, Mrs Susan Johnson and let him be Mr James Johnson,
Speaker 2: the third excellent. That's relatively simple, although I feel like we see a lot less of it these days.
Speaker 1: We parsed out a lot to get there, but we hope, Celeste, that that part, at least is clear when it comes to the address address on the inside of the letter. But then there's a salutation. Right
Speaker 2: there is and e mean having done all the work to get the names and titles right on the address. The salutation should follow relatively simply.
Speaker 1: No, you're absolutely right. It's basically the same thing you've listed up above, but just with the word deer in front of it. But, however, though I will say this, it's a general guideline that you salute a person in a business letter with the same name form that you would use in person. So in this case, the letter would start off Dear Mrs Susan Johnson and Mr James Johnson, the third, or, if you are on good terms with them, close terms with them casual terms with them, less formal terms with them, any of those terms you end up being Dear Susan and James or
Speaker 2: Dear James and Susan. Either name may come first.
Speaker 2: Well, once again. Excellent. And I also just have to say Excellent. Celeste,
Speaker 1: thank you
Speaker 2: so much for this question. I learned something. I will be a better business letter writer because of it.
Speaker 1: Thanks a lot, Celeste. You know, high letters is just a town some people
Speaker 2: are born with summer.
Speaker 2: I'm glad you appreciated my help. Mhm. Our next question is about heaters and happy mediums. Dear Lizzie and Dan, I
Speaker 1: have a
Speaker 2: bit of an etiquette dilemma that I would love your help with growing up. My parents believed in typical New England, upstate New York fashion.
Speaker 1: But if you were cold in
Speaker 2: the winter, you put on a sweater or grab another blanket instead of cranking up the heat because it builds character and heat was expensive.
Speaker 1: Were we not just talking about this in the intro thing
Speaker 2: was that intro was not a set up for this question. No,
Speaker 1: I did not know that this is how this one started out. That's great. Clearly, we feel you with our little lap blankets that we're both closing up in right now.
Speaker 1: Returning to
Speaker 2: the question as such, Our house was always on the cooler side through the winter. And as I naturally run warmth, this did not bother me. Now that I am an adult with my own house, I still go by this. Grab a sweater mentality. When I have guests over, I will
Speaker 1: turn the
Speaker 2: heat up to a level that feels comfortable without feeling like you're in the tropics. But for some people, this is still a lot cooler than what they're used to for reference. Some of my friends and I are comfortable in the low to mid sixties, but many of my friends keep their houses in the mid to upper seventies, and I will do my best to split the difference to accommodate everyone. When I go to someone's house, I often dress in light layers so I could be comfortable and have advised friends before they come to my house that I keep it on the cooler side so they can dress accordingly. But even with that advice, I will still have some friends complain that it's too cold and we'll turn the thermostat higher when I leave the room for something, often leaving me and other guests sweating.
Speaker 2: I do my best to accommodate everyone and keep many blankets and extra sweaters handy if anyone feels chilly. But is there something different that I should be doing as the host? Is there a better way to handle guests who like different temperatures than what the thermostat is set out by the host? I look forward to hearing your thoughts sincerely. Michael A k a. Cool but content in Connecticut.
Speaker 1: That's cute. No, I think you're doing all the right things, and I don't think guests who turn up the heat when you're not looking or good, by the way. I just want to put that out there. That's like not good guests behavior. And I do. I do think you keep keep extra sweaters on hand. You already try to split the difference between those kind of mid to high seventies and low sixties. I'm guessing a nice, comfortable 68 might be what you keep it out during a party. Maybe, maybe not. But to me, it doesn't sound like there's a whole lot else you could do other than do something like light of fire for people to sit near and be warmer. If there truly cold, you know what I mean. Like a I hate to advise like a space heater, but you know what I mean? Like that. Those are the kinds of things that come to mind that weren't listed here. But that's it. Like I would remember it, Madam Poppies House, which would get really warm when the fire would get going. And so people who were cold would hang out near the fire and people who were warm would go hang out in the other room. You know,
Speaker 2: it's one of the nice things about a fireplace or a heat source, as opposed to a forced air system or something like that. I agree. 1000% LP. I'm hearing all of the good hosting things that would make sort of it good advice. As an answer to a question like this. I love the fact that Michael is already adjusting the temperature based on guests, that there's enough self awareness to realize that low sixties mid sixties even feels chilly to a lot of people and that the willingness to sort of change your baseline for the sake of others. To me, that's that's really good behavior, and I appreciate the specificity of the question. I appreciate hearing the actual temperature ranges because that tells me that
Speaker 1: yeah, no, that's That's kind of a moderate
Speaker 2: range. That's not a Scrooge McDuck. Can I have another lump of coal kind of temperature for a house where I think a guest could feel a little aggrieved,
Speaker 1: although, if you're setting your house at 78 someone else is setting there, but you walk into a place that said it like 62 you might kind of feel like that Well, and I'm that
Speaker 2: person. I like my house in the mid seventies and up, and so sort of being that person that feels a little chilled even in a house in the sixties. I'm well aware that if we're talking the high sixties, it's up to me to bring that extra layer.
Speaker 1: Yeah, no, that's a good way to think of it. I also like the way that Michael talks about how as a guest he plans on this. He knows I tend to like it cooler. Most people don't like their houses cold his mind, so I'm probably gonna feel warm when I go somewhere else. I'm gonna wear lighter layers or be prepared toe wear something that I can remove so that it's easier, um, to self regulate. I love that. But at some point you do just run into to the stop of Like, You can only do so many things, right?
Speaker 2: Absolutely. That's I mean, that's my perspective on it. Keep those extra blankets and sweaters around, offer them to people. I really in some ways, I like this question because it's an example of good etiquette. And I think you're right. There is a certain
Speaker 2: reality that you run up against, which is that people feel comfortable at different temperatures.
Speaker 1: Michael. Cool but content in Connecticut Thanks for the question. Keep it cool or warm or cool warm. You keep it. How you like
Speaker 2: it? Yes, Everywhere you go, people talk about thoughtfulness. Well, just what does thoughtfulness mean? How does it fit into your everyday life?
Speaker 2: Our
Speaker 1: next question is curiously titled Ambiguous Teapot,
Speaker 1: Lizzie and Dan. In the past couple of months, my new wife and I both moved into our first house and got married somewhere between those two events. My mother visited our house to see it. She brought us a plate of cookies and a teapot. The problem is that we aren't sure if the teapot was a housewarming gift or a wedding gift. We had our wedding over Zoom, so several local gas gave us wedding gifts in person in the months leading up to the wedding. There was no card attached to the gift, and the wrapping gave no indication. Either way, she gave no other gift. That may have been a wedding gift.
Speaker 1: I feel that it might be rude to ask if the teapot was a wedding gift, because it might come across as ungrateful in the thank you card. Should I refer to it as a housewarming gift or a wedding gift? Thank you. Thankful but confused. It's a good question.
Speaker 2: It's a great question. Thankful but confused. And I'm gonna give you the absolute shortest version of my answer first, which is that I would disassemble and just refer to it as your generous gift.
Speaker 1: I have the same Dodge moment. I was like, You could dodge this by just taking out the identify you
Speaker 2: really can. And the reason that I think it's a good option is that, like our question asked her alludes to its potentially sort of a little offensive toe. Ask if it was a wedding gift if it wasn't intended as a wedding gift, essentially points out that no wedding gift was given. I like knowing that there was a zoom wedding that happened. It's entirely possible that someone who attended a zoom wedding isn't feeling the obligation to give a gift or isn't thinking of that in the same way that they would have if they had
Speaker 2: Bennett the ceremony and reception in person. And
Speaker 2: I don't even want to comment on that assumption. But I think that it's possible enough that that that's what happened, that I wouldn't wanna sort of probe too much if if the answer could be awkward and I think you can express your gratitude, you can express your thanks, holy and genuinely for the gift as it was delivered, which was a little ambiguous,
Speaker 1: and you could even you could even mention both those things. I'm thinking of sample language that's like, thank you so much for the teapot. We love it and how wonderful to use it in our new home, celebrating our new marriage like you know, you could you could toss it in both to be like this is this is just such a great gift all around. It's It's wonderful at this celebratory time in our lives. Thankful but confused. We want to say Congratulations on all these awesome life changes, the moving in the new home, the marriage. It all sounds wonderful and fun, and we hope you enjoy many
Speaker 2: a good cup of tea during it all. But we hope that this answer leaves you a little less confused.
Speaker 2: Thank you for your questions. Please send us updates or feedback on our answers. 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 on Facebook were awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your post so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: If you love awesome etiquette and we hope you do, please consider becoming a sustaining member by visiting us at patryan dot com slash awesome etiquette. You'll get in ads, free version of the show and access to bonus questions and content. Plus, you'll feel great knowing that you helped keep awesome etiquette on the air and to those of you who are already sustaining members. Thank you, Thank you. Thank you so much for your support. It means the world to us.
Speaker 1: It's
Speaker 2: time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer in the topics we cover. Today we're hearing from Gen on Episode 3 18 and smart speakers Hi, Lizzie and Dan. I'm a big fan of the show as well as the products of the institute. I've been gifting higher etiquette, all my friends who partake or engaged with the community regularly, and the etiquette advantage in business has been a steady presence in my work life for years.
Speaker 2: I'm writing regarding the recent show opener from Episode 3 18, where you discussed the tone of interactions with Alexa. As we're considering the implications of how we speak to an automated system, I think we should keep in mind that most digital assistants are in naming and voice feminine. There is a concern among social scientists about the move of this gendered assumption of who fills the role of assistant in our digital lives and into our homes as it patterns this assumption onto a genderless item with the understanding of gender expanding and becoming more visible. Loved the discussion of how to handle pronouns in business and episode 3 15. I hope we keep this in mind if we become comfortable using tone and language with Alexa or Siri that we might not otherwise might. We also be saying that it's appropriate to use this tone and language with those perceived a subordinate and or women in general.
Speaker 2: Thank you always for your work and your openness. It's a blessing and deeply appreciated. Jen.
Speaker 1: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Jen, I am so glad that you brought this up.
Speaker 2: I've
Speaker 1: heard even some interesting things about Alexa. And whether or not you call Alexa, she or not, I think it's really important that we keep up with our language and really using our courtesy language when addressing a I and and and devices and things like that. But I'm just glad that you brought up this point and that this idea that when you stop doing that, That that's where you can start to create this. Um, you know this subordinate type relationship, and if that voice is perceived as feminine always or is always being presented to us in a feminine way, then that can create a dynamic and an association that you wouldn't want to create. Andi, I agree. Like when I do my stuff on my phone, I said it to the Australian guy voice. Andi, I don't know if there should even be a sound of a gender to any of these voices or of a binary gendered any of these voices. But I think that it's a It's a really interesting part of this and something Thio
Speaker 2: really keep after and think about
Speaker 2: and thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please do keep them coming. You can send your next feedback update or question awesome etiquette. Emily post dot com You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. 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 it's gonna be a pretty short post script. But we are going to talk about what we haven't been talking about,
Speaker 1: and we're going to talk about it
Speaker 1: because it's really unusual that we haven't been talking about it. Dan, what the heck am I talking
Speaker 2: about? I'm guessing pretty much everyone out there knows what we're talking about that we're not talking about.
Speaker 1: If they're listening on Monday before the 2020 election in the United States, then probably yes, it's
Speaker 2: true. And we know because we see the stats that the vast majority of the people that listen to this show pick it up pretty close to the date that it drops. And as you point out, that
Speaker 1: would be Monday,
Speaker 2: the Monday before
Speaker 2: four year election cycle Tuesday. That is pretty much taking everybody's attention right now, and it's unusual for us that there would be such a big event going on, and we wouldn't be talking about it. And there is, ah, quality, something that I mentioned a Lizzie Post before the show started, toe working for the Emily Post Institute, where you get the advantage of seeing the way things happen over years and generations and people that listen to this show hear us talk about, Oh, the holidays are coming. We can anticipate the kinds of questions we get it that time of year. We have a little running joke where we, um we look for the first media requests That's about holiday or annual tipping. So at what point in the summer do you get your first request for the holiday interview topic that you're going to be talking a lot about a little later in the year
Speaker 2: and
Speaker 1: mid August? Feels early September feels lately eggs. But you know, we can kind of gauge what where the national conversation is, when, when questions come our way and tell him what's been interesting about this season. There is
Speaker 2: a version of this question that we get asked pretty consistently about every two years, which is how do I navigate political discussions with my family over the holidays? Or how do I navigate political discussions? I really don't wanna talk about it right now. Or how do I navigate political discussions? I'm really passionate about something, and I know someone in my life that sees things very differently than Ideo Bond. I want to know how to how to do it or how to shut it down. Or any of a number of things that can come up around those tier two conversations, those potentially difficult or awkward conversations because they're about important topics.
Speaker 2: This year is so unusual for us because we have had zero requests like this. And
Speaker 1: in fact, I've even had, like, some producers, bring the subject matter up When they're, you know, they want to do an etiquette segment or something like that and we come up with some ideas. I said, Well, you know, the holidays are a typical time where we talk about, you know, coming together as our families and friends. But sometimes that means being with people who don't share our point of view, and that could be difficult. And how have the how to handle those difficult conversations at the table and no takers? No no bites. We were so surprised, and I won't lie a little relieved. Sometimes it's nice to not have the same conversation, but it did get us to thinking about why this might be happening this year, and I've got a couple theories. But Dan, do you wanna do you wanna dive in, and I want to get into
Speaker 2: that Why? But I also want to acknowledge Mawr immediately that we've
Speaker 1: noticed the same thing from our also medicate audience. It's true. This isn't something we've
Speaker 2: heard people who, right into this show wanting to talk about it's been
Speaker 1: done. It's
Speaker 2: been a topic that the broad Emily Post audience and the more immediate Emily Post audiences have kind of collectively decided that there
Speaker 2: just not gonna go there or talk about
Speaker 1: quiet. It's yeah, it's just it's quiet on that front this year. We've noticed, Um, but it did get me thinking as to why this might be and and some of it, I do think is because of this pandemic and because people are staying at home, they're not traveling for big family gatherings. They're not worried about going to that family meal and being able to tolerate their sister, their uncle or, you know, they're in law for eight hours or a full weekend or something like that. And so on the on the one hand, and I've heard this, this is anecdotally just in in my own circles that people are kind of just breathing that as much as they would love to see people. It's also really kind of nice to not have to worry about. It actually overheard two people talking about it. The grocery store, sort of both saying like Oh, you know, we just It's kind of nice to not think about making the three hour drive and stay in the long weekend and then, you know, getting back for work on Monday. But with that, people just they aren't going to be in that those confrontational situations and with a lot of people already practicing social distancing, it just seems so much less likely that people are facing this problem right now and I could be wrong. Maybe the workplace is a place where you do have to go in, Um, even if your mast up or something and you are engaging in this and you are hoping that people talk about the etiquette of how to deal with difficult conversations or or really varying perspectives. But we've just been so surprised at how quiet it's been, I'm surprised we've made it all the way until you know, the day before the election and still not had kind
Speaker 2: of big conversations about it, Um, especially with the media. It's been really interesting. I'm
Speaker 1: glad you took a shot at it, because your wife is very different than the why that I had
Speaker 2: been speculating on. And I like it. Just
Speaker 1: do you think people are like to engaged or what? What's your wife? My wife is
Speaker 2: that I was sort of imagining to myself that the conversation just felt too serious for people that it doesn't feel very true. It doesn't feel low consequence enough to be an etiquette topic. I think either people are so engaged that that there thinking about an approaching it in a very different way, or
Speaker 2: they've really decided that they that they don't wanna engage it that way, or that they're gonna carve out areas of their life that are
Speaker 2: that are comfortable and are safe.
Speaker 1: Confrontation usually isn't that area
Speaker 2: more fraught topics, and it's always that's the feeling I get from from this show. We have heard from some people how much they appreciate a sanctuary space, a space where
Speaker 1: it's a good way to put it.
Speaker 2: People are really focused on how we treat each other well, and that's really the thing that we come together around and I love that idea. I love that. That's what some people get from this community. I want to support that also. But I also like your idea that, you know, maybe it's just not something that people are being faced with, and it's a practical reality.
Speaker 1: It is quite as much. I think we are being faced with it in a lot of spaces, but maybe not the ones that we think of as, um, social etiquette Spaces. You know what I mean? I know a lot of times these postscript segments resolved to really specific tips or that were, you know, talking about some point of Emily Post history or or etiquette history. But in thinking about how to handle this post script, we realized we really just wanted to share with you that this was going on this year, Um, and that this was sort of what we tell you. A lot of the happenings that Emily Post and, um, it's not often that we have one that's like a really wow. A whole kind of category of conversation we usually have isn't there this year, but that that's what's going on and, um, in a year that has been so different. It was one more thing
Speaker 2: that was different so true. Because And we will see what next year brings.
Speaker 2: Wow. For three months, all through the late summer and fall, wherever people come together, issues and men are discussed and argued about
Speaker 2: some feel that this isn't altogether a good thing,
Speaker 2: that a lot of time and energy a wasted this way
Speaker 2: it may be.
Speaker 2: That's the way Americans like to do it.
Speaker 2: They like to feel everybody has a right to speak. It is interested enough to do it.
Speaker 2: Even the small fry.
Speaker 2: We like to end our show on a high note. So we turn to you to hear about the good etiquette you're seeing and experiencing out in the world. And that can come in so many forms today we hear from Lindsey.
Speaker 1: Hi, Lizzie and Dan. I have a salute. I actually witnessed it while I was listening to an episode of awesome etiquette. Yeah, I know. We've got a big laughing cry face emoji here. Um, I was at a busy intersection on a Saturday afternoon in Houston, California, Tustin to Houston, California, and I was the front car. Waiting at a stop, I watched a car that was kitty corner to my left back out against traffic towards the intersection. Admittedly, my first thought was, What the heck is that car doing? Maybe a moment later, I watched as the driver jumped out of his car and ran into the intersection to pick up some items that had fallen out of his truck bed. All cars waited while he ran to and from his car from the opposite side of the intersection, one person got off of their motorcycle and another out of their truck to help the man out in picking up items. They all did a few back and force through the intersection with various hardware type items while the cars waited. No one tried to jump around them, even though they're light was green. I appreciate it. I'm also just gonna interject. It also sounds like no one was honking. I appreciated the two people who helped this guy out, as well as the cars that let them safely get the items. It was also a good reminder to me that I should not immediately jumped to negative conclusions about people's actions. Thanks for all you do. Lindsay. Lindsay, Thank you so much for this
Speaker 2: salute.
Speaker 2: Thank you for listening
Speaker 1: and thank you to everyone who sent us
Speaker 2: something and thank you to everyone who supports us on Patryan.
Speaker 1: Please connect with us and share this show with your friends, family and co workers on social media. You can
Speaker 2: send us your next question feedback or salute by email. Toe Awesome etiquette at Emily Post com. You can reach us by phone. Three. A message cortex at 802858 k i n D. That's 8028585463 on Twitter. We're at Emily Post Inst on instagram were at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook Were Awesome Etiquette and the Emily Post Institute.
Speaker 1: Please consider becoming a sustaining member by visiting patryan dot com slash awesome etiquette. You can also subscribe to the ads version of our show on Spotify or your favorite podcast app, and please consider leaving us a review. Our show is edited by Chris Albertine, an assistant produced by Brigitte Dowd. Thanks, Chris Bridget