Episode 323 - F.O.R.K.S.
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 being the entertainment for your friends’ children, expressing your desire not to exchange gifts, the etiquette on saying you’re welcome and a followup question to the Christmas card conundrum from last week. For Awesome Etiquette sustaining members your question of the week is about mispronouncing names. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and postscript where we discuss table setting before the holidays.
Speaker 1: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy that's old fashioned.
Speaker 1: Watch how busy Post and Dan posts and act as host and hostess.
Speaker 1: They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person. Really Friendliness. Hello
Speaker 2: and welcome toe Awesome etiquette, where we
Speaker 1: explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty.
Speaker 2: On today's show, we take your questions on being the entertainment for your friends, Children, expressing your desire not to exchange gifts. Theme etiquette on saying you're welcome and a follow up question to the Christmas card
Speaker 1: conundrum from last week for Awesome etiquette Sustaining Members. Our question of the week is about mispronouncing names. All
Speaker 2: that plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript segment where we discuss the table setting
Speaker 1: 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.
Speaker 2: I'm pretty sure I'm Lizzie Post, and I'm pretty sure you are, too, and I'm damn post setting. I'm glad two of us are. At least you know. I don't know what you're pretty sure equates to as a a percentage, but I'd say minds like maybe 83%. I'm like 83% sure. I'm me today. I thought it was
Speaker 1: affirming. And then I realized I didn't say confident. I said, pretty sure,
Speaker 2: Oh, audience. Dan and I are both in the zone. We are working far right now. I woke up the 3 a.m. and I was like, You know, I bet this is Dan. I bet Dan is like, I bet Dan's awake and he's like already working on the on the website in the back of your anxiety. Yeah, because it has gone the other way before where my anxiety is woken Dan up before, but it it is we've got. Kelly and I are about to embark on our last push to turn in the manuscript for High Sonny making himself known Turn in our manuscript for the Mistakes were made book The Audible Original book about all the incredibly awkward and salaciousness and sometimes not quite so dramatic, awkward moments that we are funny. Funny moment it is. This is a book toe laugh at this is a every story that was I might have toe take care of Sunny in a second. But every story that was given to us was given to us with a lot of good humor. You know, people who feel good about delivering such a story and laughing about what happened. Eso It's gonna be a really fun weekend, but it's also gonna be that, you know, here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Just got to get it done. Got to get it done, but then will be done on Monday
Speaker 1: deadline work with another author. I am rooting for you.
Speaker 2: Thank you. Because in the middle of it, you're gonna be doing ah, whole ton of work on the back end of our website because we, ladies and gentlemen, are very close
Speaker 1: to launch. Oh, we got a peek. We got a little peek the Web team shared with us the mobile version of the site which they spent the last week its or marking up and installing and Lizzie Post. And I took a look at it. We were supposed to get on a call, um, in 30 minutes with the Web team, and we literally could do nothing but you and offer 30 minutes as we flipped around our new mobile website. It is really exciting. There's still a ton of work to be done, But I've got this combination of emotions where I'm just like, elated and ecstatic and slightly terrified. All of
Speaker 2: it.
Speaker 2: Well, it is. It's a ton of work. It's a lot of detailed work. We're probably going to need our audience to tell us about the typos that we've made and things like that. We are so incredibly excited When we were looking at, As Dan was telling you when we were looking at the mobile version of the site, we just kept going, Oh, this is what we've always wanted. I could, you know, get lost reading article after article after article like It's it's got that feel and that ease and we were blown away. We literally just saw this yesterday for the first time, so we're still kind of geek ing out on it because that's what that's what we dio. We geek out on things, and
Speaker 1: frankly, there is still so much work to be done. It's nice to ride the enthusiasm and the excitement just a little bit for surfing that wave Thio
Speaker 2: because it will carry it through the weekend, you know, and this is a lot of work. We've got to get done by Monday and
Speaker 1: Tuesday. It is certainly a crunch, and but there's also this little sort of carrot reward out there. A lot of these deadlines come up just ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. So if we do it, if we hit him, what I'm
Speaker 2: really hoping when we hit him when we hit way, there
Speaker 1: should be a really nice moment of reprieve where we get to sit back and enjoy both, Ah, little bit of a holiday ourselves, but also get to enjoy the site being up and available for people on Thanksgiving, which is just such a treat, there would be a
Speaker 1: what did they give a marathon runner? When they get to the finish, you get the chocolate milk,
Speaker 2: a medal. Oh, chocolate milk At the end, I'm
Speaker 1: thinking chocolate milk, but a metal would be
Speaker 2: nice. I'm thinking champagne with that thought, though. Do you think that we should get to our other work before we dive into our other work and deal with some questions?
Speaker 1: Let's do it.
Speaker 1: Awesome.
Speaker 2: Etiquette is here to answer your questions. You can email them toe awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com or leave a voicemail or text at 802858 k i n d. 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 Media post so that we know
Speaker 1: you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: Our first question this week is about accidental baby sitters Hi, Dan and Lizzie trying my best to condense this question, but get you all the info. My husband and I are in our early thirties and have a tight knit group of friends who have become Arpad during quarantine. We have all agreed to socialize on Lee with this friend group and isolated home. If any of us are exposed to a positive covert case
Speaker 1: in this friend group, My husband and I are the only couple that has chosen not to have Children. The Children are all very well behaved, and we love them so much but
Speaker 2: fuel. We
Speaker 1: have accidentally become the entertainment for them at group get togethers. As soon as we arrive at the barbecue, all of the Children get excited and run, tow us and want to show us their new toys. And we end up spending the majority of our social time with the kids as the parents do not intervene to ask them to leave us alone.
Speaker 1: How
Speaker 2: can we
Speaker 1: politely explain to our friends that although we love their cute kiddos, we would like to be able to socialize with the adults over a glass of wine, not throwing Frisbees with their kids?
Speaker 1: We have started to decline some get togethers because they have become exhausting, not relaxing. And I don't want our friends to feel as though we're pulling away. We recently were invited to rent a large cabin in Tahoe with this friend group over the winter, and I would like to politely decline under the circumstance that we don't necessarily want to spend our vacation funds on this outing if it means we will be hanging with the Children the entire trip help from the accidental baby sitters.
Speaker 2: Oh, accidental baby sitters. I think Dan and I have each been in this position at various times in our lives. Can you remember back to your single singledom, Dan, your non kingdom come? It wasn't that long ago. It was longer than the other
Speaker 1: state I've been in.
Speaker 2: But this is the thing that can happen. You're the cool, fun adult, you know that. Actually, yeah, you're the different. That's a big thing. You're different from Mom and Dad, who they've been stuck with a lot lately. And then also, if you are the type of adult that puts on a bright smile for a kid and you know is kind of cool Anakin's eyes or something like that or just is willing to talk to them or toss a Frisbee with, um they will come back for more. You're a valuable part of their social scene then. And I know I can remember back Thio people in our family who they weren't the people that you would go up thio, you know, and try to talk to and hang out with or get to do a joke or perform a little dance routine for or, you know, just eat up all their attention. They were a little grumpier, a little stiffer and the in my eyes. As a kid, they weren't as cool. Then you know what I mean, and I don't want you to have to turn into that just Thio. Get your adult life among your social circle back and I don't think you have
Speaker 1: to go. It's a It's a practical answer, and yet it's not a fun answer. To be less fun for the kids is something that you would have a lot of control over something you could dio, and it might not feel quite right. So what else? Air? Some possibilities? I'm wondering, Lizzie. I've been thinking about
Speaker 1: our classic tiered approach that you might
Speaker 1: crack a wall where a parent just wasn't seeing this happening with, with some really little kind of hints here and there. Oh, boy, just when the kids run off to the other room for a minute, it's so nice to get a quiet moment just with you. I really treasure that focusing on the positive, not making it about the disruption, but about all of the things that you enjoy about adult get togethers and the opportunities that provides for you both to connect an adult ways, but also just behave and feel like an adult. Like you say, Enjoy that glass of wine. Be calm, whatever it is that that you're not going to do when you're rolling around with the kids.
Speaker 2: Okay, okay, okay, I'm I'm both liking the hint because it's subtle in its gentle. It's kind of like that soft, polite space. But let's be really there's a lot of people, and I don't know whether I want to say that they just don't pick up the hint or whether they know you're hinting and they willfully ignore it because they're so relieved to have a break.
Speaker 1: No, I think that's an important thing to keep in mind.
Speaker 2: It is a good thing to keep in mind, but what would you do if you had to escalate it?
Speaker 1: Well, absolutely. This is a tiered approach, and the reason I sort of start off with that really subtle approaches that might be all it takes. There might be a parent who sort of is aware of this dynamic, and they kind of just letting it because it's nice. It's nice toe not be so engaged all the time, and this feels like an adult moment for them to have a little reprieve, Absolutely, that it might just be enough toe, kick it back and re engage. It might not be, and, as you point out, it might be that they're either really not aware of it at all. Or that just for whatever reasons, they're not capable. There's more kids than they can manage. It doesn't work out. It's not feasible. Saying something Mawr directly, I think starts to be important starts to be part of clear communication. I really love that the kid's air here and I really treasure my time with all of you as adults, and I really wanna see if we can focus on making that happen. Mawr is a totally reasonable thing to say. And again, I my sample scrip started to sound a little intense to me, even in tone. But if you can keep it light, focus on the positive, the things that you really treasure about that company, that's a really reasonable request or ask to make of a group.
Speaker 2: I feel like and Dan the dad, tell me if I'm if if this wouldn't be a good approach, but I feel like a good approach to the parent would be to say, Boy, I'm really valuing the time that we, you know, as our little pod gets together, I'm valuing the the time Thio socialize with other adults and friends. I know the kids really love playing with Mike and me, but is there any way
Speaker 1: you could help us redirect them to play with the other kids so that we could really spend time with you
Speaker 2: guys during this? Like, I feel like you could like you. Okay, Does it Okay, I realized I started that asking you for your opinion and then just gave my own right after. No, I started to listen to
Speaker 1: you as a dad of kids whose heard things like that from people. And I'm thinking, totally let me let me grab him.
Speaker 2: Right. So, like, here's a place where that can fail. Right? Is when you do go the route of being like, um I don't know if you've noticed, but you really let the kids play with the two of us the entire time that we're really here to socialize with adults like not gonna work. That's kind of a shaming. It's kind of like I'm showing my annoyance about it rather than talking to you about what I really need help with. And it can be really easy when you want someone to change something or handle something that, frankly they should, because their Children are their responsibility. But it's it's showing. That annoyance, I think, is what I think just makes it a less pleasant experience for all involved. It's like you've already got something where you have you got to tell somebody. Hey, your kids are, you know, taking a lot of my time, which I don't think anybody ever wants to hear, you know, and delivering it without that tone or that attitude or that kind of judgment of you should have noticed this You should have been stepping up before. Um, I think is really key to getting this right. We've
Speaker 1: really focused on conversations between the adults here, and in some ways I think that's the subtler etiquette territory because you're talking about people that are responsible for people that are actually those people and it za good approach. But in the spirit of our post script from last week, where we looked at the Emily Post title Children are. People are people. I'm really also interested in exploring a little bit the way you could interact in a age appropriate way with kids and let them know that you have some boundaries and that you want some time with the adults or that you're not available at that moment because I think that's another way to go. That, frankly is puts a lot mawr of the control in your hands as far as managing that relationship with the kids rather than that trickier territory or etiquette space of talking to the responsible party for those Children.
Speaker 2: So sample script that I would lean towards. And Dan, I am pretty sure I've actually seen you do this in action because you've got a pretty good kid voice when you're talking to kids. Thank you, Andi. And you should put on that positive kid voice and say, like, Oh, you know, I'm going to talk with your mom now or I'm gonna go chat with the grown ups for a bit. But I bet and then name to other kids at the party would love to play with you. Or why don't you go see what so and so is doing. Try not to name another adult but encourage the kids to keep playing. Keep doing things. You know, you kind of want to move them along from the disappointment of your no to a fun thing that they might be able
Speaker 1: to go engage with. If it was something you were willing to do, maybe we could sit down after dinner and read that favorite book or something, you know, provide structure for them Kids love structure. And if they knew that they were going to get some sort of a well demarcated time with you, it could be something they look forward to. It becomes a Nev ent in the night for them and you get to define your kid. Time is lasting 10 minutes or whatever, whatever it is that is okay with you.
Speaker 2: So what about this potential vacation that we've got going because these air good hints for the in the moment, the backyard barbecue, you know, with the pod that you're hanging out with. But what about this longer? I mean, there's money on the line for this. This is your
Speaker 1: vacation. There's enough money. There's enough time that I personally would wanna keep control of what I could control in this situation. That's whether or not you want to participate. And it might be that a shared vacation home with other families that all have kids isn't a relaxing vacation for you. Isn't a good use of your time and money? Resource is, that's one thing that can really give you some security in terms of it's okay to make that choice for
Speaker 1: I don't want to call them like subtle reasons. But for reasons just of taste is it would be a more relaxing vacation for me to do something different if you wanted to. You could have discussions with people ahead of time about what their plans are for handling kids when you're in shared spaces together and get a feel for how those conversations go before you make a decision about whether or not you want to participate or not.
Speaker 2: I think that makes a lot of sense because if you you might have these tactics that we've talked about today, go really well once or twice. But do you want to be doing them for a week straight or a long weekend? Straight. You know, it's a it's a good thing to think about that. This is This is really kind of a different setting, and a bigger conversation or more explicit conversation might be necessary. And as far as the decline, I wouldn't get into
Speaker 1: the details of it, the whole whole lot, sometimes with a no or a break up. It's easier just to say the thing and not get into all of the details about exactly why it's not working for you
Speaker 2: and not take. You're breaking up with your friends, but just this particular vacation might be. That might be the one accidental baby sitters. We hope that this helps you find a balance and that you can continue to have a great time with your pod. But once the young adults understand that their parents are people, people with habits, moves that are right toe live their own life,
Speaker 2: and when the parents realize how important it is for the young adults to manage their own affairs,
Speaker 2: then they can deal with each other as mutually respecting individuals,
Speaker 2: and their relationships will be healthier and happier.
Speaker 2: This question is titled Gift Giving Grinch Tis the Season, Dear Lizzie and Dan. Thanks for brightening up my Monday every week with your wonderful podcast. I'm hoping you can help me navigate the upcoming Christmas season by answering a question about gifting. I am more than happy to give gifts on occasions such as weddings and the births. But as an adult birthday and even Christmas gifts feel excessive and unnecessary, I very much appreciate the thought behind them. But for various reasons, including environmental and monetary costs, I would prefer to show my love for friends and family in other thoughtful ways. To me, gift exchanges often feel like a burden and obligation, especially at the holidays and with birthdays, when they're expected rather than spontaneous. I also feel anxiety over giving someone a gift they do not like or something they already have. When I do give gifts, I give experiences rather than physical items. But often the gifts I receive, our items I do not need and I feel guilty about not feeling as appreciative as I should.
Speaker 2: So I guess I have a couple questions First, if I receive or expect to receive a gift on these occasions, should I always reciprocate or is showing my appreciation with a note or an in person. Thank you. Sufficient. And is there a tactful way I can express my desire not to exchange gifts? Or at least my preference for experiential gifts instead of physical ones? Thankfully, the inadvertent
Speaker 1: Grinch. Oh, boy. Here come the holidays. Right.
Speaker 2: I No, no. This is this is these air very classic gifting questions.
Speaker 1: They are. And I want to start off by just saying, Don't brand yourself a Grinch even though we've labeled this question gift giving Grinch, Um, it is it's such a powerful, uh, sort of character in literature. The doctors whose Grinch nish who loves him. Um Bond e think the reason that character speaks to us is that there is a certain part of us that probably even those of us that love giving and receiving gifts deals with some of the anxiety, stresses and pressures that you're talking about here. And that can be tricky.
Speaker 1: Unfortunately, this is something that happens so much. Gift giving is such an important part of relationships that there is a lot of good etiquette that can guide us. And I really appreciated you driving to some specific questions. I want to start off by addressing those specifically, um, Lizzie Post is about to stand up and cheer when I say very clearly, um, gift giving is not always reciprocal, that it is not a given that if someone gives you a gift, you have to respond with a gift from them. In fact, that would be incredibly difficult, almost impossible to achieve.
Speaker 2: Its very true I'm keeping quiet over here, but it is very true.
Speaker 1: And there is, ah, I think, a natural sense of fairness and reciprocity that I think inspires people to think about gift giving as exchanges, even if there's something like, Oh, well, it's on my birthday. I just received gifts, but I also participate in the giving of gifts on other people's birthdays. There is this sort of reciprocal social thing that happens often, but it's it's not expected. You can't anticipate where every gift you're gonna receive comes from, and it's not always possible for you to respond to everything that you received with a gift. And those practical realities mean that it shouldn't ever be an expectation in someone's mind. That gift giving is always reciprocal. The other thing from an etiquette perspective, really core fundamental etiquette that I think about is that when you give a gift, it should be given in a spirit of generosity. It should be about wanting to do something for someone else. There shouldn't be any part of your internal psychology that is expecting a gift in return, and that's that's tough. But really, gift giving should be done with true open heartedness. So
Speaker 1: if it's not something that you feel you can participate in like that, I think it's also ah, part of core etiquette to really think about what is the sincere, honest way for you to proceed. And I think that's going to come up when we talk about your second direct question.
Speaker 2: So for that second question, you asked, How can I talk to people about this? How can I express my desire to not exchange gifts? I think that if it's something like an office or a group that you're part of gift swap, that you could just ask that you love to bow out or not participate in this one, and that's OK. Lots of people do do that during the holidays. If it's something instead, like trying to communicate the type of gift you would receive So maybe it's around the holidays and we're talking with people that you are really close with. I don't I don't want to set expectations that parents and siblings always give to each other. But it's it's pretty standard. And maybe among those that group that's kind of your core really closest people that that you would be exchanging gifts with it is absolutely fine to talk to people about your preferences. I have a gift receiver in my life, and I don't think of them as picky in any way. But they are particular, and they spend a lot of time sort of curating and keeping a really clean, aesthetically pleasing to them home. I know better than to try to get this person a vase or picture frame or something that's going to go in their home. I almost always do something experiential or, you know, that could be like a consumable or something like that. And I think it's fine to talk about that. When people ask you or when the idea of holidays and holiday gifting comes up, you can say Oh, you know, there's something I've really been trying to do and part of it actually does fit into my my philosophy about the environment and how to take care of the environment. I would really like to be on Lee receiving experiential gifts at this point whenever possible. And I think giving in that whenever possible kind of softens it so that you kind of understand that there might be some times where someone chooses to bestow generosity upon you and you have no choice about it. And so you end up with an item that you weren't necessarily thinking of getting, but I think you can have those conversations among your groups where I think it's a little harder is when you start branching out the social circle and you're into that birthday category. I personally believe that once you're kind of in that adult range cards for birthdays or fine that there is no expectation of gifts and I might be wrong. Maybe this is just how my friend group and family tend to operate. But as an adult among friends, it's often something very small or very sweet. You know what I mean in nature as opposed toe significant or obligatory it all, Really, What do you think
Speaker 1: about the adult birthdays? Absolutely. For in my experience also. Big caveat Adul birthdays between people that aren't very close. Family A card is sort of considered a really nice gesture. Even that is
Speaker 2: true. True.
Speaker 1: Someone making an effort on my behalf totally. And I also know that oftentimes, birthdays are great opportunities. People do buy things for each other also. So I like your idea about expectations setting and having these discussions in a way that's broad. The the rial for me. Critical etiquette advice that you have those discussions ahead of time. Not after
Speaker 1: that. Um, any of this work that you could do as preparation with people is gonna be so much better received. And you're gonna be in so much safer etiquette territory once the gifting has happened. Then there is on Lee one correct etiquette reply, which is you Thank someone for the effort and the thought that they put into it. Even if the disposable good that you received isn't something you even want. Um, there is an etiquette. I don't wanna call it obligation, but it's it's a role that you can play that it's so important to relationships in being appreciative of someone making the effort that I would strongly suggest that you think of that as a role that you wanna play. So you do your work ahead of time so that you don't end up in that situation.
Speaker 1: And I really do also key on your intention to be honest here. And that is a core tenet for good etiquette. So have those honest conversations. But have them far enough ahead early enough that you give people the warning that they can, that they can digest that and make good choices about their relationship with you
Speaker 2: and gifting inadvertent Grinch. We hope our answer helps and that you have a very merry gift free season this year.
Speaker 2: How did you know? I mean, it's a very one on one. Anything to know what you wanted, he insisted. We get that particular life, any you knew all the time. Our next question is titled You're Welcome verse. Thank you for having me High
Speaker 1: E team Love Listening to your show. I find you both witty and charming and delightful and especially enjoy on Sundays when I'm taking a break from news based podcast and need to unwind. My question relates to these podcasts I've regularly listen to for the past five or six years. The format generally involves the host who raises a topic, then that week's guests, who alter week by week who are asked for their analysis of said topic. Forgive me, I'm over explaining anyway, at the end of the show, it's always been quite in vogue for the host of Thank the guests for coming. And the guests without fail always say Thank you for having me and never You're welcome as someone who grew up being trained to say You're welcome toe any expression of thanks. This tendency struck me as odd, though by no means offensive. However, starting on October 25th, 2020 a new show I listened to had a guest who said, You're welcome. I've noticed this tendency five times or so in the days that have followed. As to professionals who deftly navigate the radio podcast environment, do you have any inside information on this? What the heck is going on? Capitalized with explanations and question
Speaker 2: marks, it
Speaker 1: might seem minor, but I'm not exaggerating when I say that, having listened to news podcast for years on a weekly basis, I've only heard you're welcome. A handful of times. Any insights on this would be extremely interesting. And thanks so much for all your etiquette insight. Greg.
Speaker 2: Greg, thank you for writing in about this. I'm hearing you say you're welcome somewhere in the distance. Right now, it is such an interesting and Dan and I actually are inside scoop is that we We are in the position of having to say thank you for having me on your show. It was a pleasure to be here. And I will tell you, I would feel a little arrogant if I said you're welcome. And I don't I don't know. Maybe that that suggests confidence in how I think of myself as as someone being invited to speak in such spaces. But I prefer to say it's a pleasure or thank you so much for having me. It feels more humble to me when I'm on air. Dan, what do you dio? I'm curious.
Speaker 1: I'm thinking about it right now. My first thought was No, I haven't noticed this. And Greg, thank you. You're our man on the street. You're our investigative team right now. This is one of things I love about this podcast is
Speaker 2: that there are so
Speaker 1: many people noticing so many things. And this isn't something that I've got a particular line on. Lizzie and I are not aware of Ah, public discussion in sort of inside publications about radio or anything like that about
Speaker 2: we haven't seen, like a massive spike in the particular episodes where we address the words you're welcome and using them and how we hope people use the more way haven't secretly infiltrated the entire world of audio content. I wish we had, and
Speaker 1: I would say this is something that I'm I'm completely invested in. It's a piece of advice I give all the time I was doing, uh, our long seminar earlier this week, just about gratitude and the importance of gratitude that was that was the sole topic for an hour. And in the process of that, we also talked about how important it is to receive gratitude. Well, that if if expressing gratitude is important to people, having an audience for that is critically important, so receiving thanks, saying you're welcome not always minimizing, deflecting or denying Thanks with no problem. It was nothing. It was no trouble. Or don't worry about it. My least favorite. No, I'm not worried about it. I'm trying to thank you for something. I'm doing one of the things that gives me the most pleasure in life.
Speaker 2: Worry wasn't a factor here. Now I'm annoyed you brought it
Speaker 1: up. Eso having your welcome. And I do think that if some people feel like it like you do Lizzie Post like it's arrogant to say you're welcome and I just circumstances yes, in certain circumstances. And I think that you could do it. I think you can pull it off without it coming across. That way, you're most welcome. It was such a pleasure to be here, receives the thanks and still makes the message or the emphasis that it was your pleasure that you enjoyed it. Or even that you appreciated them. Having you. Oh, you're most welcome. Thank you so much for having me would be a sort of a tone and a delivery that I think would let you both receive that Thanks. And not Oh, you're welcome. And and not have it come across with that arrogant tone that, in a certain circumstance, might might be a part of the equation
Speaker 2: tone of voice definitely makes a big, big difference with it. But there are two things that I think are at play here other than the the idea of kind of the humble or the less arrogant tone to it. And that's that You're on air and you're often pressed for time and I don't know, maybe for the podcast. If they're not recorded live on def, they have editing and stuff. Or if it's a prerecorded radio show, Um, maybe not such an issue. And you might maybe you get more your welcomes and then you know you're welcomes and thank you for having me, but you. Sometimes you've got someone in your ear literally, or you're hearing the music for the end of the show coming up and you're trying to get across exactly what Dan just said that that intention really quickly. And I think that's where the just immediately returning with the thank you for having me or the It's my pleasure comes from as opposed to the your welcome, which I think without the thank you after with the return, thank you is where it can feel Onley if the tone is there but is where it can feel a little bit more arrogant or like you're not saying thank you for having me on the show. You know, this is a little bit of a host guest dance happening here, right? Like, thank you for having this party. Thank you for coming to the party. You know, it's like, both can't happen without the other. And so you want the mutual? Thank used to be happening. And I think in an effort to get there when people are pressed on time, they often skip that. You're welcome part of it for me, that it's my pleasure. Thank you for having me is, like, That's my go to at the end. Or I make sure at the start of the interview to say the thank you so much for having me and then closed the interview with the It's my pleasure. It was my pleasure. Thank you on. And I'll just keep going. I'll keep ending it until they
Speaker 1: shut it off. I was just thinking,
Speaker 2: Greg, thank you so much for sending this
Speaker 1: question. It was our pleasure to answer
Speaker 2: it. No, you're absolutely right, Dan. Way, actually, do have to say Greg, Thank you. so much for this question.
Speaker 1: We really appreciate having it on the show.
Speaker 1: Ah, well mannered group, aren't they? You notice they're good manners right away.
Speaker 1: Good manners make good first impressions. And because your manners air showing all the time they have a lot to do with how well people like
Speaker 2: you.
Speaker 2: This question is titled Christmas card follow up. Hi, Lizzie and Dan, longtime listener in Americus, Georgia. Thanks so much for your advice about avoiding a joking tone about this challenging here in holiday cards. I have already created and received my personal holiday card with cheerful but not joking messaging. However, your advice got me to thinking about a friend who lost a grandmother to Cove in 19. I'd like to include a note expressing my condolences, if appropriate. What are your thoughts? Thanks, Lisa. What do you think, Dan? Do you Would you include the note in in Ah, holiday. Carter, would you make them separate? I would separate him. E. That was your answer. Absolutely.
Speaker 1: Send the condolence card. The fact that you thought crossed your mind is such an opportunity. Absolutely. Do it. Um, Jot out a quick note. Tended to your friend in the mail. It will be so appreciated. It will really matter to them.
Speaker 2: And I think it'll feel good toe, have them be separate and be held separately. It does kind of create that space and and keeps it sort of in its own zone, which is nice. Lisa, I know that was very short and simple, but you you did provide us with a question that really does have, ah, pretty clear etiquette answer and we're happy t spread the word. I'm sure that there are actually a lot of people who are having thoughts like this. A Z They're preparing their holiday mailings. So thank you so much for giving us the question to answer.
Speaker 2: Thank
Speaker 1: 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 and on Facebook were awesome etiquette. Just remember, use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your post so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 2: If you love awesome etiquette or maybe even if you just like awesome etiquette, please consider becoming a sustaining member by visiting us at patryan dot com slash awesome etiquette. You'll get an ADS free version of the show and access to bonus questions and content. Plus, you'll feel great knowing that you helped keep awesome etiquette on the air. And to those of you who are already sustaining members, thank you for your support.
Speaker 1: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer and the topics we cover. Today we're hearing from a retired administrative assistant about the letter addressing question from Episode 3 21 on addressing a couple with a Suffolk's
Speaker 1: Hi Lizzie and Dan as a retired executive secretary and administrative assistant who worked in Manhattan. This week's podcast with the question of
Speaker 2: how to address
Speaker 1: the Johnsons interested me unless a business card or website indicated otherwise.
Speaker 2: I would address
Speaker 1: the letter to, and then she includes the example below.
Speaker 1: The example reads like this first line Mr James Johnson, the third and and then there is a blank line. And then at the start of the third line, we get Mrs Susan Johnson. The fourth line, The Johnson Company fifth line, 123 Main Street,
Speaker 1: sixth line Any town comma use a 12345 Then we get a space and on a new line down below, we get the salutation. Dear Mr and Mrs Johnson and the Mr and Mrs Air separated by an ampersand. Or, if they're well known to the writer Dear James and Susan. If Susan prefers the missus or mix, then, of course, use that in lieu of Mrs, then follow with the body of the letter. I don't think this classic business style has gone out of date, but you would be able to say definitively, Thanks for reading. Best regards. Retired secretary
Speaker 2: retired secretary Dan and I read this, and we definitely both agreed that we feel like we could learn a lot from you. So thank you so much for writing in. I will be honest, though. The question made us double check and consult with the fourth generation of posts just to see kind of their their thoughts on the example given and what they would dio. And the first thing that all of us sort of agreed upon was that you really in business, try to even when you're working with a couple, treat the people both as equals and as individuals. And on top of that, that it wouldn't matter whether you used either member of the couple first so that you could either put Susan's name on on a first line or have it come first. Or you could put James's name in
Speaker 1: the first position. In the example that Lizzie and I gave. We had included both names on the first line and had tried to treat them as individuals by using full names and courtesy titles on that first line and by not combining the names in any way. And we all ended up agreeing that it would be better to put them on separate lines like separate individuals. It's their relationship within the business that's important here, not necessarily their marriage relationship. And if you were splitting people between two lines and still acknowledging a marriage relationship like you would on a social invitation, you would take the second line and indented a little bit. We're calling that a broken line essentially because it's intended to convey that they are a married couple on the same line. There's just not enough room for them there, whereas in this case, we would have the to. Members of the married couple addressed that the start of the line really on two separate lines, even though they're married couples. In this case, it's their business relationship that you're acknowledging with a business communication.
Speaker 2: The other thing we all discussed was the salutation and that they agree you've got perfectly that you could do either Mr and Mrs Johnson or Dear James and Susan or Susan and James, whichever, whichever you prefer. But the one suggestion that they did have, and I'm not sure if we got this right I don't remember in our answer, but was to not do Dear Mr James Johnson, the third and Mrs Susan Johnson,
Speaker 1: and our idea there was that that would just be a little too much for a salutation. Three ideas that in the salutation you're reducing it a little bit. You're trying to establish slightly less formal introduction,
Speaker 2: so I think between our two answers, we actually have something great. So this is another reason why we love having having people write in, because it does help us look back. Examine. Think harder. But the big takeaways for this are that you want to do the names on separate lines. You can use formal titles and stuff fixes in the letters heading above the address that either person's name may be listed first and that in the salutation. It's okay to say either Mr and Mrs Johnson or James and Susan, whichever, whichever you prefer or kind of fits the nature of the relationship. And again, either name could come first retired secretary. Thank you
Speaker 1: so much for taking the time toe. Send in an example and to share your experience with all of us
Speaker 1: and
Speaker 2: thank you for sending us all of your thoughts and updates. Please keep them coming. We love to hear from you. You can send your feedback or update toe awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 k i n d. That's 8028585463
Speaker 2: It's time for our post script segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette and because that wonderful, wonderful holidays coming up, even though none of us will be gathering for it,
Speaker 2: we're going to talk about setting the table tips. This is one of our classics. I feel like this is an annual. It's a must do. It's something you cannot have an etiquette podcast and not at least once a year talk about how to set the table. Plus, I've been working on that entertaining chapter, and it's like all I've been thinking about. Well, it's
Speaker 1: funny because you've been writing the entertaining chapter, and I've been furiously editing the website to get it ready for a big Thanksgiving launch. So
Speaker 2: we've both been spending quite a bit of time thinking about setting tables, and I
Speaker 1: still want everybody out there to please come take a look at the new Emily post dot com on Thanksgiving. Take a tour. Bring your friends and family. Enjoy it the same way we dio, but you won't need it.
Speaker 2: Watch the table setting video that we're gonna have up of my mother and me and
Speaker 1: know that it's all extra because you feel confident that you know how to set the table, whether or not you refer to the Emily Post website. And this all begins for me with my favorite slide in the dining etiquette deck, which just has the word forks superimposed over a family style place setting. And the reason I love this slide so much is that I had a hard time keeping my right and left separate. As I was growing up. I had a hard time learning my right and left, and people always tell me, Oh, this goes on the left and that goes on the right And it meant nothing to me. It wasn't something that my brain could hold onto and remember. And I didn't really learn how to set a table consistently and well until I learned that if you could spell the word forks, you could remember that the four comes first. That's on the left hand side of the place, setting that the O in the word forks you could visualize is sitting right over your plate. And then I shrink up. The are so that it's just down. There is a little sub are lower case R, but it reminds me to the right of the plate come the knives and spoons in that order. So forks go on the left plate in the middle, and then the knives and spoons on the right. Just work.
Speaker 2: It's so easy. It's just so easy. It's such a such a nisi visual that you can't once you learn it. You can't. You can't forget it. You can't get it wrong. Even Sonny saying he knows it. If you could
Speaker 1: remember to point the blade of the knife in towards yourself towards the center of the place setting, that's the last little detail as faras spacing the flatware, the silverware around your plate. Just make it a nice, even symmetrical spacing. Think, uh, sometimes called the rule of inches. Try to give a little about an inch of buffer between each item and then line them up so that they've got parallel lines and they all start about the same place. It's an aesthetic question at that point, more than a question of getting out your ruler and making measurements. The other
Speaker 2: questions. I hope so. Otherwise I'm failing miserably multiple times. I'm
Speaker 1: sure you're doing great because I've
Speaker 2: seen your tables. I know you're doing great. I know I could do it when I go for it. When we set things up for, you know, taking photos and stuff for him have actually throwing a dinner party. Um but But I will say on the day to day for a normal me sitting down on my coffee table even though I do sometimes set my table, I do not break out that ruler every day. Uh huh.
Speaker 1: I won't tell eso the next tip. That is sort of part of your contract, Toral obligation as an etiquette teachers to mention B and D. And if you're not driving a car right now, I wanted to invite you to go ahead and do this with me. If you take your thumb and your pointer finger and you make a circle, you take your other three fingers and put them together, and then you look down at your hands. You're probably looking at what looks like a lower case B in your left hand in a lower case D on your right hand. And the good news is that your bread plate will go on the left hand side of your place, setting up above the silverware and your drink or water glass will go above your silverware on the right hand side of the place setting. If you had a set of glasses for the table, maybe a wine, glass, water, glass, different things, the water glass closest to the center because that's your sort of stable, always their thing. And then the rest of the glasses in the order that you're gonna use thumb working towards the outside of the place setting.
Speaker 1: If you were setting the table with mawr than one utensil of a certain kind multiple forks, multiple spoons, anything like that. The same rule applies. You set them down in the same order that you would use them working from the outside of the place, setting towards the center through successive courses, with the items staying in the same places that we described using forks. So all forks on the left, knives and spoons on the right in that order.
Speaker 2: But what's the one fork that goes on the right? Maybe an
Speaker 1: oyster fork, but we're gonna call it a specialty utensil can
Speaker 2: also included over on the right hand side, even though it's got times and a handle. Shore specialty utensil over on the right. You know, some other little extras that sometimes appear on the table this time of year are, especially if you're you're dressing things up, but you do always usually have your salt and pepper shakers. Um, but sometimes you might do individual ones, like in individual little sellers of salt and pepper for people. Um, if you're going super fancy, there might be a butter dish with butter and a butter knife on it to be passed around. It's Thanksgiving. Who could forget the gravy? And so likely you're gonna have a gravy boat and and often something that it might sit on. There's also the desert silverware that we haven't talked about yet, and that can either be brought out later with dessert. Or it can be placed at the top of the place setting with the fork on the top, with its handle pointing to the left, times to the right and the spoon with its bowl to the left and its handle to the right, so that almost like if you just slid them down into place, handles first. The handles
Speaker 1: would line up nicely with the table, and you have the fork on the left and spoon on the right.
Speaker 2: Um, you can also just use one if you know that there's only going to be one. But traditionally this is a dinner where there is pie and ice cream afterwards, and I would not want to deny anyone a spoon or a fork for either of those items. I've got to say I
Speaker 1: love the addition of the desert silver. It's such a It's a little thing. It's relatively easy to do, and it creates a different look and feel it. That takes the meal, from my perspective, a little bit out of the ordinary, which could be really nice,
Speaker 2: absolutely,
Speaker 2: as you are all starting to think about your holiday plans and what you're going to be doing. Or maybe the fact that certain relatives won't be allowed to be coming to Thanksgiving this year and therefore you get full control over what this table is going to look like. I know there's
Speaker 1: a few of you out there who are dreaming and drooling over
Speaker 2: this. Please send us photos. Show us your mock ups. Let us know what you end up doing for your Thanksgiving table this year. Remember that you can always reach us on our social media channels on Instagram. Where at Emily Post Institute tag us in your table settings so that we can see your Thanksgiving table definitely tag awesome etiquette to so that we know that you are a listener. We would just love, love, love to get a little peek into your world
Speaker 1: over the holidays. All second, that sentiment because and wish everyone the best of luck as you're making your plans. You may not care much about table manners now, but when you grow up to be me, Daniel Care, why why does it matter? Let's imagine the family of dinner with nobody minding his manners. Not very pretty, is it?
Speaker 1: We like to end our show on a high note. So we turn to you to hear about the good etiquette you're seeing and experiencing out in the world, and that can come in so many forms. Today. We hear from Audrey,
Speaker 2: Lizzie and Dan. I really wanted to given etiquette salute to my grandmother. I was supposed to have a wedding in a local park this October, but due to co vid, we had to switch it to a zoom ceremony. She was so supportive the whole way, even as others were downright complaining. As the wedding events progressed, she went out of her way to make the event seemed Justus. Special is if it were in person. She bought a special bottle of wine to drink at my virtual bridal shower, cooked spaghetti for the virtual rehearsal dinner, and even had large backgrounds printed to hang behind her for each event. She was supposed to be our flower girl. And during the zoom ceremony, well, I'm gonna tear up. She brought out some rose petals and started sprinkling them around the screen. Her good humor and determination to make my big day as special in these strange times was so touching. And I know it will be something I remember every time I look back on the day. Audrey. Oh, that is beautiful. Go, Grandma
Speaker 1: Audrey, that is That is really special. Thank you so much for sharing that with all of us.
Speaker 2: Oh, and thank you all for listening on Thank you toe
Speaker 1: everyone who sent us something
Speaker 2: and thank you to everyone who supports us on Patryan.
Speaker 2: Please connect with us and share this show with friends, family and co workers and on social media, you could
Speaker 1: send us questions, feedback and salutes by email. Toe awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can leave us a message or text at 802858 kind that 028585463 That's 8028585463 on Twitter. We're at Emily Post on INSTAGRAM were at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook, where Awesome Etiquette and the Emily Post Institute
Speaker 2: please consider becoming a sustaining member. It truly helps our show 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. It really helps our show ranking, which means more people find awesome etiquette, which means more people are thinking about being nice. Our show was edited
Speaker 1: by Chris Albertine, an assistant produced by Brigitte Dowd. Thanks Kris and Brigitte
Speaker 1: Mhm,
Speaker 1: right