Episode 325 - Partner Introductions
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 family members who want to visit, but don’t take COVID-19 precautions, the implications of whistling around others, wording baby shower invitations, introducing an old boyfriend. For Awesome Etiquette sustaining members your extra question is about changing gifting traditions. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and postscript where we discuss the afternoon tea table courtesy of Emily Post’s 1922 edition.
Speaker 1: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy. That's old fashioned.
Speaker 1: Watch. How is he
Speaker 2: post and damn posts and act as host and hostess.
Speaker 2: They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person.
Speaker 1: Really. Friendliness. Hello and welcome toe Awesome etiquette,
Speaker 2: where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty.
Speaker 1: On today's show, we take your questions on family members who would like to visit but have differing views on safety precautions. Thean flick ations of whistling while around others wording, baby shower invitations when you're not actually going to be gathering and how to introduce
Speaker 2: an old boyfriend for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about changing gifting traditions,
Speaker 1: plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript where we discussed the afternoon tea table courtesy of Emily Post's 1922 edition.
Speaker 2: All that coming
Speaker 1: up e
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: I feel like I hear looks like we made it playing in the background after last week, we made it through the launch. We made it through Thanksgiving. At least we hope we have. It's only Wednesday,
Speaker 1: Lizzie Post. Do you
Speaker 2: often hear seventies rock anthems in your mind?
Speaker 1: I'm just saying I watch way too much television and movies like There is always a soundtrack somewhere in the background,
Speaker 2: but we did make it it. And I'm assuming I'm projecting into the future and saying, I feel relaxed. I feel at ease. The Thanksgiving holiday is behind us
Speaker 1: and life is good, right? E think? I think so. I hope so. Let's see what happens when we get there. We hope that all of you enjoyed your Thanksgivings, that you were able to connect in ways and that you were able to just eat a lot of really good food. That's my favorite thing for sure. It is
Speaker 2: so great. And one of the great things about Thanksgiving is the leftovers.
Speaker 1: That is very true. I feel like this week is all about kind of like, Well, I guess it is about getting back toe work, and we're if we're honest about it. But I also feel like there's just such this wonderful sigh of like, kick your feet up and kind of like sink in for the weekend before you kind of dive into what I now really think of as, like the holiday season. Like the hustle and bustle. I feel like starts now. Maybe not so much this year, but this is where I'm starting toe. Send all those text messages like, Hey, remind me about that story you really love or hey, you know, reaching out to find out if there's a local spot that you know you love for an elf to maybe send something to you this holiday like it's you know, those little kind of buzzy sparks are always around this time of year, which is really, really fun, even just in the lead up to New Year's. You know what I mean? It's like we're closing it out in the Northeast. It's getting cold. We got snow on the ground. It's It's just it's good, it's This is a good time here, but I've got this
Speaker 2: little feeling that we might be particularly celebrating the end of 2020 this year. Just a look ahead, a couple of holidays
Speaker 1: that is so true e picture. Many a celebratory kind of New Year's card in many a fashion will say in many a fashion e think kicking What we didn't like about 20
Speaker 2: 20 to the curb Well, and I entered this podcast, sort of determined Thio have a relaxed feel and vibe, and the second we start talking about post Thanksgiving, I start to remember a conversation I had with Anisha when she saw me taking out our DUVALLY decorations.
Speaker 1: Yeah, this was so cute and
Speaker 2: they came out of the holiday decorations, boxes up in storage. And sure enough, there were some stockings and some other ornaments that presented themselves as we were getting out. The DuVally stuff on Indonesia started to get really excited, and I had to explain to her that No, it wasn't until the day after Thanksgiving that we were allowed to even think about these things. But
Speaker 1: we have a
Speaker 2: deadline with a few
Speaker 1: boxes. I like that I'm with you. I tend to be more of I try to take the holidays that I celebrate in the chronological order that they come in, but I won't lie. I love seeing my neighbors start to put out decorations and on DSO start toe get festive for the season and all the different ways that they dio and it's It's fun. It is. It is brightening my spirit, I will say. And it's been a nice continuation from From, I Guess, Thanksgiving.
Speaker 2: As the days get shorter,
Speaker 1: the cheer gets longer
Speaker 2: on. We need it. We deserve it this year, for sure. Well,
Speaker 1: I'm guessing you're going to tell me that we need to get some questions.
Speaker 2: I think we should. Let's do it.
Speaker 2: Awesome Etiquette is here to answer your questions. You can email them toe awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 You can also reach us on social media on Twitter. We're at Emily Post Inst on Instagram were at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook were awesome etiquette. Just remember, use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your post so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 2: Mhm.
Speaker 1: Our first question is titled Distance Dilemma. Dear Lizzie and Dan. Happiest of Holidays to the extended post clan and a special thank you to the two of you. Awesome etiquette has brought solace and laughter during this difficult year. Thank you. I have listened to your thoughtful comments as you helped others navigate the multitude of changes we have faced. Now I have my own quandary. I live with my mother, who is 90 ish her words. We have been physically isolated since March. We have been very careful. The hardest part is helping to keep her socially close to extended family and friends. Ah, Few weeks ago my brother, who lives in another state, was in the area and wanted to visit. He does not believe in wearing a mask and has not and will not. As he travels, we discussed a distance visit. I was imagining how dance family does this His answer Waas If he could not hug Mom, he would not come. There were many tears here but Mom remained firm in her insistence on distance.
Speaker 1: Now it is the holidays in the same request has come again. I do not want to step in, but fear I must because of the grief this is causing my mom. She misses him terribly. My brother is a good deal older, and I wanna handle this well so as not to make him feel guilty. My sweet mother is old, and this stress is taking a toll on her health. We're trying some face time calls to start. Do you have any ideas or sample script so that I could be kind and clear? Thank you for all that you do. Warm wishes. The baby sister.
Speaker 2: Baby Sister, Thank you for the question. And please give our best to your mother. I am just delighted to hear her description of herself as nineties ish Emily Post you And she should both know, was successful in obvious skating her age later in life. It was so successful at it that there was even some question among biographers as to
Speaker 1: exactly how old she
Speaker 2: waas. But anyway, so that she is well in in step with, uh, I would consider it a great honor tradition in thinking about your current situation. A couple of things come to mind, and we've heard about a number of different versions of this where people social distance protocols aren't in alignment and how you manage your handle. That and it's it's not easy. And at the same time, I think that you're in a pretty good situation because your mother is pretty clear about what her standards limits boundaries are. And to my mind, that makes your job one of being a really clear communicator as to what those are, so that both you and your brother can make good choices and have is respectful a conversation between the two of you, as is possible if there's some really fundamental disagreements about the behavior, that might not be things that you can resolve
Speaker 2: now you've asked for some sample scripts, and I want, oh, offer a couple and bounce that back to my cousin toe help with. But I also want to go over some big picture thinking about the communication itself. That I think is really important, I think will be helpful. And my first thought in that regard is that the more you can do to keep this about exposure and the less you could make it about somebody's views about wearing masks or public health, the easier I think it's going to be. And if you can
Speaker 1: Dan, I think that is incredibly smart advice. I don't mean to interrupt just to congratulate you on great advice, but I really, really do think that that is the key part
Speaker 2: of this. Absolutely. And there's going to be I can only imagine Ah, lot of back and forth. We can't anticipate all of it. But if you can really keep that in your mind that what you're really wanting to talk to him about is what your mother's standards and limits are and how his behavior, his choices relate to that, that it's not about the reasons he's making those choices or, UM, why he does or doesn't wear a mask. But it's really about the fact that your mother
Speaker 2: is watching her exposure, and these are the things she's looking for. And once
Speaker 1: that these were the things she's comfortable with
Speaker 2: exactly, and once that's in place, then you can also have a discussion about things like how difficult it is for her as well as him. But it z really about the interaction, the emotional. It's not about where those choices air coming from, which is, I think, a potentially much more difficult conversation. I
Speaker 1: love the fact that you kind of you came in in the middle there with clear, clear, clear communication. And I think that that even starts with with the order in which you might choose to present things. I love the fact that you've told us that you're trying some facetime calls to start some video chats to start. And I think that that is a really good way for for your brother to be able to literally see your mother. And sometimes even that I feel like can can help to pacify a little bit because otherwise, you know, without the visual it it does feel even more like a barrier to someone you know that you are really close to. So I think, leading with the what are the things we can do that Mom feel safe doing? You know? Hey, brother, Mom feels really safe doing facetime calls, and that's what she's. She's asking me to set up with folks, and she did include you in that group. I would love to set up a facetime call with you and mom if he pushes back and says, Well, I really want to come visit, but I'm only going to come if I get to hug her, then you say? Well, you know, Mom and I have talked about that, and she's talked about it, You know, directly to you. And that's not what she's comfortable with right now. So we'd love to make sure you guys air connecting on FaceTime so that you guys do get to connect the way she feels comfortable. And I just like Dan said, You you keep the focus on Mom's boundaries moms comfort levels and supporting those. And I even think even though you live with Mom and you are very much so impacted sometimes with siblings, it's a little easier to hear that that it's it's mom's desire, as opposed to like whole household. I don't know how your house works, but sometimes in some houses that that tends to be a sort of a bigger the matriarchs. Asking for something is kind of, I think, heavier,
Speaker 2: sometimes often easier to hear. The other thought that I was having, and this would be a discussion that you might have with your mother first is are there
Speaker 2: versions of a visit that she could accept? Um, if your brother wasn't willing to wear a mask all the time when he travels would he be willing to for the sake of seeing your mother doing a period of quarantine for 10 or 14 days? Where, And I use the word quarantine. I don't wanna be inaccurate in my language, but I'm thinking of that as a time period where you would observe stricter social distancing. Maybe you wouldn't see people. Or maybe you would wear a mask if there were things that would make your mother feel comfortable that your brother could do to facilitate a visit, being really clear with her, figuring out what those are and communicating them to your brother not as ah, request for him to change his behavior broadly, but as, ah, a new agreement that maybe he could sign on to in order to engage with your mother. And that's been an approach that's worked for other people. Oh, I usually don't worry about social distancing at gatherings or get togethers. Oh, but I'm going to these people's house and they do so I'll do it for their sake to accommodate them in this situation. And sometimes it's not necessarily about changing your perspective or your views, but making an accommodation so that you can interact with somebody else. And that might be another type of approach that could work with your brother, the
Speaker 1: baby sister. We hope that thes sample scripts and suggestions help, and that you and your mom and brother do get to find safe ways to connect that you could all feel good about.
Speaker 1: But once the young adults understand that their parents are people, people who have habits, moves that are right toe live their own life,
Speaker 1: and when the parents realize how important it is for the young adults to manage their own affairs,
Speaker 1: then they can deal with each other as mutually respecting individuals,
Speaker 1: and their relationships will be healthier and happier.
Speaker 2: Our next question is titled Whistling and Weeping. Good morning. I asked
Speaker 1: my
Speaker 2: husband not to whistle or sing in the room where my daughter, Waas, who had suffered a very painful loss a moment ago I explained that it seemed like a lack of empathy. Is this correct? Thanks a lot Anonymous.
Speaker 1: This is actually spelled a non, Um, which is a nonny mouse, which is really, really cute, and it reminds me of your amounts mint announcement that your dad does for announcement announcement. Mouse mint mountain. Anyway, Sorry Tangent. This is a really interesting question. It it probably isn't the moment for, uh, yes, I said, I guess casual or spirited, whistling, humming. But I you know, I hesitate. It's like how aware is the other person that someone just experienced? Terrible news, You know what I mean? Like, I wouldn't fault someone who just walked into a room doing that, not knowing what was going on. But typically, you would catch yourself and say, Oh, my goodness, what's wrong? Or is everything all right? And then you'd hear No, everything is not alright. Go into sympathy
Speaker 2: mode. I would
Speaker 1: assume, um, that being said hi.
Speaker 1: No, For some people, whistling can develop into such a habit that you're very unaware that you're doing it. And
Speaker 2: so I would I would
Speaker 1: put that out there also, and maybe a gentle called to attention of honey. Maybe not whistling right now, you
Speaker 2: know, might be a good a good reminder. Gentle reminder. I was thinking about the big picture etiquette of this also that that there was the part of your answer where you said, I assume that, you know, if you as you notice that somebody was in distress or emotionally off in some way that you would
Speaker 2: connect with that and you would naturally modify your behavior to respond to that.
Speaker 1: To me, that's the That's
Speaker 2: the heart of the etiquette here. And I really appreciate your vision that, you know, a A parent might miss that. A kid was going through something, depending on what exactly it was. Or how would it impacted them?
Speaker 1: Yeah, to hold the kids are
Speaker 2: did they terror favorite drawing and that just really, like affected them somehow? Or was it something that Dad might be more clued into? Exactly? Yeah, So I would be sympathetic to the father's here, maybe, Or maybe not picking up on those cues in the same way or recognizing it. Um, and I like your idea, Lizzie of that gentle reminder for him, but that there is a like a baseline etiquette here that I do think it's something that,
Speaker 2: in the spirit of Children are people is worth noticing and affirming that if somebody is struggling with something that are really blase, casual attitude can add to that hurt can make someone feel not seen and not connected with
Speaker 1: you know it's true, Dan. Empathy is so fundamental to good etiquette, and yet at the same time, it could be that big that you could miss it. You know what I mean? And it's Or you could be that familiar with someone. Or you could be in such a familiar circumstance your own house walking around on a on a typical Saturday afternoon that sometimes you know the big change, the big sort of emotional mood shift in the room. You could miss it sometimes and put it is,
Speaker 2: it's not a rule that you can apply. It's a skill that you cultivate over time, and the kind of conversation that you're having with your husband is exactly the kind of thing that's going to help cultivate that capacity and I think is really worthwhile. I
Speaker 1: do think that if you're going to point out to someone that they might have missed a moment or not read the room, that sort of a thing, that you also want to do that gently and and with that grain of salt that says, you know, I'm sure you're not meaning to do this on purpose, not that accusatory tone. That's like how on Earth. Could you miss this? A nanny mouse? I think this is going to be our new name for every anonymous person who writes in I want to thank you for asking this question. And we also want to send our sympathies to your daughter. But most of all, Johnny
Speaker 2: has to make himself remember, so his friends won't have to remind him all the time.
Speaker 1: Then he'll start really being considerate of others. How about you? Do you ever forget to be considerate?
Speaker 2: This question is about baby shower suggestions.
Speaker 1: Hello, Dan and Lizzie. Good morning. Do you have any suggestions for a baby shower? Invitation wording for either number one, A shower by mail. Is it appropriate to add the registry address on the invitation? Or should a separate card being closed or to a virtual zoom shower announcement? Any recommendations for wording? Thank you very much for any input you may provide during this very unusual time. Sincerely, Margaret. Margaret, Thank you for
Speaker 2: the question and good work. Thinking about hosting? Well, this is certainly a fundamental part of good etiquette. The question about a a mailed invitation. Where to include the registry. I really like your idea of having the registry information on a separate little insert. We often say it's best to keep any direction about gifts off the invitation itself. So if you've got the wherewithal to do it, um, having that on a separate little insert, I think it's a great way to proceed.
Speaker 2: There was some other wording that wasn't in your question that I think sometimes might come to mind as I was thinking about sample wording it did for me, and I was thinking about calling it a socially distanced shower or social distance shower. And that left too much room for the possibility of it being an in person event with for some social distancing guidelines in place that I would toggle back and really just go with some very traditional announcement language using the words virtual or zoom shower. Lizzie Post. How am I doing with invitation wording?
Speaker 1: I think this is great. I also I don't know why I'm so excited by the idea of a shower by mail. Maybe it's just because I'm looking for something different, and I guess it would be kind of the old school version of a distance shower, you know, when you couldn't all attend. But there was something about seeing Margarets number one a shower by mail. And I was like, That's so cool. Like, I don't know why we still love letters. We still love packages in the mail on. Yeah, and it's It's not that I'm zoomed out or anything, but I did. For some reason, I got really excited by that idea. Is like, That's clever e No, we're all Yeah, well, it's because, like, we're all trying to find the way to connect in person in the moment. And there was something so very freeing. Maybe it's the lazy part of me, but coming out and saying shower. But I would love to just send someone a gift and have them be, you know, stoked for it. And, like, who will save on crepe paper like, you know,
Speaker 2: Lizzie Post, I think there might be more than a few listeners out there who agree with you and wouldn't mind missing those shower games that are so often part of the
Speaker 1: experience. Thank you. Right. Um, no, I think I think that you've really mapped it out Well, And with the zoom shower, I wouldn't actually call it an announcement. I would call it an invitation. And I think you do. You do want to structure. That is an invitation. Um, and you can either say linked to follow or you know something of the like, depending on how you're trying to structure your RSVPs or figure out how to organize this. But that would be just the one thing that I would change about what you have written here. But I'm with you. As best you can put registry information on a separate card. I won't lie. I have seen plenty of shower invitations where it is included because it's a particular party for gifts where you know it's it just it does happen. I still think it's that one. It's It's kind of like choosing Thio. Address that one notch up. I think when you separated
Speaker 2: out Lizzie, I agree so much. When I was giving my answer, I tried to be really careful to say, because you're thinking about that extra card. I think it's such a great idea. There are those exceptions for invitations, those
Speaker 2: particular instances where you might mention gifts or do a no gifts, please. But they are such exceptions that if you I was approaching it in exactly the same spirit is what I guess. I'm trying to say that if you're feeling up for it, I think it's a great way to proceed.
Speaker 1: I think so, too, Margaret. We certainly hope this helps, and we hope that this shower is an absolute blast in your right This very unusual time.
Speaker 1: This question
Speaker 2: begins with a statement. I know who's more important. This question came in via D. M. On Instagram.
Speaker 2: It begins
Speaker 2: this holiday. I will be in a situation where I'll need to introduce my current boyfriend to my ex boyfriend. I know all Capitals that I want to treat my current boyfriend as the Mawr important person of the two, but I'm forgetting what that means in terms of wording. Do I speak to him first or to my ex first, who is introduced to whom thank you Anonymous
Speaker 1: Anonymous. It's a it's a great question, and Dan and I have a lot of thoughts on it because in this particular circumstance, where it's social and your identifying that you want your current boyfriend to sort of be quote unquote, the more important person to you in this particular scenario, then you would speak to him first on DSO you might say something like Jack, I'd like to introduce Sam to you or Jack. This is Sam, and that's sort of the structure for how you've identified that you want to put that importance in place. We're guessing that these two are probably peers. And so we're not in a case like Correct me if I'm wrong, Dan, Where ages? The identifying marker. And it's like your grandmother to you know, your your soccer team mate, or something like that. Or it's not a boss, too. Ah, coworker. You know, Junior Rini. Maybe like it's we're not getting those kind of identifiers. So it z more sort of free range you decide
Speaker 1: it is that, and this is one
Speaker 2: of the things that's more difficult with social introductions. Generally is that what are all these competing factors? How do you identify who is the important person for the purpose of the introduction?
Speaker 1: Would anybody even know in your introduction that you have labeled them the more important person you know? And in
Speaker 2: that sort of gray area, oftentimes people fail to make introductions, and that's the biggest mistake that you can make the error is that this person doesn't know that person's name. This person doesn't know that person's name, and somebody feels left out or excluded or not introduced.
Speaker 2: So kudos for thinking about it. And and Lizzie was absolutely correct in that. In terms of wording, the way that you identify importance in a situation is that the person that you address first has that honor. So you begin the introduction talking to that person who is more important. And I can't remember exactly which names you use Lizzie, but they're invented. So we're going to assume that you chose the right name for that. That right important person,
Speaker 1: Jack to the boyfriend and Sam as the former former boyfriend. But here's
Speaker 2: where I just wanna I wanna complicate matters and
Speaker 1: let's do it. This is a fun conversation. I want to
Speaker 2: separate the idea of who's most important Thio you and who is most important in the introduction and the way that I want to start to tease those things apart is by thinking about a new example that's personal for me, introducing Pooja, my wife, and there is no question that she is the most important person to me in most situations. I
Speaker 1: feel like that's Dan. Setting himself up just in case proved listens s so important. It would be important person, nearly impossible to
Speaker 2: describe the level of importance and what I'm thinking about introductions. That's not what I'm thinking about. I'm oftentimes thinking about AH hierarchy that says, Who's the guest? The visitor or the outsider who has the social status. If it's not organizational hierarchy, maybe it's, um, age the way the way Lizzie mentioned. But if someone comes to visit us at our house, or if I'm walking with Pooch and talking with her or even if were casually chatting at a social function and someone else approaches us, were together were so close. She is so important to me that there is an outsider, someone who's actually got a little more distance from me who's coming in, and their status as an outsider or a guest, for the purposes of the introduction makes them the most important person. So the closeness that Pooja and I have actually becomes the thing that says it's important that we together acknowledge the outsider ness of this other person if that makes any sense.
Speaker 1: In other words, what you're saying is we're so close. We are one. And I shouldn't drink the outside person as the outsider truly like, because they, they're they're outside of our relationship, Onda. We're welcoming them into our space and conversation. In this moment, Um, it's it's almost like you're you're treating her really kind of in a group with you as opposed Thio being an individual. And I'm not saying you're taking away her individuality, but just the way you're thinking about is like we're together.
Speaker 2: We're in a group, Lizzie. I know that's two steps back to get one step forward, but
Speaker 1: what do you think? It's one of the things I really like about the show. This conversation is it gets you thinking, and this makes me think that, you know, we often keep it as simple as possible with things like greetings and introductions. I mean, we've got, like, are five points for the good handshake, You know what I mean? Um, but this is the kind of work that we hope to do that hopes to expand the idea of etiquette to more scenarios because I think it's not always easy to tell. I can totally understand the the situation that you're you're talking about. And I could also see a version of it where someone else could look at that person coming in like your spending time with Pooja. And not that I want to put a negative tone on the person coming in, but that they are an interruption to that time. And so you would want to give deference to Pooja and the interruption that you're asking to make on your time by introducing the other person and having a chat with them for a bit. This all sounds really super formal when typically what would be happening is Dan and poetry walking down the street. Let's say I'm walking the other way and I'd wave and they'd wave or like or Dan would wave at me. And if I didn't know pooch yet, he'd be like, Oh, my gosh, I've gotta introduce you to my cousin Lizzie like you guys haven't met yet, you know, And it would just it would have this ease and feeling that you wouldn't even notice who had been introduced to whom first to place any importance on it because there would be such a nice feeling of welcome and conversation to it that it kind of wouldn't matter. And I think I think that's something that I will be excited Thio tease out and talk about in the 20th edition.
Speaker 2: I think that's such an important reminder, because that really it's that that spirit that is behind the introduction, that's really going to give it life and be the thing that makes everybody feel respected, included, acknowledged to go way back to the start of the question. The mistake that people make is they get nervous about executing, and then they don't do it all and or they do it in a stilted way where it doesn't feel like that natural exchange that you're talking about.
Speaker 1: We were just doing examples of cousins, but this example has an extra little twist to it, and that's that. We're introducing a former partner, and I'm just so curious. Daniel Post Senning What? It's been a while since I've had to introduce a former partner in any new partner, but I am just so curious as to your thoughts on do you identify within the introduction the past relationship do you give someone a quick nudge. Listen, my ex is gonna be here. This is their name. I'll introduce you to them. Um, if you didn't know that your former partner was gonna be there, would you? Would you, you know, give a quick, like heads up or what? If you didn't have time, would you use in the introduction? I mean, there's just there's all kinds of awkward that could go on here. Tell me, how do we stop from squirming? Um, the
Speaker 2: first thing I always have to say whenever there's a relationship question is that it's important that you honor whatever agreements have been negotiated within the relationship
Speaker 1: because everyone sat around and, like, you know, listed these out right? And we all have
Speaker 2: our love languages. We've talked about this on the show, and I think that it's true that within relationships, people reach all kinds of accords. Some concrete, Li stated, some not so explicitly stated, but as concretely understood that, you know, this is the exchange. This is the deal. And in general relationships, one thing might apply, but within our relationship. So I I really like to tell people to honor the coherence that develops within relationships and to the agreed Thio honor the agreements that are made within relationships.
Speaker 1: And if you haven't made those agreements yet, use this episode as a kickoff point to say, Hey, honey, when we run into my ex is would you like me to identify them ahead of time if possible? The
Speaker 2: one thing I would say from an etiquette perspective is I wouldn't identify relationship status as part of an introduction unless everybody was very comfortable and knew each other very well. That's probably not going to be the case when you're making an introduction. So I would stay away from relationship status around those initial exchanges as thinking of them as part of that. But I don't
Speaker 1: say this is my ex Sam or this is my current lover. No, my former, even even
Speaker 2: the polite language. I would just stay away from that designation.
Speaker 1: This is your replacement,
Speaker 2: but I do think there's a real courtesy toe letting someone know if you can ahead of time. Oh, pooch. One of my ex girlfriends is here. I really like we have a great relationship. I wanna introduce you, um, or
Speaker 1: just wanted to give you a head
Speaker 2: wanted to give you a heads up. I think that is a really fair, reasonable thing. Thio alert someone to If it's not gonna totally throw them off their game again, you gotta know your partner and how things work. Um, for some people, that might mean that if you don't have a chance to do that, if you get surprised that you mention it afterwards that you let him know. So they've got some sense of the context that other people had during that encounter. It's also there is no rule of etiquette that says you have to reveal these things. Either, uh, people's past is their past, and people get to make decisions about what they share about their romantic lives also so, outside of the, um, internal agreements that I encourage you to honor, I think it is also true that your private life is your private life and you get to make some choices about
Speaker 1: that. A nanny mouse. Thank you so much for letting us dive into what was a very short question that led to quite a lot of thoughts. It all starts with knowing whether you're going or not, and with whom it helps if the boy is early with the invitation. That way, the girl feels she's Hiss first choice, and naturally, it's only fair that the girl accept or reject as soon as possible.
Speaker 1: Thank you so much for your questions. Please keep them coming. They keep the show going. Send us updates and feedback as well on our answers to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text message at 802858 k i n d. That's 8028585463 You can also find 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 posts so that we know you want your question on the show way.
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Speaker 1: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer in the topics we cover. And today we're hearing from Erica about Episode 3 23. Hello,
Speaker 2: Lizzie and Dan.
Speaker 1: Thank you
Speaker 2: for such a great podcast. It it's
Speaker 1: somehow stimulating and
Speaker 2: relaxing at the same time. What an accomplishment,
Speaker 1: Thank you. That is a really nice compliment. I have
Speaker 2: feedback for episode number 3 to 3, in which a friend threatens to no longer spend time with their friends because their kids are monopolizing their time.
Speaker 2: This person sounds great for spending that time and effort with these kids, but they have lost focus on their own responsibility. Within the social situation, it is completely their responsibility to extricate themselves politely. If that becomes difficult, I don't see why they couldn't ask the parents in a friendly way, especially if they have a close relationship
Speaker 2: as a parent. If I see my adult friends interacting with my Children, then I mostly assume it's for their own pleasure. The forced baby sitting could only happen if the Children were too young and needed care. But
Speaker 1: this doesn't
Speaker 2: seem like the case. If you don't want to play a game, politely decline. If you don't want to get sucked into kid conversation, wrap it up in a friendly way and move on. In my mind, it's exactly like a relationship with another adult whom you may or may not want to interact with.
Speaker 2: In the words of Emily Post and a previous episode, Children are people, too. Not weird aliens. Thanks again, Erica from California.
Speaker 1: Erica, you're so right and and it's definitely good, added encouragement. I think a lot of people do get nervous when it comes to other people's kids, and they worry about saying No, we're turning people down. So it's It's good to give the extra encouragement of Hey, you're there to be an adult in a social party like Go be the adult. It's okay.
Speaker 2: And Erica, thank you so much for reflecting back to us. Emily Post words. Children are people, too,
Speaker 2: and thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please do keep them
Speaker 1: coming. You can send your feedback or update the awesome etiquette at Emily
Speaker 2: post dot com or leave us a voicemail or
Speaker 1: text at 802858 k i n d. That's 8028585463
Speaker 1: It's
Speaker 2: time for our post script segment, where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette,
Speaker 1: and this week we're going to
Speaker 2: stick with our theme of repose and relax ation
Speaker 1: way air diving
Speaker 2: into the 1922 edition of Etiquette to hear about Emily's take on the afternoon
Speaker 1: tea. This can be found on Page 1 71 of the 1922 edition or the replica edition
Speaker 1: the every day afternoon tea table.
Speaker 1: The everyday afternoon tea table is familiar toe everyone. There is not the slightest difference in its service, whether in the tiny bandbox house of the newest bride or in the drawing room of Mrs Worldly of Greatest states. Except that in the little house, the tray is brought in by a woman, often a picture in appearance, an appointment instead of by a butler with one or two footmen in his wake. In either case, a table is placed in front of the hostess. A tea table is usually of the drop leaf variety because it is more easily moved than a solid one.
Speaker 1: There are really no correct in quotes, dimensions. Any small table is suitable. It ought not to be so high that the hostess seems submerged behind it, nor so small as to be overhung by the tea tray and easily knocked over. It is usually between 24 26 inches wide and from 27 to 36 inches long. Or it may be oval or oblong. A double decked table that has its second deck above the main table is not good, because the tea tray perched on the upper deck is neither graceful nor convenient in proper serving not only of tea but of cold drinks of all sorts. Even where a quantity of bottles, pitchers and glasses need space, everything should be brought on a tray and not trundled in on a T wagon. A cloth must always be first placed on the table before putting down the tray, the tea cloth, maybe a yard ah yard and a half or two yards square. It may barely cover the table, or it may hang half a yard over each edge ah, yard and a quarter is the average size. A tea cloth can be colored, but the conventional one is of white linen with little or much white needlework or lace, or both.
Speaker 1: On this is put a tray big enough to hold everything except the plates of food.
Speaker 1: The tray, maybe a massive silver one that requires a footman with strong arms toe. Lift it, or it may be of Sheffield or merely of effective lacquered tin. In any case, on it should be a kettle, which ought to be already boiling with a spirit lamp. Under it.
Speaker 1: An empty teapot, a caddy of tea, a tea strainer and slop bowl, cream pitcher and sugar bowl and on a glass dish, lemon in slices,
Speaker 1: a pile of cups and saucers and a stack of little tea plates, all to match with a napkin about 12 inches square hem stitched or edge to match the tea cloth folded on each of the plates like the filling of a layer cake, complete the paraphernalia.
Speaker 1: Each plate is lifted off with its own napkin, then on the tea table, back of the tray or on the shelves of a separate curate, a stand made of three small shelves, each just big enough for one good sized plate are always to usually three varieties of cake and hot breads. Oh my goodness, someone please set me up with that. Now thats sounds
Speaker 2: exactly like tea at the Plaza. It's just awesome,
Speaker 1: doesn't it? Oh, my goodness, it does, and it's I get such a kick out of it. You know, people would write to us and talk about Emily going on and on about napkin folding or this or that, or the zigzag when you're eating different different dining styles. And this is just a classic example of of where she decides to get detailed with, you know, the inch descriptions and the, you know, perfectly hem stitched edges on things it might match your Tito. I just love it all. And the just table
Speaker 2: the foolishness of a double decker take
Speaker 1: foolish. Ridiculous. You must not be submerged behind the table, but it's just I love. I love the depiction of all of it. The detail that she throws into it, and what I also really love about this is that while you hear us on the show, always talk about how Emily's work, even when it described really fancy and formal situations, was often talking to the Everyman. But this is a place where you really hear her do it in the earliest text, Mrs Three and one, remember, did not become a character in Emily's book in the very first edition. She was someone Emily had to invent because she hadn't given enough space to those of us who are cook, host and made all in one. And so it was really It's really cool to see her in this early edition premises three and one saying, You know a T is going to be just a yes, thank you. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter whether
Speaker 2: you have the yeah, remain the same, remain constant.
Speaker 1: And she continues through. She doesn't just do it in the description of the host or hostess. She does it in the description of the tea tray. It might be, you know, just picturing that silver platter that needs a strong armed person to carry it. Um, is it cracks me up when I think of it, because just that just doesn't happen around our everyday lives anymore, you know? But that little tin tray or when I think about the tray that I have on my wall is a decorative piece, but I use it often as a tea tray. If I have tea with a friend for an afternoon, you know, it makes it accessible to me and relatable. And I thought
Speaker 2: that was really cool. Well, from someone who, at one point in his life used to collect T services from around the world. I didn't get very far. Don't worry. Thats was really a delight because thank you for sharing that with
Speaker 1: us. I do think I might like a little spot of way. Barbara knows the girls are fearful because they have never attended a tea before. Actually, there is nothing to be afraid off, but an thinks that tea could not be as much fun as any kind of game. Corinne is born very bold.
Speaker 1: We like to
Speaker 2: 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 Sandra.
Speaker 1: Hi. I hope you can hear me. This is Sandra calling from Minnesota. I just wanted to leave in a shout out to one of my favorite people in the whole wide world.
Speaker 1: Judy was our neighbor when we lived in Ohio, and she was like a third mom to me. And when my own mother passed away and we were cleaning things up, I found a note that Judy had written to my mom's after mom and Dad had visited us in Ohio. And when you say that words matter, this was so comforting because my mom wasn't jealous of the relationship I had with duty. She loved that. I had another wonderful woman in my life and duty was so kind to write to my mom and tell her how fun it was when they visited. And so I'm sorry. I'm Lovering, Um, but I'm just thankful and wanted to send that shout out. So have a great day. Just finished listening to another awesome episode. Appreciate you guys love the podcast by Sandra. Thank you so much. That was such a lovely salute. And just what a wonderful relationship to get a chance to hear about.
Speaker 2: Thank you for listening.
Speaker 1: Thank you to everyone who sent us something
Speaker 2: and thank you toe. Everyone who supports us on Patryan.
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Speaker 1: show is edited by Chris Albertine and assistant produced by Brigitte Dowd. Thanks Chris E.