Episode 330 - Everyday Thanks
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 vaccine access, asking guests to remove their shoes in your home, a bride throwing a shower for herself, and how to politely turn down a pyramid scheme offer. For Awesome Etiquette sustaining members your bonus question is about posting on the wedding website when plans have changed. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript where we discuss everyday gratitude and the book 365 Thank You’s by John Kralik.
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 damn 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,
Speaker 1: where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On
Speaker 2: today's show, we take your questions on vaccine access, asking guests to remove their shoes in your home, a bride throwing a shower for herself and how to politely turned down a potential
Speaker 1: pyramid scheme. Offer for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about posting on the wedding website when plans have changed, plus your most
Speaker 2: excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript where we discuss everyday gratitude and the book. 365. Thank Used by
Speaker 1: John Kralik. All that coming up. Yeah,
Speaker 1: awesome
Speaker 2: etiquette comes to you in this wonderful year of 2021 from the studios of our home offices in Vermont and is proud to be produced by the Emily Post Institute. I'm Lizzie Post
Speaker 1: and I'm Dan Post
Speaker 2: sending Hey, because how's it going? It's going great. We decided to record this episode, actually, after the holiday, for once. So we actually get to talk about the holiday within the week that it happened. I'm excited. I'm excited. It was so wonderful to see you on New Year's. We did an outdoor masked on extravaganza. I feel like, but it was It was. It was so much fun. I am still smiling from it somehow,
Speaker 1: you know, you get 10 people together all
Speaker 1: again appropriately mast and apart. But it feels like a big event in our wives.
Speaker 2: It felt like our family, which was really nice. Yeah,
Speaker 1: so a little background. I could not help myself. I had some idle hands between the day of Christmas and the New Year's holiday, and I found myself enlisting my 3.5 year old daughter on an adventure mission
Speaker 1: to the nearest fireworks store, where we acquired a not small supply of medium grade, commercially available fireworks.
Speaker 2: Thanks very much to the fact that they do curbside pickup, and I just we need to break before you continue on with our New Year's adventure plot. And can you, Dan, just maybe because honestly, in the five almost six years that we've been doing this show. I don't think that we've ever talked with our audience about our genetic predisposition to fireworks, courtesy of our grandfather born on the Fourth of July. We like to explode things in the post family. It's true. Do you wanna maybe paint the picture of your love of fireworks? Because you with with the catalog as a kid and the hour and a half detour every year to the vineyard to go to the fireworks store? I mean, this has been a huge part of your life, and I don't think we've ever told the audience
Speaker 1: about it. I mean, really, this could go so many directions. And I've said a couple days ago, when I was talking to you on the phone, I said, Whatever you do, don't give me license on the podcast to talk about fire or ex pleased.
Speaker 2: So of course you know what? I decided I was doing first thing on her introduction today, but it's true when we got talking
Speaker 1: about it, it's something I really enjoyed. And when you bring Poppy, I mean, I have this very early memory of Poppy and Chris, a good friend of his Chris Curtis getting, ah blasting license so they could remove rocks from the little chip and putt golf course they maintained and they were blasting rocks. And I just remember going up there tow, watch them use dynamite on. Maybe that was where being I thought Chris was the funniest person I'd ever heard in my life. You made a joke about blowing stuff up with dynamite into my little three for whatever four or five year old
Speaker 2: years influenced mind. It was
Speaker 1: the coolest thing I had ever heard in my entire life.
Speaker 1: Um,
Speaker 2: and you also have to picture like our Our grandfather was this very elegant man. He was very tall and very lean, and he did not move quickly. It ever. Um, but he also really loved to blow stuff up. And it got like it was an existence.
Speaker 1: Bonfires, fireworks on the fourth of July.
Speaker 2: All of it, all of it. And so getting toe, actually, you know, get a permit, do some blasting and like, and do it right and everything. It just he was, You know, we'll all kinds of all kinds of grim metaphors come to mind, but He was a kid in a candy store and and it was a joyful expression. And for us kids getting to be a part of that, whether it was like you said a firework or or it was some kind of landscaping work that they were doing on the property, you saw twinkle in that man's I. This was like highlight of Lifetime. Anytime we got to blow something up and you know it Z on the
Speaker 1: other side of my family. My father loves a good firework display, and it was one of things he and his father in law my grandfather connected over, No question.
Speaker 2: Yeah, but yeah, I used to have the
Speaker 1: catalogs as a kid, and I would save up my money and plan my buys, and it was a big deal, and I put on little shows for family and friends and
Speaker 2: e mean it all culminated. I didn't
Speaker 1: Easter and Easter Sunrise service fireworks display at the Blush Whole Country Club for the congregation that went up there for a sunrise service when you're
Speaker 2: with the minister's son, all under the supervision
Speaker 1: of the minister of the Church. It was also a bit of a fanatic eso There is some history here, and
Speaker 2: there's a gleeful history here. Yet it
Speaker 1: was so much fun. It was so much fun to do. That mission with knee should start to plan it. And then also to to invite just a couple of people over toe to celebrate the New year and bring it in and do something safe and outdoors, but also something kind of special. And it really was nice to see you there and have everyone enjoy it as much as they did was such a treat.
Speaker 2: It was so much fun and all that. You gotta you gotta understand. There were the four little girls of the family of the setting family, all dancing with sparklers and cheering and screaming as loud as they could. I mean, it was it was a scene that was a gaggle. It was a total scene, and it was so much fun and it honestly, really had that feeling of family and celebration. And so I I really appreciated getting an invite to that. It really made my New year's something very, very special. And it was also really fun because you all have little kids. So it was over by seven. And everyone was in cars and on their way home the night, like and and earlier. And then I got to spend the rest of New Year's, you know, curled up with a grazing platter in front of just me and the dog and cats. And it was great. Yeah, but it was snowing up where you were a snowy down here in the valley now, but it was snowing up in the mountains, so it had that snow magic to it. Um, any of you who tapped into the instagram actually got to see the end of the fireworks display. So it was It was a lot of fun. And I really appreciated the invitation. Thank you for for helping all of us to ring in 2021. Um, with a lot of cheer. It was It was really great. It was really great, cause thank you.
Speaker 1: Well, thanks for giving me an excuse to play with my favorite toys.
Speaker 2: E. Have a feeling that that doesn't have to be just a holiday celebration. Anytime you want. Any time you want to fire up fireworks, you just let me know. You know me
Speaker 1: I'm all about restraint and joy. So no, you gotta You gotta follow the rules. What? We could talk again on the fourth or maybe next year. Around this time,
Speaker 2: I don't know. I like the Easter one. We could do some Easter fireworks. Valentine's Day is just around the corner.
Speaker 1: Birthdays between here and there,
Speaker 2: Groundhog Day. That's one to celebrate. Let's do it. Wait
Speaker 1: a minute. Speaking of Let's do it, there's no question question We have to
Speaker 2: get Let's do it.
Speaker 1: Let's do it.
Speaker 1: Awesome Etiquette is here to answer your questions. You can email them toe awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's a 028585463 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 posts so that we know you want your question on the show. So
Speaker 2: our first question is titled Vexed about the Vaccine. Happy New Year. Awesome etiquette team. I'm writing with a question that I hope will be irrelevant in just a few months.
Speaker 1: But
Speaker 2: that's given me some trouble. In the meantime, this morning I got the first dose of the Covad 19 vaccine, which is so exciting after this difficult year. My question is how to talk about my early access with friends and co workers. I'm not an obvious candidate to get vaccinated in the first rounds. I'm in my thirties and not a health care worker or a first responder. But my job puts me in the continuity of government category that many states are using to help prioritize access. To be honest, I wrestled with whether or not I should get it now, instead of waiting until it's available more generally to my demographic, but ultimately decided to be grateful for the opportunity to help protect my family and my community a soon as possible. That said, I'm not sure how to handle questions that I anticipate will come my way in the coming weeks. Already, co workers and friends have started making comments criticizing the way our state is making access decisions, asking why they aren't considered essential or even just lamenting that there still appear to be months ahead before it will be available to the general public. Others have asked directly whether and when I plan to get the vaccine once it's available. My initial instinct was not to talk about it at all in an effort to avoid hurt feelings and the pressure to defend why I got it before others in more vulnerable categories. But I don't wanna lie or be misleading as thes topics come up, which I expect maybe fairly often in the new year. I'd also like to be able to talk confidently about my decision to get the vaccine around my family and friends in the vaccine cautious category to hopefully encourage them to feel confident about it, too, when their time comes. Do you have any advice about how to approach these conversations with kindness and tact? Best wishes. Cassie
Speaker 2: Kasie. Thank
Speaker 1: you so much. And congratulations on being an early candidate. This question is so packed. There's so much good etiquette here that I almost feel like a whole show talking about all the different angles.
Speaker 2: I feel like so much of Kasi's email to us was that first step of the five step process where you're really thinking about who's involved and how are they affected. And this is a moment where she's thinking about all the all the people who are who are potentially involved, who she could keep out of it. You know, it's like she really is thinking about the kind of expansive it, as opposed to just hurt the center of it. You know,
Speaker 1: absolutely. And oftentimes we say that when you're wrestling with something new or unfamiliar, whether that's because it's new conditions and everyone's wrestling with it or whether it's because it's new to you, what's the first time you've encountered something like it in your life? Etiquette could be a real guide, and I do think there is some advice that we could give that comes from the world of etiquette. That could be really helpful with a number of these questions. Even with there being a lot of it depends. And on this side, there might be this coming into play on that side. There might be that coming into play, um, some big picture things that are really easy, but also that are important to say, is that because this is ah, health and a personal health issue in question that in a lot of cases you get to decide you there. The choice is up to you, how much you want to talk about this and how and when and where you want to do that. And people are gonna understand that. The idea that for the most part, healthcare decisions are considered personal and private. And we do live in a really interesting time where we're dealing with a public health emergency, and some of those lines can feel confusing, blurred gray. But when we're talking about it and we're talking about the social sphere, when we're not talking about the information that goes on a form that you're submitting to,
Speaker 1: whatever your daycare hospital or someone who you're accountable to in terms of your health, it really is up to you. So you do get to decide and thinking about it ahead of time is a really good idea. Figure out where your boundaries are, what it is that you want to say. What is that you're comfortable saying, and maybe even practicing a little bit so that you get the tone and the field that you want, right, because that's going to get us into the second part of my advice, which is that if you're doing something new or for the first time, and I'm thinking
Speaker 1: in a parallel way to people who are new adopters of early technology or communication technology is someone who's trying a vaccine relatively early on but wanting to be able to talk well about it. Thinking about yourself is an ambassador as, ah, as an early adopter who has a role to play in terms of how you represent your experience is something to really think about and toe have a little bit of a sample script, both in terms of what it is you want to say and how you feel about it, so that you're able to convey that effectively.
Speaker 2: I feel like Cassie. Even in the language that she's she's written. Tow us has identified some of the things that might make for good sample language. Things like you might be surprised that I'm in the early availability category for the vaccine. It's my job that puts me in that position, and I even wrestled with whether or not I should or shouldn't get it and ultimately decided the safety move was to get it as soon as you could, you know, finding ways to say that or feel confident, as you say it might help address if the topic comes up, you know, how did you end up here in this group? And one of the things that that Dan actually wrote in our notes that I think is really key is to not feel shame that you were given this availability to the vaccine early this early access. It wasn't something you personally chose. You just happened to fit the criteria. And I think that that is one of the ways that as if conversations start coming up and you find yourself either wanting to be involved to them or having a hard time avoiding them, I think that no shame p stand that that you had written down was really a key component to it. Delivering these words confidently and even maybe expecting a little bit of confusion from some people, as you have laid out for us, I think really kind of helps set the tone and helps us kind of catch up to where your life is in the realm of it or the scheme
Speaker 1: of it. Excuse me. I think there's something really refreshing about your approach, the way you're both candid and honest about exactly why certain people were chosen toe have this availability early. That it works for protecting the continuity of government and being able to talk clearly about those things I think, is one of the important parts of instilling some trust in a public health strategy. And ultimately, that's what you're talking about. Here is recognizing that there are reasons this thing has been set up the way it's been set up, and your willingness to accept that and go along with it is a decision that you've made. And I think there's a lot of important information that's communicated by the way you've made that decision or in the way that you've made that decision. So your ability to talk about that if that's something you're willing to talk about, is a really powerful thing.
Speaker 2: Your final question, Cassie asks. So how do I approach these conversations with kindness intact and the kindness is going to come from within? That's that's something that, um, you know, I feel like when we feel like we're in a safe space when we feel comfortable, I think it's a lot easier for us to access our kindness. So going back to those points about getting confident with language you might use to enter various types of conversations either being asked directly or if you hear people in a group talking about it if you choose to speak up or not. But just getting the confidence with your wording about what you are comfortable, what you're not comfortable discussing regarding it all that prep work, I think can help you access that kindness well when the time comes because you kind of already got a plan for how to handle it and in terms of attacked, that's really more about that again, that first step of of our five step process, where you're kind of reading the room and you're you're really thinking about the individuals who are involved and how this might affect them and just giving yourself that space to think and and being someone who clearly thinks about consideration and respect well, I think it will get you to the place of being able to deliver in a way that's gonna feel right for the situation and for how much of your own experience you want to expose?
Speaker 2: Um, the other thing, when it comes to dealing with others, is knowing that this is, ah, topic that people are concerned about, that there is some urgency around something that's charged for a lot of people. Just giving the space face around that kind of charged topic or a topic that has some urgency can also help and be a part of that attacked, allowing other people toe sort of have their experience and their thoughts and everything and just know that you're okay. You know, it can it can be really, really tough. But that tact, I think, is about kind of really looking at the whole and being prepared that, you know, people might not be their best when they're replying to you and going back to that space of I know why I did this. I know why I was offered the ability to be able to do this at this stage. And I'm I'm happy and confident with my choice. And I'm excited for other people to get to access that choice to, um I think those will be the things that keep you in that zone of kindness intact.
Speaker 1: Kasie. Thank you so much for this question. It's a really good one to start off 2021 with, and I think that we'll probably see some or like it before the year is over.
Speaker 1: Every step we take to prevent the spread of disease means increased happiness on greater living efficiency for all of us.
Speaker 1: Our next question is a classic, and it's about no shoes, please.
Speaker 1: Hi, Lizzie and Dan. I'm so excited to be writing in today. For the first time, I want to ask about wearing shoes in the house. I have seen this issue come up in many etiquette forums, and there is always conflicting information.
Speaker 1: So
Speaker 2: is it
Speaker 1: acceptable to ask your guests to take their shoes off? If your house is shoe free, do you need to provide a reason slippers, etcetera? Or should you just request that they removed their shoes when they walk in? I typically don't mind taking my shoes off in other's homes as I understand how dirty shoes could be. Once I was working as a delivery person and I was asked to take my shoes off to bring the bags to the kitchen. I found that odd. I also did not enjoy being asked to take my shoes off When I attended a house party in college, the floors were sticky and there were 50 plus people in the home. Are there any limits to this practice? Thanks, Shoeless in Seattle.
Speaker 2: Oh, Shoeless and Seattle were so with you. This is like like I don't mind that often. Like dance houses, a no shoe house. You've got a lot of kids crawling on the floor, you know what I mean? Like, there's just a lot of carpeting. It's and it's like really quick after you enter. So it's not like there's other surfaces to kind of absorb it. Um, it's it's like that and I don't really mind like taking off my shoes if I'm coming Well, in years past, when I was coming to work up at your house for the day or something like that, But I'm so with shoeless in Seattle that had, like, a 50 person college house party. You keep your shoes on for safety's sake. I mean, it's like you just don't know what bottle has dropped. You know, Onda Geun, the floors air sticky like that's That's a place where I say you're inviting that many people to your house. Your house is getting messy anyway. People keep their shoes on for safety sake and for me toe like a dinner party where I'm expected to dress up a little bit more. I would not expect to take my shoes off, or I would I would at least be expected to be given a heads up ahead of time so I could bring a pair of indoor shoes. We've talked about that being a really nice thing for host to say so. Dan might tell me if he's doing a special dinner party that's not like our normal holiday parties or something like that in our family and he's invited me up. He might say something like, Hey, we are, you know, still going to do the no shoes thing. If you don't mind bringing a pair of indoor shoes for the night, that be great and that would put me at ease. I would be like, Okay, I know what's going on. I'll bring my extra shoes, they'll be fine. But there could be lots of reasons why you get asked to take your shoes off in someone's home. And generally, Dan, correct me if I'm wrong. Our advice is that you run with what your host has asked that you pay attention to your friends home so that you know whether you should bring a pair of indoor shoes or not. I'm with you, the delivery one. Maybe like I mean, could the bags have been brought in without having to enter all the way into the kitchen and make you take your shoes off? I don't know. I don't know the circumstances of that one, but I'm with you. I probably wouldn't make a delivery person take off their shoes for a quick drop off. It's such a dance, and I wouldn't either hand
Speaker 1: also tell you that it's a really courtesy that, ah, lot of trades and delivery people who work in the Northeast where sometimes you you do you wear a pair of boots and that you bring a pair of slip on things that go over boots. So if you're gonna be going in and out of the house a bunch, they're all of these reciprocal courtesies around respecting the home and the cleanliness of the the hosting party, but also
Speaker 1: the sort of privacy, the idea of like asking someone to take things off to come in and engage with you. It's
Speaker 2: a real privacy.
Speaker 1: People don't want to take their shoes off for all kinds of reasons. Just like some hosts don't want shoes on in their homes for all kinds
Speaker 2: of reasons. Eso all of the little accommodations
Speaker 1: that happened so that people can enter each other's homes and get work done and entertain and visit our to be there really phenomenal and delicious etiquette questions. As as you were talking Lizzie about the dinner party scenario, I was thinking to myself that so often is the formality of the event goes up. The structure of that relationship starts to increase, and I think about your mother bringing party shoes so that she doesn't have to wear the boots that she wore outside. Inside, she would assume that she was wearing shoes on. That would require that she brings something that she could wear as ah host for that kind of a party. You wouldn't ask someone to take off their shoes, so you kind of need both people diverting from their usual one, bringing something extra one. Maybe allowing for something to be worn.
Speaker 1: I
Speaker 2: know it. Zi Xiu shoes on shoes off will forever be a host guest debate. There will always be exceptions. There will always be reasons on both ends, often crossing into the medical realm for why people would want to leave them on or leave them off. I mean, it really kind of. It's a It is a never ending etiquette conundrum that we have just because we have this ability to put things on and off of our feet. I had a grant. My grandmother on my other side of the family thought it was, and I would use the term disgusting toe, have people's socked her bare feet on her floors and her carpets and things like that. And she she thought shoes were the like, You know, you needed your shoes. Even your guest room had little slippers you could borrow so that when you came downstairs for breakfast in the morning, you weren't in your bare feet. It was like that s o it Z. It really is sort of a teach their own. If there's something that prevents you one way or the other for from complying if you can. Explaining that to your host and seeing if there's an accommodation that can be made is really thoughtful. And if you you can't trying to find your own workarounds, um, like, bringing an extra pair of clean shoes or something like that is really a good way to go. But she listens. Seattle you've given us one of our favorites to dive into. It really is a never ending question like we could. We could keep going. There's
Speaker 1: a reason the etiquette forums are filled with discussion of this
Speaker 2: topic. It's true. It's so very, very true. And I predict, cousin, that we will revisit this again.
Speaker 1: Ah, but now, in their pristine, unencumbered glory, let's take a look at human feet. Civilized feet pound the pavements on pay the price.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 2: our next question is titled Wedding Shower Woes. Hi, Lizzie and Dan. Happy New Year. I need some guidance from you both on how to handle a situation in my family. One of my husband's extended family members has a daughter who is about to get married. I recently received a Facebook invitation from the bride for a virtual shower that she is hosting for herself.
Speaker 2: I know this is wrong on so many levels. Yet at the same time I feel like I am being snobbish and judgmental to think so. I want Thio on principle ignore this invitation. But that seems rude. I was thinking I could potentially ignore the invitation and send her a card or gift on my own. Thea other thing is that I'm not even that close to her. But she is young and she's family. Those are woes. Anonymous advise not
Speaker 1: a question. I really appreciating this question because we're so often ask questions about how to deal with rudeness when it's ah, stranger or someone in the street. But when we're confronted with something that's rude,
Speaker 1: sort of. Among the circle of people that were interacting with socially in this case is extended family. In many ways, it's one of the most difficult or challenging etiquette questions, and hence one of the best etiquette questions if we value judgment on
Speaker 2: them. I had so many sympathies when I was reading this, I was like, Oh, that is kind of cringeworthy. And yes, I feel snobbish and judgmental for thinking so.
Speaker 1: And there is some really good and clear etiquette here, and we could just follow it. And then from there, work outward assed faras the invitation. You respond to an invitation and you respond by saying, No, you're not going to go, which is entirely appropriate. You can say yes, you can say no. You can say I need a little more time and then get back to the person in the time that you've extended for yourself. But generally speaking, you don't ignore the invitation. That would be the only really rude thing that you that you could do in this situation. You don't need to get into the reasons why your declining absolutely, absolutely as far as whether or not you give a gift that that really is entirely up to you. If you're feeling inspired and
Speaker 2: you might
Speaker 1: be, you might say to yourself, Boy, you know, that wasn't totally appropriate for her to be throwing yourself a shower. I don't want to go to that. But now that the whole thing is crossed, my radar and I'm thinking about a family member getting married be a nice gesture to send a gift that is entirely appropriate thought tohave and thing to do and and even a really nice gesture. Eso if it comes from a place of generosity in you and you can feel good about it, Absolutely. That's a great way to kind of turn this whole situation around a little bit.
Speaker 2: The one thing that I really like about invitations is that we do get to say yes or no to them. And if they do make us uncomfortable for some reason, we we can decline that party. We can decline that invitation. But what I like here, too, is that are our question asked her is saying, and I know I could do this, but I also you know, I do have some of those warm fuzzies in certain places. Has it? The faux pas of throwing your own shower hasn't so extinguished the celebration for this young woman, and I think that that's I see some hope in there. And, as you know, Dan and I like to say, lean in, lean in where you can for that kindness and that support. And if you feel you're able to send a gift but not attend, that's perfectly appropriate. So the only other thing Dan that sort of ah ah family member might do for another family member in this situation is to give them the heads up of Hey, wait a second. I'd be happy to throw this for you. You don't have to throw your own shower for yourself, but that unless you are super close and this is coming in before invitations have been sent out, that's it's like not as easy a path toe go down. At this point, I could see maybe someone wanting to clue in a younger member of the family of Actually, Wait, there's a better way to do this. And at this point, the invitations have gone out. It's a It's a bizarre year for celebrations. It still is, So we have a lot of leeway in this. I still don't think that you should host your own virtual shower, but,
Speaker 2: you know, maybe maybe she was the only person to host it for herself and again, it's still not the direction you'd want to go, but But I I at this stage E wouldn't try to correct the mistake if this was happening to someone and a young niece or relative was was talking to you about it and saying, I'm just gonna throw my own shower. Since nobody's doing it, no one will be able, Thio say, I'll throw it for you. I won't gather together people, does the virtual shower for you and I'll throw it for you. Keep Yeah, right. But But I think that because we're not in that moment that that that wouldn't be something I would, you know, I would jump into pointing out, especially if if you're not terribly close. Anonymous. Thank you for the
Speaker 1: question. Whichever direction you decide to go, we hope that you have fewer wedding shower woes in the future.
Speaker 1: I don't understand.
Speaker 2: Well, the girls decided to give me a surprise shower. Wasn't that sweet of them? A shower, But we're not. Why? I told him they were rushing things a little, but they're convinced that it's only a matter of minutes until we're man and wife. Yeah,
Speaker 1: Our next question is a family business problem. Hi, Dan and Lizzie. First of all, thank you for a wonderful weekly podcast. I've been listening for six years and have always been a huge fan of your insightful answers. Today I'm writing in for the first time about how to respond to pyramid scheme requests. My friends and I agree that we run into this issue all too often and have no idea what the proper etiquette is here. My father and his new wife are heavily involved in pyramid scheme type businesses. They have achieved a good deal of success and do well, and I'm happy for them. But it's not the path I want to take. They often try to convince me to sign up under them while we're visiting, for example, I'll make a joke about how our new favorite restaurant is yummy and affordable. And my dad's wife will say, If you get involved in the business, you won't need to worry about affordable. Or she will ask whether I plan to stay with my company for the next few years on Lee to spin my answer. Regardless of what it is to say that I should consider joining if I want to do better in life, almost every question they asked me is the lead into their sales pitch. It's hard to have an authentic relationship with my father anymore. When this happens, my husband and I smile uncomfortably, given noncommittal or other answer and change the subject. Should
Speaker 2: we be
Speaker 1: doing something mawr or is the best etiquette to just avoid? We often visit them for weeks at a time. So it is getting tiring. Best tired of the hard sell.
Speaker 2: Oh, tired of the hard sell that this is a tough one, especially because you've got the parental thing going on where it's like, Can't you just see a dad and and like a step mom wanting to be like Oh, but they could enjoy all the things we enjoy if they just joined us, if they just joined us here, if they just joined us here and and it's so hard when you are happy, you're confident or okay with how things were going in your own life to have someone dangle a carrot you don't want to eat, you know what I mean? It's like you do. Eventually, you kind of want to swat it away. And I think that obviously the not polite thing to do would be to really give it to them and tell them just how frustrated this is and how un enjoyable life is because all they talk about is joining the now business that they're a part of. And I think the answer I keep coming to when we think about this question is that you wanna have that candid conversation with your dad and and and and maybe with both of them if you are close with both of them and have good relationships with both of them. But I think really sitting down with your dad and talking about how important the father daughter relationship is and how you do really like the opportunity to get to go to spend weeks, you know, at a time with them, but that there's been a real, consistent theme to the conversation and for you to feel comfortable coming back that's gonna have to change. Or that you're going to need to talk about MAWR things and broaden the range of topics that you're talking about, other than just finding new ways to join the business. Sometimes, like a hard, hard sell needs a firm no. And if you haven't been able to deliver that as of yet, or maybe it's been a little while since that first firm no was delivered, they might need to hear it a little bit. E don't want to say more strongly, but clearly might be the way to put it. And to really find the things that you do want to focus on with them and keep driving, you know the attention to those things. So if it's a sport or a hobby that you all do together, maybe you all love talking politics. I don't know, but it's whatever it is lean into. That is what I would is what I would go with a conversation and then some really active redirecting of of conversations later
Speaker 1: on. Correct. Correct me. I want to be sure I'm hearing you right here. Lizzie Post. Are you saying that when you're part of a family that also does a lot of business? You have to spend some time really working on defining the boundaries between that family life and that business
Speaker 2: life. We have had no experience in this whatsoever ever in our 30 30 plus 40 plus years of life ever. Um, yeah, I know you're you're right on to set boundaries because you need to set boundaries with family and business.
Speaker 1: But I'm asking the question. I'm asking it in a cheeky way on purpose because I think another tactic in this conversation that can help is separating the discussion about keeping the family and the business relationships distinct or separate, or at least making an effort to carve out time for each that's appropriate, but that that that doesn't need to be a reloaded conversation about your opinions or thoughts about the particular business that he's involved in. Yeah, this is There's so many family businesses in such a huge percentage of U. S. Economy is family businesses big and small, and all kinds of families have toe work out. These these dynamics, these dynamics and and how you can protect those family relationships and also sometimes supported acknowledged the importance of the businesses well. And I think that there's a balance to be struck there and something. I just sort of hinted that or made a nod to that. I also wanted to say explicitly at some point in this answer is,
Speaker 1: um even even the language of calling something a pyramid scheme could be really offensive to someone because pyramid schemes, really, they're frauds, and they ultimately leave some people exposed and and taken advantage of, and it's ah, language that's oftentimes used not directly about something that's actually a pyramid scheme. Sometimes people use that language to talk about direct marketing, and there's some companies that operate on direct marketing models that are incredibly successful in are incredibly successful for the people that participate in them and they're not for everyone. And a lot of people that participate understand those trade offs. And I would just be really careful about that language in particular. And I we we didn't talk about the particulars of the business. It might be that he's involved in pyramid scheme, which is really dangerous and potentially trouble for everyone. But
Speaker 2: in which case you might have some other conversations
Speaker 1: that you might might wanna have. But but that would be some particular language that I would be careful about. I would really investigate also to keep that conversation, one that that your your father is likely to be able to hear.
Speaker 2: Tired of the hard sell. We hope that you are able to make your family gatherings. Maura about family and less about the business.
Speaker 2: A
Speaker 2: good
Speaker 1: salesman helps the buyer.
Speaker 1: The measure of success is not how maney sales he makes, but how Maney customers he satisfied.
Speaker 1: Such salesmen are serving throughout the whole of our economy.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: thank you for your questions. Please send us updates or feedback on our answers. Toe awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 You can also reach us on social media on Twitter. We're at Emily Post in On Instagram were at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook were awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your post so that we know you want your question on the ship.
Speaker 2: If you love awesome etiquette and we really hope you do, please consider becoming a sustaining member by visiting us at patryan dot com slash awesome etiquette. You'll get ads free version of this 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 so much for your support. You can become a sustaining member by visiting patryan. That's P a T r e o n dot com slash awesome
Speaker 1: etiquette.
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 Katie on the widower and his wedding ring question from last week. Dear Dan, Lizzie and friends. I, too, became a puddle of tears upon hearing the question from a husband, mourning his wife and wondering about when he should remove his wedding ring. In fact, I have pulled over in my car to wipe my face and send this email. I'm safely in a parking lot. Don't worry, thank you. I've seen people in this situation never removed their ring. If they become ready to open their lives to a new partner, they just make that known. They ask someone on a date, tell their friends that they're interested, or take a friend for coffee after church ring still firmly on hand, I have seen people who chose to continue wearing that first ring, even as a new spouse slipped a second ring on the same finger in marriage. The first ring remains to honor the life and love of the past. As the new ring signified their new bright future.
Speaker 1: So to that original letter writer, I say you do you exactly as you want. And if someone comes into your life in such a way that you wish to join those lives in marriage, communicate. Talk to your new partner about both of your feelings. Maybe you will have already removed the ring. Maybe you leave it forever. It's up to you and your partner, and that is all best wishes for all the love, peace and joy your life can hold sincerely KTs
Speaker 2: Okay, Yes, Thank you so much for writing that in and we couldn't we just couldn't agree more.
Speaker 1: I'm so glad that this piece of feedback made this show. Katie. We heard from several people about that particular question, and I definitely think touched a chord with many people. Thank you for your back and thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please do keep them coming. You can send your next feedback or update awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 802858546
Speaker 2: 33
Speaker 2: It's time for our post script segment, where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette, and today we're going to talk about one of our favorite subjects. Gratitude coming out of the year that had horribleness touch almost everyone on the planet. There was also a really emphasis on expressing what we're grateful for and seeking out where we could find gratitude. It's often a suggestion for those who are struggling to focus on what they may have or what we may have, and it really felt like the world did this together this year. And Dan, it reminded you of the book 365 Thank Used by John Kralik, and you wanted Thio share that with us today.
Speaker 1: It sure did. And for people that listen to the show regularly, which we know because we can see the statistics, um, is most of the audience. Uh, there was earlier in the holiday season, sort of. In December, we did a post script on gratitude around gift giving and gift exchanges, the importance of gratitude and relationships, and it comes up a lot around the holiday season, the end of year around gift exchanges. But it's also true that gratitude is just incredibly powerful all the time and the ability to take that skill that we ritual eyes and make a production out of over the holidays and make it part of our everyday life. Part of how we conduct ourselves is often one of the challenges of transitioning out of the holiday season and into a new year. Um, and the book 365 Thank uses, you can probably guess, is about ah, project of writing a thank you note, or at least a thank you note, a day, every day for a year for 365 days. What better reminder or book or theme kickoff to 2021 than a reminder? The subtitle of the book is the Year. A simple act of daily gratitude. Change my life. I thought it was a good candidate for a very, very brief reading to sort of kick off this thought for us and hopefully inspire us to take some of that holiday gratitude.
Speaker 2: Dan likes to give you all brief readings, and I'm going to encourage readers many of you can fit into our time frame because this does is good stuff. Well, eso. But one of the reason I keep
Speaker 1: this one that I am keeping this one brief is that you see I won't I won't. I won't set up the reading too much. But there's an everyday quality to it. And it's one of things that's so powerful about this book is that it's a reminder of how transformational, really small, everyday actions can be. So for John Krey, like the author of this book, the inspiration came from a moment of life that was desperate a moment of desperation. His life was at an absolute nadir, both personally as well as professionally, and he was looking for something, anything to hold onto. And he's looking back at lessons he learned in his life from his parents from his grandparent's. And he kind of latched onto the idea of gratitude being important, that being something that he learned as a child and his family value system, and he made a commitment to return to it, and the way he wanted to anchor that commitment that he made to himself was in the act of writing a thank you note every day. So are reading. Today begins the Chapter four, where he's undertaken this project, this task that will ultimately prove to be transformative in surprising ways. Not just, um, sort of professionally about
Speaker 2: myself. Yeah, well, and not just
Speaker 1: Oh, my, my, my job got better. I started to succeed more professionally, but on a deep psychological level, he starts Thio find more satisfaction with all kinds of elements of his life and new ways to reconcile himself with people and the conditions of his life. It's a book about transformation, about the power of small actions to have really powerful effects, transformative effects in life. So we begin with the first small action thank you note written for a Christmas gift.
Speaker 1: My first thank you know, like virtually everyone in America who was experiencing a good or bad year in 2000 and seven, I had received from Christmas presents perhaps not very many, and maybe not what I most wanted but presence nevertheless. So I got started on my 365 thank you notes by saying thank you for my Christmas presents. I have never written thank you notes for Christmas presents, and no one else I knew wrote them either. Why not? I wondered giving holiday presence is the central commercial and social event of the year, even when finances and the economy or desperate cultural pressure tells us we must rally, sacrifice and go into debt to maintain the annual Christmas gift ritual. But where is the equivalent tradition of gratitude? Instead, after the gifts have been opened, we hurry back to the store to return them, hoping for a sale price on some long for item price. Now, even lower than the pre Christmas sales,
Speaker 1: I assessed my Christmas presence of 2000 and seven. Most spectacularly, there was a coffee machine that made one cup of coffee at a time. It was my oldest son's gift. As I was taking stock, I considered not just each gift but the message behind it. This gift was a message that my son had arrived, that he could give me a substantial object and even give some thought to it. With this gift, he was saying that he knew something about me. That is, I'm a notorious caffeine freak. Eso, the first of 365 thank you notes was written to my older son. It was January 3rd, about the date most of past New Year's resolutions had been abandoned as the bustle of another year of pleadings and motions of bills and billable hours commenced. I was at my law office when I wrote the thank you note to my son, but Grace's note kept me from giving in tow work pressures before I started on my project. So I wrote, Dear Son, thanks so much for the astonishing single cup coffeemaker. It's perfect for my office, where we can offer everyone a different kind of coffee with every cup. Moreover, I think my staff is a little tired of cleaning up the grounds, and this is a very clean process. Nevertheless, I'm toying with the idea of just keeping it for myself. So you soon, Dad.
Speaker 2: Okay, wait. Can we just break for a minute? Like aces on a perfect thank you know, e No, right. The forms that item, its potential starts with here, like excellent. And
Speaker 1: for a coffee maker, probably agreed. Mountain Keurig produced somewhere nearby here, Um, but just astounding to me in its simplicity and that it's this is the beginning. And you also get a little sense for the book is written with sort of a spirit of fun also makes it an easy read.
Speaker 2: Did you have another thank you note from it that you'd be willing to read for us?
Speaker 1: Appendix one is how to write thank you notes. We could return to that at some point, but
Speaker 2: no, no, no. We know that we've got that game down. I want to hear the notes. Eso
Speaker 1: the first random What I found. Thanks so much for running in the triathlon down here and taking the time to renew our friendship. As I mentioned, I've been so blessed to have lasting and wonderful friends. You've really encouraged me to try to get in shape. And maybe next year we could do one together. That's awesome. So at this point, he's running triathlons
Speaker 2: or yeah, or like, or co running them with other people or something. But there, I love them. Maybe we can train together. You've really inspired me. That's awesome. But that's one that goes to show you. So you know often on the show we talk about thank you notes being written for favors and for gift. And here's a thank you note that's being written just simply for friendship. That zoo, and you know whether or not it was a favor, that they and I don't know the story if they trained together, if they did a leg of the triathlon, or it was just inspirational to see a friend come to town for something like that. But it sounds like it's really just about the inspiration that it provided in the author's life, and that, I think, is really cool. It's it's always something you can do is write a friend a note about how much they mean to you in a lot of ways. That's that's a note of gratitude and and
Speaker 1: spoiler alert the the mechanism. The what the author of this book noticed happening to himself was that he trained his mind to start seeing good things, that he trained his mind with this sort of daily activity, to start to appreciate the good things that were happening around him and cultivating that habit. Developing that habit just turned out to be incredibly enriching and have all kinds of really positive benefits and outcomes.
Speaker 2: I love the fact that this book gets at a very simple method to really change your perspective and sort of where that inner voices coming from. I know myself and I know in moments that have been really hard in my life, that it's really easy for my brain to live out of, Ah, space of negativity and lack. And it has often been suggested to me to look for gratitude in your life as a combatant towards that and to get yourself to that positive brain space again. And it's not that having bad feelings or bad or anything, they're necessary at times, but, um, but getting out of the rut of them and just another way that I've seen people do this is to have to think of a different thing, to be grateful for each day. So you can't just the same way are the author here has written a different to a different person about something different. Each time you could, you could challenge yourself to at least just have a moment where you think about what you are grateful for each day. Just one thing, and it has to be different each day. But that's another kind of good challenge in that direction, because after the first couple of months you start to have to really think further, and what it does is it makes you as you're sort of walking down the street or going about your day. You are looking for that thing to be grateful for, which is such a such a positive brain space to be e like
Speaker 1: that twist, sort of forcing yourself toe to keep finding something new. So it's not my house, my family, by this like that, But no, we're now up to number 20 number 25 number 30.
Speaker 2: I gotta expand on
Speaker 1: and eventually being left with this sort of anticipation of looking for that thing, waiting for that thing, waiting to notice that, um, yeah, it is a good practice. It's definitely something we're thinking about is we embark on a new year and I'm not gonna promise to write a thank you note every day for 365 days. We said no resolutions, but sort of thinking about looking for ways to cultivate this practice of gratitude to draw that that exercise from the holidays. That ritual from the holidays out into the every
Speaker 2: day. Well, I am grateful and inspired to hear it.
Speaker 1: Thanks, guys. Oh, yes. Oh, thank you. Thank you so much.
Speaker 1: We
Speaker 2: 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 Keighley. Hi, Lizzie and Dan. I'd like to send out an etiquette salute to one of my co workers. This year has been an odd one for all of us, but especially so for those still working in the office. Most of our staff is working remotely, with just a few of us holding down the fort in the building that said, the holidays haven't been the same. Our holiday party was virtual, and the cheer that usually spreads through our office has been sorely lacking. But my co worker has gone out of her way to do small kind things for people in the office. She brought in different treats and was always considerate of which holidays we celebrated individually. She has made a Scrooge e year more bearable, and I am very grateful toe work with someone who cares about others like that Caylee that it's so nice.
Speaker 1: Thank you, Katie, for that heartwarming salute
Speaker 2: and thank you for listening
Speaker 1: on thank you to everyone who sent us something and thank you to everyone who supports us on Patryan.
Speaker 2: Please connect with us and share this show with your friends, family and co workers. And if you want to on social media to,
Speaker 1: you can send us your next question feedback or salute by email. Toe Awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can reach us by phone at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 on Twitter We're at Emily Post Inst on instagram were at Emily Post Institute on on Facebook Were Awesome Etiquette and The Emily Post Institute
Speaker 2: Please consider becoming a sustaining member of the podcast by visiting patryan dot com slash awesome
Speaker 1: 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 helps with our show rankings, which helps new listeners find awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: Our show
Speaker 2: is edited by the Amazing Chris Albertine, an assistant produced by the wonderful Bridget Dowd. Thanks Kris
Speaker 1: and Brigitte