Episode 341 - I See You
In this episode of Awesome Etiquette
To see a video of today's introduction visit Patreon.com/awesomeetiquette.
Welcome to a special Awesome Etiquette, where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On today’s show we take your questions on asking guests to dress formally, responding to touchy compliments, declining to host a party, and politely asking people with accents to repeat themselves. For Awesome Etiquette Sustaining members our question is about some tricky ex-wife/ new girlfriend dynamics. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and postscript on folding linens.
Speaker 1: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social. Could you see that's old fashioned
Speaker 2: Watch how busy post and then post to act as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness.
Speaker 2: Hello and welcome to awesome etiquette,
Speaker 1: where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty.
Speaker 2: On today's show, we take your questions on asking guests to dress formally, responding to touchy compliments, declining to host a party and politely asking people with accents to repeat themselves
Speaker 1: for awesome etiquette. Sustaining members are Question is about some tricky ex wife new girlfriend Dynamics,
Speaker 2: plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript on the cutting switch zig zag American style of dining.
Speaker 1: All that's coming up
Speaker 1: cause it's nice to see
Speaker 2: you and it is good to be seen. And it is good to see you on a very special episode of awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: It is, it is. We are recording our intro via Zoom, and we're going to make it available to everyone. We miss you all. Not that we got to see you before, but we feel like this gets us closer to you. And we want that
Speaker 2: right now. I just gotta thank you for being willing to jump on camera and do this. And it is fun. It is good to see you. So shall we start the show?
Speaker 1: I think we shall. Let's do it.
Speaker 1: Awesome Etiquette comes to you from the studios of our home offices in Vermont and is proud to be produced by the Emily Post Institute. I'm Lizzie Post,
Speaker 2: and I'm Dan Post sending
Speaker 1: Hey, because it's good to see you.
Speaker 2: I know what it really means. Something this time.
Speaker 1: Thank you. Thank you.
Speaker 2: You've been telling me you've been hard at work and not really work the kind of work that relaxes you. So I'm actually really nice to see the product of your work.
Speaker 1: Thank you. I got the I got the green wall finished finally, and that's sunny on the couch.
Speaker 1: And I have not put up all the paintings. And, of course, my giant dry erase board that goes on the wall. And it's not the little one that you see in the background on the chair. It's like my big one. It's It's not. It's not an office at E P I. If there isn't a dry erase board somewhere,
Speaker 2: I was gonna say, Do you do need to put a dry erase board back up? I know you do,
Speaker 1: because
Speaker 2: there's something about Lizzie Post in a dry erase board in case there's anyone out there that hasn't heard of something. They
Speaker 1: really it's all the it's, I don't know. It's It's a good way to work for me. It's a good way to work.
Speaker 1: Um, but prior to this week, it was so satisfying, by the way, like wiping off the whole thing of the entire
Speaker 1: schedule for writing and editing the manuscript that we turned in this week. And so it was like it was so awesome to just go through that totally time, like I don't I was like, Yeah, I don't have to do any of that. It's all finished. It's completed. I did it. I met the deadline like it was really good feeling.
Speaker 2: I think this is an exercise people actually do to let go of things like you write them down and you erase them or, like put
Speaker 1: them in Burnham. Yeah, it's a really good feeling, but no, I still have to kind of get the rest of the office. And as you know, my desk usually lives over there. So it's I got to kind of put things back,
Speaker 1: but this is where I'm typically recording from, and I see that you are in your lovely
Speaker 1: Do you call it a basement or den? Because I know it's like, technically sub ground, but it has its own full door outside, like so many like Hild
Speaker 2: homes do. Totally.
Speaker 1: What do you call it? The cave. The bat cave
Speaker 2: downstairs. This is our like It's the downstairs
Speaker 2: that is going downstairs, gonna go work.
Speaker 1: And so does that make the floor level the upstairs and then the like bedroom level, the upper upstairs? Or how do you How do you or is it upstairs and upstairs and downstairs and downstairs?
Speaker 2: So you enter the house on the
Speaker 2: main level, which is really sort of the second floor, and that's where they're sort of like main living spaces. And then we're sort of down. But as you go down like there's a hill underneath, so as you go down there still a side that opens out and it's not quite I can swing it around I.
Speaker 2: There's a few too many cables attached to my laptop for me to give you the full 1 80 but we'll work it out better next time. I'll give you the view out the Southeast, which is sort of behind the computer right now, but it's a beautiful sunrise. If you want to get up early, we can give them a real treat. Um,
Speaker 1: uh,
Speaker 1: I can get up early. My alarm goes off at six. But I what I do love. And if you move your mic a little bit, the audience will get to see a little bit of is showing your fireplace because it's a beautiful stone fireplace that Dan has in his office, and I'm always so jealous of this,
Speaker 1: but it's it's really, really gorgeous. It reminds me both of the fireplace at my parents' house and the fireplace at Madame Poppy's house, where we grew up going
Speaker 1: for so many post family gathering. So I always I love that. That was a big feature of the house, and obviously there's another one upstairs.
Speaker 2: Well, and you're the one who's always giving me the good encouragement to start fires like you got a fireplace, you got a light
Speaker 1: fires you got to enjoy. You make me sound like a pyromaniac start fires appropriately inappropriate spaces and put them before you are done tending them just to put all of the safety facts out there.
Speaker 1: No, but yeah. No, I do. I always encourage. I encourage. If you have a fireplace, use it.
Speaker 1: Don't just turn it into a ballot stove. Um, this is it is such a long intro where we're describing things that you can't here on the podcast. So we want to thank our listening audience for being with us, but this will be available to everyone. Um, and we hope we hope that you'll check it out, but it is kind of fun to get to to see our spaces and explore them a little bit. My, my house in particular, has been very unexplored for the past year. There's been, like, nobody else in it.
Speaker 1: So I know that you, Dan, have been doing a bunch of interviews recently on life as you get vaccinated life as things start to return to normal, I'm curious what it would have been Some of the piece of advice you've been putting out there.
Speaker 2: Well, we had a series of media requests, and people were starting to ask all kinds of questions very much related to that post script we did a couple of weeks ago where we talked about hearing from someone that they have been vaccinated, and I was finding the symbols to say Congratulations just because I'm I'm happy for them
Speaker 1: totally. I
Speaker 2: was seeing sort of a version of that question get extended more and more sort of a tough one for you. I'm not gonna ask you to answer questions during the intro, but I'll just lob this one out there. Maybe we'll get some feedback on it.
Speaker 2: Um, is it okay to invite people to a wedding? But to make that contingent upon them being vaccinated? And what is it different if it's a really big wedding? Or if you're willing to really shrink it down because you want a more intimate affair with close friends and family?
Speaker 2: Does the willingness to shrink it down mean that we would extend some of the latitude that usually wouldn't make those sorts of demands or requests on guests? But anyway, so I'm starting to answer the question itself,
Speaker 2: but just really interesting and all of the different ways that as we start to re engage, they're going to be a lot of questions and a lot of etiquette questions.
Speaker 1: I had my first go hang out with people who are my age but both essential workers and have been vaccinated.
Speaker 1: And I had my mask on when I went up to the door because I wanted to just be appropriate and give them the choice. Since I was even though they've been vaccinated, like I didn't know how
Speaker 1: mentally ready they were to be around someone else unmasked and and that kind of a thing. And so it was. It was a good moment of just like I tried to put the protections in place and then let the two of us as we hung out like, figure out where the safety was and where we could be reasonable and that kind of thing.
Speaker 1: It was really good. Like, uh,
Speaker 1: it's
Speaker 2: good to see the smile on your face, and I feel the same way. These are these are the best problems. These are happy problems.
Speaker 1: No, these are These are the happy things to have to figure out How do you re hang out with people after your isolation? It's really, really nice.
Speaker 1: You and I got exciting news this week because our state let us know when our full rollout is for all residents of Vermont. And so I'm going to be the week of April 12. And I think you're the week ahead of me, aren't you? You old thing, You April for the old man. Oh, man, usually the youngest gets me so much and it just doesn't this time. It just does not.
Speaker 1: But I can tell you that I am going to be really excited. I don't think it will be the first immediate two weeks after we've been vaccinated. But I imagine
Speaker 1: that within maybe the next month or two, you and I are going to start doing this podcast together from the same space again, which would be unreadable.
Speaker 2: A really exciting thought. And Chris Albertine, who's out there listening somewhere.
Speaker 1: Just thing feel
Speaker 2: the call.
Speaker 1: I know we're all going to have a weekly meeting
Speaker 2: time again, which we
Speaker 1: probably haven't never We haven't done that in so long. Almost feels unnecessary, but But I Also, it'll be it'll be so great to do it when it does happen.
Speaker 2: Absolutely. Well, it only took us five years to drag you on the camera. Maybe we can get Christopher on the camera and I just feel him pulling back right now as I as I say it, but
Speaker 2: are very shy. I feel like we might feel so charismatic and charming. I know, right?
Speaker 1: I know. I wish people could hear you. First of all, for the past year, I have really missed hearing. Chris is his comments when we like the stuff you like at the stuff
Speaker 1: Yeah, this stuff that he says all his all his commentary never makes it to the show.
Speaker 1: He refuses to let us put it in. We respect that, Um, but I would totally laugh if he decided to show up, like in costume or like a full, like, you know, Tiger Mask or something
Speaker 2: like that for recording Fundora and sunglasses.
Speaker 1: Uh,
Speaker 1: we usually hide his face from photos with emoji smiles and things like that, but
Speaker 1: I can see it's going wild with that if we if we start going full video,
Speaker 1: Um, Well,
Speaker 2: what we're talking video. There's one other thing I have to interject and mentioned before we close out our intro, which is that for those of you are interested in seeing what Lizzie Post and I are talking about right now, it will be available on patreon. So if you're a sustaining member, you're going to see this on your feed. Um, no need to go hunt for it. But
Speaker 2: if you're used to getting awesome etiquette on a podcast player or apps somewhere, um, go to patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette and that's where you can actually find this video if you're curious to see what we're talking about
Speaker 1: and it will be available for everyone so you don't have to sign up for a membership. We would love it if you did sign up for a sustaining membership. But this truly is open for everyone. Um, and we hope you enjoy it, and we hope to do more cool things in the future. I hope this was
Speaker 2: cool.
Speaker 2: Such a
Speaker 1: dork. Oh, maybe like, you know, you watch the subscriptions plummet after that, you're like, Nope, We're not good. And we are faces for radio.
Speaker 1: Um, because this has
Speaker 2: been fun, but some work to do that as we do. We do.
Speaker 1: We do. Let's pop off the camera
Speaker 2: won't be on the
Speaker 1: video. Exactly. I was going to say So let's hop off camera and get to some questions, a transition we have never used on this show before.
Speaker 2: Let's do it.
Speaker 2: Awesome Etiquette is here to answer your questions. You can email them to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463
Speaker 2: You can also reach us on social media on Twitter. We are at Emily. Post hints on Instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute,
Speaker 2: then on Facebook. We are awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your post so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: Our first question is titled Black Tie a Burden.
Speaker 1: I'm very excited for my upcoming wedding this July. After lots of changes because of covid, we are so excited to finally get married. However, I have a wedding attire question. Before the pandemic, we were planning to have a 200 person wedding and the entire was going to be black tie optional because we thought it was unreasonable to ask so many people to dress in black tie.
Speaker 1: We understand not everyone has a tux in the closet, and it could be an added expense to rent a tux. Now, because of the pandemic. Our new guest list is 50 people. I would like to make the event black tie now,
Speaker 1: since it's a smaller group, I especially want the event to feel very special. I am also very, very excited to finally dress up after a year in sweatpants and just want all my guests to dress up with me.
Speaker 1: My fiance thinks this could be a burden to some guests.
Speaker 1: One. Can I have a black tie wedding? Or should I feel obligated to make it black tie? Optional to an idea I had was to make the event black tie on the invitation, but then on our wedding website, give a little more explanation about what that could entail. For example, telling guests on the website
Speaker 1: the event is black tie. We encourage gentlemen to wear attacks
Speaker 1: in lieu, a black suit and black tie is also appropriate. Thank you so much for all the hard work you do on the podcast. It brings me so much happiness and joy. Dress up, bride. Oh, I like that dress up, bride.
Speaker 2: Oh, dress up, bride. Congratulations. And, um, from a dress up groom to address up bride I just want to say I understand where you're coming from. It is, um it's really exciting to be thinking about and planning a wedding and
Speaker 2: wanting to give it a formality and a special event. Feel I think is a really natural instinct or impulse. It's one that I felt
Speaker 1: myself I was going to say, Have you all seen the photo of Dan in his tux?
Speaker 1: I believe it's on our instagram the and the Emily Post one. Not not the higher etiquette one,
Speaker 1: but it's pretty. It's like double oh seven. Hey, Dan, like
Speaker 2: it's
Speaker 1: a good It's like such a good photo. And he looks so sharp. And I I you know, Wait, let's get to some questions here, right?
Speaker 1: Um rather than just praising the chance to, you know, that's the thing is it does feel so good. Everyone looks so sharp at the black tie level like it's just really, really true. And I really appreciate both the bride and groom in this situation, saying that they are concerned about the impact that it might have on people. And I've got to say I think that their solution works for me. I have like, at first I was like, Oh, are you really gonna put something different on the website from the invitation?
Speaker 1: But I think the way they word it is perfect. The event is black tie. We encourage gentlemen to wear a tux in lieu. Now is your option. A black suit with a black tie would also be appropriate, and I think that that is fine. This is your wedding. And while you don't want to dictate super specifically,
Speaker 1: there are weddings that have color themes. There have been black and white weddings before, and all guests are meant to wear. You know, any combination of black or white or just solidly black or white, but it's not unheard of, and I am. I'm hearing all the good in this versus a lot of control, and I need it to look this way for the photos. It won't be special if people aren't this way,
Speaker 1: I don't hear any of that. What I hear is
Speaker 1: I really want everyone to dress up. I really do want to do a black tie event. How can I accommodate some folks for whom this might be really difficult?
Speaker 1: And I think he did it beautifully.
Speaker 1: I couldn't
Speaker 2: agree more because I agree. I think the etiquette here is pretty well buttoned up. I like that sample script also, and I
Speaker 2: like you. I'm really feeling the care and concern for guests and where they're coming from as part of this equation, and that is the magic sauce that's going to make things come out
Speaker 2: right or come out well in the end, if there are any more conversations about why you're doing this and what it is you're hoping to achieve, and
Speaker 2: I want to get back on that what you're hoping to achieve because it is so much fun and that can get lost, it can feel like, Oh, it's a lot of work to get in touch, So it's a burden, and it can also be fun to make some choices. Oh, am I gonna do suspenders or a cumber bun? am I gonna do something a little flashy here or there? Am I going to play with it, or am I really going to try to go very traditional and and and
Speaker 2: you just fitted and clean? It's There are more choices to make them, people sometimes think, and that can be a lot of fun. Also,
Speaker 1: it really can be. And I also as a guest who has attended weddings where it was black tie optional. There's a good friends wedding,
Speaker 1: and she really wanted people to dress up. I can't tell you how good I felt when I wore my gown or or my super black tie outfit to an event that some people were more casually dressed up. But the bride herself would like, came over and said, Thank you so much. I really wanted people to dress up.
Speaker 1: And so I think doing as much encouragement towards the thing that you really want gives your guests a really great way to participate with you on that day and to support you and make it you know, the event of your dreams.
Speaker 2: Dress up bride. We hope that our advice helps and that the rest of the planning goes well and that the day itself has that special field that you're looking for.
Speaker 2: But good appearances more than dressing up like a fashion plate.
Speaker 2: Anyone will make a good appearance if he's neat, no matter what. His style of clothing
Speaker 2: clothes are important. Besides fitting well and looking well, the clothes should be appropriate to the occasion. Wearing inappropriate clothes like these shoes is a sure way to make yourself uncomfortable and conspicuous.
Speaker 2: Mhm,
Speaker 2: mhm.
Speaker 2: Our next question is titled Skinny. Don't mention it.
Speaker 2: Hi, awesome etiquette. Recently, my aunt complimented me on looking skinny, and I had no idea what to say. She intended it as a compliment, but it made me very uncomfortable because I struggle with eating.
Speaker 2: I just quickly changed the subject without acknowledging it much, but it soured the whole conversation for me.
Speaker 2: I don't want to derail a potentially pleasant conversation to explain that weight and eating is a touchy subject, but I also don't want to thank someone for a hurtful compliment. How can I politely respond to comments like this, making it clear that it is an inappropriate comment without sounding accusatory or upset? Thank you, Nova
Speaker 1: Nova. This is, it's a delicate balance to be thinking about. Dan and I were actually just talking about something similar recently where the idea is that there are lots of moments in our life where we experience them differently from how other people
Speaker 1: experience them or intend them. So in this case, your aunt thinks she's giving you a compliment. But to you it's like a
Speaker 1: a confusing, hurtful or upsetting thing to hear. And that's it's tough because without telling her that it was upsetting to you. She's not knowing,
Speaker 1: and you're giving her that benefit of the doubt. And you know her good intention, because you have a relationship with her and you don't want her to feel bad. And yet at the same time,
Speaker 1: when your hurt or upset how much managing other people's emotions about letting them know that you're hurt or upset should you really feel like you have to do? And so it's like it's it's actually it feels like it should be really simple that you should just be able to say,
Speaker 1: Hey, Auntie, I actually, you know, looking skinny doesn't feel like a compliment to me. I love hearing that I look beautiful or
Speaker 1: that I look really good, but skinny to me is something that doesn't register as what I want to feel. And a conversation like that with them would be a great way to address it. That doesn't force you to try to say, I know you didn't mean it heavily and and and take on so much of that I don't know if you'd call it a burden or responsibility,
Speaker 1: but still get your point across. Um, and I do think that when it's people that we love and know, it might be worth adding that to the conversation and saying, I really know you meant that positively. But here's how it sounds to me or here's how it impacts me
Speaker 1: and I you know, that's when I think more people are willing to say, Oh, yeah, no, I did just mean it as a compliment. I sorry, I didn't know I had. This actually happened with someone a number of years ago,
Speaker 1: and it was one of those times where you just kind of assumed that everyone from this particular group and I'm going to be vague to protect anonymity. But everyone from this particular group of people I would have really assumed saw weight loss or getting to a healthy, comfortable weight as a really positive thing.
Speaker 1: And this one person does see it that way.
Speaker 1: But they don't want anyone mentioning and talking about it because it makes them feel very seen and observed by others in a way that that they don't feel comfortable with. And it meant so much to me when they told me that during our conversation about weight loss,
Speaker 1: and I was like, Oh, wow, that's great what does make you feel great to hear? And then they told me, and I was able to use that in the future. So
Speaker 1: know that while sometimes these conversations can feel almost even like a lot between two people who generally give each other, like a lot of grains of salt or a lot of love and a lot of goodness between the relationship, they can also be so helpful and wonderful. And they can
Speaker 1: better the relationship almost each time, if if they're dealt with without a lot of accusation.
Speaker 2: I like that spirit of keeping the
Speaker 2: the weight out of the comment in terms of the way it's delivered as well as in the word choice that when I first heard your script, I was thinking to myself,
Speaker 2: It sounds like you're at ease and that's helpful. And I also don't want to put that burden on
Speaker 2: on you necessarily. It's not that you have to be easy breezy with the way you tell something
Speaker 2: with the way that you tell somebody that something struck wrong or was bothersome or even offensive to you.
Speaker 2: Um, but another thing that I liked about that sample script was that you said, You know, that doesn't come across as a complement to me or that doesn't come across as being called beautiful. What I like is to be called beautiful.
Speaker 2: You gave some direction without necessarily also revealing a lot about what you're going through, where you're coming from. And I think that sometimes people think that's necessarily a part of the process. If you're going to engage it and it doesn't have to be, it can just be a response to the thing itself. That doesn't necessarily require you to get into a long explanation about why that particular thing was bothersome to you,
Speaker 1: Dan. That's a that's a really, really good point
Speaker 1: Nova. We hope that this gives you an avenue to pursue with your aunt and others. Because this I will say this is actually a really common quote unquote compliment or I should say intended compliment.
Speaker 1: That isn't it was I will also mention it was when I talked with some good friends about things that they hear commonly that they wish people knew can sound offensive or be upsetting.
Speaker 1: This was one of the ones that got mentioned. You're so skinny or oh, you're so skinny. You look so good.
Speaker 1: It was one that people brought a couple of people brought up, as as a People should know that that's not actually like often a compliment for people and that it was good to hear it personally.
Speaker 2: Nova, thank you for asking the question and giving us a chance to talk about a really important topic.
Speaker 2: Now let's see how human beings really grow
Speaker 2: at nine. Arms, legs and trunks have become long and slender, giving the body a slim
Speaker 1: appearance.
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled Puzzled about a party. Hi, Lizzie and Dan, Thank you so much for all the wonderful, helpful content you produce. I appreciate your show. Perhaps you've already answered some version of this question, and I missed it. But I had a situation come up that I would love to get your thoughts on. A sweet family member in law
Speaker 1: recently asked me to host a virtual direct sales party for her.
Speaker 1: We live in different states, and while we don't see each other often, I care a lot about our relationship and envision spending way more time with her in the future.
Speaker 1: She is just starting out with this particular multi level marketing company. And while I wish her every success in her endeavor, I am ethically opposed to multi level marketing companies and feel like it would be disingenuous of me to host her party, which would involve inviting a group of my friends. Honesty is so important to me, but I hate the thought of a family member feeling like they don't have my love and support.
Speaker 1: Do you have any tips on navigating this? Further complicating the situation is that I am in the process of building my own non m l M small business, and my hobby baking and cooking happens to overlap with her MLM business.
Speaker 1: I never make direct requests of friends, family or strangers. But I sense that she sees us as being in the same boat, small business owners and might not take a hard no from me. Well,
Speaker 1: thank you, Natalie.
Speaker 2: Natalie, thank you so much for the question. And in some ways, there are, uh, sort of hints of our answer here that are going to be similar to the previous question where we talked about how do you
Speaker 2: tell somebody something that they might not like to hear? And in this case,
Speaker 2: I think that it's actually a much simpler answer in many ways because your no is a really simple, easy, no to this. And we often say in etiquette that learning how to deliver a no clearly and well is one of the most important tools that you can develop.
Speaker 2: It can feel awkward because we don't like to say that we want to be supportive of people. We want to say yes to people because we know. Yes, it makes people feel good, and that's the answer they want to hear.
Speaker 2: But the no is also an important answer to be able to give well, because it gives them really important information and they need to know it. And the more awkward situations result when people avoid giving the no. They leave someone waiting or uncertain with a question mark in their mind or
Speaker 2: when they say yes, but hold resentment or even if you don't hold resentment,
Speaker 2: aren't fully able to bring yourself to the thing in a way that's authentic and genuine and sincere. And that's something that people care about and consents and can feel. And it's one of our core principles, too. Good etiquette.
Speaker 2: So I guess I'm saying all this in some ways to say, Take courage and that no is yours. And it's yours to,
Speaker 2: to offer or to give. And it's not incumbent upon you or it's not your responsibility to be sure that the other person
Speaker 2: feels good about it. It might not be something that you have control over, and what's important is that the no is clear. And that doesn't mean that you can't also deliver that No in a way that
Speaker 2: lets her know that she's supported. While it's still a clear no was he post? How else would you let someone know they're supported while saying no
Speaker 1: I just have to say, Like while I was listening to you, I had, like, 10 jokes about, like, nose and nose and K N O. W s.
Speaker 1: Um, and I lost them all by the time we got here. I
Speaker 2: apologize.
Speaker 1: And sure, maybe those two,
Speaker 1: but no, I think that when you deliver the no. And as Dan I I completely agree. Clean and simple. Oh, this wouldn't be I I wouldn't be a good host for this party. And now here is the place where you can get supportive without having to just simply say, I'm so supportive of you, though. But no, I'm not going to do this.
Speaker 1: Um, instead, you could say I'm not the right person to host this party,
Speaker 1: but and you would have had to have talked to these people first. I do have a couple of friends who really love this type of thing, and they love to participate in it. So offer offer as long as you have their permission. Some friends who might be really good hosts
Speaker 1: or you could say something like, but I'm happy to help in other ways to support you. And that might even just be talking with continuing to be that good family member that you say you want to be. Once everybody can gather again of talking with her and letting her know how much you support her in the efforts that she's doing, listening to her talk about her business, those sorts of things
Speaker 1: I think that those are ways you can be supportive. And this is one
Speaker 1: type of of party, in particular, type of business model that's often involved with a party that I've both been invited to. A lot of these types of parties
Speaker 1: and I've had people ask me to host them, and I have. I'm sort of in your camp, not not quite as far, but it's not my favorite thing to do. It's not something I want to be hosting, and so I have declined and it's been a nice, clean note. Just as Dan suggested
Speaker 1: you simply say I'm not the right person to host this or I wouldn't feel comfortable hosting this, but I'd love to support you in other ways. And then, obviously, if you can suggest them,
Speaker 1: Dan, what do you think of those sample scripts, or do I need to go make some apologies to the people that I've said no to over the years.
Speaker 2: No, I think those are good. I'm not the right person to host. This, I think is, uh,
Speaker 2: a way to say it. That doesn't necessarily call into question the event itself, Um, and definitely is a sample script that I like. I I also like the idea of
Speaker 2: I think you're being very generous, offering to maybe help find someone else to help host or or support the business itself in another way. And I was even thinking about a sample script that says, But I'm so looking forward to seeing you at
Speaker 2: the Fourth of July barbecue that
Speaker 1: were like that to bring it back to the family relationship that you have. I like that. I like that.
Speaker 2: And I really see some care for that family relationship here from Natalie, and I would make some part of my work. Getting back into investing in that familial relationship and
Speaker 2: wanting to keep family and business separate is often times a really good idea,
Speaker 2: he says on the microphone
Speaker 1: with his cousin, as he's worked for 13 years in family business, Not
Speaker 2: only thank you for this question, We hope that our answer helps.
Speaker 1: Oh, manners.
Speaker 2: Our next question is about hearing help.
Speaker 2: Hello, Lizzie and Dan. I discovered your show about three weeks ago and was instantly obsessed. I'm a stay at home Mom and I have played your podcasts a lot when hanging out with my nine month old baby. So much so, he has started swaying and smiling when he hears your intro music because he recognizes it.
Speaker 2: I can't wait until he's old enough to listen with me. And we have conversations about what we learn from the podcast together. Smiley
Speaker 1: face. That is such a nice image. Thank you.
Speaker 2: My question is about thick accents. We are having some remodeling done in our home soon, and our contractor has an extremely thick accent.
Speaker 2: The project will take about 6 to 8 weeks. He apologizes constantly. When I asked him to repeat something, and I think he can see the confusion on my face, I'm not good at hiding my facial expressions.
Speaker 2: I'm also a bit hard of hearing, and I blame it on 12 years of band marching band, but it's not severe enough to warrant any type of hearing aid or assistive technology.
Speaker 2: How can I respectfully ask him to repeat what he says or speak more slowly? Any sample scripts I could try?
Speaker 2: I've never been in a situation where I've had this much trouble understanding someone. My tone of voice seems respectful to me when I asked him to repeat things. But I feel like my perception of myself always seems more polite and respectful than I might truly be coming across.
Speaker 2: Thank you so much. Hearing help.
Speaker 1: Who Hearing help. First of all, kudos on the self reflectiveness of just like the that last line of my tone of voice seems respectful to me when I asked him to repeat things. But I feel like my perception of myself always seems more polite and respectful than I might truly come across
Speaker 1: that that could either be not having confidence that you you really are as polite and respectful as you are. But it could also be just really good self awareness right there of like, you know, I often think I'm more polite, but people tell me No, that's actually not so polite or it doesn't sound so polite. So just kudos to you, Dan, This is when we actually put up an article about recently Slightly different, slightly different scenario. But, um, but I to me it feels right off the bat, and I'm real curious about what you're gonna say about it.
Speaker 1: But it feels like just owning that you have a hard time hearing. As you said, 12 years of band and marching band not severe enough to warrant a device or aid, but that it's just hard for you to to sometimes decipher what people are saying. I think owning that can often I mean, it does the thing. It takes
Speaker 1: any blame or responsibility off of the other person.
Speaker 1: And, you know, it's just you apologizing for how much you have to ask them to repeat themselves. But it's not you saying, Oh my gosh, I just can't understand you like, could you just be clearer? That would be rude. That would be not good, am I? Am I right, Dan?
Speaker 2: Yeah, No, absolutely. And I think having that conversation
Speaker 2: ahead of time so that it's not happening in response to confusion that's developing in the moment. But where you let someone know, give them a heads up.
Speaker 2: I've got a bit of a soft ear. I have a hard time hearing things. Sometimes if I ask you to repeat yourself or slow down, I apologize ahead of time. I might have to do it a couple of times, even saying something like that can help,
Speaker 2: um, prepare someone to get that repeat question. If that's what you're needing to do in order to really understand someone, and when it's a professional relationship like this is, it's really important that that communication is clear. So I think it's worth investing a little bit so that you're set up well
Speaker 2: when those moments of confusion happen
Speaker 2: that you can
Speaker 2: ask someone to slow down and may be repeated a second time for you
Speaker 2: and then on the flip side, because you're asking them to do that work to help you. I think you can go a long way to doing a little bit of work on your side to show that you're trying to meet in the middle somewhere, so being absolutely sure that your full attention is on the person when you are talking to them, that you make an effort to
Speaker 2: minimize distraction and background noise. If that helps with your hearing
Speaker 2: that you make and sustain eye contact that can help with understanding, even when people don't have any idea the languages that they're speaking, just maintaining eye contact and
Speaker 2: watching someone's face. Being really observant can help the understanding now, clearly, when you're talking with a contractor and you're making decisions, you need a level of understanding and communication that's clearer than that,
Speaker 2: but that
Speaker 2: that eye contact that paying attention to people's
Speaker 2: faces and body language can be part of that communication.
Speaker 2: Lizzie Post had one other little tip than I thought, and and this is this is, um, it came to my mind because of the article that you mentioned working across language barriers at work. We offer the suggestion. When people are working in environments where people speak different languages, maybe there's a common language, but people are really often is familiar, or their first languages are different, that it can go a long way if you're willing to try to learn just a little bit of someone else's language to cross that language barrier, particularly, you're asking someone to participate in a language that isn't their first language. So just learning a couple of magic words or a greeting or goodbye
Speaker 2: can sprinkling in making an effort to to meet someone and help them feel comfortable in that space that they're occupying with
Speaker 1: you.
Speaker 1: And you
Speaker 2: may or may not know what language someone speaks, but if they're speaking with an accent that's recognizable
Speaker 2: or you know where they're from, what their language of origin is,
Speaker 2: it's a nice way to meet someone and let them know that you're maybe enjoying working across that that potentially difficult communication barrier.
Speaker 1: You don't see it so much as a barrier.
Speaker 2: Exactly
Speaker 1: hearing help. We We hope that our suggestions help and do. Let us know how it's going.
Speaker 1: And we hope that the baby has a party with today's music. Bye, baby. Bye bye, baby.
Speaker 1: Thank you for your questions. Please send us updates or feedback on our answers to awesome etiquette. At Emily post dot com. You can leave a voicemail or text at 802858 k i n d. That's 8028585463 or please reach us on social media on Twitter. We're at Emily Post. Install on Instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute on Facebook. We are awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: Just remember to use the hashtag awesome etiquette with any social media posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 2: If you love awesome etiquette, consider becoming a sustaining member. You can find out more about this by visiting us at patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette. That's the same place you'll see the video intro for today's show.
Speaker 2: You'll get an ads free version of the show and access to bonus content, like the video of today's introduction to the show and a bonus question each week. Plus, you'll feel great knowing you helped to keep awesome etiquette on the air. And to those of you who are already sustaining members, thank you for your support.
Speaker 1: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer in the topics we cover. And today we're hearing from Nina on the wedding registry question from last week.
Speaker 1: I really appreciated your answer to the wedding registry question. I understand where the question asked her is coming from, especially because some registry items can feel somewhat impersonal.
Speaker 1: I wanted to point out that it sounds like many of the gifts the Askar mentioned could be finishing offsets. The couple has I E. One whiskey glass, a set of napkins, etcetera.
Speaker 1: Even though they might seem boring, they could really help the couple have a complete set.
Speaker 1: I also feel that by going off registry, you can potentially run the risk of the couple feeling like you don't appreciate their taste. I guess it's a delicate balance. Nina
Speaker 2: Nina. It is a delicate balance, the suggesting of a gift that someone would like and then the
Speaker 1: suggesting of a
Speaker 2: gift that
Speaker 2: I would like
Speaker 1: to know how
Speaker 2: you relate to all that is It's delicious. It's really phenomenal,
Speaker 1: You know, you always hope people are meeting in the gracious phase. It's just so nice. Anyone's attempting anything here,
Speaker 2: always the best spirit and Nina. It's nice to hear that the advice made you think that you thought that it was useful.
Speaker 1: Thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please keep them coming. You can send your feedback or update two awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com, or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463
Speaker 1: It's time for our postscript segment, where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette, and today we're going to talk about American verse, continental or European dining styles. Dan, this was This was prompted by a listener. Correct.
Speaker 2: It was. We received an email from Jenny, who asked a question. And the answer isn't so much a situational etiquette question like we so often discussed on the show. But historical etiquette question, and we thought it might make a good postscript.
Speaker 2: Hello, my name is Jenny, and I'm trying to find out what the origin of the cut and switch or zigzag method or American style of using a fork and knife is. I have found many people writing about it, but I can never trace anything back to an actual historical source.
Speaker 2: I'm writing a paper about this as a student, and I would love to chat about it if you have the time. Or perhaps this could be a postscript.
Speaker 1: Ah, the suggestion was even built in.
Speaker 2: Jenny. This is such a great question, and it's something that has come up before, and I want to say absolutely. Let me give you the historical origins to this particular tradition,
Speaker 2: but I would have to confess that, like you, I can't point to a particular source or historical moment where it is documented. But I will tell you the story that I have heard, and I wish I could credit it to a particular place. I can't. It's something that is
Speaker 2: like you, um, developed over time in my mind as the Hill history. This it's like the oral history, and there aren't a lot of people out there really tracking this in a detailed way. There's some great writing about it, um, the art of the table. The rituals of dinner, which we return to it on the show frequently are both great resources.
Speaker 2: So the way the story goes and who knows exactly how much history there is to this is
Speaker 1: that, um,
Speaker 2: the American style of dining began when Americans were copying a style of dining that was popular in Europe
Speaker 2: and in that style of dining, there was a lot of specificity around which utensils were used, when and how, and it was part of an intentional system that was designed to differentiate classes there was an emerging middle class, and they wanted to establish themselves as that with social markers and rituals, and
Speaker 2: one of the ways they did that was in the rituals around dinner and eating. So there were increasingly elaborate table settings and unique utensils and rules about which utensils you used, when and where and how.
Speaker 2: And in this particular moment in history, the practice of the zigzag came into being. So after you cut your food with your knife and your dominant for most people right hand fork in the left, the knife would be set down. The fork would transition from the left hand to the right. So
Speaker 2: why it's sometimes called cut and switch or zigzag or and we'll get to why it's called The American style in just a second was used to bring the bite to your mouth when the bite was taken for could switch back. The other hand knife would be picked up with the dominant hand, and you would continue eating.
Speaker 2: So
Speaker 2: the Americans copy the emerging, uh, upper crust of Europe and in Europe as the line between that emerging sort of upper middle class, what they called the middle class but was really very wealthy class, and the aristocracy started to be less important, started to blur more. The European tradition changed, and people dropped a lot of these sort of extras that had built up as signifiers around the table. Eating became
Speaker 2: again, something that was more efficient in some ways. So instead of zigzagging that fork back and forth, it became okay or acceptable to use the fork in your left hand to bring that bite of food to your mouth.
Speaker 1: Because you're making me think about how in, in sort of Emily's Day, one of the big things one of the big contributions she actually did make to the world of etiquette
Speaker 1: was simplifying the table setting and getting us down to only setting three courses at a time Or, you know, sort of not that big Victorian 12 course meal lifestyle. Or put out all of your utensils and and table decor and culture Montes so that you could show just how much you had.
Speaker 2: It's a lot of
Speaker 1: work. It's really interesting to hear that the same kind of simplification was also happening with the actual how how you use your utensils and again It was more sort of high society groups saying, Let's do this. Let's let's make it more simple and it'll even be that will be refined Uh,
Speaker 2: you know. So as this sort of art of fists disappeared on the continent in Europe, it was almost like the message got lost crossing the Atlanta and Americans retained this tradition that had previously been European and now is no longer
Speaker 2: so. Now we talk about the continental style of dining, the European style of dining, where the fork stays in the left hand even though
Speaker 2: it's commonly used in America. In fact, we strongly suggest, for the purposes of simplification, that if you've never tried it, you give it a try. But that's where the name American style came from. The Americans had adopted this particular practice that was from a historical moment and had historical reasons. And then
Speaker 2: those reasons changed in that other place. But we retained that artifice. That's the way I understand the story.
Speaker 2: And again, it's a story that I feel
Speaker 2: like I know well enough that I almost can't point to the particular source where it comes from,
Speaker 1: because count me in the camp of being glad to be representing etiquette during this era and not those eras. I think it would be really tough when you had all those utensils, and so much of it was based on elitism
Speaker 1: and distinguishing yourself purposely from other people in like
Speaker 1: I love the the idea of etiquette as something that you can use to. I don't want to say better yourself, but that you can use to, I guess, as one of our listeners said today, live that gracious life or to be thinking about others, um,
Speaker 1: and thinking about your impact on them. I really I really love living in an era where
Speaker 1: we can put that kind of a theme on etiquette and where it becomes inclusive rather than exclusive. And it becomes about working well and pleasantly with each other, rather than showing a distinctive difference and carving out difference. But instead in a place where it's much more inclusive.
Speaker 2: I couldn't say it any better because I and I couldn't agree anymore.
Speaker 2: And in that spirit, I want to offer a way to think about the American style that is useful, functional, practical and not just about the
Speaker 2: the differentiating of oneself and that being the historical origin
Speaker 2: mhm.
Speaker 2: It is also nice to have as an option when you're at a table eating food, the choice of using your fork in your right hand or your dominant hand your left hand. And I love being able to say to people which is correct, the American or the Continental style, either. In fact, you can use them both. You can use them both in the same meal. You can use them both during the same course. And for me, that's that's a really nice piece of advice to be able to give. That's a nice way to eat.
Speaker 1: I find I often do a combination of the two when I'm dining, especially anything that I really have to cut. Well, this has been a fun dive in. I really appreciate Jenny asking this question because it is kind of a funky little spot of etiquette that's a little bit hard to trace.
Speaker 2: Jenny, thank you for the question and good luck with the research. Tell us if you find a source. We can't
Speaker 1: wait.
Speaker 1: Then you must know how to eat your meal
Speaker 1: and the only way to have good table management you want them is to practice them regularly at home, get in the habit of eating properly. So it just comes naturally.
Speaker 2: Yeah,
Speaker 2: we like to end our show on a high note. So we turn to you to hear about the good etiquette you're seeing and experiencing out in the world, and that can come in so many forms. Today. We have a salute from drumroll Bridget,
Speaker 1: our very own Bridget,
Speaker 1: and she begins high a team. As you know, or at least Lizzie knows I'm in the process of moving from Arizona to Alaska. Like most big moves, there's a lot to think about. What should I keep? What do I sell? Where will I live? How much does shipping cost for this or that?
Speaker 1: As it turns out, moving to Alaska is even more of a headache because there are boats and additional shipping charges involved. I'm also moving to a city that cannot be accessed by road only boat or plane. Luckily, I found a great place to live. Owned by a very helpful landlord. He has reached out to answer all my questions about the three day ferry ride from Washington and is even allowing me to ship some things ahead of time. So I don't worry so much about what I can get into my small car.
Speaker 1: He's been super patient with all of my questions about moving to a place that is so different from where I currently live and is making me much less anxious about what will be a very long journey. So I am sending this salute to Mario. I hope all is well. Bridget.
Speaker 1: Brigitte, we are so excited about your upcoming move. And we are so glad that as you land in your new place, you've got people who are helpful, um, and salute worthy. Um, and we really know that you are going to make such a great and wonderful impact on this community.
Speaker 2: Bridget, thank you for adding your salute to the show. And
Speaker 2: Mario, thank you so much for taking such good care of Brigitte. We really appreciate it.
Speaker 2: Thank you for listening
Speaker 2: and thank you to everyone who sent us something. And everyone who
Speaker 1: supports us on patreon please connect with us and share this show with friends, family and co workers. And on social media.
Speaker 2: You can send us your next question feedback or salute to awesome etiquette. At Emily Post com. You can leave us a message or text at 8 to 858 kind. That's 828585463 on Twitter We are at Emily Post on INSTAGRAM. We are at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook. We are Awesome Etiquette and Emily Post Institute.
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Speaker 1: etiquette. Our show is edited by Chris Albertine and assistant produced by Bridget Down Thanks Chris and Bridges and Bridget
Speaker 1: MM
Speaker 1: mhm.