Episode 356 - American Tradition
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 July 4th show we take your questions on addressing a peculiar, post-dinner party practice, vaccine statuses and planning parties, interrupting someone while texting, and hosting guests from out of town when you’re in the middle of a drought. For Awesome Etiquette Sustaining members our question is about being left in the dark about rescheduled wedding plans. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and postscript on a new book featuring Amreicanon.
Speaker 1: maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social goodness. See that's old fashioned,
Speaker 1: 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 1: Hello and welcome to awesome etiquette
Speaker 2: where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and
Speaker 1: honesty. On today's show, we take your questions on addressing a peculiar post dinner party practice vaccine statuses and planning parties, interrupting someone while texting and hosting guests from out of town when you're in the middle of a drought
Speaker 2: for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about being left in the dark after a rescheduling wedding plans
Speaker 1: plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript on a new book called american in
Speaker 2: all that's coming up,
Speaker 1: awesome etiquette comes to you from the studios of our home offices in Vermont and is proud to be produced by the Emily Post Institute.
Speaker 2: I'm lizzie Post
Speaker 1: and I'm dan Post sending
Speaker 1: and I have to tell all of our awesome etiquette listeners about a very cool thing that happened.
Speaker 2: Uh go right,
Speaker 1: you're not allowed to say, what was that? Because you know exactly what I'm talking about, I probably do
Speaker 2: know exactly what you're talking about, I'm just nervous,
Speaker 1: I think it's really cool. Lizzie Post got asked to write a piece for the atlantic.
Speaker 2: You know, I've been a big fan of the atlantic for a long time, but it's a little nerve racking, I'll be honest, like it's, you know, dana and I talk about etiquette all the time and we're writing our own books on etiquette and such, and we certainly populate our website,
Speaker 2: but you know, anytime you go and work with, I don't know, the big guns, you know, like
Speaker 2: the people who edit just day in and day out super fast on the pulse of everything. Like I I felt like I was stepping into a different editing world. It was really cool, but I was nervous.
Speaker 1: You don't need to be, you're a great writer.
Speaker 1: And that was where my mind went first. I think about all the great writers that have been published in the atlantic and
Speaker 1: there's the some of the classic greats you think of. But then I think of a lot of contemporary greats, a lot of the authors and writers that I really like that are working now right for the atlantic periodically.
Speaker 1: And I guess that does mean that they probably have an editorial staff. That's pretty good. It's
Speaker 2: no, it was it was really good. I think one of the things, especially as we've been doing just tons of editing right now, like we are so in editing mode,
Speaker 2: it was fun to step into a totally separate fresh thought piece. You know, you and I have been going through the book and
Speaker 2: uh it is a lot of reading the same material and honing the same material and that material changes. I mean like the Homes make a difference, right? I don't think you can use home that way, but this is what happens and like your brain starts starting to mush, but it's going to uh sort of a different
Speaker 2: I guess essay
Speaker 2: sort of a different thought piece on it was really refreshing. It was nice to kind of flex a mini writing muscle as opposed to a book long writing muscle. Um I don't know if I'm even making any sense here because
Speaker 1: it can be hard to say something
Speaker 1: thoughtful, insightful and to say it quickly to say it in a short form, to think of it as an essay as opposed to a book and
Speaker 1: really decide what's important, what you need to communicate that point. And I definitely watch you go through that process. I thought the piece got better and better every step of the always the goal.
Speaker 2: Um one of the things too that I had to keep in mind is that, you know, when we're writing an etiquette book, it's usually
Speaker 2: landing in the hands of someone who is interested in reading an etiquette book or
Speaker 2: has been given one with the idea that they might be interested in reading an etiquette book. You know, you would you would hope, but when you write for a piece that's going to be, you know, in a magazine or online, you're writing to such a larger audience who's who's not sort of in your little Emily post awesome etiquette Emily Post dot com Book World with you, you know,
Speaker 2: and it's always just a reminder of how
Speaker 2: good it is to stretch yourself to make your communication better, you know, I feel like that's so much what this writing, the editing process of all the writing that we've been doing is it's just constantly trying to get that communication that sample language that point
Speaker 2: refined so that really anyone reading it would understand it the way you intend it, or at least
Speaker 2: to a degree that would help them interpret whatever you're trying to say correctly. You know what I mean? And it's it's I feel I feel so much the weight of that when we're in these projects, both of them
Speaker 1: and it's an impossible task.
Speaker 2: It's true. Thank you. Thank you for reminding me.
Speaker 1: It really is the thoughts that are in your head, the meaning that you connect and associated with those words can never be the same as all of those thoughts and connections that someone else is going to have.
Speaker 1: And it's both very concrete and somewhat magical
Speaker 1: that somehow all of those differences don't ultimately hinder hopefully basic understanding that is communicated and you're right, the clearer it can be, the better the easier because there are
Speaker 1: so many ways for people to interpret anything. Even a noun.
Speaker 2: Yeah. Yeah. No, it's been really, it's been really,
Speaker 2: it's like, it's it's the kind of work I keep telling you how tired I am at the end of the day or night when we've been working so much on it.
Speaker 2: But it's also such satisfying and good work. Like
Speaker 2: when you cheer me on because it's a like, oh, that's yes, that's it, that's how we want to say that. That's it. You got it, you got it, you know, or when I'm looking at a sentence and I can't come up with the word, you know, to replace the word that I'm stuck on and you just nail it. It's such a satisfying type of work. There's, even though
Speaker 2: you're not done, you've got hundreds of pages still to go.
Speaker 2: Like it's so deliciously satisfying. I don't know why it's reminding me right now of cooking, but that might just be because I use the word delicious. Well,
Speaker 1: I don't mind all the positive associations we could possibly have with this process. The better
Speaker 2: it is. True motivation, motivation,
Speaker 1: motivation.
Speaker 1: Well, I have a little more motivation for you. Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 1: We have some questions to get to. We
Speaker 2: do. I'm excited to see what we've got in store today. Let's
Speaker 1: do it.
Speaker 2: Awesome etiquette is here to answer your questions. You can email them to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. Leave a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463
Speaker 2: Or reach us on social media on twitter. We are at Emily post inst on instagram. We are at Emily Post institute
Speaker 2: and on facebook or awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: Our first question is titled, Let's Socialize, not study.
Speaker 1: Hi lizzie and dan. Thank you so much for the awesome podcast. I frequently ask myself what would the post podcast do because of the helpful advice and information
Speaker 1: because of this. When my husband and I found ourselves in a pickle, I knew I would want the sounding board and feedback from you too.
Speaker 1: We have a couple of friends from church who invited us to a re occurring dinner when we were new to the church. The dinner consists of several other couples as well. We enjoyed dinner and socializing with everyone, but we found a surprise. At the end of the evening.
Speaker 1: The husband of the couple had an interest in psychology and wrote a book on the subject. After dinner. He read from his book and treated to get together as a study with the stated intent of going on an intellectual pursuit together as a group.
Speaker 1: A lot of emphasis is put on the importance of not wasting time just socially but growing intellectually together
Speaker 1: because we really loved getting to know everyone and had a good time socially. We decided the study at the end of the evening was a small sacrifice and begrudgingly went.
Speaker 1: But now that we are finished with his book on psychology, the couple wants to start another book study done in the same format read from and discussed at the end of the evening.
Speaker 1: These studies are usually awkward and feel forced. I have no idea how the other couples feel about the studies
Speaker 1: but just by reading people that looks like we aren't the only ones who don't want to be there.
Speaker 1: Furthermore, we don't often agree with the couple on subjects that come up like politics or psychology.
Speaker 1: We enjoy this couple socially but our intellectual pursuits are often done individually with each other at home or with those who we align more on perspective.
Speaker 1: We have a very different perspective than this couple but still enjoy them as friends.
Speaker 1: We usually are silent during discussions but know that the longer we attend the more chance there is that our differences will be highlighted.
Speaker 1: My husband and my situation has changed. We no longer feel that our schedule can accommodate regular meetups where we don't want to be there for half of the event at the same time. We enjoy the socializing that happens in the first half of the dinners.
Speaker 1: We know the polite thing to do is to be honest and say while we want to remain friends and see each other socially we aren't looking for a study at the moment.
Speaker 1: Can I get some feedback on the situation and some sample scripts that can help us keep our friends
Speaker 1: could suggesting other types of gatherings or inviting people to my house occasionally work without looking like I'm poaching their dinner party guests. Thank you. So very much reluctant intellectual dinner guests.
Speaker 2: R. I. D. G. I I I feel you I'm not sure that I would want every dinner party. I don't mind a good book club every now and again but every dinner party ending with a full on extra book club study session afterwards.
Speaker 2: And I think you already know the answer that it is perfectly ok for you to start declining this or to say,
Speaker 2: you know, especially at the change of a book I think is probably or the change of the study subject is probably the easiest time to say, listen, we're going to bow out of the next ones. We've had such a
Speaker 2: nice time at the dinners, but I can't take this on at the moment and I think leave it at that. But I love the very end of what reluctant intellectual dinner guest is saying where they're asking about how I could do things like invite people to my own house for a party.
Speaker 2: And I think that that's a wonderful idea. There is no sort of poaching I think because you're aware of the time and of this particular party, like the regular date and time of it, I wouldn't try to plan for that particular night, but any other night of the month, I think you're good to go or weak. I can't remember if this is weekly or monthly
Speaker 1: lizzie. Do you have any thoughts about the exact guest list? I love the idea of the specific idea of not scheduling at the same time, there scheduling if you mimic the guest list,
Speaker 1: is there a two identical mimicking? Even if you were setting up a parallel event or something that wasn't competing necessarily? I
Speaker 2: don't know. I mean,
Speaker 2: are you inviting the hosts as well? R I D G is saying that they really like these people, you know, for just social gatherings. So I think that
Speaker 2: I know that there's just lots of places where kind of like your social group is roughly your social group, you know what I mean? Like there aren't huge ways to vary it up and so maybe being inclusive if everyone, you know, attends this particular study dinner party that these folks throw, invite them as well when you, you know what I mean?
Speaker 2: Like invite them as well when you, when you make that party of your own.
Speaker 2: Um, I think for me, the real kicker is just not doing it on the date and time of the other people's party because you'll know that you're making people choose between the two. It sounds like there might be some people who might be a little grateful to say sorry, we're busy this friday, but I'm thinking it's just not the polite way to go about it when you know about a standing,
Speaker 2: a standing group event within your social circle.
Speaker 1: I was having a similar thought in that while, I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with it for exactly the reason that you just stated sometimes there's a really natural social cohesion among people that are part of a larger group, It makes sense that they all get together for whatever reason,
Speaker 1: Okay.
Speaker 1: And while there's nothing particularly wrong with it, there is the possibility that somewhere down the line, the cohort forms and comes together again around your group, slowly abandoned the first
Speaker 2: and
Speaker 1: it's
Speaker 2: a possible reality. You're right, It is, I should not be laughing, you're right. It is, it is, it's the kind
Speaker 1: of thing you want to keep your
Speaker 1: antenna out for. You wanna stay aware if something that's really awkward like that is starting to emerge, that really becomes an apparent comment on something that someone else was doing. But
Speaker 1: it sounds to me like are reluctant intellectual dinner guest question Askar
Speaker 1: is pretty aware of all the social dynamics at play and could
Speaker 1: tell if something like that were happening or a situation like that was emerging and could probably work to avoid the worst
Speaker 1: impressions that might result. I think so too. I agree with you 100% that the
Speaker 1: moment of switching from one book to another provides a perfect and easy opportunity to bow out and I think you can be clear about that you can say I just don't have it in me to tackle another book right now.
Speaker 1: I've so enjoyed getting to know everyone socially and really hope we can keep that up in some way
Speaker 1: and I think you're in pretty good shape.
Speaker 2: So
Speaker 2: reluctant intellectual dinner guests did say can I get some feedback on the situation and
Speaker 2: I'm hoping it's okay to open this one up dan. But I am curious as to what other people might think audience and and and cousin dan at the mike. What about the host saying, socializing just isn't enough. Is that in any way knocking the dinner party that he just threw
Speaker 1: there is certainly that aspect to it. And I was really wondering was he if you would also reflect back something about the nature of a host,
Speaker 1: thinking about guests and planning
Speaker 1: entertainment that's going to mesh well with guests and really watching guests to see how they're responding to the things that you're suggesting are trying to introduce. Yeah, this
Speaker 2: is a hard one because you you're
Speaker 2: you're hoping that someone else is going to pick up on the vibes that you're seeing, right? Our question Askar says they can see other people who don't seem as invested in this and even if the host is thinking it's just going gangbusters,
Speaker 2: this is a problem, you know what I mean? And I don't know if you can I mean I hope you can teach people to be more observant. I don't know that it's the guests job to tell the host hey, what you think is happening isn't really happening. You know, that just might be a difference of perspective.
Speaker 2: Maybe this person thinks having half the room invested is like a major win, you
Speaker 1: know,
Speaker 1: and
Speaker 2: also might be assuming that if you're not invested and not interested in doing this, that you'll feel comfortable saying, you know I'm not into this, this isn't our sort of thing and they could be leaving room for that. I would say maybe not without they're clearly not being explicit about it, but
Speaker 2: it is a possibility. It is a possibility.
Speaker 1: I will
Speaker 1: mention on a personal level that this is a nightmare scenario for me. Is it really I don't like the idea of
Speaker 1: being pressured to join or participate in things generally too. And if I found myself in a social circumstance or situation where I felt like there was pressure to participate in something that I really wasn't enjoying,
Speaker 1: it would
Speaker 1: both great against me, in that I wouldn't want to do the thing that I don't enjoy, but that
Speaker 1: social pressure that I've
Speaker 1: might be feeling to me makes it worse and not compounding those two things is one of my challenges in terms of maintaining
Speaker 1: good etiquette and a good tone when
Speaker 1: the moment to gracefully excuse myself for bow out or reply no to the next invitation comes.
Speaker 2: Yeah. And I would say to host who might be interested in hosting a book club or having some kind of a more academic evening with friends together, that making it clear what you're thinking of,
Speaker 2: Making it clear that people can bow out whenever they would like to
Speaker 2: not doing overly heavy commitments right from the day one, you know? But sort of building up to that, if you see your group is enjoying it are all good things to be thinking about. If you if you want this kind of an evening to be a part of your, your regular socializing
Speaker 1: and again, I'll just speak entirely from my perspective. But oftentimes if I'm imagining evening or an event like this, where the intent is an intellectual pursuit,
Speaker 1: being explicit that all ideas are on the table, or different opinions and viewpoints are appreciated, can go a long way towards letting people know that you're not just trying to push an agenda but are really curious about exploring a topic and learning with other people.
Speaker 2: A plus point cause a plus point
Speaker 2: reluctant intellectual dinner guest, we hope our answer helps
Speaker 2: here is the kind of fun that they all thought of when the party was
Speaker 1: planned, of
Speaker 2: having a good meal together and plainly enjoying one another's company. The areas that have been made haven't taken the fun out of the party and we must remember to give them credit for
Speaker 1: all the things that have been
Speaker 2: done correctly
Speaker 2: for every mistake made. A dozen things have been done correctly.
Speaker 2: Yeah,
Speaker 2: yeah.
Speaker 2: Our next question is titled more vexing on vaccines.
Speaker 2: Hello, lizzie and dan. I'm in the middle of creating a facebook event, invitation for a birthday house party and an etiquette issue has suddenly come up.
Speaker 2: I have a note regarding Covid and was about to write something like to my knowledge, all attendees will be vaccinated but didn't because it feels like too much disclosure. Instead, I wrote, the residents of the house are vaccinated. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.
Speaker 2: If someone is concerned about vaccination status, I would probably tell them off the record that I expect everyone to be vaccinated, which I'm very confident is true.
Speaker 2: Do you have any guidance about this kind of disclosure generally or suggestions for how to address the topic better? Grateful for 234 episodes and counting of etiquette wisdom Syria
Speaker 1: Syria, thank you so much for the question. You know,
Speaker 1: I think I know somebody who recently wrote an article for the atlantic about politeness now at the end of the
Speaker 2: pandemic and
Speaker 1: addresses exactly this kind of question because it's something that's on a lot of people's minds right now.
Speaker 2: Would you read in that article? Because no,
Speaker 2: um, it's it's true, it is on a lot of people's minds right now and I think that the way you have handled this is really nice that you've let everyone know that everyone in the house is vaccinated and to please feel free to reach out with questions or concerns. I think
Speaker 2: no matter what you state that please reach out with questions and concerns is so inviting and just helps that person who might be a little anxious might still be having, you know, just a little bit of concern frankly to feel safer to understand what's going to be happening and really kind of what's expected at this party. I think there are other ways to handle it. To. One of the ways we talk about in the article is to
Speaker 2: kind of state upfront what your safety expectations are. I think in the article we worded it something like
Speaker 2: we would love for you to come over for and then insert what type of party it is. And you can say something like
Speaker 2: we ask that if your unvaccinated that you still wear a mask inside and use social distancing our kids are unvaccinated and we'll be wearing masks too and you might not have kids in your particular situation so you might not need the extra line. But just simply stating that that's what you're expecting of guests who haven't yet been able to or won't be able to receive the vaccine
Speaker 2: I think is a really good way to go. It sort of sets up the expectation as
Speaker 2: as you should as a host. You know what I mean? Like you should tell your guests what's to be expected when they're coming and it puts the power on them to then decide and figure out for themselves if they want to be there and you know, if they're unvaccinated wearing a mask or not or whether they're vaccinated and don't have to worry about it, that sort of thing.
Speaker 1: I love that construction lizzie post. I really liked reading it when I read that edit from the article
Speaker 1: because it's such great advice. It's saying I'm not going to assume that I know what your situation is and
Speaker 1: in the situation that I'm operating in, I feel pretty comfortable not asking you to disclose it,
Speaker 1: but I can be very clear about what my expectations would be, whatever your vaccination status is and like you say, it puts so much control in someone else's hand and at the same time it's you doing everything that you can as a host to set clear boundaries and also make your guests feel as comfortable as possible.
Speaker 1: The one other question that comes up here is about how to respond to people who are wondering about other people's vaccination status. And I think that the answer here is really clear. If you don't know, you tell people that you say, I don't know and I haven't checked.
Speaker 1: And while it's certainly true that oftentimes we know the people that we know and we do have a pretty good idea about whether or not they've
Speaker 1: made a choice like
Speaker 1: whether or not to get vaccinated
Speaker 1: when you don't know for sure. I think you want to be really careful about taking responsibility for passing on any information, particularly when the potential consequences are really serious.
Speaker 2: I agree completely. Soria We hope that the party is awesome and that you have a ton of fun celebrating with your friends.
Speaker 1: Can I do something, mom?
Speaker 2: I don't know.
Speaker 2: I just don't know. It
Speaker 1: seems like there's always something
Speaker 1: how dare you are Doctor.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled Trouble with the text bubble.
Speaker 1: This question came in as a P. S. On the previous question
Speaker 1: Soraya Rights.
Speaker 1: Here's an entirely separate etiquette mystery that's been bugging me for years.
Speaker 1: If you're texting and you can see when the other person is typing with the ellipses bubble
Speaker 1: is sending a text while they're composing a message. Like interrupting.
Speaker 2: I love this question Bridget even marked it because this is a good one. I've wondered this myself. Like should I wait until they finish to send a second text? It's such a great question. It has not come up. Ding ding ding for 1st 1st time question on the show. What are your thoughts? Because
Speaker 1: I think that it could be like interrupting in certain circumstances, but I think sometimes interrupting, okay, a favorite people of yours. So
Speaker 1: I'm imagining the scenario where
Speaker 1: I think I know what it is they're typing. But the thing that I have to say could save them typing it all out or complete the previous thought in a way that might go in a different direction.
Speaker 2: I might
Speaker 1: try to get it in there.
Speaker 1: But
Speaker 1: usually when I see that I do think of it as oh they're responding and I wait to see what they say.
Speaker 2: I'm with you. For the most part, I tried to wait. There have been so many friends who exactly what you just described is happening. There's a question left unanswered that maybe I missed and when I read through their text again, I see I need to answer that too. Or as I've
Speaker 2: typed out my answer really fast because I'm excited just to be talking to anybody. I hit send and then there's a quick follow up thought that's like or a list and then you had sent or are we gonna do this? And then you would send. I think there are times when it happens and it's it's not a big deal. Think about the conversation that you're having, who it is that you're having it with.
Speaker 2: Does this feel like it's going to be an interruption? Or do you guys have the kind of textile that can go text style? Excuse me. That can go back and forth and back and forth. I mean I know when kelly, Williams brown and I are texting like it is very easy even before they created that reply feature that allows you to reply directly to a message that was like way above
Speaker 2: um Oh
Speaker 1: my goodness, you have to tell me how that works. I'll multiple conversations in the same time.
Speaker 2: Yes. No it's I'll show you how that one works but it's it's really um it's really interesting with some friends. I have that really good. Like
Speaker 2: I'll type something that if you just read the direct line of text messages, the threat of it, you'd be like that's not correct, she's responding to something like way above, but kelly will pick up on it so you'll have many conversations that will happen, like alternating with the main conversation that's happening.
Speaker 2: Um And there are other people I just don't do that with as much, you know what I mean? You you and I I'm like we're lucky if we can make a text conversation happened between us.
Speaker 2: So you're not someone where I would add that level of confusion to our our messages but with people with whom you you do this with regularly and you're you're really bouncing back and forth. I don't think it's seen as an interruption.
Speaker 2: Big conversation, important conversation. Yeah, maybe it could seem like an interruption and also might be a conversation for the phone or in person instead
Speaker 1: because we have to give a long answer to a short question. I had one other thought which had to do with the courtesy around
Speaker 1: text not being too long
Speaker 1: or too involved. So oftentimes when I'm
Speaker 1: writing text it will be a two parter or a three parter where I've got a couple of thoughts but
Speaker 1: it would really be too much to go long form and include them all in one message.
Speaker 1: And I do think there is a really natural thing that also happens where
Speaker 1: as part of a two or three parter, someone might be responding to the parts in a pretty natural way and
Speaker 1: it actually just works out to be more efficient and not just efficient but just there's a rhythm to both people being able to get it all done. No, even if it's kind of happening at the same time
Speaker 2: totally. I also will say that if you are able this is something I'm trying to do in my life is that if I am able to stop,
Speaker 2: Think about my response all of it, give myself a minute for the 10 extra responses that come up right after I hit send on my first response and put them all into one text.
Speaker 2: I also only interrupt someone with one chime of their phone, one vibrate of their phone rather than like six or seven you know and I know and I'm laughing in my head right now because I just did this to Gillian weeks the other day, I'm working on it. It is a habit I am trying to break is that like send five text messages when you could have just sent one longer one over the balance. Uh
Speaker 2: Sorry a thank you so much for this question. Love that. At 3:56 we're still finding new things to talk about.
Speaker 1: God.
Speaker 1: Okay
Speaker 2: and
Speaker 2: mhm.
Speaker 2: Our next question is titled No Drama, drought dan and lizzie. I have listened since DPD and love your show. I honestly gleaned something new and valuable from every episode I live in California where we are in a severe drought situation.
Speaker 2: I have guests arriving in july from a far away state who have no idea what a drought is.
Speaker 2: How do I address this with my visitors showers will need to be shorter, water bottles need to be consumed completely or the remainder used for plants, laundry needs to be done only when absolutely necessary,
Speaker 2: etcetera etcetera. I have seen enough Airbnb House rules signs that I actually considered creating signs but that just seems cold and smacks of avoidance.
Speaker 2: But because our guests include three nephews who are late teens to early twenties, I feel reminders throughout their 10 day stay would be warranted and I really want to impart the urgency of the situation. Sample scripts and advice are appreciated
Speaker 2: parched in paradise. Oh, dan. Remember when you lived in paradise too?
Speaker 1: I do miss California, I love the West Coast. No,
Speaker 2: I
Speaker 1: don't miss droughts or drought conditions and definitely lived through a few of those out there as well.
Speaker 1: I
Speaker 1: I'm just delighted that in the show order you got to read me this question, lizzie Post because there are
Speaker 1: two things that I just have to respond to and one is I'm going to go way back to some of my early early presenting at Emily Post over 10 years ago. And one of the first slides that I developed that I
Speaker 1: really took pride in or enjoyed teaching was a slide about
Speaker 1: etiquette of the past, etiquette of today and etiquette of the future. And the idea was that if I could
Speaker 1: teach people a little bit about the Emily Post approach and process for thinking about etiquette, we could look at some of the changes that have occurred that we've witnessed over 100 years of stewarding this tradition and maybe even play a game where we anticipated together what some coming etiquette challenges might be, what would be the etiquette of the future. And some of the ideas that came up 10, 12 years ago had to do with new technology and all of the new challenges that new technology we're presenting us. And
Speaker 1: a common discussion was about wearable technology, contact lenses that had screens in them, or phones that were small enough to be little chips that sat in your ear or something like that.
Speaker 1: One of the other ideas that emerged in some of those early discussions was the idea of environmental etiquette that coming changes in global climate
Speaker 1: would force social changes and that those would be part of the vanguard of etiquette in the future. And
Speaker 1: I've been watching for them. And this is one of the first really concrete questions that
Speaker 1: that frames the etiquette around
Speaker 1: um specifically
Speaker 1: drought conditions, weather conditions and environmental necessity.
Speaker 2: So
Speaker 1: That was just the first big picture etiquette thought that landed in my head that were arriving in that etiquette future, that it was only imaginable 10 years ago. The other is that the Entomology, if you go back even further, the origins of the word etiquette is little signs. It's the French for those little signs that we make
Speaker 1: that give us
Speaker 1: cues about what to do. And the idea that we would
Speaker 1: be thinking about etiquette, specifically, little signs to remind people about
Speaker 1: behavior that has
Speaker 1: environmental impacts and effects is also, I wouldn't say near to my heart, but definitely how I describe it. It's just, it's very cool.
Speaker 1: Um, the idea that we would have little signs emerging, little etiquette is emerging around this vanguard of etiquette is something that is intriguing to me.
Speaker 2: For me, it's I almost see the issue of who the signs are for as nil. It's like putting them up is going to be good for everyone. It's going to be good for you in a moment where you might forget less likely because you're used to having to live in drought conditions and what people do to help conserve water, but it can be helpful for everyone. So to,
Speaker 2: I'm a big fan of the little sign in this particular type of situation where
Speaker 2: there's something kind of serious going on that everyone is trying to remember and participate well in and it actually really matters. Um I could imagine even though we weren't having people
Speaker 2: come over very much at the start of the pandemic, you saw a lot of signs like please use the hand sanitizer before knocking on the door or something like that,
Speaker 2: especially in the early days when we were really unsure about exactly how it could spread. I think the little signs can be really, really effective at particular times like these
Speaker 1: and I really think that that spirit of this is for everyone
Speaker 1: is one of the places that you keep your tone positive. That it's not about giving a lot of direction to a particular person or anticipating that someone is going to be
Speaker 1: forgetful or lazy but
Speaker 1: that it's, it's for everyone. These are the reminders, These are the little eh tickets that are going to help us out because we are
Speaker 1: thinking about changing our behavior and that requires that effort and maybe it requires the conscious effort of the reminder.
Speaker 1: It's also really consider it to be thinking about the regional transition that it's not just a change because of what you're experiencing, but it's going to be a change for your guests because
Speaker 1: they don't have experience with this kind of change in particular. Some of the examples that you gave on the list were really helpful for me. They painted a much clearer picture of what living through a drought is like. And I definitely think that along with those little signs, a conversation ahead of the visit
Speaker 1: where you communicate both the importance and seriousness of the restrictions, but also exactly what that means for the ways that you live together spend time together and
Speaker 1: might have to adjust some of the routines that many people are used to thinking of as a baseline. I can drink as much water as I want whenever I want for example. And if that's really not the case, I think a heads up is advisable and it's the really considerate thing to do
Speaker 2: and then the signs helped to reinforce that. And then
Speaker 2: if things still aren't being adhered to,
Speaker 2: that's when you want to remember that you are the host
Speaker 2: and you can have a conversation with your guest about it. But you you want to still be compassionate.
Speaker 2: This is a 10 day stay. So it is, it's like longer than three days where you might just say if someone is really not good at this, I'm not going to hound them. But if it's not really sinking in, you might have to really transition to doing a lot more in moment guiding as opposed to any kind of definitely as opposed to any kind of scolding.
Speaker 2: And I think that that's something that as a host going into a 10 day visit, I'm going to hope I don't get there. I'm gonna hope everybody you know, listens to the conversation and pays attention to the signs and things like that. But I'm going to try to remember to be really patient with the fact that this is really different for these folks and these are just habits, they are not used to
Speaker 1: parched in paradise. We really hope that our answer helps that your guests take on the challenge of a new situation and that you have a great visit.
Speaker 1: The earth is not the good earth to man without rain.
Speaker 1: Rain for the earth
Speaker 2: rain to bring up the
Speaker 1: falling water table rain to make crops grow rain for the grass that ties the earth into place
Speaker 1: when the wind clouds gather, nothing holds down the soil.
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 us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 You can also reach us on social media on twitter. We are at Emily Post install on instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute And on facebook we are awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: Just remember to use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: Mm
Speaker 2: If you love awesome etiquette, consider becoming a sustaining member by visiting us at patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette. You'll get an ads, free version of the show and access to bonus questions and content. Plus you'll feel great knowing 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.
Speaker 1: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer and the topics we cover
Speaker 1: Today we hear from a lima.
Speaker 1: Hello, dan and lizzie, thank you for your podcast.
Speaker 1: Today I have some feedback on the question about hosting service people.
Speaker 1: A few years ago I hired someone to clean my home once a week since I work from home, I was usually making coffee when she arrived in the morning and I always offered her a cup.
Speaker 1: She often accepted with gratitude and that sometimes lead to a little polite chit chat about our family's current events, etcetera. Over the years, Tina and I became friends. We bonded over being single parents and found we had many other things in common.
Speaker 1: We turn to each other for advice, offered tips about things like schools and summer camps
Speaker 1: and offered support during personal challenges.
Speaker 1: As her employer, I tried to be considerate over time by leaving the door open for conversation but not expecting it.
Speaker 1: I know her time is valuable and she may have other places she wants or needs to go after my house.
Speaker 1: She was also always the first person I referred friends and family members to when they needed a cleaning service.
Speaker 1: When I moved away, there were hugs and tears and now we keep an occasional touch.
Speaker 1: I think this is a good example of something dan often says about business etiquette
Speaker 1: to think of it not as an obligation, but an opportunity
Speaker 1: after all, having a service worker in your home is a business relationship.
Speaker 1: In this case that cup of coffee was an opportunity for a wonderful relationship
Speaker 1: warmly.
Speaker 1: Alima,
Speaker 2: Alima, thank you so much for the feedback. It is so true that relationships matter and I certainly love the bonds that I've formed with people like this in my life. It's nice to get to hear about other stories of this
Speaker 1: happening. To thank you for the feedback
Speaker 2: and 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 802858
Speaker 1: 5463.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
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 a new book just out called America Cannon.
Speaker 1: So this book arrived in the mail a couple weeks ago. I was sort of excited to get a package with a book in it. And
Speaker 1: upon opening it, I was delighted to find american in a book by jess mccue. And it took me back to a visit that we had at the institute a couple of summers ago when jess visited to
Speaker 1: see if she could glean any first uh primary source material from the archive, which she describes very accurately as primarily a set of boxes that come out of the various closets in the post family household filled little photo albums.
Speaker 1: Um but her work product is completed and the whole idea behind the book american and is that she wanted to look at
Speaker 1: great works of american literature, but not the literature that you learned in school, but the literature that the american public chose and
Speaker 1: her metric for it was sales which were the most popular books. What were the best selling books in american history? And what do they say about the american audience that made them classics in their time?
Speaker 1: And etiquette was one of the books that she chose. So in the book American and the book etiquette is the topic of one of 12 chapters. Some of the other chapters to give you an idea are about books like Webster's dictionary or
Speaker 1: dale Carnegie's, How to Win friends and influence people.
Speaker 1: So
Speaker 1: it's good company and
Speaker 1: um it's also really nice for me at the Emily Post Institute to get a book that's well researched. Written by
Speaker 1: writer who spent some time looking at primary source material. And the length for this chapter places it's somewhere in between two of my other favorite pieces of writing about Emily Post. There's a Vanity Fair article that's about five pages. That
Speaker 1: gives a good synopsis of her life that I like to share with people. And then there's the Laura Claridge biography that
Speaker 1: any regular listener to the show has heard lizzie and I reference and even do some readings from in post scripts also.
Speaker 1: But that's a long book. That's a deep dive into all of the details of Emily's life
Speaker 1: and this chapter injustice. New book american in is a nice little 35 to 40 page length piece somewhere in between those other two that
Speaker 1: gets into a few more details than the Vanity Fair article does, but isn't quite as deep a dive as laura Claridge took
Speaker 1: And our reading from American and begins on page 189 and tells the story of the origins of etiquette.
Speaker 1: Far from any smoke filled, speak easy or muddy trench. Emily Post was hosting one of her saturday night dinners for 12 at her Park Avenue apartment one night in 1920.
Speaker 1: Now a successful novelist in her forties, she surrounded herself not just with the usual society women of her formally married life, but also with agents, editors and literary types, including the Vanity Fair editor, frank Crown and Shield
Speaker 1: laments about prohibition soon turned to a broader discussion of personal liberty and public space.
Speaker 1: As other guests called for taxis, Crown and Shield lingered over desert and lambasted the growing number of poorly written books on etiquette.
Speaker 1: Then, as if a light bulb had suddenly been switched on, he turned to Emily and said, why don't you compose a book on how to behave?
Speaker 1: Emily found the subject Hassan in and said she wasn't interested in lecturing people about what fork to use.
Speaker 1: In the weeks following, Crown and Shield would call her again, showering her with compliments to convince her just how much all the war wives, new immigrants and nouveau riche desperately needed her advice.
Speaker 1: After weeks, possibly months of flattery, Emily Post finally conceded, Legend has it? And yet even her descendants, Lizzie Post and Daniel Post sending who run the Emily Post Institute today doubt the veracity of that story. Post biographer Laura Claridge uncovered proof that Emily was interested in etiquette all on her own.
Speaker 1: A letter she had written nine years earlier to her agent all but betrays her entirely.
Speaker 1: Miss Post. Had just about begged her agent to find her a gig as a monthly magazine columnist. On the topic of what
Speaker 1: the question then lingers as to the real reason why she became interested in etiquette in the first place.
Speaker 1: It might seem like a natural transition to go from writing fictionalized accounts of manners to writing a how to guide about them.
Speaker 1: And yet nearly everyone close to her, from her agent to her son, thought the project was beneath her
Speaker 1: and that it might be a sign. She was too out of touch with the times.
Speaker 1: Her passion came from elsewhere, a mix of the personal and the profitable.
Speaker 1: From the start of her writing career, her work seemed driven by a desire for both clarity and control and etiquette. As a subject offered both.
Speaker 1: It also served as an opportunity for something she certainly thought about but would not have admitted she needed money.
Speaker 1: By the time she began work on the book, she was a successful writer, but her career was cobbled together with magazine articles, the uncertainty of whether a novel would sell and the occasional architectural model she constructed as a side job.
Speaker 1: A book about etiquette represented both a way to earn money and the antidote to what she saw as mounting errors of etiquette all around her,
Speaker 1: an opportunity to put a messy world onto paper in a way that forced it to make sense.
Speaker 1: Once she started, it was a project she took to with passion. Beginning her writing at 6:30 a.m. With coffee and toast in bed before quizzing friends and even strangers waiting in taxi lines about best behavior.
Speaker 1: Her work room was wallpaper with notes about the book as she thumbtack cards with titles such as traveling the debutante and weddings. She continued that way for the better part of two years re emerging only for an appearance at tuxedo parks clubhouse for lunch or a sunday visit with her sons.
Speaker 1: The final product was a more than 600 page manuscript written in Longhand.
Speaker 2: Oh, I am so glad we aren't writing in longhand right now. We'll tell you. How about that? I know, but I love the balance there between the sort of legendary story of Emily being hounded and requested to write this book
Speaker 2: and then the letter that Clarridge had found,
Speaker 2: you know, that that was like, I'd really like to write on this topic. I also love cause that this is, it's reminding me when just writes about that she's in her late forties and we know Emily came into etiquette when she was in her fifties, so right around that time in life that here it's a whole other career,
Speaker 2: you know, it's a whole other adventure to go on, right as you're hitting this particular kind of midlife point. And I have always thought that was really cool, that kind of her her career took off as a later in life career and very
Speaker 1: inspirational, like, because I like to get into separating the legend from the reality and
Speaker 1: probably the truth is somewhere in between legend and reality,
Speaker 1: that it's probably a topic she was interested in and
Speaker 1: in that world that she operated in. There was some interest in drawing her into
Speaker 1: being a voice about that topic.
Speaker 1: It really is fun to think about the origins of this book and both how it emerged out of her personal life and also out of the needs of the american public at the time. And I really appreciated the way jess was able to look at those two things and at the same time
Speaker 1: pull out some details that were new details for me, which is always so much fun.
Speaker 2: Absolutely. Well I certainly look forward to to see in the book and seeing the chapter on Emily and probably some of those other famous books as well.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: We like to end our show on a high note. So we turn to you to hear about the good etiquette you're seeing and experiencing and that can come in so many forms. Today we have a salute from kitty.
Speaker 1: Hello, I love your show Lizzy and dan. You're both delightful, entertaining, informative and you are hands down Vermont's Goodwill, best compliment. I've gotten all day job title.
Speaker 1: My husband and I recently spent the weekend in eastern Maryland to attend a lovely wedding at a historical downtown hotel, the Tidewater Inn.
Speaker 1: Before the wedding we had time to explore this charming town, stopping into a number of shops, including a vintage bookstore.
Speaker 1: Our last stop before returning to our hotel was the trade Whims gift store where we inadvertently left behind our book purchase.
Speaker 1: The next morning my husband returned home and I caught a ride to the beach for a long awaited girlfriends reunion
Speaker 1: at home. My husband received a call from Bernice from Trade Whims to let him know she had our books.
Speaker 1: Bernice had found the bookstore receipt and googled my husband's name to see if she could learn his phone number.
Speaker 1: My husband told Bernice how grateful he was to her and everyone else at trade whims for going out of their way to contact him.
Speaker 1: My husband mentioned that I was down at the beach and would be heading back toward east and in a few days and could collect the books. Then.
Speaker 1: Kindest regards K and J,
Speaker 2: K, T, K and J. Thank you so much. This is such a, this is just good people, be it nice and thoughtful and make it a little bit of extra effort and boy, it makes a difference.
Speaker 1: And I'm going to label you eastern Maryland's downtown
Speaker 1: district, Tidewater Inn and Trade whims Goodwill ambassador. Thank
Speaker 2: you so much for the salute.
Speaker 1: Thank you for listening.
Speaker 2: Thank you to everyone who sent us something and everyone who supports us on
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Speaker 2: you can send us your questions feedback and salutes by email to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com by phone. You can leave us a message or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 on twitter. We're at Emily Post on instagram were at Emily Post Institute and on facebook were awesome etiquette and the Emily Post
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Speaker 2: Our show is edited by Chris Albertine. An assistant produced by Brigitte, doubt.
Speaker 1: Thanks. Crystal Bridges and Bridget.
Speaker 1: Mm
Speaker 1: mhm