Episode 358 - Sneaky Neighbor
In this episode of Awesome Etiquette
Welcome to Awesome Etiquette, where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On today’s show we take your questions on putting your recycling in the neighbor’s cans, providing meals for houseguests, including your business card in a thank you note to a customer, and responding to condescending comments from a future mother in law. For Awesome Etiquette Sustaining members our question is about approaching your neighbor about their untidy yard. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and postscript on Party Prep Countdowns!
Speaker 1: maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social, could you 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 where we
Speaker 2: explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty.
Speaker 1: On today's show we take your questions on putting your recycling in the neighbor's cans, providing meals for house guests, including your business card in a thank you note to a customer and responding to condescending comments from a future mother in law
Speaker 2: for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about approaching your neighbor about their untidy yard plus
Speaker 1: your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript on party preparation countdown all
Speaker 2: 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 because how's it going?
Speaker 2: I called you saturday, when, when, or sunday, sorry, when we were working
Speaker 2: and I immediately was like, I, I feel like I've got an injection of socialization, like I had my first big party on saturday night and it was a blast.
Speaker 1: So
Speaker 2: it was an outdoor party and it was for one of the golf tournaments at the clubs I belong to and it was really, really fun to go to this. I hadn't really seen any of these folks all last year, I got showered and did my hair and my makeup
Speaker 2: and I picked out jewelry and I put on a beautiful dress
Speaker 2: and I even had a girlfriend come over and get ready with me, which like haven't done that in forever. It was awesome to see all the, like everywhere I turned, it was like, oh my gosh and you, oh my gosh! And you and oh, hi you. It was like, it was
Speaker 2: magical compared to what the past year had been. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed that kind of a thing
Speaker 2: here. I was hanging out at home most of the time thinking, you know, yeah, it's all right. I can like,
Speaker 2: I don't need big parties or anything like that. Like mellow backyard is nice and this was so
Speaker 1: much fun.
Speaker 2: Like I could go on, you're gonna have to stop me because you're gonna have to stop me.
Speaker 1: I was going to let you go. And I was also thinking to myself, I'm glad I did because I was gonna ask you boring questions like did you get dressed up and things like that. But
Speaker 1: what I'm hearing also is that it was really the magic of the moment that it was the people that it was the socializing that was so satisfying as much as the trappings that went along with
Speaker 2: it really, really was. And this is a golf tournament where the people playing ah remember and a guest. So I was also seeing like friends of friends who don't play golf up at this club but they were there and I hadn't seen them in like a year and
Speaker 2: it was, it was like one surprise after another. It was really delightful and really, really awesome and it definitely energized me. It reminded me how much I do, I do enjoy all the different ways that we socialize and that this was a good one to feel again
Speaker 2: and it was, it was, it was a blast
Speaker 1: the food, you can be just a little bit of something, something on the food because I'm curious
Speaker 2: classic kind of buffet dinner. So I think they had some kind of like a beef and two different kinds of a mashed potato, like a sweet potato and a regular potato and a brussels sprout salad
Speaker 2: and then like, other like other types of salads, it was like big buffet. I happen to miss dessert entirely.
Speaker 2: Yeah, I know. I think that that's what, when I had had one persico too many, I miss desert. It was a ton of fun. And again, just the talking to so many different people and catching up with so many different people. I think you and I have been working so hard. We haven't really had any time to socialize lately
Speaker 2: and it was kind of amazing to do it all at once and to feel like as soon as we're through this book,
Speaker 2: I've got some really, really, really fun things ahead for august.
Speaker 1: That sounds nice. No, it
Speaker 2: really was. And thank you for letting me just just dish on it completely for our intro because I
Speaker 2: I just I'm still like, even just thinking about it, like I'm still beaming, I'm like, oh my goodness, that was like last week at this time and it was such a good time and the dancing because oh there was dancing, it was so much fun to be with a live band
Speaker 1: and dance. It's a nice reminder. And here we are as we're working on this etiquette book were one of the big task for us is balancing so
Speaker 1: traditions and things that I don't know, maybe some people might think of as being inherited from the old world and contemporary standards. And I'm noticing in this event that there's something about the event nature of it that draws people out
Speaker 1: and that it then becomes a container for that human interaction, that so
Speaker 1: satisfying. And I'm wondering if it would have worked as well if it didn't have as formal structure or even it wasn't a formal structure as structured equality as an
Speaker 2: event. Yeah. You and I were talking about this when we were working on some of the entire sections of the book,
Speaker 2: and even just the formal sections of the book, like what makes for a formal occasion, what's different about this than every day? And
Speaker 2: it really was like, the formality was a part of having fun with it because it wasn't every day, and I had definitely been in the zone of like, you know, stretchy waistbands and, and like not not the most flattering clothing. And so to get to
Speaker 2: think about, oh, this is an event where other people are going to be dressed up, and I, you know, I'm attending so to participate, well, I'm going to dress up to
Speaker 2: and to kind of let loose that expression and flex that muscle was just basically mind blowing and it's, it's not like you can't get dressed up on your own, but when a bunch of other people are doing it too and there's like
Speaker 2: drinks and food and nice scenery and a band, it just all the little, it just hits all those fun party notes of what a classic party at least here in America, what a classic party seems to be, you know,
Speaker 2: and I think you're right, while we all would have had fun if it was just after the tournament in whatever you were wearing for that day, the added element of doing the formalized things. There was a valet when we pulled up, that doesn't happen at the club on a daily basis. Like
Speaker 2: it was a step up and that did, it made it special. It made it really fun, it made it something you really wanted to
Speaker 2: to be there for because it wasn't your everyday, you know, kind of hang out or
Speaker 1: post gulf,
Speaker 2: you know, beer,
Speaker 1: I am
Speaker 2: jealous.
Speaker 2: You keep saying that as soon as you've played a few more rounds, you're gonna, you're gonna come on over and and check it, check out
Speaker 2: the
Speaker 1: links. I will be happy to be your guest whenever the opportunity presents itself
Speaker 2: in the meantime because do you think that we should get to some of these
Speaker 1: questions? I think that is a great idea. Let's do it.
Speaker 2: Party on
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 you can reach us on social media on twitter. We're at Emily Post on instagram. We are at Emily Post institute
Speaker 2: and on facebook were awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with any social media posts so that we know you want your question on the
Speaker 1: show.
Speaker 1: Our first question is regarding recycling.
Speaker 1: Dear lizzie and dan, thank you for your wonderful insights on awesome etiquette. I enjoy it so much. I notice how you always validate the intentions or actions of the people who contact you. You're kind teachers.
Speaker 1: Please be gentle with me because I'm going to be honest about bad behavior.
Speaker 1: I have a recycling etiquette question that I hope you will help me with.
Speaker 1: I guess my question is how rude is it to put my recycling in my neighbor's recycling cans just before the bi weekly pick up without asking them first.
Speaker 1: Our small town provides a garbage can and a recycling can to residents and picks up garbage weekly and recycling every other week. We pay for the service.
Speaker 1: My family recycles every item we can because we believe it's important to recycle rather than add more to landfills
Speaker 1: most of the time the recycling pick up every other week is just in time. Our can is full
Speaker 1: sometimes like around christmas or if we've brought something into the house that has a lot of cardboard that comes with it. We are overflowing with recycling items on pickup day
Speaker 1: when we have too much recycling, there's recyclable trash in our garage. I hate living with it for the next two weeks until the following pickup
Speaker 1: it takes up room in our crowded garage and then puts us behind on getting these items out of the house for a couple more pickup cycles.
Speaker 1: I get up early and several times early in the morning before trash pickup. I have taken our overflow items to our neighbors cans, checking that they have lots of room in them
Speaker 1: and then I have put our recycling in their recycling can without asking
Speaker 1: and it gets picked up out of my house. No one is the wiser or harmed or inconvenienced.
Speaker 1: I know it must be wrong because I have been caught in the act by one neighbor who is a friend more than once and I've been embarrassed even though he teases me about it and we laugh.
Speaker 1: So how awful am I? The greater good recycling is achieved and the neighbors don't even know it's happening except once or twice with our friends.
Speaker 1: The town owns the cans, we all pay for the same service, the neighbors recycling is collected without interruption. So why am I stealthy about this? And why do I feel a tinge of shame when I'm caught in the act?
Speaker 1: I would love for you to spell it out for me because I need to hear why I shouldn't do it. I will strike again unless you stop me.
Speaker 1: Thanks the reverse Robin Hood of recycling.
Speaker 2: Well, well worded at the end there, I also love the title of this question. Nascar's name or their pseudo name, the reverse Robin Hood of recycling. Um, because I'm going to take a stab at just answering the direct direct question here. So why am I stealthy about this? Why do I feel a tinge of shame when I'm caught?
Speaker 2: I'd love for you to spell it out for me. I think you feel it because you haven't asked first and you know, it's not your can and and everybody pays for this service. You know, I I think that that's a really normal thing to feel when we're using someone else's stuff and we haven't asked.
Speaker 2: It seems like it's a very minor infraction, especially with these friends,
Speaker 2: but I think the really quick fix here is to just see if you can set it up with a couple of your neighbors so that it's okay if their bins aren't full you to put your overflow into them. It sounds like the friends would already be fine with this. So that's like maybe one or two cans right there. But I think,
Speaker 2: you know, maybe maybe with another neighbor or something, you might never have to worry about that trash, the recycling, I should say, building up in the garage
Speaker 2: over the course
Speaker 1: of two weeks.
Speaker 1: I think you hit the nail on the head lizzie post you're supposed to ask before you use someone else's things. I definitely appreciate hearing some of the detail in this question. I
Speaker 1: like hearing about the
Speaker 1: cost of the service, the timing, the reasoning behind why
Speaker 1: are reverse Robin Hood would want to do this and why it's not likely to negatively impact someone else
Speaker 1: in some ways. That's evidence of consideration. You're thinking about what you're going to do and you're trying to assess what the impacts are going to be
Speaker 1: there. Is that transgression of not having asked at the same time? I think that's a relatively minor infraction, I wouldn't beat myself up over it is what I'm saying, but I also really want to applaud the noticing that's going on here about that shame and
Speaker 1: I think that's one of your best indicators about whether or not it's time to stop excusing yourself and go have that conversation that lizzie is talking about. I think that your own
Speaker 1: internal measure and guilt about it,
Speaker 1: it's actually a really good indicator about
Speaker 1: whether or not you've stepped up to a line or whether you're starting to cross it in a way that maybe wouldn't feel so good if you did get caught and I'm putting that caught in. Little quotation marks,
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 2: reverse Robin Hood. We hope you come out of Sherwood Forest soon and definitely get out in the open with your neighbors about your
Speaker 1: recycling.
Speaker 2: Our next question is titled meal Mayhem,
Speaker 2: Dear lizzie and dan, I hope you're both well and great to hear that you're getting out more socially in recent days. Also happy to hear you both talking more about our new social conundrums as we tentatively but excitedly dust off and navigate our social graces. Once again,
Speaker 2: I have a question for you about hosting for our first time since the pandemic began.
Speaker 2: We extended the offer to host a family whom we don't know well but wanted to get to know better at our vacation home.
Speaker 2: The couple's daughter is a friend of our daughters and they have a younger child as well.
Speaker 2: They decided to stay for four nights in our guest cottage and for three of those days and nights we ended up doing the cooking of all the meals from scratch and entertaining in our home.
Speaker 2: On the final night,
Speaker 2: they extended an offer to take us out to a meal to show their gratitude, but my spouse declined saying, oh, we don't mind cooking, it's just easier if we have you eat with us.
Speaker 2: And therein started the conflict between my spouse and I
Speaker 2: I feel we were more than generous providing every meal in addition to four nights stay to the family and pointed out that it is important, we give them a chance to show their gratitude.
Speaker 2: My spouse stated with the hassle of going out to eat, it just didn't feel worth it. What's the big deal about making a pot of pasta?
Speaker 2: I feel a bit guilty and less gracious saying this, but I feel like we have been wonderful hosts and is it not part of being a good host to give a thankful guest the opportunity to show their gratitude.
Speaker 2: I'm pretty exhausted and feel I have been working for my guests rather than enjoying their company. Of course, in offering a place to stay, it does not obligate us to provide every meal.
Speaker 2: How would you handle guest expectations and our own in the future. Could you provide sample language we could use in an email at the beginning, before the guests arrive as to what they can expect in terms of meals so that we are all on the same page. Thanks so much host not feeling the most
Speaker 1: oh host, not feeling the most. I want to do my absolute best to hopefully make you feel a little bit better because it sounds like you did a great job hosting and I'm sorry that there ended up being some conflict between you and your spouse about this.
Speaker 1: I really like your impulse about wanting to give your guests an opportunity to show their gratitude. It is a common piece of advice for house guests to think about showing their gratitude by doing something for their hosts while you're staying with them. And it's
Speaker 1: not at all uncommon to invite your hosts out to dinner and to treat them and to have that be a very explicit thanks for the efforts that they've made on your behalf as a guest, You don't have to say yes to that.
Speaker 1: I'm sure it would have been very nice for you if you and your spouse, we're on the same page about that and you could have accepted that. It might have made you feel very differently about the balance of your host and guest roles over the course of that stay. And that's definitely a consideration here. And part of
Speaker 1: the thinking behind maybe saying yes to an offer like that.
Speaker 2: I think two for me that offer of taking a host for who is like a house guesting host when you've been on an extended stay visit out to a meal. It's in my mind just another option in terms of gifts or things you could do to show your gratitude.
Speaker 2: And I don't imagine myself not accepting a gift that someone presents me with. Like if they had brought me a huge bouquet of flowers or maybe something to plant in the garden or a beautiful serving platter. I wouldn't probably have said no to that. So for me, I wouldn't have felt as okay about saying no
Speaker 2: to the offer unless for some reason the scheduling didn't work or you know what I mean? Like it was like a
Speaker 2: technical reason we couldn't go out to dinner.
Speaker 1: You're right. Has receiving gifts well, is so important.
Speaker 1: Our host who's not feeling the most was wondering about sample language and particularly sample language for an email. And I want to give some etiquette kudos for experiencing something difficult
Speaker 1: and the reaction or an early response being, how can I prevent this from happening again in the future? What could that would be a good action that would prevent a similar situation from arising?
Speaker 1: Uh, an email ahead of time is a great idea, coordinating schedules, itineraries is advisable when you're thinking about an extended visit
Speaker 1: and including a line that was something like, I was really hoping that we could do dinners together, I won't be available for lunch or I was thinking we could have breakfast on this day, in this day and dinner on this day in this day.
Speaker 1: The implication being that the other meals are
Speaker 1: really going to be up to the guests to work out and coordinate for themselves.
Speaker 1: Also, maybe providing some options, some information about what kind of
Speaker 1: kitchen the guesthouse has, or
Speaker 1: some good local options for places that people can eat out if they want to catch a
Speaker 1: coffee in the morning, a sandwich for lunch or maybe something a little bit more for dinner.
Speaker 2: Because what do you think about the idea that as a host of a house guest and this situation is a, it's a it's got this this funky twist on it, of the cottage or the guesthouse, you know, and like you just said, we're not sure if that has like, a fully functioning kitchen and living room, if it's more of a situation like
Speaker 2: we've got this gorgeous Airbnb, you'd be welcome to it for a long weekend. Like, are we?
Speaker 2: It's it's interesting. You could see a couple different hosting scenarios where you would give the advice of, Yeah, you're probably providing all the meals or at least providing options for them or for your guests to join you at the meals you eat. But I could see tons of other situations where
Speaker 2: it's more of a, you're being treated to the space, Please use it as you will. You know what I mean? It kind of runs the gamut. I wouldn't say that it's the easiest or most specific piece of advice we could give about it, you know what I mean?
Speaker 2: No, there's a lot
Speaker 1: of middle ground here. I was imagining all of the places that might come up that would happen after an email
Speaker 1: and I was even thinking about some ways that you might handle it on day two or day three. If a pattern started to emerge where
Speaker 1: for all the reasons that you describe, maybe the kitchen, there isn't a kitchen in the guesthouse or that kitchen isn't well appointed. So after a first day where you prepared meals and invited people over,
Speaker 1: you fall into a natural rhythm where that starts to happen and people aren't questioning it. I think sometimes you can just broaden the options in front of people and it might serve to redirect or or change the assumption.
Speaker 1: I was imagining
Speaker 1: offering to teach people how to operate in your kitchen if that was the only one. So they felt comfortable preparing themselves food or using it.
Speaker 2: Yeah, absolutely.
Speaker 1: Or maybe it's an offer to go to a grocery store to set up
Speaker 1: the kitchen in the guesthouse. And I could think of a number of different sample scripts if you wanted to sort of really be sure that it happened, you could talk about how you've been something you've been wanting to do and it would be fun to do with some people staying there.
Speaker 1: And that would be helpful if they could help you do a little grocery shopping and put some basics in the kitchen.
Speaker 1: So I was even trying to think about some interventions that might help as well along the way because I don't feel like
Speaker 1: these relationships are set in stone and like you say, lizzie, I think there's some, some wiggle room here depending on
Speaker 1: how the situation develops
Speaker 2: well and the relationship between the folks. I mean, I feel like you and I as soon as we got down to the vineyard this year, I was like, I was going to go do a grocery run what, you know, what would you guys want? What are good things that the girls eat, stuff like that so that it was clear I wasn't just going to buy my groceries,
Speaker 2: but I wanted to contribute groceries to the house because I knew we would all be eating,
Speaker 2: you know, out of the same kitchen around the same times, that sort of thing, even though we didn't always eat the same meals. So in my head I was I was just likening it to that experience. The other thing that you just brought up for me is the fact that the host is actually the one who really takes the lead on a lot of this,
Speaker 2: that your guest is going to be looking to you.
Speaker 2: Four signals about what it is that you are inviting them to participate in and such, and again, if they're staying in your house, it's probably going to be a little bit more directly related to whatever meals you're making for yourself. But with this guesthouse situation
Speaker 2: there is a bit more space, there's a bit more of a, I think you need to either take the lead in inviting them to dinner or as dan has spelled out a couple times in this
Speaker 2: stating the times and the meals that you are willing to provide for, the ones you can't or aren't going to be around for that sort of thing.
Speaker 1: What lizzie post when you and I share a kitchen, it's not that difficult. We were very closely and her for a long time.
Speaker 2: We're like family, wait, we are family.
Speaker 1: And one of the things that I appreciated about this question is that
Speaker 1: the information is provided that there is a little bit of a distance between these two families that the I think the kids know each other.
Speaker 2: Right?
Speaker 1: So you're probably notching up into that slightly more formal or best behavior, guest manners
Speaker 1: tear. That's that makes no sense. So without that level of familiarity you're probably leaning on more of the structure of the host guest dance, more of the structure of the role of the host to support you. And
Speaker 1: I feel confident offering the advice to our host, not feeling the most to really lean into that structure, to
Speaker 1: feel confident taking the role guiding your guests, because they're probably looking to you for the invitation to strike off on their own or to follow your lead. But as good guests and it sounds like they're good guess because they offered to take you out at some point,
Speaker 1: they were probably looking to you for some of that direction
Speaker 1: host, not feeling the most. We hope that our answer helps and that you feel confident of a situation like this emerges in the future, both dealing with your guests and talking with your spouse about all the options. I think people like in this life, it's kind of handy when you want to do something for some of your life,
Speaker 1: but I don't think I could live to do it though.
Speaker 1: Whatever you do.
Speaker 1: Our next question is about a company card conundrum. Hi lizzie and dan. I have a question regarding business. Thank you note etiquette.
Speaker 1: I have recently been promoted into a sales position within my company. And while I'm not new to the industry, I am new to sales
Speaker 1: after an appointment with a client. I always send a handwritten Thank you note, thanking them for their time and interest, letting them know it was a pleasure to meet them or see them again if it was a return client and asking them to please reach out if they have any further questions,
Speaker 1: should I be including my business card in the corridor envelope?
Speaker 1: I don't want the note to come across too pushy because the intent is to continue building a relationship.
Speaker 1: But my logic is that if there is a follow up question, my card is easily accessible,
Speaker 1: signed confused about the business of Thank you Notes,
Speaker 2: confused about the business of thank you notes. I want to start by saying congratulations on the promotion and being an awesome person who writes thank you notes in the world of business.
Speaker 2: This is a great practice. We love to see it getting exercised when I'm thinking about the business note and the issue of do I include my business card or not? I want to get people in my contact information. Some of the things that come to mind first are
Speaker 2: this is a note, not a business letter. So I don't have
Speaker 2: a signature that has a lot of my contact info built into it the way I might with like personal office letterhead or even just able to include in a sort of a company styled business letter.
Speaker 2: And I'm also thinking about the fact that
Speaker 2: often a business thank you know, can be just a quick touch and if it's just that and we have an exchange emails so they don't have any of my contact information then I think yes, I would really probably want to include that business card.
Speaker 2: But if we've been exchanging emails and the more personal that note gets, the less likely I'm going to be to put that card in
Speaker 2: because have I gotten some of this business advice correct this time?
Speaker 1: Ding, ding, ding spot on a plus answer.
Speaker 2: Someone's like,
Speaker 1: look, you know, you really have been and I had the exact same thought. That to me, there's a difference between and it's it's a subtle difference between
Speaker 1: business note
Speaker 1: or a follow up note and a thank you note and
Speaker 1: I think that a business note or a follow up note might often include a thanks for meeting with me.
Speaker 1: But maybe the real purpose or intent of the note is just to follow up, maintain connection, build, and grow the relationship in new ways, remind someone about the time that you spent with them.
Speaker 1: I make a distinction between that and a thank you note where the sole purpose or the main purpose or intent of the notice, thanking somebody for something specific. And the closer I get to that personal thanks being the purpose of the note, the less I want to confuse that message with something like a business card.
Speaker 1: The situation that's described here where it's really about relationship building within business. It's a pretty regular practice that you're doing after most meetings. I think the inclusion of that card,
Speaker 1: there's there's nothing inappropriate about it. In fact, it might really be practical in all the ways you describe lizzie post, the stationary, the letterhead that you're using might not have that information.
Speaker 1: A lot of people have a place in their desk where they keep business cards and it becomes a really tactical, concrete, tangible reminder of you and that's a really powerful thing.
Speaker 2: I'm also thinking about frequency here just in case anybody's wondering, you wouldn't send a business card with every note or letter that you sent to this client just really with the first one or just possibly possibly with the first one.
Speaker 1: That would be my instinct. Maybe periodically. Maybe you've got a new card at some point, but no, I wouldn't make it a component of every contact.
Speaker 2: Gotcha.
Speaker 2: Well confused about the business of thank you notes, We hope this has helped clarify your mind and enjoy that wonderful new position.
Speaker 1: Tell me why are you interested in this job? I need a steady job. Mr Wiley with the chance to go places.
Speaker 1: Thank you.
Speaker 2: Our next question is titled condescending comments.
Speaker 2: Hello, dan and lizzie. Thank you for all your shared wisdom and an incredibly entertaining podcast. I'm hoping you all can shed some light on rude comments said by my future mother in law, that I'm never quite sure how to respond to.
Speaker 2: She says them in a concerned voice, but they are always so distasteful and oftentimes hurtful.
Speaker 2: I'm never sure how to react and usually just laugh from the discomfort.
Speaker 2: She will say things like you look tired when I'm feeling great and well rested or neither of you look healthy to my fiancee, referring to him and me.
Speaker 2: She has also been extremely demanding about what we need to do for our wedding. Please help thank you. A concerned future wife.
Speaker 1: Oh, concerned future wife. I know that it's not always appropriate to offer to hug when you first meet someone. But if I could give you a virtual hug, I would want to do that. I want to offer you some comfort. This could this sounds like a really difficult situation.
Speaker 1: Oftentimes when faced with really difficult or challenging situations or people,
Speaker 1: I think that etiquette can be a really big help and
Speaker 1: I think that there are a couple of really clear etiquette points here and I think that can hopefully start to give you some direction as you
Speaker 1: think about navigating a wedding with a future mother in law and hopefully a long relationship after that.
Speaker 1: One of the great things about etiquette, one of the themes that lizzie and I returned to on this show all the time is that two wrongs never make a right? That etiquette is the most powerful tool when you're using it to assess your own behaviors and actions and improve them
Speaker 1: When we're confronted with really rude behavior, like somebody insulting us saying we look tired or not healthy when we haven't expressed that we feel tired or unhealthy
Speaker 1: and those are
Speaker 1: those are digs, those are insults, and I want to acknowledge that and allow for that as really rude behavior.
Speaker 1: The challenge is to not respond in kind and that can be so difficult.
Speaker 1: Challenge yourself. Take the high road,
Speaker 1: just establish an outpost up in that high country because it sounds like you're gonna need it. Um,
Speaker 2: put down roots, build a foundation in the spot,
Speaker 1: stay out of those, those trenches and, and and
Speaker 1: do your best not to engage. Um, and
Speaker 1: I'm hoping that this is unintentional from your mother in law that she is not intending to be offensive rude
Speaker 1: and
Speaker 1: so and consider it.
Speaker 1: But whether it's intentional or not,
Speaker 1: you're in such a better place to deal with it if you can really continue to hold yourself accountable and
Speaker 1: that's difficult. And I wish that there was a single sample script or something that you could say that would be likely to change what your mother in law saying or how she's behaving. But I I don't know if there's a sample script that's gonna unlock that. This sounds, I'll just leave it there, but I'm not sure if there's a sample script we can offer.
Speaker 1: That would be helpful.
Speaker 2: I I agree. You can always sit down with someone and have a candid conversation about the way interactions you're having with them impact you. But honestly, with these types of comments, I almost don't think it's worth it to go there.
Speaker 2: I think you're you're better off being prepared that you're going to get them. And as dan said, finding that high ground and really staking out some territory for yourself that's going to help
Speaker 1: you keep
Speaker 1: keep your
Speaker 2: head, keep yourself in that high ground. Um it might be just
Speaker 2: uh saying, oh thanks for noticing, It might be saying something like really, I feel great or just simply saying, huh? I don't feel tired when someone says you look like this, you know, I think that is about as far as I could come with some kind of sample script before you start getting really close to
Speaker 2: what dan was saying, like that sort of reply in kind
Speaker 2: that's like, well I don't feel tired, you know, it's like you can say, oh, I don't feel tired very casually and just simply respond to what she said or you can make your
Speaker 2: response really try to point at her and point out that what she's just said to you isn't good and I just I think you don't want to get close to that territory at all deflecting or just moving on from the comment is probably really the best way to go at this particular point,
Speaker 2: especially during I think all this planning, what wedding planning can be extremely stressful and that stress can show in a lot of different ways for people.
Speaker 1: It really can. And I was thinking about that transition to the wedding and how you manage that demanding person when you're planning a wedding and
Speaker 1: in the spirit of maintaining control over the things that you can control. I would really think about the roles that people are playing in this wedding so that you know how much you have to listen. If
Speaker 1: your mother in law is a co host, if she is covering part of the expenses, then she is a co host and she's part of the planning. And
Speaker 1: at that point it's up to you to figure out how to navigate that relationship so that her wishes are represented as part of the event that ultimately happens
Speaker 2: dan. We have not talked about them in a while, but positive noncommittal responses I think are exactly the thing that are concerned. Future wife needs
Speaker 2: those responses to any suggestion that gives you time to to think it's a quick recognition of the fact that someone has presented you with an idea and then a commitment to think about it or you know, revisit the topic leader and it just buys you that time too
Speaker 2: de stress when there's a lot of things coming at you at once and especially things you might not really want to do.
Speaker 1: And if she's not paying, you don't have to do anything that you don't want to do. Good point. It really is up to you how you plan your wedding. And obviously planning a wedding
Speaker 1: with consideration for the parents
Speaker 1: of the people involved is wise,
Speaker 1: but you don't have to be subjected to someone's unreasonable demands throughout the entire process in order to have some of their wishes well represented
Speaker 2: a concern future wife. We are sorry that you're going through this now, but we truly hope that the wedding you're planning is a wonderful celebration of your future life.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: When we first planned to move into that two family house, I thought of all those mother in law jokes.
Speaker 1: Still, they couldn't apply to nice people like us.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
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. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: Mm hmm.
Speaker 2: If you're enjoying awesome etiquette, please 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 that you helped keep awesome etiquette on the air
Speaker 2: and to those of you who are already sustaining members. Thank you so much for your support.
Speaker 2: It's
Speaker 1: time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer in the topics we cover today. We have feedback from Maya on disclosing the fact that you are bilingual.
Speaker 1: Hello Lizzie and Daniel. I just listened to an episode where you advised someone to disclose their bilingualism as early as possible in a relationship to avoid it becoming an awkward situation. When they find out later,
Speaker 1: I am finding myself in the exact awkward situation you hypothesized as I have been struggling with my mental health recently and now find myself in a position where I will have to disclose that I have bipolar disorder to a close friend.
Speaker 1: It's something I've been diagnosed with since before. We knew each other, but my internal stigma and the external stigma leads me to keep it secret.
Speaker 1: Your advice was spot on. In that scenario. I wish I had told this friend when we started to become close rather than now when things aren't great for me. Love the podcast. Maya.
Speaker 2: Maya thank you so much for the feedback and we are so glad that that advice could work in your situation as well.
Speaker 1: Maya thank you for the feedback. You got me thinking sort of more broadly about that advice and
Speaker 1: I think that there's a little nugget there that I want to extract this idea that sometimes it's maybe worth
Speaker 1: bringing up something that's a little bit awkward or that you feel might be difficult when things are going smoothly precisely because things are going smoothly and that's often times an easier time to address something that might be a little awkward than when things are difficult or stressful. Thank you so much for the feedback. It's given me something to think about.
Speaker 2: And thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please keep them coming. You can send your feedback or update to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com Or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 K. I N. D. That's 802858546
Speaker 1: three.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: It's time for our post script segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette and today we're talking about something near and dear to both lizzie and my heart. The return of the party.
Speaker 1: This is a topic that comes out of the etiquette book that we're writing but it also comes out of our experiences this summer as we all climb back onto the entertaining
Speaker 1: horse wagon, getting back on the horse wagon, entertaining wagon. I
Speaker 2: don't know. Are you on the wagon? Are off the wagon. Which one's the good one.
Speaker 1: If you find yourself in the situation of hosting a party, there is a countdown
Speaker 1: to a party for a host that
Speaker 1: is designed to help you prepare. And I was thinking lizzie post, would you be willing to take us through a party prep countdown?
Speaker 2: Absolutely. I love the countdown because it's one of those incredibly practical moments of party planning where you sort of now you've got all the elements in place, right? You've invited your guests, you know who's coming or at least mostly who's coming.
Speaker 2: You know the date, you know what it is that you're going to be serving. How this party is structured if there's a cocktail hour, if you're doing about Face services, it, you know, indoors outdoors, everything you've you've got all this set. But now you actually have to plan your timing of the day of the party so that
Speaker 2: 15 minutes before the parties start time, you are ready to go
Speaker 2: and can take 15 minutes to just enjoy all of your hard work, relax for a minute and get excited about your party. And the only way to do that is to very practically start from your party start time, subtract 15 minutes and work your way back.
Speaker 2: So for a dinner party let's say that is going to start around six PM.
Speaker 2: I guess that's when guests are going to arrive in, our cocktail hour is going to begin. We then want to take 15 minutes before that which was 5 45 PM and say that the home and the host are now prepared and ready to welcome guests. We just talked about having that deep breath, maybe a drink, relax a little bit,
Speaker 2: get into the party mood.
Speaker 2: So if
Speaker 1: I love I got to interrupt, can I interrupt
Speaker 1: the party starts for you 15 minutes before the party starts?
Speaker 2: Yeah, no, your own little party starts at 5 45. Everyone else shows up at six. And then
Speaker 2: uh you want to think about from about 5 30 to 5 45. This is when you want to set things like hors d'oeuvres is out. Put any garnishes on cocktails at the bar, fluff pillows. That was one thing my mom always had us do whenever we were getting ready for a party. It was go fluff the pillows
Speaker 2: when I do it to, you know, it's just you plump them up, you give them a little jews and all of a sudden you're cowards, you know, your couch looks gangbusters,
Speaker 2: but you also want to check on any meal prep that's going on in the kitchen to make sure things are either warming or cooling appropriately. Nothing's like still left under a broiler. So that's your your sort of 5 30 to 5 45. Final check in on all of your food and all of your refreshments that you're going to be serving.
Speaker 2: So moving back from the 4 30 to 5 30 hour,
Speaker 2: some people are going to need two hours, some people are going to need half an hour if you're neither dan nor I you might need only 15 minutes. But this is the time that you're going to be getting yourself ready. Whether that's showering, getting fresh clothing on, cleaning up
Speaker 2: your bathroom especially if it's one that you both have to get ready in and will be used by guests.
Speaker 2: That's always a really important one to sort of take into account. You might want to add uh an extra five or 10 minutes onto your getting ready time just to make sure that you've got time to clean up the bathroom.
Speaker 2: But that's that's the one where it's going to be a big question mark. This is one that's, that's really gonna
Speaker 2: change depending on your needs for what getting yourself ready for your
Speaker 1: party is.
Speaker 1: So the most personal part of the preparation, the most might have a personal time frame. Exactly, exactly should come
Speaker 2: right before you're about ready to start getting the orders out
Speaker 2: and everything with its finishing touch
Speaker 2: prior to you getting ready. So we've gone from 4 30 to 5 30 as our get ourselves ready time. You want to be thinking about your meal prep,
Speaker 2: anything that you can be doing to getting your meal or the foods that you're going to be serving ready to go so that you have that time to get yourself ready and you're not worried about trying to both blow dry your hair and you know, get something out of the oven or present something else from spilling over on the stovetop.
Speaker 2: Really give yourself enough time to cook and prep everything
Speaker 2: so that it just needs to warm or cool or be partially cooked after your own getting ready time. I tend to think of that as like a three hour. But for some folks it's gonna be too, maybe even just one for other people, it could be an all day event,
Speaker 1: keep walking us back because
Speaker 2: next we're going to be looking at setting the table and setting up our bar area. This is something that you can really do
Speaker 2: much earlier in the setup. I think a lot of people tend to think of it as a, well, once I'm ready I'll get all of the bar area ready. Or I could set the table quickly. Then these are things that can be sort of like a set and forget.
Speaker 2: It's very very easy to just go over any glasses with a with a quick wipe of a clean napkin or something like that. If there's any dust that settled.
Speaker 2: But really setting that table early sometimes for big holiday dinners, my mom sets the table actually the night before um is a, it's a really helpful way to get something out of the way early so that you're not worried about it or having it take up time when you're trying to balance things that might be a little more squirrely.
Speaker 2: You know, you're still might take longer than you think it was your own. Getting ready might take longer than you think it is. So getting that table set, getting any bar area set up
Speaker 2: um if you need to move furniture around, that's the time to do it. Early in the day, the day of your party, we're now into sort of the morning. Our were at that 11 a.m. To 12 30 PM timeframe or range. And this is when I think it's time to
Speaker 2: give your house the full judging, give it the full, the full cleanup. I think that most hosts are really used to doing a major cleanup a day or two before their party that way on party day, it's just a quick run of the vacuum, putting away some clutter a little bit of dusting and wiping down of surface surfaces. Excuse me.
Speaker 2: Um And of course cleaning the bathrooms, but you really want to make sure again that all of this is done on the early side. This isn't stuff that's going to be temperamental. It's things that you can take care of easily and have them out of the way. On the early side. It will help you de stress as you get the rest of the day going.
Speaker 2: Finally, because and this is when I'm not totally used to, I'm much more of an afternoon grocery shopper,
Speaker 2: but we recommend that you do any of your last minute groceries and decoration pick up in the morning before you get to all of that cleaning. That way you've got everything on hand. You don't have to run out in the middle of the day. It makes things super easy.
Speaker 2: And of course either the night before or very first thing with your coffee the morning of your party, you make this particular to do list so that you are on point for the day.
Speaker 2: You can stick to your schedule,
Speaker 1: you know the morning makes a lot of sense to me that you wake up and the first thing you do is you leave the house, you go get anything that you would need so that you spend the rest of the day in the space working. It also makes sense if you ran into any delays or hiccups, you'd have the whole day
Speaker 1: yes, to try to sort it out and figure it out.
Speaker 1: And that once you return home with all of your supplies and final whatever's that, you've got the rest of the morning to putter around the house and get things dialed in before you really start to focus on the particulars of the party prep in the afternoon and early evening.
Speaker 2: Absolutely. And like we said, there might be clean major cleanup that you'll do a day or two ahead of time.
Speaker 2: You might have already been able to do a bunch of grocery shopping or prepping or picking up of decorations days in advance. But should you need it that morning time is a knife safety zone for you to kind of tie up any last minute loose ends that you might have forgotten or Yeah, exactly, exactly. Your things that
Speaker 2: my thing is, I'll always I'll be really smart about buying groceries early,
Speaker 2: but then something like the strawberries will go bad because they magically do that as soon as you get home, You know what I mean?
Speaker 1: For the staple that you thought you had?
Speaker 2: No. Yeah, no, absolutely, absolutely, but I really I love the idea of taking the time to make time to make a schedule, to think about how this day is going to run down,
Speaker 2: knowing yourself well enough to know about how long it's gonna take you to get ready, about how long it's gonna take you to ready your space or cook your meal. These are things we don't always think of when we think of a good host and yet this is how a really good host does get ready for a party. It is a lot of planning, but it's a lot of really practical planning and knowing yourself and your style, what you have on hand, what you need to get
Speaker 2: being dialed in. And I just, I love that. I had a lot of fun writing about it and it's been really fun getting to do it again.
Speaker 1: Well, thank you for sharing it with. This is one party that just has to turn out right, well the purpose of a party is to have fun together and a successful party needs planning and skill.
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 and that can come in so many forms. Today we have a salute from Jason,
Speaker 1: hi lizzie and dan. I have a salute today for a kind stranger at the airport.
Speaker 1: I recently sprained some ligaments in my ankle and have been hobbling around quite ungraceful lee in a walking boot.
Speaker 1: I had to travel for work recently and while airports can be stressful in any scenario, they are especially tiresome when you are not able bodied.
Speaker 1: At the end of a very long trip, I limped my way over to baggage claim when I saw my suitcase, I tried to pull it off the carousel but struggled to do so. Someone saw my need for help and yank that heavy thing off the conveyor belt for me.
Speaker 1: I really appreciated it and it meant I didn't have to try to chase the bag down with a lead foot. Thanks for all you do, Jason,
Speaker 2: Jason, thank you so much for writing in and thank you to the person who helped you with that bag. That is such a great salute and we certainly hope that your foot heals soon.
Speaker 1: Thank you for that salute, Jason
Speaker 1: and thank you to everyone for listening.
Speaker 2: Thank you to everyone who sent us something and who supports us on Patreon.
Speaker 1: Please connect with us and share this show with friends and family and co workers. However you like to share podcasts, you can
Speaker 2: send us your questions, feedback and salutes by email to awesome etiquette at Emily
Speaker 1: Post dot com
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Speaker 1: Our show is edited by Chris Albertine, an assistant produced by Brigitte, Dowd. Thanks Kris and Brigitte Brigitte.