Episode 36 - Mrs. [Husband’s Name Goes Here]
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 some say it’s still proper for a wife to be called by her husband’s name. Others call it painfully outdated. Who is right? The answer is complicated.
Speaker 1: at least me bare minimum requirement
Speaker 2: cellphone away. Come on man. Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use
Speaker 1: host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness coming up on this episode of awesome etiquette will tackle your questions about handling mom's route, boyfriend, common areas and shared apartments, friends who lack grieving manners and facebook friends who have obnoxious networks.
Speaker 1: Then in our post script we'll talk about the issue of a woman using her husband's name and how passionate people are about this topic. Our salute today is especially heartfelt and comes in the form of a thank you note
Speaker 2: awesome etiquette comes to you from the studios of Vermont public radio and is proud to be part of the infinite guest network from american public media.
Speaker 2: I'm lizzie post
Speaker 1: and I'm dan post Senning from the Emily Post institute
Speaker 2: dan's getting married.
Speaker 1: It's the advent season of my wedding.
Speaker 2: You are 12 days in now,
Speaker 1: Actually not quite, not quite 12 days, but I think of the one month calendar up on the wall with those exes that go across each day as you counted down. Do
Speaker 2: you improve? You have one of those on the wall?
Speaker 1: No, but it's very much ticking in my head.
Speaker 2: Uh
Speaker 1: huh. And and one of my themes is keeping it cool while working hard that there's still lots to do but not
Speaker 2: letting it a theme,
Speaker 1: not letting that particular, my theme for myself,
Speaker 2: like a mantra right now. Keeping it cool while working hard,
Speaker 1: You got it. Um
Speaker 2: you went and got your tux done.
Speaker 1: I had the most fun getting my tux fitted just last week. It was
Speaker 1: for me, one of the real treats for this particular wedding.
Speaker 2: I'm confused. You last, we talked, you weren't wearing a tux to your wedding. You're wearing a,
Speaker 2: remind me what it's
Speaker 1: quarter pajama the night before.
Speaker 2: Okay,
Speaker 1: wedding ceremony and reception. I'll be in a very traditional, you're
Speaker 2: wearing indian garb to the sandy
Speaker 2: and traditional to the, I like that way to, I'll be the opposite of you. I'll be wearing like kind of normal wedding stuff to the sand and then the sorry to the wedding itself,
Speaker 2: but wow, that's gonna look cool man. I think that'll look real good.
Speaker 1: I'm loving it. It was my excuse to get my first formal wear and um, as someone who has a developing appreciation for tradition,
Speaker 1: it was sort of excited, you
Speaker 2: know, as someone who has an absolute obsession with really good menswear. I think this was like high on your list of really cool things about the wedding
Speaker 1: made to measure, shirt comes out of the package goes on just fits like a glove. It's
Speaker 2: made to measure,
Speaker 1: doesn't need a touch for
Speaker 2: any of you who are curious custom clothing really is awesome.
Speaker 2: Um, and you love, you love your outfit for the same geek. Just as much just as cool
Speaker 1: I do and it's been quite a bit of time looking for it myself and had didn't have to, but pooch was down getting her dress the final measurements done on her dress and
Speaker 1: found found an outfit new my sizes and made a really good choice. It was better than anything I've been looking at.
Speaker 2: So cool.
Speaker 2: That's a way to trust her.
Speaker 1: And she did good. She did well
Speaker 2: girl did good.
Speaker 1: Um
Speaker 2: But what's yeah what are you going through?
Speaker 1: So there's a couple of things that I have to mention because because we have an audience here and um
Speaker 1: one of things that we're doing this particular weekend tomorrow is our our date final forgiving caterer, final guest list. So that means going over the list of people you've sent your invitations to and seeing who has not replied or responded. Yes you did. You did very well.
Speaker 2: Then later on gave me a plus one which I have no clue what to do with.
Speaker 1: We can talk about that and and you did particularly well because one of the real failings was people from our generation and younger
Speaker 1: are the people that don't. R. S. V. P. Even to a formal wedding invitation with an included postage paid return envelope and reply cards. I'm really surprised and it's entirely generational. Everyone over the age of 40
Speaker 2: has
Speaker 1: done it. People who are under the age of
Speaker 1: 45
Speaker 2: let's rat out the cousins which ones didn't do it,
Speaker 1: my lips are sealed but I'm just going to say it's generational and I can understand the frustration. I can understand people who bemoan the inability of people today to RSP.
Speaker 2: So have you all been calling people and getting them to R. S. V. P.
Speaker 1: Then I have a very short list tonight. The absolute final question.
Speaker 2: The final last ones. Okay
Speaker 1: give them every last second to get it in and then
Speaker 2: well I'm good with that. I think I have completely failed to book a hotel room so I might be sleeping in my car for your wedding and bumming a bathroom from someone to get ready.
Speaker 1: I think you're going to be in good shape but I appreciate the gumption, your willingness to to do what you can. Can I
Speaker 2: bring Benny?
Speaker 2: No
Speaker 1: it would be such a dog friendly venues, such a dog friendly
Speaker 2: venue. But I think that the crowd would probably cause him to bark a bit and we don't want that at the wedding.
Speaker 1: Um before we move on to questions, I wanted to offer one other
Speaker 2: thing that wedding
Speaker 1: so that they're
Speaker 2: ready to go to question when
Speaker 1: I say keep it cool and work hard. I'm serious. We're up to our eyeballs. There's so many to do lists like prioritized to do list and um and I'm quite serious about working hard but also trying to keep it fun and trying to remember that that we've got enough time to do the work that's there. So not letting the work start to feel like a weight or a burden, but, but really keeping the spirit one of,
Speaker 1: we're doing this, I can't wait, It's happening. And um, even as the date gets closer and closer. But one of the things that I've thought quite a bit about some really good advice I got from your sister and when we were early on in our wedding planning process, she said, you know, I had a lot of questions, so I'm asking questions about this, that and the other thing and she's like, you know, a lot of this is just style questions and my answer to those
Speaker 1: over the years has gotten more and more to the point where I say, do what's going to make you feel married, do the thing that's going to make you feel when you walk out the door, like you've done the things that matter to you to really, um, to make an event, to make this feel like your wedding and like you feel like you're married and as we get closer, I could tell you
Speaker 1: absolutely, certainly I will feel like I'm married when this is over. We have done enough of those things. I see enough of those markers and it feels like a wedding to me. So anyway, success success already. Oh,
Speaker 2: I'm so glad I can't wait for this wedding. I think it's going to be so much fun and I'm very, very excited, so
Speaker 1: well I'm glad you can be there and I'm glad all the people that have RSVP'd and thank you so much to all of you can be there also and I can't wait
Speaker 2: now. One thought before before we move on to questions and that pooch, Stop listening. Food for real. Turn it off. Cover your ear muffs.
Speaker 1: Have
Speaker 2: you thought of doing anything in in the week leading up for the day before the wedding or something that's like really special for some people do like a gift. But my dad and this is where I'm totally going to my father who's not always known for romantic gestures.
Speaker 2: I've told you this story before, but I want to tell our audience. He did the seven days before the wedding, he sent my mom seven roses and then six days before he sent six roses and he went down all the way until the morning of her wedding. She got one red rose
Speaker 2: and it was just pretty slick.
Speaker 1: Roses
Speaker 2: countdown. I mean, I've never heard of it before. So that was pretty slick. But do you have anything like that?
Speaker 1: I was waiting with bated breath when you were like, let me have you done something for her to let me tell you what my dad did. And I was thinking to myself, I haven't heard this yet. This is not something I thought I
Speaker 2: told you this last week. No,
Speaker 1: no. And I appreciate that. So
Speaker 2: just maybe maybe something, maybe something and maybe there's something that's more in line with you and puja and what
Speaker 2: is special to the two of you, Maybe it's a,
Speaker 2: I don't know, morning muffin or trying to think about what they do on their car ride into work, but you know,
Speaker 1: it's a really nice thought and I, and I do like the way you're thinking that there were a couple of things like that little sort of moments throughout the day that that we were planning and that I've sort of been planning, there would be times just for us. But I I like your idea of really taking the whole as soon as you said, seven days ahead
Speaker 2: sometimes on molly man. But yeah, but good idea, good thought you were gonna say seven,
Speaker 1: just even just that idea of seven days ahead. I started thinking to myself, like letters that start to arrive in the mail or something like that, something that shows a little forethought and that that that has a system to it is,
Speaker 2: yeah, really nice. Alright. Get thinking and while you're thinking, let's get to some questions
Speaker 1: okay, earmuffs off onto the questions,
Speaker 2: Okay,
Speaker 2: welcome back,
Speaker 2: sure you're right, but there's
Speaker 1: so much to learn, how to do.
Speaker 2: Sure there's a lot to learn, but it's worth it, and learning is easy. One way is by watching others on
Speaker 1: every episode of awesome etiquette, we take your questions on how to behave, let's get started.
Speaker 2: So our first question begins, hi dan and lizzie, I love your show. I think as much because you're both soothing and charming to listen to as for your fun and thoughtful advice. Well that's about as nice as a compliment as you can get. All right. The problem is bleeding edge modern
Speaker 2: and I love some fresh ideas. I have a casual friend from college who was a friend on facebook,
Speaker 2: he's well adjusted, smart guy with a good job and family, but his facebook friends are unbearable. I like to see his posts, but I can't stand the ignorant and argumentative comment threads that ensue I want to hide his posts or I don't want to, but it seems like the best solution here,
Speaker 2: but I feel a little guilty about it. Do you think it's fair to let the company someone keeps even virtually dictate your behaviors? I know dan has written about online etiquette and I'm especially curious for his take on facebook as our boundaries and definitions of friends evolve
Speaker 2: and Lizzy. I know you've mentioned facebook specifically as one of the many separate tiers of contacting friends.
Speaker 2: I'd love to know each of your approaches to your own Facebooks too. If you're comfortable sharing,
Speaker 2: thank you for all your great work. Your enthusiasm is clear in the podcast, sincerely Caroline. Thank you Caroline.
Speaker 1: Thank you Caroline. I love the bleeding edge of modern, the bleeding
Speaker 2: edge of modern man, that's so romantic in a strange way.
Speaker 1: So friends of facebook friends.
Speaker 2: Friends of facebook friends that have really
Speaker 2: asinine comments apparently.
Speaker 1: Yeah, no, it can be frustrating for me. It's easy to ignore the comments
Speaker 2: facebook
Speaker 1: posts, those tend not to be for me be bankable friend offenses, but um when a particular friends posting is routinely political and routinely political in a way that
Speaker 1: exactly makes me want to cross my eyes and drop out of my chair and crawl under my desk and exactly,
Speaker 2: I can only
Speaker 1: take so much of that. And particularly around
Speaker 1: really divisive issues are really personal issues. I've had one or two friends that I've personally unfriended
Speaker 2: or blocked or something
Speaker 1: just because I didn't want that popping up on my wall, but it tended to be more the post itself than the discussion of the post. But if there's anything that's bothering you in social media, you are not obligated to be anybody's friend for any reason. And if it starts to be a source of discomfort or disease in your life,
Speaker 1: you have very little social obligation to participate or or linked to or connect with anyone.
Speaker 2: And I would just bear in mind that you know, I do think that you could probably just read his posts and then ignore, ignore the comments a lot of the times. If I have someone who I know has a very combative group of commenters on their facebook
Speaker 2: or just very active, you know, group of friends on their facebook, I'll send them a message with my comment to their posts because I don't want it to be public and I don't want to get into the fray of the comments and the thread and all that. And so that can often be a good, good, good note. But I was also thinking that, you know, figure out what what you care about more. Is it the guilt that you're going to wrestle with more for unfriending someone or for blocking them
Speaker 2: or is it you know, the anger and frustration that's going to get to you more?
Speaker 2: We don't know because we're not you. So so I say, you know, kind of figure out where you stand again, you don't have to read the comments. How do you though? How do you kind of share? Tell tell us about your facebook practices.
Speaker 1: There were a couple of things just generally reading this. This question that came up to me, one was the idea of
Speaker 1: of the question asked about facebook friends and we didn't read it, but the friends is in quotation marks. And one of the points I make in that book that's referenced to your living Well online
Speaker 1: is that facebook's language their use of the word friend to describe someone that you're connected with does create these overlapping meanings. And once upon a time the process for ignoring a friend request was ignore. And the idea that that ignoring someone is rude
Speaker 1: creates the impression that hitting that ignore button is a rude thing to do to someone when it isn't necessary. I think they've renamed that, but I don't think it's ignored any longer. But but there there is a question of that vocabulary and how these words have meanings traditionally and they start to take on new meanings in these digital spaces. And the big picture here is that a facebook friend can mean a lot of different things and you can set up different tiered circles. But to answer the following question here, I don't manage a lot of different circles of privacy on facebook. I approach facebook as a personal social network if there's someone who wants to connect with me on facebook that's a business connection or someone that I wouldn't want to share the type of personal information that I do on my, my personal facebook page I asked them if they want to connect on linkedin. I don't maintain a professional presence. To my personal facebook page. We do have a professional presence on facebook. The Emily Post Institute has a page also and that's a great place
Speaker 1: to send professional context
Speaker 1: contacts who want to connect with the Emily Post Institute and the work we do through Emily Post on facebook. But what
Speaker 2: about like, so the divide between personal and professional shore get it. But what about the divide between friendships and and like like she was kind of saying and you kind of answered it tears of friends or
Speaker 2: You know that friend that pops into your life that you haven't really seen in maybe 15 years, but hey, your friends on Facebook,
Speaker 2: like
Speaker 1: maybe you were quite close once rarely.
Speaker 2: Yeah, I really don't, I don't really clean house either.
Speaker 1: And I think of facebook as almost sort of like my most public social self sure if that makes any sense. So I'm comfortable sharing family news and excitement, enthusiasm about an engagement. Things that are part of my public personal,
Speaker 1: I'm comfortable with their, but I stay out of those heated political arguments for exactly the kind of reasons that we're seeing here. It's, there's no quicker way to take that casual friend
Speaker 1: From 15 years ago who you like having a loose connection with through Facebook and sending them running for the hills than to start really political or religious
Speaker 2: conversations
Speaker 1: into exactly controversial topics.
Speaker 2: It'll do it
Speaker 2: for me. I am,
Speaker 2: I don't connect with anyone on facebook that I haven't met in person.
Speaker 2: So if it's a friend of a friend, it's very rare that I will ever
Speaker 2: connect or comment unless I've actually spent time with them in person and that's kind of my rule. Um, I don't use facebook as a way to build my in person relationships. Um, you know
Speaker 2: that to me is like if I know you, I know you and I want to be a part of finding out what's going on in your life kind of keeping tabs on your life and and knowing when the big moments have happened or sharing a funny joke or
Speaker 2: something I remember from years ago, that's all good with me um but if I haven't actually met you then no, you know we can be friends on linkedin maybe, but even linkedin, I do that thing where I'm like unless I've worked with you, I don't want to be your friend on linkedin because I have no ability to verify you as a
Speaker 2: as a business person, so
Speaker 1: it's not a big but it's a bit of a, it's a vouch man, it's a
Speaker 2: vouch to connect with someone you've said you've worked with them and that's what, you know, I, I don't mind people who use it as a way of getting in touch with us and saying, hey we'd love to hire you for a spokesperson campaign or I'm interested in your train, the trainer I saw on your linkedin that you guys offer that,
Speaker 2: that I think is totally legit because you're using your business social network to try to meet people that way, but just random and I'm like, your company has nothing to do with what my company does and you're not even asking me for a work connection right now. So
Speaker 2: in terms of my social media and with twitter, I mean anything's game, I love twitter, I love hearing from all of you guys on twitter, I think it's awesome, but
Speaker 1: and this, I tell you twitter has gotten so much more fun for me since doing this podcast. Fun. It really is, it's fun
Speaker 2: when you have an audience a nice way to open up a conversation.
Speaker 1: Finally,
Speaker 2: when I come across something that I don't like on facebook that I, I go the route of just ignoring it. Like even
Speaker 2: ex boyfriends, things like that, I don't unfriend people, I don't kind of mix people out of my life in that way.
Speaker 2: Um If, if some, I mean I'll be the first to admit that if someone's harassing me via facebook, I literally just ignore it. I stop responding and that's the easiest way to just kind of, I don't participate in pokes, I don't do this, I don't do you no, Candy crush saga games like
Speaker 2: you know, and I just ignore what I don't want to partake on in on facebook and that's just my way of dealing with it. I
Speaker 1: think that's smart. I mean facebook's pretty sophisticated about what they show you there's something that you that they've showed you that you don't pay much attention to. They learn pretty quick and stop showing it to you as much.
Speaker 2: Alright, so your final thought
Speaker 1: um
Speaker 1: we often are discussions about social media have to do with the potential troubles and pitfalls. I wanted to acknowledge that um in many ways facebook played a role in Puccini's relationship that it was where I found out about the yoga class that she was offering and when I showed up out of the blue and was
Speaker 1: the only person there that day and it was the start of a beautiful relationship. It was facebook that helped make that connection. So,
Speaker 2: so you're saying I should find a date on facebook.
Speaker 1: I'm saying there are rewards to be reaped for navigating that space with some competency
Speaker 2: stuff.
Speaker 2: Let's move on to another question.
Speaker 1: Shall
Speaker 2: I do hope that that helps? Maybe it won't be quite so frustrating.
Speaker 2: Our
Speaker 1: next question has to do with mom's boyfriend.
Speaker 1: It begins Hello, I am 29 and my parents divorced when I was 21. My mother has had several boyfriends that I have not approved of and we've had some tension about it. She has a new boyfriend that she has been seeing for about a year as I grow older. I realize more and more that her decisions are hers alone.
Speaker 1: It is important that I expressed to her that I want her to be happy and make an effort to repair the relationship with her and welcome her new boyfriend.
Speaker 1: She asked to bring her current boyfriend to an event celebrating my graduation. I agreed because I knew she would be hurt if I excluded him even though I didn't think he'd enjoy it. He attended my celebration and texting at the dinner table for much of the meal. He clearly wasn't engaged during the rest of the celebration.
Speaker 1: I found the texting to be extremely rude and hurtful during an intimate evening. That was supposed to be only closest friends and family celebrating my master's degree.
Speaker 1: I try to overlook others small things that he does, but this was especially upsetting. How do I approach this with my mother or should I at all? She clearly wants me to accept him and be more involved in his life. But with his recent behavior, I'm having trouble.
Speaker 1: Thank you for any advice you can offer for this instance and then for family events and celebrations that he will attend in the future. Best anonymous.
Speaker 2: So tough, so tough trying to repair a relationship with mom,
Speaker 2: trying to be welcoming and accommodating of her boyfriend and he's not
Speaker 2: playing the part that he should then play, which is to step up and and be interested and engaged in the family
Speaker 1: at least meet bare minimum minimum. Put the cellphone away the
Speaker 2: table. Come on man. So here's, here's what I think and I'll admit anonymous that I'm gonna, I'm gonna come down on kind of a harsh side and that's that for events that are focused on you, you don't have to include him.
Speaker 2: I think that what he did sounds like it was hurtful enough to you and that it affected you enough and I from an outsider's perspective, think it was really, really terrible behavior on his part. And if I was if I was the mother and I saw my new boyfriend doing this to my daughter
Speaker 2: on her day, that she's getting, what was it her master's, right?
Speaker 2: That's I think that's pretty, I'd be really unimpressed with that. And I would probably tell him so to, let's say, you know, listen, my daughter wanted to include you because this was a really special night for me also as her mother and I really would have liked you to have participated in the evening rather than just be on your phone all night long
Speaker 2: and whatever else he did later in the celebration. So I'm, I'm coming down on the, on the side of your getting welcomed into a family and you're being pretty darn disrespectful about it. Um,
Speaker 2: your mom, I don't know how much she noticed about his behavior. I don't know how much you've talked with her about it and I would suggest that you need to have that conversation and you can say that you are so happy that she is happy and that you do want to get to know this guy better.
Speaker 2: And I would even take the time to list some of the good qualities you see so that she can see that, that you see some good things in him. Um, which I get the sense that you do, maybe you don't, but I'm hoping there's some, you know, kind of that find the positive truth in there somewhere that there's got to be something you can see.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 2: And and I think that you do need to tell her though, that when it comes to events that are really about you,
Speaker 2: that at this point you're not ready to invite that outsider back just at this moment, until you get to know him better and you feel like his presence is really going to be one that's supportive and fun
Speaker 2: um during a time that's important for you to be supported and have fun and celebrate. And I think that that might be a little hard for her to take. So don't expect it to go perfectly,
Speaker 2: but I am comfortable and confident telling you to stand up for yourself in this moment and give him the benefit of the doubt that things can get better.
Speaker 2: You like it did I do an okay job on that
Speaker 1: one. You did. You know me, I'm the a little bit of an equivocator. I would take a slightly softer approach. But I see, I see where you're coming from. If someone's really treated you disrespectfully
Speaker 1: there's no social obligation that says you have to keep inviting that person back. This is not a spouse,
Speaker 1: they're not married. It's if we were sending wedding invitations, you would not be obligated to invite this person.
Speaker 2: Maybe not. They've been dating for almost a year. So you might feel that obligation, but
Speaker 1: and and that's where I would come, I would start to say there might be space on the other side and where you know, if you have that discussion with your mother
Speaker 1: and you say, you know he your boyfriend was texting during my entire time. That was, that was so bothersome, so hurtful to me and it really felt like he didn't want to be there and I don't want to set us up for that situation again.
Speaker 2: If
Speaker 1: she says, you know he, I'm so sorry, I didn't notice. I bet he didn't notice. I'm sure that he would be horrified if he knew you felt this way.
Speaker 1: I think there might be some room there for you to decide that there's room to still grow here, room to allow for a second chance. But I think I'm
Speaker 2: saying give the benefit of the doubt but protect yourself too,
Speaker 1: you know, and I think with, with that spirit in mind um yeah, you don't have to to take really rude disrespectful behavior from anybody. And and
Speaker 1: so yeah, I'm going to stand with you on that one. I think as long as you allow for that room for someone to improve, allow
Speaker 2: room for growth and and tell your mother that you're allowing for that, that you're like, I am going to, you know, I am, I'm going to make an effort to get to know him better and build a relationship with him, but for now I also have to protect this part of me.
Speaker 1: I like it.
Speaker 2: We're just smiling at each other going like, yeah, yeah, we feel confident telling her to do this Okay, anonymous. We really hope that that helps and hopefully you'll have many more happy family events
Speaker 2: that are, that are inclusive and we hope that this can become a positive person in your life
Speaker 1: and a great big congratulations.
Speaker 2: Alright,
Speaker 2: so our third question of the day is could you please? I like it because it's short. Could you please give advice for ordering at a restaurant when someone else is paying?
Speaker 1: I would be most happy to give some advice about that.
Speaker 2: My
Speaker 1: first tip here is follow their cues. So definitely pay attention to your host, watch what they're doing.
Speaker 1: If they're making some attempt to give you a tour of the menu, they've got it open in front of them. They're talking about what they're seeing, that they're playing their role as a host very well and you want to pay attention if they say things like, you know the such and such here is phenomenal. I'm not going to get it tonight, but please feel free if you sound, that sounds good to you, give it a try. They're recommending it. Um, if they say I'm not going to have an appetizer but feel free to have one or I'm going to have an appetizer, but they're huge. Be careful. You might not want to get one and a big plate. Listen to your host. They're gonna, that's their job is to help guide you through that menu. If they're not doing that, you can always try to strike up a conversation about the menu, try to get a feel for
Speaker 2: what have you been here
Speaker 1: before. Um, if these efforts uh come up for, not stick to things in the mid price range, stick to things that look familiar to you that you're gonna be able to manage in terms of being served. Maybe not the biggest,
Speaker 1: the most difficult sandwich. Don't order something
Speaker 2: you don't know how to eat.
Speaker 1: I don't know how to eat or exactly know how it's going to come to the table exactly. Um,
Speaker 1: try not to order too much. You don't want anything too risky. You don't want to be in a situation where you're going to be putting food to waste. If you don't ask to bring it with you, If someone else is paying for the meal, you're not going to bring home a big doggy bag at the end and you're not going to over order if you can help it.
Speaker 1: So those are some common sense tips. Look to your host for cues, ask or try to get those cues if they're not forthcoming. If you're not able to get that info, stick to the sort of middle price range of the menu. Try not to
Speaker 1: rocket ship off the top or, but definitely get something
Speaker 2: you want in that mid price,
Speaker 1: that's something you'll enjoy and don't order too much and be tempted to bring some home
Speaker 2: awesome, good luck and definitely eat well
Speaker 1: before we read the next question Lizzy and I want to offer our sincere and heartfelt condolences for your loss. This is a question that's about funerals and when someone's past and
Speaker 1: this is one of the topics that gets searched the most on the Emily Post website and yet we get very few questions about it. And it's because these questions are so difficult to ask. So we really appreciate um,
Speaker 1: you're sharing this question with us today.
Speaker 1: Mm hmm.
Speaker 2: I'm a very
Speaker 1: recent widow and although some of my friends have stepped up, others have not, should I nudge them? And if so how and let them know I'm disappointed or let it go and realized they weren't as good friends as I thought they were.
Speaker 1: I'm going to see them at the memorial service two months after his death. Should I act like it's okay? I haven't seen them in the interim.
Speaker 1: Thanks Kathy
Speaker 2: Kathy. This is um, your, your question really struck me a because you are going through a difficult time, but also because we usually see the opposite.
Speaker 2: It's, I've, I've had such an outpouring of support. How can I thank everyone And
Speaker 2: that doesn't always happen. And I think it was such a great question because you're in that moment where it doesn't always happen or you're surprised by the friends that aren't stepping up.
Speaker 2: Um, I really want to give you comfort and solace to know that not
Speaker 2: um not everyone deals with grief and grieving well and they don't always know what to say or they don't always know how to step up. Um, I'm really glad that you have friends who have and that you aren't completely alone in this, but for the friends who have not,
Speaker 2: um I would not let them know that you're disappointed, but instead I would redirect my thoughts to saying something like, um, you know, beth I could really use your support right now. It's amazing to me how long this grieving processes and
Speaker 2: I would just love, I would love to, to hear your voice every now and again. Um, it's not saying you didn't call and I want you to call or you should have dropped off food and I'm really disappointed that you haven't or you didn't help me pick out
Speaker 2: funeral service things and I really thought you would have been the friend to have done that. Even though you may have those thoughts and very valid feelings.
Speaker 2: The way to approach it is by reaching out to your friend and letting them know that that you need their support. And that's a really hard thing to do when you're down. I know there have been times in my life where I've been going through something and I've been really surprised at who I get text messages from checking in on me and who I don't
Speaker 2: and it is really hard sometimes to reach out to some of your best friends and say, hey,
Speaker 2: I actually really need you right now. Um, but I think it is such a better thing to do than to let go of a friendship that I think you probably actually care about a lot.
Speaker 2: And I also think it's a lot better than saying anything at the memorial service, which I think you need that service to be focused on your husband and you should be focused on your husband in that moment. And while it might,
Speaker 2: um even subconsciously be a good distraction to focus your anger on the people that you're hurt
Speaker 2: by. I think the more important and healthy way I'm guessing and I'm delving into like, you know, therapy here, which I probably shouldn't, but is to focus on the grieving and the celebration of his life in that day and at that service.
Speaker 2: And instead when you do encounter those friends who are now showing up there, they're at the service. They haven't been there for the past two months, but they're, they're at the service.
Speaker 2: That's when you say, you know, this is so much harder than I thought it would be. I would love it if you could schedule some time with me or I would love it if you could really be there for me through this.
Speaker 1: Help them, help them help you. Yeah,
Speaker 2: because they're not mind readers and often
Speaker 2: death is one of those circumstances where people, sometimes they're scared of it happening to them and losing their husbands
Speaker 2: and it feels very close to have a friend. They feel like they can't say anything that would be of any use. And yet what they don't know is that even just spending time with you might be of use.
Speaker 1: I've heard you say, I've found myself in one situation knowing exactly what to say and in another situation being almost paralyzed,
Speaker 2: totally not
Speaker 1: being in the position of that friend and
Speaker 1: to hear from someone what they need might be all it takes to to free you to see that.
Speaker 2: Okay, I can be there for you because I know what you need. But there are some, some friendships you have where you don't always know what the other person needs or you're right, you get a little paralyzed by it. And so I ask you to have compassion for your friends in this moment. And
Speaker 2: and just really all the things that we've suggested here today, um are the advice that I would give. But I'm I'm so grateful that you've written about this situation because it's one I think a lot of people experience and I guarantee you we do not have this answer in the book anywhere or on the website anywhere. And it's such a fabulous question because
Speaker 2: it is so difficult and
Speaker 2: I will go back to our main messaging here and say that you always want to look for the opportunity to build the relationship. You always want to look for that, even when you're the one who's hurting and I just really hope that you can find comfort and that your friends do understand and step forward for you and best of luck to you in these coming months.
Speaker 2: Our
Speaker 1: next question asked, hi all, I'm a couple of months into an eight month living situation. I met my roommate on craigslist and while she's a perfectly nice person, I'm having issues with how she treats are common space. We live in a smallish two bedroom city apartment with a one room common area. I pay more for the master bedroom and she pays less for what amounts to a large closet.
Speaker 2: The
Speaker 1: problem is that she treats our whole apartment like an extension of her bedroom, permanently leaving her clothing, work papers, computer, and extra furniture out
Speaker 1: with the master bedroom. It is admittedly easier for me to contain my stuff to my room. However, I pay for that premium for that luxury and I feel like she's actually getting the better deal. I took over the lease of someone who moved out of town and this precedent was started before I moved in.
Speaker 1: How can I handle this in a way that allows us both to feel comfortable in the common areas.
Speaker 1: Thanks Montana.
Speaker 2: That's,
Speaker 2: it's a tough situation because she's she's taken over the lease for the person who had the master bedroom before. So well a that I'm glad she recognizes that her roommates space amounts to a large closet because
Speaker 2: let's face it, it is really tough. My future roommate is currently living in a place where her bedroom amounts to a large closet and she is going nuts like living there. It's like just
Speaker 1: having some awareness of what the person you're going to be negotiating with is going through is important. But the one
Speaker 2: that cracked me up was was not the that she leaves her clothing and her work papers in her computer. But the extra furniture out, I'm like, well shouldn't the extra furniture just be in the living room and
Speaker 1: be like a part
Speaker 2: of the living room. Then I don't know, maybe that's just me anyway.
Speaker 2: Um I think you got to go to the three CS on this one. We've talked about him before. We'll talk about him again in the future and we'll talk about them now,
Speaker 2: communication, compromise and commitment. Um You guys have been roommates for the past couple of months. This is a great time to sit down and say, hey, we've been living together for a couple of months, can we just talk about how things
Speaker 1: are going? Yeah,
Speaker 2: it's a couple of months check in
Speaker 2: and I would talk in broader terms about how you both want to care for the common spaces because I think what you've done for the past two months is really consider the ins and outs of the situation. She might not be there mentally.
Speaker 2: So if you come at her with, well you've got the teeny tiny bedroom, but you kind of chose to move into the teeny tiny bedroom
Speaker 1: and I pay
Speaker 2: for more. But you know that is the thing is that I pay for more so it shouldn't be a big deal, but the common areas are common areas regardless. So
Speaker 2: if you launch into all that, she's going to feel overwhelmed. So I say just start talking about, you know, we've been living here for a couple of months. I want to check in
Speaker 2: personally, I just want to talk about the common spaces.
Speaker 2: I kind of feel like, you know, there's a lot of things happening in here and I think we should agree on how they should be kept. So talk with her about what items you're okay with leaving it and it's you have to understand that this is compromised. She might say, okay, well I can understand that. It feels overwhelming when the living room has all my stuff, but I need
Speaker 2: my computer, I need to work out here. I can't work in the closet. So maybe you agree that clothing stays in her bedroom,
Speaker 1: clothing, clothing
Speaker 2: and furniture, stay in the bedroom or clothing. Yeah, the laptop and the work stuff might wind up out in the common area, you know, but that after they've been out for a day, they need to be cleaned up or when you're done using them, they need to be put away
Speaker 2: and then you need to have those rules set for you too. And I think it's important that you realize that what I don't think is going to happen here is I don't think you should have to use your large bedroom
Speaker 2: as like your only apartment. I think you
Speaker 1: you you
Speaker 2: get access to the living room and the kitchen and the bathroom just as much as she does. And I think that needs to be a part of the agreement and that is you pay more for that and that's just it. Um
Speaker 2: but like I said, have suggestions in mind when you go into it. Talk about it from a broader perspective, invite her to give a little, you know, criticism or what might have been on her mind for all we know, you know, you walk through with muddy boots every day. I don't know,
Speaker 1: be be
Speaker 2: prepared that you might wind up with some things coming your way,
Speaker 2: then come up with a compromise. How are you going to make it work and then commit to it and set a date that you two are going to check back in to see how it's going and how it's working. And that can be two weeks from then. It could be a month in whatever works for you guys.
Speaker 2: But best of luck man, living with people is difficult. I'm about to get a new roommate and I can't wait for one of my best friends. I think it's going to be great, but we're writing down rules, were writing down what's most important to us and how we want to deal with it so that when we're mad we can go to the to the rules and say, hey, this is what we set up when we agreed. Is it working or is it not?
Speaker 2: That's the block though.
Speaker 1: Did you hear that? She says
Speaker 2: you're not as rude as you used to be?
Speaker 1: Thanks to everyone for sending in your questions and remember we love updates if we answered your question on the show or if you have a comment about one of our questions, feel free to send it in. You can also submit your question to awesome etiquette Emily post dot com or send it in via facebook or twitter. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette. So we know you want it on the show.
Speaker 1: Okay,
Speaker 2: so for our postscript segment, I don't know what is going on in the universe right now, but every now and again, people right into us all at once and it makes sense when it's like graduation season and you get lots of graduation questions or the holidays, you get entertaining questions
Speaker 2: but all of a sudden we've had this flurry of emails about the use of a husband's name for a woman. So for instance, if PJ was taking your last name, puja being referred to as mrs daniel Senning
Speaker 2: and man, we have had people just up in arms that this is still done at all. That someone, they do not take into account that some women choose it. It's called horrific, disgusting, archaic. I mean just really
Speaker 2: passionate
Speaker 1: emails,
Speaker 2: strong opinions against this practice.
Speaker 2: And it does seem a little strange that 50 years after, you know, the issue of MS came about and miss really became a recognized well known term for women um that were still referring to women by their husband's name. However,
Speaker 2: I talked to a lot of people about etiquette and one of the things that I always tried to bring up, especially when I get asked by women's groups to come and speak. Um like the women in Omaha who brought me out there for, for the big debutante functions. I asked, how do you feel about being mrs
Speaker 2: john doe or do you, would you prefer to be mrs Kathy dough?
Speaker 2: And I get completely different answers from everyone. Women I think would want to be go by their husband's names, nope, not at all. Women who I think would want to go by their own names, love the honor of having their husbands. It's and they are each equally like
Speaker 2: I married into that family and I earned that name, I would never want to be called anything but my own name like isn't that well, But if you do it that way, it means you're divorced. No, it means you're widowed. No, it means this Children. Oh my God. And then you get these other people are writing it. It's horrific practice. It's disgusting. It's despicable. I can't believe you promote this in the day and age we live in and it's like, whoa. So I'm calling for people to stop
Speaker 2: the issue hasn't been decided upon by women. And that's that's the issue is that we have to have the advice out there in both camps because women have not come down on one side or the other solidly.
Speaker 2: And I think that that's what I would love for for our listeners and for anyone out there seeking information on the topic is to respect
Speaker 2: other women's choice that other women have chosen to be called by their husband's name or to be called by their name. And it doesn't make them a lesser wife. It doesn't make them a lesser woman. It doesn't make them,
Speaker 2: you know, um someone who is against equal rights or for them. It's just simply how they prefer to be called, what they enjoy. And and what means something to them. And I think you just all have to respect that, that it's that it's both sides are still correct.
Speaker 2: Here's where the real trouble begins. And this is
Speaker 1: this is where
Speaker 2: I want dan's help because I'm not sure we have an answer for it.
Speaker 2: Typically when a woman is going to sign up for, you know, to be on a charity committee or join a group of some sort or um you know the P. T. A. Whatever it is. You know sign your kid up for school,
Speaker 2: you're writing your name down on forms and you should always be writing it down as you wish to be written to.
Speaker 2: So you know you obviously you're going to have to put your first name in at some point. So if you use your husband's name you might just want to make note of that that in correspondence to you, you prefer to be used by go by your husband's name.
Speaker 2: But the problem comes when organizations are writing and businesses are writing to women and they don't know they don't know what she prefers. And that's where I think a lot of the trouble get started because those who don't want to be associated with their husbands name,
Speaker 2: a lot of organizations will go with the most formal, most traditional and that means that they get listed as you know in my mom's case it would be mr mrs Peter post. And if she was someone who found that disgusting an archaic and horrific, it would be really awful for her to get that.
Speaker 2: But if she wasn't it wouldn't be a big deal and what do you think dan that we should be telling these organizations to do?
Speaker 1: It's it's you you paint the problem very clearly. Yeah when we're talking about individuals in business we always say that use them is until you know, until you know, until you know it's misses, the default is missing
Speaker 1: because it doesn't um
Speaker 1: it's not dependent on marital status. It can work. So what
Speaker 2: do you do when you know the misses, but you don't know which she prefers husband's name or her?
Speaker 1: My instinct these days would be to use a woman's name, not her first name. That would be my instinct. And and precisely because of the type of passion that you're you're talking about
Speaker 2: that I hear about it. It's
Speaker 1: So funny for me when I hear you when you talk about it, it was 50 years ago that MS really came up
Speaker 2: years ago, seventies.
Speaker 1: In some ways that seems like a long time. I think it was in some ways it's yes, it seems like not that long ago. I mean really that we're talking about,
Speaker 2: I don't think the generation
Speaker 1: of two generations, maybe
Speaker 2: It's because you and I grew up in the 80s. So to us the 70s was just the decade before
Speaker 1: but now
Speaker 2: We're in 2015, it was 50 years.
Speaker 1: Thank you for that reminder. And and and it's a little bit that perspective that says to me,
Speaker 1: um my my default would probably be to use a woman's name, not her husband's but I'm aware that the very traditional approach and that that particularly for some organizations that are
Speaker 1: um have have deep roots in the past and are part of a very traditional communities that that that that is the default position that they want to go with. The most formal, most traditional system or style.
Speaker 2: The other side of it was that it was an indicator of having been separated from your husband at some point if you were using your first name. So
Speaker 1: married last
Speaker 2: with a married last. And so it is, it is a complex
Speaker 2: issue in terms of what were you raised with? You know, some women had no idea that that was the case. You know, that that being mrs Cathy smith would have meant that
Speaker 2: um that it was an indicator of whether or not your husband was alive or with you or you know, whether you're divorced something like that. And so it's complicated. It is complicated. I'm with you though. I think that the default, personally, I would like to see the default go to being
Speaker 2: using her first name first and then if she lets the organization, no, oh, you know, I really prefer to use my husband's name.
Speaker 2: But I can also see
Speaker 1: that, you know, they're traditionalists out there right now that are shaking their heads that are really concerned that we would be giving that advice.
Speaker 2: And I actually agree with them too because I'm going, you know, that's the formal side of it and the traditional side of it.
Speaker 1: And it's funny I love where you started this discussion because that's really where I want to bring it back around to, which is I hope that everybody can
Speaker 1: appreciate that there are different feelings about this and everybody could give everyone a little latitude if you're someone who really prefers to use her husband's name and you get a letter from an organization that's using yours, that you
Speaker 2: just
Speaker 1: understand that coming from, understand
Speaker 2: they didn't know.
Speaker 1: And on the flip side that that if you're an organization facing that difficult situation, that
Speaker 1: whatever choice you made, you can be comfortable with it and not be abused,
Speaker 2: my hope is that people on both sides of the issue will just understand that make it important when you can and when it comes in the wrong way. Exactly like you just said, just
Speaker 2: take a breath and understand that they just didn't know
Speaker 1: I changed a few between save the date and invitation going in response to this exact question.
Speaker 2: It's important once and once, you know, then respect the person's wishes. That's it.
Speaker 2: Anyway, we hope that that that might give people a little more thought a little more ease, but we understand why it's such a passionate issue.
Speaker 1: Well,
Speaker 2: now wasn't that better?
Speaker 2: Look at the effect of a little politeness
Speaker 1: now for lizzie's and my favorite part of the show. Today's etiquette salute comes in the form of a thank you note,
Speaker 1: Dear lizzie post and Daniel Senning. I'm a big fan of awesome etiquette and even used your advice of handwritten thank you cards after a half day job interview with a panel of 10 people. Wish me luck, good luck. Your hands are an etiquette champion.
Speaker 1: The etiquette salute portion is one of my favorite segments and I'd love to throw my solute into the ring. This may seem like it should be more in the realm of basic human kindness, but I'd still love to thank this person since I never got the chance to do so.
Speaker 1: About five years ago, my wife was riding her motorcycle from an event to our home on the way back, a driver lost control of his or her car, t boned her and sadly fled the scene luckily she survived, but she was left nearly unconscious on the side of the road with substantial injuries that left her unable to walk on her own.
Speaker 1: By some stroke of luck. Her body did not land in the road
Speaker 1: but it did land on the media and just inches from traffic.
Speaker 1: At some point after the hit and run, a man pulled over checked on her and stayed by her side until police and medical help arrived. Doing this involved putting him and his vehicle also very close to traffic. From what I can gather from the police reports. He probably was also the one to call 911 and get her medical help
Speaker 1: in the moment my wife was very confused and disoriented and became very angry with him. Looking back, this was probably from a mixture of incredible pain, fear and vulnerability
Speaker 1: in a world that seems to become more and more self centered. I'm so grateful that someone took the time to help and show some compassion.
Speaker 1: I shudder to think what would have happened if he had not stepped in when he did
Speaker 1: to this man. I would like to say the following. I thank you my wife. Thanks you you have most likely saved her leg and possibly saved her life
Speaker 1: whenever I feel angry that the original driver left her to die, I remind myself that there are people like you to at the time she was just my girlfriend. But because of your actions she got to become my wife best. A grateful person.
Speaker 1: Pretty
Speaker 2: amazing salute there.
Speaker 1: I think that's a remarkable message and thank you for sharing it with us.
Speaker 2: Yes, thank you. Grateful person.
Speaker 2: That's it. That's our show for today as always, thank you for listening and spending some of your day with us. We hope you have a wonderful rest of your week. And don't forget there's no show without you. So send us your questions, your etiquette salutes and your suggestions to awesome etiquette Emily post dot com.
Speaker 2: Remember if you like what you hear, Don't be shy, tweet it facebook post it and best of all you can subscribe on itunes and leave us a review
Speaker 2: on facebook where the Emily Post institute on twitter. I'm at lizzie a Post
Speaker 1: and I'm at Daniel underscore Post.
Speaker 2: Or you can visit our website Emily Post dot com. Our theme music was composed and performed by bob Wagner, and our show was produced by the Wonderful hans butto.