Episode 368 - Amazon Mystery Gift
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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 cancelling your belated wedding reception, how to handle pets and guests, the growing amazon virtual gift opening conundrum, and issuing pandemic wedding announcements. For Awesome Etiquette sustaining members our question is about ending zoom calls well. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript on RSVPing.
Speaker 1: maybe
Speaker 2: it's just that you don't
Speaker 1: know how to use social, could you see that's old fashioned,
Speaker 1: watch how busy post
Speaker 2: and then post to act as host and hostess, they know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness.
Speaker 2: Hello and welcome to awesome etiquette
Speaker 1: where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty.
Speaker 2: On today's show we take your questions on cancelling your belated wedding reception, how to handle pets and guests,
Speaker 2: the growing amazon virtual gift opening conundrum and issuing pandemic wedding announcements for
Speaker 1: awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about ending zoom calls
Speaker 2: plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a post script continuation of our series on invitations this time on how you R. S. V. P. All that's coming up
Speaker 1: awesome etiquette comes to you from the studios of our home offices in Vermont and is proud to be produced by the Emily Post Institute. I'm lizzie Post
Speaker 2: and I'm dan post sending
Speaker 1: because how's
Speaker 2: it going, lizzie Post,
Speaker 1: I tell you the world is interesting every day.
Speaker 2: It is,
Speaker 1: it is, it really, really is.
Speaker 1: Tell me something though. I waxed poetic about a really great hostess in my life who I got to experience all of her wonderful hosting charms and you were waxing poetic to me about a really great guest in your life and I thought this is such a nice play with our our post scripts on invitations both from hosts and guests. Would you be willing to tell our audience about this great guest that comes to your house frequently.
Speaker 2: Not only would I be willing, I appreciate the prompt and
Speaker 1: I also
Speaker 2: appreciate the connection you're making to the great hosting that you experience that you were talking about because
Speaker 2: I was thinking about one of the best houseguests I get to host and it's my mother in law alka and she
Speaker 2: always shows up with fruit and it's so nice, I kind of look forward to it and I got a little window into her world on her last visit. She had brought plums. She had these seven plums and they were gorgeous, they were big and they were at just the right
Speaker 2: level of ripeness. You could get into them right away or you could let them sit for about a day, day and a half and they would get even juicier and riper and be even more perfect
Speaker 1: and
Speaker 2: when she gave them to us, she said something to me about not using them for smoothies, that they were particularly yummy plums and that we should
Speaker 1: like, like these are plums you should eat, we should come up and
Speaker 2: present them and share them and we did and they were delicious and we didn't eat all of them because
Speaker 2: she also shows up with an incredible amount of food
Speaker 1: often.
Speaker 1: Yeah, the spice nuts, the little trail mixes
Speaker 2: news. The anyway
Speaker 1: spices in general, like so much stuff.
Speaker 2: One of these plums had hung around for a couple days and I was making a smoothie last night and I used the plum for the smoothie guilty confession. Also, if you're out there listening to this
Speaker 2: and everyone loved it, pooch saw it go in, it was banana plum, strawberry. It was so delicious. And um,
Speaker 2: but it brought my mind back to alka and appreciating the gifts of fruit that she always brings and how it's done so comfortably, so casually with so much joy. I don't even think of it as a houseguest showing up with a little something with a special
Speaker 1: gift,
Speaker 2: but it's what it is and that's how it works and it,
Speaker 2: it is so natural and it,
Speaker 2: it does make me appreciate her and look forward to those moments that I get to spend with her in the kitchen right when she shows up and there's a bunch of
Speaker 2: treats
Speaker 1: and surprises.
Speaker 1: Really fresh, nice fruit. So
Speaker 2: etiquette, gold star to the best houseguest I get to host. And
Speaker 2: um also if you are listening, I also heard you in that kitchen conversation and I'm coming to visit soon. I'm going to exchange the rules.
Speaker 1: I like it. I like it a little bit of that host guest dance going on.
Speaker 2: Absolutely. And I appreciate your good hosting setting me up to tell the story
Speaker 2: but we have some questions to get to lizzie Post.
Speaker 1: We do, let's do it, let's do it,
Speaker 2: awesome etiquette is here to answer your questions, you can email them to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's a 028585463. You can also reach us on social media on twitter. We are at Emily Post Institute
Speaker 2: on instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute
Speaker 2: and on facebook we are awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: All right.
Speaker 1: Our first question is cheekily titled party. We don't need no stinking party and I know that's not exactly the sentiment of the question.
Speaker 1: Hi, I have an etiquette question regarding canceling a wedding reception or party.
Speaker 1: My daughter got married in June 2020 with just a wedding party and immediate family. Our original plan was a large wedding and party, but we had to change everything due to COVID. So when we decided to move to a small wedding, we informed guests, we would do a big celebration next June in 2021.
Speaker 1: However, my daughter feels her wedding was perfect and really doesn't want the big party next year.
Speaker 1: How do we communicate that decision to our guests? So they don't plan on a party next year. Thank you. Cynthia
Speaker 2: Cynthia. Thank you for the question and congratulations to your daughter. I'm so glad that she was able to get married and that she's feeling really good about it. That is
Speaker 2: satisfied possible news.
Speaker 1: Yes. No, not what we've often heard in the past year and a half. So kind of really exciting
Speaker 1: To read this. I also feel like we have to at least I will cause make a small apology that we are getting to this after the June 2021. But we were digging out questions and this was a great one that we found that we wish we had done a year ago.
Speaker 2: The problem here emerges from a great situation, which is a good reminder to me that
Speaker 2: the good can come with a little bit of bad and often times there's more good and the bad than we think.
Speaker 2: Yeah, but what do you do? You've got some folks out there that are looking forward to getting together and celebrating this event.
Speaker 2: Do you have to let them know?
Speaker 1: I feel like on the one hand dan, there's sort of a collective comfort ability with the idea of just
Speaker 1: dropping big plans or not following up. Maybe it's almost the idea of like ghosting but from a,
Speaker 1: from a social entertaining point or something like that. Like it's like, you know, like I could see a lot of people who had smaller covid weddings kind of just dropping the big wedding later on there. Like, you know, we just, we got past that point. We've moved on from all the wedding planning. I won't say drama, but ordeals and details and excitement
Speaker 1: and we're kind of not in that space anymore. I have a feeling there's a lot of people that probably haven't followed up on exactly the type of situation Cynthia is describing, where they've let people know they will do a big party later and then they just kind of don't
Speaker 1: from Connecticut standpoint. I think it's probably not the best move even if it is something that that I've heard of is happening out there.
Speaker 1: I think that as hosts of a party where you've indicated there's going to be a party in an invitation coming, it's always a good idea to follow up on that if it's not going to happen right, if it wasn't happening because of sad reasons we'd be following up on it.
Speaker 1: It almost seems a little strange to do it for happy reasons, but I think it's it's no less worth that effort.
Speaker 1: And just saying a little note out to all these folks that says
Speaker 1: we had been planning on a bigger party, you know, post Covid. But given the circumstances and how everything's gone down, we've actually decided to not do a big second reception. We want to thank you for your love and support and we hope that you know, you we hope we're able to see you again in like
Speaker 1: I always, I feel like we're still in this place because of saying, I hope we're able to see you again in the near future when this pandemic isn't so much of a pandemic, I just feel like saying something along those lines is warranted or, or totally fine. And I think it kind of closes that that etiquette loop maybe or that host guest dance or that host guest responsibility
Speaker 1: to actually say we're not going to do this party that we had alerted and
Speaker 1: maybe you do it via word of mouth, maybe you only had 75 guests that we're going to come beyond the 25 that we're able to be there last summer and you decide to really call out and say, hey listen, we just wanted to let you know that we had been thinking we were going to do a big reception and we've decided not to do it and we're sorry for that as a, you know,
Speaker 1: cancellation, but we were really happy with everything the way it is and
Speaker 1: and didn't feel the need to do a bigger party.
Speaker 1: Um and you don't even really have to say that part at the end, because that could start to, I mean, does it start to sound a little yucky because like a little like we didn't need you to celebrate this, like that is the fine
Speaker 2: line you're walking here and as I was hearing you
Speaker 2: puzzle through the sample script and when you hit the two hiccup points that you hit along the way, you
Speaker 1: can hear them, you
Speaker 2: can and I was saying to myself, this might not be the most appropriate place for a one size fits all printed message that goes to everyone the way that follow up invitation that you were imagining might
Speaker 2: or the notice about when you are going to have the party if you were going to have it. And I felt you grabbing onto that idea when you started to say, well how many of these people are there and maybe you could call some of them are maybe word of mouth is the most appropriate way. And
Speaker 2: I do agree with you that I think there's something nice about officially closing off what I'm guessing was an official invitation when it says the original plan
Speaker 2: was to have a large wedding and we notified people when we change that. That tells me there was that initial invitation. And as we talked about on the show for many people, that invitation to a wedding comes with an idea that you're going to respond by getting a gift in some way. And I think that because you've initiated that much of a social expectation. The idea of
Speaker 2: intentionally closing the loop not letting it just disappear into the ether as natural as that might
Speaker 2: be for a lot of people or feel is the best idea and
Speaker 2: the the execution of that becomes a little tricky because there is that fine line when you're uninviting or in this case canceling really between I'm doing this for my own reasons and I feel good about it and like you say delivering that message of I don't need you and being too explicit about that.
Speaker 1: Yes, definitely. The message you want to stay away from the impression you want to stay away from it. Is that that latter piece of that we don't really need a bigger wedding
Speaker 2: and it's probably easier to do the more personal the communication and the more personal the particular message. And you might have a sample script that you can use for your notes. But maybe it varies a little bit person to person and that's the way that you can
Speaker 2: stay accountable in terms of the feel or tone that you're creating.
Speaker 1: That's what I like about the phone call is that it does allow you to to really work with the person one on one and whether that's um
Speaker 1: a joyous hey, we really feel good about everything, we're not going to do a big party or whether that's, you know, something that's a little bit more reserved presented in a more reserved way. I like that individualization but I do want to just make sure that people understand it is okay to actually send out the mass message that that is okay. That's actually what we recommend for if you are going to cancel some kind of an event like this, that that's something that you do and it it is perfectly okay. You might
Speaker 1: end up doing both. You might send out the mass message and you also might either follow up with or directly contact before you send out the mass message, A few of those people for whom it might be a more sensitive subject. You know, a cousin that was the best friend and isn't a part of that immediate family and couldn't be, there
Speaker 1: might be someone that you really want to handle a little more delicately or grandma or
Speaker 1: a very close business colleague even. So just things to think about. But I think definitely to really great ways to communicate this and and work through it.
Speaker 2: And a final thought that I'd like to leave us with is
Speaker 2: there might be room for a really special party on a 10 year anniversary or a five year
Speaker 1: anniversary
Speaker 2: or a third year happened. And we're just feeling so good and we love it.
Speaker 2: I want to do it and there are no rules. You absolutely can have this celebration anytime you want.
Speaker 1: Absolutely Cynthia. We are so glad that your daughter is happily married and really enjoyed her small wedding. And we really appreciate the question.
Speaker 2: Well, the purpose of a party is to have fun together
Speaker 2: and a successful party needs planning and skill, whether it's a special carnival designed for gay entertainment, a birthday party, holiday party, they all take planning and they should all be from
Speaker 2: Mhm.
Speaker 2: Our next question is about pet hair problems.
Speaker 2: I'm a happy new listener to your lively podcast since beginning to follow the content from the Emily Post Institute, there have been three situations where I've doubted my manners or what I've been taught. So I would love to hear your experiential advice on this
Speaker 2: first. What are proper manners for owning a pet and hosting a party?
Speaker 2: Let's say it's a normal dog and cat house scenario, nothing more exotic than that.
Speaker 2: How do you make people feel most comfortable in your house with pet hair from rubbing dogs below the table or barking that may interrupt their enjoyment?
Speaker 2: Of course, house cleaning would be done before the guests come to pick up the dog here and freshen the place. L. L.
Speaker 1: L. L. This is such a great question. I almost think I wrote it. Can I say that because I write great questions, but because I have three bets
Speaker 1: and the pet hair is absurd,
Speaker 2: mother and her golden lab.
Speaker 1: Oh my gosh! Like legendary, legendary pet hair.
Speaker 1: I feel because like pet hair is one of those battles that there's this very small group of people who are pet owners that manage to manage hair and I'm not talking like a hairless dog or cat, like I'm talking real, you actually would have like a golden retriever or something, sheds a lot and you would get it all over the place and these people are actually capable
Speaker 1: of
Speaker 1: somehow never having hair on their clothes or in their cars or like on the sofa or guest bed, whereas in my life it is like there are many, many dust bunny puff balls of my three pets all over the place. I can never show up somewhere without, even when I wash my clothes there ends up being here and it's still
Speaker 1: like I I want the answer to this question. But my first instinct, the very first thing that comes to mind is exactly what L L. Is already doing, which is you do your best to vacuum and freshen up the place. You offer something like a lint roller to your guests or have one near the door should anybody want to or need to use it.
Speaker 1: But I also think because of allergies, you've got to warn people if you do have pets and a lot of pet hair in your home. Do you think I'm right on that?
Speaker 2: I do. I think that ounce of preparation can go a long way and it doesn't need to be a big long explanation. But a heads up that
Speaker 2: your house with dogs and cats and you don't keep a formal living room where the pets aren't allowed is enough to give someone an indication that they'll be in a living space that's shared with our little furry friends. If they have an allergy or
Speaker 2: something that makes that problematic fear of dogs,
Speaker 2: then it becomes that host guest dance where they get to tell you about
Speaker 2: the particular allergy or what makes the most comfortable if they are in a house with a dog that's
Speaker 1: not
Speaker 2: contained or can find some way.
Speaker 2: I'm certainly reminded of those houses from my childhood where I knew there were certain rooms that I wasn't allowed to play in and those were also rooms that pets were usually not allowed in and furniture the pets were not allowed on and some people really make an effort to keep a part of their house maintained in that way. It
Speaker 2: isn't always possible if
Speaker 2: you don't have a whole room or part of your house that's dedicated to hosting in a more formal capacity. I think the idea of
Speaker 2: getting a seat together, some kind of comfortable place where someone could sit and not get pet hair on them is a minimum level that I would shoot for as a host.
Speaker 2: So I would really want
Speaker 2: if the couch was something where I couldn't necessarily get all the pet hair out of it
Speaker 2: dependably
Speaker 2: I would want to have a chair that I may be pulled out of the kitchen that was in the living space where someone could take a seat and make the choice to not
Speaker 2: sit in the same place that the pets
Speaker 1: said. And usually those chairs are like, like I'm imagining that you're talking about like a dining chair or kitchen tear. And so it's, it's often wooden or it's like not, it's not upholstered in some way. It's much easier to keep clean in that regard, That sort of thing.
Speaker 1: I think for me the harder one is the animal behavior because that you're really you're really
Speaker 1: working against your own training at that point. You're not working against it. But trying to work with or deal with any training or lack of training that you've you've been working on with your dogs and some dogs bark and you can't do anything about it. There's no amount of sonny's command for for no barking is quiet please. And yes, there is a please in there,
Speaker 1: but it's quiet please. He's good about it most of the time. Not all of the time. He doesn't bark incessantly. The way Benny used to when people would come in the door, it's like I used to have to warn people when they would come to my house for the first time and they hadn't met Benny yet. I would say I have a dog that has a really high pitched bark and he will
Speaker 1: bark and run in circles and no amount of giving him a toy or anything will slow him down until we settle down in the house. And so it was my way of prepping people.
Speaker 1: But it was also a lot for a guest to have to deal with. I mean, you know, my sister's kids used to come over with like earmuffs on so that they could not deal with the funky. I know,
Speaker 1: so there are just some things like that to think about if the barking isn't something you can control for those of you who are working on training your dogs or for l l if they are able to
Speaker 1: train their dog as well. Working on a no bar command, it's a tough one trying to teach an animal not to do something is much harder than teaching an animal to do something.
Speaker 1: But marking the moments where the no barking is happening with you know either that's a good quiet or something like that. Or ways that you can start and trainers in your local area could also help you work on this particular
Speaker 2: one is I'm so glad that you brought up the behavior question as well. And
Speaker 2: obviously my first thought is if there's anything you can do
Speaker 2: to sequester the animal if you know that it's going to be disruptive or demanding of attention. I think it's a way that I like to describe it more than disruptive. That bark can certainly be alarming and startling to people. Like that's a good place to focus. But there are also animals that will try to steal food off the coffee table or just try to jump in people's laps or rub against people's legs or bring toys over to play in
Speaker 1: your hand. I mean like some of them have no no no shame whatsoever
Speaker 2: and it might be cute, it might be fun, it might be normal in your usual life or it might be annoying but it's definitely not something you want to impose upon your guests if they're not interested in it. And I remember my grandfather telling this joke socially
Speaker 2: and it stuck with me when I was a child because there was something so um
Speaker 2: harsh about it to my young years and yet it was delivered with such good humor
Speaker 1: which quote you're going for now that you said that
Speaker 2: Poppy likes to say grandchildren are like pets, either you've got your own or you don't care. And it was his reminder that not everyone is interested in your stuff and that people might be there to interact and engage about things that aren't your pets or your kids or your grandkids.
Speaker 2: And it was a really hard moment for me to hear as a child because it reminded me of of that perspective. The things that matter so much to me just might not matter so so much to other people. And particularly we're talking about pets and Children.
Speaker 2: I think that's a good reminder to have in your mind as a host when you're thinking about giving your attention to your guests and really keeping your attention with your guests
Speaker 2: to us a normal natural extent. Obviously your kids and your pets matter and they're part of your life also. But the idea of really trying to carve out some time that special four guests and treating guests that way I think is worthwhile.
Speaker 1: So l l to sum up,
Speaker 1: we really feel like it's the things you're doing already are really great, such as making sure that you clean well before guests come over.
Speaker 1: If there is a way to either separate the dogs from the guests during a gathering or to create a little bit of a space. That's always good. If you have dogs that really kind of get up in people's faces get get really interactive with the visitors to the house
Speaker 1: if they're casual dogs who just lay on the floor while everyone's sitting around the living room talking. Maybe not such a big issue, but also taking the time to warn guests, especially first time guests that you have dogs that they do shed,
Speaker 1: that they might bark things like that. Always, always a huge, huge help
Speaker 1: and then you doing what you can to mitigate that during the visit are always that you can show that you're a good pet caretaker and a good host at the same time. Wolf Wolf, thank you so much for the question. We do hope our answer helps.
Speaker 1: Here go chase it.
Speaker 1: Now, where did that go? Is it under these flowerpots. Now, Penny, look what you've done, you've knocked over a flowerpot. What am I going to do? No, it's no use begging. I have no time to play with you. Go away and find something to do.
Speaker 1: Our next question is definitely a new age conundrum and it's one I think a lot of people experience
Speaker 1: the amazon conundrum greetings first of all, love the show, longtime listener. First time brighter, I have a virtual, completely remote baby shower etiquette question.
Speaker 1: I am so thankful for all the support of people gifting items from our amazon registry where my confusion lies is that the registry items are not marked on the outside of the package and I do get quite a few normal subscription items from amazon,
Speaker 1: so
Speaker 1: Not knowing what is what. I've just been opening any box that arrives, 99% of them are not gift wrapped and I am wondering what is the proper course of action. Here do I one Reeboks these items and their Amazon packaging and reopen them on Zoom. This might be tricky since some gifts came in multiple shipments and the gift receipts are only in one box
Speaker 1: option to do. I unbox The items organize and on the zoom tore the items in their final location. This option would also include sending out thank you's pre shower. Maybe include a little insta pic of my husband and I with the gift
Speaker 1: or three unbox the items but keep everything separate and acknowledge individual gifts during the shower
Speaker 1: sincerely Virtual baby shower Blues. Oh no, these can't be blues. This is good. These are gifts. This is fun. I was going to say the same thing.
Speaker 2: Congratulations. It sounds like there is a bundle of joy on the way
Speaker 1: dan. I know I read the question but can I just jump right in and said that like we actually dealt with this during Jamie's baby shower,
Speaker 2: how'd you do it? She
Speaker 1: was able to, I think she doesn't have as many amazon subscription things that come or thinks she personally is ordering. So it was easier to kind of get a sense that these gifts were the registry gifts
Speaker 1: but she did unpackaged some of them. I think some of them, she had also you know
Speaker 1: ripped off the tape, looked in the box, could tell it was a baby thing and then just kept it in the box, set it aside and then they opened the box. But I gotta say I'm like an option number two, what do you think? What do you think?
Speaker 2: I love option number two tour the
Speaker 1: items where they are, where they've landed. Like kind of sounds cool.
Speaker 2: The theatrical side of me appreciates it. The honest etiquette consultant side of me appreciates it. There's
Speaker 2: something about repackaging and then trying to simulate surprise reopening.
Speaker 1: It doesn't feel
Speaker 2: quite right to me. So I really liked the,
Speaker 2: how do I deal with the reality of this situation and still make something fun out of it. Still give it that experience of shower enthusiasm and the idea of actually deploying the gifts throughout the house and taking people on a little tour to see the bookshelf in the crib in the nursery, whatever it is is to me it felt like a
Speaker 2: like a natural use your camera zoom extension of the shower in a way that makes it
Speaker 1: fun. I think so too. And I also, I can't help but love sort of the irony here of
Speaker 1: we get so many questions about people not liking showers are not wanting showers uh to be large because the gift opening takes forever and no one really likes sitting through gift opening. And here the conundrum is, oops, the gifts are open. How do we deal with that?
Speaker 1: I just find that the idea of touring them
Speaker 1: letting folks know ahead of time I think would be good so that people aren't expecting everything to be a big reveal. But instead to say, you know, we've had a lot of gifts coming in unfortunately because amazon doesn't yet, I'm putting this on amazon to guys like amazon needs to start labeling things as registry gift or from your registry,
Speaker 1: something like that. So that you could
Speaker 1: essentially do a traditional shower but still receive all the gifts from the amazon registry and know that they're your registry gifts, not your subscription gifts or not. Just that thing you ordered at one a.m. On. Well, I'm
Speaker 2: sure to forward your suggestion to the appropriate department at amazon
Speaker 2: in the meantime
Speaker 2: I had a couple ideas
Speaker 1: here. I thought, wait, what do you mean? You have a couple ideas these are. I thought we had the idea you've got more. I'm so impressed. I want to hear.
Speaker 2: There's a version of this problem that we deal with at our house all the time. And I'm sure there's a version of this problem that
Speaker 2: lots of people deal with because there are so many packages from amazon showing up and different people ordering for different reasons.
Speaker 2: I've become a little amazon detective. I've gotten to the point where I really, I know the default return address, spelling and capitalization from pooches account and my account. So for me the return
Speaker 2: address is my first indication and when when the amazon package arrives. That's the first thing I'm scanning
Speaker 2: and I would just start a little detective agency around the receiving of amazon packages at the house. And
Speaker 2: definitely if you get stuff that's coming from people on that registry list, that would be a
Speaker 2: obvious clue. And I might start to pull those gifts aside. That would be one option. The other option is just to put up a buffer and maybe it's a neighbor friend who could do some unboxing for you for a week or two. If I was thinking about ways that you could approach not getting to that point of having the unopened boxes if you wanted to.
Speaker 1: I haven't thought about that at all.
Speaker 2: I accept that it's confusing. I've dealt with that and there are things you can do to start to separate and differentiate if you really wanted to preserve that
Speaker 2: very classic center of the shower experience where
Speaker 2: you open the gifts and everyone who's in oz and is surprised and delighted and learned a little something about the thing that was most important to them when they parented or them when they thought of you having a baby.
Speaker 1: So I'm learning things here and I didn't know that you would be able to look at the, I always thought that the return on an amazon label was all like amazon fulfillment center. You know what I mean?
Speaker 1: But you're saying there's a way for you to potentially be able to tell via the return address that someone
Speaker 1: other than you had ordered this meaning or to be able to tell which ones you actually ordered. That's, that's a thing.
Speaker 2: And now you've got me thinking about, I think maybe it's not the return address. Yeah, I think it's the way the specific spelling and capitalization of the packages that we send to ourselves.
Speaker 2: Interest is a little bit different than the ones that come from. Other people
Speaker 1: interesting. Everybody examine your amazon packages over the next couple of weeks, play with your settings for a friend to order something for you and send it to you all
Speaker 2: capitals. It's you sending to your self interest instead of someone else sending to you
Speaker 1: interesting. I have to keep an eye out for that the next time I'm
Speaker 1: unboxing some amazon items. But I love your idea too of if you really want to circumvent the system. Have someone else open all your amazon packages for now. And yes, a little boring when they open it and it's just the detergent or it's the, you know, the big thing of paper towels for the month, but
Speaker 1: really fun and surprising if you want to keep that more traditional sense, I'm still, I'm still going to go with number two. I think given the circumstance that they're already under
Speaker 1: the unboxing of the items and doing the zoom tour is a great way to go. But what I would make sure I do is I would make sure that I let folks know that this is going to be how we're going to be celebrating and viewing and experiencing the gifts. That way people aren't disappointed if they were looking for some type of a reveal experience.
Speaker 1: Not that I think many people sit around going, I just can't wait to see the box opened on this one? You know, I think they'll probably be pretty happy with what you're going for in that second
Speaker 2: option. I'm guilty of watching a few unboxing is in my life
Speaker 1: lizzie.
Speaker 1: I can't do it. I can't sit in a room full of of wrapped presents and not just even if they're not for me, I just want them opened. Like I want to see what is inside
Speaker 2: virtual baby shower blues whether you are able to wait to see what's inside or whether you decide to find out and show people, we hope that the shower is a smashing success and that you have a great time with this new baby.
Speaker 1: A surprise.
Speaker 1: Have you ever had a surprise?
Speaker 1: You have?
Speaker 1: Well jeanne is going to have a surprise today.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: it's a very special day
Speaker 1: but jean you mustn't look to see what's in the package.
Speaker 1: Promise me. Alright, says jean, I promise my
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 2: Our next question is about pandemic wedding announcements. Hello, I am in need of some direction and help please
Speaker 2: Due to COVID-19 my son and a sweet fiance were married in our local courthouse last week.
Speaker 2: They originally planned to have a large wedding in April 2021 and may still have a second ceremony and reception but are reluctant to commit to a date due to the uncertainty caused by the current pandemic. My question is should announcements be sent and how should they be worded?
Speaker 2: We're very happy for them and want to share this happiness with our family and friends,
Speaker 2: but don't know how to go about this.
Speaker 2: Thanks very much for your help. Gail Humphrey
Speaker 1: scale. Thank you so much. We love this question because it has such a nice easy etiquette answer of send the announcements. It's totally okay to share the news this couple has gotten married, they had their wedding.
Speaker 1: It's a real thing. Even if there's a belated reception that they haven't planned. The
Speaker 1: the announcement carries no obligation with it to invite anyone to the wedding. In fact the announcement is the one that we say send it, send it far, send it wide, send it to everybody
Speaker 2: share the news,
Speaker 1: share the news,
Speaker 2: lizzie post. What does that announcement sound like? What is a sort of a standard announcement script
Speaker 1: announcements are really fun because they do exactly what their title describes they announce and to announce something, you basically say
Speaker 1: we're married and then you list your names and the date and the, and the location and that's pretty much it. Sometimes people say we said yes or
Speaker 2: we did it,
Speaker 1: we did. It is a really common one.
Speaker 1: Uh you might go more formal with something like we are very pleased to announce our marriage took place on and then the date and the location.
Speaker 1: But really it's, it's what fits your style, what fits the formality of your life, how you like to present yourself. There are tons of, of samples on, on the internet that you could look up and most of them are absolutely appropriate. But sometimes people include a photograph a lot of the times a traditional announcement is actually printed and mailed out, a lot of people end up for going that and just doing social media ones, we tend to caution a little bit against that only because it's great to put it up on social media and get it out. That's a whole community of people that you do want to include in your announcing too. But
Speaker 2: you don't
Speaker 1: necessarily want to miss anybody who you know like dan and myself who don't use facebook very often at all.
Speaker 1: You don't want to miss those crowds either. And so really taking time to think about your contact list, who's going to get what type of announcement I think makes a big difference. And you know, if you know someone is more of a traditionalist, may you send them the formal one, the paper one
Speaker 1: if it's just your best bud and you're you're tight and you're close and and they still don't know yet. Maybe it's a surprise wedding
Speaker 1: then I think you know a text message. A phone call is another way to do an announcement. But traditional announcements on paper, sometimes a photo, sometimes not a photo, but just literally an announcement that says what happened when it happened,
Speaker 2: they are officially married. So now is the time to send the
Speaker 1: announcement. And the best part of announcements is we say send them far and wide because they do not carry any gift obligations. Some people might end up sending you gifts for an announcement but it is not,
Speaker 1: it's not an obligation you create by sending out the announcement. You also do not create the obligation that the people who received the announcement will all be invited to this potential belated reception later later in time. That's that's another really important thing to recognize
Speaker 2: Gayle. Thank you so much for the question and please send our congratulations to the happy
Speaker 1: couple.
Speaker 1: Mm
Speaker 1: Thank you for your questions. Please send us updates or feedback on our answers to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. Leave a voicemail or text at 802858 K I N D. That's 8028585463. Or please reach us on social media on twitter. We're at Emily post inst on instagram were at Emily Post Institute and on facebook were awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 2: If you love awesome etiquette, consider becoming a sustaining member. You can find out more about this by visiting us at patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette. 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 to keep awesome etiquette on the air
Speaker 2: and for those of you who are already sustaining members. Thank you so much for your support
Speaker 1: audience. It is time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer and the topics we cover and today we have feedback both from Gillian and also a piece from Mark
Speaker 2: Gillian writes, Hello lizzie and dan. I've been loving the podcast every week as we all continue to discover best practices during a pandemic
Speaker 2: etiquette is ever evolving.
Speaker 2: A listener wrote in about when to send a wedding gift when the virtual wedding is now, but the reception will be later when people can gather again.
Speaker 2: I think the most considerate action is to take each couple's situation into consideration.
Speaker 2: Is this a young couple just moving in together or moving from a studio apartment into a house,
Speaker 1: Then I would go ahead
Speaker 2: and send a gift now as they could use practical gifts such as linens and kitchen items to start setting up their new home together.
Speaker 2: Has the couple gone ahead with a zoom wedding now because they want to be married before an upcoming move to a new home,
Speaker 2: then I would wait until the movie's happened and ship their wedding gift to their new place so they don't have to pack it and move it themselves.
Speaker 2: Is this a couple who already live together or are they combining their independent households?
Speaker 2: These couples rarely need the basic household items and they already have two of everything. In these cases. I lean toward gifts like a crate of wine or a season pass to an attraction in their area and these gifts can be sent or given at the time of the reception to keep the spirit of the celebration going.
Speaker 2: I hope these thoughts about the most considerate time to send a wedding gift are helpful to all happy holidays. Gillian
Speaker 1: Julian, thank you so much for the, I'm going to call that a little deep dive on, on when to send a wedding gift. I really loved it. Thank you for sharing. I love the attention
Speaker 2: that Julian is paying two people here. That really is where the best etiquette comes from.
Speaker 1: We also received this feedback which should make everyone feel a little love in their hearts. Today, it comes to us from Mark
Speaker 1: who was a lesson learned from a recent episode where he asked if he should continue to wear his wedding ring after his wife's death. Mark begins Hello again. I wanted to give you a follow up and a lesson learned regarding my question about widowers continuing to wear wedding rings.
Speaker 1: I'm sorry, I don't know the episode in which you addressed my question, but the advice you gave me was to follow my heart regarding continuing to wear my wedding ring. In fact, I had my ring resized after my finger healed once again and I wore the ring for about four months after my wife's death.
Speaker 1: Even so, the word got out about my wife's directive to find someone special to share my life with. And after three or four months I wasn't ready to begin to find someone. But this spring I finally began accepting invitations from friends to meet female friends. Read that
Speaker 1: I'm getting set up a lot exclamation point.
Speaker 1: I've been lucky enough to meet several lovely women for coffee, lunch and these types of things and I'm still enjoying meeting these new friends and only recently I have taken off my wedding ring.
Speaker 1: Additionally, there is a lesson learned related to all of this that I've been sharing with everyone I know and I think your audience might benefit from this too.
Speaker 1: My fantastic. It's really hard to read this without crying.
Speaker 1: My fantastic wife was so generous in wanting me to be happy after her death.
Speaker 1: Though the conversation about finding someone new was difficult.
Speaker 1: It was such a gift that I had her blessing to move on. I'm not sure I would be able to be out there if we had not had that conversation.
Speaker 1: Of course it is important to have wills trusts etcetera, but it is equally important to have challenging conversations about your loved one's wishes and how to say goodbye for the last time.
Speaker 1: I wish you and your audience all the best. I am so blessed to have had mary in my life
Speaker 1: and so lucky to be finding my way without her regards Mark
Speaker 2: Mark, thank you so much for that feedback and thank you so much for sharing that
Speaker 2: really important advice with us. I can't help but think that your wife didn't just help you but she's helping all of us as well.
Speaker 1: Thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please keep them coming. You can send your feedback or update two awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463.
Speaker 1: It's time for our post group segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette and today as promised, we're going to follow up our invitation segment from the host point of view with an invitation segment from the guests point of view.
Speaker 2: This is one of my favorite etiquette topics.
Speaker 2: The pleasure of your response is requested. If you would please respond a civil play. The continuing importance of RSVPs,
Speaker 2: the number one first point of etiquette for any potential guest is that you respond to an invitation. Whether the response is a yes no or in a very
Speaker 2: small subset of cases a maybe
Speaker 2: it's really important that you get that word to your host as soon as you possibly can. So just to get the basics out there.
Speaker 1: I love that you snuck in the aura maybe because we do know that there are platforms and delivery devices that give that maybe option as infuriating to hosts as it may be.
Speaker 1: It really it exists. It is something that we deal with. But I couldn't have said it better because that R. S. V. P. Is so critical to actually your very first step to being a good guest.
Speaker 2: You think about the medium that the invitation comes in. So
Speaker 2: in person replies to in person invades phone replies to phone invites text replies to text invades
Speaker 2: if you receive an invitation to an event or a party in the mail. Really think about getting something in the mail as a reply. Whether that's your own handwritten reply, whether you're using the card that came with that wedding invitation
Speaker 2: whatever it is, used the medium of the message that the invitation arrived in as your first queue for the appropriate medium to choose for your reply.
Speaker 1: And sometimes you will have something like a printed shower invitation that will tell you to reply via email or text message or a phone call to these people. And that's pretty normal or standard thing to run into. But when you don't know your first bet is a really good bet to go on by using that method that someone is reaching out via. Sometimes though there are things like regrets only for instance. And while we don't often suggest that anyone issuing an invitation uses regrets only because we think it can get a little complicated and messy
Speaker 1: if you received something that said regrets only, that means that you really do only need to reply if you're going to say I cannot attend this event.
Speaker 1: And it's it's one of those spaces where I don't know about you because but when I see regrets only I have this moment where I'm like I need to confirm that I'm coming. I need to confirm that I'm coming and I have to sort of tamper that down and say the instructions say regrets only. It's okay if I don't reply to this R. S. V.
Speaker 2: P.
Speaker 2: I
Speaker 2: appreciate that your first instinct is very self referential and reflective. I will reveal some of my bad etiquette here. If I see something like regrets only I don't like it because I feel like some power has been wrested away from me.
Speaker 2: I don't want
Speaker 1: I don't want someone even
Speaker 2: more. I don't want them to assume that because they've invited me on coming.
Speaker 2: That's not that that's a step just slightly too far for me. It's it's like
Speaker 2: only tell me if you're not coming. No. Just because you invited me doesn't mean that I don't get to choose. I'm not defaulted into your event and I know that's just the worst possible response but I have to acknowledge that that's the feeling that direction creates in
Speaker 1: me that comes for you. And I think it's good every now and again to show those colors. You know what I mean?
Speaker 1: So hosts take note regrets only doesn't always feel that welcoming or good to guess. Think about it. Think about why you're really choosing to use it.
Speaker 1: I think another thing dan that we we always want to think about is the idea of our answer and how well we can commit to it. You you really want to
Speaker 1: reply when you have a solid answer. If you have to take a few days to check with a spouse double check your calendar here back from someone about plans that you had issued an invitation for and whether or not they're going to happen.
Speaker 1: That's all fine. I think it's really considerate and I'm sure you would agree to actually let your host know that if your ability to answer the question is going to fall after their R. S. V. P. Date and if they haven't given an R. S. V. P. Date I would do something like get them a message quickly whether that's a phone call, email text message.
Speaker 1: You know however you usually communicate with this person that says I got your invitation. I would love to be able to make it just need to check on this will have an answer by you know friday thursday something relatively close to to whatever the current data is that you've received it.
Speaker 1: But I think that can help either help the host understand why a response isn't coming quickly. And I think it's nice to create that acknowledgement that that you have received this invitation. You don't
Speaker 1: have to do it. If you're going to be able to reply by an R. S. V. P. Data if you're going to be able to reply promptly. But if you have to extend or if you're uncertain of your ability to say yes
Speaker 1: or know definitively then I would make that clear to your host.
Speaker 1: It is possible that your answer isn't always your final answer obviously and we're all learning this this year. I feel like it's a major lesson or the past 20 months, it's been a major lesson that if you are ill
Speaker 1: or if you aren't feeling well the day of that, changing your yes to a no is acceptable to do that. You don't want to come and spread germs to a party or if you're, you know,
Speaker 1: totally asleep and knocked out from from some flu that you're coming down with it, this is not your best person to bring to a party and that's okay to say no. But what you don't want to do is go from a yes to a no because there's a better offer or you just casually don't feel like it. I think you really want to try hard to keep your commitment as best you can.
Speaker 1: There are circumstances that come up as we just said, illness, a death in the family, you got injured. Uh for some folks, if the social anxiety creeps up to a level where you just can't handle going to the event that day, I consider that a part of mental health and you having to take care of yourself and
Speaker 1: you can just simply say, I'm really sorry I have to bow out for tonight.
Speaker 1: You only want to reserve that for when you absolutely have to use it. But dan off mike, you had made a really good point about you also don't want to put a ton of your reason for having to bow out onto your host
Speaker 1: that you just want to make it clear and concise cancellation if you do or change, I should say if you do have to change,
Speaker 2: if you think about it from the host perspective
Speaker 2: they can deal with yes is they can deal with knows, in fact those are two really easy things to deal with because they're very concrete answers. I plan for one more, I plan for one less. I can do the party at this number, I can't do the party at this number but when you get into trouble is when you start to introduce a lot of ambiguity for your host and a lot of changing plans and really doing your absolute best to get good timely answers to people that are
Speaker 2: dependable answers to the best extent that you can control them is the good guest
Speaker 1: etiquette when it comes to changing a no to a yes, this is one where you would think oh you could change a no to a yes any time and it's not quite true.
Speaker 1: You really want to think about the type of event you've just been invited to and whether or not it would be easy for your host to now essentially accommodate an extra guest. Right, because you've already said no
Speaker 1: for casual things with friends, probably totally fine. You shoot over that text message. Hey dan, I can actually make it friday night still okay if I come, you know, I feel like that's that's the casual zone but if it was like a really formal thing that you were invited to, I I would be a lot more cautious with, with making that change.
Speaker 1: I might do something like a personal phone call to the hostess and be really away like leave a lot of room
Speaker 1: specifically state things like I am aware you might already have everything planned and and numbered out in an extra wouldn't come but I did want to check with you and see if it was possible, that kind of a thing but the more formal and especially the more business related, not the direction I would go, I would just leave my no as a no, let's see. What do you think about other
Speaker 2: changes to an invitation? What if it's not a yes to a no or a no to a yes, but I'd like to come if the meal looks like this or if I can bring my kids or my
Speaker 1: uh this is where we jump into that host guest dance right? I had a fun moment with this recently because I had a situation where I had said yes to a birthday party, it's actually happening tomorrow
Speaker 1: and I was really excited about it as one of my best girlfriends birthdays, it's at their new house, they're going to do a bonfire and grilling out and it just sounded like the perfect mid september party
Speaker 1: and I then remembered that my cousin is coming to stay and I wasn't sure of when her flight was getting in on this very same day and I was in that position of oh my gosh I forgot I have out of town guests coming,
Speaker 1: I should do the proper thing, I should test out that thing we talked about on the show so much even though jenni is one of my nearest and dearest and I could get away with saying hey can I bring my cousin? I said I'm going to do this the proper way and tell you I completely forgot that I had guests coming and I won't be able to make it to the party
Speaker 1: and she did the very nice thing of saying well if they're vaccinated you are more than welcome to bring them and I loved how it got both the dance. I mean you know we were playing up, trying to do the dance
Speaker 1: but playing up trying to do the dance and got in the vaccination question that's pertinent to socializing now and it was just, it was a nice combo of the two. Ah
Speaker 2: the host guest dance. It is such a useful metaphor
Speaker 1: and I do want to say that I think with close friends with family it's okay to ask questions like our kids being invited. We couldn't get a sitter, could we bring them? I've got an out of town guests, would it work to bring them or should we go find something else to do for the evening?
Speaker 1: I think among close family and friends that's absolutely fine. But when things are more formal you you don't want to be asking to bring a date your Children, your house guests to an event. You would instead bow out or you would say you can't make it.
Speaker 1: It's important to recognize that when it comes to things like food and allergies
Speaker 1: that those are things to talk about when you R. S. V. P. And it's by doing that offer of, hi I'm so excited to come to the party.
Speaker 1: I have a really special diet. Would you like me to bring something that that meets my needs
Speaker 1: so that you don't even have to think about it. Uh Is a fine way to start that conversation when it comes to the allergies. That's something where you really do need to speak up if you're like allergic to cats and you can't be in a home with cats. You know that's something you should always feel confident addressing when you R. S. V. P.
Speaker 2: It sounds like a lot. It's nowhere near as complicated as it sounds. You reminded me recently Lizzie pose the most good etiquette falls within that 96% of our life. That feels like common sense and a natural flow. But it is nice to get into the details because we're talking about details when we're talking about organizing an event
Speaker 2: and
Speaker 2: really giving everybody all the information that they need to plan and participate. Well is the goal. So paying attention to those details really has some merit
Speaker 1: here. And our big final takeaway for responding to invitations. Well, is to say thank you whether you are accepting or regretting,
Speaker 1: say thank you because it is so nice to be invited to things and included and it's such a good place
Speaker 1: to make sure that you get invited again. Is to say thanks so much for inviting me
Speaker 2: suppose. Thank you for putting together these two post scripts. And I think that I am inspired enough to offer to share links to the associated Web articles with everyone on social.
Speaker 1: We like to end our show on a high note. So we turn to you to hear about the good etiquette you're seeing and experiencing out in the world and that can come in so many forms. Today we have a salute from David.
Speaker 2: I got to the er around one p.m. And was there till close to 10 PM before being admitted to my surprise. My primary care physician showed up at eight p.m. To see me
Speaker 2: seeing her face and listening to her was an incredibly comforting moment in a distressing situation.
Speaker 2: I am so thankful she took this time with me. In the next two days. Three colleagues from her office stopped in to check on me the degree of caring makes me emotional, still so an enormous thank you to dr de Santis and her wonderful colleagues at end. Well family physicians
Speaker 2: best to all and to chris and to his wife. Hope you have a wonderful vacation
Speaker 2: best. David.
Speaker 1: David, thank you so much for that salute. It sounds like exactly the kind of experience you would want to have and would be incredibly grateful for when you're having to deal with an emergency situation in a hospital stay. So I'm so glad that that's the kind of care that you were able to receive.
Speaker 2: We hear all the time about people appreciating healthcare workers and thanking healthcare workers. Thank you for this very personal reminder
Speaker 2: of how important health care workers are. And the comfort that they provide is
Speaker 2: David. Thank you for this salute.
Speaker 2: Mhm.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: And thank you for listening
Speaker 2: and thank you to everyone who sent us something and everyone who supports us on Patreon.
Speaker 1: Please connect with us and share this show with your friends, family and co workers. However you like to share podcasts,
Speaker 2: you can send us your next question piece of feedback or salute by email to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 80285 A kind that's 8028585463
Speaker 2: on twitter. We are at Emily Post on instagram. We are at Emily Post institute and on facebook were awesome etiquette and the Emily Post institute. Please consider
Speaker 1: becoming a sustaining member of the podcast by visiting patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: You can also subscribe to the ads version of our show on Spotify or your favorite podcast app and please please please consider leaving us a review. It helps our show ranking, which helps more people find awesome etiquette. Our
Speaker 2: show is edited by chris Albertine, an assistant produced by Brigitte. Thousands.
Speaker 1: Thanks kris and Brigitte.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: Okay.
Speaker 1: Mm hmm.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: Mhm.