Episode 370 - Spooning Jams and Jellies?
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 the long goodbye, extended family borrowing the lake house, to spread or to spoon jam or jelly, how to handle different budgets between friends. For Awesome Etiquette Sustaining members our question is about managing pictures taken of you so they don’t end up on social media. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript with Lizzie’s second interview with Michelle Acciavati about how to plan end of life ceremonies.
Speaker 1: maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social, could you see that's old fashioned.
Speaker 1: Watch how busy post and then post, act as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness.
Speaker 1: Hello and welcome to awesome etiquette where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On today's show, we take your questions on the long goodbye extended family borrowing the lake house to spread or spoon jam or jelly and how to handle different budgets between friends for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about managing pictures taken of you so that they don't end up on social media plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute.
Speaker 1: And the second installment of lizzie's post script interviews with Michelle achieve body about how to plan and the flight ceremonies. 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 and I'm dan post Senning. Hey guys,
Speaker 1: how's it going this fine morning, it's going really well. But I made some faux pause that I feel like I need to talk about in this space. This seems like a space to talk about them.
Speaker 1: Um, I believe on an earlier episode, we talked about how I was having my cousin and her new husband come and stay for a weekend
Speaker 1: and okay, cool. Well we talk on the show when it comes to houseguests a lot about setting dates, set your date, set the date, set the departure dates at the start date probably set those in the reverse order but set them, make sure you set them with your guests. And it was really funny because
Speaker 1: we had set them but the way it was phrased, I didn't realize that they wanted to stay sunday night two and as you know, we had an all day filming shoot on monday that I was going to have to get ready for. So it was one of those very, I feel like Tricia Post moments a derangement where like you know the idea that you had in mind for the idea they had in mind it's a quick, you know rearranging of things
Speaker 1: and I ended up creating a second faux pas out of this faux pas because I now had to ask my guests if they would please help me to actually ready my house for the shoot that was happening on monday.
Speaker 1: One of my guests whom I had met for the first time on this trip ended up. The new husband ended up mowing my lawn because they were going to be filming in the lawn and everything and I was just I was like lizzie post, I can't believe you have your guests like mowing lawn and moving like rake leaf piles and like
Speaker 1: helping you do all this stuff that you couldn't get done before they were coming. It was so silly but thank goodness. I mean that's the love of family Caroline. My dear cousin piped up immediately when when she heard that there was going to be a shoot on monday and that they were gonna be there monday morning meaning the that she and her husband would still be there monday morning.
Speaker 1: She was like what can we do to help much easier if you just like order us around and tell us what would be helpful will say no to anything we really can't do. I was like okay, good to know.
Speaker 1: And I really like your cousin. Yes. No, it was you you would have you would have really been grateful for as I was and I do really like your cousin you met. Yes, totally don't. But this affirms my high opinion of her. Yeah, no, she is really wonderful and she is that guest to who
Speaker 1: just she goes with the flow. She's very easy. She's very much so wanting you to tell her what would be good for you as the host. And so that was good. There was also another quasi faux pas, we don't usually tell people like often we say don't give up your bedroom for your guests
Speaker 1: that they can often make a guest feel awkward to literally put a host out of their bed unless there's often like a physical reason or something for it.
Speaker 1: And there are certainly times and places where this happens like my house where
Speaker 1: the situation of having a couple come and stay. I just didn't feel comfortable putting them in my living room which has a very, very nice fold out couch. But, but I just wanted them to be able to have a better experience than that for the for like three nights they were going to be with me and so I made and I was very comfortable with them. Carolyn's my cousin. She slept in that bed with me many times. You know what I mean?
Speaker 1: And so I was like, you guys take my bedroom, you'll have the good, this would provide them with the good shower, the bathroom that doesn't have a litter box in it. Currently, you know what I mean is like this is a much better guest experience
Speaker 1: And since we're close family, like I know she, she won't feel too weird about it, but she did say, oh my gosh, I don't want to be putting you out of your bed. I was like, no, no, no, trust me. You really do like it the way I feel so much better about asking you to know the law. Yeah. Yes. Exactly. When I then realize you're staying the night I wasn't prepared for.
Speaker 1: But it's again easy things to work around. But a funny little like, you know, three or four and we wouldn't call them faux pas, they're not like super bad. But there are things we often try to say don't do all happened in the one weekend with my cousin and her husband who is lovely by the way.
Speaker 1: Well thank you for walking me and us backwards through it. I saw in the,
Speaker 1: the show notes, the script that you had asked a houseguest to mow the lawn. And I was preparing, knowing who your house guests were to
Speaker 1: give kudos and props to the new family member for stepping up and joining the fray and making a good name for himself. But I like the track back to the compounding series of miscommunications or minor faux pas and
Speaker 1: um frankly that none of them turned into big deals that
Speaker 1: continue to roll and um we're handing out etiquette gold stars all over the place, totally, totally, totally.
Speaker 1: Well that was my weekend cause how was yours? Oh exactly. The opposite had the house to myself for two days and one night. Oh my goodness! Bachelorhood returns. My parents loved to do these long distance bike rides and my mother had through a series of
Speaker 1: complicated decisions about, okay, I'm gonna go in this part of the trip and then go join those people on that part of a different trip.
Speaker 1: Had left her bicycle at my
Speaker 1: mother and father in laws
Speaker 1: house about three hours away and
Speaker 1: my mother and my wife and my daughters all went to pick up my mother's bike at my mother and father in law's house and made a visit out of it, visited the other cousins. It was awesome. They had a great time and I got the place to myself. So I had the
Speaker 1: whatever, the inverse of a house guest house, you had a quiet house, you and the dog and that's it.
Speaker 1: I'm assuming there was a lot of football then being watched on sunday.
Speaker 1: If only it had all worked out. So that, that overlapped with all of the football I wanted to watch on sunday. Oh no, they were backed by football. They were backed by football. Although I have a really lovely wife who understands that. I don't actually carve out a lot of time for things like sitting in front of the tv and
Speaker 1: she's really, really understanding about my silly um, I won't call it need or desire but want to just sit in front of a ballgame for an uninterrupted three hours period. Sometimes she even joins you there. She does. And she never thought she would.
Speaker 1: Huh
Speaker 1: well, I am glad that different though. They were, we both had great weekends and I got to say, I am, I'm ready for the week. I'm excited to get to some of our listener questions today. I like to hear that. Let's do it,
Speaker 1: awesome etiquette is here to answer your questions. You can email them to awesome etiquette. Emily post dot com leave a voicemail or text at 802858 kinds. That's 8028585463 or you can reach us on social media on twitter, we are at Emily Post on instagram, we are at Emily Post Institute
Speaker 1: 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 1: Mhm,
Speaker 1: mm hmm.
Speaker 1: Remember
Speaker 1: our first question this week is a short question about the long goodbye Ella wrote to us saying
Speaker 1: I also have a question about the infamous along goodbye scenario. Ha ha even frank Sinatra saying the fire is slowly dying
Speaker 1: and my dear, we're still good buying and that is the most you will ever hear me say, I am so proud of you right now. Don't delete that, don't delete that chris
Speaker 1: this might be my worst manners of all. So I will do the opposite of it by getting straight to the question how do you make a proper goodbye, how to get together? La It's so funny, I was just reading about taking your leave or leaving in the 1922 edition of Emily Post etiquette. And it was really interesting because dan and I spent much of the 20th edition that you've heard us talk about that we're writing,
Speaker 1: doing things like starting each chapter with a quote from the 1922 edition and then sort of referencing the idea that in Emily's Day this happened and today you see more of this and here's in 1922 Emily saying well traditionally this is supposed to happen and it was that the guest of honor is really supposed to to start the leaving
Speaker 1: and that other guests follow suit fairly quickly after, but they don't try to leave until the guest of honor is ready to leave
Speaker 1: and that should be kind of a balanced and uh known thing as well, and then she says, but often the guest of honor has no clue that they're supposed to be the one doing this, you know, it's like she's referencing the Tidier,
Speaker 1: um more structured version of it and she's like, but so many people don't know the structure and so this is what ends up happening,
Speaker 1: Anyone who's ready, hopefully not too soon after the meal can stand up and say this has been lovely dada dada and it's, it was kind of cute to see her playing back and forth between that, but
Speaker 1: I think today and probably even in Emily's Day as well, the nature of the gathering is really going to dictate how this happens, I feel like for larger, more open ended gatherings, think about housewarming or something like that, where you have a start and end time to the party
Speaker 1: basically, whenever you feel like you've spent enough time at the party, you can then go find the host and say, oh so lovely to see your home or oh this has been such a great
Speaker 1: cocktail party, whatever it is, and then you can say you know we have to get going, but thank you so much for having us. This was great. That kind of a thing I think is absolutely fine at a dinner party where it's more structured, you're definitely waiting to say goodbye until
Speaker 1: dinner has been served. And I would say there's been a decent amount of after dinner time respected dan, you know what I mean? Like, I think if dinner was served and everyone is making a mass exodus because the host was like, well this was lovely, thank you all for coming.
Speaker 1: That's one thing. But often there's sort of a little bit of coffee, maybe an after dinner, drink some conversation in the living room instead of at the table.
Speaker 1: And I would say you want to be there for that, at least maybe like a half hour or so without taking the risk of putting a time on it. I was thinking something similar, letting the table be cleared and people to resettle to the den or the living room. But you want to avoid that impression of
Speaker 1: okay, we're all eating dessert. And then as I put my fork down, I'm reaching with my other hand to pick up my coat and head out. Exactly. We're really trying to paint the counter picture where the offense might be found. It's that good image. Thanks so much. I appreciate that. I've met my bare minimum requirements. Thank you for providing for me. I'm out of here. Yeah, you don't want to create that impression at all.
Speaker 1: But it is true that different events are going to have a slightly different feel and you as the guests are going to need to pay attention to that and to think about
Speaker 1: what it would feel like to abruptly leave or to leave in any of these, these different scenarios and try to gauge well for yourself
Speaker 1: what feels right lizzie post? I love the historical reference took me back way further than I was going in my own mind with this question and
Speaker 1: it reminds me about the
Speaker 1: the intelligence that comes from knowing rules and breaking them well and the idea that there's a relational set of questions that you're asking yourself, who's hosting this party, Who are the guests at this party, what are we here for?
Speaker 1: That's how you start to determine the nature of the event. The thing that we're saying is so important in terms of figuring out exactly what you do
Speaker 1: without the clear indicators from your host. Thanks so much for coming. We really appreciated it or a time on the invitation or a guest of honor, signaling that it's okay to leave now because the function of the party is essentially completed.
Speaker 1: It really is up to you and
Speaker 1: knowing those other markers, lets you kind of keep an eye out for them and and not make that big mistake that I just described, where,
Speaker 1: where you do the exact opposite as opposed to just making a good choice at the right moment,
Speaker 1: the guest of honor doesn't have a babysitter at home you do and you need to be home at a certain time. There are some practical concerns that are going to
Speaker 1: push you in certain directions.
Speaker 1: I would say that the bare minimum, the thing that we often talk about is that do not miss it is that you find that host and that you acknowledged to the host that you're leaving and you thank them for having you.
Speaker 1: And to me that's oftentimes the answer to the how of the question supposed to the when or the who, but okay, so I'm saying goodbye, How do I do it? It feels so awkward and the thing that I hold on to in that moment as you thank them and that makes it feel much less awkward. It keeps the focus where it's meant to be,
Speaker 1: which is on the relationship, on the experience of the event, on the effort that someone else
Speaker 1: put into hosting you
Speaker 1: and
Speaker 1: you're acknowledging you're leaving, but you're not making the event, you're leaving, you're making the event and the focus of the attention, the thanks, the experience itself,
Speaker 1: and in some ways it can
Speaker 1: sound the way a thank you note sounds I was thinking even more specifically about the how
Speaker 1: and what are the things that you say that you build your sample script on. Um thank you so much for having me. I really appreciated it.
Speaker 1: The first sentence. You thank them and then the original thought the idea that maybe there's one thing that you could say that personalize is the thanks in some way that connects it specifically to the experience or the event or the thing that you're thanking for. So
Speaker 1: the dinner was lovely. We appreciated you making the effort to get us all together again, something, something specific to the event. And
Speaker 1: now you're in what I would call that B plus a minus a goodbye territory where you're thinking you're being specific. I want to know what dance A plus goodbye sounds like.
Speaker 1: Well, this is the part where I often then fall off and, and failed, but I would say if you can get the right tone on the thank you so much by sealing the upbeat nous to the buy. So it doesn't sound like you've done everything right and then you failed because you had to say you're that good bye
Speaker 1: a plus.
Speaker 1: It's funny how I feel like saying saying good night is so much easier than saying goodbye. I don't know why, but it feels it feels more gentle or like, yeah, yeah, thank you so much. Can't wait for next time.
Speaker 1: So you can tell a little bit of a post personal story. Absolutely. By the way, this could end up being a very long question, like I've got a million thoughts in my head here, keep going.
Speaker 1: We used to play this little game with our grandfather Bill post poppy when it was time to say goodbye and he would say uh, see you later alligator and then you were meant to reply as a youngster in a while, crocodile and then he would then and this
Speaker 1: just in the were being silly kids, I wish there was another giant lizard,
Speaker 1: but plant you now dig you later sweet potato. At which point everyone laughs and then you can kind of wave goodbye and
Speaker 1: and I now do this with my kids and their grandfather later alligator and if we don't do it, they get really upset are always mad that she hadn't been able to properly say goodbye to gramps was holding the dog inside the house made that connection moment with her as we walked away.
Speaker 1: But you can play with it a little bit with kids but we do all that because that, that could buy moment. It does feel very final in some ways and at some point you just have to say it and move through it. Absolutely, absolutely. I'm reminded of my
Speaker 1: parents and their goodbyes where my, my mother and I very much so take after her in this respect, could talk all night until the next morning. I mean she could easily sit in that living room or
Speaker 1: at that, you know, clear dinner table and go all night long
Speaker 1: and there's this moment that happens between the two of them where my dad who is often now up and out of his chair kind of like futzing around a little bit or like moving, moving and shifting foot to foot,
Speaker 1: puts his hands on her shoulders and gives her a little bit of a shoulder rub and it's the indicator of Trish. It's time to go. We are over staying. It's like you know, pushing on midnight like time to say goodbye. And it's this cute thing that's developed between the two of them. Do you and pooch have any kind of like signals that you do is like your couple goodbye like we got it. Come on. I gotta Really? Yeah, but give us another 15 years. I give you a few more years they like and maybe some chances that more socialization once this pandemic is really under up and we will have our own secret code physical language as well.
Speaker 1: Ella, you have given us so much to talk about and we really could go on and on about goodbyes and how we execute them and how both delightful and awkward they can be.
Speaker 1: However, we must bring this question to a close and say our own goodbyes to it. We thank you so much for writing in with multiple questions for us over the past couple weeks and we certainly hope that our answer helps take care, see you next time bye
Speaker 1: and when you're invited to a party leave on time and courteously too Thanking your hosts sincerely for the good time. You've had
Speaker 1: all these things, help to make a good party a party that's fun for all.
Speaker 1: Mm hmm.
Speaker 1: This question is titled Something's off here.
Speaker 1: Dear lizzie and dan. Thank you for your wonderful podcast. Your advice in dealing with awkward situations really helps me to respond in what I hope is a kind and positive way as it make it through each day.
Speaker 1: My question has to do with people who ask us to use our lake house.
Speaker 1: My husband and I enjoy owning a second home and we like to rent it to help with the expenses as well as to share it with our family.
Speaker 1: Part of the agreement is that upon leaving, we ask renters to choose to clean the house so that it is just as they found it when they arrived or they can pay us a cleaning fee.
Speaker 1: No one has ever paid the fee and we have never had any problems fortunately
Speaker 1: for family. However, this is not the case. We do not ask them to pay to use the house. We do, however, ask that they leave the house the way they found it at the minimum when they leave, we ask that they take out the trash, be sure there isn't any food left out what beach towels are hung up and overall the house appears to be
Speaker 1: picked up,
Speaker 1: they are welcome to use our towels, et cetera. And I will gladly put these in the wash the next time I'm at the house.
Speaker 1: Our siblings and spouses have always left the house as we asked. However, their Children now have families of their own and are upset that we expect them to clean up after themselves. They complain that it is too much work to pack up the Children, et cetera while also cleaning a house and that we are not being nice to them.
Speaker 1: At a recent family gathering, this point was made quite clear to me by a few people attending and it completely caught me off guard.
Speaker 1: I didn't respond and walked away because I didn't think this conversation should take place in front of a large group.
Speaker 1: Now I don't know how to respond to what was said to me and I need your help.
Speaker 1: We really don't want to cause any problems within our family. However, we don't see how we're being unreasonable. We need to know that our house is being left in good order as we aren't always able to travel and be sure everything is okay in a timely manner.
Speaker 1: Is it too much to ask that when we arrive to use our house, we find it reasonably picked up and without any answer, foul smells is what we're asking wrong, given that we are letting them use the house for free
Speaker 1: if we're being unreasonable. Please tell us we don't want to be the cause of any ill will in the family. However, this is our home and we want it to be used in a way that makes us comfortable. I look forward to any advice you can give us sincerely nancy nancy. Thank you so much for the question and
Speaker 1: I have two levels or tiers to the reply or the advice that I'm thinking about it. And the first thought has to do with the nature of how you handle the house, with family moving forward
Speaker 1: and the other has to do with the dynamics of the situation that you described that awkward moment at the family gathering where you were confronted about this and
Speaker 1: the best way to move past or through that and maintain good relationships in the family as far as the house, I can affirm 10,000%. You are being absolutely reasonable. You can
Speaker 1: not worry about that one bit. In fact to me, the equation is so clear that it's, the answer is within the question, in that
Speaker 1: it's incredibly generous of you to allow the family to use the place without paying the usual renter fee. And I would just apply the exact same system to them that you apply to the renters. If there's a way that you can identify what it costs to clean the house and it sounds like you have and if renters are able to meet that standard and avoid that fee,
Speaker 1: I don't think there's any reason why family shouldn't
Speaker 1: be treated the same way, particularly if you've had some issues or difficulties with it. That it's really simple. You can leave the house the way you found it, you can pay a fee if that's too difficult for you to do or you're, you're not able to um
Speaker 1: recognize all of the little things. The standards that, that that kept the place in the shape that it was when they arrived.
Speaker 1: I think paying a small fee to get that house cleaned afterwards is something that is entirely reasonable and can just be a condition for using the house and
Speaker 1: you don't need to make it a point that it's something that's failed in the past. You can talk about it as um, part of more and more people being involved. That as you have a larger and larger group
Speaker 1: that you've been thinking about the way you want to manage the house and this is the way you're going to be doing it going forward. And then people know that whatever it's been in the past from this point on, that's what it will be. And I think that's a really clear way to proceed
Speaker 1: and is the path of least resistance that I would probably be most likely to take myself. I couldn't have said it better. And as I was reading this question, I was so reminded of
Speaker 1: some of the things we have to deal with on my side of the family that has the vineyard property because their everybody had all, even family members, not just non family have to pay the rental fees. There are increased cleaning fees if it's left in, in less than ideal condition
Speaker 1: for the cleaners themselves. You know, it's like they don't want the cleaners having to do dishes or scrub pots and pans or
Speaker 1: do the laundry. So all those things are the responsibility of the renters and if the renters don't do that, if they leave food out, things like that, then the cleaning fee goes up. It's just an automatic thing that happens and
Speaker 1: when that's a consistent thing and people are arguing about the cleaning fees, there are sometimes demonstrations of what clean actually means. So when nancy is asking are we reasonable? I'm like going, you guys are casual and breezy. Like you're like far beyond like but beyond reasonable. You're like very, very generous and catering.
Speaker 1: Compared to some of the legendary stories I've heard in my family about these things.
Speaker 1: Well, and it's not at all uncommon exactly what you describe. One of the things oftentimes there's a rental rate for family that's different than what non family pay and
Speaker 1: it just covers the basic cost. One of the things that can be really nice about that family rental rate is that it is so small, it's oftentimes much less than what it would usually cost to get a place like that or get a hotel,
Speaker 1: but it also put some value on it and I think sometimes paying a little bit helps communicate to people. The seriousness of the gift that's being given are the thing that they're participating in. And often times getting a little bit of that awareness skin in the game, in the game builds that awareness in a way that that might be really helpful.
Speaker 1: It's something to think about. It might be a bigger step than you're used to in your family and might not be as far as you want to go. But I think it's it's very reasonable and not at all uncommon
Speaker 1: because there was a second layer to this question that is a little harder to deal with. Its that moment were at a family gathering your nieces and nephews or maybe their parents, I don't know who is actually doing the complaining or the mentioning,
Speaker 1: but they bring up to you in front of other people
Speaker 1: that this is unfair. That the way you're treating them isn't nice, the way you're extending your generosity doesn't work for them.
Speaker 1: And I know what would happen in both of my families. My larger families, if pip squeak third generation here piped up and I'm speaking about my own generation and was complaining
Speaker 1: about the Free Lake House that we were just treated to a week of vacation at
Speaker 1: simply because the kids who I pack up every day would be, you know, is something I have to do and I know that this would not be tolerated by my aunts and uncles or any of my grandparents uh if I was voicing things that way. And so I
Speaker 1: I I don't know what nancy's family is like in terms of expectations on people, expressing themselves that way, expressing themselves that way in a group setting or to elders in their family, You know, different families have very different dynamics,
Speaker 1: but for me, I never would have gotten away with pulling that off. I never would have even tried.
Speaker 1: Like and I guarantee you that like there's a lot of people out there who would be in the situation of being mortified that they hadn't left a place so clean. So I'm thinking in the moment
Speaker 1: that walking away was probably a good thing, I probably would have included a line and nancy you may have and and just not put it in your in your note to us.
Speaker 1: But I probably would have wanted to say something like Betsy, I think we should talk about that at another time and that's you know, and then I would, you know, excuse myself from the conversation if I needed to. But I I think I would make it clear that I want to have that discussion because I, the person owning the house that is being misused,
Speaker 1: you know, have some thoughts on the matter and I don't really want to embarrass you in front of the rest of this group by telling them just how terribly you left that house and that I don't even think I should be extending you the offer anymore because of how terrible it was. That's at least where my brain goes on. That thought, my brain went to a similar, I think
Speaker 1: there's sometimes where we say, you know, you're, you're, you're, you're looking for ways to build a chord, build bridges. I think being surprised in a moment like that with something that is so,
Speaker 1: so egregious and frankly would ultimately if you responded the way that many people would normally and rightly respond would be really embarrassing for the other people that in some ways you're taking the bigger hit, like
Speaker 1: containing and controlling yourself and figuring out a better time to have that conversation. I liked your sample script. I
Speaker 1: and I also like your reminder that
Speaker 1: just because someone's coming at you doesn't mean that your side of the, that conversation shouldn't be well represented and
Speaker 1: should get lost. That it's not all about dealing with this grievance on the other side. In fact, that grievances to my mind, not very difficult to deal with because there's a very clear answer.
Speaker 1: Yeah, I'm really sorry you feel that way. The conditions for renting our house moving forward are this and you can let me know if you want to participate in that or not and, and, and that the discussion doesn't need to be any more than that.
Speaker 1: So I think anything that you do beyond that is a kindness. Absolutely. And I think there's nothing wrong with reaching out to the relatives that brought it up and say, hey
Speaker 1: I was caught off guard at the party or I wasn't ready to talk about this at the party. But I do really want to want to address it because I think it's important that we talk about these things and then you can enter into that conversation with them. Or as dan often suggests ask permission to have the conversation high. You brought something up at the family party.
Speaker 1: I would love the opportunity to address it with you. Would you know, would you be willing to talk with me about it? Yeah. I have some feelings and thoughts about it as well. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. You know, should they decline that conversation then the next time they asked to use the house, you can spell out very clearly for them. Either a no or as dan said, here are the rules for the house now moving forward. If you're willing to then yeah. But if you're not I can't say yes
Speaker 1: And again, I want to make it very clear. This is all very reasonable stuff to do when it comes to a house of yours that hasn't been treated the way it was supposed to have been treated
Speaker 1: nancy. Thank you so much for the question. I really hope that things work out well with your family and this lake house moving forward and that everyone's able to enjoy it and that your generosity is appreciated. We certainly appreciate it here at awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: Yes. When jimmy shared the stand with his friends and they all shared in the work. Then there was more fun for every member of the group. So you learn to share with others. You'll like it. Your friends will like you too.
Speaker 1: Our next question Askar wonders spread or spoon, can you please settle a silly dispute between my partner and I, he thinks it's proper to spread jelly on a sandwich with a spoon.
Speaker 1: I can see how that could be easier if you're getting a large amount. But for a more controlled spread you must use a butter knife. Please weigh in on this silly argument sincerely Lauren in Connecticut Lauren, we love the silly arguments because they are the stuff that partnerships, marriages, sibling rivalries are made of best friendships, all of the above.
Speaker 1: Um You think this is silly? I know this is silly. Was well there was a part of me that was like, is this really an etiquette question? Like we're talking about utensils and how to use them lizzie post. Yes, it is an etiquette question
Speaker 1: but I it's I'm with you. It's kind of like
Speaker 1: like we're not like at the dinner table in a formal setting. Making a PB and J all like you know what I mean? Reading jelly with a spoon though. Really. I don't think I I just, I should say I am camp knife. I don't spoon out my jelly with a spoon and then spread it with a knife. Except I am going to give an exception here when I'm dining out at a restaurant where they have put the jelly into a little pot and the pot has a little spoon, that's a serving spoon.
Speaker 1: I would frankly do a combination of what Lawrence talking about here and I would spoon the jelly out either onto my butter plate so that I take all I need and pass it along. Or I would spoon it right onto my piece of total say toast in this case and then I would pick up my you know put the serving spoon back with the jelly and then pick up my butter knife and spread it because I do agree. I think you're going to get a better spread with that butter knife.
Speaker 1: Not impossible to use the back of the spoon, but it's not as effective as efficient, it works in the long run. Might be a way to say it
Speaker 1: for a silly question. I think I gave a serious answer here. No, I think you did. And I liked the acknowledgement that oftentimes in those little jars there is a serving spoon. Yeah. And I think you start to get into I mean if we if we really want to do the serious etiquette answer. It's that
Speaker 1: knives are used for spreading and
Speaker 1: the spoon
Speaker 1: as a serving utensil would be used to apply it or put it there.
Speaker 1: I am glad that you mentioned the little jelly pot with the serving spoon because clearly there are times where the spoon is the appropriate utensil, you're meant to use it to serve yourself
Speaker 1: but not to spread No. From a very classic etiquette perspective, spoons aren't for spreading, That's your knife. And I'm sympathetic when I look into my utensils drawer in the kitchen and I'm making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. If I take the serrated knives that are still the dull knives,
Speaker 1: they're not wide enough, I can't get jelly out of the jar with them. I have to use the broader butter knives.
Speaker 1: It's a whole different experience making the sandwich. So I can understand making the decision when you're looking at that drawer to pick up the spoon, which seems like the most practical in the kitchen, you know, So I want to make that exemption. And but I like the and at the same time,
Speaker 1: give a serious etiquette answer of the utensils are designed to be used in certain ways and when you're not talking about that little jar on the table when you're talking about using a spoon to scoop and spread.
Speaker 1: There are situations where I would look at that and say to myself, that looks a little funny, probably the same way it's happening between this partnership
Speaker 1: and I think being aware of that impression. It can be fun. And it can also be a good thing to be aware of because you don't want to seem,
Speaker 1: I don't know, I don't want to see like a kid or childish or like you're so much that you're either you grab the big serving spoon on the small servings Boone would do or something Yeah. Where it starts to create just a different impression. Then I'm making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and
Speaker 1: 11 oclock in your own kitchen with your partner or your spouse. I think that's great. But just be aware that it might look a little funny to someone in a different context. Absolutely. I think that's a very, very good parsing of of when and where you might use the utensils for their intended usage and use the utensils creatively and to not
Speaker 1: create even more utensil usage by switching between, you know what I mean? Yeah, exactly, exactly, exactly.
Speaker 1: And I'm with you on that when there isn't a knife that has that broader blade on it, you're like, oh, spoon probably is a better bet than the serrated knife with the tip that just doesn't doesn't do the jelly. Well Lauren, this is definitely a first in in awesome etiquette history and we really enjoyed getting this silly little question. We hope that you love our somewhat serious but kind of silly little answer
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled funny about money.
Speaker 1: My question is how do I respond when friends try to say that I am better off than they are and that they are too poor to do X, y and Z. If I ever try to bring up doing something together.
Speaker 1: I had a friend who once taught me to think about money in terms of priorities. In other words, don't think about how you can't afford something, but think about how it's not a priority for you. I really like that philosophy that empowers people to make choices about how to spend their money rather than focus on what they can't do.
Speaker 1: So what advice do you have for me to manage conversations when I have friends who try to make me feel guilty about their financial position relative to mine.
Speaker 1: I end up feeling guilty and sympathetic and I don't like how often this topic comes up.
Speaker 1: Thank you very much for considering my question to use on the show. This challenge has bothered me for years and I feel as though I've tried many ways to approach this conversation and still always end up feeling bad after it comes up again and I'm at a loss for how to respond
Speaker 1: best to you both cash strapped single mom take us away because
Speaker 1: thank you for this question. And we titled this question funny about money. But there's part of me that wants to say, you know, there's nothing funny about money. The one of the things about money is that it's almost always a serious topic and partially because it is
Speaker 1: a very concrete thing, something that we don't always have a lot of control over
Speaker 1: in that it's it's a reality, There's only this much in the bank account or that much in the wallet
Speaker 1: and it is connected to our values and the way we manage money is connected to our values. And the whole concept of money is that it represents value. It's it's fundamentally what it is and
Speaker 1: that makes any discussion about money potentially values discussion. And we started to touch on this just a little bit in a previous episode of the podcast when we were talking about asking people for money and what types of emergencies or situations rise to the level where it's okay to ask people for money. And oftentimes the answer is that questions about money, even if they're light or aren't about things that seem so serious
Speaker 1: are connected to those values decisions that we make in so many ways that
Speaker 1: we need to take extra care with them and that's why there's a lot of etiquette around it. One thought that I had, as I read this particular question was about guilt and sympathy and the feeling of guilt that
Speaker 1: our question Askar is feeling when people are explicit about not having as much money or not being able to afford to do something that maybe
Speaker 1: our question Nascar can do.
Speaker 1: It's that feeling of guilt that's the biggest impediment to the relationship in this particular situation. That's what it sounds like to me because I feel like there could be some accord in terms of figuring out
Speaker 1: the right way to talk about money or the right way to make choices that everybody can afford to participate in. But a but the more we can get away from feelings of guilt about needing to organize the discussion in that way and the more we can lean into the feelings of sympathy around
Speaker 1: really empathizing and connecting with where everyone's coming from, the better off we're going to be having those discussions. Well,
Speaker 1: I think because it's come up before one of the easiest ways to approach one of these conversations is to acknowledge that it can be
Speaker 1: something that people have different perspectives about or if you showed some awareness some sympathy, some empathy to where someone else is coming from, it's likely to be a lot easier to have the follow up discussion about finding options that everyone can afford or options don't require any money or maybe even putting the whole job of
Speaker 1: suggesting the viable options into someone else's hands. So you don't end up in that situation to begin with dan. That's exactly where my mind went on this particular question, I know that I'm someone who sometimes has to pipe up and say that that idea doesn't fit my budget
Speaker 1: and I am always so grateful when my friends say, oh well then let's let's do this instead, or oh, what would work for you? And I have some friends who and and cash strapped, single mom might not be in the position to do this themselves, but who are then able to say,
Speaker 1: you know what, let me make it my treat. I really want to do this thing with you.
Speaker 1: I think it would be so much fun and I'm happy, happy, happy to take care of it for the day, the event or whatever the meal, whatever it is.
Speaker 1: And I know that I always feel so, so much better. I mean, yes, it's very nice to be treated to do things, but it's also really nice to have my friend really positively and quickly correct themselves to a place of, oh well, what, what can we do that would work for you?
Speaker 1: And it, it makes me feel like
Speaker 2: it's less
Speaker 1: about that particular thing happening like if it was a spa day or something like that and much more about, well, the point is for us all to get together as girlfriends or something like that and if hanging out at someone's house and you know, baking together is a better option or going for a walk or something.
Speaker 1: It's really nice to feel like the focus is actually on us spending time together rather than us spending a particular value level of time together, a monetary level of time together,
Speaker 1: if that makes sense. Um and I think for me, the other thing is that because I am the one piping up saying, oh that that wouldn't work for my budget.
Speaker 1: I really want my friends to understand that when I say that I am not trying to say it to get sympathy or to make them feel guilty for making more money than I do or having more to work with than I do. Um I try really hard to other times in our conversations
Speaker 1: never comment on something extravagant that they're doing that I couldn't do
Speaker 1: but instead be very excited and happy for them that they got that experience or that item or or were able to do this thing, you know, whatever it is and I think that helps to not create that idea of guilt or that implication of guilt between the two of us,
Speaker 1: your friends most likely I can't speak for them, but they're probably really just trying to work responsibly within their boundaries
Speaker 1: less so than trying to, as dan was talking earlier about rather than trying to make you feel guilty about the fact that you might be able to do something that they can't do
Speaker 1: guilt is a theme that has come up on this show repeatedly and there's a place that I feel like you and I started to get to a couple of years ago when we were talking about guilt
Speaker 1: and about how it's actually a very functional emotion to the degree that it can inspire you to make any useful changes and that to the extent that feeling bad about something provides you with information to
Speaker 1: help you and others feel less bad. It's a really useful emotion. I think it's worth listening to those little pains of guilt that sometimes pop up in our lives,
Speaker 1: not always saying, oh, I shouldn't feel guilty or it's not, it's not right at the same time, guilt becomes functionally much less useful when you're feeling guilty about something you have no control over and when you can't make a correction to avoid that in the future. So in some ways I I wouldn't say don't feel guilty, which was where I had started when I was thinking about this question
Speaker 1: and I would like to finish having listened to my cousin talk about it a little bit, saying feel guilty to the extent that it helps you construct a better set of options for a friend or respond totally in a way that doesn't put guilt on them from
Speaker 1: to the extent that it prepares you for having that question the next time, but not to where it becomes an impediment to having that conversation. Cash strapped single mom. We certainly hope that you are able to have really excellent get togethers with these friends moving forward,
Speaker 1: thank you for your questions, please send us updates or feedback on our answers to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind, that's 8028585463. You can also reach us on social media on twitter. We are at Emily post inst
Speaker 1: on instagram, we are at Emily Post institute and on facebook were awesome etiquette. Just remember use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: if you love awesome etiquette, please consider becoming a sustaining member by visiting us at patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette. You'll get an ads, free version of the show and access to bonus questions and content plus you'll feel great knowing that you helped keep awesome etiquette on the air
Speaker 1: and to those of you who are already sustaining members, thank you so so much for your support.
Speaker 1: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer in the topics we cover today, we have feedback from dale via instagram about the laundry room question this was an episode 3 61.
Speaker 1: I can't help but remember the laundry room in my building in queens, no apartment, had an actual washing machine or dryer and though it was a large six floor building, there were six washers and five dryers and people from around the world.
Speaker 1: This thing of waiting came up all the time. I would wait for about 10 minutes, then put the clothes in the dryer and put in enough money to get the dryer started on the lowest possible heat.
Speaker 1: If you just put the clothes aside, you may still be waiting just as long when the person finally comes to dry their clothes.
Speaker 1: I hated doing it. I was raised in a very small town in the cultural south
Speaker 1: where part of good manners was to never touch anyone's clothing, but I did it anyway. Some people were delighted, some were angry, A few told the super, but he pointed out that if they had just stayed with their clothes there wouldn't have been a problem.
Speaker 1: It was so stressful though that I finally started going to a neighborhood laundry except in the snow.
Speaker 1: The manager, there was a no nonsense woman. She just took the clothes out of the washer and put them in her office dale. Thank you so much for sharing that. I'll be very curious to hear what else we hear about the laundry room. I do feel like it is becoming the pizza episode again. Thank you dale
Speaker 1: and thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please do keep them coming. You can send your next feedback update or salute to awesome etiquette Emily post dot com. You can also leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind that's 8028585463.
Speaker 1: It's time for our post script segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette and today we're going to hear the next installment of lizzie's interviews with Michelle achieve body. This segment will focus on where to start when you were in the position of planning an end of life celebration funeral or memorial service.
Speaker 2: Michelle. I
Speaker 1: am so grateful to be here speaking with you again about funerals and end of life care and how we can be our best selves during them. And
Speaker 1: I know that when people turn to Emily post to figure out how to plan a funeral or memorial service or how to do some of the detailed work around that,
Speaker 1: that they want a very, this is what you do. 123 steps. Here we go. I know what I'm doing, it could be right and that could be so comforting during a time where you're already stressed and probably at the max of your bandwidth emotionally.
Speaker 1: But funerals and services like this, it's much harder to have like a 123 approach to it.
Speaker 1: Where should we start if we're going to be the person managing, coordinating, putting on sort of this, this event that is to celebrate the deceased.
Speaker 2: I don't want to give people concrete steps because as comforting as it is, what I really want is for people to come up with something that is going to be really meaningful to them, meet their needs as Mourners, honor the person that's died. All of that is so important And so you can't have a one size fits all
Speaker 1: blueprint
Speaker 2: and at the same time acknowledge that like this is a really overwhelming time. And so that that's really
Speaker 2: heart and that's really valid for people to feel like this is hard and confusing. So I think the very, very first thing is to like
Speaker 2: be okay with the fact that this is hard
Speaker 2: and that that comes out of we're in a very different place in terms of relationships to death and dying and ceremony and ritual and spirituality and religion and all of these things now, so that there's a lot
Speaker 2: that said, the most important place to start is with the person that's died. And we talked a little bit before about advanced directives and how important they are and just to reiterate that that it's just like hopefully you can have really meaningful conversations with the people that you care about, about what their end of life wishes are and that they can write them down really clearly.
Speaker 2: You know, that said,
Speaker 2: I'm imagining this conversation is more about a scenario where that hasn't happened and we're kind of at a loss or you know, you have a directive, but you haven't had a chance to talk about it with that person and it can still be very confusing to follow it. I know from my own experience sitting down, helping people try to work through a directive than what it is that they mean,
Speaker 2: that sometimes even the most well intentioned directives can be vague or leave a lot up to interpretation or simply say, do whatever makes you happy. And we're looking to do something that honors the life of the person that wrote the directive. And, and so there's just a lot of open space that can just be
Speaker 2: confusing and hard.
Speaker 2: So acknowledging that directives are a great place,
Speaker 2: a necessary place to start and that they're not going to necessarily be a crystal ball. That gives you all of the answers that you're going to need to pull off. You know, the funeral of the year.
Speaker 1: You actually bring up a good point that you say funeral of the year. And it reminded me of like wedding of the year and
Speaker 1: I loved when we were talking earlier and you had said, you know, a funeral is not a wedding, it is not a one. And weddings aren't really totally one size fits all. But there's a general practice that happens at every wedding
Speaker 1: that seems to no matter how unique your wedding is. People exchange vows, there's some kind of like event afterwards.
Speaker 2: Hopefully there's a smooch in
Speaker 1: there, but it's just not the same when it comes to funerals,
Speaker 2: but death is still an event
Speaker 2: and we can take an approach to to a funeral memorial service. That's a bit like event planning
Speaker 2: the nice thing about weddings is that really there's only two people whose opinions matter, they tend to be happy things, their stress with planning a wedding obviously, but when we're planning a funeral there's a bunch of other things that are going on, one is
Speaker 2: the people that are planning are actively grieving
Speaker 2: and that's exhausting, it's hard, it makes decision making and thinking fuzzy um and you're engaging with something that you really don't want to do because it's bringing the reality of death into this like weird logistical
Speaker 1: space and
Speaker 2: so that's hard.
Speaker 2: And then the other thing is that there are many people that are going to care about what happens and unlike a wedding where people might have input and you get to say no, you know like bride and groom or bride and bride groom
Speaker 1: and groom, right? You
Speaker 2: know whatever it is, like they get to have the final say, it's their day
Speaker 2: again when this comes back to the, you know, the person whose day it is, is no longer living can't give feedback. So how do we balance out when we think about death as an event and thinking about death is something that you know, take some event planning skills, how do we balance out the person doing the planning emotional state and exhaustion and taking into account all of these opinions and feelings of people that care who are also, you know grieving mourning and having all that emotional
Speaker 2: journey,
Speaker 1: so correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like we are going to answer a question of how do we do this with the answer of you ask a lot of questions. And I can imagine that for certain types of people
Speaker 1: planning under these kind of circumstances, that it could feel really wonderful to be able to ask a lot of different people opinions and thoughts and things because it probably takes the pressure off of having to be the big decision maker.
Speaker 2: Exactly. And
Speaker 1: I could see other people in a position where they just want to run right through plan everything the way they view it, because that is simpler.
Speaker 1: That's easier. It's kind of like the parent who says, gosh, parenting is easier when my spouse is away, you know, to make all the decisions and no one questions or challenges or like, you know, comes up with a different idea. Am I right in thinking that the thing we need to do in the very beginning, planning stages, whether we have a directive or not, is to ask a lot of questions.
Speaker 2: Absolutely. And I think that it's it's so important. And yeah, regardless of what the person's orientation to question and asking is that you do kind of have to do it.
Speaker 2: That said, I think that it doesn't mean that you have to ask, you know, your mail carrier death is something that affects individuals, but it also affects community, right? And we don't have to really when we're talking about the event that immediately follows death with it's a funeral and memorial service,
Speaker 2: we can put some boundaries around whose opinion really matter and we can really think about, okay, who are the people that are most impacted by this stuff,
Speaker 2: The people that are really, really going to care about what the funeral and memorial service look like. And then we kind of have them a constrained idea that we can, when I'm working with families that then the family is going to have an idea of of who they then go out to
Speaker 1: talk to and it doesn't,
Speaker 2: yeah, it doesn't feel like this overwhelming, like I need to talk to everybody that ever need the person that died. And instead it's like, no,
Speaker 2: you know, because not everybody is going to have strong
Speaker 1: feelings about the
Speaker 2: funeral and memorial service and and some people will. And so if you have a sense in your life, who are the people that are really going to care, then those are the people that you're going to get opinions from.
Speaker 2: And even if it feels overwhelming, one of the beautiful things about getting a lot of diverse opinions is that you also get a lot of diverse stories about the person because generally someone's opinions about what should happen at a funeral memorial service are going to be based on their relationship. So it opens up that storytelling processing of grief, which can be a really beautiful thing
Speaker 2: and it also exposes you to things that you might not know. Our options are and one of things that is coming out of this, obviously if you're gonna ask a lot of people then you're gonna have to find a way to reconcile a lot of decisions. And you might learn about,
Speaker 2: you know, a ceremony type or something. That is an easier way to balance all of these opinions than kind of the set thing that we see on tv all the time about how a funeral needs to proceed. So
Speaker 2: there's a lot of good that can come out of this process even though it might feel overwhelming and exhausting.
Speaker 1: I think that was one of the most eye opening things for me. I know I've said there have been a number of eye opening things throughout our work together, but when we were working back on, during when we were writing the book,
Speaker 1: the idea that asking
Speaker 1: any and all even even things that might seem like they're in conflict. Like the very basic, is it going to be a burial or is it going to be a cremation that you were really keen on making sure that
Speaker 1: people who are supposed to be asked or who are in this group that either the family or the loved ones of the people closest to the disease have determined or kind of the opinion providers that it's okay if these opinions are different and there might even be things that your end of life coordinator and funeral director
Speaker 1: knows that you don't know, that could allow for both these things to happen. Um, you and I talked about things I hadn't even heard of before, like I didn't know that you could spend time with the body or that in some religions or cultures, there are actual
Speaker 1: rituals around that time with the body that are important to pay attention to and things. And
Speaker 1: it was so meaningful to me to hear that really anything you're thinking of during these planning stages talk about it with your, you know, funeral director, end of life specialists
Speaker 1: because you just never know what's possible and what they've seen. I mean, you plan these and work around these all that it is your job, it is your daily in and out life.
Speaker 1: You've seen all the amazing things that can happen to bring something together well and represent the most people possible.
Speaker 2: I also, I'm always learning about new things and that's, you know, again, you know, just the asking of people what they feel and what they need. You never quite know what's going to come up and it is so
Speaker 2: helpful to be able to do that and to hear and to hold
Speaker 2: and yeah, like I think the burial versus cremation again, this kind of comes down to something that we also talked about, we're kind of knowing what it is that that you need. And so, you know, if the burial is more about the idea that you get to spend a little bit more time with the body. Like absolutely. Like that is a very easy thing that I think most people don't really know
Speaker 2: is that you can come in and spend time with the body in a funeral home or
Speaker 2: we've kind of gone back to older ways where there's people that actually keep the bodies at home and have the celebration at home the whole time, but then you can have a cremation afterwards.
Speaker 1: Both would be possible.
Speaker 2: Both are always possible.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 2: there is never and always, but in most cases that is going to be possible.
Speaker 2: And I think another thing that comes up for people is there's fears about maybe sometimes the way that somebody dies is going to put a limit on
Speaker 1: things
Speaker 2: and to be okay asking about if something is still possible because I think that there is a lot that can be done that isn't knowledge that's out there in the world but that particularly a funeral director or somebody that's used to working with people
Speaker 2: at end of life, the whole general guide if this is going to be happening in the home
Speaker 2: where you might feel like if somebody died maybe in an automobile accident or you know or something like that where that's something where no, like we were just going to have to do a cremation and that isn't always the
Speaker 1: case. You mean like no viewing of the body viewing
Speaker 2: of the body, no interacting with body body.
Speaker 1: Yeah, yeah.
Speaker 1: And you just have to be that way that its traditions are changing and there's more openness to really giving those who are mourning what they need. And
Speaker 2: so again it comes back to not being afraid to ask. And I mean I'm afraid maybe isn't quite the right word, but
Speaker 2: because as we talked about, we're still cut off from from death.
Speaker 2: It is very normal that people just don't,
Speaker 2: I feel like they know what to do or what's right or what should be asked. And that confusion is really normal and that there is an awful lot that a funeral director and analyst specialist, the home funeral guide, whatever it is, is going to be able to say that is a really valid question and here's the options around that and then you can connect back to
Speaker 2: if you're the one planning, this is what my individual needs are. But I've heard from these other people in the circle of opinions
Speaker 2: and then you know, you can keep working through it.
Speaker 1: This actually brings me to another point that you and I had made when we were speaking long ago for the book. And that was that
Speaker 1: you can also switch funeral directors if you're not. And there are some things people can't do right. There's like I think right now we cannot do
Speaker 1: home cremations correct, which by the way, I get asked about that a lot, just so, you know, I was asking for myself, I really wanted a home cremation as my end of life directive and Michelle let me know that wasn't particularly possible. But aside from anything that really cannot be done, you know, by law or because it's not appropriate to do it, that it's okay for you to also say, you know, I'd like to talk to some other funeral directors or I'm going to sort of,
Speaker 1: I don't want to say shop around, but I am going to talk with other people about how they might do this. And that that is another place where you have an option that sometimes people really feel like they don't have an option.
Speaker 2: And it can feel very uncomfortable. But it's absolutely a funeral director is a service provider. You know, they are in a sense, you're hiring them to work for you. And this might make me, you know, less than popular with my
Speaker 1: with my fellow funeral
Speaker 2: directors because obviously we it is a business and we want to keep your business. But if for any reason you feel like you're not being heard or they're unable to accommodate something, you know, kind of funeral doctors have a bit of an ethical responsibility to say, you know, what you're doing
Speaker 2: is absolutely something that you can do, we can accommodate that.
Speaker 2: Here's some people that you can, but they may or may not, or it may just be, there's a,
Speaker 2: you just don't feel right or it's just, it's not a good,
Speaker 1: yeah,
Speaker 2: you don't like the vibe and all of that is, is okay. And really it is, I mean, unless you're going to go with somebody completely across the country, uh, in like in really switch venues, it's not a huge logistical challenge
Speaker 2: to go with another funeral director and it is certainly always okay to get
Speaker 2: another opinion.
Speaker 2: It's most commonly, I think
Speaker 2: the weird that people might feel okay with it if it was about price,
Speaker 2: but you can carry that okay asking about, can somebody do this for something that I can afford
Speaker 2: that attitude can carry into? Um, I'm not really by being with this person. If I call this person, maybe I'll have a better connection with them. Um, because one of things that we talked about at the beginning is that
Speaker 2: as the person or people that are responsible for planning, you've got this extra burden and you're already exhausted. And so it's really important that you feel supported by the person that's working through that. And that is going to be a question of, you know, personality. And you know, and yeah, age. And rather than all these things, it's really okay to, to find the person that is the best fit
Speaker 2: that said, you know, have a little bit of grace for a funeral director that is trying their hardest. There's a difference when somebody is trying and somebody is not because there are unfortunately time constraints, you know, we don't have all of the time in the world to get it exactly the way that feels, feels best. Somebody that's willing to help you
Speaker 2: is a really valuable thing
Speaker 2: in addition to finding somebody that is a really good fit for you.
Speaker 1: So we're in this position where we're working with our planner and we're talking with a lot of the different family members or people close to the deceased and we really do start at some point making decisions
Speaker 1: and that can feel both good and tough as as everything throughout this process can.
Speaker 1: But what do you think are some of the biggest points about actually making the decisions once we've gathered the information,
Speaker 2: a big thing is to do your best if you're the person planning to accommodate everyone's decisions, but also recognize that you're not going to be able to potentially accommodate everybody's opinion. There's going to be a lot of potential, very diverse feedback that you're getting and you know, you do have to make a decision. So
Speaker 2: thinking about how do you make the best decision? There's kind of two touchstones that I would advise people to follow through and one is honoring the life of the person lived. We never want to forget in a sense that as much as funerals are for the living, they really are a testament to this person that has died and we want to honor their life and their values,
Speaker 2: even if they haven't left a clear directive or directed at all to know that there's probably some things that might be really out of keeping with their values or how they live their life. Um and and so that's kind of a nice Touchstone to be able to come back to what would this person want and then the other is you have
Speaker 2: the primary responsibility of being the decision maker to recognize that,
Speaker 2: that doesn't mean that you get to just do what you want. But there is sort of a sense of having heard everything. The things that
Speaker 2: are the things that you're going to be able to carry out
Speaker 2: are the things that you're going to do that can lead to potentially if there's things that are you going to bring in and you don't feel like doing,
Speaker 2: you can ask other people to take over those or feel up to doing its delegate. So it's really ok to say, you know,
Speaker 2: I hear that
Speaker 1: this is important to
Speaker 2: you, this feels overwhelming and exhausting unfamiliar whatever it is to me,
Speaker 2: can you take on this part of it? So it becomes a collaborative effort? And so I think that that's really where we come down to with with decisions is is what then can fit into that collaboration it and then, you know, there's some things for the you know, if somebody is going to get left out to recognize that
Speaker 2: that that's hard, but it may be something and again, like we talked about the funeral is not the only event.
Speaker 1: So just to be like if someone had really wanted a particular reading or to do a reading or to either hear a song or perform a song and they just,
Speaker 1: you just got told, I'm sorry, we just don't have the time or it can't go on for forever.
Speaker 1: We would love to find another way to honor that portion of things that allowing space for that even on your own. If it's like,
Speaker 1: okay, my, my aunts and uncles didn't let me speak at my grandmother's funeral, didn't let me sing a song, didn't let me play a song.
Speaker 1: I'm gonna go find a time and place on my own where I can do that for my grandparents that I miss and that connects me with them in that way. It can be a tough moment to absorb but that it's a good kind of reclaiming agency over your own grief move that every single person involved in any kind of end of life celebration
Speaker 1: or service can have in their back pocket to lean on. And I, I wish I had had that advice during like some of my grandparents funerals that I went to where I felt like somehow my connection to them wasn't, you know, gonna be recognized unless
Speaker 1: I too was a part of the service and showed that I was doing something for it and
Speaker 1: you learn as you get older and you go through a number of these things that, that doesn't have to be the way that it is. And you can find other ways to, to feel that kind of honoring and that participation that you want.
Speaker 2: Yeah. And I think that there's a real beautiful opportunity to create a meaningful ritual outside of
Speaker 2: the scope of the funeral. I know that when I've dealt with
Speaker 2: death for younger people and teenagers, that that's one of the biggest imbalances between what the family wants, especially, you know, if there are parents
Speaker 2: and what the front group is going to want and there's that is perhaps some of the areas where there's the largest kind of divide and it's really collaborating with something in unity can be really hard there. And oftentimes
Speaker 2: I have given people, it's almost like they need permission, but once they get the permission, they run with it, especially if it's the front group, it's sort of like
Speaker 2: you can do other things and they come up with these incredible things and I think that one of the things beautiful things that I've seen come out of that is the parents have been invited and then like they were able to have the funeral service that really met their needs as grieving parents and then they get to see their kid in this whole new life being celebrated by their peer group
Speaker 2: and it's
Speaker 2: it's been profound and so I think that
Speaker 2: to recognize that in the moment it can feel really bad and almost invalidating at um to be left out of a funeral service, but it doesn't mean that it's any less valid what you what you come up with on your own and it can in fact the incredibly meaningful to the people that also were a part of the funeral service that you know, your thoughts and
Speaker 2: opinions weren't able to be accommodated
Speaker 1: audience. This is why I wanted Michelle to come on the podcast so that you could hear it straight from her mouth and why I loved our conversation so much is because I think you really do such a beautiful job of helping people find possibility and agency in grieving and mourning and honoring the deceased and I think that is such a hard
Speaker 1: thing to do
Speaker 1: and you do it, you do it so well the way that you speak about it, I want to thank you so much for getting us through this kind of. I know it's not a 123 because that's not how funerals are really planned, but through through this first part, this first stage of planning and how to really navigate just so many of the different things that people are gonna be balancing.
Speaker 1: Are there any closing thoughts for this particular part of the planning process or this particular
Speaker 1: sort of subject that we've delved into today, that you have for our audience before we
Speaker 1: say goodbye for this time and you'll be back for more. I
Speaker 2: know, Yeah, well we'll be back and I'm so grateful for this opportunity. I think that
Speaker 2: really
Speaker 2: the biggest part here it comes back to kind of what I was saying at the beginning is just to recognize that this is hard and so you know that to be compassionate to
Speaker 2: yourself, if you're the one planning and to the fact that all of these people have opinions and things, then they're not trying to make anything more complicated than it is, but it's that they really care and so just to be aware of that and as open as possible to receiving to hearing to holding and to you know, just
Speaker 2: treating everyone with kindness and respect even when something is really not just going to fit or isn't right for you or for the isn't in keeping with something that was really important to the person who has died. So that if we as planners, if we as people guiding planners, you know here I am giving advice on your podcast, right,
Speaker 2: can I think leave people with one thing,
Speaker 2: I mean I'm going to make it two things right away. But
Speaker 1: the first is
Speaker 2: compassion approach all of this with compassion for yourself and for everybody else involved. And the second is space.
Speaker 2: There is a time limit on one more planning, particularly it's going to be a funeral and memorial service things have to happen quickly. No one is particularly going to feel
Speaker 1: super ready
Speaker 2: even if you've got a very, very clear directive to follow. And again, the funeral is not the only event and you know, as I was saying before that, that there's just there are so many ways to have your needs met and so many,
Speaker 2: you know, it's just such a long time scale in which that can continue to happen and so that's what I want to leave people with. I guess today is the idea that is just to have a lot of compassion for yourself and for everyone else and to be aware that space is a valuable thing here.
Speaker 2: You know, we don't necessarily have along a lot of time, but we do have a lot of space
Speaker 2: and that space is all the time that's going to come after the funeral.
Speaker 1: Michelle thank you once again so much, I really appreciate it. I know the next time that we get together, we're going to talk about the changes and challenges in funeral planning and there certainly have been a lot, but maybe not as many as we think, which is an interesting conversation. So I'm really looking forward to our next segment together. Thank
Speaker 2: you. Thank you. Thank you so much
Speaker 1: lizzie post, Thank you once again for bringing us this interview. I find Michelle's perspective, so so helpful. I know I feel like I learned so many things whenever I talked to her about this and this particular one on on where to start and sort of how to manage. It was probably the most illuminating for me when we were talking about the 20th edition. So
Speaker 1: thanks for supporting me bringing that conversation to the, to the awesome etiquette audience.
Speaker 1: Oh no, I'm so behind it. I can't believe it's frankly taken this many post scripts for us to really address this topic directly. And yeah, once again, I just say I really appreciate your and Michelle bringing this to us and can't wait for the next installment. There's still more to come. Thanks guys.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
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 lovely salute from Joyce. Dear lizzie and dan, my mailman Jim brought a bundle of mail to my door. I was surprised since my mailbox is at the bottom of the driveway on the street.
Speaker 1: Jim said to me, I noticed a lot of cards had been coming to you and the letter from the funeral home then I realized I had not seen your husband working in the yard recently.
Speaker 1: He offered condolences and said, let me know if you need a hand around the house like lifting something heavier. A quick fix since I come by every day. Although this happened many moons ago, I have not forgotten Jim's extraordinary kindness. Here's my salute to jim May God bless him and wish him a full recovery from double knee surgery.
Speaker 1: Thank you awesome etiquette. You have also brought me moments of calmness and smiles on a weekly basis. I salute you as well.
Speaker 1: Best to you Joyce Joyce, that is so sweet and may I also just say kudos to Jim because he, when he offered his condolences and he wanted to offer help. He gave a specific example and in a way to access that particular offering. And I think that that is just such good etiquette when it comes to
Speaker 1: trying to extend an offer of help to someone who's going through a hard time. It's not just,
Speaker 1: hey, I'm here to help whenever and you put the burden on the other person to figure all of it out. But they were specific things he could do is there every day. So ask any time. Really, really wonderful efforts on his part. Joyce, thank you so much for sending us a salute about Jim Joyce. I also loved hearing your salute and like lizzie was that little detail that lifting something heavy and that since I come by every day that that brought a little a little a little moistness to the corner of my eye because it gave me a sense of community and that can really be something to hold onto when times are tough. Also thank you for your salute to awesome etiquette. We certainly appreciate it.
Speaker 1: Thank you for listening and thank you to everyone who sent us something and everyone who supports us on Patreon. Please connect with us and share this show with friends, family and coworkers. However you like to share podcasts, you can send us your next question feedback or salute by email to awesome etiquette at Emily Coast dot com.
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Speaker 1: thanks chris and Bridget