Episode 379 - Holiday Tipping Season
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 holiday tipping for those who work in your apartment building, being introduced with a nickname on first meeting, who should be listed on engagement party invites, and letters addressed to the “husband’s name” family. For Awesome Etiquette Sustaining members our question is about visiting from another country during the holidays in the COVID era. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript on being a good guest.
Speaker 1: maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy. That's old fashioned
Speaker 2: watch act as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness.
Speaker 1: Hello and
Speaker 2: welcome to awesome etiquette where we explore modern
Speaker 1: etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty.
Speaker 2: On today's show, we take your questions on holiday, tipping for those who work in your apartment building. Being introduced with a nickname on first meeting, who should be listed on engagement party invites and letters addressed to the husband's name. Family
Speaker 1: for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about how to handle visiting from another country during the holidays in the covid
Speaker 2: era plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a post script on being a good guest.
Speaker 1: All that's coming up
Speaker 2: 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 dan both sending
Speaker 1: and I'm lizzie post and because
Speaker 1: can I just playfully throw you under the bus for the second year in a row.
Speaker 2: Okay.
Speaker 1: The wonderful town of water berry has the most magical celebration is called the River of Light Festival and my cousin Daniel Post Senning here introduced me to it and the one year that I went was magical.
Speaker 1: It was beautiful and wonderful and it was such a feeling of community spirit and also, I mean it's just gorgeous. Right? Like
Speaker 1: tons of people make these beautiful paper lanterns, a lot of the kids at the school do it and they, they walked down the main road and water berry which runs along the river. Am I correct? And it is truly a beautiful magical sight. It's, it's not like 100 and 50 people walking by in a parade that like, you know, a couple 100 people are, are watching. It's like the whole town does this like I swear it's it's the entire population of water berry plus some extended areas
Speaker 1: and it really does look like a river of light coming down that main street and then everyone gathers. I think they're like the soccer fields or something like that for huh? There's big like free hot cocoa and people mingle around
Speaker 1: and
Speaker 1: I've fallen in love with this festival and I jokingly say that I'm throwing my cousin under the bus because two years running now, I've begged him to to like, let me jump in with him and his family on the festival and go and maybe even it's a place to meet people, I don't know.
Speaker 1: And and sure enough, two years running, the first dan and I have talked about it and then
Speaker 1: he said, you know, like, I think it's, I think it's week after next, I think it's week after next and it turns out to be like the next day and it's really because my own fault for not looking in the paper and finding out for myself when the festival is so I can't really put this on you but I like to tease you.
Speaker 1: I like, I like to try to try to highlight some of the funny moments between this and I'm worried this will become an annual one. So next year I'm getting the light festival on my calendar and I'm doing it for myself.
Speaker 2: Oh, I'm feeling so sheepish. This is such an etiquette question and you're, you're taking the good responsibility saying, well, you know, it's a public event. I could look up and go,
Speaker 1: but you did
Speaker 2: ask me to tell you and I do do stuff with this event. And
Speaker 1: I
Speaker 2: guess what's really being revealed in this moment is how much I lean on my family to actually deliver me the places I need to be when I need to be there.
Speaker 1: This is very true. When they go away for a weekend, like off to put his parents or something. Your, your weekends are like just you and the house and anything you want to do. Like I know you, you don't make plans with people and stuff like that
Speaker 1: well,
Speaker 2: and, and I just, I'm so fortunate pooja is so together. She is so well organized and
Speaker 1: I got, I got to tell people about this instead. She's got to be my coordinating effort.
Speaker 2: It's kind of like that. I,
Speaker 2: I know I'm not gonna miss it because she's gonna be there and, and she also will know without looking at the calendar, she'll say, oh no, that's this weekend and that other things next weekend. And
Speaker 2: in my mind, it was very much still next weekend or the weekend after. If you told me the dates, I
Speaker 1: knew the dates, I knew what it was
Speaker 2: supposed to be.
Speaker 2: I'll tell you though, I am not um
Speaker 2: without value in the family unit here at the sending household
Speaker 1: just
Speaker 2: because I do want to play out for you a little bit the day the festival was beautiful, I'm sorry you missed it and we will commit now to having you there next year. It will have heard
Speaker 1: it, y'all heard it, I'm gonna look it up in the paper and dan is actually going to call me the day
Speaker 2: before.
Speaker 2: So this year, pooja's parents were visiting and we had a few different things happening over the course of a saturday afternoon and one of those things was pooja's sister, Abu was over as well and they went out and took a walk and
Speaker 2: I guess this is as good a time to tell everyone as any time pooches, very pregnant right now.
Speaker 1: So we got the announcement,
Speaker 2: the walk took a little longer than she expected actually coming back up the hill involved a series of rest breaks and the departure time for the Festival of Lights was getting closer and closer and
Speaker 2: I was not going to miss it. So I got the girls ready. We were all sort of prepared and it takes a little preparation, you have to have many layers because you're going to be outside in the cold and snow
Speaker 1: suits mittens masks, every the works goes on to, to attend this particular event.
Speaker 2: It's a nighttime, full weather event. And as I'm going through all that pooches, parents are watching and they're saying, is this really worth it, This isn't such a thing. It's kind of strange to be heading out at night into the night with your Children
Speaker 2: and I said, no, this is, this is really important, we can't miss it. It's,
Speaker 2: it's just really cool and, and we should go and you should come with me. I got one of them, I got Alka to come along and she had so much fun when she came home. She was telling puja, it's like all of Vermont was there.
Speaker 1: Yes, it
Speaker 2: was definitely the biggest community events she'd ever seen in our state of smaller communities and it really made,
Speaker 2: I think a lovely impression on her. That was one of the big success is one of the big wins for the night.
Speaker 2: Um, pooch was back in time but was a little tired, bowed out. So dad and
Speaker 2: grandma did it
Speaker 1: totally, totally
Speaker 2: and we could have used your help because it would have been nice to
Speaker 1: see, see, see you just gotta remember your cousin when it's not work stuff man, you just gotta remember me when it's not work related, I'm an asset. I got like, you know, I got no kiddos, I got no partner. Like
Speaker 1: I can hop in a car and be in water berry and you know like 45 minutes
Speaker 2: next year. And I have to say to our audience, I was planning several weeks ago to make a real announcement of the very exciting news and the new arrival that is coming
Speaker 2: in some ways. This is as good a way to tell everyone as any, it's how pooch got outed as well. She had done an interview with the local paper about one of the lantern making workshops a little bit earlier in the season and in that article, she described herself as mother of two with one on the way and
Speaker 2: it went out into the local paper and she started hearing from people in her professional life, congratulating her and we decided that it was definitely time to start sharing
Speaker 1: when you tell the local newspaper.
Speaker 1: Well, I've been really excited. There have been many stops along this pregnancy where you thought you might be ready, but then you got you guys decided to hold off and it is really exciting to loop our audience in on, on your new upcoming joy. Do you want to let everyone know roughly when this baby number three is expected,
Speaker 2: We've got a valentine's day due date
Speaker 2: or technically the day after two days after, but my father's birthday is right in there. So it's my father's birthday slash valentine's day slash
Speaker 2: hopefully new
Speaker 1: arrival, Hopefully new arrival. Well that's very, very exciting news and I'm sure our audience is all just as giddy as we have been throughout this pregnancy. Um it's really nice to get a chance to share the big news with them, so thanks for sharing that with everyone dan
Speaker 2: my pleasure, I will keep you posted
Speaker 1: in the meantime. Do you think we should get to some listener questions?
Speaker 2: I think we should. 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 8028585463. You can also reach us on social media on twitter. We are at Emily Post on instagram, we are at Emily Post institute
Speaker 2: and on facebook were awesome etiquette. Just remember use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: Our first question is titled tough tipping question
Speaker 1: Hi lizzie and dan, happy holidays, I hope you're doing well. I'm writing because I have a question about giving a holiday tip to the people who work in my apartment building. I live in new york city and was lucky enough to score a building with a doorman when I moved apartments in May. I've never lived in a building with a doorman or rather door men before.
Speaker 1: There is someone at the desk 24 hours a day in my building. I usually only interact with three or four of them and rarely talked to the overnight dormant because I'm usually in my apartment or sleep when they begin the late shift at 11 p.m. My question is this, I was planning to give a cash tip to the doorman whom I interact with
Speaker 1: $50 each in a holiday card.
Speaker 1: Is it inappropriate to only tip those who might interact with for the holiday? Should I be giving the same tip to all of them? Even if I've never interacted with them,
Speaker 1: should I also be tipping other workers in the building, the super whom I rarely see or interact with, the janitor who cleans the building's laundry room and takes out the recycling and garbage for the building. I see him often and say hello when I do,
Speaker 1: should I give a cash tip to the doorman I interact with and make a large batch of cookies and share them with the rest of the members of the staff please advise. Thank you Tessa.
Speaker 2: Tessa, thank you so much for the question. It is a classic, it's such a beautiful setup in baseball, they would call it hanging a meat ball over the plate. I think this topic is probably our most requested interview topic at this time of year, which is often traditionally our busiest time of year when it comes to doing media interviews. This is a topic that comes up every year because it's an annual question and this is the time of year when people
Speaker 2: are thinking about their annual tipping, their New Year's tipping their holiday tipping
Speaker 2: and
Speaker 2: Emily post has some good advice to give about that whole process and I thought it might be good to start by taking a big step back
Speaker 2: and looking at the whole tradition and just reminding ourselves that really this is an opportunity. It's
Speaker 2: a once a year opportunity to
Speaker 2: show thanks gratitude, appreciation for people to help us take care of the things that are most important in our lives. And the categories that come up when we think about annual tipping are often the people that help us take care of the things that are the closest to us, our Children are our own bodies. So that's oh pairs nannies,
Speaker 2: people that help us with our grooming. So whether it's a personal trainer or someone who works at a salon or barbershop or even a massage therapist, if we're so fortunate as to have a relationship with someone like that
Speaker 1: dream. Wish wish list of people I want to tip in the future by the way is my regular massage therapist. That's like I'm looking forward to the day where I can add that to my annual list.
Speaker 2: Absolutely. Um the other big category that often comes up and for city people, it looks one way for country people that looks a slightly different way, but it's the people that help us take care of our homes and our access to our homes. So in apartment buildings that's oftentimes a superintendent, a dormant,
Speaker 2: even maybe an elevator operator or more likely a handyman or trash or recycling or janitor,
Speaker 2: trash or recycling or janitor,
Speaker 2: a service person, a janitor or even someone who helps with trash and recycling in
Speaker 2: Vermont that might be the person who helps you shovel your walk or plow your driveway, but critically critically important people in all of our lives
Speaker 2: to honor that when we're thinking about an annual tip, we really want to think about all of the people that do that when I think about the plow service that plows my driveway. I'm thinking about a tip that goes to each of three different drivers that plow that driveway. If I was thinking about the doorman for my building, I would really want to be thinking about
Speaker 2: each of the different doorman that walked
Speaker 2: that building, whether they happen to be there when I come and go or not. And I understand the perspective of feeling particularly connected to certain people. I think that's natural and I think there are ways to honor that and I want to come back to that, but in terms of thinking about um
Speaker 2: budgeting for a tip and how I would distribute it. I would think about the totality of the budget
Speaker 2: and then the number of people that were included and try to divide it up
Speaker 2: equally or evenly between those people, particularly within the same position, like someone who's watching the door.
Speaker 1: Absolutely, because I think that was just such a, such a good description
Speaker 2: of the whole shebang
Speaker 1: here about what this season is really about, that, saying thank you
Speaker 1: and why you might say thank you to people you don't even see or haven't exchanged Hello with.
Speaker 1: I also think that it's a good time for us to remember those particular folks that we don't see as often and to make sure that they sort of get seen and that they they get to hear from the people and in your case Tessa it's building workers
Speaker 1: who might never, you know, like you said, I've I've never had to call the super for anything
Speaker 1: but that super is there ready just in case you do and when the time comes that you may need to know way is your tip of bribe for service in the future.
Speaker 1: But it's so nice when you're living in that building and this person takes care of that building to establish that connection in your annual holiday greeting card
Speaker 1: and tip can be a way to start to do that aside from occasionally seeking the person out just saying hi, hope you're doing well, you know thanks for taking care of everything. I'm glad I haven't had a problem yet, you know, these are all perfectly fine sort of reasons or you're not really incentives, but, but reasons why you would do this. And I think dan you made a comment just a minute ago about
Speaker 1: the idea that you would divide things up among everyone evenly. And I think that that's, that's really important to, it doesn't stop you though as you were about to say, you said, we'll get to in a minute. It doesn't stop you from being able to
Speaker 1: write a little something extra special or maybe even a joke between the two of you, you know, into a card that's for a particular individual. I loved hearing you mentioned Tessa the cookie thing because that's, that's been a tradition in my family. It's how I grew up with the tradition of holiday tipping was through holiday baked goods that were given out to folks and often they were people that my parents never interacted with but that they were the crews that helped us, the bus driver,
Speaker 1: the garbage and recycling folks, the newspaper and the mailman or the person. It didn't quite matter that we didn't have that first name basis even going on, it was more just to spend that time recognizing the service that you appreciate
Speaker 2: lizzie post. I love the reminder with a super or a superintendent
Speaker 2: them doing their job really well and never seeing them might be the thing that you're really thanking them for.
Speaker 1: Yeah, you know, I haven't had any problems because you keep that boiler going and it's always working well in my apartment, like this is great.
Speaker 2: I love the idea of paying forward into a culture and ethic of service where it's not just about the providers but about appreciation for all of the things around us that support us and help us take care of our lives. I also really appreciated your return to that idea that there are ways to
Speaker 2: single people out in the best ways and to never underestimate the power of your words to look someone in the eye and tell them how much you appreciate them or jot it down in a little note that references that particular
Speaker 2: funny thing that you share whatever it is, but to make that connection in an extra personal way, can go a long way and and can communicate that thing that I think you really want to communicate with those people
Speaker 1: did, that would be such like I almost I want to end us on that note because it was so lovely. But I also want to point out just one last thing about this and that's the idea that if in this case there were four door men and only one of them you don't really interact with because they're they're in that later category.
Speaker 1: I do think it's worth putting in the perspective in your head of if you did end up giving a tip to three of them and not the fourth,
Speaker 1: how does that make the fourth person think about how they're valued at work, how does it impact their impression of the work that they do? I think it's especially important to remember that when someone's on a team or one of many people who fits a particular job description,
Speaker 1: that it's really important to recognize that when
Speaker 1: a certain position that you're choosing to give a holiday tip too is one of a team of people that you really don't want to leave one person from that team out that it's really important that this is a really good time to be as inclusive as possible.
Speaker 2: Tessa, thank you so much for this question.
Speaker 2: It gives us an opportunity to lead the show with one of our favorite questions and hopefully our answer hopes so
Speaker 1: be good to the young ones you hold so dear into every day, put a little christmas, cheer, be proud of the family and the family tree from the oldest to the one on his knee. So the grandpa and grandma, sister and brother, uncle and aunt, father
Speaker 2: and mother. This wish I
Speaker 1: bring
Speaker 1: that you love each other.
Speaker 1: Mhm
Speaker 1: Mhm
Speaker 1: Mhm
Speaker 2: Our next question is titled not time for nicknames,
Speaker 1: Hello lizzie and dan,
Speaker 2: I've been listening to awesome etiquette for some months now and it's become my favorite podcast when I feel anxious. I turn on one of the almost 300 episodes that are still new to me and listening to your voice is really helps me relax.
Speaker 2: It's like I have the nicest company right beside me and I appreciate it in these lonely covid times.
Speaker 2: Plus the podcast has been an amazing resource for improving my english. I'm from brazil and the elegant yet relaxed way you speak has become a major inspiration for how I try to shape my own speech in english.
Speaker 2: I don't know if I'm succeeding though parenthetically,
Speaker 2: but let's go to my question.
Speaker 2: This happened some years ago, but I still wouldn't know what to do if it happened again. I met a close friend at a party and she introduced me to another very close friend of hers saying this is Sammy,
Speaker 2: that was the first time I was meeting Sammy in person, but I've been exposed to his existence through social media several times before that, since we have many friends in common and we live in a relatively small city
Speaker 2: for what I have seen. He goes by Samuel socially and Sammy is a nickname. Only his close friends and family call him.
Speaker 2: So back to the party situation,
Speaker 2: shouldn't I just call him Sammy Since that was the name he was introduced to me with.
Speaker 2: I really don't feel comfortable calling someone. I just met by a name that I know is reserved only for close people.
Speaker 2: On the other hand, wouldn't it be odd to call him by a name different than the one used in the introduction? I believe my friend introduced him as Sammy just because she is used to calling him that way.
Speaker 2: But calling him by that nickname
Speaker 2: myself would feel too close too soon.
Speaker 2: I spent the whole evening avoiding calling him by any name whatsoever since I felt that awkward. Is there a smoother way to behave in a situation like this? Or am I overthinking
Speaker 2: happy holidays for the awesome etiquette team and all your loved ones? Awkward acquaintance. Not yet friend,
Speaker 1: awkward acquaintance. Not yet friend. This is a fantastic question. And you you point out
Speaker 1: something it's it's something worth paying attention to and that's that sometimes those that we are close to will introduce us with a nickname and you, it can be awkward if someone doesn't know that that nickname is really only reserved for close people. It's
Speaker 1: what you bring up is that it's so important in introductions
Speaker 1: to get names right and to make sure that they are the name that the person being introduced would really like to have used. I know dan that this happens for me between Liz and lizzie, but rarely with Elizabeth almost, nobody ever calls me Elizabeth or tries to, it's not like it's on my social media,
Speaker 1: but a few close friends
Speaker 1: and a lot of family will call me Liz
Speaker 1: and I think as I've been professionally Lizzy a lot more. But like lizzie has always been my name. It's been what I've been called since I was a kid. It's how I introduced myself. Like, I would never ever introduced myself to anybody as Liz,
Speaker 1: but like your brother calls me Liz all the time and I love it. But I would, I would hope Exactly. And when he introduces me to other people, I think he would introduce me as lizzie post. But you could see a moment where someone might not and
Speaker 2: I'm sure I've done it to you.
Speaker 1: I actually don't think you have because we work together and my professional name is my lizzie post name,
Speaker 1: but I know that it can happen so incredibly easily and without intent and if you are someone like me who's in this type of a situation and like Sam me Samuel who's in this type of position,
Speaker 1: it's really great in the moment to let the person know, hey, please feel free to call me. In my case, I'd say please feel free to call me lizzie.
Speaker 1: A few people call me Liz, but most people call me lizzie, it helps someone not be in the position that you're in, where a closer, more familiar nickname is used and it's used as the initial introduction. I think that I think it's a difficult position.
Speaker 2: Yeah, it is. And I appreciate the point of etiquette
Speaker 2: from the side of the introduction, where someone has gotten your name incorrect in some way and in this case,
Speaker 2: not necessarily incorrect, it's just a little too informal for the circumstance or for the particular person that you're being introduced to,
Speaker 2: I was thinking about the etiquette from the perspective of the person making the introduction. This is something that comes up enough in introductions, that it's one of the examples in the teaching deck that I use when I'm teaching business etiquette. So we'll often do a professional example that involves introducing uh a client or a guest to a senior member of a company.
Speaker 2: But then I'll do a social example that follows where I'll say something like grandma. I'd like to introduce my friend sally from dance class Sally. This is my grandmother, mrs Post
Speaker 2: and the idea is that you need to give each person the name and the title that they're going to use for the other person. But I like to include a very casual example of doing that to show that it doesn't need to feel awkward that you can still address grandma as grandma, you can still talk to Sammy as Sammy
Speaker 2: and give the name. That Sammy would be using
Speaker 2: in a public situation. Samuel when you're making the introductions, Sammy, I'd love to introduce you to X, Y Z, X, Y Z. This is Samuel, I know him from wherever. And
Speaker 2: it's a nice way to remind yourself that you don't need to
Speaker 2: reformat your relationship with someone in order to introduce them correctly, that you can still address them in the way you would. But when you make that introduction, you make an effort to give the person enough information to proceed if you weren't there.
Speaker 1: I love that We've addressed both how you as a person who has nicknames could be doing this how the person who's making an introduction could do this really well. And now we want to address address the third person who's, who's received received the nickname and what do you do?
Speaker 1: And I think there's a couple of different things that you could do. Um, one is, you might, you might start your conversation by just asking, oh, is is Sammy a nickname for anything?
Speaker 1: Or you could even ask, you know, hey, you know, I've seen you out on, on social media because we're connected through friends and I know your name's Samuel there. Do you prefer Sam or Sammy? Um, I don't know what sounds less like you're, you know, like you've observed this person out in the world, but sometimes I think just kind of owning that reality that like, oh, you're someone I've wanted to meet. I've, I've heard folks talk about you,
Speaker 1: but I've also heard people call you Samuel, do you have a preference between Sammy or Samuel? I think that could work. You could um
Speaker 2: okay.
Speaker 1: Yeah. Well yeah, you know me, I'm always like, just admit what's going on here because often people understand they've been in the same situation or because they have this nickname. This happens all the time to them.
Speaker 1: Um, I like that, that explaining, but I think that it's absolutely fine to ask the question of the person and a lot of people really appreciate that opportunity to give a correction if one is needed or they're happy to confirm. No, of course you can call me Sammy. No big deal. Don't worry about it.
Speaker 1: And I think that that really, it's, it's very helpful. It's very nice. They might have been wondering when
Speaker 1: they would get the opportunity to let you know, hey, I actually really prefer people to call me Samuel. You know, kelly just calls me Sammy because we're like best friends from fourth grade.
Speaker 1: It starts to feel like you're not close enough for me to accept you using this nickname. Like I would never tell anybody.
Speaker 1: Um, could you call me lizzie instead of Liz unless I'm in a professional situation and we're talking about this is my author name. Like it's it's not Liz, it's not Elizabeth. It's lizzie post. Like Elizabeth was my grandmother, Liz is a nickname. Like it's lizzie post,
Speaker 1: but that's in a professional capacity where you know, a reporter or someone getting it right. It's it's really important to me.
Speaker 1: I would feel not comfortable telling someone. Like if your brother introduced me as Liz post, I wouldn't make the correction of lizzie, I would, I would just let it be let Liz be there or if they asked, I would say feel free to call me either. Most people call me lizzie that way. It's not like a
Speaker 1: only people I'm really close with call me Liz, so you call me lizzie, like, you know what I mean?
Speaker 2: I do. And
Speaker 2: it's funny because as you sort of step back from a little bit and allow for that, oh, there are circumstances where I might not say anything or where it just wouldn't, it wouldn't be as natural to bring it up. So I wouldn't,
Speaker 2: I was thinking about the third person from that perspective and I thought the course of action that are awkward acquaintance, not yet. Friend writer took made some sense to me in some ways. I would try to navigate the situation without having to use the name I didn't feel comfortable using
Speaker 1: and
Speaker 2: I can totally see situations where that's the best way to go. It's like I've got enough information here to get myself in trouble, so I'm just gonna do my best to, to keep my mouth closed and to stay out of it. And I really liked your reminder that oftentimes you don't need to do that, you can ask the question and particularly if you're feeling comfortable with,
Speaker 2: you know, I've heard about this person before. I've been looking forward to meeting them. That's a great entrance into conversation I've heard about you, I've been looking forward to meeting you. If it doesn't feel stalker ish. If it doesn't feel uncomfortable to admit that. Um, I think that's a I like that reminder lizzie post and I also just wanted to have on the table that there is that second tier option of.
Speaker 2: I'm not exactly sure this is right. So, I'm just gonna pull back a little bit and try not to do the wrong thing until I can figure out a better way to approach this.
Speaker 1: Yeah, yeah, absolutely
Speaker 2: awkward acquaintance. Not yet, friend. You have given us a great question. Thank you so much for an opportunity to dance around the situation and look at it from three different perspectives. We hope that you continue to enjoy the show and thank you so much for your
Speaker 1: contribution.
Speaker 1: That's certainly more fun than disputing over it, isn't it?
Speaker 1: We call this way of settling a dispute a compromise.
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled engagement party protocol
Speaker 1: help. I can't find protocol anywhere when listing hosts for an engagement party who gets listed if I'm a host, does my husband get included on the list? Or does that mean that we both pay the per person host amount?
Speaker 1: How does that work? Any direction would be greatly appreciated. Thanks paige
Speaker 2: paige. It's rare that we have to take this approach to a question, but I refuse to answer on the risk that it might get me in great trouble at some point down the road. All
Speaker 1: right. I'll take this one for the team. I'll take this one first. I've got I've got No, no partner who could be upset in the future.
Speaker 1: No, I don't think this would upset
Speaker 2: you at all.
Speaker 1: But this is a great question because and I think page the very simple answer, which we will of course make more complicated afterwards is that honestly, it depends on the party and the nature of the party and and the guests involved.
Speaker 1: I think that there are a lot of parties where both members of a couple are going to be hosting, where it's really the couple inviting you to their house, whether that's a dinner party, an engagement party could certainly be one of those,
Speaker 1: a backyard barbecue. Like just so so many events from casual to formal that we could host in our home
Speaker 1: where ourselves and our partner are are both really actively participating. But then I think there's a lot of parties that have much more of a sort of, it's their gig deal, you know what I mean? And I feel like even if you're on duty and fully participating
Speaker 1: and then there's somewhere you're really not on duty at all and it's really not. Your you might even be asked to leave
Speaker 1: for the duration of the party. Um and so I think it it runs the gamut and for an engagement party, I could see different things happening, but because this is often for the couple themselves
Speaker 1: friends of the couple will host and if that happens to be another couple that's then usually both people are on deck,
Speaker 1: I could see something like a,
Speaker 1: you know, the the traditional like bridal party where it's just one member of a couple and it's all of their friends really supporting just them and it's, it's, I don't want to say smaller because some of those are still pretty big parties, it really is focused on that one member
Speaker 1: of the household who's hosting and their friends and their group
Speaker 1: as opposed to both members hosting this party. And that might be a time where you leave someone off of an invitation. It might be a time where this person doesn't even contribute financially to the party. If you're really, really lucky spouse, you're the person who doesn't even have to clean up or do anything to get the house ready ahead of time. I say that knowing that my cousin on the other side of this phone call slash microphone
Speaker 1: is often the one doing a lot of really fantastic vacuuming before any party in his home, whether he is a part of the party or
Speaker 2: not having,
Speaker 2: I made a joke and begged out of the question, I have so much I want to say here.
Speaker 1: I know you have so much you want to contribute to this.
Speaker 2: My initial thoughts about this question has been very philosophical
Speaker 2: and I appreciate your grounding us in some reality, in that it really isn't, it depends situation where a lot of it depends are practical questions, how close are you to the particular person that the party is being thrown for or the purpose of the event? Is it something that's connected to both of you
Speaker 2: and just practically does it make sense?
Speaker 2: Is your partner or spouse going to be there? Um, and and thinking about those things because there isn't a hard and fast rule that says it should be this way or it should be that way. I think that the the tendency is for the default for that needle to fall towards both are hosting, particularly if it's happening at
Speaker 2: at the home of the couple in the same way that we think of an invitation to
Speaker 2: a married person or someone, a long term relationship as including their spouse. I think my default thought is I'm going to their home
Speaker 2: even if the invitation or my relationship is closer to one member of a couple. I'm thinking of the possibility of engaging both as as part of what I would expect or anticipate when I go to visit that house or visit them.
Speaker 2: So I want to acknowledge that lean and at the same time. So there's absolutely nothing wrong with that person not being there or one
Speaker 2: member of a couple
Speaker 2: being the host and the official host
Speaker 2: and honoring whatever the relationship or the event is with that choice. And I guess the place where I got philosophical with it was that I think that that choice is really something that you could play around with, You could
Speaker 2: say that
Speaker 2: I'm just going to ask my partner spouse do they want to be included and
Speaker 2: let them decide whether they're going to play the role of host for that party and
Speaker 2: be included on the invitation be defined as such or not. And that, that, that could be a very concrete choice like that.
Speaker 1: Can I jump in for a second here? Because I'm, I'm curious really quickly about whether or not, let's say spouse a is going to host the party and spouse be doesn't do, you know, a lot of the traditional hosting things leading up to the party.
Speaker 1: But I think one of the places you could run into a little bit of trouble is if spouse be then attends the party
Speaker 1: because if the parties in their home and they're, they're even if they didn't do any of the organizing or the cleaning or paying for any of the anything by default,
Speaker 1: people are gonna ask them things like, hey, where's the bathroom or oh, should I take my shoes on and off? Like you're kind of automatically going to be a host if you're kind of in and around or even attending the party
Speaker 1: and people know that this is your home, you know,
Speaker 2: and that's what I'm trying to acknowledge with that default needle falling towards the, they're both hosting or both. Both members of a couple are going to be thought of as a
Speaker 1: round. Yeah, exactly,
Speaker 2: absolutely and and
Speaker 2: I also want to be clear that I don't think you have to necessarily divide all of the tasks for putting a party together evenly between hosts. I think that you could say I'm gonna
Speaker 2: play a hosting role but this is your gig, I'm gonna let you do the heavy lifting and I think that could even be an acknowledgement ahead of time between a couple and that
Speaker 2: to me sounds like realistic and reasonable, good communication if that's the reality and both people are okay with it
Speaker 1: babe, I'll clean the house and get everything ready for you. But I'm gonna split, I don't want to be here for the party. I can
Speaker 2: see that another example of good communication and I also might see
Speaker 1: the
Speaker 2: No, it's not okay for you just to ride in and enjoy the party. I really could use some help running some errands ahead of time or doing some vacuuming ahead of time perhaps.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 2: I think that kind of negotiation within and between hosts is reasonable and find it doesn't need to be the determinant for who gets identified as the host to the guests. But I do think that those some of those questions might play into
Speaker 2: whether or not you decide to list someone as a host if they're really not interested in playing any of those roles, they're not going to be there. I think that that's a reasonable reason to bow out.
Speaker 2: I would pay attention to how I issued the invitation
Speaker 2: and then if I issued the invitation from us as a couple that I would have some expectation that
Speaker 2: that some part of that hosting role was played by my partner or spouse. And that it's perfectly fine to issue an invitation just from you and then you don't build that expectation and your guests and it's a subtlety, most people probably aren't gonna key on it because my guess is that
Speaker 2: the event is going to fall in line with the choice that you make most of the time. But it's a good way to start to set the tone and and play that role of host very intentionally.
Speaker 1: It also depends on how the invitation is structured. Not all invitations sort of state, this is who's hosting or has the word host with a colon after it for instance, I've seen it done different ways where um
Speaker 1: it follows the more I think, I think dan actually, because we were just looking at it in the design edit on the on the 20th edition, the sample that we got
Speaker 1: from 10 speed happened to be the dinner blank and then the dinner blank filled out blanks were they were sort of like your own personal filling card. So it had your name and then request the pleasure of and a blank and that's where you would
Speaker 2: put who's being invited
Speaker 1: and then the words company at and then it states the event they're being invited to and then on the day at and the time o'clock. And then it it lists your address so
Speaker 1: it's it's pre filled out a pre sort of a pre personal filling card that you can use as an invitation to virtually anything. But it states up at the top who the host is and that's really great and it's wonderful. But I've seen sort of versions where it might say like four different people's names for a baby shower for instance.
Speaker 1: And I've also seen versions where the names are entirely left off
Speaker 1: and often when names are entirely left off the default host assumptions that a guest could make from receiving an invitation where the hosts aren't clearly listed at the top are that the hosts are the people on the return address or the hosts are those who are being listed in the R. S. V. P.
Speaker 1: And you might between you and your partner choose to only list one of you as the R. S. V. P. Contact so that you're not both getting, you know, text messages and calls and stuff for an R. S. V. P. So it does a little bit depend on how how you choose to structure whether or not you're really gonna highlight who's hosting or whether kind of the basics of
Speaker 1: the person who they're rsv peeing too coupled usually with the return address on the invitation itself or whomever the invitation was issued from. That might be,
Speaker 1: um, if it's an emailed invitation the way that you would indicate who the host is, but it's important to recognize that if it's not stated, there are some assumptions that might come up. And that's why usually when you do group hosted events, so like co hosted events where it's not just you and your partner, but it's you and another household co hosting
Speaker 1: that you get those names at the top so that guests know who to thank. I have to be honest because I'm not one who needs that acknowledgment so much. So I wouldn't have a problem if you and I were co hosting an event for instance, and the invitation just came from you and pooja's house and had like you listed as the thing, I wouldn't feel put out if people were like
Speaker 1: thanking you and not me or something like that.
Speaker 1: But for some folks, it really matters. And it's really important. And we always say that any host should should really get the chance to be on that invitation if they want to be.
Speaker 2: I I so appreciate your specificity about the invitation because that's really where this question ends up resolving and yeah, and it's I think exactly the situation that you finished on that our question ask or pages dealing with here and in the same way when we're issuing an invitation as a host, you include a spouse, it's a default assumption that when you invite one person in that couple, you invite them both.
Speaker 2: If you have somebody who's contributed to a party is going to be listed as a host and your listing hosts not Singley but as couples, I would include their spouse, whether their spouse
Speaker 2: gave an independent hosting amount equivalent to what their partner did or didn't, I would include them as a co host in the event as a part of that couple that was playing that hosting role, I would let that be
Speaker 1: there. They're going to be participating in everything
Speaker 2: slide in that direction and if the math was such that well, the parents, both
Speaker 2: members of the couple gave the hosting contribution and really it was split three ways. So we only want to put three people on the invitation. I think you wanna put that thought aside and be as generous as you can and and include spouses if you're including them in other parts of of how you're representing people. Whether both members of the couple paid that hosting
Speaker 2: contribution or share, that's not to say you can't look at the list and say, boy,
Speaker 2: this other couple, they both tripped in this other couple both chipped in. We're both going to chip in because that'll feel good and equitable to us, but I don't think it's an expectation in order to be included. You have to do it.
Speaker 1: Yeah, I know how however spouses or partners handle funds like that for you know, throwing parties and stuff like it's totally up to them behind the scenes, but I love the idea of being as inclusive as possible on that invitation
Speaker 1: paige thank you so much for letting us geek out on hosting and invitations and, and spousal home expectations and all kinds of things is a really fun question to get to dive into. And we hope that our answer helps as you plan parties in the future.
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Speaker 1: and now back to our show.
Speaker 2: Our next question is about Mother in Law mail.
Speaker 2: Dear Emily Post. I've been married to my husband for 20 years. We have three Children together
Speaker 2: for the last year. I have noticed that whenever we receive mail from my mother in law, it is addressed Brett Rogers family.
Speaker 2: My sister in law has also started getting mail addressed this way as well. Mike Rogers family.
Speaker 2: We are both very hurt by her new way of addressing our families. We feel this is a snub and slap in the face to the wives.
Speaker 2: I spent hours online looking up the proper etiquette for addressing an envelope.
Speaker 2: Her method was never shown
Speaker 2: out of respect for me and my feelings. My husband kindly asked his mother in the future when you send packages or mail to the house, can you please address the mail? And he gave a few examples for her to choose from.
Speaker 2: Well, I don't have to tell you that this has started a huge argument in our family but I will skip all that
Speaker 2: in the end. I was told that she is using proper etiquette
Speaker 2: and I should try using google. It shows her method.
Speaker 2: We obviously need help from an expert is my mother in law right in her address.
Speaker 2: Thank you so much for taking the time to read this letter, jennifer
Speaker 1: jennifer, thank you so much for writing in. I'll say that that typically we aren't big fans of like using using etiquette articles or topics to to solve disputes or to hold up as kind of like an etiquette sword or badge.
Speaker 1: I think that there are many different ways to address a family.
Speaker 1: I think that typically we see and I think the, I think the examples that we used in the 20th edition were the jones family or the posts, so dan you guys would be like the settings or the sending family.
Speaker 1: Um ironically, I think we did read in the 1922 edition that you wouldn't address something to the jones family, but we see that so often now we think that that's a change that's really been
Speaker 1: very, very happily adopted. I will say, I don't believe we have an example of Peter post family for example, or daniel sending family. I could see maybe someone doing the Peter post family maybe. I'm not sure. It's I will say it's not as familiar to me.
Speaker 1: It doesn't strike me as wrong when I see it,
Speaker 1: but dan I think you and I both have the same answer to the question that's really at hand here and that's that when someone tells you they prefer for their name to appear a certain way or that a a certain iteration of naming the family or the couple doesn't work for them.
Speaker 1: That that needs to be respected more than what a google search will bring up or what anything on Emily Post dot com says
Speaker 1: it's really important when someone says, I really don't appreciate this. I would appreciate this. Instead that we listen to that when it comes to names and how people are addressed and that is no different in person than it is on a letter,
Speaker 2: put it on a billboard, put some flashing lights around it,
Speaker 1: be
Speaker 2: sure it's unobstructed and its view from the road. I think that's the real takeaway. And I love the perspective and the reminder that
Speaker 2: etiquette isn't some arbiter that you can turn to to sell these family disputes. That ideally etiquette is a guide. And if we think about where that guide comes from, consideration, respect, honesty, it gives us some really clear cues, in fact, much more clear than if it was just a set of rules that says, this is how you address a family. And
Speaker 2: it's one of the things that I like about it so much. One thing I love about this podcast is we get to talk about it and I think that your your idea that that's the primary consideration is how do people want to be addressed? And
Speaker 2: I can start to
Speaker 2: carve out exceptions to every rule we could ever invent or think of, for example, call me this. Well, actually, that's really not appropriate because that creates confusion around whatever they're very specific reasons why that doesn't work for someone or isn't a good idea. And I think those would
Speaker 2: all the things you could talk about with somebody who says, I want to be called this about why you wouldn't want to do that or why you don't.
Speaker 2: And this isn't one of those situations. So this is a situation where
Speaker 2: I see jennifer making a very reasonable request and I think it would be very reasonable for everybody in her life to honor that request. And I think that's as far as we really need to investigate this particular situation. And I'm, I'm,
Speaker 2: I just feel really terrible that um, it's become a huge family argument that it's become a point of contention in some ways. I think that's
Speaker 2: for me, where the interesting etiquette starts to come into play is is how do you start to repair that relationship in a way that that lets this family continue to function and get along
Speaker 1: well. It's a really good example of how someone can can do the very right things. I love the sample language that we've gotten for what the husband kindly asked his mother
Speaker 1: in the future when you send packages or mail. Could you please address the mail this way? It's a very simple request
Speaker 1: here. You get the defensiveness coming back on something ex extremely reasonable. I see very, very little that is out of touch with with a reasonable polite request here.
Speaker 1: And it's just such a good example of how you can be as polite about making a request or asking something of someone as you could possibly be
Speaker 1: and you could still get backlash for it. Remember we we did the magic wand. If you could wave your etiquette magic wand and that's a fantasy exercise because etiquette magic wands aren't real, no matter how polite you are
Speaker 1: while you might get a better chance of getting a good reaction from someone on the other end, we can never control how someone else is going to feel and experience something and react to it.
Speaker 1: And I think in in this particular case, trying to have the conversation again is one way to go. You might choose to just let it go and say, okay, I've made my polite request. This person knows that what they're doing I find is offensive and they're continuing to do it anyway. I'm gonna let them be them
Speaker 1: and I'm going to continue on my, my etiquette high road as we called it many a time. And I'm gonna send the thank you notes for their gifts and I'm gonna address them how they want to be addressed. And maybe one day they will treat me the same way in return.
Speaker 1: It might be that it becomes something where you start sending gifts back when they're not addressed the way you'd like them to be addressed or mail back when you don't. And I'm not saying any of these is better than the other, but to me it just illustrates how you have options. But none of them feel particularly great
Speaker 1: when a request like this is met with defensiveness and resistance.
Speaker 1: Um and I think it's, it's why you often hear us saying, boy, it is so much easier and makes for such a kinder experience all around when someone can take a request like this in the future. Could you please send packages and mail to the house using our names or just, you know, the Rogers family and saying, oh my gosh, I'd be happy to, that's so
Speaker 1: easy to do.
Speaker 1: And I think that's the part I wish that jennifer's mother in law could take away from this is oh, the request you've made, I thought I was being maybe fancy or formal or fun or honoring my son's in a beautiful way and I hear you and I will say I will not use this way because it doesn't seem to honor
Speaker 1: their wives.
Speaker 1: It would just be so wonderful if that's what you were met with. And
Speaker 1: you know, she was trying something new clearly cause you guys have been married for 20 years and this is the first year you say things are showing up this way and her try wasn't met with a good reception, even though it was a polite request the other way and what comes back is, you know, you're wrong.
Speaker 1: And that just, it's just so it's such a good example of how you don't want things to go.
Speaker 2: I'm really glad you brought up the etiquette magic wand and the etiquette high road because I was thinking about something similar and I think you're
Speaker 2: wise in your reminder that that etiquette wand really
Speaker 2: Mhm.
Speaker 2: Can't work on other people. There's no consistent way for, for us to have control over other people's reactions.
Speaker 1: But that etiquette
Speaker 2: magic wand is a remarkable tool when it comes to ourselves and when you turn that, that expectation of
Speaker 2: not, I have to be perfect, but I have to think about how I respond to situations and hold myself accountable in that response. And it can help you avoid that resistance that you're talking about, that feels so uncomfortable. Oh well I like doing it this way. I don't want to do it the way they want me to do it. If
Speaker 2: if you can find the version in yourself of what you would like to see in the mother in law that you're dealing with and maybe that's if this really matters to her so much, it's just not that big a deal. It's just the names on the front of an envelope. And it might not be, it might be about a change in her perspective that's happened over 20 years,
Speaker 2: but not being able to control that. Being able to control your response to it.
Speaker 2: Yes.
Speaker 2: If you can put the reaction that you're having in context with
Speaker 2: a mother in law relationship that my guess is is a pretty important relationship in in your life. If you can remind yourself of that balance that that can help. And as much as it can feel like a personal slight for all those reasons that you're talking about, that,
Speaker 2: that basic rudeness of someone not wanting to acknowledge you where you're coming from. Um can be a challenge, but it does give you that opportunity to be a bigger person to take that etiquette high road and to not let
Speaker 1: something like
Speaker 2: how we're addressing each other, which which could be offensive and can be really offensive,
Speaker 2: become a sticking point in your relationship with your mother in law. And I think that's a really tough challenge to give yourself while also feeling confident and
Speaker 2: comfortable that
Speaker 2: you're right
Speaker 2: in that this is a reasonable request for you to make
Speaker 1: jennifer. We are sorry that this is the situation that's happening in your family right now. And we do hope that our answer helps you to move forward with it to some degree, even if you can't get your mother in law to budge.
Speaker 1: Oh, manners!
Speaker 1: Thank you for your questions. Please send us updates or feedback on our answers to awesome etiquette. Emily Post dot com. You can leave a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463.
Speaker 1: Or reach us on social media on twitter. We're at Emily Post
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Speaker 2: If you enjoy 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 you helped to keep awesome etiquette on the air
Speaker 2: and to those of you who are already sustaining members. Thank you so much for your support.
Speaker 1: It's 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 from Martha on partners being seated separately at dinner.
Speaker 2: Take us away because lizzie Post, we got some feedback from Tom Ford on this question, Tell
Speaker 1: everyone what you're talking about before we dive into Martha's feedback.
Speaker 2: So the backstory is I periodically get
Speaker 2: feedback or get included on text exchanges that are groups within pooches, family. And there was an Emily Post text that went around one of those group threads.
Speaker 1: Love it and like I love that, I'm not
Speaker 2: even sure exactly where it came from, but the text was a screen capture and then bolted at the top. Was are there things that you do outside dressing to maintain elegance in your day to day life?
Speaker 2: And the answer was from Tom Ford who says, I think I am by nature, a more formal old fashioned person, You know, the other day, working on responding to condolence notes and everything. I said to my l a assistant get out Emily Post. She said, what is Emily Post? I said, what do you mean? What is Emily Post? Get out a copy of Emily Post.
Speaker 2: Look at etiquette and see how we respond to emails.
Speaker 2: So just nice to have people referring to Emily Post. But this is where it got interesting and it comes back to our feedback today. Tom ford continues just because on the topic of Emily Post one would
Speaker 2: I mean people in L. A. When you have a dinner party, the one thing I do not understand that drives me insane is couples want to sit next to each other For me, the whole point is that you sit next to someone new. So when you go home and get into bed you can dish about them. So manners in L. A.
Speaker 2: Made me laugh. And when our other piece of feedback came about the same question. And when we had answered this question, we talked about how polarizing this question is, what strong feelings people have about it.
Speaker 2: Um I thought that I would include the tom ford included today before we heard from Martha.
Speaker 1: I love it. I so loved reading this essay. I felt incredibly validated with the what do you mean who is Emily Post?
Speaker 1: Um I just absolutely adored that. But I also, I I love the cheeky perspective of hey man when you seated away from people, then you've got something to talk about with each other when you go home.
Speaker 2: Or we could start by thinking the word etiquette because we have an email formatting question. But as soon as we're thinking the word etiquette, the free associations that start to come into people's minds are, are always of interest to me. So I think etiquette
Speaker 2: and instantly I'm thinking for core. I think etiquette and instantly I'm thinking grandma. Well, I think a lot of people are instantly thinking, do I get to sit next to my partner at dinner,
Speaker 1: dinner? Yeah. Sitting around the table. I love it. I love it. Well, I definitely appreciated um, family sending that around and you, you connecting it to us. And I am, I am so curious what is our feedback from Martha today because
Speaker 2: it begins, Hi guys, I totally agree with lizzie about couples and feeling like two against one as it were. If you are single, I've been single and married and when I'm single, I really can have a hard time with couples whether they are joined at the hip or not. I'm afraid when I was married I was probably the same. So if I get partnered again, I'm going to be very aware of the situation.
Speaker 2: Great advice on this one. Thanks Martha
Speaker 1: Martha. I definitely appreciate the support and I really appreciate that you identified that you've been both married and single and that, that it makes you think about if I get partnered up again in the future, I'd really want to take this
Speaker 1: aspect of my single life and be considered about it in a partnered life And I think that's I, I often feel the same way
Speaker 2: Martha, thank you so much for the feedback 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 at Emily post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind, That's 8028585463.
Speaker 2: It's time for our post script segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette and this week we're going to be looking at being a good guest this holiday season. We've talked a lot about hosting, but there is a reciprocal role that certain percentage, maybe 50% maybe more of us will be playing
Speaker 1: maybe all because I am so thrilled that we're talking about how to be good guests this holiday season because with vaccinations, we actually get to go be guests this
Speaker 2: holiday Eggnog. Where's the Eggnog? Point me at the Eggnog.
Speaker 1: I mean it was so hard not doing the big post family gathering last year. I love the fact that we're doing it. Even a modified version where there's a little more outdoor time. This, this upcoming year,
Speaker 1: but um being a good guest is something that a lot of us didn't get a chance to do last holiday season. So I'm just, I am beyond thrilled that this is a topic for us this holiday season and as you aptly point out, there are a lot of situations in which we will be a good guest. In fact often we are guests more than we are hosts even though
Speaker 1: you would think no I wanted to say 50
Speaker 2: 50 and then I was thinking to myself if there's four households and it cycles every four years, you really a guest three out of four anyway
Speaker 1: and also just you know, you host your one holiday party but you attend maybe six or seven throughout a season. You know or maybe you attend to. I don't know I'm still iffy about attending some
Speaker 1: but being a good guest is really important. So we wanted to go over some of the basics and then I do want to tack on at the end because a little bit about kind of being a good guest during these covid times.
Speaker 1: So what's our very first tip?
Speaker 2: Let's start with the easy, easy place to start. You've been invited and your first responsibility as a guest is to respond
Speaker 2: and R. S. V. P. In the medium that you received the invitation. If there's a question in your mind how do I do this? If someone gives you a call, call them back. It's not send you an email, send them an email. If you receive the invitation in the mail. Look for some indication of expected reply date or some preferred method for you to R. S. V. P. Via and then do it follow through with it. Yes is okay and no it's okay. The most awkward thing for any host to deal with is a question mark. So do your best get him an answer.
Speaker 1: We got our our holiday party invites from Tricia post via paperless post recently
Speaker 1: and I I immediately hit my response was very pleased to see that that two sets of people had already also responded.
Speaker 2: The
Speaker 1: next most important thing that you want to think about as a guest is that you show up on
Speaker 1: time.
Speaker 1: This is actually an important thing to consider when we are being a really good guest on time. Yes. Can mean 15 minutes after the start time. Absolutely. There's a real social grace period that happens in here.
Speaker 1: Um And and it's it's it's totally acceptable. Don't worry about it. If you're a couple of minutes late. If you're even 15
Speaker 1: minutes late if you're going to be beyond that 15 minutes you really want to call or text, get word to your host that you're going to be late so that they know and can make decisions on their hosting based around that.
Speaker 1: But the one thing that we don't actually highlight that often because we're usually so focused on the lateness is that when it comes to social engagements
Speaker 1: you really don't want to show up early showing up early often puts the host in an awkward position of having to either ask you to help out with whatever preparations are still going on or you're catching them at a time where they are prepping themselves and they're probably not going to be asking you for help on that.
Speaker 1: And then
Speaker 1: I think it's it's important to recognize that if you do get to someone's house early, take a little extra drive, go around the block, take a stroll, sit for a minute, scroll something in your feed, whatever it is, wait until that actual you know start time of the party. The listed time on the invitation hits
Speaker 1: before you ring that doorbell knock, give a holler, ring the bell whatever it is.
Speaker 2: So along with showing up on time we also don't want to
Speaker 2: surprise our host with anything else that would be difficult for them to deal with. Like showing up early as difficult or too late is difficult showing up with extra guests or with some special announcement pets
Speaker 2: that you're going to have to leave halfway through something that should have been communicated as part of the R. S. V. P. Or that you're showing up. But you've recently
Speaker 2: experienced a new food allergy and you're no longer going to be eating X. Y. Or Z. That they're serving. You want to avoid those unexpected surprises at the door
Speaker 1: because can I share one of my like most memorable podcast, unexpected
Speaker 2: surprises
Speaker 1: and that was long ago. I don't even know what season or what. We don't really have seasons. I don't even know what episode it occurs in or what year it occurred in.
Speaker 1: But I remember at a thanksgiving meal where this, this family did not traditionally include dishes outside of the usual like turkey, green beans, mashed potato type stuff.
Speaker 1: The guests showed up with a full on lasagna expecting for it to be baked and you know, and so that's like you got a turkey in the oven, you probably got some like other things warming in the oven and now someone wants to put a lasagna in the oven. Like it was like, it can seem sometimes
Speaker 1: like an extra dish is a good idea
Speaker 1: and yet it can throw a host off.
Speaker 2: Now you should bring anything that you've offered to contribute or been asked to contribute and that has been agreed upon with your host as part of the back and forth before the party. So
Speaker 2: bring what's expected fulfill your roles and expectations so that you're not surprising anybody by missing something,
Speaker 2: but also don't surprise anybody with anything extra pets, guests, even food that might seem like a really nice surprise beyond that little hosting gift.
Speaker 1: Another thing that's really important when we're first entering someone's home is to be aware of our impact on their space. We did a recent little pole
Speaker 1: where we asked whether or not people's shoes were shoes on, shoes off, whether they asked guests to remove their shoes for a dinner party.
Speaker 1: And about 30% of respondents said they really have shoes off homes and so it's important to recognize when you're coming in, are your shoes or boots muddy, dirty, wet. You know whether you're taking them off or whether you are wiping them
Speaker 1: on a, on a doormat or something like that. It's just important to kind of think about that moment,
Speaker 2: pardon the interruption, I have to jump in and mention something from that study that we did,
Speaker 1: Oh, please do, please do.
Speaker 2: Which was in particular
Speaker 2: the comments that came along. You could answer a yes or a no just about whether or not you asked us to remove shoes.
Speaker 2: The vast majority of the comments where people wrote in editorial responses had to do with the conditions outside if it was muddy, rainy winter. So in particular if that's the condition, let those little flags go off in your head, what might have been a 50 50 call or go ahead, leave them on call
Speaker 2: might shift as the weather does anyway, sorry, sorry, You mentioned the study, I had to mention that
Speaker 1: it's a good time to mention our classic tip during winter and especially what we call around here, mud season in Vermont, which is basically fall and spring.
Speaker 1: Um, is that bringing a pair of indoor shoes is never a bad idea. Um, it just means that whatever the conditions you're met with outside, you've got some nice clean shoes to wear into the party and it's, it's a great little thing to to think whether you store it in your car or a bag or you're just willing to carry them in with you and carry them out if you don't end up using them.
Speaker 1: Um But it's it is a really, really good idea to think of. The other thing you want to think of is just simply asking and this is actually inspired by our 13 year old who wrote in um asking about, you know, what do I do with my coat? Where do I put everything? And just simply asking you, where should I hang my coat?
Speaker 1: Whether your host ends up saying I'll take it for you or oh, on the bed, in the, you know, in the downstairs bedroom or in the guest room is fine or here on the banister,
Speaker 1: whatever it is, just remember to really think about your coat, your winter gear, your boots as you're entering that house,
Speaker 2: alright, lizzie post. So we've made it, we've arrived, we're comfortable, we're inside, we're on time. We're feeling good. I think this is the moment where the party actually begins
Speaker 2: in many, many, many ways the introduction has some structure, but now we're
Speaker 2: we're with other people were spending time with them and I think this is the moment where it's the best etiquette advice that I can offer is to take a deep breath, relax and enjoy yourself, participate in the party, this is this is why we do all the work, this is why we make the effort to set the stage so that we can really enjoy ourselves. And I think that's the most important
Speaker 2: etiquette reminder as we enter the holiday season is to really take pleasure in each other's company because that's what it's all about and
Speaker 2: in the end that's what people are really going to remember and take with them.
Speaker 1: That can look like making sure that you mingle, making sure that you engage in conversation with other guests. Um if it's a really casual affair, you might offer to help out. If it's a more formal affair, we don't suggest doing that as much,
Speaker 1: but if there are games or music or other entertainment that you either participate or observe with really good spirit,
Speaker 1: these are some of the best ways to be a good guest is to actually lean into everything that your host is providing for you. And as dan mentioned that you that they're hoping you're going to enjoy for the evening.
Speaker 2: And if you really enjoy yourself, if you let yourself
Speaker 2: participate and connect
Speaker 2: and have a good time, it makes the final piece of etiquette advice so much easier, which is delivering a genuine thank you to your host for the good time that you had and the pleasure of the company that you got to experience
Speaker 2: lizzie post, I could ask you what does that thank you look like. But I think most of our audience already knows. We say thank them twice, once, warmly on the way out the door, look them in the eye if you're hugging hug, if you're shaking hands, shake hands, if you're nodding to each other and just saying, what a pleasure it's been.
Speaker 2: Any of those are good options. It's a great idea to follow up the next day and it can be a quick phone call to say I had such a good time. It could be a little note that you've got and send in the mail for something a little more formal or if you really want to put a bow on it. But that follow up thanks is a great way to touch base and revisit that good feeling that you want to attenuate
Speaker 2: as long as possible.
Speaker 1: I gotta say this postscript has really put me in the mood to party. I don't have anything on the calendar right now. That's not true. I do. There's one party and A and R post family party the day after christmas, but I'm really looking forward to gathering this holiday season.
Speaker 1: The one thing that I did want to take a minute to tack onto the end of this post script is that a lot of people have been asking,
Speaker 1: how can I feel comfortable going to someone else's house if they haven't stated their Covid safety measures
Speaker 1: and it is perfectly okay this holiday season to call or text or whatever method is appropriate for your relationship with the person to ask your host high. Really loved getting your invitation. I wanted to ask about covid safety measures for this particular party.
Speaker 1: I had to do this recently and the answer I got back was a really
Speaker 1: quick clean and simple. Everybody is vaccinated, so should be okay.
Speaker 1: And that lets me go OK. That's now I know the status of the party and what the, what the people are thinking and I can decide for myself whether I either trust that everybody really is vaccinated, whether I wish there were different circumstances going on. But it gives me something to work with
Speaker 1: in terms of comfort levels and it's really ok to ask this. I might not ask
Speaker 1: about specific guests vaccination status, but I would talk to my host and see if what they've set up and how they're choosing to think about it and their attitudes towards it whether or not those things match and and kind of check the boxes on my comfort levels for attending something during a pandemic.
Speaker 1: I really appreciated seeing for instance, in my mom's invitation to all of us
Speaker 1: that she said, you know, we're happy to have you wear a mask for those who are unvaccinated or for those who wish to wear them to feel more comfortable. And I really liked that encouragement to the other way. It's not just unvaccinated people, but you know, if, if you're feeling like there's a lot of people around and
Speaker 1: not enough open windows or not enough outdoor time, put your, put your mask on and feel a little bit more confident about your own measures.
Speaker 1: So we're very much hoping that no matter how many invitations you've got this holiday season that you can attend these events and feel really great about getting to gather this.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Mhm,
Speaker 1: mm hmm.
Speaker 2: We like to end our show on a high note. So we turn to you to hear about the good etiquette you're seeing and experiencing out in the world and that can come in so many forms. Today we have a salute from one lucky Mazda owner,
Speaker 2: hey lizzie and dan, I've been listening since oh 1 to 2 episodes
Speaker 1: in, I
Speaker 2: fell off the wagon a couple of years ago and so I'm listening from the beginning again, I'm listening to episode number 186. Right now
Speaker 2: I would like to send out a heartfelt salute to the entire town of Milford Michigan
Speaker 2: yesterday, I parked my car in one of the trailside lots and went on a three hour bike ride. It wasn't until I got back that I realized it hadn't been locked.
Speaker 2: My car is fairly nice, obviously well cared for and one could correctly assumed by its appearance that it's stuffed with expensive outdoor gear and electronics. I swear I'm not trying to gloat, but stressing that this is a constant fear and that this has been a mishap that could have gone so badly for me.
Speaker 2: To my relief, the car was untouched and everything was still exactly as it should be when I rolled my tired self back at the end of the day,
Speaker 2: Much love and appreciation. One lucky Mazda owner.
Speaker 1: I love, I love that. Like it's, I know that we live in a place where cars often are left unlocked
Speaker 2: sometimes,
Speaker 1: sometimes with the keys and for convenience. It's something I'm often reminded of when I go other places. It's like, hey, you can't do that. I just those moments where
Speaker 1: things that are precious to you that maybe you haven't been quite as careful if I'll never forget when I left my wallet
Speaker 1: in the terminal at the Burlington airport. And sure enough, it was like returned to the, you know, service desks or something like that. It's like all the money was in there. Everything. It just, it's, it's an amazing, amazing feeling when
Speaker 1: just people did not choose to take advantage of a situation and make someone's day worse. And I can feel
Speaker 1: as one lucky Mazda owner had a PS that said, this might be a real stretch of, of, of a salute and I don't think it's a stretch. I think that just putting out their salute in general to a community that chooses to not take advantage of in my case a misplaced wallet or in this person's case and an unlocked, very nice car with a lot of equipment in it.
Speaker 1: It's something you're eternally grateful for when you come back and it's everything's right where it should be.
Speaker 2: It's a nice reminder of how many things go right in the world to keep our lives happening the way we expect them to happen. And I love the perspective of an etiquette salute that just takes our mind in that direction out of appreciation for all the little things that don't go wrong in our lives.
Speaker 1: Thank you. One lucky Mazda owner
Speaker 2: and thank you for listening.
Speaker 1: Thank you to everyone who sent us something and everyone who supports us on
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Speaker 1: Our show is edited by Kris Albertine and assistant produced by Bridget Dowd.
Speaker 2: Thanks.