Episode 393 - We Don't Talk About...
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 calling a newly wed by her new last name, how to have conversations about genealogy without bragging, addressing families with multiple names as well as address parents vs babies, and a question about bringing your baby to a baby shower. For Awesome Etiquette Sustaining members our question of the week is about how to be a friend not a customer when friends are involved in Multi-Level marketing. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript on family gossip and Bruno-no-no-no.
Speaker 1: maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy. That's old fashioned
Speaker 1: watch act as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness.
Speaker 1: Hello
Speaker 2: and welcome to awesome etiquette
Speaker 1: where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On
Speaker 2: today's show, we take your questions on calling a newlywed by her new last name, how to have conversations about genealogy without bragging,
Speaker 2: addressing families with multiple last names as well as addressing parents first babies with gifts and a question about bringing your baby to a baby shower
Speaker 1: for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about how to be a friend and not a customer when friends are involved in multi level marketing
Speaker 2: plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript segment on family gossip and yes, that comes directly from,
Speaker 1: we don't
Speaker 2: talk about Bruno, no, no, no,
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 lizzie post
Speaker 1: and I'm dan post Senning.
Speaker 2: So the first month of the year has definitely gone by and we're about halfway through the second month, even though this is airing in the third month of the year, but it uh, it has felt like such a different year already at the Emily Post Institute and certainly,
Speaker 2: you know, last year felt different. His second year of pandemic, Certainly 2020 felt different because everyone was, you know, thrown into chaotic world, but we spent last year really having to put off a lot of our, our normal daily tasks, even things like social media we got very quiet on
Speaker 2: And it was all in in service of the 20th edition that whether it was writing it or it was doing all the variations on the editing
Speaker 2: that really with its deadlines and its importance. It really came first in so many ways and I have found myself as I've been working and I can tell this to our whole audience because I've already told it to you that it just feels like such different work when you're coming in and there's a
Speaker 2: both an endless nous to it
Speaker 2: and it's more scattered than something that's a big project that has very specific deadlines. And so it's been such a mental shift how we choose to work together, what we choose to prioritize and work on.
Speaker 2: Um and I'm finding it both great and hard at the same time.
Speaker 1: Oh, I feel you in so many ways, I'm reminded, you know, of the meeting we had right at the very start of the year,
Speaker 1: And we were looking at 2022 and saying, you know, this book is going to launch, it's going to be available in the fall.
Speaker 2: Let's
Speaker 1: make a plan, let's talk about this year and what it might look like. Let's start to fill it in a little bit with some of our intentions. This is again, early january
Speaker 2: and
Speaker 1: that meeting went on for hours between you and I think we had some fun with
Speaker 2: my favorite kind
Speaker 1: of the document that was the meeting notes was many pages long and
Speaker 1: it was really helpful for me in that moment where as you said, we didn't have a particular project in front of us, but a lot of work to do six weeks in. I'm finding that enough of that work has happened that the projects are starting to form up in front of me for the rest of the
Speaker 2: year.
Speaker 1: So the
Speaker 2: organization works people, it works, it's
Speaker 1: not just that one book launch event in the fall, but there's a hole, there's a myriad other smaller events and deadlines that have started to emerge over the course of the year that a lot of them will support that big book launch, but
Speaker 1: I'm starting to feel like that direction is emerging from the work. So I, I feel what you're talking about and I also feel myself also starting to get drawn back into
Speaker 1: some of those channels that are really defined by a project with a
Speaker 2: deadline
Speaker 1: and there's a little baby that's going to arrive and that's
Speaker 2: gonna was gonna say you were still on baby watch for you. I had a moment last friday where um,
Speaker 2: you and I couldn't get in touch with each other and, and there were a bunch of different reasons for that, but in my mind I was wondering, I was like
Speaker 2: did it start, did maybe someone have to make a trip to the, to the hospital like there's something going on. Um not the case yet but um but no, it's excited exciting being on on baby watch as well, but it is um
Speaker 2: it's it's a different type of work this year and whether it's you know, getting our podcast queued up for your, for your paternity leave and chris's long vacation or it's um you know, figuring out how we are going to celebrate this big, wonderful, beautiful book that's going to come out in a little bit. Um it's certainly been interesting being in the different areas of Emily Post again and and really kind of
Speaker 2: working that daily grind.
Speaker 1: And speaking of the daily work here at Emily Post, we have some questions to get, should we get to answering some,
Speaker 2: let's do it,
Speaker 1: let's do it,
Speaker 1: 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 and on facebook we are awesome etiquette just remember use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your post so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 2: Our first question is titled Call me by my name
Speaker 2: Dear dan and lizzie. I recently got legally married and decided to take my husband's last name.
Speaker 2: The only place I decided to present with my maiden name is with my name on facebook. The main reason I kept my maiden name here is because I am a psychologist and I wanted to stay searchable for friends but prevent my clients from potentially attempting to contact me through facebook.
Speaker 2: My clients don't know my maiden name.
Speaker 2: However, a lot of my family and friends have sent me holiday cards this year with my maiden name on it but I would prefer they use my married name. I understand that they are probably assuming I kept my maiden name since that's what they see on facebook. So I will usually thank them for the card and tell them my new last name.
Speaker 2: I'm wondering is there a better way for me to explain my last name change or is having my maiden name on facebook too confusing and would it be better for me to change it to my married name.
Speaker 2: Now that I'm writing this, I realized that some family members may not even know that I am married. I only got legally married and had an extremely small quote unquote ceremony. We went to a state park and only six people were present.
Speaker 2: Is there a way other than my facebook relationship status that I can share the news with them
Speaker 2: from call me by my name.
Speaker 1: Call me by my name. Thank you so much for the question. There are a lot of ins and outs to this one. I kept wanting to put it in a certain category of question in my mind. Oh, this is that kind of question that I was like, no, no, it's kind of the reverse of that one.
Speaker 2: Or and
Speaker 1: like there's this other complicating factor that's coming in. I wanted to start off with a really simple piece of advice which is about the
Speaker 1: broad etiquette around the names that we choose to use and how we present them to the world. And
Speaker 1: the question is is there anything wrong or is there a problem with using my maiden name on facebook? Does that create
Speaker 1: an etiquette
Speaker 1: descendants? Somehow,
Speaker 2: my
Speaker 1: answer to that is is not a general answer. That there isn't a rule of etiquette that can guide us, but kind of a personal rule of etiquette, which is that if you don't mind answering any questions that come up and you get benefit from it
Speaker 1: in that you're recognizable and searchable and findable to people who you want to be recognizable searchable and findable too,
Speaker 1: that there's nothing wrong with that. And as long as you're prepared to answer the questions that come up to give direction about what you like to be called in different areas of your life and that is something that a lot of people have to negotiate. It's not an uncommon situation at all for someone to use different names in different capacities. And
Speaker 1: even for those names to shift over time, as people become more or less comfortable with names that they're using in different ways. So
Speaker 1: it's not even something that will necessarily surprise people to hear if you do find yourself in a position of giving some direction at some point. Maybe to an old friend that you know, your, your married name is now this socially and when they send cards they can use that name. And that would be uh,
Speaker 1: a relatively low
Speaker 1: cost in my mind to getting the benefit of still being searchable by that maiden name that, that you like to use for a number of reasons
Speaker 2: and not searchable by the married name that your clients may. No, you know what I mean?
Speaker 1: The
Speaker 2: other part of that one, because I'm thinking that one of our most
Speaker 2: traditional pieces of etiquette would be so incredibly useful here and that's a wedding announcement and your wedding, especially having been a really small wedding is often the perfect kind of what first of all all weddings are perfect weddings to send a wedding announcement for. But especially small weddings, especially weddings that happened during the pandemic.
Speaker 2: These are weddings that, that can kind of get lost among the shuffle of news and things happening. And also with our sort of distorted sense of time, that sort of thing
Speaker 2: and especially if you haven't announced it on facebook or something like that, a social media network sending out a paper announcement to your friends and relatives is a fabulous way
Speaker 2: to let them see that you are now married and that this is your married name. You could even hand write a little note on it that says you know
Speaker 2: just so no one shocked, you'll still see my name appear as this on my facebook account or something like that. And I think the announcement is probably good enough to get you there and to get people seeing that and then they just notice that your facebook account still has your maiden name.
Speaker 2: But if you wanted to just make it clear to anyone who either might not be picking up the hint or who might not be as familiar thinking about facebook as a place you don't always update everything. Giving them that reasoning could help alleviate any confusion when they're seeing the announcement with one name and your facebook account with the other.
Speaker 2: But that was my my solution and the announcement of course is something that gets sent after a wedding and it it states
Speaker 2: the couple's name and the date that they were married and where they were married and it's it's really easy and kind of a fun one to put out there frankly, I mean I haven't done it but I am assuming that for those who have chosen to that it's a really satisfying thing to send out.
Speaker 2: I know it's very satisfying to receive them. I really appreciate receiving a mailed out wedding announcement. I think it's a wonderful keepsake.
Speaker 2: It definitely decorates my fridge and makes me feel like that life is moving on, you know, around me, it's still happening out there in the world
Speaker 1: lizzie post. I was so wrong
Speaker 1: and you are so right there is an etiquette answer to this question. The wedding announcement is so perfect. It really is
Speaker 2: stated. I wouldn't put it that way.
Speaker 1: No, but but it's it's it's it's
Speaker 1: the purpose of a wedding announcement and it's and it's not the purpose the purpose is that feeling that you're talking about really that sharing of that good news. But it's so functional as well. It really does serve to give people a lot of information that's nice to share for all kinds of reasons.
Speaker 2: Call me by my name, Congratulations on your recent wedding. We hope that you are loving married life and that our advice can help you figure out a little bit of how to handle your name, change
Speaker 1: good manners, social graces etiquette call it what you will all are based on consideration for others
Speaker 1: being kind to the other fellow and the little things of life as well as the big things.
Speaker 1: Our next question wonders
Speaker 1: genealogy, how far is too far?
Speaker 1: Hi, I have an interesting etiquette question for situations when discussing genealogy and distant relatives.
Speaker 1: Do you know of any sort of guideline or opinion of an etiquette expert when it comes to discussing distant relatives, especially cousin ship and distant progenitors that are not of the same surname as your mother or father.
Speaker 1: For example, my 7th cousin six times removed is Abraham Lincoln.
Speaker 1: When I found this out and some other things like this,
Speaker 1: it was, I felt like I won the lottery but when I told this to some of my relatives and friends, the reaction I received was why are you being so absurd? Seventh cousins? Six times removed
Speaker 1: to them. It was so distant that I might as well have said I was related to Buzz Lightyear from the Toy story
Speaker 2: movies.
Speaker 1: And then they say other things like, well if you go far enough back everybody is related.
Speaker 1: Another example would be like discussing a third great grandmother,
Speaker 1: but then go on about a few generations back from her to a great grandmother, not grandfather and then branch off from them a few generations to another great grandmother and so on and so forth. The resulting relative is often to say the least many many surnames away from the third great grandmother and even more so from my surname
Speaker 1: though they are also my great grandparents as well and is technically called direct descent. It can end up sounding a bit indirect. What do you think is a good way to not get so carried away and therefore sound absurd when talking about such family members.
Speaker 1: Should I stick to my progenitors of my surname of father and mother and then maybe only their Children, ie great aunts and uncles and maybe a first or second cousin here and there.
Speaker 1: Thanks
Speaker 2: anonymous. This is a great, it's a great question and it's interesting because it's not
Speaker 2: asking about the specifics of the genealogy itself, which is genealogical, not etiquette ical not not really under etiquette,
Speaker 1: ecological,
Speaker 2: ecological, but it is the it is thinking about conversation and how conversation comes across
Speaker 2: and I could see how some people might think
Speaker 2: even removing the word absurd, but just thinking like you're trying to name drop or get close to very famous, very distant relatives, you know, things like that and it falls kind of under this idea of conversation and what is good etiquette in conversation and
Speaker 2: cousin Daniel. I can't, for me I don't see a big problem with talking about some interesting things way back in your genealogical web, you know what I mean? I think it's interesting and I think as long as you're categorizing it as
Speaker 2: you know, it's it's crazy distant or it's really far distant from me. But seventh cousin six times removed was Abraham Lincoln and when I found that out, I felt like I won the lottery. I think taking
Speaker 2: the ones that are further out. But maybe more interesting people or even just people of note to connect to in your family's history,
Speaker 2: saying that for you, you understand it's really distant, but it was so meaningful for you to find that out.
Speaker 2: I feel like that kind of an approach could get you some better results from other people because they're going to hear more context around why you're bringing it up other than just the quote unquote, you know, like famous connection or something like that.
Speaker 1: I agree lizzie post, I think that it has so much to do with the particular tone and approach that you're taking to that information and how you share it and that owning your excitement as opposed to
Speaker 1: expecting or anticipating that other people will share it is
Speaker 1: I think the right way to think about this and is a good piece of advice generally when thinking about conversation etiquette and getting excited about anything that we're passionate about.
Speaker 1: I think I sort of jokingly referred to this at one point with you as a nerd dilemma when you're really into something and you just really
Speaker 2: like it and it's so
Speaker 1: cool and you just want to share that with other people and I I run into this, my my wife is really generous with me and how she gives me her attention
Speaker 1: when I get really excited about things. And
Speaker 1: I also recognize that it's a real gift that I get from her that that not everybody wants to go down every interest and enthusiasm that I have with me in terms of exploring all of the details that that I connect with personally in this way or that way.
Speaker 1: Mhm
Speaker 2: dan, I think that's a really good second point to bring up here, is that this isn't just about how you present it, but it's a really, there's a good lesson in here about how to react to these kind of things when someone is talking about a familial connection, no matter how distant it might be,
Speaker 2: this is them discovering something about their lineage, they're past their history and it's not something that I would immediately put down and I think that's that's an important thing to think about when people start talking about their families is that you don't want your first thought to be one that really undercuts something that someone else is bringing up as a real positive or something very interesting
Speaker 2: in their lives, you know, I can think in my own life of of being really excited when I found out about our ancestor who laid the transatlantic cable and I had a friend who immediately like assumed a lot of negative things about how that cable was probably laid and
Speaker 2: I'll admit that while I wanted to discover more about what she was saying, I also my pride was hurt in that moment that it was, it was hit hard, you know, I I thought I had something kind of exciting and interesting there and it just was like just such a clear bubble burst in the moment
Speaker 2: and it made the conversation in that moment really awkward. It was like, oh I don't I don't know how to move forward from that. So I think you do want to be delicate to when someone is telling you about a connection in their family to immediately be dismissive. Like I'm sad for our listener that people called this connection absurd.
Speaker 2: Like it's not absurd. It's there are tons of people doing, you know, 23 and me genealogical trees out there and learning interesting things. It's like a service being sold to us right now. Um I think there's there's there's some good interest in there to to be had when someone starts talking about this kind of stuff.
Speaker 2: I made
Speaker 1: a little note to myself around this question that was just a reminder to ask myself what is family and how do we define our families? And you're talking about a particular moment where all of a sudden we have tools at our disposal that allow us to attract genealogies or
Speaker 1: get genetic information however accurate it may or may not be.
Speaker 1: But I think it's expanding the ways people think about who they're related to, how we're all connected. And
Speaker 1: it could be something that's very interesting. It could feel like an awful lot. And I like your focus on thinking about how you receive that information. And I was also thinking about how we share information about our families. That if it's something that feels very close and very personal to you. Or something that you connect with in a really personal way.
Speaker 1: Maybe it's something that that you share either in that way. So that people know to take care with it. Or it might be something that you decide you treat
Speaker 1: as a has something more private. Is something that's about family. And that if it's something that you feel very closely about,
Speaker 1: that, maybe it's not something you're sharing at work with the co worker in the same way.
Speaker 1: You may not share
Speaker 1: information that your spouse shares with you the night before. And not because it's a big secret. But just because that that comes from a different part of your life.
Speaker 2: Mm hmm.
Speaker 1: All kinds of interesting etiquette questions start to emerge. I was also thinking to myself about
Speaker 1: preparing myself mentally with some of the math that
Speaker 1: We're all familiar with, Kevin Bacon. And the idea of 7° of separation. That you can
Speaker 1: Find human connections. That will link you to anybody on the planet with 7° of separation. And in reality, it's oftentimes much less than that. And that that awareness gives some context for how you share information about connections being special or not.
Speaker 1: So, it could be really exciting to discover a particular connection. And at the same time, the recognition that
Speaker 1: anybody could do that with enough information and enough interest might affect the way you shared that as a particularly
Speaker 2: unique, presented.
Speaker 1: Exactly
Speaker 2: yeah, no, totally. Absolutely. A lot of this does come down to the tone and and the how of how you're choosing to share this particular information.
Speaker 2: But I do think
Speaker 2: that that phrasing it and taking the ownership of your excitement about it or your fascination with it is a great way to help guide people away from
Speaker 2: that space that makes them think, oh my gosh, this connection is just so distant. Why are we even discussing it? You know that that absurd tone that seems to be coming back at you. I do think
Speaker 2: just that positive ownership of the exploration could probably take you pretty far in the conversation
Speaker 1: anonymous. Thank you so much for the question From a couple of great great grandkids to another interested descendant.
Speaker 1: We wish you the best dealing with this issue. Abraham Lincoln said
Speaker 1: a house divided against itself.
Speaker 1: I cannot
Speaker 1: man
Speaker 1: let us too keep the faith.
Speaker 1: Let us break bread
Speaker 1: to gather.
Speaker 1: Our
Speaker 2: next question is titled. To whom are we sending?
Speaker 2: Hi dan and lizzie. I love the podcast and I'm a regular listener. I've got two quick questions for the podcast that I hope you can address number one.
Speaker 2: My daughter in law has kept her maiden name. My two grandchildren have my son's name. So how do I dress packages to them and respect everybody's last names.
Speaker 2: Do I address it
Speaker 2: john smith on one line, mary jones on the second line and then will smith followed by on will smith on the next line followed by Ben smith on the following line. So sort of stacking all four names on top of each other.
Speaker 2: Our writer continues seems odd, but to the smith slash jones family doesn't seem right either. What is the correct way? My second question is that new baby cards seem to be directed to the parents, but if I include a gift,
Speaker 2: is it really for the baby? How do I address the package and card when one is for the parents and the others for the baby. Many thanks in advance for your assistance. I know you're both the right people to provide the right answer. Joyce. Oh I like that confidence. Thank you Joyce.
Speaker 1: Joyce. Thanks so much for the question. We'll do our best to provide a little bit of clarity here.
Speaker 1: The
Speaker 1: best way to get that clarity is to ask your son and daughter in law and that will remove all ambiguity.
Speaker 2: How would you like me to
Speaker 1: address cards that I send to the whole family and they'll let you know if it's something they haven't thought about a lot. You could have a couple of
Speaker 1: options in your pocket or if you wanted to suggest some to open up the discussion,
Speaker 1: you could use the slash. It could be to something like the smith jones family or
Speaker 1: a little more formally. If the slash feels a little sort of truncated either or e to you, the smith and jones family is another option.
Speaker 1: When you get into the card you can go to first names and to
Speaker 1: john mary will and Ben could be your, your opening line or deer or greetings but for the address smith
Speaker 1: family is something that some people will also use just as a default, figuring three out of four for social context will just go with one name. That might be the answer that you get as well when mary isn't being addressed by herself.
Speaker 2: Absolutely. And I like the idea dan of asking them first just before assuming that you could do something like the smith family or the smiths or something like that. I think asking first is always an awesome, awesome idea.
Speaker 2: You could also do a form that we've seen plenty of times which is to have, let's say mary jones and john smith all all written out just like that mary jones the word and, and then john smith all on one line and then the line below would have each of the kids names
Speaker 2: on its own line. So there would then be will smith. Ben smith and then you would follow with the address on the next line after Ben smith. So
Speaker 2: just another option that you could do sometimes if you have to fill out a form, there's not enough room to do something like that but when your handwriting a card or you know shipping a package yourself you're able to to write that out that way.
Speaker 2: But I do come back to dan's got the right answer here of ask first and that'll be the best way to get an answer that works for the family. And it could it could make your job way easier than the smith and jones family. So
Speaker 1: let's complicate things just a little further and let's assume that we're sending something to the same household. But now we have to identify who the gift is for and who the card is
Speaker 2: to totally I
Speaker 1: think the practicality is the
Speaker 1: the side of the etiquette that I'm going to lean on here and the address on the outside. You want to be sure it gets to the right people and the baby is not going to receive the package. The baby does not own the house even though it's to the baby.
Speaker 2: Yes.
Speaker 1: I would address the package to the parents opening on behalf of and then the card that comes with the gift that identifies who the gifts for and that allows you to express yourself and write a little note that goes along with it is the great place to address the baby directly or I guess I should say identify or speak to the baby because the address is on the outside of the package
Speaker 2: and we sort of dealt with this question recently. But it really is okay too,
Speaker 2: have you know the gift to the baby and the card to the parents or even send everything to the parents. But the card is to the baby and the gift is very like you know a little onesie is very obviously for the baby. I can understand how some folks would would feel a little bit of awkwardness between all of that. But in reality
Speaker 2: any gift for the baby is also a gift for the parents because it's helping them out, it's getting them set up whether that's one less onesie they have to buy or it's you know, 11 less other item, I don't know but dan, you know these lists of things you're about to have a third one
Speaker 2: but I think it's it's really all three or the whole family is kind of in a lot of ways, a part of this, even if the baby is going to be the one wearing the onesie or something like that, you know.
Speaker 2: Joyce, it sounds like there's a lot of good things going on in your family right now and we certainly hope that our answer helps you to be able to send and continue to send your son and his family wonderful gifts and surprises and cards in the mail Alright. You
Speaker 1: might as well write it together.
Speaker 2: Oh good. You know, I think writing letters is going to be a lot
Speaker 1: of fun.
Speaker 1: Our next question is about a baby on board.
Speaker 1: Hi, lizzie and dan. Please forgive me if this question has been covered before.
Speaker 1: What is the proper etiquette for guests bringing babies? Two baby showers? Of course if my baby's name is included on the invitation, I know I'm welcome to bring her.
Speaker 1: But what if the invitation is only addressed to me
Speaker 1: in the past? I have contacted the host with my reply and said something like thank you for the invitation to leave shower. I would be honored to attend. Would it be alright appropriate to bring my baby along or should I make other plans for her? She's so and so X number of months old.
Speaker 1: The hosts have always said yes of course that is just fine. But sometimes I wonder if it was rude to ask if the invitation is only addressed to me. Does that indicate that the mom to be would prefer no babies a tender shower?
Speaker 1: Or is it often more of an oversight?
Speaker 1: I like to bring my baby along when I can, but I'm certainly fine to leave her home with my partner if that is preferred.
Speaker 1: I did not get to have a traditional baby shower due to COVID-19 but had I been able to I would have wanted guests to bring their babies and Children with them if they desired
Speaker 1: when I do bring my baby along. I am extremely conscientious and always step out of the room if she starts to cry etcetera. I am always made to feel very welcome and it seems to me that people respond very favorably and enjoy seeing another baby at this type of event.
Speaker 1: Lastly because of COVID-19, the showers for friends and family are often the first time I have seen old acquaintances and friends in quite some time
Speaker 1: given the circumstances, it feels like a nice opportunity for me to introduce my child to people in my life.
Speaker 1: However, the last thing I want is to be rude, so I'm hoping you can weigh in with your expertise. Thanks for your help, Christina
Speaker 2: Christina, thank you so much for your question and I think that I think for the most part, the way you handle this is great that that asking and double checking is really the way to go. Not every baby shower is going to include babies and older kids and
Speaker 2: we have seen and also heard from a lot of people that sometimes those kids can end up being enough of a distraction at the party
Speaker 2: that it doesn't feel like the party is about the mom to be anymore
Speaker 2: and it's really important for us to remember in the case of a shower, especially that we are really focused on the honoree
Speaker 2: and the honoree may may say the more the merrier, I want tons of kids just have that same perspective Christina that you did like I think this would be great,
Speaker 2: but we want to leave room for folks who,
Speaker 2: I don't want to see that attention and I want to say this, not, not in any way putting on that. If you're someone who wants to be the honoree of your party and and have that attention and focus on you, that is not a greedy thing or a bad thing. This party is literally being thrown specifically for that purpose.
Speaker 2: And so I think it's important to recognize that it's okay if you don't want as much of that distraction to have and host a shower that is kid free or that isn't one more babies are being invited, but that's also why Christina. I think it's really important when you received the invitations that don't have your child listed as being welcome or don't say something like babies and toddlers welcome, that sort of thing
Speaker 2: that
Speaker 2: you make the decision either to just leave your child at home with your partner as you say, you're totally fine doing that or you might inquire and
Speaker 2: I can understand how it might feel rude to inquire because dan, it's a pretty classic piece of host guest etiquette that you don't like asked to bring extra guests and your baby would be an extra guest. Um, but I also think it's so common at these types of parties for kids to be invited that it's, it's,
Speaker 2: I don't think it would be out of the realm of polite to ask, what do you think dan,
Speaker 1: It's so funny, it's right on the border and
Speaker 2: I, the
Speaker 1: way that Christina presents her ask is the good advice that you tell the person you give the person the out you make the ask. And because it is such a borderline ask that you do it in such a way that it's easy for them to say no. In fact you hand them the avenue.
Speaker 1: If not it's easy, I can leave him with my partner, I can we can arrange something and and you communicate that in a way that they feel that it's really
Speaker 1: no cost to them, whether they say yes or no. And I think that's the price of admission for making that borderline ask. And I'm seeing that awareness in the way Christina presents it and
Speaker 1: I don't want to say no, you don't ask that because it's rude because there are a lot of cases where it would be lovely if you could bring your baby, we'd love to see or everyone would love to meet her. It would add a whole new flavor and tone to the event. That would be lovely.
Speaker 1: I am so reminded as I was listening to you talking of something I heard early on in my work in theater and that was the advice to never share the stage with Children or animals. And
Speaker 1: it's because you cannot win. There's no way this the second they enter the stage, everyone's eye goes there, it's the thing to watch and it happens if a bird gets into the theater and gets on stage or if there's a particularly cute child in the production and
Speaker 1: just having an awareness that that's a reality and that however cute, adorable, interesting they are, they are also potentially a distraction. They're definitely competition for people's attention and being aware that you're at a party that's about a guest of honor and about focusing on a guest of honor often
Speaker 1: is the other avenue that I was really keying on here and inquiring about the nature of the shower because like you the last shower that I went to was a jack and Jill family affair
Speaker 1: where everybody was encouraged to bring their families and it was, it was essentially a party with a shower happening within it and no harm, no foul but I think getting a sense for the nature of the party and and what the expectations of the guest of honor are from the host is a good place to start that gentle ask.
Speaker 1: I think you're probably in pretty good shape
Speaker 2: dan. I think the last thing I want to encourage Christina to do is actually to throw her own belated sip and see because that feeling Yeah because like that feeling of I had my baby during the pandemic and we really haven't been able to do this once it's safe once you feel comfortable enough to, to invite people over.
Speaker 2: I would do that because I think as you say, I feel like I missed out on this and then what you don't then want to do is use someone else's party as a way to satisfy that because that is kind of like
Speaker 2: coming in and, and even though I Christina, I don't think you would do this in a rude way, in any way, shape or form, but it has the potential to be you leaning on someone else's party
Speaker 2: to satisfy that, Getting to know your daughter and getting your daughter to know everyone kind of to show what's been happening in your life recently. And I think a much better way to do that and to feel satisfied in that zone would be to host your own party for people to come and meet your daughter. And that would be perfectly okay. There's no expectation of gifts in it, although
Speaker 2: some people will probably bring them because people get so excited about little kids and gifts, you just can't help it. I know I do. Um but I think throwing your own party for people to come meet your daughter when you feel like it's safe to do. So would be a really great thing to do
Speaker 1: here here,
Speaker 1: Christina, thank you so much for the question. We hope that our answer helps and that you look forward to many events like this in the future.
Speaker 1: Thank
Speaker 2: you for your questions. Please send us updates or feedback on our answers to awesome etiquette at Emily
Speaker 1: Post dot com. You
Speaker 2: Can leave a voicemail or text at (802) 858 kind. That's 8 028585
Speaker 1: 463.
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Speaker 1: If you love awesome etiquette, consider becoming a sustaining member. You can find out more about this by visiting us at patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette. You'll get an ads free version of the show and access to bonus questions and content plus you'll feel great knowing you helped to keep awesome etiquette on the air
Speaker 1: and to those of you who are already sustaining members. Thank you so much for your support.
Speaker 2: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer in the topics we cover and today we have feedback from baby steps who was concerned about sending gifts to a distanced sibling. And we also have feedback from Nina on inviting a wedding photographer Today
Speaker 2: dinner dan. You want to take our first set of feedback,
Speaker 2: dear lizzie
Speaker 1: and dan. A few months ago, I wrote to you about my late brother's daughter who would cut off my siblings and me every christmas I would send her young daughter's gifts only to have them remain unacknowledged this year taking your advice, I again found age appropriate books on animals and the alphabet and sent them. I included a little note that basically said, hi there, merry christmas and I hope the kids enjoy these.
Speaker 1: Please let me know if these arrive safely.
Speaker 1: I was quite surprised and pleased when I received an email after christmas, I had no idea. She still had my email address.
Speaker 1: It was very short but said thank you. And then she included a few sentences about how each of the Children enjoyed the books. I immediately responded with, That's great. I hope you all stay safe throughout the year, etcetera. I never heard back, but it was something.
Speaker 1: Thank you
Speaker 1: baby steps.
Speaker 2: Oh, I love that baby steps. And pardon me it was a, it was a Nissan situation, not a, not a sibling situation, but I just, I love the fact that you've got something this year and I hope it, I hope it continues to build just a little little bit.
Speaker 1: Baby steps.
Speaker 2: Yeah, you got it cause baby steps.
Speaker 2: Our next piece of feedback from nana begins. I'm a fan of your podcast since forever.
Speaker 2: May I add a professional perspective to the question about inviting the photographer to the post half elopement meal. I like that. I'm a musician, a pianist and organist and I play for a lot of weddings and funerals. Ask yourself, will you be comfortable sitting around a table and having a conversation with the photographer that doesn't relate to your event.
Speaker 2: My thoughts
Speaker 2: when I'm around the celebrating family and guests, I am quote unquote on duty. I keep the conversation about them and find tactful, flattering things to say about their choices. Families often invite me to join their celebration of life reception after a funeral. I thank them for the invitation but never attend.
Speaker 2: It always feels like they simply want as many people there as possible to reinforce the reach of the deceased plus everyone else will be united by their reminiscence of someone whose name I've never heard until the eulogy.
Speaker 2: Similarly, I have also been invited to wedding rehearsal dinners. I turned those down to people want to reconnect with their friends around the wedding and I would feel like the booby prize to anyone who got stuck sitting with me.
Speaker 2: I can certainly hold a lovely and entertaining conversation with a stranger, but that's not why people are at the rehearsal dinner.
Speaker 2: I love getting a quote unquote vendor meal at a wedding. It's always something light and pleasant. That looks better to me and works better logistically than the congealing chicken with the white glop that the seated guests are looking at, still grateful for the wonderful strawberry spinach salad. I was given behind the scenes at a wedding five years ago. That is one memorable strawberry spinach salad.
Speaker 2: I would feel very awkward thinking that someone had invited me to a meal instead of a tip,
Speaker 2: a gift card for later meal is better though. I would hope it could cover a meal for two so that it's not obliging the recipient to spend more money in order to use it.
Speaker 2: If you truly want to get to know your photographer and you see this restaurant meal as an opportunity for mutually delightful conversation and you think the photographer will see it that way to then yes, do invite them.
Speaker 2: These are my opinions. I am sure other ceremony adjacent professionals will have their own opinions too.
Speaker 2: Yours. Nina
Speaker 1: nina, thank you for the feedback. I appreciate your frank honesty in terms of your perspective as a professional working in these situations and Lizzy and I think had a hint of this kind of feeling in our answer and it's nice to have it confirmed by someone who's working in that space.
Speaker 1: Thank you so much for the feedback. We love hearing perspectives from our audience about the answers that we give and we particularly love getting those updates. So please do keep them coming.
Speaker 1: Yes,
Speaker 1: thank you for
Speaker 2: sending us your thoughts and updates. Please keep them coming. You can send your feedback or an update to awesome etiquette Emily post dot com or leave us a voicemail or text message at 802858 kind that's 802858 by 46
Speaker 1: three.
Speaker 2: It's time for our post group segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette and today
Speaker 2: we're going to talk about that thing that none of us are supposed to be talking about right now. That thing we don't talk about,
Speaker 2: we're going to talk about not talking about Bruno
Speaker 2: dan. This is your postscript segment. I am along for the ride on this one. I still haven't seen incanto, what is going on in the world today.
Speaker 1: So I wouldn't know except I have a
Speaker 1: 2.5 year old who's the coolest person in the family and
Speaker 2: she
Speaker 1: keeps me up, she gives me relevant, you know what I'm saying? She keeps me on the tip of the edge of the second as a friend of mine used to say um we had a family movie night a while ago where we watched the new Disney movie and Convento and
Speaker 1: it was a usual family movie night for us. We're making popcorn and running around. I probably watched a quarter or a third of the movie
Speaker 2: didn't
Speaker 1: make a big impression on me, but a couple of days later Aria was humming the tunes from it and
Speaker 1: she, even in one watching picked up some of the words, some of the hooks and choruses from some of the songs and
Speaker 1: we don't talk about Bruno no, no, no, I was just coming out of her as she was, you know, princess dressing her way around the kitchen.
Speaker 1: And sure enough, I caught a headline
Speaker 1: A couple of weeks later about how that song had climbed the Billboard charts and it ended up topping out as the number one song in the country and the most popular and widest reaching Disney song in 30 years.
Speaker 2: Getting close to Aladdin, right? Like the whole New World one or something.
Speaker 1: Absolutely. And
Speaker 1: so
Speaker 1: it's now been playing on our kitchen Alexa pretty much nonstop for the last couple of weeks. We listen to a lot of the Encanto soundtrack and we don't talk about Bruno. It's the big hit song from it. The music is all done by lin Manuel Miranda. For those fans of musical theater out there
Speaker 1: and it's incredible music. The music sounds a lot like musical theater as opposed to sort of traditional Disney lyrically driven ballads, a lot of the music, our ensemble pieces where the whole cast is singing and different characters sing
Speaker 1: in character essentially.
Speaker 1: So we don't talk about Bruno
Speaker 1: was the surprise breakout hit that my 2.5 year old heard and caught the hit nature of before anyone else in the house
Speaker 1: and I wanted to talk about, we don't talk about Bruno with the awesome etiquette audience because it's a song about family gossip and it's such a fun song in that it begins with, we don't talk about Bruno but
Speaker 1: and then each verse they hand the song around to different members of the family that give their version of the Bruno story to an interested young family member who's trying to figure out how our family works, how it all fits together. What are the dynamics, how do all these people
Speaker 1: in a big multi generational family relate to each other and interact and there's a missing piece a family member that people don't talk about. So that's the mystery and she's trying to figure it out. And as she
Speaker 1: gets the tales from different family members about Bruno,
Speaker 1: your perspective on who he is shifts and you start to realize that no one really knows and that everyone's just telling stories and
Speaker 2: wait, there's a lot of gossip
Speaker 1: going on here and for somebody that we don't talk about, everyone seems to have an opinion that they want to share
Speaker 2: weight and aren't like a lot of the things like really basic things like like it'll rain on your wedding day and it does or something like that, you know, like things that could happen even if someone wasn't predicting them
Speaker 1: Yes, without
Speaker 2: getting into
Speaker 1: spoilers and big reveals there's there's some question about Bruno and his relationship to the future, does he cast spells, does he prophesies, does he bring good or bad luck?
Speaker 1: And depending on what
Speaker 2: is it? You know, like what's going on,
Speaker 1: depending on the nature of the vision that Bruno has about your future. You might feel differently about the nature of his prophecy Sizing
Speaker 2: right. Right. Right, right. I
Speaker 1: think one of the reasons that the song is so relatable is that there are so many recognizable human characters and there are also so many really recognizable
Speaker 1: human emotions. The
Speaker 1: the fundamentals of how families interact and the dynamics of sibling relationships,
Speaker 1: cousin relationships, uncle aunt,
Speaker 1: parent child relationships are
Speaker 1: are so similar no matter what context they happen in
Speaker 2: a lot of the things just things that might have happened anyway, like they're not even really necessarily driven by Bruno away. So
Speaker 1: lizzie post, do you know a little more about this than you're letting on?
Speaker 1: Because
Speaker 2: the the particular
Speaker 1: thing about Bruno is that he prophesies is people's futures.
Speaker 1: And there is some question as to whether his prophecies create that future or give it direction or
Speaker 2: whether by
Speaker 1: not hearing his prophecy, you could avoid that particular future,
Speaker 1: but that's the thing that sort of spooks people in the family. What I think is really so universally appealing about the the song is that it's it's about
Speaker 1: how we talk about the things we don't talk about how families gossip, how we share the news that needs to be shared but that we're not supposed to or
Speaker 2: talk about Bruno. But well, I'll tell you our stories about what happened with Bruno,
Speaker 1: will we ever and it will be so much fun and
Speaker 1: I was thinking about how much of the business etiquette program about communication deals with gossip. A surprisingly large percentage of our business etiquette communication deck deals with how to address
Speaker 1: gossip that isn't functioning well in the workplace because it's one of the most destructive things that can happen. And I can imagine in families it can be similar.
Speaker 1: But
Speaker 1: as this particular song points out, there's also some real damage that happens when there's too much silence when we're not able to speak about or address certain things. And
Speaker 1: I wanted to bring it up as a post script today. Both because if you are like my cousin lizzie and no one has pointed you yet we don't talk about Bruno. And if I didn't have a 2.5 year old in my life, nobody would have
Speaker 1: do yourself a favor. Give the music from Encanto a try. But
Speaker 1: in terms of etiquette points, I was thinking within our social lives that holding ourselves accountable in the same way that we would hold ourselves accountable professionally to the ways we share information and the ways we talk about people when they're not present can
Speaker 1: can be hugely important. And that if we have some skills for sharing information and talking with each other about things that are difficult that
Speaker 1: work. It can facilitate conversations that are important to have and can fight that code of silence that can also be really destructive in families. If if you're not able to penetrate it. So
Speaker 1: one of the hardest pieces of advice that I give in the business world is that if you need to talk about someone, if you need to share something about someone else,
Speaker 1: that you do it in a way that if they were to ever ask you about it, that you could be accountable to them and
Speaker 1: you could go so far as to imagine them hearing what you say to another person. Or I think the softer version of that is you could say to yourself, how would I explain to them that it was important for me to
Speaker 2: talk about, To
Speaker 1: tell mirabel about her uncle Bruno for these reasons? Because she came and asked me and she wanted to know this and these were concerns and
Speaker 1: there was time she knew X, y and Z. Don't worry, we didn't talk about
Speaker 1: or whatever it is,
Speaker 2: but
Speaker 1: that that you can own it and that if you approach it with that spirit, I think you can make it a lot easier and it can make it easier to hold yourself accountable to that standard of integrity and sincerity that we talked about as being an important part of etiquette.
Speaker 1: So, without getting into the particulars of what the gossip is very generally, I was thinking about how we talk about things
Speaker 1: that are difficult, particularly when other people are involved.
Speaker 2: I think another thing that's important about gossip, and we talked about this in the 19th edition and we talked about it in the 20th edition. Um and we've certainly talked about it on the show before is the idea that there is good gossip, you know, that, that the idea gossip isn't only inherently bad
Speaker 2: that sometimes that neighborhood grapevine or that family grapevine can really
Speaker 2: be used much more like a phone tree to spread the word, but not have one person doing it all across the board. And so one of the ways when you do find out news from someone is to ask them if it's okay to share this with others, should the topic come up? And that's a, it's a really
Speaker 2: good thing to, to sort of get your ducks in a row before the gossip starts and to find out if this is something that's willing to be shared or not, I was always really grateful for the friends who would say things like,
Speaker 2: you know, I'm really not telling a lot of people this, or even though this sounds like using someone, I'm using you as a place to vent this, please don't talk about it with anybody else. And you know, I'm not sharing this with our bigger group of friends or something like that. It was always really, really clear, but equally important were the times when someone would say yes and it's okay if you tell people this,
Speaker 2: um, we've told all the people we need to know. So if someone around the club asks,
Speaker 2: I can, you know, even within families, let's say some bigger shake ups are happening. Something like a divorce or something letting kids know what's okay to talk about and what, what's not ok to talk about and some sample language for how to decline talking about it.
Speaker 2: I remember a divorce in our family and I was in a teenage years and someone came up to me at one of my tennis events
Speaker 2: and tried to kind of gossip with me about it and I just said, listen, it's really not my place to talk about that. Like I'm here for a tennis match today
Speaker 2: and it was really useful to have had my parents give me that language and say it's okay to decline a conversation from an adult about this. It helped quite a bit. So I think the idea of the gossip being bad, it's not necessarily the gossip. It's, it's how and when you're choosing to share that gossip that can make it good or bad.
Speaker 1: You make a good point knowing when and what's appropriate to share can help you to honor true confidences and respect privacy. And that requires being able to navigate that line of, of, of sharing appropriately and enough. And then also knowing like you say,
Speaker 1: when to bow out completely and to say no, that's really not mine to share. Ultimately your ability to identify
Speaker 1: delicate topics and potentially difficult
Speaker 1: topic areas and information is also part of the skill.
Speaker 1: So having some awareness as to how other people are presenting things, talking about things, feeling about things is an important part of developing the skill set of
Speaker 1: operating adeptly with gray area information.
Speaker 1: But as long as you're aware that it's potentially and I want to call it controversial. Let's say delicate.
Speaker 1: I think that that can help you proceed with enough caution that
Speaker 1: even when there aren't clear right or wrong choices when they're shades of gray choices, you're able to navigate them with some intelligence lizzie post. I can't provide adorable Children to sing. We don't talk about Bruno right now. But what I can do is offer to include a link in the show description. So we'll be sure to get that one out if anyone is interested.
Speaker 2: Well cause thank you so much for giving us a chance to explore a little bit about We don't talk about Bruno
Speaker 1: on the show.
Speaker 2: Now there's one more thing on mrs Hoover's instructions then can we go? Yes, then you can go. Here it is.
Speaker 2: Remember girls, we have to do a lot of talking about people in this office because of this fact everything talked about in this office
Speaker 1: must stay
Speaker 2: in this office.
Speaker 1: Okay,
Speaker 2: that's it for
Speaker 1: now
Speaker 1: we like to end our show on a high note. So we turn to you to hear about the good etiquette you're seeing and experiencing out in the world and that can come in so many forms. Today we have a salute from anonymous
Speaker 2: Hi I am a psychologist in an adult partial hospital program
Speaker 2: which is a program that meets the needs of patients whose symptoms can't be managed in a regular outpatient setting. For example, one hour of therapy a week.
Speaker 2: The patient center program see a therapist daily
Speaker 2: and are in therapy groups for about six hours each day, monday through friday.
Speaker 2: I work on a large team with other psychologists and psychiatrists.
Speaker 2: Each of us has our own caseload of individual clients who we see daily as well as being assigned
Speaker 2: 21 therapy group per day. To facilitate when one of my psychology co workers calls out stickers on vacation. The other psychologists or I will cover for them by seeing their individual patients running their groups or substituting for them in various meetings or events.
Speaker 2: To me covering for my colleagues is just part of the job that I don't question because of the nature of working in a partial hospital program.
Speaker 2: I expect to have busier days when more co workers are out that day. I also expect that my coworkers were clever for me when I need them to to me it all balances out in the end and we just work together as a team.
Speaker 2: Recently. A coworker of mine had an unexpected family emergency and had to call out of work for five whole days. I ended up covering for him by substituting for him for an interview he was going to have with an applicant to our internship program
Speaker 2: when he returned to work.
Speaker 2: He sent me a really nice thank you email. I thought his email was so thoughtful, kind and well worded. He greeted me and said, quote unquote. I am so thankful for your willingness to help cover my interviews last week. Your kindness and support offered me some needed reprieve during a difficult time.
Speaker 2: And then he signed it by saying deep gratitude
Speaker 2: in my eyes. I was just doing my part as a good team member like we all do. But I really appreciated the thoughtfulness of his email and thought it was great etiquette.
Speaker 2: I will be sure to send a kind thank you email to any coworkers who cover for me in the future.
Speaker 2: A
Speaker 1: Yes,
Speaker 2: yes, that's like good business etiquette, good coworker, attic. It there's a lot of good etiquette in there.
Speaker 1: I love it. The power of a thank you note. It's um, it's really awesome. Thank you for sharing anonymous. I I think that you are awesome. I think that's what it sounds like your approach at work is um
Speaker 1: everything that I would want in a coworker and would appreciate in a coworker and I'm really glad that someone took the time to tell you.
Speaker 2: Thank you for sending us your salute.
Speaker 1: Thank you for listening.
Speaker 2: Thank you to everyone who sent us something this week and who supports us on patreon.
Speaker 1: Please connect with us, share this show with friends, family and coworkers. However you like to share podcasts,
Speaker 2: You can send us questions feedback or your etiquette salute by email to awesome etiquette. Emily Post dot com by phone. You can leave us a message or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463
Speaker 2: on twitter. We are at Emily Post inst on instagram, we are at Emily Post Institute and on facebook were awesome etiquette and the Emily Post Institute.
Speaker 1: Please consider becoming a sustaining member. Find out more by visiting Patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: You can also subscribe to the ads version of our show on Spotify or your favorite podcast app and please consider leaving us a review on whichever platform you use, It helps our show ranking, which helps more people find awesome etiquette.
Speaker 2: Our show is edited by Kris Albertine, who is likely now very sunburnt and assistant produced by Bridget Dowd, who is up in the freezing cold. Thanks
Speaker 1: chris and
Speaker 2: Bridget