Episode 395 - A Wedding Off
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 acknowledging who is paying for the wedding on the invitation, whether or not RSVPs are a thing of the past,new houses that are full of stuff from previous residents, and a sample script for a canceled wedding. For Awesome Etiquette Sustaining members our question is about if spouses should always be invited too. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript on serving butter.
Speaker 1: maybe
Speaker 2: it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy. That's old fashioned
Speaker 2: act as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness.
Speaker 2: Hello and welcome to awesome etiquette
Speaker 1: where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty.
Speaker 2: On today's show, we take your questions on acknowledging who is paying for the wedding on the invitation. Whether or not RSVPs are a thing of the past
Speaker 2: new houses that are full of stuff from previous residents
Speaker 2: and a sample script for a canceled wedding for
Speaker 1: awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about if spouses should always be invited
Speaker 2: to plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript on butter.
Speaker 1: All that's coming
Speaker 2: up,
Speaker 1: awesome etiquette comes to you from the studios of our home offices in Vermont and is proud to be produced by the Emily Post Institute. I'm lizzie post
Speaker 2: and I'm dan post sending
Speaker 1: because we, we've been hitting it this week. We have been going, I mean what is it that you always say like hit grab and dig or dig, hit and grab some order like that
Speaker 2: grab and dig as if I ever played football.
Speaker 1: There you go. And I didn't even know it was a football reference,
Speaker 1: but I feel like we've been on it. We have a new deadline from our publisher. We've gotten our first page passes from them, which is where we actually see the book laid out. If you want to go check out our instagram. I posted a picture of it yesterday.
Speaker 1: This is for me cousin. My favorite part of the book process is because you're actually seeing the book fully laid out.
Speaker 1: You might have placeholders for illustrations, you might have illustrations in there depending on where you are in the process. We don't have our illustrations yet, but you really get a sense for all the design ideas that you've talked about and coordinated with the designer lizzie allen on and now we're seeing them in practice with our work and our words.
Speaker 1: And I also love it because you and I are sitting down together over the phone reading the book out loud to one another
Speaker 1: and it's it's so fun. It's it's fun to hear each other read lines that I know we each the other person wrote. You know what I mean? I'm like, oh that is so damn line right there. Oh, I remember that edit.
Speaker 1: I remember going through
Speaker 2: that this section, man, we must have done this section five times. Okay. Why we kept going on this one.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Um it's it's very fun to be in this position where you're a little bit more removed. You're still feeling like the work is pretty precious to you because this is a pretty precious book to us but it feels like you can both criticize it and just fall in love with it.
Speaker 1: There were parts of the first section of the book where we talk about consideration, respect and honesty
Speaker 1: where I just, I felt so grateful that we had put in the work that we had put in on it because it felt so good to read it, you know, And like even little things like you'd read one line or I'd read one line whoever is reading and
Speaker 1: you just hear it, you'd hear that that was a great sentence, you know, and you just take a second like, oh, that's a great sentence. You know, it's it's a delight. It's it really is delightful even though it has a deadline and it's like we got to get it back and this is really our last chance to fix anything that's incorrect.
Speaker 1: So it's a, it's, it's
Speaker 2: it's
Speaker 1: pressured. It's
Speaker 2: all of those things it evokes for me, these memories of your mother who would tote around this this early treatment
Speaker 2: and you physically market up pencil, you know, different people have different colored pens or oftentimes there's a tabs, you know, you turn post it notes into tabs and I just had these, these memories of that book and it was, you know, you have to physically carry it around. So, you know, Tricia would come into the office with that thing under her arm and it would lay out on the desk and
Speaker 2: it always seemed so daunting to me being a step removed from the process. It felt like there was just so much being tracked and kept track of and because it all had a physical location,
Speaker 2: there was a certain amount of care that you took with just that, that copy that had all of the edits on it because it was, it was everything, it had all the information that was being assembled, all of the responses of the different authors that were going back to the publisher one last time.
Speaker 2: But it was so real, so physical, so tangible that it it created a real or
Speaker 2: gave me a real impression that there was work going on. And it's what I associate with writing a book in many ways
Speaker 1: totally. There's, and I can remember those meetings with my mom Tricia where like for instance, I remember in the 19th edition, I was responsible maybe it was the 18th edition, one of the two, I was responsible for bringing the roommates element to it.
Speaker 1: And when she was ready to tackle that you'd get called into the conference area and we'd be at the table together and she would go through everything with you and she'd make notes and the in
Speaker 1: she was so great about taking everybody's comments, you know, and and putting them in and assessing them and and not being terribly judgy about it. But it was that feeling of Tricia would call you in and you would get your time with her and that giant manuscript and it was, it was kind of cool.
Speaker 1: You mentioned all the tabs and everything and I feel very much so like my mother right now because
Speaker 2: there's different
Speaker 1: tabs and and between dan and I, we only have to send back one version of this. So I'm doing all the marking up and dan is going to keep his version for our references and our archives. So it's filled with tabs and it's like every little correction, whether it's a comma missing here or it's a big oops, this actually got transferred to the wrong section of the book. We need to put it over here.
Speaker 1: All of those are marked and they have a little tab that coordinates corresponds to them. Excuse me. And then those all go horizontally off the pages and vertically are the things that I have to deal with. So
Speaker 1: if there's something that's still really unresolved that we need like a meeting with the editor to talk about like how, how how does this read? Is this the most current language for this, that kind of thing, which
Speaker 1: are mostly things we've already dealt with, but this is our last chance. And so we want to get it right. And so there's a lot of things we questioned in this one or we had, I think one of the ones from Wednesday dan was did mrs three and one really show up in the etiquette books in 1927 and the second edition of the book and
Speaker 1: we
Speaker 2: both know that, but do we know it
Speaker 1: know it like where's our source for it, you know?
Speaker 1: And so I feel like a college kid you know, back to writing papers and getting sources and things but that was a vertical tab. We got to remove because we went and double checked and found the right answer in the in the Claridge biography and and were able to confirm it. And so it's kind of fun to see those, those remove. Um and
Speaker 1: it's it's just delightful. I really love being back in the book with you because it's a it's been a very our mornings where we have worked on it together. I
Speaker 2: have I have just
Speaker 1: thoroughly enjoyed them this week. I've really, really been jazzed about it.
Speaker 2: Well we've got a few more ahead of us. So that's good to hear. We
Speaker 1: got about another week and a half to go.
Speaker 2: Well speaking of all that we have ahead of us, we have some questions ahead of us, lizzie post. We do, we do shall we get to them? Let's do it.
Speaker 1: Awesome etiquette is here to answer
Speaker 2: your questions. You can
Speaker 1: email them to awesome etiquette at Emily
Speaker 2: post dot com. Leave a
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Speaker 2: Our first question this week is about a station er snag
Speaker 2: dear lizzie and dan, thank you so much for years and years of listening to your podcast. I've been in so many different states of my life as I listen and now I have a wedding etiquette question
Speaker 1: my
Speaker 2: fiancee's parents, let's call them Mr and mrs Jack roberts have extremely generously offered to pay for my wedding to their son.
Speaker 2: I'm a woman, My fiance is a man.
Speaker 2: My parents will be paying for the invitations and the rehearsal dinner.
Speaker 2: I asked the stationery designer to put my fiance's parents at the top of the invitation to acknowledge that they're paying for example, Mr and mrs Jack roberts and parentheses invite you to the wedding of their son, groom and bride, daughter of Mr and mrs sam johnson,
Speaker 2: if you're wondering why it says, and that's because it's a jewish wedding invitation where we write and instead of two,
Speaker 2: here's the problem, the stationery designer doesn't feel comfortable putting the groom's parents names at the top because it's charring and calls attention to itself, but I don't know what to do because they are truly paying for almost everything. And I wonder why my fiancee's gender would make that uncomfortable for people
Speaker 2: She sent us proofs recently with my parents named 1st
Speaker 2: than me. Then my fiance then son of his parents.
Speaker 2: Should I kindly insist that we put my fiance's parents names first.
Speaker 2: Should we put my parents first as the designer prefers though their contribution is much smaller.
Speaker 2: I think it's important to know that all four parents are very gracious about this situation and nobody has insisted on going first.
Speaker 2: My parents are the ones pushing to have his parents named first as a salute to their generosity.
Speaker 2: What would you do? And also do you think it's a real concern that a partner's gender would make it uncomfortable for guests to see that their parents are paying. Thanks so much for your time.
Speaker 2: Who's on first?
Speaker 1: I like that. Who's on first. Very clever, very clever. I also wanted to just quickly point out that even though I grew up catholic, I really always loved the jewish wording on the invitation of and because it felt like like such a union as opposed to one person is being married to another. I love the construct using the word and
Speaker 1: and so that's, that's always been a favorite of mine that I hoped would branch out beyond the religious barriers.
Speaker 1: But I really appreciate so much about what who's on what, whose on first has told us
Speaker 2: about. Here we go.
Speaker 1: Right. Because I think it is incredibly important that the parents are very gracious about this situation because sometimes that's not always the case often we get the opposite, you know, Oh my gosh, my parents contributed.
Speaker 1: But you know, the bride's parents are very
Speaker 1: um traditionalists and they think only the bride's parents should be hosted. We get a lot of that and it's really refreshing to hear the other side of, oh my gosh, the other set of parents has contributed. So generally, you know, with such generosity, we want to put them at the top of the invitation, we feel very confident about it.
Speaker 1: It's a, it's a beautiful place to be, and I just think that's wonderful.
Speaker 1: Um what I'm bummed about is that the station er is, is trying to, to, to thwart the efforts here. I know right, dance first note in our, in our show notes, says this is your wedding, so the wording is up to you and technically that's really true. Um even though there are a lot of standards say there's, there are, there are a lot of standards for how you could write your wedding invitation. I think even in the 20th edition, we have three different samples.
Speaker 1: One that's very traditional, one that's a little more modern and one that's sort of the casual modern version. And so there's a lot to work with within this world of wedding invitations and when I hear
Speaker 1: the traditional nature of things that seem to be coming out along with the focus on really wanting to include the groom's parents. I start to think about constructions where you see all four parents listed at the top of the invitation and while traditionally you would put
Speaker 1: the bride's parents first if we're dealing with a bride and groom couple.
Speaker 1: I think in this particular circumstance because the bride's parents are asking for it that it's perfectly fine to have the groom's parents up on top. I don't actually understand the jarring nous that the station er is talking about or that the designer is talking about in this case.
Speaker 1: I think if I was to say something was jarring it might be more so that in the construction that was first suggested to the station or the designer
Speaker 1: that it was the son of that we were using that that kind of construction the son of and the daughter of and you were really switching the places of the bride and the groom on the invitation
Speaker 1: and it's perfectly fine to do it. But it often we go to that place of the bride on the wedding day and we put we do that old ladies first thing, it doesn't have to be that
Speaker 2: way.
Speaker 1: But for me when I think about this particular setup,
Speaker 1: I like the idea of removing the son of and the daughter of type language and instead having Mr and mrs Jack roberts. So that's the groom's parents
Speaker 1: next line down Mr and mrs bride's parents and again however they choose to do their names is totally fine. It doesn't have to be that construction of the husband's full name with the Mr and mrs
Speaker 1: and then the next line would be requests the honor of your presence. Then the next line is at the marriage of and then we will put your name, the word and on the next line and then the next line down his name and then followed by you know, date in place.
Speaker 1: And so I think for me removing the son of and daughter of allows both parents to be in the hosting positions which are those top lines. And at the same time we are still putting the bride first and then who the bride is marrying and then the date in place. So it might kind of
Speaker 1: get the the order of that bride and groom a little more in the traditional category, which might again might be what the designer is balking at in the in the previous rendition.
Speaker 1: But it would also get both sets of parents up top and it is very common to have all sets of parents, whether it's two sets of parents or four sets of parents. Because there have been divorces, it's very common to have them all up there.
Speaker 1: It's a little less common to see the groom's parents names listed at the very top. But because your parents are suggesting that I think it's absolutely fine to run with, it would not be jarring.
Speaker 2: I like the solution and I like the specificity I I really appreciated seeing it in our show notes mapped out line by line. And
Speaker 2: it looks very similar to me too many wedding invitations that I've received, where all of the parents are listed at the top, essentially giving everybody hosting credit in some way. And the gender question was one that interested me because theoretically the idea is that you don't,
Speaker 2: for many people want the gender to necessarily matter in terms of that.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 2: that construction.
Speaker 2: But there is this thing that happens with so much of our etiquette today where there are sort of traditional ways of doing things and traditional expectations. And then there's the
Speaker 2: very
Speaker 2: real and present world that we live in, where individual choice and and people wanting to do things their own way has really been pretty accepted. It's it's, as you point out, we have a contemporary
Speaker 2: wedding wording in our new book, as well as a pretty casual wedding invitation wording in our new book.
Speaker 1: And the traditional wording, I mean, it's like all three, you know,
Speaker 2: because they do need to play with each other. And I could see the station or the designer balking a little bit saying, well with listing the groom's parents for
Speaker 2: first and then having the daughters parents at the bottom. You're really emphasizing that the groom's parents are playing the host role
Speaker 1: and that's very
Speaker 2: different than the very old school traditional expectation that the bride's parents paid for a wedding.
Speaker 2: And it might be that they're uncomfortable with it as a sort of a reveal that the bride's parents
Speaker 1: aren't paying
Speaker 2: for it or didn't contribute as much. And that that might be the, what they find
Speaker 1: out about
Speaker 2: it. Exactly.
Speaker 1: No, that's a really, really good point. And it is why I love that construction of putting all the parents at the top
Speaker 1: and having them together requests the honor of the presence at the marriage and we say honor of your presence because we're in a house. Well,
Speaker 1: you could also say the pleasure of your company um, in honor of your presence is usually reserved for a house of worship and presence of your company is sort of for the anywhere wedding, whether that's your backyard, whether that's a venue somewhere else, but just not typically for a for a house of worship.
Speaker 1: So I like the idea of getting to the place where all of these four parents are requesting either the honor and the pleasure of of you to attend the marriage. And I've, I've always particularly loved that that construction myself.
Speaker 2: Well, I'm a fan. I hope that the stationers a fan. I hope that who's on first and all of the parents are fans
Speaker 1: and that even
Speaker 2: if this isn't the exact way that they end up going, that it gives you some ideas about ways to approach this that are going to work for your family,
Speaker 1: who's on first. Thank you so much for the question and congratulations. We hope the wedding is a smashing success.
Speaker 1: The pledge to love and cherish to honor and obey
Speaker 1: the pledge to share a lifetime and build a heritage for new lifetimes to come.
Speaker 2: Our
Speaker 1: next question is cleverly titled R. I. P. To the R. S. V. P.
Speaker 1: Dear lizzie and dan first. I want to say, I love listening to your show all the way from Australia. Woo hoo!
Speaker 1: So listen, I got really excited about that through listening to your show. I've concluded our etiquette down here is a cross between british etiquette and that of perhaps more relaxed states in the U. S. Like texas or California. I'm even learning what tailgating parties are from your show. That's an important one.
Speaker 1: The question I have is have RSVPs died? I love hosting dinner parties but I find I constantly have to follow up as to whether people are actually coming.
Speaker 1: This is particularly painful with couples as if the couple doesn't come or tells me they can't come less than a week out. It's too late to invite another couple who I would have loved to have invited instead
Speaker 1: and there's a big hole at the dinner table which ruins the flow of conversation and fun.
Speaker 1: What's even worse is when people respond with something like we'll see closer to the time or they ask who else is coming before responding? I'm torn. Do I just stop inviting these people, is this just the norm and no one knows how to R. S. V. P.
Speaker 1: Many thanks claire from Oz?
Speaker 2: Oh Claire from Oz. Thank you for the question from the other side of the world. It's so much fun to get a question from Australia living here in Vermont where I was always told as a child, if I really were to start digging a hole and go straight through the planet I would probably come out somewhere in Australia.
Speaker 1: It's true, it's true. And we do actually have a couple of trainers over in Australia which is kind of exciting people who've been through our training programs
Speaker 1: and our teachers.
Speaker 2: We sure do.
Speaker 2: And I also like the reflection that Australian etiquette is. This blend of some sort of british etiquette that was handed down. But then also it's been
Speaker 2: contemporary, prized by the environment that it's lived in and that might be similar to some of the Western states in America. I like the parallel and the
Speaker 1: thinking
Speaker 2: Claire I want to start you asked a bunch of good questions. This is what I would call a contemporary etiquette classic.
Speaker 1: And I
Speaker 2: think that I have some clients who I am hired by pretty much to deliver the message that the R. S. V. P. Is still critically important and often times the point of pain that has someone picked up the phone and
Speaker 2: call me as a consultant is
Speaker 2: a difficulty getting employees in a professional setting to respond to invitations. Whether they're um social events that are being organized around business or whether it's events that are actually happening on site that are part of people's work but
Speaker 2: people aren't as good about R. S. V. P. Ng these days. Don't understand the expectations as well. And I want to affirm that
Speaker 2: the very last thing you ask, does anyone even know how to R. S. V. P. Anymore? The answer is there is an increasingly larger and larger percentage of the population that don't have a clear set of expectations about this. So in some ways
Speaker 2: lizzie and I like having the opportunity to answer this question again and again and again because it gives us a chance to go over some really important etiquette.
Speaker 2: The
Speaker 2: R. S. V. P
Speaker 2: equips the host in many ways it's
Speaker 2: the first role and responsibility that a guest has when they received an invitation or when they start to play the role of guests and
Speaker 2: the lesson I deliver in those seminars, trainings and as a consultant is that it's okay to say yes it's okay to say no. The most difficult thing for any host to manage on a guest list is a question mark. It's the failure to R. S. V. P. That's the biggest mistake that people make as you point out. If you get a good clean no,
Speaker 2: you can invite someone else, you can plan accordingly, You don't end up with that whole at the table. You can set a smaller table
Speaker 2: but not knowing makes it really difficult for the host to proceed with their planning
Speaker 1: Dan. You're reminding me of reading in the 1922 edition, Emily speaking about her dinner guest lists and the way you would pick people and that you did have a certain amount of people who were kind of
Speaker 1: on reserve as your seat fillers. So that if you found out someone couldn't make it, you would then go almost like a B list. Like this is almost Emily post advocating a B list, but it's you're more trusted friends, you're you're more reliables who both wouldn't be offended that they weren't first invited and
Speaker 1: would be willing to show up in a pinch to help fill a seat.
Speaker 1: But that idea of filling a seat being important or that having the table be full for a dinner party party being important. While it's not something we put a ton of emphasis on. Now,
Speaker 1: it was incredibly normal in Emily's day, especially in those more high society dinner parties and events.
Speaker 1: And I just I find it interesting to hear that almost like the desire for that kind of backup or your tried and true guest list that you could always call upon in a pinch to fill a seat for
Speaker 2: you.
Speaker 2: Well, it would be phenomenal if we could wave that etiquette magic wand that we talk about and correct all guest behavior. Unfortunately as a host, that's not a possibility. So
Speaker 2: we have to switch our focus to think about what you can do as a host when you're confronted with the reality of this situation and
Speaker 2: within the question that you ask, I see that you're already doing the thing. That would be our first piece of advice which is that you can follow up on your invitation if you don't hear back from someone in a reasonable amount of time,
Speaker 2: what's a reasonable amount of time? Well if there's a stated R. S. V. P. Date that would be one
Speaker 1: That's a good one
Speaker 2: for something like a dinner party that you're inviting someone to a couple of weeks out. You can give it a few days. But when you start to approach the deadlines where you need to have things set for your planning. That's a good informal or not stated deadline where it's perfectly acceptable for you to reach out and touch base with people ask them if they know if they've received the invitation, if they
Speaker 2: are planning on coming and that's got to be a soft ask. But it's also entirely appropriate particularly because you haven't heard anything from them.
Speaker 2: You can't even be absolutely certain that the invitation has arrived. So
Speaker 2: you've got some latitude as a host to reach out touch base and find out what your guests are thinking
Speaker 1: dan this was the point where I did wonder and we don't have information from from Clare to to fill it in. But depending on how early she's sending these invitations.
Speaker 1: It could be that if if she sends the invitation four weeks ahead of the dinner party and checks in at the three week ahead of the dinner party mark. That might feel too soon for some people to make that decision. I'd like to think we could all feel confident making plans three weeks ahead of time. But
Speaker 1: I know that with some people's schedules, it's just it's it's more of a the the week of or the week before is when they'll often know if they're available or not.
Speaker 1: And it might just be worth saying that
Speaker 1: you don't want to have your follow up be too close to when you issued the invitation because people might just need a little bit more time.
Speaker 2: It's a good reminder. And it's funny in my mind as I was thinking about the
Speaker 2: using your own need to prepare as the sort of second deadline. In my mind, I was thinking that was about a week, week and a half
Speaker 1: out and I was
Speaker 2: pushing it out to that week and a half, maybe 22 if you're thinking about inviting someone else and you want to give them the opportunity to say yes. But but you're right, if I was to start to say three weeks out
Speaker 2: in my own mind that starts to feel pushy, I probably don't really need to have all the details for a dinner party set as a host three weeks out. So it might start to feel a little bit overeager let's say to to be pursuing guests for a firm commitment at that point
Speaker 1: you know dan it could be for a more casual dinner party that that's you just need a couple of days before the party to know you know whether someone's coming or not. It could be shorter. But what I what I like is the idea of really giving hosts that time. So if I check in at the week and a half Mark and the guests still isn't ready to commit they give me that that line of we'll see closer to the time.
Speaker 1: That's when it's okay to say actually I really need to know by the 31st or but give it a date it's okay for you to do it and you could probably deliver it in a better way than I just did. But it's okay to give a specific date
Speaker 1: if in your follow up and that's whether you've given already an R. S. V. P. Date and now you're following up and checking in on it because that date has passed.
Speaker 1: It's okay for you to present them with a final final date. And it's also okay to say oh I'm so sorry I really do need an answer by and I would be willing to give someone another 24 48 hours if I had that time to be able to to do it for this kind of a conversation where they're saying oh well I'll let you know closer to the date. Actually I am doing a bunch of prep for this particular particular dinner party.
Speaker 1: And I could really use an answer by this point and if you can't that's okay we could just do a dinner party another time. And I think that helps to get people in the zone of oh someone's trying to coordinate a whole bunch of stuff
Speaker 1: and they actually need an answer from me and no it's not something I can just you know decide upon when I feel like it at the time of the event. You know.
Speaker 2: Absolutely. What's a little bit nice about not getting the R. S. V. P. In a timely manner is in some ways it dials the formality back a little bit. It to me it puts the planning more in that casual or more casual space where we're I'm coordinating with friends and it might work, it might not work. But there there's some back and forth that starts to be part of getting everybody there.
Speaker 1: Which is I
Speaker 2: think the way a lot of successful gathering happens these days because people aren't as
Speaker 2: familiar with and successful at using more traditional expectations to get it to happen. So even if you sent an invitation that's well structured and has all the information someone would need to respond in good time and give you a good answer
Speaker 2: if they're not dancing that dance with you.
Speaker 2: In some ways it gives you the permission to say, hey, do you know the steps to this dance? Let me show you or let me help and when you approach it with that spirit of I'm trying to facilitate this. I'm trying to get this to happen and I'm just, I'm looking to share information and get information so that we can figure out if this is going to work.
Speaker 2: I think that you're likely to get a good answer and
Speaker 2: ideally get that guest list closer to the one that you want closer to, the one that you're hoping for in the beginning
Speaker 1: for the question of when people ask who the other guests are before they've responded. It's definitely a rude thing to do. It's an and pending safety which
Speaker 1: usually is more of an issue at a, at a bigger event, like a wedding where
Speaker 1: maybe a couple who has divorced is friends of both our friends of the couple getting married and the couple is going to invite both of them. It's nice to have that heads up and then each part of the divorced couple can make a decision about whether or not they attend that sort of thing. Um, so there is a little bit of room for it, but
Speaker 1: pending very serious situations and I'm talking very serious
Speaker 1: for the most part, nobody should be asking who are the other guests to judge whether or not they are going to attend something. I think there's a casual version of this where it's just like, oh, you know, is it going to be all the girls, or is it gonna be, you know, all the couples from this particular group that we're all part of dan. I think of um,
Speaker 1: I think of pooches, group of friends from college that you all do that weekend with, where it's like, there's kind of a set crew that comes for that, you know,
Speaker 1: and they might all ask like, oh, is everyone from the crew coming, that kind of a thing. But aside from that, if people are saying, well who's gonna be there, that's where you as a host do not actually have to answer. And
Speaker 1: I have tracked my brain audience for a good sample script for this and I'm coming up a little short,
Speaker 1: the closest thing I've been able to come up with so far. So I'm soliciting suggestions here is something like, well, would it make a difference to whether or not you attend, in other words, question the question with a question, you know,
Speaker 1: it's not, I don't think the most polite way to respond to it, but it's, it's the best thing I've been able to come up with of, of just sort of like a,
Speaker 1: I'm gonna put you a little on the spot here, why do you need to know that to make an answer to whether or not you're gonna come? It's not what you really want to do. But it does get people thinking, oh yeah, why, why am I doing this? It's oh, shoot. Maybe I've got a little broccoli on the tooth here. You
Speaker 2: know,
Speaker 2: a little bit like you, I would have a hard time with a sample script if I actually knew who else was coming.
Speaker 2: I instantly want to go to the,
Speaker 1: I'm not sure yet, no one
Speaker 2: in place of, I'm still, I'm still working it out, still still checking off the boxes or something like that. I think that's
Speaker 1: another good option by the way, dan. I like how that sounds.
Speaker 2: The reality for me. Is that the closest I come to this is exactly the kind of situation you mentioned where it's somebody that's
Speaker 2: part of a social group that
Speaker 2: is used to getting together and they're curious if this is a continuation of that social exchange, oh, is this part of the psychology group or is this part of the women's group or the, is this the Cornell crew or whatever, whatever it might be. And as a host, I'm actually not uncomfortable sharing that. Oh yeah, definitely. You know, we expect to hear from all of them or I expect all of them or
Speaker 2: the
Speaker 1: usual crew. Yeah,
Speaker 2: I think if the question was more pointed is so and so gonna be there with either the implication that the yes, they're gonna be there means I want to come or yes, they're going to be there means I don't want to come
Speaker 2: would start to give me pause and you're right, it's a difficult sample script to come up with. I'd rather not share that with you if you do know the answer to
Speaker 1: that is a tough thing to say. Like it is a very tough even that was one of the ones I had tried like, oh I'm not comfortable sharing the guest list and that felt
Speaker 1: it felt somehow stodgy and stiff and cold and I don't know, it was very hard. So audience. We would love any suggestions or any successful versions of a sample script that you have used when this question has come your way. That would be really, really fantastic
Speaker 1: claire from Oz. There is clearly a lot to discuss when it comes to RSVPs and the lack of RSV peeing going on out there. We truly thank you for your question and we hope that our answer helps
Speaker 2: and for keeping the art of the dinner party alive.
Speaker 2: Social courtesy does pay, doesn't it?
Speaker 2: Thanks
Speaker 2: mm hmm.
Speaker 2: Our next question is titled garage full of goods.
Speaker 2: Hello, awesome etiquette team. I recently moved into a new house. Thanks to some of my boyfriends coworkers who set us up in their old place. I'm super grateful for their help in securing this place, especially because the market where we live is so tight with seasonal workers coming to town ahead of the summer,
Speaker 2: but because we know them, they're taking their time, getting their stuff out of the house.
Speaker 2: The garage is still full of tires and tools and things that have been there for about a month.
Speaker 2: I don't want to be pushy about asking them to take it back because they were so helpful.
Speaker 2: But it is sort of keeping us from using the garage for our cars.
Speaker 2: Could you provide me with a sample script for this situation? Thanks dana
Speaker 1: dana. I can feel the trickiness of this one where it's like you want to balance your gratitude of having these folks help you get this place and at the same time
Speaker 1: you'd like to be able to use
Speaker 2: it in its
Speaker 1: full capacity that you're paying for.
Speaker 1: And I don't know if the previous owners own this place or if we're just taking over a lease from, you know, one person moves out so we're moving out, you should talk to our landlord about picking up the lease once we leave, you know, I don't know which it is, but
Speaker 1: I do think this is one that you you can approach and it's probably just a simple call to inquire about scheduling a time to finish getting the stuff out of the garage.
Speaker 1: So it might be something like, you know, jim, we are so grateful to be staying here. The house has been so fantastic. We are hoping to start getting to use the garage soon, wondering if we could set up a date and make plans to to get the rest of the items out of it. Happy to help is always a nice thing to add if you are or you can, but I think just applying that kind of like
Speaker 1: I got to organize and schedule this, you know because it's not happening just naturally on its own. I think calling and letting someone know that you're both eager to set a time when you'll know when this garage will be available to you and you can help them if you can
Speaker 1: get the things out of it that I I think that would be perfectly fine and and I would expect someone on the other end to be like,
Speaker 1: oh gosh, yeah, sorry, I thought I was gonna get to it two weeks ago and then last week we got sick or you know what I mean? Like just things happen that can push it off and you kind of forget how long it's really been and a month I think you're well within your right to start asking about when you can expect for things to be gone.
Speaker 2: I liked your idea of asking when it would work for them and asking them to let you know when it would work for them. I think that's a great construct and
Speaker 2: if the time that it works for them is a date that's months out into the
Speaker 1: future gives
Speaker 2: you a chance to say things like well are there things that I could do? Could I maybe box some stuff up and move it to the side? Could I put the tires outside under a tarp
Speaker 2: and then they could reply, oh did you? Yes, that would work. That wouldn't work. Maybe I could just come get the tools,
Speaker 1: the
Speaker 2: discussion develops from there. But I I think as a way to raise it lizzie, I think those are the two things that you're, you're really want to balance the idea that you're not demanding or pushing or saying it has to happen by X, y or Z
Speaker 2: and at the same time you're letting them know that you're wanting to know when it's going to be because that forces someone into some concrete thinking about what exactly it is. They are capable and willing to do
Speaker 1: one little added suggestion that can sometimes help this. And I know these were boyfriends coworkers, so you might not be close enough to be socializing with them. But if you are so like if, if having a dinner together or something
Speaker 1: is not out of the realm of possibility or out of the norm for you all.
Speaker 1: I think it is always nice too and you don't have to tack them together, it doesn't have to be like come on over and then we'll do dinner even though that kind of does sound nice. I think it is nice to when you've had to do kind of
Speaker 1: business c tying up, loose ends things with someone to also schedule something that's purely social with them so that it's not just kind of about the brass tacks, but it's about, you know, the relationship as a whole and that can be a little difficult when you've, when you've just moved and you're trying to get settled in and stuff, but
Speaker 1: it sounds like a month in, you know, you might be able to have that opportunity to, to also
Speaker 2: stoked the social
Speaker 1: fires with these folks as well, which could be a good thing.
Speaker 2: I think that's a nice idea. You can hear in the question how appreciative dana is to have the place and to have to have found a place to live and
Speaker 2: you don't want that message to get lost in sort of a final Hey, let's get your stuff out of the garage moment and maybe looking for a purely social moment or a time to really focus on that gratitude is a great way to actually cap this whole exchange
Speaker 1: dana. Thank you so much for the question and we hope you continue to love your new space.
Speaker 1: We
Speaker 2: like to keep the things that we own as clean as we can.
Speaker 2: That's why dan is cleaning his bike.
Speaker 2: It looks much better now,
Speaker 2: but his hands don't Now they need cleaning.
Speaker 1: This next question is titled tender topic. Hi lizzie and dan, thank you for reading my email. I love the podcast and your endless grace and good advice has kept me company on many commutes long runs and road trips.
Speaker 1: My family received the unfortunate news that my brother's wedding has been called off.
Speaker 1: The damage to the relationship is beyond repair.
Speaker 1: Right now. No one outside the family is aware of the incident that caused the break.
Speaker 1: We are grieving privately and tending to my brother's broken heart.
Speaker 1: Eventually the news must come out.
Speaker 1: Could you please share sample language for when extended family, friends and acquaintances inevitably asked what happened?
Speaker 1: I don't want to expose my brother's personal life or speak ill of a woman. I was ready to call my sister.
Speaker 1: If there's any protocol to follow when canceling an event of this nature, I'd appreciate you sharing more about that as well. Thank you canceled engagement. This is a tough one.
Speaker 2: Canceled engagement. I'm so sorry to hear about this very difficult situation that your family is dealing with.
Speaker 2: I can only imagine what your brother must feel like that kind of heartbreak can really be devastating.
Speaker 2: And at the same time, you're I think really wise to be thinking ahead and thinking about how you handle canceling the wedding and talking to people about
Speaker 2: about why that happened because people will be curious, people will wonder and will want to know and will probably be asking about it from a very etiquette perspective. I think the first thing that it's important to say is that you want to get the cancelation notice out as soon as you're certain that the wedding is going to be canceled. And
Speaker 2: you can think of that as something that's just very informational. It doesn't need to be about the rightfully difficult emotional situation that many people are in. It can
Speaker 2: just be about canceling the wedding and
Speaker 2: that is important for guests to know. And it also is certain and and concrete and maybe will help the family move on or start to process and deal as well. It'll feel less like a scary thing that's in the future and something that's just been done
Speaker 2: and now we can deal with some of those emotions and continue to move through that and whatever,
Speaker 2: whatever way that's going to happen.
Speaker 2: The
Speaker 1: way we typically do that is sending a card to all of the guests who have been invited to the wedding. And it very simply says whether it starts with regrettably or not, it often says a very clear and simple line of the wedding of so and so on such and such date will no longer take place.
Speaker 1: And it's it's very clean and simple and I would be prepared once you send those to have asked your brother
Speaker 1: what he's comfortable sharing about the circumstance and depending on where he's at, he may be feeling very private, in which case it's a you know, I don't want you to share anything about it. Just let people know it's not going to happen and that we are both going to move forward with other relationships after this,
Speaker 1: or you know, not because there are other relationships immediately present to move forward with, but just that we are not going to
Speaker 1: to try and reconcile the harder, I think sometimes it's actually when the person who's been hurt is willing to to spread whatever it is and and really sort of put the blame out there or tell the whole story, that sort of thing, as canceled engagement writes to us, this person was supposed to be my sister,
Speaker 1: I don't really want to be speaking ill of her and I think that that's a fair thing for even if your brother is screaming, you know, to the hilltops about what his fiancee did to break up the engagement, you don't have to do that as well, You can instead say something like, you know, unfortunately what occurred between them really wasn't fixable and and so the marriage won't take place and I wish her well, I'm sad, she won't be joining the family,
Speaker 1: but I understand why and leaving it there is perfectly fine. You don't you don't have to go into that smear campaign as well
Speaker 2: in a lot of ways, the tone with which you deliver, whatever you say is going to be a big part of how it's received. If
Speaker 2: you seem devastated and distraught, whatever the message is, it's
Speaker 2: likely to
Speaker 2: if not raised the curiosity in the other person, definitely create an impression for them. And
Speaker 2: I think having a sample script, like the one lizzie just mentioned in your pocket and being ready both with the words and with
Speaker 2: a spirit of I'm sharing the information, but it's personal. So I'm not sharing too much about it either with what I'm telling you or with the, the tone that I deliver it with is a big part of that message being received as
Speaker 2: just factual information by the person who's
Speaker 2: legitimately curious. It's, it's not an unreasonable question for someone to have in their mind if they've been invited to a wedding and then it's been canceled, why it was canceled. But it's also very reasonable for the response to that to be. It's it's a little too personal to really get into the details on.
Speaker 2: I really wish that it could have gone forward. Wish I could've seen you there or something like that. But it's it's not going to happen.
Speaker 2: Put a period on that sentence, puts a code on it that says
Speaker 2: it's really not up to me to tell you. And the emotional stakes aren't so high that
Speaker 2: you should continue to ask or wonder even Yeah, canceled engagement. We're so sorry to hear about this very difficult situation that your family is dealing with. We applaud you in your efforts to support your brother through this difficult time and hope that our advice helps.
Speaker 2: Thank you for your questions, please send us updates or feedback on our answers to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463.
Speaker 2: Or 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 we are awesome etiquette. Just remember use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: If you love awesome etiquette, please consider becoming a sustaining member by visiting us at patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette. You'll get an ads free version of the show and access to bonus questions and content plus live calls and we know you'll feel great helping 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 and the topics we cover today. We have feedback from Haley on episode 386.
Speaker 2: Dear lizzie Daniel and the awesome etiquette team. Thank you for your wonderful podcast. I recently discovered awesome etiquette and have found your perspectives to be wonderfully helpful, especially in my work as a wedding calligrapher and
Speaker 1: station er
Speaker 2: After listening to your most recent episode, I had one thought to add on the topic of addressing poor hygiene with a friend, coworker or family member
Speaker 2: that thought is this poor hygiene is often associated with depression or other mental health challenges.
Speaker 2: In fact, it is often the first warning sign of conditions that may be serious or even life threatening.
Speaker 2: I certainly am not making any assumptions about the individual from the original segment,
Speaker 2: but I think listeners looking to apply your wonderful advice would benefit from this perspective.
Speaker 2: Poor hygiene is a difficult thing to discuss, but showing your concern and support might even save a life.
Speaker 2: I think being aware of this issue would help anyone prepare for a tough conversation with even more grace and empathy.
Speaker 2: Thank you again for all you do. Warm regards Haley
Speaker 1: Haley. Thank you so much for your feedback. It's an excellent point and I love the idea that the concern could actually have a lot more meaning behind it than than we might ever realize. Thank you so much for
Speaker 2: your feedback
Speaker 2: and thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please do keep them coming. You can send your next question feedback or update. Two awesome etiquette, Emily post dot com or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463.
Speaker 1: It's time for our post group segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette and today we're going to talk about butter at the table dan. This wasn't able, I know, I know table manners, like who would have thought on an etiquette show,
Speaker 1: but I say cute because I love the name. One of our listeners wrote in under the pseudonym butterfingers and I just loved that so much and had about five questions about butter at the dining table. And so Bridget sent it to us saying this would make a great post script and I think she's absolutely right.
Speaker 1: So butterfingers writes about a number of different aspects of butter at the table and I figured why not let's just take it away. Can I
Speaker 2: serve it up to
Speaker 1: you, slice it or roll it? I'm ready.
Speaker 2: Let's begin.
Speaker 2: Which is the more formal way to serve butter on a small plate in a butter dish covered or uncovered or in some other specialty serve ware
Speaker 1: so that you really have two options for butter at the table. You could have a butter dish that you pass around and whether that's a small bowl that has bald butter in it or whether it is a a small plate that has as my family does at thanksgiving butter turkeys on it, which used to be butter ducks
Speaker 1: or whether you serve pat's or those same balls are shaped butter on the actual butter plate at each setting is another option. So you kind of have a couple options for for how you might serve it to pass butter around the table, but
Speaker 1: you also have the option of just giving everyone their individual butter, which also sometimes happens with the salt and pepper.
Speaker 1: I think one
Speaker 2: of my favorite things is when I get my own butter
Speaker 1: and oftentimes
Speaker 2: when it's in a little
Speaker 1: dish and it's
Speaker 2: soft. So it's just like I've got a little miniature bowl of butter there for me to do every and anything I want with
Speaker 1: it with in regard to good table manners. Yes. But
Speaker 2: I also like the idea of having individual servings at each place. I think that could be really nice. Also,
Speaker 1: you're reminding me that I didn't think of the whipped butter that is like my absolute favorite when I'm usually experience of dining out. But it's, it's like, oh, that is just when you get your own little ramekin of that and you don't have to share it with anybody. That is exciting. Even though I like to share when, when you pooch and I go out to dinner,
Speaker 1: I definitely appreciate
Speaker 1: that whipped butter is just so,
Speaker 2: so good. As far as the formality goes, the only thing I think I would really caution against is labels at the table a butter presentation that looks like the kind of butter presentation that would be on your countertop. So like a stick of butter that has been partially used or something like that, I think is something that you would want to avoid in, in any of your more formal settings.
Speaker 2: And in some
Speaker 1: ways this gets
Speaker 2: into that question of covered or uncovered, A lot of people have
Speaker 2: countertop butter dishes that have a cover because it protects the butter. You can leave it out where it stays at room temperature, but then that cover protects it. And it's also sometimes useful to have a cover on the butter at the table for the same reason. So I don't think it's necessarily that the butter is covered or uncovered at the table that makes it more formal or less formal. But
Speaker 2: if the cover at the table looks like the cover from the counter or sort of a bigger pot or a bigger stick, I think that starts to get where
Speaker 2: it feels less formal. It feels more like I've brought the butter from the counter to the table as opposed to having a presentation to it,
Speaker 1: like a serving dish with like a top that maybe maybe matches the set around it or something.
Speaker 2: Exactly. And and that cover, you might not need it for the briefer time that you're gonna be using the butter at the table, ideally the table is a relatively clean space, but that protection can also be nice. Keep the butter protected.
Speaker 1: Lots of ways to, to serve butter at the table. What's our second question
Speaker 2: Dan. At a table with 10-12 diners, would it make sense to have two or more butter dishes to avoid having to pass the butter up and down the entire length of the
Speaker 1: table. This is where logistics are so fun with etiquette because I say yes, absolutely. If you are able to put the butter in dishes
Speaker 1: to be passed that that look at least like they go together or even if you have a mismatched setting, that that's still like a coordinated mismatching that's happening, you know? Um I think it's absolutely fine. I think it makes a lot of sense to have a couple of plates that could move around the table.
Speaker 1: Um or as we said before, you could choose to give everyone their own individual better.
Speaker 2: I don't think I could wait for 10 people to butter their bread before I got my butter. That would be to hoping that the
Speaker 1: butter was, was placed near you naturally. And if not that you're in the like downswing of the passing as opposed to like being up up end of it.
Speaker 2: Yes. Next question
Speaker 2: is the butter knife to be passed along with the butter.
Speaker 2: If the butter is in a rectangular butter dish, this seems like it would be awkward.
Speaker 1: Hmm, interesting. So, we technically have two different butter knives at the table. There's the butter knife that travels with any butter that is communal butter for the table to be passed around and then there is your own butter knife that is on your
Speaker 1: bread plate. Excuse me. I keep wanting to call it the butter plate, but it's the bread plate
Speaker 1: and if your host doesn't have that particular knife, then you're using your dinner knife, whether that's your your entree or appetizer,
Speaker 2: whichever is
Speaker 1: out there as your butter ring knife. But you always always, if there is past butter, you have
Speaker 1: something to be removing it from the butter plate or bowl with
Speaker 1: and that item stays with the butter plate or bowl. It doesn't it doesn't leave it. It's it's there. Sometimes you'd see tongs for like the little bald butter.
Speaker 2: Mm hmm.
Speaker 2: So that's a definite yes,
Speaker 1: sorry, simpler answer. But I was so thinking about the two knives. Yes, the butter knife is passed with the butter and it stays with the butter.
Speaker 2: Next question
Speaker 2: is the butter knife meant to rest on the butter dish between uses.
Speaker 1: Yes. In both cases, your butter knife is supposed to rest on your
Speaker 1: bread plate in between uses and when the butter is not being passed or someone isn't taking, you know, a little slab from it. That knife is often set on the side of whatever the container the butter is in and it
Speaker 2: does raise that question. It it's nice if that
Speaker 2: butter serving utensil, whether it's the tongs or the butter knife that goes with the butter.
Speaker 2: If there's a way to keep track of it. If there is a place that sits oftentimes in the bowl or because you don't want to put it necessarily back down on the table, once it's definitely
Speaker 1: don't want to put it on the table.
Speaker 2: Yeah, but it and it's one of the reasons why a little butter serving where can oftentimes be nice, it can help deal with that. You're not trying to make use of a knife that doesn't fit in a little butter serving dish to both pass with it and then stay with it when it's not being passed.
Speaker 1: Exactly.
Speaker 1: And
Speaker 2: finally lizzie at breakfast, is it correct to serve toast unbuttered? For example, in a toast rack or already buttered
Speaker 1: either either either. I think it's nice to serve it unbuttered so that people have the option. But I will say, well, here's the only other thing though is that
Speaker 1: I have never, never in my life turned down already buttered bread because it was likely buttered while the bread was still warm, so it's really soaked in and now it's like super good. I mean it's just saturated with the butter. I may even put a little more butter on it,
Speaker 1: but then I can put my jelly on it and it's like that, you know, it's just that bread is now soaked. So I love when I receive already buttered bread, I know that might not be everybody's cup of tea
Speaker 1: and so I wouldn't say it's a must do. But I think either way would be perfectly happy if anybody is serving me breakfast, I am grateful. So I may not be the right answer for this.
Speaker 2: Well and and toasting a toast rack. How lovely. Right, I
Speaker 1: want that. I know, would like to go buy a toast rack. So lizzie
Speaker 2: because we can't leave this post script without me sharing a little something personal with the awesome etiquette audience.
Speaker 1: Oh, interesting. What have you got?
Speaker 2: Which is that I am someone who loves butter and the reason I would want my toast delivered unbuttered is that I would trust myself to put the appropriately ridiculously too much amount of butter on the toast that I would want.
Speaker 2: And I thought that I had my butter passion well identified and locked down in my adult hood. And then I met and talked with you about butter and you taught me
Speaker 2: about how lovely the unsalted sweet cream butter can be. And
Speaker 1: now
Speaker 2: I have a real affinity for two kinds of butter. You've actually increased my enjoyment of butter dramatically by sharing your love of unsalted butter and I love salt. So, I always thought that I would just love salted butter more and
Speaker 1: now
Speaker 2: I love them both. So thank you for sharing that with me and I just couldn't let a postscript about butter go by without sharing that with our awesome etiquette audience because if there's no one that's ever thought about the wonders of delicious unsalted sweet cream
Speaker 1: butter.
Speaker 2: I think it's worth a try.
Speaker 1: It is amazing. I will say try it on a really good french bread that doesn't like sour dough has its place in the world but a nice, beautiful baguette, something like that with just that fresh unsalted sweet cream butter, sometimes. Really cold even. Oh my goodness, it's so amazing.
Speaker 1: The next one will get you hooked on dan, which I'm sure you already know and love is either maple butter or honey butter
Speaker 2: to be continued butterfingers.
Speaker 1: Thank you so much for this inspired post script. We hope we have answered all of your questions and please if any of you, our audience have more questions on butter clearly were big fans. We would love the chance to talk more about butter at the table.
Speaker 1: One
Speaker 2: more food group was needed dairy food
Speaker 2: and butter
Speaker 2: adding its flavor and food value. Too many boots.
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 and today dan has a salute from Alana.
Speaker 1: Hello, I would like to
Speaker 2: offer an etiquette salute to my daughter who did a wonderful job on her birthday. Thank you notes. I was particularly impressed with a note. She wrote to her aunt and uncle who sent her a check. I remember a recent question on the show about how to handle Thank you notes for gifts of cash. Since these can be a little tricky
Speaker 1: Best
Speaker 2: Alana and Minneapolis.
Speaker 1: Oh Alana, that's so sweet dan. I can imagine you in the future like being proud of the girls and well and, and William now as
Speaker 2: a right, thank you.
Speaker 1: I know you can't just say the girls anymore, but no, I think it is such a proud parent moment and it's lovely to see
Speaker 1: young people finding their voice with etiquette and and little details of etiquette. You know,
Speaker 2: it really is. Alana, thank you so much for sharing. I'll tell you, I have a little thank you. Note factory going at the house
Speaker 1: right now,
Speaker 2: so I, I so appreciate this note. I'm taking it as inspiration to um to go straight home and dive back in.
Speaker 1: Thank
Speaker 2: you so much for the salute
Speaker 1: and thank
Speaker 2: you for listening and thank you to everyone who sent us something and everyone who supports us on patreon,
Speaker 1: please connect with us and share the
Speaker 2: show with friends,
Speaker 1: family and coworkers and on
Speaker 2: social media.
Speaker 1: If you participate there,
Speaker 2: you can send us your next question feedback or salute by email to awesome etiquette. Emily Post dot com.
Speaker 2: You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463
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Speaker 2: Our show is edited by Kris Albertine and a system produced by Bridget About
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Speaker 2: and Bridget.