Episode 479 - Bringing Dishes
On today’s show, we take your questions on turning a Bunco party into a birthday party, keeping up old friendships, having your baby shower in your own home, and bringing dishes to holiday meals. For Awesome Etiquette Community Members, your question is about side conversations at small dinners. Plus, your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute, and a postscript on the future of business etiquette.
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Transcription? Episode 479 - Bringing Dishes
SPEAKER 3Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy. Oh, that's old-fashioned. Watch how Lizzie Post and Dan Post Senning act as host and hostess. SPEAKER 2They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness. SPEAKER 4Hello! And welcome to Awesome Etiquette, where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect, and honesty. SPEAKER 3On today's show, we take your questions on turning a bunko party into a birthday party, keeping up old friendships, having your baby shower in your own home, and bringing dishes to holiday meals. SPEAKER 4For Awesome Etiquette community members, our question of the week is about side conversations at small dinners of four. SPEAKER 3Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute, and a postscript on business etiquette. SPEAKER 4All that's coming up. Awesome Etiquette comes to you from the studios of our home offices in Vermont, which had its first snowfall and is proud to be produced by the Emily Post Institute. I'm Lizzie Post. SPEAKER 3And I'm Dan Post Senning. SPEAKER 4Hey, cuz. How's it going? It's it's going it feels like things are happening everywhere. And I don't know about you, but I am starting to feel as we are recording this on November 2, the ramp up to the holidays, like it's, we're writing about it. We're talking about it. We're booking campaigns about it. Like it's happening. SPEAKER 3I can't help myself. Everything's happening everywhere all at once. Well, do me a favor. Try to extract yourself from the chaos for just a second. Sure. Give me a little update. What are you looking forward to this holiday season? We got a couple weeks to go, but it's, as you point out, it's going to move fast. SPEAKER 4I don't know cuz this is where I am so great at talking to other people about what to do and in my own life it's like it's not just a question mark it's like a bold italicized underlined 47 or 8 font like size font question mark in my mind. SPEAKER 3Question marks with exclamation points and more question marks. SPEAKER 4So my parents have blown up our Thanksgiving and they now send it spend it down in Florida and or not in Florida but in South Carolina with one of my uncles. And it leaves my sister and I really up in the air for what we're doing. I still have to check in with her about it. So the advice I wrote about two weeks ago, I haven't yet taken. But I need to check in with my sister because I feel like that's my number one connection in life up here. That's my strongest family tie. And so I want to double check with her and see what they're doing. Last year, they booked with friends. And that was fine. I got to go and hang out with our aunt and uncle, Billy and Maureen, and that was fine. But this year I just want to check in with her first because I am really willing to like cook the whole Thanksgiving Day meal and everything. And if she and her kids and her husband wanted to be a part of that, out at her parents' house and have that experience that's really familiar to my sister and me, that I think would be great. and also have discussed what I call stray dog Thanksgiving and I am a stray dog in this case and it is that you kind of look around for folks who aren't doing their normal thing this year or folks who maybe weren't able to get that ticket home or get the time off from work to go home and are you know could maybe like use a nice warm comfy cozy low-key environment to celebrate the holiday in and so that's another like thing that I've kind of like touched base with a couple folks but I haven't gotten any solid plans and then I had a really exciting like dreamy don't know if we were just in dinner party mode getting too excited moment with a friend where she's hosting like 20 plus friends and family at her house and has invited me to go there and I would love to do this this is Jenny and Frank great friends And I would love to do that, but I also have this big, beautiful house that my parents aren't in. And these are some of their best family, like our closest family friends. And there was part of me thinking, and I loved it because Jen, who is the host of this wonderful party that she's invited me to was also kind of like, I wonder. Could we migrate said party to Post Family House and have that property to work on instead? SPEAKER 3Well, that's what I was starting to wonder in my mind. Could you combine these plans? SPEAKER 4I tell you, if I end up with all the Jarecki's, and just so you know, Jarecki family, should any of you be listening, none of this has been solidified or anything. These are just dreamy, you know, late night dinner party ideas among two girlfriends. But it was really that feeling of like, this would be so funny if like, So many of our friends and family ended up at the post house this Thanksgiving without my parents there. But anyway, so I don't know what I'm going to do. And I have to get on it because we're already at the point where we're suggesting to hosts how to plan out the meal and work with guests as they RSVP. I'm behind the eight ball because I'm behind this eight ball. SPEAKER 3You're not that far behind. I see A few different paths. You've got a plan. I mean, that's not locked in yet, but you've got ideas. SPEAKER 4Yes, I do. I do. And some of them also include making it to stop by the Thanksgivings I was at last year as well. Like there's big, there are plans afoot. I need to organize them though. And I need to do that intentionally. SPEAKER 3I want to put my vote in for all those stray dogs out there and I'm using that language because you started it and I was one. I used to love my stray dog thanksgivings out in California. I never came home for that particular holiday. Over a decade plus of doing that, I developed some of my own routines and they were some of my favorite Thanksgivings ever. And I really appreciated the people who were local in those communities taking care of me and making space for me at a number of different gatherings, each with their own flavor. And I remember them very fondly to this day. SPEAKER 4Totally, totally. And what I like is what you said, which is you could kind of do all three, even if you migrated the drecky Friends and Family Thanksgiving to the post house, and Anna and her kids wanted to come, and Mastray Dogs wanted to come. Like, it just, it wouldn't be a bad thing. Like, that's the fun about this party. It wouldn't be a bad thing if it just blew up to be huge. SPEAKER 3Oh, Lizzie Post, you would be so happy. SPEAKER 4Can you sense the smile on my face right now, everybody? Because it is hurting my cheeks. SPEAKER 3I was gonna mention it. I can hear the smile. I can hear the laughter and the good humor. SPEAKER 4It's my favorite holiday. We are in like prime, I'm gonna call it Lizzie Post time. Like I just I love this holiday. I love all the flavors. I love all the feelings. Anyway, I'm excited. I'm happy, which probably means we'll have a great show today. SPEAKER 3Oh Lizzie Post, it is so good to hear you in such good humor. I want to capture that. I want to bottle it. I want to answer some questions right now. SPEAKER 4Let's do it. SPEAKER 3Let's do it. Awesome Etiquette is here to answer your questions. You can email them to awesomeetiquette at emilypost.com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802-858-KIND. That's 802-858-5463. You can also reach us online. On Substack you can post a comment or question to our Monday podcast post. On Instagram we are at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook we are The Emily Post Institute. Just remember use the hashtag Awesome Etiquette with your post so that we know you want your question on the show. SPEAKER 4Our first question is titled Bunko and Birthdays. I am hosting a bunko group. It's one of the participants' birthdays the month I am hosting it. One of the other guests asked me if I was planning on having a birthday cake for this person. I said no, it was a bunko party, not a birthday party. I didn't want to set a precedent by honoring one group member's birthday when not knowing if there might be others celebrating the same month. Am I wrong? Best Sharon. SPEAKER 3Sharon, thank you for the question. And I want to start off with a really quick etiquette answer, which is that you're the host and you get to decide what kind of party this is. And that means that etiquette ruling from on high, no, you are not wrong making the decision not to serve birthday cake at the Bunko group get together. Lizzie, I think we could talk about this though, in a couple of different ways besides just that hosting perspective. Did you have other thoughts on this question? SPEAKER 4I think for me, Dan, I'm with you on that you're the host, it's okay for you to say no. I also think that this is one of those tough ones, right, where celebrating someone always sounds nice, doesn't it? It always sounds like the nice, polite thing to do. And yet, at the same time, When Sharon asks, Am I wrong for wanting to separate the birthday and the bunco? I don't think she is. I think that this group, it doesn't sound like they've done this before. And I do appreciate the perspective of I don't know who else's birthday it might be. So do I now have to call all the guests? and ask if any of them are also celebrating so that we make sure we include, my guess is that this very one singular cake would end up starting a trend, that now it would be bunko and birthdays whenever it is a month where there's a birthday. And so there's a big part of me that I'm just like, no, Sharon, you are not wrong. It's okay. Like, set the difference, set the separator. It's okay. But at the same time, I can see how uncomfortable that feels because It seems like a generous, nice, thoughtful thing to do, and turning those down can make us feel kind of jerky, I think. SPEAKER 3No, I hear you. It's funny, I had a couple different competing thoughts in my mind. Did you? And it's why I think I went quickly to the very direct etiquette answer of you're the host, you get to choose. Yeah. And that makes me feel much more comfortable almost instantaneously, and I like to remind myself that I don't need to have a particular explanation for that choice that adds up enough to justify it. It doesn't need to be, oh I don't want to do it for this reason and that reason is good or bad enough to warrant making that choice. It could just be you don't have the time or the interest in making a cake or you just really love Bunko or Any of a number of things that you wouldn't necessarily be expected to explain or justify. Again, your role as the host really sets you up to make that call and to have that be honored. I was thinking that there's some room that you might allow around something like this, where if someone else is trying to participate and wants to do something, there is a certain social benefit to saying yes. When people want to do things and particularly things that bring people together or for other people and I think it's it's that. Preference of mine to default to yes, that makes it feel like I would need some sort of justification or reason to say no. And that that would have to be good enough. But I don't want to get trapped in that kind of thinking. This was the second question we've received in a couple weeks, where someone expressed a concern about hosting for fear of setting a precedent that they would be expected to continue moving forward. I was just curious that that had popped up a couple of times and I wanted to say that I acknowledge that that's a reality. That's something that you keyed on in this right off the bat and I think reasonably so. And at the same time, I wouldn't ever want fear of an obligation in the future to prevent me from saying yes to hosting a good event or doing something nice in the present that I really wouldn't be expected to do again, even if there might be some sort of inclination that it would be nice or a draw in that direction. SPEAKER 4I was curious about the idea that while Sharon might say, no, let's just keep it a bunko party for now. I've so enjoyed the simplicity of these events. Like, okay, simple answer. Okay, sure. No problem. But it doesn't prevent one of the other members of this bunco group from doing it with someone else's birthday a different month and, and somehow starting a precedent. And I'm not saying that just because one person does it, than every person in the Bunko group has to do it. But I'm very interested to see how this group progresses over the next like six months to a year. Because I'm thinking, Dan, that should Sharon or somebody else do this at some point, that the group together should recognize it as sort of a change in MO or address it as a potential change in MO. Because I do think turning this into birthday and bunco instead of bunco, it is a different thing then. And it's not that it's not nice to celebrate birthdays of people that you see regularly, like not not trying to say that. But I can really understand hosts that kind of want to keep the simplicity of focus for certain events, where you're not trying to make it about everything else too. Like, maybe the bunco isn't the place where you come to talk about your kids or your partners or something like that. Like it's just your time to talk about stuff that you you as a group of women who play bunko enjoy together. You know what I mean? Like, like golf. Some there are some subjects we like to talk about on the golf course and some subjects we don't like to talk about on the golf course. And I just wonder if there's that kind of like simplicity focus that makes this such an enjoyable event for some of these folks. And if adding that birthday element starts to kind of hinder that or turn it into something where it's more than just the simple bunko game that's fulfilling. SPEAKER 3I think that makes a lot of sense. And to me, in particular, it makes perfect sense. I love pared down things, simple things, easy things. SPEAKER 4I know, I'm shocked this is coming out of my mouth, Dan. I'm the person who's like, yeah, let's get a cake, celebrate the birthday. Like, you know. SPEAKER 3And I think it's partially because of that, that I feel like you don't need the explanation or even the fear of setting a precedent. You could just say to yourself, I like this. I like what it is. And as the host, while it might feel a little awkward to say no to something, I am the host. I get to define the event and set the boundaries and it's okay to say no. And I don't think we need to be always justifying our no's or looking for reasons that we need to share and validate, but that it can just be a, no, let's not do a birthday cake this time. Let's just keep it the Bunko group. And I like that might be enough. SPEAKER 4Sharon, you are not wrong, but it is your choice whether you say yes or no to this. So we say go with whatever feels comfortable. And we hope you have a blast at Bunko. SPEAKER 1We all like to take a chance or gamble occasionally. And betting a few dollars just for the fun of it may be alright, but betting to make money is downright foolish. SPEAKER 3Our next question is about an old friend faux pas. Dear Lizzie and Dan, I left my hometown after college and have been living in different countries and cities ever since. This means I have lost touch with many friends over the years. I keep in touch through social media, but it's hard to nurture a real friendship long distance. Recently I moved to an area where a good friend from college lives. I reached out to her and we met a few times with our families. Despite the distance and the years with little contact, we had a great time and I was happy to rekindle a friendship that had meant so much to me. In the past months we exchanged some text messages and I asked for dates where we could meet and she said she was busy. Since her schedule seemed to be busier than mine, I asked her to let me know when it would be a good time. She never texted back. Months later I wrote to her again saying I'd love to see her and asked when she was available. She never replied. I even wrote a similar message on social media, which was also left unanswered. It took me a while to accept I had been ghosted. This was months ago, by the way. I felt hurt, especially since I didn't know if I had done something wrong. I have decided to give her the benefit of the doubt, as I don't really know what she's going through, and just move on. However, I don't know how to treat this friendship in the future. Should I still try to initiate contact later, even though she was the one who ghosted me? Are birthday messages and Christmas cards still welcome? Or should I just hit pause on this friendship until the other person is ready? Yes, I am hurt, but I don't want to be rude as I still appreciate our friendship very much and hope that one day we can see each other again. Thank you for your advice. Regards, Ghost of Friendships Past SPEAKER 4But I am sorry because it is actually a frustrating or a sad situation. Dan, it was either you or a friend, G, had this saying, we were talking about friendship, and I think it was you who said, like, a friendship's never over until the conversation can't be had or something like that. Like, basically, as long as the two of you are alive, like, a friendship is just a conversation away, basically. That at many points in our lives, whether it's because we move back home or to a place where a friend now lives, there are ways that people kind of come, as you've gotten your notes, ebb and flow throughout time in our lives and throughout places in our lives. Even if we never move, I mean, I've been in Vermont for all but two months of my life. And I've had friendships, you know, come and go, you know, grow and shrink and have different levels of connectivity based on the times in our lives. So I do think that movability of friendship is or malleability of friendship is really a key factor here. What I really took out of Ghosts of Friendships past is A, Very common situation. I have had this happen to me. I've had friends of mine say, Hey, this just happened to me. What would you do? Would you wait? Would you reach out? Like this very, very common, just so you know, ghosts of friendships past. I may have done it to a person. I know I've done it to people. I find there are times when it's intentional. And there are times when it's not. There are times when it's about them. And there are times when it's about you in relation to them. And As things shift, as time goes on, those shifts sometimes allow friendships to come back into focus for each other. And sometimes they mean that the friendship fades away. This is just true for all of us in life with all kinds of friendships. So what I really took away from this, Dan, and what I really liked was that at the very, very end, these last two sentences, yes, I'm hurt, but I don't want to be rude as I still appreciate her friendship very much and hope that one day we can see each other again. To me, ghosts of friendship past. That means that you're willing to leave the door open. And I think you can do with that whatever you feel comfortable. If sending that holiday card is the right thing to do, go for it. If not doing anything until a few years from now is the right thing for you to do, go for it. I say this is a space that can be open and positive rather than negative. There's a version of this, Dan, where we scowl and we get that knot in our stomachs every time we think of this person and the fact that we had a good friendship and it's now disappeared. And there's anxiety and stress that comes with that. Or there can be the space of, I'm putting it out there. When they're ready, if they want to, they can come back. And it's gentle touches. It's not fierce asks. It's, you know, it's gentle touches. And I don't know. I think of so many people who have said to me, oh my gosh, I have a friend who, if he hadn't have sent me that holiday card each year, we wouldn't be talking now. You know what I mean? I could go on and on and on on this, but it's, it's, I think there's space here just because Ghosts of Friendships Past is willing to put the space there. What they do with it is really up to them though. SPEAKER 3I think you've done such a good job of identifying and talking about how friendships really do evolve and change with time and there are so many practical concerns as well as emotional concerns that that come into play and I love your spirit of openness about the friendship that if it's not costing you or hurting you that that's a A really nice thing to be able to be in that position of leaving the door open, of leaving room for that friendship to take a new form or grow in a different way or re-emerge somehow. I also, having interrupted you, bad etiquette number one, to confess to having ghosted people in the past, much worse bad etiquette number two, that I just wanted to be really clear with the audience that I feel bad about that. That I don't say that to say, oh, everyone does it, it's all okay. That and I want to say that to Ghost of Friendship Past as well that my second bullet in my show notes after Friendships Do Web and Flow is that there's never a good excuse for ghosting someone. And I acknowledge that it happens. I acknowledge that I've even done it because we are all human. I think it's good to remember that. So as you say, we don't end up in that place of just a hypercritical mind and feeling aggrieved. But I also want to affirm that that is bad etiquette. It is not good. It leaves people with questions in their mind and not knowing what to do. And I wanted Ghost of Friendship Past to hear that from us as well. SPEAKER 4Let me at least absolve you of your other self-proclaimed bad etiquette. To me, that was not an interruption, guys, at all. It was a contribution to the conversation. I've been like talking for three minutes straight. Like, I thought it was a great contribution. It didn't feel like an interruption. It felt like an enhancement. SPEAKER 3Well, I appreciate that. Thank you very much. SPEAKER 4I feel a little bit better. Please do more of it. I enjoy it in our conversation. SPEAKER 3My sort of longer follow-up thought, thinking about the nature of that open door is that I would use this as an opportunity not to evaluate the whole friendship, its entire arc from college to present and maybe long into the future, but to evaluate whether or not things are successful at this time, that the types of asks and invitations that Ghost of Friendship's past has sent aren't working right now. So I wouldn't continue with that after two or three tries. Episode 479 acknowledge that the ghosting isn't so bad that I'm never going to talk to this person again and I would think about the things I can control and I think Ghost of Friendship Past is doing that. I want to affirm the thinking. I think holiday cards, birthday cards, things that don't require maybe as much personal attention from you because you're doing them in general for many people anyway are great ways to make those touches that you just reminded me Lizzie Post can have such an impact that there are people who I care deeply about, but haven't talked to for years just because we don't live near each other. And when I hear from them, when they do make the effort to reach out, it always makes me feel good. And it's always a reminder to do the same thing when I can. SPEAKER 4Ghost of Friendships Past, you are certainly not alone in this conundrum. And we hope that our answer helps you feel good however you proceed. SPEAKER 1If you have any problems like those you've just seen, talk them over, get them settled. Because the only way to have a friend is to be one, and friendship is one of the most precious things in life. SPEAKER 4Our next question is titled Hosting at Home. Dear Awesomes, I love that because it makes me feel like the Incredibles. Yes! I like that one a lot. We've been called some interesting things on this show, but awesomes is great. Thank you so much for your positive and thoughtful show. I've been listening for years and I finally have a question. My spouse and I are thrilled to be expecting twins this spring. Congratulations! Dear friend, she's like a sister to me, has graciously offered to host our baby shower. The problem is that she lives a couple hours away from the city where most of our guests live. I don't want her to incur additional costs by renting out a venue or hosting at a restaurant. Plus, I like the idea of holding the shower in a home. It just feels comfy to me. I would ask a close friend or family member for the use of their home for the shower, but most of our family members live out of town and our friends who live in the city tend to occupy smaller apartments that could feel really crowded pretty quickly. I know it's considered poor etiquette to host one's own shower, but would it be okay for my friend to host the shower and hold it in our home? Thank you so much. We're in for three now. SPEAKER 2Ariel. SPEAKER 3Ariel, congratulations. What an exciting time and what a busy time and I just can't even imagine preparing for twins. So what I want to do is help alleviate some of your concerns now that you're worrying for three. There is absolutely no etiquette problem with what you are thinking about. It is totally fine for the host to work with the guest of honor to throw the kind of party that everyone, including the host and guest of honor, will enjoy. You are in such good shape doing this, and I just wanted to affirm also, I like showers at homes. For some reason, they feel like homey events for me in some ways. Not that there's anything wrong with having them at a hotel, at a venue, at a restaurant, but But like you, I appreciate that quality of being in a home with people as you're thinking about these very intimate things. SPEAKER 4Your shower was hosted next door to your home. So I can't say it was hosted in your home, but it was next door to your home. It still feels like my home. But Dan, way back in the day, before they were all involved at Emily Post, some of our Emily Post workers were a part of my dad's advertising agency. And one of them was, you know, in her in her 20s and 30s during that time and sure enough had a shower and we went to her home for the shower and it was hosted by a friend of hers. And there's just I cannot tell you how totally normal this is that this happens all the time this way. And it's perfectly OK. It doesn't look like you are hosting the shower because the invitation and the RSVP will be done through your friend. Good point. And you're the honoree. You won't be doing the coordination or any of that. So don't worry about it. Just just offer it up. Let it happen. It'll be great. I think you also have very, very good reasons for choosing this route. I mean, everything you listed, I was like, yep, yep, yep. Those are all reasons you wouldn't do it in those places. And that makes this an excellent, excellent option, Ariel. SPEAKER 3Lizzie Post, just like you, because this is so easy a question to answer from an etiquette perspective, I had to like dig around to find an etiquette question that I could answer or some etiquette advice I could offer. And I came up with this. I was thinking about the etiquette of the offer, how you bring it up or raise it. And I was thinking just offer with enthusiasm. You're really making her job hosting at your house as easy as possible. And that's, that's the spirit I think that you want to bring to that, that offer. So that doesn't end up sounding like an ask, a demand or something that you're insisting upon, but a request that an offer that should be something everyone would enjoy. SPEAKER 4Absolutely good advice, Dan. Ariel, congratulations. We're rooting for you and the twins, and we hope that you have a wonderful time being celebrated at your shower. SPEAKER 3Let us know how it goes. SPEAKER 1This is one party that just has to turn out right. SPEAKER 4Well, the purpose of a party is to have fun together. And a successful party needs planning and skill. They all take planning, and they should all be fun. SPEAKER 3Our next question is titled, Talk to Me, Not My Toddler, and it comes in the form of a voicemail. SPEAKER 2If you are in a store with your child and let's say they're running around clothing racks at Nordstrom Rack, for example, and an associate does not want your child to run around the racks, should they approach the child, let's say they're five, or the parent and say, Excuse me, ma'am, would you mind having your child not run around the store or should they directly tell the child, hi, can you not run because XYZ? What do you think? Parents and Non-Parents. SPEAKER 4Dan, this is a tough one. My instinct like immediately, immediately goes to the idea that you always talk to the parent, that you don't reprimand someone else's kids. You don't reprimand people that you're not in charge of. At the same time, a store clerk, an associate would be a person who, if anyone was misbehaving in a store, it would be up to them to identify it and handle it the way the store policy requires them to. And yet at the same time, I don't think you want to be, you know, like correcting people's kids. There's also maybe safety issues afoot. If we're running around among like metal racks and things and not paying attention, there could be issues there. I could see how this one ends up with the answer of you could make Make good cases for both things being true, but I still tend to fall under the category of for little kids, especially like five and under, guessing because you won't exactly know their age, that I would try to talk to the parent because I don't know. I wouldn't want to be the scary adult, like, you know, the stranger scary adult, you know. SPEAKER 3Well, and the younger they get, the more successful you're likely to be talking to the parent. Yes. And when we're thinking about outcomes and practical outcomes and maintaining social spaces, I think that oftentimes the heart of good etiquette is at least partially practicality. And I think that those practical concerns are one thing but I think you also keyed on the other sort of real point of etiquette that I think comes into play here and it comes straight out of our children's etiquette programs and that's that you don't discipline other people's children. But the difference between discipline and setting boundaries or helping to manage or helping to provide good Episode 479 What you were describing as your job as someone who's there to represent the store and maintain that space and is an authority in that space as someone who's paid by the store to maintain it and be a host there essentially and provide service. So for you to say something like, oh running's not allowed in the store to a child who runs by you is totally fine. If you were to say, You're not allowed to run. You have to sit in this chair until your parent comes. SPEAKER 4Right, right, right. No, not okay. SPEAKER 3Now we're starting to cross the line. The how matters. How you do these things really is important. And the how marker that I would be looking for is letting someone who's operating autonomously enough for them to interact with you autonomously, i.e. they've run away from their parent far enough that that interaction is possible. Emily Post Etiquette in ways that you might with a child who was your child. And that's where you have to get that other parent involved. In that case, in a store situation, that parent's probably not far away. And if the situation isn't something where the child's able to relate coherently and respond to that direction, that there is someone that is relatively nearby that you can turn to. SPEAKER 4This is a place where I'm going to make a case for the magic words too. Just adding please before, and little kids really understand magic words, so please no running in the store, or please there's no running in the store, I think can have a good effect. Same with if it's those clothing racks and let's say you're the one restocking, please don't touch the racks while I'm restocking, thanks. That I think that can help. And I don't personally love the way my thanks sounded right there. And at the same time, I know exactly where it comes from. Thank you so much. SPEAKER 3I really appreciate it. SPEAKER 4Yeah, I'd really appreciate it if you didn't play with the hangers while I'm stocking the rack. Thank you so much. You know that I think you get you get where we're going with it. And beyond that, if the parent is close enough by to talk to them, this is where I start to see some gray area because the older the child gets, the more tempted I am to just talk right to them. Kind of like that idea. Our question asker had also followed up saying that, you know, when they talk about this issue among friends and family that They're divided, that there's this idea that kids are autonomous, they're their own people, and they should be directed in such ways, and also, don't talk to my kid, talk to me. Let me parent my kid. And Dan, I bet you have another thought about magic words. SPEAKER 3Well, as you pointed out, they are magic and they work just as well with the parent as they are likely to work with the child. And I do think that if the situation is one where the child is there doing the thing and the parent is right there with them. If it's really about directing the child getting them to stop doing something that that starts to tiptoe up to that line of discipline it's close enough to a place where you're making a correction that I might give the parent the option of doing it if it was if it didn't involve Reorganizing where we all are in space if I could just as easily turn to the parent as to the child I think I would be as a store clerk more likely to turn to the parent to let them manage it. They have more context more experience a longer, more developed relationship, as you point out. SPEAKER 4Especially the younger the kid is, yeah. SPEAKER 3As the kid gets older, there starts to be more of a choice there, but we're saying toddlers, we're saying under five. I think that the instinct to talk to the parent is a good one. I do think that's part of good social interaction when we're talking about really young children But we also start to get to a gray area where we're in public spaces and I think how independently those kids are operating in the public spaces opens up the possibility for some more independence in terms of their interactions with others and maybe even the correction that they receive from others. SPEAKER 4I feel like my science major based cousin is coming out right now where it's like a direct proportion of like age of child to degree of involvement, you know what I mean? There are some of those sliders in place. No, totally, totally. Tracy Lynn, thank you so much for this question, something I think many of us are familiar dealing with, whether we have kids or not. And we really appreciate the chance to explore the answer. We certainly hope that our answer helps. And audience, we would love to hear from you on this one. Where's your dividing line on when you talk to the kid and when you talk to the parent? SPEAKER 3Lizzie Post, I want a sec of that. Please let us know your thoughts on this. We would be really curious to get a broader sample of how people are thinking about talking to parents and kids together in public. SPEAKER 1They grow up so fast that before you know it, they're out of your hands. SPEAKER 3Thank you for your questions. Please send us updates or feedback on our answers to awesomeetiquette at emilypost.com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802-858-KIND. That's 802-858-5463. You can also reach us online. Leave a comment on our Monday Substack podcast post. On Instagram, we are at Emily Post Institute. On Facebook, we are The Emily Post Institute. Just remember, use the hashtag Awesome Etiquette with any post so that we know you want your question on the show. SPEAKER 4If you're enjoying Awesome Etiquette, you can support the show by becoming a subscriber to our Substack. Simply go to emilypost.substack.com. You'll get weekly content like our podcast, etiquette articles, and the inspirational Saturday sip delivered straight to your inbox. Whether you choose the free or community member paid subscription, this is the best way to stay up to date on all things Emily Post and support this show. To those of you who are already with us on Substack, thank you so much for your support. SPEAKER 3It'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 Olivia about party crashers. Hi Lizzie and Dan. At our daughter's 12th birthday party at our home, without advance notice, one parent showed up with a sibling and stayed the entire time. I had to scramble to find an extra seat at the table and redistribute materials for the sibling during a craft activity. The parent, whom I did not know well, hung around the kitchen, getting in the way of our preparations without offering to help. It was awkward and irritating. I decided to be direct on future invitations. Please drop your child off. We are sorry that we cannot accommodate parents or siblings. Parents and siblings are welcome to wait in the observation area, but we are sorry that we will not be able to accommodate siblings in the play area this year. I've seen similar direct statements on other invitations. For teen parties, I've seen the party will end promptly at 8pm. For a bowling party, please arrive by 6pm to be assigned a lane. Latecomers are welcome but may not be able to bowl. I found these directives clarifying and not the least bit offensive or rude. After numerous times that guests asked to bring or actually brought crashers to various events, I've thought about including something on adult invitations. We regret that we cannot accommodate children or any other additional guests. Of course, this is supposed to be assumed, but it seems that many people have not been taught the rules and aren't aware when they're misstepping. It seems a kindness to give them a heads up rather than stumble through the awkwardness and logistical problems of having unexpected guests. I've never recovered from an incident when a friend brought an uninvited guest to Christmas dinner. Yes, Christmas dinner. I could not keep the shock from my face. My, oh, oh, upon opening the door was not exactly welcoming. I recovered as quickly as I could and tried to make the guest feel welcome, but it was not an experience I care to repeat. The next year I made it clear that we were preparing a meal just for the four of us. Cheers, Olivia. SPEAKER 4Olivia, thanks so much for the feedback. I'm curious, audience, what are your thoughts about the different ways that we could use practicality, which I do think is at the heart of what a lot of Olivia is getting at in those directions on the invitations to help us avoid awkward situations? Or are we still finding ourselves in the camp of wanting these to be Conversations at RSVP moments or has RSVP gotten so bad that you can't guarantee that moment and you have to cut it off, head it off at the pass. You know, I'm curious what people think. This brought up a lot for me, Dan. I don't know about you, but I'm having thoughts of what are reasonable expectations of a host, Once we're in an awkward situation, just like that end example that Olivia gave us, how do you recover in a way that is welcoming? It sounds like this one ended a friendship and I find that really, really sad. I wish there could have been a better way to work through that together. But I'm curious this is it's opening up my mind on on are we are we seeing a trend change that stating exactly what you want and need and would be helpful on an invitation comes across as helpful and good rather than directive or sort of superseding the invitation itself. SPEAKER 3Like you Lizzie Post, as I was reading this I was having a lot of different reactions in my mind and I was so curious what you were going to say and I think that you and I were having very similar reactions and responses. Is there a way you can keep your invitation a clean invite and then define an event and give these sorts of parameters and details in a way that is kind and considerate and helpful for guests? As part of a process that follows an invitation, or in an increasingly casual, informal, complex world, do we need to get more information to people up front? Is that an emerging courtesy? And I can also hear some hesitation in your response, and I share it, that invitations stay clean, that we don't craft our behaviors in anticipation of bad behavior in response to it. As tempting as that may be, I think that it also could lead in some directions that we wouldn't want to go. I'm sensing a future PostScript coming in response to this feedback. SPEAKER 4I want to hear, what I really hope we get is a lot of feedback to this feedback. I, this is one where we talk about taking the temperature, keeping our finger on the pulse. This is one that feels very pulse-y to me. I want to know what each of those beats are saying from everybody. So please, audience, do chime in on this one. I think you're right, Dan. We might have to expand this one to a bigger postscript and just a bigger ongoing conversation. SPEAKER 3Olivia, thank you so much for the feedback. You've really kept the conversation going. SPEAKER 4Thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please keep them coming. You can send your feedback or update to awesomeetiquette at emilypost.com or leave us a voicemail or text at 802-858-KIND. That's 802-858-5463. It's time for our Post Group segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette. And today we're gonna take a break from holiday. We're gonna go straight to talking about professionalism. And we have a pretty immediate reason why. Do you want to tell everyone, Dan, what we did this past fall? SPEAKER 3We have something very exciting to talk about. And it is something that regular listeners to the show are probably going to have some sense is in the pipeline. And that is that Lizzie, you and I are going to be working on a new business etiquette book. And when I say going to be working on it, we are already working on it. SPEAKER 4We're in the thick. We've had meetings. There are Monday.com boards to organize the work. It's all happening. SPEAKER 3There is a project plan and there are delivery dates that are starting to come into play and you and I have some internal markers that we really want to hit so that we can give this book the attention it deserves. We have been looking forward to addressing professionalism as our world continues to change and evolve. This is an opportunity for us to do that. As we map this project out, Lizzie, you mentioned that board. One of the parts of this project that we're really excited about is talking with the Awesome Etiquette audience about professionalism and business etiquette and what those concepts look like today, what they mean to all of you. What's important to know, what is critical information, but also what are important concepts and ideas that are going to be useful as we think about professionalism and business etiquette both today and hopefully moving forward into another hundred years of Emily Post Etiquette. Lizzie, I could keep going. I want to hear some of your thoughts as well. SPEAKER 4Well, when I think about this project, I almost don't know what it's going to look like because, I mean, it's going to look like a book, you know, pages, chapters, sections, sure. But when I'm thinking about the content of it, I know that we have business etiquette seminars that you deliver regularly that we train people in our business etiquette content for them to be able to teach it to their companies as their own business as an etiquette consultant. But I'm so intrigued by how drastically I feel the business world has changed even since my time at Emily Post. I wrestle with things, Dan, that I used to think were absolute things like the nine to five for a traditional business, and I don't even want to say traditional business because there are plenty of businesses that operate on the weekends, you know what I mean? Or don't operate 9 to 5, but operate like 3 a.m. to 2 in the afternoon. Hello bakeries I've worked at. But when I think about the way we used to write this book, and it felt way back, like the very first iterations. My father joined Emily Post in order to help Peggy write a business book. He was an entrepreneur and had writing experience and it was a worthwhile endeavor for them to join up on and that was how he got his start. But there were such more rigid expectations of professionalism back then, even what we allowed to be called a profession versus a job. And I think we have so evolved, changed, transformed, pick your word of choice. In so many ways and then the pandemic hit and I feel like that took a whole nother leap forward in the world of business professionalism and involvement. It's been a really interesting time since we wrote the third edition of this book. And so much has happened. And it really, it's, I am very curious what the millennial generation, which is so much of the main professional workforce right now, I'm very curious their and Gen X and Gen Z's views. I mean, boomers, it's not like I'm not interested. It's just that I feel like I grew up in and lived that part and we've written that part and I want to see how it's changing. I want to see how boomers are feeling about it changing. Y'all are often in those big CEO positions, and if you're not in a CEO position, there's a good chance you've been with a company for a long time. I want to hear from everyone. What do we think about professionalism today? What does it mean? What are the expectations we can have of ourselves when we step out into the world specifically to do business with one another? SPEAKER 3You've left me speechless Lizzy Bowes, that was such a good summation of in many ways what we're looking at and you're referencing revolutionary changes in communication and communication technology and just as the business world and community is adapting and integrating email and the ubiquity of the cell phone and the ubiquity of the very powerful smartphone Then we had this pandemic that pushed us into distributed and remote work patterns and different kinds of processes and tools for managing work and all of those things have layered together in a community that is Episode 479 Relatively firm in people's minds just 20 years ago are starting to be much more open, but I also feel like they're being replaced. Like there are some new standards as is often and maybe you could say always the case with etiquette as certain manners and expectations lose their utility and their function and fall out of fashion, new manners are emerging all the time. And this is where the Awesome Etiquette audience can be such a help to Lizzie, you and I. And that is, as the eyes and ears of the Emily Post Institute on the ground, we are so curious to hear what your thoughts are, what you're seeing out in the world. If I say business etiquette, if I say professionalism, what are the first thoughts that pop into your mind? What are the most Emily Post Etiquette Let that thought emerge, I'd be curious to hear that, but I'd also be curious as those words sit, over time, what are your thoughts on professionalism around looking for a job, applying for a job, crafting a resume today? Once you've found work, what are your expectations of yourself around timeliness, dress and attire? What are your expectations around communication? What are your expectations around schedule or location? Do you have questions? Are there things that you'd really like to see as you're working? Are there things that are surprising you either in really good ways or in ways that are not so good? We are harvesting right now great stories and examples of etiquette good and bad in professional situations. The Awesome Etiquette audience is one of the most informed audiences out there when it comes to etiquette, both traditional and new. And we're really hoping that you're going to be able to help us out and see a lot of yourselves in this book when it finally does come out in the not too distant future, Lizzie Vose. SPEAKER 4I know, right? Dan, I recently did an interview where the topic was, who is etiquette for? And we were even questioning who was Emily writing to? You know, I so often I think, from a marketing perspective, she was writing to young women, like, you know, that was it, like young, moderately wealthy women, like, we didn't talk about like having a middle class back then. But like, But like definitely, you know, moderately wealthy, not on the poverty line, you know, and women. And yet, when you come to sections of her book, she's describing the lady of the house welcoming the husband home, you know. and all the things that the woman needs to think of. And I'm just gagging. I'm absolutely like, I can't believe she wrote this as an independent woman who left her husband. I just want to get angry. And literally the next paragraph is all the instructions for the men on what they should do when they come home and the ways to be considerate and respectful and thoughtful towards their wives. And it was just, it, It really made me laugh because it shows that Emily was writing to both in my mind, even if a lot of the stuff she wrote about fell as the duties of women at that particular point in time. I think when I'm thinking of this business book, and I think about who we're writing it for, that I'm really grateful for the expansion of who this book is for in my own mind, for that blurring of professionalism and job. for the idea that we're not just talking to people in suits or in what Dan and I grew up with at the Emily Post Institute as like business casual, you know, it's like it didn't have to be a suit, but there needed to be elements of it that were more dressed up than what you might find yourself wearing after work or on a Saturday. And when I picture Dan, who are we writing this book for? I'm picturing suits, I'm picturing like business casual, I'm picturing polo shirts and khakis, I'm picturing uniforms, I'm picturing Episode 479 Like, it's who are we talking to? We're talking to everybody who works. And some advice might be really applicable to your job scene. Other stuff might not. But we want to have it all there. And so when you hear the word professionalism, audience, I want to know who do you picture this book being for? Do you count yourself among them? What would make you feel like you were a part of a book on professionalism, on business etiquette? Lizzie Post? It's such a shame they can't answer right away. SPEAKER 3Stop, cut, roll tape. I love the thought and I cannot wait to hear some of our audience thoughts. Please do share your thoughts about professionalism and who this book is for. Lizzie, you've got me thinking about some essential and new things as well. I am so glad that we decided to do this PostScript today. SPEAKER 4So listen up audience, we have a form for you and we are going to include it in the Monday Substack post for this podcast episode. So go to our Substack emilypost.substack.com and on the Monday post, which is available to all, It will be a wonderful little link. You can hit that link, fill out the form, and we will get your thoughts as soon as possible. And we are so thrilled to have them. We really want to thank people in advance for their participation. It means a lot to us. Dan, thank you for suggesting that we talk about this today. I am really excited to hear what our audience has to say. SPEAKER 3I cannot wait to see those form submissions. SPEAKER 1This is your first course in preparing for an office job. You're starting a new career. SPEAKER 4It can be fun, or it can be hard. It all depends on the way you look at things, your attitude. SPEAKER 3We 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 voicemail from Mary Kate. SPEAKER 1Hi Lizzie and Dan. I have a salute I wanted to share with the Awesome Etiquette team. It's from a couple years ago, but my husband and I still talk about how grateful we are to have had these exceptional individuals in our lives. Our daughter was born early with a rare birth defect. This caught us all by surprise and was a very difficult time for us. Those first few weeks were overwhelming and exhausting. We were in shock and keeping up with all the information given to us was challenging to say the least. During our time there, all the nurses were so very lovely and helpful. There were two that were often assigned to our daughter's care. Their names were Caroline and Sarah. For the past two years, we have often wished we could let them know how much their above and beyond kindness meant to us. I was surprised at how they cared about not only our daughter's well-being, but ours too. It was as if they had genuine concerns about our entire family's physical and emotional well-being. When you and your child have new medical needs, the terms and explanations can be complex and confusing. Neither my husband nor I have a medical background, so much of this was new to us. We saw many different types of doctors throughout the day and would often start mixing up all the information. It can be intimidating to continuously ask for clarification and easy to worry that you are becoming a nuisance. Both Caroline and Sarah were more than happy to review things with us and never made us feel awkward for our lack of medical knowledge and understanding. If they had not been so kind and patient, I'm not sure if I would have kept asking. This would have left me confused and scared. That kind of uncertainty would have caused a great amount of additional anxiety during a rather stressful time. Not only was their patience appreciated, but their overall mindfulness towards us was noted. My daughter was brought to Boston Children's Hospital almost immediately following birth. I was advised to stay and recover in the hospital she was born in, but I wanted to be with my newborn. Knowing this, the nurses upon arrival tried their best to make me comfortable. The unit our daughter was in at first is not designed for parents to sleep next to them overnight for long stays. So, the nurses did their best to find the most comfortable chairs to roll in for me to relax in. They brought pillows and blankets and other items to help us get through. They encouraged us to eat and drink and ordered most of our meals for us. They always reminded us to take breaks and get outside. The phrase we heard over and over was, Is there anything else I can do for you? These are skilled nurses. They are there to provide care for our daughter, but they went out of their way to also make our stay as comfortable as possible. The care and consideration exceeded our expectation. Thank you, Caroline and Sarah, and all the other wonderful and amazing nurses at Boston Children's Hospital. The care and kindness you provided made our daughter's challenging start to life a much more positive memory. And thank you, Dan and Lizzie, for reminding us all that a little respect and kindness goes a long way. Warmly, Ila's forever grateful parents. SPEAKER 4Oh, Mary Kate, thank you so much for that salute. You can really hear how much these two nurses really made a difference during such a difficult time. And we are so glad that you had that kind of support. And we greatly hope that you and your daughter are doing well. SPEAKER 3Lizzie Post, I want to second your thank you as someone who's had a pretty incredible experience with some of that staff at Boston Children's Hospital. I just want to add my thanks to that salute as well. It is truly an incredible institution that does some really, really amazing things. Thank you so much for sharing this Mary Kate. SPEAKER 4And thank you for listening today. SPEAKER 3And thank you to everyone who sent us something and everyone who supports us on Substack. SPEAKER 4Please help us grow the Awesome Etiquette community. We want this podcast to be big! Share this show with friends, family, and co-workers, however you like to share your podcasts. SPEAKER 3You can support the show by sending us your questions, feedback, and salutes. By email to awesomeetiquette at emilypost.com. By phone, you can leave us a voicemail or text at 802-858-KIND. That's 802-858-5463. On Instagram, we are at emilypostinstitute. On Facebook, we are The Emily Post Institute. Or you can leave a question in the comments thread on our Monday Substack. SPEAKER 4An ads-free version of the show is available with a paid subscription to our substack. Find out more at emilypost.substack.com. You can also subscribe to the ads version of the show on Spotify or your favorite podcast app. Please do leave us a review. It helps our show ranking, which will help more people find Awesome Etiquette and help to grow the show. SPEAKER 3Our show is edited by Chris Albertine and assistant produced by Bridget Dowd. Thanks, Chris and Bridget.