Epsiode 410 - The "B" List
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 gifting cash, being the second choice for an invite, wedding invitations that aren’t clear about plus-ones, and when to use the title “master.” For Awesome Etiquette sustaining members our question is about asking a new boss about working from home. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript on small talk.
Speaker 1: maybe it's just that you
Speaker 2: don't know how to use
Speaker 1: social courtesy,
Speaker 2: that's
Speaker 1: old fashioned
Speaker 1: watch as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking
Speaker 2: of the other person,
Speaker 1: real friendliness.
Speaker 1: Hello and
Speaker 2: 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 gifting cash being the second choice for an invitation, wedding invitations that aren't clear about plus
Speaker 1: ones
Speaker 2: and when to use the title of master
Speaker 1: for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about asking a new boss about working from home
Speaker 2: plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript on small talk.
Speaker 1: All that's coming up
Speaker 2: awesome etiquette comes to you from the studios of our home offices in Vermont and is proud to be produced by the Emily Post Institute. I'm lizzie Post
Speaker 1: and I'm dan post Senning and lizzie Post. I am so proud of you for being here today. I just have to say thank you, you are truly awesome.
Speaker 2: Well wow, fluff me up a little more. That's great. I like this is a good way to start the show. Thank you,
Speaker 2: dan is referring to the fact that I remember y'all last week how I was telling you on the show all the work I was gonna get done while dan was away at star Island, which because I want to hear about in just a bit, I was so excited about getting to tackle our tip a day program and everything. And sure enough
Speaker 2: on monday, which was monday, which was, which was july 4th I came down with Covid and it was the whole shebang. I had just a high fever, um really bad lower back pain and body aches,
Speaker 2: luckily meds kind of helped with the aches and the fever, but um but that lower back pain, I had about 2.5 days of that, that just would not cease.
Speaker 2: And I've been really fortunate, it hasn't really dropped into my lungs heavily, but I have had really bad allergies on top of it and the fatigue, Oh my goodness, that is real. And it does at least in my case, I really feel different from a normal flu where like
Speaker 2: Day five, you're really better and you're back to feeling like yourself again, like this was,
Speaker 2: you know, you felt better, which was so great to get my body temperature back to normal, that was a huge relief, but just exhausted doing a bunch of emailing like last thursday just wiped me out. And so I've been kind of slowly building myself back up into into full formwork shape. And yesterday
Speaker 2: was a big on camera day, I was on camera like three meetings in a row for about 3.5, 4 hours
Speaker 2: and whoa was I exhausted, man, it was, it was tough, but the vid finally found me, man got me
Speaker 1: well and not only did you do that sort of long on camera day yesterday, but you're showing up this morning, ready to do my time and that's why I really wanted to acknowledge and appreciate because
Speaker 1: part of the reason we're really trying to do it this morning is I have house guests coming. So I am out for the next couple of days on entirely personal business and I just, I couldn't be more appreciative of your willing to hit, grab and dig and get this done.
Speaker 2: I
Speaker 1: it's awesome because thank
Speaker 2: you. It's my pleasure. It's my pleasure. It feels good to do normal things again a week and a half of like
Speaker 2: watching pretty much all the tv I could possibly watch, which I have found. I'm a really big fan of european detective shows. Um it's definitely really nice to engage my brain and it's really great
Speaker 2: to be able to talk to you again.
Speaker 1: That's
Speaker 2: another really good thing is that I really, I missed my because I missed here and what you and the fam we're up to. I missed talking about work stuff. We um today as we record, we are going to be launching all of our pre sale information about the 20th edition and that's just an exciting moment for us. So it's really fun to kind of be back with you now that you're back from Star Island.
Speaker 2: Yeah, it's it's been an interesting couple of weeks I'd say.
Speaker 2: And it all started off with actually getting to hang out with Brendan Francis noon um of the dinner party download and that was awesome. It was like even more awesome than I anticipated it being. We had
Speaker 2: a really great time getting, getting like drinks and appetizers and then going out to another restaurant that I love for dinner and
Speaker 2: just such a cool guy. So much like the personality that you got to know on dinner party download for
Speaker 1: those.
Speaker 2: It really was it was really fun. So over on our Patreon we're gonna have up a little picture and um also going to connect you to all the things that Brendan is up to right now.
Speaker 2: It was very cool to see where things were crossing over for us and
Speaker 2: I really hope that we get to catch up with rico soon. But it just reminded me of kind of where the show began and how and then you because reminded me of how long that that like relationship has been going on this, we're over 10 years of knowing the D. P. D. Guys at this point.
Speaker 2: What?
Speaker 1: I can't believe it. Pretty unbelievable.
Speaker 2: It really is.
Speaker 1: I'll tell you I was I was really excited that you had a good time first of all that you were gonna be hanging out with Brendan and then that it went well and you had a good time with him
Speaker 1: when you mention the length of time that this podcast has been running. It reminds me of a little bit of housekeeping that I was hoping to go over with our audience, which is that we're about to execute a transition. We're moving podcast hosts and
Speaker 2: it
Speaker 1: should be something that's an absolutely seamless process for everybody who likes to listen to the show. But it does involve some work on the back end. And
Speaker 1: as that happens, I figure an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If there were any hiccups along the way. If our most regular and dedicated listeners knew that was happening, it might
Speaker 1: be worth alerting everybody that that's going on. And part of that process involves looking at the data that's built up over the last six years that we've been at our current podcast hosting platform and exporting and saving that data. So
Speaker 1: as you mentioned, it had me looking at the history of this show
Speaker 1: from the perspective of When Emily Post.
Speaker 1: It has been hosting the Emily Post Institute has been hosting it since
Speaker 2: we moved from Infinite Guest Network. Right?
Speaker 1: Got us thinking about our days with american public media and a couple of years that we spent there and then the years before that that we spent as guests on the dinner party, download and how that really was the genesis of this show, was that experience. And we hear from people that they've been listeners since the dinner party download days and
Speaker 1: to think that that really has been
Speaker 1: 10 years, over 10 years that we've been with some listeners answering etiquette questions is
Speaker 1: it's
Speaker 1: a really comforting thought to
Speaker 2: me in some ways.
Speaker 1: Someone who, who loves long term relationships and values loyalty and consistency. I just, it's, it's really special for me. It's I think an important anniversary to acknowledge, even though it hasn't always been the awesome etiquette podcast there there are definitely listeners out there who have been doing this with us for 10 years at this point.
Speaker 2: It's awesome. It's really, really awesome. So thank you for being here with us. Thank you for sticking with us. It's definitely been a journey and we are so excited to continue the journey.
Speaker 1: Absolutely more to come,
Speaker 2: more to come. More to come. Indeed.
Speaker 1: And let's save some Star Island updates for next week because we have some questions to get to lizzie post.
Speaker 2: We do have some questions. Are you ready? Should we, should we get to the rest of the show?
Speaker 1: Let's do it.
Speaker 2: Alright,
Speaker 1: awesome etiquette is here to answer your questions, You can email them to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463. You can also reach us on social media on twitter. We are at Emily Post on instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute and on facebook, we are awesome etiquette, just remember use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your post so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 2: Our first question is titled Cash for a kiddo.
Speaker 2: Hi, I've been listening to your show for the longest time and I have enjoyed every episode. I do have a question for you guys.
Speaker 2: My daughter has been invited to her first birthday party. She is 11 months old and the birthday girl will be turning one.
Speaker 2: They are almost the same age.
Speaker 2: I'm not that close to the family, but we have conversations occasionally since both our girls are just weeks apart
Speaker 2: on the invitation, it says, and this isn't caps, no boxed gifts.
Speaker 1: I'm
Speaker 2: assuming they have many toys and that they would prefer cash since it's their second child.
Speaker 2: How much cash should
Speaker 1: I give? How
Speaker 2: to present that
Speaker 1: gift? Should
Speaker 2: I do a Venmo or gift card in an envelope? Do I write a card
Speaker 1: with that? Please
Speaker 2: help a new mom hear? Thanks. First time mom,
Speaker 1: first time mom congratulations on a rite of passage entering the world of Children's birthday parties.
Speaker 2: Right, right,
Speaker 1: this is such a fun question and I call it a fun question because everything about kids birthday parties should be fun and not everything about kids birthday parties will be fun, but we'll do our best to keep that the focus and the intention behind
Speaker 2: them
Speaker 1: totally. Should we start with the most common etiquette advice about
Speaker 1: direction around gift giving particularly on invitations.
Speaker 2: So typically on an invitation, there's no mention or direction about a gift, But with birthday parties the one that we sort of do lean towards is a no gifts please. And the world of Children's parties has really busted this simple etiquette apart
Speaker 2: because we've seen Fiverr requests. We've seen books only requests, we've seen
Speaker 2: charity donation requests. We've seen all kinds of things that make it a little bit more specific and that can start to feel a little awkward. But no box gifts I think is a really interesting one because I'm picturing like no and
Speaker 2: Bring my brain back to the 80s and the gifts I got when I was a kid were like you know barbies in that plastic and cardboard box
Speaker 2: where it's like a prepackaged toy.
Speaker 2: But I think of something like a stuffed animal as probably not in that no box gifts category. I don't know where something like a puzzle would fall where it comes in a box but it's not that sort of prepackaged thing. Although it is prepackaged and you can see where it starts to get confusing. So with that I think it's important to recognize when you are creating an invitation that you really want people to be able to understand what it is you're talking about. And frankly I still think one of the best ways to do that if you're going to get this specific is to do it by word of mouth when people are RSVP'd.
Speaker 1: To the party
Speaker 2: that gets extra hard if the invitations are digital and we're not R. S. V. P. Into a phone number or something like that.
Speaker 2: And it leads me down this little path dan of I think calling and asking the host what they mean if the designation isn't something that you understand very clearly is well worth the effort.
Speaker 1: Absolutely. And I like that approach particularly if you're not feeling bothered or aggrieved by the request but genuinely confused by it.
Speaker 1: And the caution around being prescriptive about what kind of gifts people give can
Speaker 1: can come from a couple of places
Speaker 1: on one side. You don't want to be telling people what to do. You want to let them decide what they want to give, what makes them feel good to be getting. And
Speaker 1: when you give too much direction it can
Speaker 1: it can bother people. The other danger is that you're not clear about it. And it sounds like that's more what's going on here. It's created some confusion. And like you I'm reading the no Box gifts is that we don't want more stuff
Speaker 1: kind of request. So
Speaker 2: not necessarily a cash request. Yeah
Speaker 1: exactly and maybe that stuffed animal isn't box but maybe it's still in the stuff category. And now we're
Speaker 1: talking about genuine confusion that would be very easy to clear up if you're comfortable asking making that call. It said no Box gifts. What do you what do you mean by that exactly. I want to be sure that I'm participating in the spirit of the event
Speaker 2: and
Speaker 1: you're right. I don't think it's necessarily a direct ask for cash. You could think of all kinds of things that you might do. Maybe it's a card that you decorate or that becomes a piece of artwork or that has a hand print from your
Speaker 1: 11 month old Anisha would call her a zero year.
Speaker 2: That's adorable.
Speaker 1: Or maybe it's an opportunity to do some babysitting or to do something together. A special playdate where you take the responsibility of organizing
Speaker 1: whatever the reserved table at the park that you like or
Speaker 1: something. Something that's an experience that you're giving even though they're one year olds that you're talking about here,
Speaker 1: but you would absolutely clear up all confusion calling and asking.
Speaker 1: I also just think it's worth saying that it really is up to you, that you can get anything that you want. You could choose to ignore the gift direction. I wouldn't recommend it. But some people do, some people have an idea in their mind or something that they really want to do that they care about. And while I would say to myself, I wouldn't go that far, it reminds me that ultimately it is a personal choice and it's something you get to decide about. So if you do decide to go the route of giving cash,
Speaker 1: it's really up to you to think about what would feel good and appropriate and right and and that's an amount that you can decide on and feel good about whatever decision you make because it really is
Speaker 1: your choice and you're the person who's best equipped to make it
Speaker 2: dan in your life, who are the types of people and, and this isn't necessarily a hard or fast rule. Um and and certainly I know your life doesn't dictate every single birthday situation out there,
Speaker 2: but who are the types of people you typically do get cash from when kids are this young because it's not uncommon.
Speaker 2: I feel like for maybe relatives or people a little closer to the child to to like give to a college fund or something like that. Right.
Speaker 1: It's certainly an experience that I have on a pretty regular basis, particularly pooches families, culture giving cash gifts is very common. So it's often the case that when we come or go and we're meeting with relatives that you give each other a little something and oftentimes that's something physical. That's just yummy, like a box of mangoes or something like that. But oftentimes there's also a little envelope with a little bit of cash and
Speaker 1: it's a pretty common indian tradition to give a little bit of money and then you'll add just a small amount so that it breaks it up off an even number in something.
Speaker 2: So like you add like $1 to a 20, so it's $21 or something like that.
Speaker 1: Exactly. And
Speaker 1: we opened a youth savings account for the girls and we just put that money in there and then when there are opportunities to do nice things for them,
Speaker 1: that's one way to have something we can turn to that is from people that love and care for them and want to do nice things for them and
Speaker 1: you could also think of that as the beginning of a college fund. I think there's a very good chance that some of that money will be there when the girls are old enough and well the girls and the boy now are old enough to be making some of those choices for themselves. I think it's a really nice thing to do for Children to to set that up.
Speaker 1: We also do a little piggy bank so that can practice and watch if there are smaller amounts she gets to practice saving herself. And that's that's another way that you can engage with that gift
Speaker 1: in a way that that starts to connect it with the kids so that they feel that generosity very immediately in their life.
Speaker 2: And is it typically like your friends who do that or like like closer family members
Speaker 1: more often family members, but it's also family and friends, family and close friends that that family friends
Speaker 2: mix. Exactly.
Speaker 1: First time mom welcome to the kid's birthday party club. It is such a fun thing to be a part of and I think that you're going to enjoy it for many years to come. We certainly hope our answer helps all the different ways we're talking about it and that you don't feel boxed in in this situation.
Speaker 2: Money should be something of value. The value should be obvious and uniform who but an expert knows what this fur pelt is worth
Speaker 2: out of such trying experiences.
Speaker 2: Gold and silver emerged as the most curable, most convenient, most satisfactory money.
Speaker 1: Our next question this week is about a second invitee issue
Speaker 1: when you invite someone to an event as a second choice because the first person who originally agreed to go had to cancel. Do you identify to the second choice person, the name of the person whose place they are taking?
Speaker 1: I was the second choice and was given over a week's notice of the event personally.
Speaker 2: I'd
Speaker 1: rather I had not known so many details as I often feel like I am the third wheel when I am included with both these two people, I look forward to hearing feedback and maybe
Speaker 1: I will have stopped stewing by then and I will know how to handle the situation if when I have either the invite er or the invitee
Speaker 1: many thanks laura
Speaker 2: laura thanks so much for the question I like how specific you got because typically I think when we've answered this type of question in the past because that we've said um and this is what happens when you've been doing the show for this long, started to be like, how do we usually answer this? Has it changed now?
Speaker 2: But typically we say that it's fine to tell the person, hey, I had a friend canceled last minute,
Speaker 2: who was going to attend? X Y. Z event with me, would you like to to go? I would love to have your company and I think that's pretty standard just so that you're explaining the situation someone's walking into or why the invitation might be coming very last minute. But I'm not so certain that you need to say who the actual guest was going to be,
Speaker 2: The place where I think it would be obvious would be like if I was filling in a spot for poop, you know what I mean? Like it would be like if it was an obvious social event that a spouse or a partner, longtime partner would be invited to and included in
Speaker 2: and you were going to be replacing that person, it might just happen to be very obvious that that's the person you're replacing. But
Speaker 2: if I had tickets to like our UvM hockey game, which you and I split tickets to with your brother and it was my week for the tickets and my buddy couldn't go with me and I was just, you know, calling around on that friday or thursday before the game and asking folks if they wanted to join me, I don't think I'd feel the need to say, oh well Ben was gonna join me, but he canceled last minute or he had to cancel.
Speaker 2: You know, I think I would probably just say, hey, I had a friend who was going to use this and they didn't, or I might just say, hey, I found myself in a position with an extra ticket this week. Do you want to go? But I don't know that you need to give the actual name.
Speaker 1: I would agree 1,000%. And I think it's a sliding scale the way the way you're describing that
Speaker 1: with over a week's notice.
Speaker 1: I mean maybe if it's a super formalized event that requires a lot of planning and coordination, that's a little short on time. We don't know exactly what the event is. But for a lot of things that people get invited to a week's notice is plenty. And I'm going back to the
Speaker 1: original tenets of good etiquette that ultimately it's about taking care of other people, making other people feel comfortable and at ease.
Speaker 1: And to me, there's something that happens all the time very naturally where we're thinking about what we want to do socially and who's available and
Speaker 1: as long as
Speaker 1: it doesn't impact the person that you're inviting, I think that you don't necessarily need to and that it doesn't help them feel comfortable and at ease to go through all the machinations of your planning.
Speaker 1: Well actually there were six other people that I would have rather done something with next weekend. But this couple's away and did it. But this event is happening and there were three people that could maybe have gone to that event. So I ended up choosing you because you were number two and the first,
Speaker 1: it's just not necessary. And if there's not a compelling reason to go through any or all of that, I think the
Speaker 1: part of good etiquette sometimes is not sharing every thought that goes through your mind, but just inviting someone to go with you and and taking that chance and that risk and hoping that they say yes and you have a good time together.
Speaker 1: I think that the the care that you're talking about where our answer has varied. Is that sometimes the nature of the invitation is one where a little bit of explanation clears things up and they let someone know that yes, I'm giving you short notice but it's for a perfectly good reason. This is a ticket that's usually taken by someone they canceled at the last minute.
Speaker 1: And I'm really hoping to invite someone else or share it or make it available. And
Speaker 1: all of a sudden that that changes the nature of it. Oh they don't care. They invited me last minute. That's really thoughtless too. Oh there's a situation here. That makes sense why this invitation will be coming so late.
Speaker 1: So it's it's more that I think you have to balance those things and think about them. and sometimes a little explanation is helpful and reasonable.
Speaker 1: Then other times it's unnecessary and extraneous and this definitely sounds like it's closer to the unnecessary and extraneous side of things. Yeah,
Speaker 2: laura, I also just want to give you credit for the line of, I look forward to hearing back and maybe I will have stopped stewing by then we can all get little bees in our bonnets, you know,
Speaker 2: over over things and I appreciate the idea that that particular
Speaker 2: um moment might pass naturally for
Speaker 1: you.
Speaker 2: I appreciate that. That's really good. Good to be aware of, but I also really like how you're using this situation to think about how you can be a great host um or a great invitee, as you say, a great guest in the future
Speaker 2: and hopefully our answer helps. And even more importantly, I really hope that you had a great time at the event.
Speaker 2: Thanks so much for the question.
Speaker 1: This
Speaker 2: is one party that just has to turn out right well, the purpose of a party is to have fun together and a successful party needs planning and skill. Whether it's a special carnival designed for gay entertainment, a birthday party, a holiday party, they all take planning and they should all be fun.
Speaker 1: Mhm
Speaker 2: Our next question is titled Plus one problem.
Speaker 2: Hi lizzie and dan, thanks so much for your work with the podcast in times like this when the news is too hard to bear. It's always good to have something to listen to. That leaves me feeling upbeat and frankly more hopeful for the fate of humanity. Smiley face.
Speaker 2: This seems like such a classic wedding etiquette problem, but I'm still not sure what to do. I have a friend who's getting married and our mutual friend is trying to organize a few of us who were friends in college to stay together in a house.
Speaker 1: He says
Speaker 2: that the groom has told
Speaker 1: him
Speaker 2: That all the members of our group are getting plus one
Speaker 1: invitations.
Speaker 2: However, I received my invitation a couple days ago. Inside was a generic invitation, I E C and K. Invite you to their wedding
Speaker 1: etcetera
Speaker 2: with no names
Speaker 1: on it.
Speaker 1: The
Speaker 2: mailing envelope was addressed only to me.
Speaker 1: I
Speaker 2: suspect this was an oversight. The groom only knows me and hasn't yet met my partner moreover, he and I don't even live together. I'm pretty sure that my partner really was meant to be invited, given
Speaker 2: what our mutual friend had said. But I know it generally wouldn't be considered good etiquette to ask the groom. Uh the invitation was meant to imply a plus one. Right? He and I are close enough that I think I'd be comfortable asking very delicately
Speaker 2: what the intention was explaining that I know extra wedding guests are costly, etcetera.
Speaker 2: And I know I could count on him to be honest. If that really wasn't his intention and I would totally understand.
Speaker 2: But what would you all do in this situation curious to hear your reactions. Thanks a bunch anonymous,
Speaker 1: anonymous. Thank you so much for the question. And again, thank you so much for the detail. It's really helpful to have all the ins and outs and
Speaker 1: it also makes me much more confident saying, I think you should call and have exactly the conversation that you outlined almost as a sample script in the third paragraph of your question. And I don't mean the sample script, That's the funny one. The invitation was meant to imply a plus one, right? Um, but everything that followed, I think that you you talked about the tone that you would use the approach that you would offer, that you would map out that you're really comfortable with any answer. The only thing that I might add to, it would be a mention that you had even heard through the grapevine, that
Speaker 1: the intent was for everyone to have plus ones. And
Speaker 1: I think that you're in really good shape to have that conversation given
Speaker 1: how thoughtful you are in terms of your approach and the way you're thinking about talking about it. And even in your awareness that usually that's not a conversation that we would suggest having, but you've got to know the rules to know when and how to break them and this seems like a perfect example of that to me there is one thing that I would
Speaker 1: parse just a little bit and that's the language, the description of
Speaker 1: your partner as a plus one. And it sounds to me like that's a pretty established relationship. And
Speaker 1: it's usually the case that when we talk about
Speaker 1: partners or spouses being included automatically on invitations. Oftentimes that's someone who's married or people who have lived together. But it can also be people that are in established relationships and that doesn't require that people live together. And
Speaker 1: if this partner of yours is someone that's a known entity is part of your life in a way that
Speaker 1: it would be awkward to not invite them. I wouldn't necessarily call that a plus one omission. I would call that a serious partner omission or a long term partner omission.
Speaker 1: I wouldn't parse that out with the groom necessarily when I'm having the conversation, but it was the one etiquette distinction that I saw as I read the question where I thought there might be room to think about it a little differently.
Speaker 2: Yeah. For me, that particular part falls into that gray area where it's like the, the groom hasn't yet met my partner
Speaker 2: and my partner and I don't live together. So I could easily see
Speaker 2: why the partner wasn't included, especially if the groom isn't as aware of the whole significant other established relationship kind of exception to the rule because I think a lot of people are familiar with, you know, I think
Speaker 2: etiquette rules from days of old and by days of old, I mean even like
Speaker 2: 10, 15, 20 years ago, the idea that, oh well the cut off is kind of if you live together or not or if you really know the partner well or something like that, and and you know the partner well actually hasn't been a rule, but people end
Speaker 1: up
Speaker 2: thinking that there are some rules out there that are hard and fast, that maybe aren't quite as hard and fast as they really are. And this is one of those rules. And so, um, I think it's really great on anonymous as part to recognize these two things that the groom only knows me, hasn't met my partner yet
Speaker 2: and my partner and I don't live together. So I could see how this
Speaker 2: could have come about this way. But even with those two things being in place, I still think asking is a great way to go. And like you dan, I was really impressed with anonymous is willingness to accept any answer that comes and to, to not be too put off if it's, oh, we actually
Speaker 2: realized we really couldn't give plus ones to everyone
Speaker 2: because some of those things might be where that consideration was coming from. Um the only thing we don't know is kind of how established this couple is, you know, have they been dating for three months, have they been dating for six months, have they been dating for three years, you know, and you just haven't met, which really does happen
Speaker 2: and so I think it's, it's definitely worth that conversation with the groom and just like dan, I think that you already have a really good instinct for how to have that conversation in a way that makes it easy for any answer to be received well and for you to know exactly what you are doing moving forward and dan, I liked your ad
Speaker 2: of putting in that, you know, as, as
Speaker 1: the
Speaker 1: group
Speaker 2: that's trying to all arrange a house to stay in together was talking that there was an assumption that plus ones were happening for everyone in this particular group and you are totally fine if that's not the case, but you did want to double check because you heard one thing and then the invitation presented another
Speaker 2: and I think that no matter what it sounds like this is gonna be a really fun time, I mean, group of friends, all in a house celebrating another friend's wedding, that's like, I feel like the stuff summer weekends are made out of,
Speaker 1: oh my goodness, one of my absolute best oldest friends got married just a week and a half ago and
Speaker 1: it reminded me, congratulations, jesse, Revo and for dickie,
Speaker 1: what fun weddings are you definitely get to a certain point in your life where it's the best party you could possibly be invited to anymore and
Speaker 2: I
Speaker 1: hope that everyone has an awesome time, but
Speaker 1: I also really appreciate it was you're remembering and reminding me that
Speaker 1: planning a wedding is a big deal and it's not easy and we have all sorts of intentions and it's entirely possible that an early discussion between the groom and the person who's organizing this house
Speaker 1: included the honest intention to include plus ones for people and that you a stage was reached in the planning where maybe that wasn't possible and it's it's entirely
Speaker 1: Reasonable and it's certainly something that could have happened that that was expressed at one point and ended up being something that they couldn't do and having that in your mind as you have this conversation about whether or not you've got a plus one
Speaker 1: is a really good thing to have in the back of your mind in terms of how you receive that news, whatever the answer is anonymous. I hope that you're able to bring a plus one to this wedding if it works out and that no matter what happens you have an awesome
Speaker 2: time, choose your guests carefully
Speaker 2: an invitation
Speaker 2: plan for refreshments and entertainment. Then practice to be a skillful hopes, make sure the party is fun for everyone.
Speaker 1: Our next question is about mastering the use of master
Speaker 1: dear lizzie with an I. E. And dan. I was recently writing a birthday card to a friend's child for his fifth birthday. It must be the summer birthday party season.
Speaker 2: I
Speaker 1: went back and forth over how to address the card? Should I use Master or not?
Speaker 1: Should Master be reserved only for the most formal of occasions such as a wedding?
Speaker 1: Or is it appropriate to use it on a birthday card?
Speaker 1: If so at what age can master be used? I appreciate your thoughtful answers and I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you wishing to master Master
Speaker 2: wishing to master master. I don't want to dash your your hopes and wishes. But typically on a birthday card, this isn't a place I would put Master. It is more of a formal designation. I think if you were going to
Speaker 1: make the
Speaker 2: card something that was heavily formalized to be fun and to play in that zone and because it would be a little out of the box for a five year old's birthday, that that might be the way you do it. But then I would want to make sure the card
Speaker 2: you know had beautiful calligraphy on it and like was decorated in a gorgeous way or that really played into the
Speaker 2: Need to use a title like master. But I'm really stoked that you asked this question because master is a term that a lot of people struggle with because we have Mr right for adult men and we usually count that as somewhere in the in the age range of like 16 and older can use. Mr
Speaker 2: but master was really reserved for younger boys and in our old text, I believe it used to say
Speaker 2: From like infancy to 10 years old, so what the heck do 10 to 15 year olds do
Speaker 1: for a title gap gap?
Speaker 2: And dan totally knows where I'm going with this. In our newest edition of Emily Post etiquette, the centennial edition,
Speaker 2: we actually covered this and it's one of the few places where we've ever gone out on a limb and really tried to suggest something new to fix this problem when we would go to the stationery show in new york city back in pre pandemic times. Um we really heard from a lot of stationers that this is something that that is problematic for them and frustrating for them and some people don't like the term Master,
Speaker 2: Other people just don't understand the whole age gap part of it and what, you just don't have a title for boys 10-15.
Speaker 2: And so we went out on a limb and suggested that the term young Mr could be a great replacement for boys ages as an issue would say 0 to 15 or 16 when you start to hit that more adult range and Mr really becomes appropriate. So
Speaker 2: you could do um young mister and spell it all out or you could do young and then the just the abbreviation capital M lower case R and a period,
Speaker 2: but I understand that that's not quite the problem you're having with this, It's more should you go for using the master. And to me it's only really great for formal invitations to young men
Speaker 2: and that I would keep it in that zone unless I was going to get super playful with that birthday card and make it just fancy, fancy,
Speaker 1: fancy
Speaker 2: dan. What do you think? Did I do a good job? Did I steal, steal all the all the answers for this one?
Speaker 1: You did steal all the answers. The only thing that I can say is that there are definitely some people that operate in that playful space with our first little boy,
Speaker 1: we definitely received a couple of things that were playing with the idea of there being a master in the house at this point as opposed to
Speaker 1: our young misses and I love the idea of young mr To me it rolls off my tongue. It's an easy thing to say and I love the universality of it because there isn't a rule associated with it that you can use it
Speaker 1: in those years where I think you're more likely to encounter those occasions where you'd want to use a formal title. I think that
Speaker 1: for for really young Children it's less likely they're going to be included in really formal events. Although it happens, it definitely happens that there are certainly more occasions that start to emerge in junior high and high school where the possibility that you'll be invited to a formal event start to increase and
Speaker 1: having an option having a title that we can use for.
Speaker 1: I don't want to call them boys, Young men, adolescent men is I think a really nice option to have on the table
Speaker 2: wishing to master master. We hope that our answer has given you a few options and helps you to decide how to make this card really special for the five year old in your life.
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 a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463. Or you can reach us on social media on twitter. We are at Emily Post on instagram. We are at Emily Post institute and on facebook we are the Emily
Speaker 1: Post Institute.
Speaker 2: Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with any social media post so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: If you enjoy awesome etiquette, consider becoming a sustaining member. You can find out more about this by visiting us at patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette. You'll get an ads free version of the show and access to bonus questions and content
Speaker 1: plus you'll feel great knowing that you helped to keep awesome etiquette on the air 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 and today we have feedback from leah on tips on discount services and that's not tips as in like good ideas, it's tips as in the actual gratuity you might pay on someone's discounted
Speaker 1: service.
Speaker 2: Hi dan and lizzie, I love your podcast. It really brightens my Tuesday. You don't know me, but I feel like we're friends
Speaker 2: I've never written in before, but I really wanted to make
Speaker 1: this point when
Speaker 2: tipping on a discounted service, make sure that only if you are tipping the person who gave you the discount, can you tip on the discounted amount? If you're tipping someone else, please tip on the full amount. For example, if you're friends with the owner
Speaker 2: and she has one of her employees cut your hair for a discounted price
Speaker 2: Tip, the employee on the full amount. I remember how terrible it was as a waitress when I spent a lot of time serving friends of the chef or owner only to find most of the meal comped and making $2 for an hour of work.
Speaker 2: I also don't think it would ever be a problem to tip on the full amount though of course not necessary.
Speaker 2: It's still a savings and I think it also acknowledges that you appreciate the person providing the service and not just the cheaper price. Thanks for the advice leah, that's good feedback
Speaker 1: leah, I couldn't agree more with my cousin and when I was driving down to do the podcast lizzie and I were going over the script and she told me that the feedback was about
Speaker 1: the question on tipping for a discounted service. And the words that came out of my mouth were, oh I hope the feedback is that it's okay to tip the full amount on the discounted service if you want to, because I wouldn't want to tell someone who was
Speaker 1: receiving a discount maybe as as sort of a a way to enjoy a service that otherwise couldn't afford, that they would be expected to tip a lot more. But that if it was something you felt you were capable of, it's a really nice thing to do and I think it's a great piece of feedback
Speaker 1: in that way. And I also really liked your clarification about it being the person who's providing the service that you're tipping for, who offered the discount, that
Speaker 1: detail, I think is a really important one to keep in mind. And I would like to amend our original answer, all of your feedback.
Speaker 2: Absolutely, absolutely, no, it is, it wasn't
Speaker 2: in my mind, the way the question was presented, it sounded like the person providing the service and giving the discount was the same person, but there as leo points out, there are lots of times where that might not be the case
Speaker 2: and you want to make sure that that worker, if it's not the person who actually extended you the discount that they do get tipped on the full amount of their time. And I thought that the restaurant example was really strongly uh thank you so much for your feedback
Speaker 1: and thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please do keep them coming. You can send your next piece of feedback or update to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com or you can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463.
Speaker 1: It's time for our post script segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette and today's post script was inspired by a call that we had with our training community yesterday where we got talking about mix and mingle types of events and conversation skills and small talk tips.
Speaker 1: We thought we would return to that topic for today's post script and think a little bit about social mingling and how people get to know each other and exchange pleasant conversation early in a relationship lizzie post, Do you want to take us away?
Speaker 2: Yeah, dan, I really appreciated you jumping on board with this topic. It's I feel like it's been a theme recently,
Speaker 2: both from some of you might remember I went to that reunion. I I called it crashing but it was an invited guest um and have also just been, even when I went out with Brendan the other week, like really leaning on my small talk skills and then we also did an interview with Fox about small talk and is it boring? Is it ridiculous? Is it useful? And I always come down on the side of small talk is so useful and being comfortable engaging in small talk,
Speaker 2: I think of it is so nice. You and I are so often discussing heavy things at work, you know, um what are we planning next at the business? What's, what's gonna be the way to make Emily post grow things like that that are, that are not small talk,
Speaker 1: challenging, personal lives
Speaker 2: in my family life and with my friends, I feel like like we don't engage in that much small talk, you're hearing about people's problems, you're hearing about people's successes, you're hearing, but it's like more important conversation, you know,
Speaker 2: and I found such relief in some of these small talk moments that I've been having lately because I can engage with them confidently knowing a few things about what makes for good small talk and the big blanket statement that I want to get across is that
Speaker 2: for the most part, small talk topics don't have to feel boring rather than looking at them with that negative lens. I really choose to view them and I know dan that you do too in a positive light because they are so useful and one of the things I think they really help with our
Speaker 2: people who are experiencing social anxiety or feeling a little bit of nerves being in a situation where
Speaker 2: maybe they don't know the people around them that well and you're gonna have to spend some time getting to know people or talking to folks.
Speaker 2: This is the perfect thing to keep in your back pocket is you know what we can talk about light topics. They don't have to get super serious and I can still get to know someone on that light level because the situation doesn't warrant us knowing each other on deeper levels. No, don't get me wrong
Speaker 2: when I have been on airplanes and back when I used to travel a lot more for work.
Speaker 2: I loved those moments where you would have a really deep conversation with a seat mate or something like that.
Speaker 2: But I also think it's just as awesome to engage in the lighter side of that kind of talk and enjoy a pleasant exchange with a stranger that doesn't have to go deep and doesn't give a lot of information about your personal life, but you
Speaker 2: gain a little bit of knowledge about maybe a shared experience or someone's favorite sports team or
Speaker 2: you get a great recommendation for a book or an awesome etiquette podcast just saying like I feel like thinking about small talk as something we can use to our advantage that can help us be confident in situations where we might be a little bit anxious is a really great way to use etiquette as
Speaker 1: a
Speaker 1: tool. So let's start off by setting the table with what are considered comfortable, safe tier one topics of conversation, things that you can bring up almost anywhere with just about anybody.
Speaker 1: And
Speaker 1: my first go to is the immediate shared experience, the thing that you're doing together in the moment or what was required of you to get there. So those are the conversations about the traffic on the way in or the meal that you just ate or the temperature in the room or what's going on outside the window or with those people over there. You can talk about
Speaker 1: all kinds of things that are
Speaker 1: just rooted in the thing that you're doing with the other person at the moment. If you're not doing something with them. Just the space that you're sharing, the experience that you're having together in the moment.
Speaker 2: That's one of my favorites by the way, because because it's one that you taught me, it's, it's one of those that
Speaker 2: it was definitely a lightbulb moment for me when I went, oh duh, of course, like talking about the food or the music or the atmosphere. That's so easy. Like I
Speaker 1: really right now
Speaker 1: really just just look around, take a deep breath. There's probably something going on that you could
Speaker 1: have a little exchange about and and open the door and begin that conversation.
Speaker 1: There are other things that are also likely to be pretty safe topics and they're the usual and I'll put air quotes around it boring ones because there's no boring topic. But the weather, the traffic, the, and those things can also be very exciting depending on what's going on. But
Speaker 1: um, pop culture, not the most salacious celebrity news that you can possibly imagine. But the shared cultural figures and icons that we all know, um, sports are another great one in that category. As long as you're not sort of digging in on a particular rivalry or painful moment,
Speaker 2: tech might be another one that you could go for, you know, like new, new and interesting tech that's out there
Speaker 1: and that starts to tip over into my third sort of general small talk category topic tip, which is
Speaker 1: have some things that you're just interested in that are relatively safe to talk about when we say hobbies or cultural interests. It can be fly fishing, it can be
Speaker 1: the opera, could be the arts, it could be the sciences, particle physics. They're firing up the cern particle collider. Again, the webb telescope pictures that are coming down are really
Speaker 2: amazing. Really
Speaker 1: amazing.
Speaker 2: I also think that locations, you know, places you've traveled to, places you want to travel to, those can spur some really interesting conversations or stir up some interesting conversations.
Speaker 2: One of the ways that you can kind of boost that sense of self confidence is to think about a couple of these things before you go to the event or as you're traveling to the event, you might remind yourself of some of your own interests or some of the things that might be having, you know, brady came out of retirement,
Speaker 2: I know you all probably grown but dan and I are still very excited about
Speaker 1: it
Speaker 2: and you know, things like that, the reporter, I was talking to you from Vox said that you know, she's a confident person and everything, but she'll get asked about her interests and just blank
Speaker 2: and that's why we say, you know, preparing ahead of time. It might sound silly, but it's as simple as just saying what are some things that I like, oh, I'm a big guy, like I play a lot of golf, um I sometimes play tennis, I love horseback riding, even though I'm not boy, I'm really listening club sports here, huh? But I'm, I'm,
Speaker 1: you know, like
Speaker 2: these are things I want to do, gardening is something I really, really love in Vermont, I really do,
Speaker 2: it's a big part of my summer um and and food, okay, wow, that I just thought of five things off the top of my head and maybe I'll just focus on three of them as the things I'm gonna try to remember, but just even taking a moment to go through that conversation in your head is going to prepare you really well
Speaker 2: Dan, one thing that I always loved when I was going through the 1922 edition and prep for the centennial edition was that I found this great little section where Emily calls it going fishing and she talks about small talk basically
Speaker 2: as going fishing. So whether it's that stranger who's sitting next to you at a lunch counter or it's a group that you're paired with at a wedding table,
Speaker 2: that it's okay to toss a line out, toss the subject out. Hey, has anybody seen those webb telescope photos and you might get crickets and that's okay. You might try a few minutes later to toss something else out.
Speaker 2: If you're really not getting anything back, then, you know, the people around, you aren't interested in chatting and maybe you move to a different group or maybe for the rest of your commute, you're just going to listen to your awesome medical podcast second drop. But I think that it's worthwhile taking that spirit that Emily has of
Speaker 2: just throw a line out there and see what you get and if you don't get anything, it's okay. Not every moment where we have an opportunity to engage in small talk is going to be one that results in a small talk conversation
Speaker 1: lizzie post, you have taken us to such an important place, which is your interest in other people.
Speaker 1: And ultimately that is one of the most satisfying things that anyone can encounter in conversation is someone else who's a willing participant, someone else who's interested in what they have to say. And if you can figure out how to play that role in a conversation, you will be very successful. There's the joke that your father tells
Speaker 1: when we're teaching um social etiquette for business mingling, and it's
Speaker 1: Jack was the most popular person at the party last night. Everyone loved Jack right? And everyone was talking about Jack and what a great guy he was, and I wanted to know what what Jack was doing that made him so successful at the party. So I found him the next day and I asked him, I said, Jack, everyone was talking about you, what did you do last night? And he said,
Speaker 1: I went around and asked everybody about themselves,
Speaker 2: your
Speaker 1: your your willingness to listen, to be that ear and to be genuinely interested to to to go fishing, to ask a couple questions, to put some topics on the table and then to to notice when you
Speaker 1: make a connection with someone or when you find someone who's also interested in sharing, that you that you bring your listening skills and it's a combination of of fishing and participating and and putting some things out there and seeing what works. But then playing that role, that that can be so successful of,
Speaker 1: of actually paying attention when someone does start to share, or someone starts to respond and to not forget that very important role that you can play in a conversation, even a light one that's getting to know you conversation.
Speaker 2: Oh dan, I'm so glad that you brought up that story. It's one of my, it is one of my favorites. I can't believe I hadn't thought of it for this segment. So I'm really glad you remembered it
Speaker 2: audience. We hope that talking about small talk topics will help you to better engage this summer as you are traveling, getting your everyday lunch, going to wonderful weddings and big events and engaging with other folks. We really hope that our post script brings you a little bit more confidence on the topic of small talk
Speaker 2: popularity. What is it made of?
Speaker 2: How does a person get to be popular with lots of people and have a few close friends too.
Speaker 2: Let's watch and see what makes people like one person and not another.
Speaker 1: We like to end our show on a high note. So we turn to you to hear about the good etiquette you're seeing and experiencing out in the world and that can come in so many forms. Today we have a salute from Melanie,
Speaker 2: Dear lizzie and dan, I am delighted to offer this salute to my friend Tim in Chicago.
Speaker 2: He played host to our group of three friends too from the east coast and one from London over a long weekend in june
Speaker 2: as a longtime listener of awesome etiquette. Our experience that weekend highlighted for me the convention that a host's job is to make a guest feel welcome and
Speaker 1: comfortable.
Speaker 2: Tim went above and beyond
Speaker 2: immediately upon our arrival. Tim had our well being in mind. He had snacks and beverages ready for our rental accommodations.
Speaker 2: He provided each of us with a public transit card loaded and ready to use each day. He made sure that we saw different parts of the city and ticked the boxes of things that each of us wanted to do. He coordinated transportation around town and helped to arrange visits with additional friends in the area.
Speaker 2: We three agreed that our weekend was beyond spectacular.
Speaker 2: Please accept my thanks as well for your excellent work on the podcast and at the Emily Post Institute bringing etiquette principles to life with kind regards Melanie. That sounds like a fun weekend
Speaker 1: Melanie. What an awesome host and what an awesome experience to have as a guest. You're inspiring me. I've got house guests coming and I'm thinking to myself, can I take a few of those boxes? I think I'm well set up but I'm definitely double checking right now.
Speaker 1: Thank you so much for the salute
Speaker 2: and thank you all for listening today
Speaker 1: and thank you to everyone who sent us something and everyone who supports us on Patreon. Please
Speaker 2: connect with us and share this show with your friends, family coworkers, maybe even strangers anyway that you like to share podcasts.
Speaker 1: You can send us your next question, piece of feedback or salute by email to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail
Speaker 2: or text at eight
Speaker 1: 02858 kind. That's (802) 858 5463
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Speaker 1: show is edited by Chris Albertine and assistant produced by Bridget
Speaker 2: Dowd. Thanks.
Speaker 2: Mhm