How to Say Grace for Jews & Wear Shoes at Work - Marie Dubuque Etiquette Interview

Uploaded by MidweekPolitics on 19.12.2011

David Pakman: Marie Dubuque is with us, she is a certified life coach and author of two
books, and sheís here to talk to me about, you know, we have the holiday season coming
up, Louis, and I know Iím expecting a number of awkward kind of social encounters, and
I just have a number of questions, Marie, for you about, thereís so many situations,
and I feel a lot of people just donít know how to handle them, is thatÖ do you agree?
Marie Dubuque: Oh, yeah, and especially around the holidays, because weíre completely stressed,
we have to visit our crazy relatives, and nobody wants to do that.
David: Right.
Dubuque: So yeah, itís a hard time of the year. Itís supposed to be joyful.
David: I mean, myÖ I kind of have this like ongoing fear, this recurring nightmare that
Iím going to goÖ Iím Jewish, and Iím worried that Iím going to show up at a Christian
gathering, maybe related to Christmas or something like that, and as the guest, I will be asked
to say grace, which I would just be absolutely horrified if this happened, because not only
am I not very religious at all, but I also have no idea what that would entail. What
would be proper for me to do? I mean, do I go right intoÖ do I go right intoÖ yeah.
Dubuque: OK, I can tell you, because it happened to me.
David: OK.
Dubuque: Because Iím half-Jewish, actually, Iím not very religious, and so I married
into a very religious Catholic family.
David: Right.
Dubuque: And so Iím not used to saying grace, and they say it like every night, and they
do the wholeÖ and Iím like, Iím sitting there. And so to this day, Iíve been married
18 years, so I just, I close my eyes and I put my hands together, and you know what?
That is fine, and theyíre fine with it.
David: Wait a second, so you donítÖ you donít actually say anything?
Dubuque: No, no. No, they do, and Iím the only one at the table that doesnít. And you
know, at first I was like oh my gosh, you know, but theyíre used to it, Iím used to
it, and itís OK.
David: OK, but now hold on a secondÖ
Dubuque: And as long as nobody makes you feel bad, you know?
David: If you were asked to say grace, though, isnít it on you to sayÖ Iím saying not
if I have to participate, but what if Iím asked, as the ìguest of honorî, so to speak,
somewhere to offer some kind of a blessing? I mean, do I go into ìBarukh atah Adonai...î
without any explanation?
Dubuque: [Laughs] You know what? I think that would be fine. Iíve never been asked.
David: Really?
Dubuque: People know not to ask me to do something like that.
David: Right.
Dubuque: But, and they probably would not ask you, too. But, you know, if itís a very
religious family, but if they do, I would just, say whatever you want, really. Say whatever
you want. Say, you know, Iím so blessed to be here, thank you for this wonderful meal,
and thatís it. I mean, really, because if somebody judges you, then thatís their problem,
not your problem.
David: Would it be acceptable to say you know, Iím really just not religious, so I donít
think Iíd have anything to say, or is that a little bit edgy, is that maybe something
to stay away from?
Dubuque: No, I would say it, because I always say be honest. Be absolutely honest with everything.
If you donít like a gift, be honest, donít say, ìI hate it.î
David: Right.
Dubuque: But donít go on and on about how you love it. Say something about it and how
thoughtful they are to give it to you, but donít lie. Thatís what I say.
David: You know, a friend of mine had an incident recently, a kind of etiquette incident, with
his now-ex-girlfriend, which may be an indication of how this incident went, and what happened
was he was at one of these white-tablecloth gala event dinners, and he accidentally spilled
a little bit of red wine onto the white tablecloth. Now you can imagine, that one little drop
of wine just kind of starts to spread into this big kind of like Rorschach-type inkblot.
Dubuque: Oh, your face gets as red as the tablecloth, oh, yeah.
David: Exactly. So he took, in order to try to kind of abate what was happening, he took
his napkin off of his lap, and he kind of started dabbing the white tablecloth on the
table. After the event, his now-ex-girlfriend was incredibly irate because she said itís
so rude to take the napkin off of your lap and put it on the table before the end of
the meal, and, you know, it was all downhill from there. WhatísÖ can you give me a reading
of that situation?
Dubuque: You know what? He should be glad heís through with her. Honestly, yeah, because
that is so unkind of her to single him out like that.
David: Right.
Dubuque: And thatís what I think etiquette is about, itís not about knives and forks,
itís about kindness. And that certainly was not. Why did she make such a big deal about
it? Gosh, the guy was trying to clean it up. I wouldíve done the same exact thing, because
youíre like oh no, theyíre going to have this big stain on this beautiful tablecloth,
and Iíve got to do something about it. Iíd be getting a seltzer water. I wouldnít just
take theÖ I would be getting a seltzer water and making a big deal about it trying to help.
David: This was my reaction, I think, so maybe heís in good shape, then. And then I have
to ask about workplace-related etiquette. Would you say that itís appropriate to take
oneís shoes off during the production of radio and television programs? If youíre
a producer, not a host, I would never do this.
Dubuque: Is that Louis? Ay, did Louis do that? Iíve been watching your show.
David: Yeah, Louis does not wear shoes during the production of this show, and Iím just
curious, like is thatÖ whatís the etiquette on that? Because people are very mixed on
Dubuque: But nobody sees your feet. I worked in television a long time ago, and I, you
know, I would wear this really nice suit, and then Iíd have blue jeans and socks on
and no shoes too, so whatever.
David: So itís not a big deal?
Dubuque: Youíre very [audio cuts] Nice manners, Louis, I just want to say.
Louis Motamedi: Well, I mean, in all reality, I could be pantsless and no one would know,
Dubuque: Right, right.
David: Or you could be like Larry King used to do and be wearing cowboy boots.
Louis: Well, that will never happen, I promise.
David: OK. And then... yeah.
Dubuque: Now, do you have a company party, because thatís one question I get a lot,
is these company parties stress people out to no end. Do you guys have that, where youÖ
David: Weíre not really quite at that level yet, but I would hope Louis would wear shoes
to that at least, I mean, I donít know.
And my last question here is, this is kind of a relationship question, and I hope Iím
not, you know, this isÖ itís a very complicated question with a lot of back story that we
donít really want to get into, but is it possible to maintain a relationship withÖ
assuming when both people meet, they live separately, and if one person really has an
aversion to sleepovers, in other words, once the night is kind of done, one of the parties
is just kind of sent home as a general thing? Like is thatÖ could a relationship be sustainable
long-term with that kind of arrangement, or is that trouble?
Dubuque: That sounds like a ìSeinfeldî episode. You know, I think that that is great, because
honestlyÖ no, I believe that people should maintain separate residences unlessÖ now,
I donít want to get into this, but unless youíre going to get marriedÖ
David: Yeah.
Dubuque: Ö and I think the only reason people should get married is if theyíre going to
have kids, because otherwise, would you enter into a business partnership with just anybody?
No, itís a financial entanglement. So if youíre going to get married and youíre going
to have kids, great, but if you donít want to have kids, donít bother to get married,
maintain separate residences. Iím not a lawyer, but then you can keep your finances separate,
because even if you cohabitate for a certain amount of time, youíre common-law.
So anyway, what I say is try to keep your finances separate, maintain separate residences.
In fact, know of a couple, theyíre both around 50 years old, they just got married; she has
herÖ she kept her own place. When they have kidsÖ
David: But sheís allowed to sleep over sometimes, right?
Dubuque: Yeah, right, right.
David: Right, OK.
Dubuque: And so then, but she leaves, when the kids are over at her husbandís house,
and so she leaves and goes back to her place. And I say you know what? We should all have
marriages like that. So yes, absolutely.
David: Wow, well, IímÖ this is incredible, I canít believe what weíve uncovered today.
Weíve been speaking with Marie Dubuque, life coach, author of two books, and, you know,
how polished are our holiday manners? I guess weíll find out in the next couple of weeks.
Really a pleasure to speak with you, Marie.
Dubuque: Nice talking to you. Thanks so much for having me on your show.
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