DEAR ABBY: I recently returned from an annual girls trip with my retired teachers group. We all get along well and enjoy each other’s company except for one “fly in the ointment” who refuses to leave decent tips for great restaurant service. I’m talking about $2 on a $20 tab. We all pay our own bills and tip 25% or more every time. We have mentioned the subject of tipping to her before. She says she thinks it’s a “racket.” Is there anything we can do? — CHEAPSKATE’S FRIEND
DEAR FRIEND: The annual girls trip may be this woman’s only splurge for the year, which may be why she’s conservative when it comes to tipping. I will assume that you and the others have spoken to her about the wage scale for restaurant servers, and the fact that many of them have to share their tips with other staff. Because there’s nothing you can do to change the behavior of another adult, either consider your own generous tips as balancing out her stingy ones or stop including her because she’s an embarrassment.
DEAR ABBY: I have a good, if not terribly close, relationship with my adult son and daughter. We speak every few weeks. They live some distance away. There’s no drama, no negative angst between us. My husband and I will soon be celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary. Neither our son nor our daughter has acknowledged the occasion nor asked if we wish to celebrate it. I assume they are somehow unaware of this milestone.
Should I contact them about it? It’s not like we’re incommunicado or estranged, because we’re not. This anniversary is a BIG deal to us, yet they seem unaware. I’m blaming myself somehow. Their father has been treated for cancer and is, fortunately, deemed cancer-free now. What is your advice? — READY TO CELEBRATE IN FLORIDA
DEAR READY: Your son and daughter may be so wrapped up in themselves and their own lives that it hasn’t occurred to them to volunteer to host something or ask what you and their father would like. Call them and raise the subject. They may be waiting to be told what, if anything, you have planned for the occasion. If they are not available, do not let that stop you from having the celebration the occasion deserves.
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend broke up with me. After a few weeks, I was OK with it. Then he wanted to visit me, but I was busy that day and, truth be told, I didn’t want to see him. I was going to hang out with a guy friend when my ex showed up although I had told him not to. When I went out with my friend, my ex couldn’t go in my house because I didn’t want him there if I wasn’t there. When I returned home, my ex was mad that we went out to eat and didn’t get him anything. Was I supposed to buy him food if I didn’t even want him there to begin with? This happened months ago and I’m still furious. — DEE IN NEW YORK
DEAR DEE: Being furious is a waste of your time and energy. That your former boyfriend would force himself on you in spite of having been told he was unwelcome was rude and boorish. You did exactly the right thing by not allowing him to insert himself into your plans. I hope you are now rid of him. If he keeps it up, it could be considered borderline stalking.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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