When I first launched my blog, oh, about eight years ago, I included a weekly post titled, “Ask Dr. Dish.” I would get questions about everything, from which restaurant has the best steak to how much should someone spend on a wedding gift.
Since I’ve been still getting questions every now and then, I decided to resurrect Dr. Dish — not weekly but occasionally — just to give these curious readers some answers.
And, to be honest, it’s not my response that matters. It’s yours. Most times I have NO IDEA what the right answer is — but you do. So that’s why I’m bringing it back. It’s time to help each other out!
So here’s one of my latest questions, one that I addressed back in 2009. But it’s time to revisit this topic.
QUESTION: My boyfriend is a bad tipper. It is so embarrassing! He does not think it is necessary to “reward” good service. I used to wait tables, so I am always tipping people AT LEAST 20%. Who’s right on this one?
ANSWER: I’m like you — I always leave the standard 20 percent. And I tip everyone — valet, maids, hair stylists, massage therapists. I even leave my spare change in those tip jars at Subway and Starbucks. But our tipping culture can be very confusing — and stressful.
It was SO liberating, while I was vacationing in Japan, to not feel pressured to leave tips. You paid what it said on the bill and that’s it. There was something so relieving in that.
That said, we’re in the United States, where tipping is part of our culture. So back to your dilemma.
I’ve gone to dinner with people who didn’t tip well — or sometimes at all — and yes, it was embarrassing to say the least. I feel like, in some ways, it’s a reflection of their character.
So what do you do? If you don’t want to discuss it with him — I would just tell him straight-up — then I’d offer to leave the tip and save yourself — and him — the embarrassment.
What do the rest of you think?
If you have a question for Dr. Dish, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.