Dear Marcie?,

I read your response about the boutique owner that was rude and liked your comments so I taught Iíd see what you think about this.

I recently moved to the Valley from California, about a year ago. I've been dating a guy from here for a few months now and he is so nice, but when we go out to dinner he is the worst tipper. We'll go to a new dinner and spend $30 to $40 and he'll leave a dollar for the waiter if the service is good. If we go to less expensive place, he'll just leave change. He says this is the Valley and we don't have to tip like in a big city because all of the waiters are illegal anyway. I've talked to others from the Valley and while they agree this is very bad tipping, they also say they think this is common in the area.

I always leave at least 10 percent and usually more. I've had some slow service since move to the Valley, but never bad enough that I would withhold a tip. Often when I've had bad service I sympathize with the servers because I can see that they are trying but just over worked.

I like this guy, but his attitude about this worries me and I wonder if his cheapness would also be in other areas. He certainly doesn't have a problem spending big bucks on his clothes and toys, but it makes me wonder about his generousness toward others. (Not that I need his money. I'm a professional and make my own.)



Dearest Libby,

And wonder you should.† Let me provide some affirmation for what I sense you already know.† First off, tipping for adequate service should start at 15 percent.† Most servers expect at least a 10 percent tip. After all, their hourly wage starts at or around $2.15. Given the variety of personalities that serving staff encounter, and the hard work required to adjust to each individual, per table top, there is really no excuse for your Prince Charmingís shaft of the local service industry.† Legal or illegal, cheap is cheap.

Not to mention itís just plain tacky for a man to verbalize to a lady how cheap he is.† It just makes the situation tense and leaves the other person feeling awkward.† No doubt the attitude towards others that justifies his cheapness carries over into other aspects of his life, but thatís for you to judge should you continue to date. If, in fact, you are not short on cash, I might suggest that you pick up the tip after dining out.† Perhaps your example will thaw his heart and set in motion the necessary change to round out your otherwise unobjectionable beau.