Life Advice



Ask Amy: Many-married man wonders how to date

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

If you are contemplating a deeper relationship, you should tell her, “I have a very challenging relationship history, and I think it’s only right for me to tell you about it, so you can make your own choice, with your eyes wide open.”

Dear Amy: I need your opinion on whether I am cheap, or whether my logic makes sense. When I order a mixed drink in a hometown bar, it might cost me around $4.

I will typically leave a dollar on the bar.

While on vacation I have paid as much as $12 for that same mixed drink. I know that leaving a 20 percent tip is the standard practice, but the bartender in both cases spent the exact amount of effort to fill a glass with ice, pour a shot of alcohol, then top it off with soda. Am I being cheap in thinking that a dollar on the bar is appropriate?

– Casual Tipper

Dear Tipper: Let’s test your logic: The waitstaff at Brews and Bones in my hometown takes my order, runs back and forth to the kitchen, visits the table repeatedly and receives a generous $10 tip on a bill totaling $40.


Then I visit Le Restaurant Fancy in Chicago, where the waitstaff takes my order, runs back and forth to the kitchen, and visits the table repeatedly. This person has expended roughly the same amount of effort as the waitstaff at Brews and Bones and so, using your logic, I will also give them a generous tip of $10 on a bill totaling $125.

The waitstaff and bartenders in Chicago (or your vacation destination) likely have much higher expenses. Bartenders rely heavily on tips to make a livable wage, and often share their tips with barbacks or other support staff.

Readers: Tip generously!

According to an article on tipping in Food and Wine Magazine, the basic tipping standard is $1 for a beer, minimum $2 for a mixed drink (no matter where you are), and 20 percent if you run up a tab.


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