Life Advice



Ask Amy: Sister gives new meaning to ‘cruise control’

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

You say, “We’re leaving for a cruise at the end of the month and will be gone for nine days. We’re pretty excited and looking forward to it, and we’ll see you when we return.”

Do not offer her alternate vacations in order to appease her. That is just reinforcing behavior which you are seeking to change.

Dear Amy: My husband and I always have this disagreement whenever we go out for a meal.

Do you base your tip on the total amount (like I do) or before the tax (like my husband)? Please settle this for me!

– Big tipper in NJ

Dear Tipper: Strictly speaking, if you tip on the total (including tax), then part of your tip is actually based on the tax itself – not on services rendered.


However, I base my tip on the total, and then add some.

I do this because I once waited tables.

Also, because I can.

The U.S. Department of Labor publishes a table of minimum wages for tipped employees (which vary by state). Ask your husband to take a look at this chart (search on and ask if shaving a few pennies off of a tip from these truly minimal hourly minimums is really worth it to him.


swipe to next page



Heathcliff Lee Judge Between Friends Adam Zyglis The Barn John Deering