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The Dating

By Erma P. Sanders · May 11th, 2000 · Diva
When the doorbell rang repeatedly I was fully prepared to shoo away some little kid offering to cut my grass. So imagine my delight when I saw a delivery man armed with a bouquet of yellow roses, my favorite. Unfortunately I was the only one pleased to see the man.

My dog was barking and snarling with deep-rooted hostility. The delivery guy held up the card to the screen door. "Is this you?" he asked. I would've said yes no matter what, but it was me. "I think you better just leave those on the porch," I offered, knowing the aforementioned dog would have ripped him a new one if I opened the screen door to retrieve the flowers. He set down the flowers and then stood there staring at me. "Thank you," I said.

But he kept standing there. His body language and eyes said, "Hey, lady, I had to walk up a big hill and incur the wrath of Cujo there, so where's my tip?" Fortunately I can speak with my eyes, too, and mine said, "My tip is, you've done your job, which you get paid for. Now get the hell of my porch so I can get my roses."

That long story wasn't just to brag that I got roses, but to bring up the point of tipping. I asked my man, the expert, if I should have given this guy a tip.

He said it was a judgment call, and I had no obligation to tip him. That made me feel better, although I had no intention of doing so anyway. But it got me thinking about tipping in general and how I have judged the men I've dated by their good and bad tipping habits.

Everybody knows you tip waitresses. They get lousy pay and are treated like crap, and you just do it. Whomever pays the bill usually leaves the tip. A tip says a lot about a person. The only time I was on a date and insisted my date didn't leave a tip is when the waiter threw a pitcher of iced tea at me. Otherwise, something should be left.

I wouldn't date someone who didn't tip. It means the person is cheap. Not thrifty, but cheap. Inconsiderate. Socially inept. If this every happens to you -- male or female -- then leave a tip yourself, but still give your date the boot.

If your date uses one of those tip cards, it's a little embarrassing, but at least the effort is there. Most people know that the tax times three is a good indicator of how much to leave. The tip card is a little geeky but bearable. I also get a little chuckle when a guy is paying by credit card and writes the tip on the receipt really big so his date can see it. What can I say? We tip to impress. My man usually hands the waitress a wad of cash and says keep the change, wearing a little smirk that says, "Yes, both you and my date are impressed by the amount I left."

In dating, the only places you are likely to deal with tipping is restaurants, valet parking, carriage rides and maybe the cab ride home. These are all opportunities to make a statement about yourself and your social skills. A good rule to conclude with is if you don't have enough money to properly tip then you don't have enough to date. So stay home and order a pizza. Of course, you have to tip him too.



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