OK, it is not as bad as ordering a peanut butter sandwich, but I do have a bit more dating advice for the clueless, courtesy of my daughter. She is (still) dating a boy (yes, the same boy), and they went out to a restaurant last night. She has continued to work on his "date-readiness", but there are still some gaps. The latest anecdote has to do with tipping.
"He couldn't figure out the tip for a $20 dinner", she tells me, "He had to pull out his cellphone which has a tip calculator."
Ouch! Now, not figuring out a tip is not a total RLM... unless you are dating a National Merit Scholar... and unless she is also a bit of a princess, I'm afraid.
So here's the advice. A tip should be at least 10% (so, for $20, that is $2, no tip calculator necessary), and probably no more than 20% (unless you really want to impress a princess, so, for $20, that is $4). Still, this may be too complex for this particular guy, so here are a few rules of thumb:
Possible tip calculation #1) Just leave $3. If the bill is $10, you are generous, but can also afford it. If the bill is $40, you are cheap, but since you have never spent over $30 on a dinner for my daughter, you are safe.
Possible tip calculation #2) Double the tax. This is a tricky one. Since tax in this state is 8%, doubling the tax is 16%, which is between 10% and 20%. Tricky, eh?
Possible tip calculation #3) Divide the bill by 5. OK, this was the suggestion from my son, who goes to state math competitions, so don't take it too seriously. I certainly wouldn't take this approach.
Possible tip calculation #4) Divide the bill by 10, then add a buck or two. Even I can divide by 10 (just move that little period one to the left. If you are European, you might want to move the comma instead or the tip could be a bit too generous).
Possible tip calculation #5) Find someone else to date. That, I am afraid, was my daughter's first suggestion, although the future of this occasional dating advice category may ride on her relenting.
If all of these seem too complex, invite her to eat at your place, where no tipping is required. If you have to pull out your cellphone, use it to call 1-800-HOT-DATES, as that is where your next date is coming from. 'Nuf said.
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