tips in life

Since I have lasagna cooking in the slower cooker for dinner and the washer and dryer are doing their things, thought I would sit down and write for a moment.

Several years ago, we had just finished dinner at an amazing bistro in North Vancouver, BC. It was the most wonderful dinner we had enjoyed at a restaurant up to that point. The service was the most gracious we had ever received. So when the bill came, it was not really a shock to see Mr. Right had decided to include a tip that was just shy of the amount of the total bill. We were that pleased. It was a pleasure to have gotten the chance to eat at such a fine establishment.

Saturday night has somehow become Sushi night out for us lately. We found a great (new to us) restaurant that is not far from our home. It makes indulging a little bit easier & convenient. The owners and service workers are kind & considerate. They are friendly and welcoming. The food is remarkable and the Sushi chef is top notch. You already know what I am going to type next, Mr. Right over tips. Yep, every single time, no matter the total, no matter how many people we dine with, he over tips. Yes, the service Saturday night was once again, flawless. When the owner came over with a newly created Sushi dish, she offered it to us and asked us to give it a try. It was a pleasure to try something we may not have ever ordered. It was delightful and a bit spicy and interesting and delicious. It was very generous of her to serve us something they are adding to the menu. As always, we ended the meal with generously over tipping.

Who on earth is willing to pay $4.88 for a blended latte? That is madness. That is crazy. Okay, so I am talking about me. Yep, every once in a while I am more than willing to shell out a few paper dollars to buy a coffee treat. Nope, I am not willing to put money in a tip jar for coffee. Yep, I know it sounds weird and odd, now that you know I/we tip for fine service. No, I don’t tip the dentist. Yes, I take him some homemade bread every once in a while. No, I don’t tip the mail lady. Yes, I bake homemade cookies or treats for her several times a year. For some reason, I just don’t have the urge to tip for a $4.88 cup of coffee that took the person 2 minutes or less to prepare. Now, don’t get me wrong, once in a while when I have come into unexpected money (found $7.00 once), I tipped the Barista the whole 7 dollars. No, I am not a scrooge. I just can’t wrap my head around seeing the tip jar front and center and being served a coffee with an attitude. It does not make me want to fill the jar.

While living in Europe, it was somewhat awkward getting used to not tipping after a lovely meal. It is included in the cost of your food. Several times we have eaten at the Culinary School in Seattle where our daughter in law teaches. You pay for your meal, however NO tipping. They are learning and earning a grade and credit to prepare and serve the fine meal. It feels unusual and thus we are jumpy about not leaving a tip. However, a really lovely thing happens, each time we have made the time to thank them sincerely and look them in the eye and shake their hands. We choose a portion of the meal or an item that was exceptionally good and mention that. We bring on our very best manners and offer our gracious thanks for a service well done.

The whole idea of not tipping forces us to be very sincere & to be outwardly thankful. When buying a big, fat, luscious bouquet of flowers at Pike Place Market. You pay a price. Usually $10 or $15 dollars. Tax is included. The vendor has brought them to the market, spent their time and talent to arrange the bouquet and then sells it to you. Every single time we pay, we also reach across their bounty to shake their hand and look them in the eye and say a grateful and sincere, Thank You.

I was caught off guard this morning. I had my lasagna going and chores were under way. The door bell rang. It was a neighbor just stopping by to share a extremely large box of just picked apples. Oh my. After he said they were for us, my first words were THANK YOU for sharing. I did not once think about tipping him. Once I closed the door and gazed at the huge box of goodness, I did think, oh, I should make a really great thank you card with apples on it.

Sometimes being sincere and grateful are enough of a tip.

“Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal.
It is a way to live.”