The Life of Amy An almost lifelong resident of Fairfield, I will share my thoughts on the everyday to the extraordinary and may even impart some of my "wisdom" along the way. I promise some updates on my twin daughters and whatever else "you need to know."
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What’s up with everyone wanting tips these days?
I recently had lunch at a place where you order at the counter, wait for the chow to be cooked and then carry it to the table yourself.
And, if you are nice, you clear the table when you are done.
I would pretty much call that self-service. Yet, next to the cash register, was a small box asking for tips.
Tips for what? It seems I’m doing all the work but ringing up the sale and cooking it.
I consider myself a fairly generous tipper, especially when I received good service, which, for me, really means taking my order, getting me my food in a timely manner and refilling my water glass.
I recently stopped at an ice cream counter. The clerk scooped the fudge ripple, put it on a cone, took my money, and gave me change.
But, there, on top of the ice cream case— you guessed it — a cup for tips.
Maybe if I’d thrown in some change, I would have received two scoops instead of one. The fact of the matter was, I really didn’t need one either. But I wanted one.
Then, there’s a chain of coffee places where you drive up to the menu board, give your order, drive up to the window, pay, get your order and take off.
And, there’s a tip box right outside the window.
Outside of the pleasure of sitting in a long line cars and wasting over-priced gas, why should I leave a tip?
A tip, or gratuity, is most often described as a payment made to certain service sector workers beyond the advertised price.
Service is the key word here. I don’t consider it “service” when I order food at the cash register and have to pick it up myself.
However, if I sit at a table and someone takes my order and brings it to me, that to me is “service.” A tip is most likely warranted.
Monday marks the one-year anniversary of my father’s death.
I am at the point where I can write and talk about it with minimal tears.
I’ve made the passage through all the “firsts” like first Christmas without him, first birthday of his without him, etc.
But I still think of him daily. In fact, several times a day.
In my laundry hang a pair of his pants that I had washed for him. I just never got around to taking them back to him before he passed away.
I have left them in the same spot for more than a year now. There is a sense of peace in seeing that familiar pair of pants that he wore often because they were comfortable. Now they bring comfort to me.
When I visit mom, I usually find a few minutes just to sit in dad’s chair. I swear I can sometimes I smell him.
There’s a real sense of security when I just sit there.
My mom has only parted with a handful of my father’s things. I’m glad because it means there are physical memories for me.
My daughters now have one of his favorite pair of suspenders. And, I have the pants.
But we all have more than that. We were given a lasting legacy of a man who never made the headlines but has filled our lives with warm memories and even more love.
The flavor of the month has been clogging up my e-mail box for about the last week. And, I’m not talking news from Baskin-Robbins.
It seems like everyone and their brother, neighbors, etc. feels they need to push their “green” products on this journalist.
In my trash folder, I have four e-mails from the same public relations firm, on the same subject: eco-friendly back to school ideas.
I say send the kids with a chalkboard, chalk and eraser. Forget the lined paper and save a tree.
Even Yahoo! has gotten in on the act with this e-mail pitch: “For many parents, back-to-school means green -- spending green that is. However, back-to-school can mean a different kind of green. As families plan for back-to-school, Yahoo!’s green expert has tips and tools to help families become and stay green throughout the school year. From school supplies to carpool, Yahoo! has the inside scoop on going green.”
Here’s another, from a different entity, “Book bags, gym bags and sports equipment are thrown everywhere and are often covered in germs. Unfortunately, germs can create bad odors. Odorzout is a natural green answer that will get the smell out! It doesn’t mask, perfume or cover up an odor, it just eliminates it!”
It does go on to say the retail price is $9.99 and up.
Hey, if this some of this stuff can be thrown in the washing machine, with an eco-friendly detergent, why not try that?
Let the other stuff hang outside to air out.
And, here’s the real spoiler: A “green” birthday party where children invite party guests to contribute money online. The Web site behind this then pools and divides the fund with half going toward the purchase of “ONE memorable gift for the birthday child and the other half going to a charity of their choice.”
They talking two kinds of “green here.” as in green for the environment and green in “greenbacks” slang for paper currency.
I say send out Evites and let the kid have their birthday money. If they want to donate it, that’s their choice.
But if it’s a smart kid, they, themselves, will be their favorite charity.
I’m taking a hiatus from reading e-mails with “green” in the subject line from addresses I don’t recognize.
However, I will continue to read about “greenbacks.”
It’s amazing the things people will tell Ann Landers.
OK, they are not really talking to Ann Landers, or I don’t think so, because she’s dead.
But people are still sending her tales of woe that are published under the banner of “Annie’s Mailbox.”
One woman writes in to complain that her son’s female friend doesn’t brush her teeth. And, she’s wondering if there is some type of mental illness that keeps her from oral hygiene.
The reply included possible phobias that could keep the toothbrush and toothpaste at bay. There’s even mention that the young female chooses not clean her teeth because she’s been abused.
This is a lot of information garnered from a few short paragraphs.
Could it be that the young woman is forgetful? Maybe the tooth fairy never visited her. And, maybe, just maybe, she doesn’t like brushing her teeth.
After all, they are her teeth and she is free to with them what she wishes.
My advice to the letter writer: Butt out. And be grateful the young woman doesn’t knock out your pearly whites for writing this letter.
Or, she can visit http://nicecritic.com/ and send an anonymous and free e-mail to the young woman.
Better yet, why doesn’t she just talk to her face to face.
Forget the Brangelina twins and their multi-million dollar deal to appear on the cover of People magazine.
I want to talk about the twins that are most important to me, my nearing 11-years-old twin daughters, Bethany and Gabrielle.
To bring you up to speed, they have just begun fifth grade and are being told time, and time again, by their father and I, this will be the last year they will be together all day at school.
They have been in the same classroom since preschool. We considered separating them in the third grade, but there was only one third grade class.
Last year we moved them from Solano Christian Academy to Crescent Elementary. They are in the PEP program, and there was only one class, a combination, for fourth and fifth graders.
Whether to put twins in different classrooms or keep them together is a topic of much discussion in the mothers of multiples arena. And, there are as many schools of thought as there are mothers.
My husband and I always felt it best Bethany and Gabrielle were together as long as they weren’t interfering with each other’s academic or social progress. The schools always seemed to support our choice.
I have a friend whose twin daughters were separated in their last year in elementary school and it was difficult on them. They missed each other. The school chose to put them in different classrooms.
Even if the opportunity had surfaced to separate them these past few years, we probably would have chosen to leave them together.
I guess next year we will have a little better idea on the outcome of our decision.