Annie Lane: Tip of the hat, wag of the tail

Published 10:55 am Tuesday, August 23, 2022

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Dear Annie: I live out in the country and have found a consistently wonderful kennel for my dog. The people who work there are the owner and two helpers; all are kind, efficient and obviously dog lovers. The kennel costs $40 per night. My question is, how much of a tip to leave? Sometimes, one of the helpers is working when I pick up my dog, and sometimes it’s the owner. Should I tip differently for the helpers versus owner? Please advise. I want to do right by them!

Asking for a Tip on Tips

Dear Asking for a Tip: Thank you for your kind words. You sound like a thoughtful and considerate person. Typically, tipping can be between 15 to 20% of the services rendered. Tipping the owner is not technically considered proper etiquette, as the tip should go to the employees. But since you frequent this business often and love the services they provide for your dog, it is a kind gesture to tip generously.

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Dear Annie: In response to “Sick of Being Treated This Way,” I am 73 and have spent much of my life being complimented on looking and acting younger than my age. Of course, I enjoy those compliments. After all, doesn’t our culture glorify youthfulness?

But I have had naturally white hair for a few decades, and I guess my wrinkles, though few, are starting to show more. So, yes, sometimes people do offer me a seat or ask if I’d like help carrying a heavy item from a store even though I regularly carry heavy loads while maintaining my garden.

But you know what? I’ve learned to take much of this as a way to show respect for their elders, something done far better in other cultures where youth has not been put on the pedestal we seem to have given it. In fact, when I think back to the times when this has bothered me, it’s because it is my ego kicking in, wanting to somehow pretend that I am part of that great American worship of all that is young.

At the same time, is it not a sign of kindness (or maybe even guilt) when a young and healthy person sees someone who might be a little frailer and decides to offer them their seat? If you don’t want to take their offer, why not just say, “No, thanks anyway,” and be happy they cared enough to ask? When I am asked if I need help carrying my groceries, I can appreciate that they noticed that I might be struggling and then smile and say thank you — and maybe even let them take on the load, even if it’s not necessary.

Why is it we so often have to take offense when others are trying to reach out? Is it because our pride won’t let us look a little vulnerable or needy? Being “treated differently just because you have lived longer” is perhaps a good thing, a sign that respect and concern hasn’t gone the way of the dark ages!

— Happy With Living Longer

Dear Happy With Living Longer: You offer a great perspective on aging. Our culture does seem to glorify youthfulness. Yet growing older is a privilege and something to be celebrated. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology — featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information.