An Appeal to Restaurant Staff

First of all, if you are a server in a restaurant, I want you to know that I always do my best to tip 20 percent. I think you have one of the hardest, most thankless jobs in the world. And we depend on you. I’m sure I encounter servers at least a hundred times a year. So thank you, for all that you do, and all that you put up with.

Having said that, I’d like to ask you a favor. Could you ask me if I’d like a straw, rather than just giving me one? Because I don’t want one. Here’s why.

According to this article, Americans use more than 500 million straws a day. That’s enough to circle the globe 2 ½ times daily. And the vast majority of these straws are plastic. They’re used once, and then discarded. They wind up in our landfills and in our oceans, and as I have written recently, we are drowning in plastic.

As a server, you are on the front line of plastic straw distribution. You and your colleagues could help stem this plastic tide. That, and you’d be saving your restaurant money. Worth thinking about.

I know you are restricted by certain policies. I get that. If you aren’t allowed to make this change independently, could you at least show your manager this blog post? Hopefully she or he will see the logic in my request.

So, I’ll keep tipping 20 percent for your job well done, if you’ll do your best to fight the battle of the straw. Yes? Excellent! You’re awesome.

(Oh, and while I have your attention, if you’re the type to call me honey, I know you mean well, but could you please just… not? It comes off as condescending. Thanks again.)

Incidentally, if you don’t work in a restaurant, but know someone who does, please spread the word! Education is the key to stemming our plastic tide.

Server with straws

Read any good books lately? Try mine!

How to Spot a Keeper

I used to think that you could tell everything you needed to know about a man by how he treats his mother. I still think that’s a great theory in many cases. The problem is it only works when the man in question has a decent mother. If his mother is a total shrew or is bat sh** crazy, then her son can’t really be blamed if he’s less than stellar. And when you’re still in the market for a life partner at an advanced age, there’s more and more chance that the much-needed mother is no longer with us, so she has limited use as a yardstick at that point. Darned inconvenient, mortality is.

You can also learn a great deal by how someone treats waitresses and clerks. Is he respectful or condescending? And how does he behave when driving? Road rage is often an indicator of a deeper anger.

Why is it that so many of us don’t take our search for a mate as seriously as we would the search for an employee? After all, it’s even more important, isn’t it? If this is to be someone you share your life with, you need to be able to ask the hard questions. You need to know about both the past and the future. Goals. Debts. Ambitions. Spiritual beliefs.  And if you think you’re going to change him, trust me: you aren’t.

I know all of this sounds cold and clinical. I’m not saying that chemistry and emotion shouldn’t play a big part here. But when marriages fail, it’s often because the awkward information wasn’t obtained in advance. So ask questions, and take the answers seriously. This is your life we’re talking about.


(Okay, so this has nothing to do with my current post, but it made me smile.)