Last night I went out with my neighbor for drinks. When we got there, the waitress let us know that it was Girls' Night Out, which I'm glad I didn't know in advance. (The phrase "Girls' Night Out" gets me into a low-grade fume due to the implied contrast of the Girls putting down their, oh, coupon clipping and book of Cathy cartoons in order to hit the town--just like regular people!)
Anyway, the upside of Girls' Night Out is that the cocktails were five bucks each. My neighbor and I had a nice time, and when the check came, I put it on my debit card and she gave me some cash. I've waited tables before, and I always tip twenty percent. For really horrible service, I've been known to dip down to fifteen percent--take that as your lesson, missy!--but the service last night was perfectly fine.
I got home and couldn't sleep because I realized that I tipped twenty percent on the five-dollars cocktails--not the normal price. I worked myself into a tizzy. I didn't want to screw over that pleasant waitress! I didn't mean to be cheap! I got myself downstairs toute de suite and finally figured that the difference in tip was one dollar.
The money, she's fraught. Before I started the book, I didn't know that I'd really have much to say about finances, but it mushroomed into this gigantic chapter until my editor sheared it back.
Speaking of shearing back, check out this blog. The writer is beginning her 40 days of not spending in order to get out of debt. It reminds me a little of Judith Levine's Not Buying It, but with a really concrete goal. And some excellent commentary on service dogs.