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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

06.27.2002

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06.27.2002: Etiquette Schmetiquette
common-sense manners for real-world living |
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continued from page 1

tipping how-tos ...
Q:
Should the tip on a restaurant bill be considered 15-20% of the amount before tax? Or after the tax has been included?

A: Good news for your wallet, bad news for your server: tips are generally calculated on the pre-tax subtotal. Still, its not easy being a waitperson, so if theyve done a good job, and you can afford the extra dollar or more, its always nice to be as generous as you can with your tip. Good service should be rewarded.

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housewarming registry faux-pas ...
Q: 
I received an invitation to a house warming party. With it was a registry to Macy's and Linen and Things. I was very offended. I would have sent the cards out with the message "No gift necessary". Then out of the kindness of your heart, you would bring a gift.

Are my assumptions wrong? I already notified the person to say I would not be attending.

Jan

A: Sad as it may be, the housewarming registry isnt all that uncommon these days, or from what I hear anyway. While I would never in a million years register for a housewarming myself I view housewarmings merely as an excuse show off ones fabulous new digs, not as a means to accumulate household goods the fact of the matter is that some people are of the opinion that housewarmings do, traditionally, involve presents of some sort. Thus, the reasoning goes, registering actually helps the guests, by making it easier for them to choose gifts that they know the new homeowner will actually use. 
Unfortunately, once enough people start doing the housewarming registry thing, the rules of etiquette have a tendency to evolve, and what was once considered inappropriate just becomes the norm. (After all, Id venture to guess that even the tradition of the marriage registry is a fairly recent phenomenon in history.) 

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