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by Abigail Van Buren

Best Tip About Tipping Is to Come Right Out and Ask

DEAR ABBY: When my husband and I stay at a bed-and-breakfast inn, the price is exorbitant -- $250 a night. I feel we should not have to leave a tip. They are well paid. My husband says we are obligated to leave a tip, despite the price of the stay. Is that true?

Also, is it rude not to tip the owner of a hair salon when she is your hairdresser and charges a lot, too? -- "B" IN TERRYVILLE, CONN.

DEAR "B": According to Letitia Baldrige, some owners of beauty salons charge more for their services than the hairdressers they employ. Because of that, not all of them expect (or accept) tips from their clients. However, the best way to determine how your hairdresser feels about the practice of tipping would be to come right out and ask her.

People who run bed-and-breakfast establishments usually employ a cleaning staff and pay the going rate -- which is minimum wage. Therefore, your husband is correct. The considerate thing to do is to leave a few dollars on your pillow as a gratuity for the chambermaid.

DEAR ABBY: My father passed away last June. My dear mother died in 1965, when I was at the tender age of 10. My father remarried after I graduated from high school; he was 63 and my stepmother was 38. I am the youngest of the four children from my mother. The only thing we have now are our memories.

I am writing because my stepmother had her name placed on the headstone that is inscribed with my mother's and father's names. She had my father placed to the left of the headstone so she would be buried between my mother and him! Our family is outraged over this. We feel it is inappropriate.

There are plots on each side and behind, yet she made them move my father over. I can understand her wanting to be buried next to him, but I feel it is extremely poor taste to add her name to my parents' headstone. What do you think about this, and should we say something to her? -- OUTRAGED IN THE SOUTH

DEAR OUTRAGED: You can certainly say something to your stepmother, but I doubt that anything you can say will "move" her. If she was concerned about the feelings of her husband's children, she'd have selected a plot on the side opposite your mother and left him in the middle.

DEAR ABBY: I read the complimentary letter from Karl Southward to the head of sanitation for the city of Dallas. Why would you want to FILE a letter such as that? My suggestion would be to FRAME THAT LETTER and display it on a wall the majority of workers pass, so they can continually be reminded that a compliment was passed on to them.

I might even go a step further and photocopy the letter and insert it with each employee's paycheck, adding a note saying, "Good job, everyone." You'd be amazed how the morale of the employees would pick up.

I personally send complimentary letters. It's part of my daily "Practice Random Acts of Kindness" mission. Kudos to Karl Southward from Nemo, Texas, for his random act of kindness. -- ANITA PARKS, LIVERPOOL, N.Y.

DEAR ANITA: Your suggestions are terrific, and I'm sure they would be powerful motivators. As someone who believes firmly in the "Random Acts of Kindness" mission, I salute both Karl Southward and YOU as well!

Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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