DEAR ABBY: I invited a couple out for the husband's 60th birthday. We sat at the "chef's table" (in the front of the kitchen) and had amazing food and service. We all agreed it was a perfect evening.
I paid the bill and left a 25 percent tip on a $400 bill (for three people). The couple then proceeded to hand cash to the staff in spite of the fact that I had told them I had already tipped 25 percent, and they acknowledged that they knew it.
It was never my intention that they pay anything, and I was embarrassed. I felt like creeping out of the restaurant and never going back. Am I wrong to feel this way? Why wasn't my gift enough? -- EMBARRASSED IN FLORIDA
DEAR EMBARRASSED: Your gift was enough, and obviously the birthday celebration was a success. Your guests were so impressed that they shared their pleasure with the staff. What they did was no reflection on you, and you should not allow it to discourage you from going back. In fact, I'm sure the establishment will welcome you with open arms.