DEAR ABBY: I have been dating a man I'll call Joe for 2 1/2 years. We usually take turns paying for dinner and other outings. This arrangement works well, except when it's Joe's turn to pay for a meal. He leaves embarrassingly paltry tips. He normally leaves 10 percent or less -- but I have seen him leave nothing when we have had reasonably good service.
I have asked Joe why he does this. He says I have no right to question him, since it's his prerogative. But, Abby, there are restaurants I'd like to return to, and I don't feel comfortable doing so because of the bad impression I am sure we left.
At a rather pricey restaurant recently, when Joe chose not to tip the waiter, I casually pulled a bill from my purse and left it on the table. Joe blew up and called it an insult. What do I do? -- NEEDS A "TIP" IN HOUSTON
DEAR NEEDS: If I were you, I'd be more concerned about the fact that your boyfriend feels you "have no right to question him" than the fact that he's cheap when it comes to leaving gratuities. People who handle disagreements the way he does make poor life partners. "What you should do" is make a list of your boyfriend's good points and his bad ones, see how they balance out and whether the benefit is worth the cost emotionally, and act accordingly.