More on Tipping and on Drinking and Driving

By Annie Lane

March 6, 2019 4 min read

Dear Annie: I saw the advice about tipping a hairdresser and the shampoo person. Thank you! What if your hairdresser also owns the salon? Does one tip the owner/stylist the same amount, 20 percent? — Salon-goer in North Carolina

Dear Salon-goer: After the column about what to tip hairdressers, several people posed this question, and it's a good one. Previously, the wisdom held that you shouldn't tip salon owners, because salon owners would often charge premium amounts for their services. However, that's been changing. More and more, salon owners are charging the same rates as other stylists at their salons. With that change, it's become more standard to tip salon owners. When in doubt, tip if the person did a good job. Not only is it a kind thing to do; salons will remember that you're a generous customer and may be likelier to make accommodations for you when possible.

Dear Annie: I am writing this letter in behalf of the 10,874 people killed by drunken drivers last year. Your answer to "Trying to Do the Right Thing" reflects a common attitude toward alcoholism that confuses moral obligation and Alcoholics Anonymous theory.

Most people now accept that alcoholism is a disease, but that fact does not keep alcoholics from killing others when they drive. Though it is true that a spouse cannot usually threaten an alcoholic into certain behaviors, it is not true that a spouse has no responsibility. If a woman found out that her husband had a gun in his car and he was going to use it, would you advise her to turn her back and go to a meeting? No, because you would acknowledge that one has an obligation to the rest of society to interfere in behavior that endangers people's lives.

If you know that your spouse, son, daughter, grandparent, etc., is driving while drunk, you have a moral obligation to call the police. Yes, your family life will be disrupted. But if your family member were to kill someone, your life would also be disrupted. You would share in the guilt because you chose to believe you were powerless.

Every time a drunk person walks out to the parking lot and drives away, all the people around the person chose to sacrifice someone else's family for their own comfort or because of a false sense that they couldn't have done anything. Each person has a responsibility to help protect innocent lives! Just because you have no control over the drinking does not mean you are helpless.

Most alcoholics do not want to kill someone but have impaired judgment. The sober family members, friends and co-workers have a responsibility to protect society. Please use your platform to explain how to logically separate the two issues, power over the drinking and power over drinking and driving. This confusion costs all of us! Thank you. — Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth: Thank you so much for this important letter. In my response to "Trying to Do the Right Thing," I focused on the impact of her husband's drinking on her marriage, not on the fact that her husband is drinking and driving and endangering lives. Though I don't think we should seek to lay blame at the feet of family members and friends (that belongs squarely with the person who chooses to drink and drive), being powerless to control another's drinking does not mean being powerless to pick up the phone and call 911 if you know that a person is getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated.

"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]

Photo credit: at Pixabay

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