Prudent Advice

Life Lessons for My Daughter

Category Archives: Gratitude

#263 Accept chivalry.

When your father and I started dating, I was shocked by the way he held every door for me and grasped my hand when I stepped off a low curb. Despite being secretly smitten by these gestures, in my self-righteous youth, I responded with ridiculous assertions that I could do it myself. I kept up this charade until the day he bluntly told me to lay off. He knew I was perfectly capable of the simple task of opening a door; he just wanted to do it for me! Then and now, I revel in your father’s dedication to old-fashioned chivalry: He still walks to the passenger side of the car to open the door for me; he refuses to allow me to carry heavy things; and he insists that I wrap myself in his coat, even though I knew it would be a cold night and left my warm jacket at home because it didn’t coordinate with my dress. This is what’s known as gallantry. Know that you aren’t entitled to it, and you can’t expect it, but in those rare cases when you find it beating down your door, embrace it! Also, thank your father for showing you how it’s done.

#226 Leave a decent tip.

People who work for tips earn their livelihoods at your mercy. A tip is not a tool to coerce the server or hairstylist to indulge your whims; it’s simply the currency of service jobs. An adequate job requires a standard tip, and outstanding service is rewarded with a bigger one. Don’t think of a tip as a supplemental cost; it is as integral to your purchase as the tax you pay. This is something you will really embrace once you have the opportunity to slave away in a tip-earning position. Doing that job will teach you a genuine respect for service workers, and to tip generously.