The other night my roommate ordered pizza. She asked me to sign for her pizza, which she paid for by credit, while she went outside to smoke immediately before the it was scheduled to arrive. I didn't want to but said sure.
The pizza arrives. From a more-expensive pizza place on the other side of town, along with a drink and a salad for an order totaling just under $30. On the credenza by the door is $1. $1! A crumpled, wet-looking, sad single dollar bill. This is what roommate expected me to give as a tip.
I instead signed the receipt and wrote in a $3 gratuity. I wrote in the amount on the customer copy, too, and left it on top of the pizza and salad on top of the crusty dollar bill on the credenza with her soda. Is that okay?
Going to need a lot more information on the provenance of the $1 bill and how it came to be "wet-looking," which is not a normal state of being for currency. Did she only tip $1 because she spent the rest of her money on a high gloss wet look lacquer for all of her bills and paper coupons? Was it also wet-feeling? She smokes and eats expensive salad—maybe wet money is a bad girl thing? When Rihanna goes to Fred Segal and upends her purse over the counter (which is I assume how she pays for things, due to being a bad girl), does a big brown river trout flop out?
If your roommate can afford to live with someone who casually uses the word "credenza," she can afford an adequate tip. This point is further evidenced by the fact she ordered a beverage from a pizza place, where a 20-oz. bottle of lukewarm Sprite can cost as much as $41, instead of procuring the soda from almost any other source, where it will typically run about a buck fifty. (Does she buy her Oreos in dusty packets of 4 from hotel minibars?)
Bringing a pizza to the home is one of the kindest things a human can do for another human, like working as a teacher for children with behavioral problems or being a volunteer firefighter. (Back home, my hometown pizza place is run by a volunteer firefighter. That man's name: Jesus Christ.) (I'm just kidding; I can't remember his name.) Pizza men should be greeted enthusiastically and with adequate cash tributes on hand.
For a standard pizza order, the delivery person should receive $3, minimum. A $4 tip will prevent you from wondering if you should have tipped more. If your home is somehow challenging to get to (for example: if a delivery guy must take a long and winding drive through your estate to get to your credenza-filled mansion), or if the part of planet Earth occupied by your residence is experiencing extreme weather at the time of your delivery, increase the tip. (If you are too cheap to tip very well in inclement weather, opt for takeout.)
TipThePizzaGuy.com, a website devoted to providing information about how much exactly to tip the pizza guy (.com), suggests that a more appropriate gratuity for your roommate's $30.00 tab would actually be $4.50. I trust TipThePizzaGuy.com implicitly in this matter because it is the most detailed website I have ever encountered in my entire life, including this one. TipThePizzaGuy.com offers subsections devoted to the differences between waiters and pizza delivery persons (waiters stand on their feet the whole time; delivery men "[sit] down while driving, but driving is not relaxing"), the challenges associated with pizza delivery ("What We Endure"), and the most delivery-efficient types of house numbers ("Please don't ever get brass or bronze numbers"). It is the Rosetta stone of delivery tipping.
Tipping one dollar is a dick move. It shows you know that a tip is in order, but also want to make it clear that the delivery person is only slightly better than, say, a pack goat. (Actually, a goat would be better served by a dollar, because, for a goat, a dollar is a light snack. A human can't buy a snack for a dollar.) Your roommate's antisocial tipping behavior is particularly striking because most people are embarrassed to tip too little. That's why, at group restaurant meals, the question of "What should we do for tip?" is always answered with another question ("$8? $9?").
Individually, the stakes in pizza tipping are pretty low. If you find yourself hovering between two dollar increments, ask yourself, "Do I—the person being presented with pizza in my private residence like a king—really need this dollar more than the person bringing it to me?" In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter too much to the pizza guy whether you give him $3 or $4; but if every house gives him $4 instead of $3 (or $1), that does make a difference.
Unrelated, here is a general life tip: If a task doesn't sound particularly fun, you don't have to couch it with an explanation about how you didn't want to perform it, but did anyway. You don't have to say I didn't want to clean the hair out of the tub drain, but I did it anyway. You don't have to say I didn't want to go through the 79 steps to add a new network printer to my computer, but I did it anyway. You don't have to say that you didn't want to sign for your roommate's pizza, because no one hearing the story would assume that you would—including your roommate (for whose benefit, I assume, you included the line in this public email).
Your roommate will not complain about the $2 discrepancy, because there is no way for her to do it without looking like a miserly lunatic. When you delegate credit card signing duty, you put the tip in the signer's hands. You made her a better person.
My friend got inappropriately drunk at my engagement party, which was hosted by my dad in his backyard. At the end of the party (about half the guests had left including me) she intentionally pushed a guest in the pool.
My friend sincerely apologized to everyone involved. She tempered her drinking and told me she learned her lesson. I figured that she was perhaps frustrated that she was not yet engaged, got too drunk and that it was not a malicious incident. I forgave her. I sent her a save the date card.
Then I found out the full story. Before the pool incident, she told my dad that I have an eating disorder (I don't, and she wouldn't know if I did, we live in different cities and talk a couple times a month) and that he really should keep better tabs on his daughter. When he told her that she was too drunk and not making sense, she told him to "suck her dick." It was after this that she pushed the other guest in the pool.
Now I feel like the incident was malicious and prompted by jealousy and I don't want her bad vibes in my life or at my wedding. Is that okay?
If someone treats your engagement party like cocktail hour on a Real World/Road Rules Challenge, you are well within your rights not to invite them to your wedding. You don't want anyone sucking this woman's dick on your special day.
On that note, it's sort of crazy she told your father you have an eating disorder and then invited him to suck her dick before throwing someone in the pool. That means the other party guests heard her command your dad to perform fellatio on an organ she does not possess (I assume she was yelling, since "Suck my dick" is a phrase that is only ever murmured or yelled), and decided Let's wait and see how this one plays out. Good thing no one risked putting her in the cab prematurely. That could have been uncomfortable.
Most people, if they had gone on a drunken rampage at an engagement party, would do anything in their power to miss the wedding it anticipated. No one wants to make conversation with their victim of their intoxicated assault when they bump into him at the dessert buffet. (Oh, Doug! You dry up nicely.) If this woman were sound of mind when not toasting (FLAMING SHOTS) to the happy couple, she would already be searching for an excuse to be out of town that day.
However, there has thus far been no indication that this woman is a flourishing human. Given that she is prone to strong emotional outbursts, informing her she is no longer invited to your wedding may cause her to jettison you from her life.
But there's good news: You guys aren't friends. You are frenemies at best. You might even be nemeses.
Friends don't gossip about friends at their engagement parties. Friends also don't wrap their martyr-like forgiveness in a barbed wire ribbon of negs ("I figured that she was perhaps frustrated that she was not yet engaged…") If, after you tell her she's not invited, this gal drops you like you were a couple thousand dollars on an elegant engagement party she would later ruin, don't look at it as losing a friend. Look at it as losing a liability you weren't particularly fond of to begin with.
When you explain to your "friend" (who lives in another city and who wouldn't know you had an eating disorder even if you DID because you guys never talk...because you're such good friends?) that she no longer needs to save that date, don't tell her you're worried she is too jealous to come to your wedding. All you have to say is, "After what happened at the engagement party, it's probably best that you don't come." If you do decide you need to come up with an excuse so that you can preserve this toxic friendship (perhaps insane competition with your frenemy inspires you to be your best self—look at you getting married ahead of schedule), blame your parents. It is not unreasonable that they would be hesitant to say, "Ah, what the hell. Let's run it back at the wedding!" after the way things shook out at the last party they funded.
Whatever line you go with, make sure it is delivered in person or over the phone. "Donut come to my wedding" (AUTOCORRECT) is a harsh text to receive.
Having said all that: this woman sounds like the best fucking party guest in the world. I have seen Real Housewives of Beverly Hills finales that were less dramatic than your engagement party. This is the kind of fiasco advertisers clamber to be a part of. I wish I could watch a tape of it with both of you at the reunion special, to be aired later on in the season.
[Jabs your dad in the chest] You know what, Mr. Schrader? [Grabs his beer] Lauren is bulimic! [Guzzles it] Don't believe me? [Smashes the bottle on the ground] Suck my dick! [Grabs waiter] Why are these hot dogs so small? [Rips a pig-in-blanket in half] Lauren Schrader can't afford complete hot dogs at her engagement party? [Throws the shredded croissant in the air like angry confetti] She's dumb! [Gestures to house] Fuck yo house! [Moves plant] Who put this plant here? [Walks up to random party guest] I like your shoes, bitch! [Pushes party guest into pool] Only God can judge me! [Pops balloon with a cigar] Who's fuckin' birthday is it, anyway?
It's almost worth inviting her to the wedding just to see what she gives you as a gift. (My guess: a half-empty bottle of Johnnie Walker Red and an envelope with a crudely drawn hand giving the middle finger on it.) Will she make out with the minister? Will she grab the glass before your new husband can stomp on it and smash it over his head? Will she tell the flower girl to lick her balls?
At every wedding, someone is going to be the person who gets too drunk. At least if she came, you'd know ahead of time who it was going to be, and you could instruct the bartender to make her cocktails virgins, so maybe she wouldn't march up to your mom and say, You know your slut-daughter's not a virgin, RIGHT?
And course, there's always a chance she would be on her very best behavior at the wedding.
But weddings are not the venue for second chances (except for second chances at LOVE). So you're probably best off removing her from the guest list.
And if she doesn't like it, she can suck your dick.
Thatz Not Okay is a regular column in which I school inquiring readers on what is and is not okay. Please send your questions (max: 200 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "Thatz Not Okay." Art by Jim Cooke.