Personal Writing

Putting our money where our mouths are

On a recent episode of “Daily Dose…”, Dr Marry and I challenged our viewers to think about tipping big and then adding some more. We encouraged people to leave 20% but then to add the price of one of the drinks they didn’t order on top of that. Not unlike the arts sector, the restaurant/bar/coffee shop industry has also been decimated by COVID. And, of course, a number of artists work in both fields, so they are really suffering.

In all the months of COVID, Dr Marry and I have eaten out very little. But one day this week, he came home early, and it was a beautiful, sunshiney fall day. I asked him if he would walk to my office to check mail with me. It’s a perfect 1-mile walk, and on a day like that, it’s a dream to traipse under the golden canopies of trees and crunch through the dry leaves under foot.

We decided to extend the walk home and go down by the river, which put us very close to downtown.

Sidenote: We have developed a bit of an ice cream habit during COVID. For awhile, I was making homemade buttermilk ice cream every week. Throughout the summer, we biked to our favorite ice cream shop downtown to use up the gift certificate we bought in March. After all, surely biking on the flattest of flat roads about 1.5 miles to get ice cream and then home again burns all that off, right? 😄🍦

At any rate, Dr Marry suggested a stop for ice cream. I sweetened the deal by suggesting a very early dinner before the ice cream. He said yes.

Off we went to get individual pizzas from a great wood fired pizza place downtown. Because we were there at such a weird time of day, we were the only patrons, which suited us just fine.

We each ordered a pizza, Dr Marry ordered a nonalcoholic beer and I passed on a glass of wine. Our pizzas came and our server said, “You just munch on this one because we’re working with a new crew, and he forgot to add the Gorgonzola. So we’re making you a new one, no charge.”

I said, “Oh my gosh–that’s fine! This one looks beautiful. Never mind about making a new one.”

But she was insistent that it was the Gorgonzola that made the roasted grapes, walnuts and red onion really pop. She’s not wrong, but I would never have asked for another pizza. Truthfully, the messed up one was excellent with just a smattering of mozzarella and cheddar on it, but the replacement was already in the oven, so I let it go.

It came time to tip, and I said, “Dr Marry, here’s our chance to practice our challenge, too.”

He enthusiastically agreed.

It was a $40 bill, so $8 was the minimum amount. Then I didn’t order a glass of wine, so we added another $7 (they serve boxed wine, so it’s a cheap glass). And then, because they gave us a $16 pizza for free, we included the price of what a lunchtime pizza would have been–another $10.

Here’s the thing: We’re probably spent no more that $200 eating out over these last seven months (doesn’t count the ice cream, of course!), so we can afford to tip very generously. But what we haven’t spent is not the point. We can afford to tip very generously because it’s a way that we can help play our part in keeping our local economy going and in ensuring that the servers we encounter are making it through this challenging time.

When we come up with challenges on “Daily Dose…” we develop them for ourselves and hope that others will follow, too. In this case, it was so fun to leave that amount and think about how pleased our server would be when she picked up our bill.

What about you? Will you take up this challenge, too? You’ll never regret taking care of others, and I believe that you reap what you sow. Here’s to spreading the abundance when and where you can.

Dayna Del Val is on a mission to help others (re)discover the spark they were born with through her blog and newsletter, her professional talks and the (re)Discover Your Spark retreats she leads. Dayna works with people to help them not just identify and articulate their dreams but to develop a framework to get going on the pursuit of those dreams—today, in the next few months and for the years ahead. She's at the intersection of remarkable and so, so ordinary, but she knows that pretty much everyone else is, too. She's excited to be sharing this extraordinary journey with you.

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