Dear Abby: I am a teacher, and at the end of the year I receive many gifts and notes of appreciation from the parents of my students. This year, one of my parents, a beautician, presented me with a gift certificate for a facial.
Last week I made the appointment and was given a fantastic facial by this mom. I didn't tip her afterward because I wasn't sure how to handle a gift like this.
Was I right in not tipping her? Since this was a gift from her, I'm hoping I didn't insult her by not offering one. If I was wrong, I'd like to go back and give her the tip she would have earned. – Wondering Teacher in California
Dear Wondering: Because the gift certificate came from the person who delivered the service to you, you did not insult her by not offering a gratuity. (In fact, had you offered one for her gift, it might have been taken the wrong way.) If the facialist who performed the service had been someone other than the mother, a tip would have been in order, but not in a case like this.
The proper way to convey your gratitude for her fantastic facial would be to write a short note telling her what a treat it was and how much you enjoyed her gift.
Dear Abby: My 14-year-old granddaughter, "Grace," has confided to me that she's smoking pot and drinking. When I asked her why, she said she does it to make herself feel better. I told her she has a serious problem, and something has to be done.
Grace doesn't want to tell her parents and, frankly, I think they would just yell and scream and not understand what's really going on. At this point, I don't know what to do. The person who's supplying my granddaughter is someone who is always around. I refuse to have that other girl in my home, but I can't tell Grace's parents why. What should I do? – In A Fix in California
Dear In A Fix: You're correct that this is serious, and something does have to be done. Alcohol and weed are not the solutions to your granddaughter's problem. Self-medicating won't fix what's wrong and could make her problems worse.
Grace needs to be evaluated and diagnosed by a physician. The way to ensure that it happens is to talk to her parents about the fact that you're worried about her. If you make clear that Grace is getting stoned to "feel better" and not partying, they may be less inclined to react with anger.
Dear Abby: My 25-year-old grandson has a problem, and we don't know where to turn.
Through student loans he has managed to get degrees in chemical engineering and biology with good grades. The problem is, he can't interview. He freezes up and is afraid to face the interviewer. This means he is unemployable.
He has no assets or income and lives with his parents. His father is disabled and hasn't worked in years. Can you recommend any organizations, doctors or medications that can help him? – Hopeful in Michigan
Dear Hopeful: Your grandson needs to discuss his problem with a psychotherapist who can help him overcome his disabling insecurity and perhaps prescribe a medication for his anxiety. There is a cure for his problem, and this is the quickest way to find it.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.