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I recently stayed in a posh New York hotel where porn was made available through a simple call to the front desk. Naturally, I decided to partake in their offerings. However, I believe I committed a horrible faux pas because I didn’t tip the nice guy who delivered the video. Faux pas aside, I started to think — who do you tip? I know you tip waiters, bartenders and hairdressers, but who else is tip-worthy? Being the true lady that you are, I thought you might be able to spread a little etiquette to those who really need it.
— Tit for Tat
In addition to the professions you mentioned, you should tip the shampoo boy, all kinds of delivery boys, valet parking attendants, strippers, drag queens, masseurs, sky caps, escorts (if they do it right), bell/doormen, concierges, taxi drivers, and at least one or two other categories I’m sure I’ve forgotten about. The rule is that most on this list make about $2.77 an hour and depend on tips for their livelihood. Be sure to be generous when you can — above 15% when service is exceptional — but do not feel the necessity to tip for poor service. As my grandmother once said to a poor waiter we had, “Honey, when your income depends on 15% of my kindness, you need to be a little more attentive.”
I’ve struggled with my weight ever since my days as a “fat kid.” Right now, I’m chunkier than I’ve ever been, and it’s really starting to bug me. On one hand, I know I could never be some 30-inch-waist twink. But on the other, I could never be some kind of bear-type who’s proud of being heavyset. How do I get a handle on the middle ground that’s right for me? The diets that have worked for me in the past don’t seem to do the trick anymore, and I don’t know how to push myself to exercise enough to make that much of a difference. (I HATE exercise!) Help!
— Jelly Belly
Bitch, I feel your pain. Less than eight months ago, I weighed 389 lbs. Now I’m weighing in at 178. I, too, was a frequent rider on the diet roller coaster. You know — one delicious shake in the morning and have the runs for the rest of the day. Or the low-carb diet…if I went one more day without bread and could have found Dr. Atkins, I would have done to him what Jean Harris did to her diet doctor! I should say be happy with who you are, but let’s face it — that’s crap. Our community judges — and harshly — those of us of size. It is seen as a lack of discipline and sloppiness. It is by far the one unforgivable sin, and the real tragedy is that most of the skinny boyz are not even aware of how cruel they are about it and just how badly it makes overweight people feel.
I had my stomach stapled and have thus far been very happy with the results. Most major insurance companies cover the operation. Don’t misunderstand me — it’s not the answer to all of your hopes of being thin. In fact, it creates a whole new set of problems. Most people overeat or misuse food for comfort. The operation will not allow you to do that. After nine bites, you’re completely full. Drinking is almost an impossibility. One cocktail and you’re wasted. Instead of finding comfort in food and drink, you’re forced to wrestle with your demons.
As for the exercise thing, I agree. Exercise is a byproduct of original sin. I’d rather have my teeth pulled out through my ass than exercise, but it is a key to unlocking part of the weight problem. I would encourage you to start by speaking with a dietician and perhaps get a personal trainer.
If you reach the end of that rope and decide that you are left in the same predicament, e-mail me and I’ll be happy to pass my doctor’s name on to you. Life is far too short to be unhappy. If your weight is holding you back, only you will be able to change it.
Spring has sprung, my little pollen spores! Heaven knows there are enough irritants whirling around without adding personal problems to the mix. Breathe easier with fresh input from Miss Lena. Write to email@example.com, and for more Truly Yours, visit www.metroweekly.com.
I’m a gay man who’s always been a little unclear on the “T” part of the GLBT community, and I was particularly befuddled by the transgender person who wrote to you asking why it’s so hard to meet a quality man “who’ll walk with you down the street, contribute to the bills and make a home.” What exactly are we talking about here — a man who dresses like a woman (at home? in public?) and wants one man to be with him all the time? What makes a gay man attracted to a man who dresses like a woman? And does the guy who’s dressed up think that walking around on the arm of his boyfriend will “fool” people into thinking he’s a woman? What’s the point? I like to think I’m non-judgmental, but it all sounds pretty weird to me. Can you shed any light?
— Georgetown Guy
I’m glad you like to think that you’re non-judgmental. However, you’re wrong. You are being judgmental and somewhat closed-minded. The transgender person who wrote to me earlier isn’t trying to “fool” anyone. She is trying to be happy. The point of her question was that she has all the pieces to the puzzle but had not yet put them together to craft her own happiness. Transgender is a person who feels that they are a male or female trapped in the body of the opposite sex. Many transgender people have surgery and start a lengthy and expensive hormone treatment to correct their bodies to match their mental image of themselves. If you have ever felt discriminated against as a gay man, imagine what these people go through. The next time you think it’s weird, consider for a moment what the rest of the world thinks about you sucking dick or eating ass. There are enough people who tear us down. We shouldn’t do it to ourselves.
When the news came out about those nightclub incidents in Chicago and Rhode Island, I was simply horrified. What a terrible way to die — and so unnecessary! Since you spend a lot of time in nightclubs, do you think we’re at risk for something similar here?
— Washington Worrywart
Honey, you are at risk from the day you’re born. Those deaths were indeed needless and horrible. Clubs here are really no more or less safe, because it’s certainly possible for tragedy to strike any venue where crowds of people gather and have to make a quick exit in the event of an emergency. Given the added threat of terrorism in our daily lives, there’s even greater potential for any of us to be victims and targets at any time. The point, however, is to live your life to the fullest, and not in fear. Living in fear is simply surviving — not living.
I’m not the most devout Christian in the world, but I take my faith pretty seriously, especially around Lent. And it’s times like Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and such — when I’m most “visibly” Christian — that most of my friends look at my like I have three heads or something. By no means do I think everyone needs to be a Christian, and I know there are a lot of bad things about institutional Christianity. But there are a lot of good things as well, and it works for me to foster my spirituality. Is there something I can do to get my friends to back off their anti-Christian stuff without making myself look like some kind of religious kook?
— A Gay Churchgoer
Dear, I think you’ve answered your own question. Religion helps you nurture your own spirituality, so continue to do just that. People always criticize that which they don’t know or understand. You shall serve as your own light by example, not by your words. Take consolation in the words of Christ: “Blest are those who are persecuted for holiness’ sake; the reign of God is theirs.” And if that doesn’t work, damn ’em all to Hell!
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.