Dear Amy: I’m in my 50s and married four times.
I am a recovering alcohol and drug addict.
I have abused substances for 35 years.
I’ve been clean for three years now and my life today is beyond my wildest dreams.
I have mended the relationships in my life with family and today I have built solid friendships with people I have met in recovery and at work.
I go to church and I am a whole new person.
My old life was dark and suicidal, but my new life is beautiful and positive.
I’ve worked on myself a lot with the help of therapy and AA.
I think I am the best version of myself today, but I care about people who judge me by my past life.
How do I start dating and declaring four divorces?
Who would want to take a risk with a man with such a tumultuous past life?
Do I bring this up on the first date? Am I waiting to be asked?
– Stormy past
Dear Stormy: Congratulations on your continued recovery. It’s really inspiring.
Over the years you have already convinced four women to put their trust in you. Now all you have to do is figure out how to do it, soberly.
The way to the date is to start! With the help and support of your sponsor and no-nonsense community, tip your toe into the shallow end of the dating pool.
Coffee appointments and / or lunches are the current standard for meeting new people.
If your date is drinking alcohol, tell her you are not drinking because you are a recovering alcoholic. There. That is a hurdle.
Four divorces are not an issue for the first time in my opinion. Your first date should be about superficial basics and lots of listening.
You all have good reason to take things very slowly. Additional drama can be an unhealthy trigger.
As you are contemplating a deeper relationship, you should tell her, “I have a very challenging relationship history and I think it is only right that I tell you about it so that you can make your own choices with open eyes. ”
Dear Amy: I need your opinion on whether I’m cheap or if my logic makes sense. If I order a mixed drink at a bar in my hometown, it costs me about $ 4.
I will usually leave a dollar on the bar.
I paid up to $ 12 for the same mixed drink while on vacation. I know it’s common to leave a 20 percent tip, but in both cases the bartender went the extra mile of filling a glass with ice, pouring a shot of alcohol, and then topping it up with soda. Am I cheap if I think a dollar at the bar is fair?
– Casual dump truck
Dear dump truck: Let’s test your logic: the waiter at Brews and Bones in my hometown takes my order, runs to the kitchen, visits the table repeatedly, and is given a generous $ 10 tip on a $ 40 total bill.
Then I visit Le Restaurant Fancy in Chicago, where the waiter takes my order, runs into the kitchen and visits the table repeatedly. This person went to about the same amount of effort as the waiters at Brews and Bones, so based on your logic, I’m also going to tip them a generous $ 10 on a total bill of $ 125.
The waiters and bartenders in Chicago (or your vacation destination) are likely to have much higher costs. Bartenders rely heavily on tips for a livable wage and often share their tips with barbacks or other support staff.
Reader: Tip generously!
According to an article on tipping in Food and Wine Magazine, the basic tipping standard is $ 1 for a beer, at least $ 2 for a mixed drink (no matter where you are), and 20 percent when you boot up a tab.
Dear Amy: “Half grateful, half frustrated,” described her husband’s method of unloading the dishwasher. She said he left clean dishes and utensils on the counter with the dirty stuff.
I really disagree with your advice for confronting him. It probably scared him about where to keep things right.
Dear Trouble: I have had many responses to this question and most of the respondents agree with you. I find this confusing. Long-term married couples should be able to talk about practical things without fear of being called naggers.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)