Woman tired of boyfriend who never plans dates ahead

Lodi News-Sentinel - - LOCAL/STATE - AN­NIE LANE

Dear An­nie: I was wid­owed two years ago. I joined a group last year that gets out and does things to­gether. About 10 months ago, I started dat­ing one of the guys in the group. We are both in our 60s. In the be­gin­ning, he called and asked me to din­ner and other ac­tiv­i­ties. Now, when I am run­ning er­rands and he calls, he asks, “Are you go­ing to stop by?” The other day, I got a text mes­sage ask­ing whether I would be his date in four hours for din­ner. Yes­ter­day I went to church and stopped by the gro­cery. He called as I was re­turn­ing home and said I could have called him to go to lunch. I tried ex­plain­ing that I had not had lunch yet and had frozen food in the car, but he didn’t seem to lis­ten, be­cause he re­peated that I should have called him and asked him to meet me for lunch. I have bought nu­mer­ous tick­ets for con­certs and other events, which he seemed to en­joy.

Am I be­ing too old-fash­ioned to ex­pect him to take the lead for some dates or call more than four hours be­fore a din­ner date? I have tried more than once to tell him that his lack of plan­ning makes me feel as if he is tak­ing me for granted. His re­sponse was, “What do I know? I am just a dumb man.” I now go ahead and make my own plans for the fol­low­ing day, think­ing he may take the hint that I am not sit­ting around idly wait­ing all the time.

He is a nice guy and says he loves me, but I feel that if he re­ally wanted to be with me, he would in­vite me like a date. — Un­der­booked

Dear Un­der­booked: Time to let this man know that you’re not his on-call girl­friend, that you have a life out­side of the re­la­tion­ship and that you can’t al­ways drop ev­ery­thing to go see him at the last minute. You’ve told him as much with words; now keep say­ing it with your ac­tions. Con­tinue to make your own plans, and don’t change them for him. (This doesn’t have to be rigid or ab­so­lute. It’s just a gen­eral rule.) If he cares to date you, he’ll care to start get­ting in your date­book, at least a cou­ple of days in ad­vance. I have a feel­ing that by your act­ing in­struc­tively, this “dumb man” (an act I don’t buy, by the by) will learn very quickly.

Dear An­nie: I’m a faith­ful reader of your col­umn. There is one thing I’ve not seen ad­dressed that I’m sure other peo­ple have a need to know.

When you’re din­ing out and the check is placed on your ta­ble, should the 20 per­cent tip ap­ply to the to­tal amount? In my way of think­ing, it should be com­puted on just the food and ser­vice and not the tax. If peo­ple wish to in­clude tips on the tax, that is their priv­i­lege, but oth­ers like me feel dif­fer­ently. I don’t want to reg­u­larly over­tip, as that adds up, but I want to do the right thing by servers, of course. — One Who Tips

Dear One Who Tips: If you feel like go­ing above and be­yond and tip­ping on the post-tax amount, I’m sure that any server would ap­pre­ci­ate it. How­ever, it’s by no means nec­es­sary. Tip­ping based on the pre­tax amount is log­i­cal, ac­cept­able and ex­pected, so you can rest as­sured you’re do­ing the right thing. “Ask Me Any­thing: A Year of Ad­vice From Dear An­nie” is out now! An­nie Lane’s de­but book — fea­tur­ing fa­vorite col­umns on love, friend­ship, fam­ily and eti­quette — is avail­able as a pa­per­back and e-book. Visit http://www.cre­ator­spub­lish­ing.com for more in­for­ma­tion. Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­nie@cre­ators.com.

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