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Art Ache

By Mink Stole | Posted 4/4/2001

One of my best friends is an artist, and due to her Dobermanlike tenacity, she has been able to convince some coffeehouses and other small venues to show her creations. Though she is a sweet person, her art does not speak to me, if you know what I mean. I have always supported her, but it's starting to be a drag to have to traipse along to these boring openings and chat people up in my effort to support her career. Unfortunately, she is also incredibly needy and I know it would deeply disappoint her if I didn't come. Sometimes I'm the only friend of hers who shows up.


Dear Kickster:

Sweetie, this is simple. If your friendship has not made many demands upon this woman, you can still be supportive without being a slave. Next time she has an opening, make sure you have other plans, then call her the next day to ask how it went. If you can't get out of going altogether, show up late or come early and leave. She may think she needs you there, but believe me, if you don't like her work and resent being there, you're hardly a good sales rep. She may be disappointed, but she will survive. However, if this is the friend who has always been there for you, ready to pour the wine and listen with her heart to your mournful tales of faithless loves and disappointed dreams, then you need either to learn to love her work or find someone else to confide in.

I can barely take a pee these days without having to tip someone. I tip waiters. I tip my hairstylist, my massage therapist, my manicurist, and my cleaning woman. When does it end? Do I really have to tip people who do carryout orders?

Nickel and Dimed to Death

Dear Nickel:

Welcome to Professor Mink's Civics 101. See our capitalist system at work. See the pig bosses pay piss-poor wages. See the guilt-ridden consumer make up the deficit with tips. It's a sad system, perhaps, but it works. And tipping at carryout counters, although it has become customary, is not obligatory. No one's holding a gun to your head to make sure you drop a quarter into the jar. But, to be honest, sweetie pie, complaining about this is just a bit whiny, isn't it? I mean, at least you can afford a massage. And unless you want to start brewing your own mocha lattes, doing your own French tips, and making your own pad Thai, a few extra bucks is a small price to pay for the service.

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