Dear Annie: Are shared interests necessary?
Dear Annie: I’ve been seeing this woman for about a month. She is beautiful and smart and thinks I’m funny, which is a plus. It’s been getting more serious. But recently, when we were trying to decide which movie to see, some new info came to light. It turns out she hates superhero movies and comic books. This is a total turnoff to me, to the point that I now think this relationship may be doomed. I just see it as sort of a litmus test for personal compatibility. Should I end things now before I get deeper, or am I being petty? — Marvel Mega-Fan
Dear Marvel Mega-Fan: Tastes don’t make or break a relationship. It can definitely help to have shared hobbies, but shared hobbies alone can’t form the bedrock of a serious romantic relationship. Shared values do. And mutual respect. And oh, yes, love. All that is to say yes, it does seem a bit petty to me to break up with her over this, but deal breakers are in the eye of the holder. Plus, this sort of thing is also a self-fulfilling prophecy. This relationship may now be doomed, but only because you’ve decided it may be, not because she doesn’t like Spider-Man.
Dear Annie: What is the proper amount to tip a hairdresser? When I was growing up, 15 or even 10 percent seemed customary. Recently, I saw something in a magazine that said I should be tipping my hairdresser 20 percent and tipping the shampoo girl or boy (if there is one) an additional $5! I get my hair done once a month, so that would really start to add up. But of course, I’d certainly hate to be rude. What is the etiquette? — Salon-Goer in Shreveport
Dear Salon-Goer: Twenty percent is a fair tip for someone with whom you’re entrusting your crowning glory. As for tipping assistants, proffering at least a small tip is usually appropriate, especially if they’ve been more hands-on.
Dear Annie: I must address the letter from the Vietnam veteran who will not call for help. First, he should not give up. The Veterans Crisis Line (https://www.veteranscrisisline.net) is 800-273-8255. In 2016, 58.1 percent of veteran suicides were among veterans 55 or older. Depending on where the veteran lives, his county may have a veterans service office he could visit or contact. He more than likely has a Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans and American Legion organization near him that could provide more resources. These groups serve veterans of all eras, and he could find people with whom he can relate. And bring the buddies! Please offer these options to him. — Wife of a Vietnam Veteran
Dear Wife of a Vietnam Veteran: Thank you so much for this wealth of information.
Dear Annie: I participated in your study about children. (I was one of the 77 percent of readers who are glad they had kids.) It was a very good and valuable study. One of the respondents said to “trust your gut,” and you reported that people were mostly happy with their decisions, which was heartening. One of my daughters wants children, and my other one and her husband have decided not to have them. I wondered, given my thinking and experience, whether the one who is not having kids is setting herself up for disappointment in later life, and knowing that this is not likely is encouraging to me regarding her happiness. — Phil N.
Dear Phil N.: I’m glad you gleaned some insight from the poll results; I know I did, as well. Thanks so much for writing, and thanks to everyone who participated in the informal survey.