Dear Readers: Here is this week’s SOUND OFF, about wait staff and how they handle the check:
“A pet peeve of mine, when dining at a restaurant and paying cash, is that the waiter or waitress asks me, ‘Do you want change?’ I always tip my server, but it is my choice, and it is based on the service provided.
“I understand that waiters live off of their tips mostly, but I hate the assumption. I much prefer when they say, ‘Let me get you your change.’ And then it is my choice what I leave. -- A Reader in Illinois”
Many readers agree with you. Remember, it’s your call as the customer, and all you need to say is “Yes, please” and then leave your tip. -- Heloise
Dear Readers: What to do with unwanted gift cards:
* They can be used at different stores. Often chains have different franchises, and gift cards can be used at all of them.
* Donate them to charity. Many pass them on to those in need.
* Trade them in for air miles. Some airlines will exchange gift cards for miles.
* Turn into cash. There are Web sites dedicated to buying unwanted gift cards.
* Swap with friends or co-workers.
Dear Heloise: I love your hair. Do you do anything special to keep the color so vibrant? I am entering the gray/white world and want to know how to take care of it. -- Frances L., via e-mail
Thank you for the nice compliment! Most importantly, I had nothing to do with it (turning “silver” very young). I owe thanks to my grandparents. However, I do have some hints you can use.
“Silver” hair has lost its original color or pigment, and is susceptible to yellowing. Hard water, high iron or rust content in the water, and even too much exposure to the sun can be the reason for this. Commercial purple shampoos that cover yellow help keep silver/gray hair looking great. Just add a dollop to your regular shampoo. Don’t leave it on for too long or use it too often, or you will have blue hair.
You also can do a lemon-water rinse (2 cups of water and the juice of one lemon) once a month to get rid of the discoloration from environmental sources like smoke and pollution.
Silver hair can be beautiful; it just needs a little TLC. For everyday upkeep, use a water filter if needed, wear a hat when outside, and wash and condition regularly. -- Heloise
SEND A GREAT HINT TO:
P.O. Box 795000
San Antonio, TX 78279-5000
Dear Heloise: I was reading the tips for using metal mint tins in your column in the Omaha (Neb.) World- Herald, and wanted to share another.
My husband and I each use a tin to coil up and store the headphones we use at the gym. The tin keeps the headphones from getting tangled up in everything else in our gym bags. -- Patty M., via e-mail
Send a hint to