Dear Annie: For almost three years after college, I worked at a science camp in the nearby mountains year-round. I was working with a group of five other counselors, and we became incredibly close. Working together nine-plus hours a day with like-minded people who are similar in age will do that. It was very fun doing what we all loved for so long, but in the past two months, most of us have decided to move on. Of the five of us -- The Fab Five! -- only one still works at the camp, "Joey." The other four of us are all at different, more classically "adult" jobs.
Though we promised to stay in touch and be just as close, it's not been happening that way. With different schedules, commutes, relationship statuses, etc., it's much harder to be as present in one another's lives. The four of us who left have met up a few times, but Joey always has a reason she can't make it. Though she says she is sad and misses us, she doesn't offer up alternative dates or plans that would work for her. I don't want to take it personally, but it's hard not to think that she feels abandoned or is purposefully not coming or is mad. I'm not sure how to approach her about this. Annie, do you have any recommendations? -- Counselor in Need of Counsel
Dear Counselor: Maybe Joey is intentionally choosing not to spend time with you all; maybe she really is just busy. Regardless, take her at her word, and trust that if she values the friendship as much as you do, she will eventually reach out. Sometimes particular friendships have an ebb and flow, and that's OK. And sometimes people grow up and apart, and that -- though hard -- is OK, too.
Dear Annie: I have two children in food service, so I'd like to add some clarification regarding how much to tip. Twenty percent is very much the normal rate. Your server has to tip the bartender, the food runners, the host or hostess and the people who bus the tables based on the server's gross sales. It doesn't matter if a customer tips very little or not at all. The server still has to give the percentage of his gross sales that management decides goes to each of the above jobs. If you stay for a long period of time and don't allow the restaurant to turn over the table for another customer, tip again. -- Momma in Tennessee
Dear Momma: Not all restaurants use a tip sharing or "tipping out" system, but many, perhaps most, do. Thanks for calling attention to this and encouraging us all to stay generous.
Dear Annie: Recently, you printed a letter from "Paulie," who took issue with people saying "I apologize" rather than "I'm sorry." You have previously recommended that people read "The 5 Love Languages," which is a great book. The author of that book has also written a book about the various "languages" of an apology, aptly titled "The 5 Languages of Apology." It's worth reading. -- Salem, Ore., Reader
Dear Salem: Thank you so much for the reading recommendation. I did not realize that Gary Chapman (along with Jennifer Thomas) had written a book on the subject of apologizing, and I look forward to reading it myself.
"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 firstname.lastname@example.org.