Big Party, Bad Tip

Yesterday was my wedding day. After 21 years of partnership, the state of New York finally recognizes that my relationship is a valid one. It feels good. I had no nerves before the big moment because I was surrounded by great friends and I knew that the road I was taking was the only one for me. Looking back on my day yesterday, I have hardly any regrets about the decisions that were made. The pink shirt and flowery tie, while bold, were perfect. The choice of spouse was a foregone conclusion, so no regrets there at all. The restaurant we went to for our party was divine. So what could I possibly have regretted about my wedding day? I left a bad tip. Let me explain.

After the ceremony, our group of twelve went to The Smith on Third Avenue. I had never been there, but I had heard great things about it. The menu looked good, the cocktails looked better and they have a photo booth downstairs. Sounded perfect. We arrived at about 3:00 in the afternoon. I had made a reservation because I realized that we were going to be that annoying large party who gets there right in between the lunch and dinner shift and makes the lunch server get stuck way past his regular leaving time. Yes, even on my wedding day, I was thinking about he well-being of our waiter. His name was Thomas. I went right up to him and told him, “I am the one paying for everything and I want to make sure you get a good tip, but what time does your shift end?”

Thomas, was cool. “Oh, not for over two hours, don’t worry.”

“Okay, look. I don’t want you to get stuck here because I have some people who won’t be here until much later so when ever you need to leave, you just let me know. Add the grat, I’ll close the check and then you can pass us off to a PM server.”

For all I know, Thomas found me incredibly annoying. I tried to say please and thank you and be appreciative of everything he was doing for us. I mean, here we were, a couple of wannabe Bridezillas at a table for 12 and we were all talking and taking pictures and moving around. Irritating as hell, I’m sure. Thomas kicked ass. He kept our waters full, kept the drinks flowing and was always friendly. Thomas, thank you. I mentioned the blog to him and then my friend Marlene was all, “He was on CBS and Dr. Phil and blah blah blah. You gotta read it!” By this point I had had a couple of champagnes (one of which was in a can compliments of Marlene that I drank on the 6 train ’cause I’m classy like that) and two or three Pomegranate Caipirinhas. I was drunk on marital bliss but I knew I would write about how great the restaurant was and I wanted Thomas to know about it.

Around 5:30, Thomas came out with the wedding cake that my friend had dropped off earlier. He offered to cut it for us, but I told him that we were totally fine doing it ourselves. I hate slicing cake for strangers, so why would he want to do it? About twenty minutes later, he brought me the check. The bill had the gratuity on it and I added another $25. He introduced me to the PM server who would be finishing up our evening and Thomas went on his merry way with what I hope was a pretty good Monday lunch shift behind him.

Our new server was Micah. Also very friendly and efficient. Honestly, by this point I don’t recall much. I was drunk on marital bliss and booze now and the evening is a little hazy. Our party had dwindled by this point. New folks arrived replacing the ones who had to leave early but we were only seven people sitting at what had been a twelve-top. I noticed the restaurant was full and we were wasting two tables. We consolidated and I went to Micah and told him he could have the two tables back to try and get some more people in his station. You see? Always thinking about the waiter, I am. As soon as he pulled the two two-tops from our party, they were sat immediately and I knew I had done good. When we finally were ready to leave, Micah brought us our check. I added $30 to the bill and stumbled my ass home.

When I looked at the bill later that evening I noticed that Micah had not added the gratuity to our second check. I thought I had left him an additional $30 when really that was ALL I left him. Not even 20%! The horror. My wedding day marred by a bad tip. I blame myself for not knowing when to stop with the Pomegranate Caipirinhas. I should have paid attention to my bill. I had the mental resources to plan out four different poses with Marlene for the photo booth (from top to bottom age 4, age 10, age 14, age 44) but I couldn’t be bothered to read my fucking check? I felt horrible. Micah, I am sorry.

My wedding day was great. With the exception of the one tipping error, everything went off without a bitch. As for the tip, I will make amends. Tomorrow, I will stop by The Smith and leave some money in an envelope for Micah. Then he’ll have to figure out how to pool it or split it up or whatever, but I will make sure he gets the tip he deserved. I refuse to be that person who leaves a bad tip and realizes it but doesn’t do anything about it.

Thank you Thomas and Micah for making my wedding day so memorable. Yesterday will go down as one of my favorite days ever and two servers are an indelible mark on that day. It just goes to show you that we severs have the potential to become part of a memory for everyone. These two guys just went to work like any other Monday and they ended up being in the fabric of my life. Keep that in mind the next time you are at work. You never know when your regular day at work is someone else’s favorite memory.

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23 thoughts on “Big Party, Bad Tip

  1. Anonymous

    To be clear…I had the mental resources to assign the ages. You were drunk. But still The Smith and your wedding were both outstanding and I loved every minute and every one of the 441 pictures I took. Yes, 441. Lord, I guess I was drunk too.

  2. California Girl

    you are a thoughtful little dude. nice story and I doubt Micah will be anything but relieved. He'll have to take back all those awful things he thought about you. again, many happy returns to you and your partner.

  3. TheRealBarman

    Congrats BW. Sounds amazing.Update on your article. For the past year I've been writing for one city, and in the past couple weeks other cities have picked me up because the readership has been very high.To my point, good timing because the article I wrote for you hit 7 cities this week, which totals about 175,000 for readership. Whooooo!For those who want to read about your beloved BW just go to my blog at and scroll down to "Don't Look Now But Your Server Hates You."Congrats again. Keep it rollin'.TheRealBarman

  4. csabolek

    BW, I think that the worst part of getting a crappy tip or no tip at all is knowing that the person did it on purpose, knew exactly what they were doing. In that scenario, it hurts a bit!! But we've all made mistakes while under the influence. As long as you make it right, it's not such a big deal. Congratulations to both of you; I wish you a lifetime of happiness, Cassandra

  5. SharleneT

    Congratulations on your wedding day! You're sure, now, he's the one because you've only been dating 21 years… can you really know someone? Many happy years together. Kudos for you and taking care of the tip.

  6. Drama Queen Rehab Reject

    Congrats,I am so happy for you! I have been reading your blog for a while now and you always make laugh so much. I still reread your jetblue entry just to crack up when I am down. You deserve 20 more years with your special one.

  7. infamousmare

    As usual, I’m late to the party (wait, was I even invited?). However, I’m glad you were so amazingly sweet to your servers. I’ve attended parties at restaurants and there are few things in life MORE uncomfortable than to watch some egotistical tightwad treat the servers badly and/or leave an embarrassingly small tip. Kudos to you for going back and making it right, Bitchy…and congratulations on marrying Mr. Right. 🙂

  8. Jenny

    Dammit for some stupid reason this didn’t come up in my feeds. 🙁 A thousand congratafabulosations to you and your hubby! I’m glad you just let drink get in the way of paying a decent tip rather than something bad happening… Yay for Bitchy!

  9. Robert

    Congratulations! My Uncle and his 20+ year partner were married shortly after MA legalized gay marriage. I was very happy for them and a bit sad for the couples in states that had not made it to the 21st century yet.

    May you both have many, many more happy years together!


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