A GIRL NAMED VIVIAN

A GIRL NAMED VIVIAN

My Darling Vivian, the insightful documentary about San Antonio native Vivian Liberto Cash, the first wife of singing legend Johnny Cash, sheds a new light on a famous relationship, according to our own Lance Avery Morgan.

Photography courtesy of My Darling Vivian and Amazon Prime

In the days before the self-imposed spotlight of the media glare, fame looked different in the 1950s and 1960s. In the new documentary, My Darling Vivian, about the love affair, marriage and children of singer Johnny Cash and his San Antonio native wife, Vivian Liberto, a thoughtful look is given at how a deep love formed under the media scrutiny on the couple. The film’s title, an homage to the plethora of love letters sent between the duo, is a valentine to the life and fortitude of its primary subject, Vivian Liberto Cash Distin, a vibrant Texas woman.

The project underscores Vivian’s childhood as the middle daughter of strict Italian Catholic parents, to her teenage romance (and subsequent three-year-long correspondence with the thousand letters) with Johnny Cash–in which she reveals to him an inferiority complex rooted in her exotic appearance. Her new life in Memphis as a woman in love; a first-time mother who finds out she’s pregnant with her second child just six weeks after the birth of her first; and as the wife of a door-to-door salesman turned-overnight-music- sensation all played out like an epic soap opera. Eventually, the family moves to Los Angeles and Johnny almost immediately becomes absent due to his devotion to performing, fame…and drugs. Told through rare home movie footage, as well as hundreds of vintage photos, the beautifully produced project, with a lush orchestral score, is devoted to their relationship as seen through the eyes of the Cash’s four daughters, Roseanne, Kathy, Cindy, and Tara.   

“My mother’s own story has often been lost or misinterpreted to serve a myth,” shared Roseanne Cash. “This elegant film about her–the real Vivian Liberto, not the Hollywood version–is painful but compassionate, wrenching but true. Even though she was an intensely private woman, I think she longed to have her story told, and her place in the history of my family acknowledged with respect and love. Matt Riddlehoover and Dustin Tittle have succeeded in giving her that place. My sisters and I are deeply moved by and grateful for My Darling Vivian.” The family affair element was firmly in place since Tittle, a producer on the project, is also a grandson of Vivian and Johnny Cash.

Many recall the 2005 OscarÒ-winning film starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon and Johnny and June Carter Cash. The role of Vivian Cash, played by Ginnifer Goodwin, portrayed her as a psycho victim who was jealous of her husband’s musical career. As the documentary unfolds, nothing could be further from the truth and it’s easy to see how Vivian loathed being the “other woman” to Johnny’s career, which came first, before his family, and then, to June Carter, Cash’s second wife, with their very public relationship that helped sell millions of records. 

As in all lives, there are good times and often, just as many tragedies. The seven-year nightmare of the family living in Casitas Springs in Ventura County, with four young daughters, included sleepless nights waiting up for the husband who rarely arrived. In the midst of losing Johnny to June Carter, the all-hours visits from fans deprived her of any semblance of safety, compounded by a frightening race-related scandal in 1966, which led to threatening letters from the Ku Klux Klan, eventually pushing her to a mental breaking point.

The personal toll that Vivian’s divorce from Johnny took on her was immense, which included being excommunicated from the Catholic church, and the “unspoken bargain” that was her second marriage. Happily, her trying to regain her identity led to a social and creative blossoming, despite having to witness the aggressively perpetuated myth of Johnny and June’s love story.

The heartfelt film, full of the loving retrospective of Vivian Liberto Cash Distin’s life, is a rollercoaster ride of emotions and is served up perfectly in a beautifully told story with a musical and Texas perspective. “Her life was romantic and bewildering, difficult and significant, and wholly filmatic–more than a mere footnote in the biography of Johnny Cash,” said Matt Riddlehoover, the film’s director. Visit Amazon Prime to access the film.

NEW AND EXTRAORDINARY

NEW AND EXTRAORDINARY

The finest cultural experiences in Texas are back, according to our cultural adventurer Leanne Raesener, who shares our favorite recommendations from across the state.

AUSTIN

BLOSSOMING THIS FALL

In Courtney Egan’s exhibition, Superflora, the central work is a large-scale interactive video projection. As viewers move along the walls, the floral imagery blossoms, and fades, responding to their presence. On view September 17―January 10. At UmlaufSculpture.org.

IMAGE: Courtney Egan Sleepwalkers (Night Blooming Cereus) 2013 Looping video projection, HD (Ed. of 10)

WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL

The newly opened Wonderspaces Austin, a 24,000 square foot industrial space, partners with artists to present an evolving showcase of extraordinary art to new audiences. It currently features over a dozen artists with multiple interactive displays. Of particular note is a sculpture, The Immigrant comprised of 2,300 wooden balls, by Brooklyn-based artist Michael Murphy. On view currently. At  Austin.Wonderspaces.com.

 

IMAGE: October 01, 2019, by Arseny Vesnin in 2019, art. USA, Portfolios

JUST A DREAM

Artist Juan Mũnoz’s Last Conversation Piece appears theatrical in its arrangement. However, visitors at The Contemporary―Laguna Gloria may enter the conversation space, even as the sculpture’s stony faces pay them no mind. One may sense a subtle disconnect from reality as if confronting the figures in a dream. November 19―Ongoing. At  TheContemporaryAustin.org.

IMAGE: Juan Muñoz, Last Conversation Piece, 1994–1995. Collection of Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Museum Purchase, 1995. Artwork © Juan Muñoz. Photograph by Brian Fitzsimmons

DALLAS / FORT WORTH

TO ADMIRE…NOT TO BREAK

Commissioned for the reopening of the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Puente Nuevo is an immersive experience of large-scale artwork made from materials used to construct piñatas. Contemporary artist Justin Favela draws on his own Mexican and Guatemalan heritage. September 14–November 15. At www.CarterMuseum.org.

IMAGE: A walk through a #papermache #garden #denver #colorado…awesome #installationart by Justin Favela
@denverartmuseum

SPANISH RENAISSANCE CAPTURED

Berruguete Through the Lens: Photographs from a Barcelona Archive parallels this past spring’s major exhibition, Alonso Berruguete: First Sculptor of Renaissance Spain. Featuring early-twentieth-century photographs of works by Alonso Berruguete (c. 1488–1561). Through January 10. At MeadowsMuseumDallas.org.

IMAGE: Copyright: © 2019 Institut Amatller d’ Art Hispànic-im. 05583046 (foto Mas C-80351/1934) Information extracted from IPTC Photo Metadata

MEET YOU AT THE FAIR

Over the past two decades, Mark Bradford has created monumental works of abstract painting and collage. Growing up in his mother’s hair salon and becoming a hairdresser himself, in End Papers, he incorporates in his art the thin, delicate papers used to protect hair from overheating during the permanent wave process. Through January 10. At www.TheModern.org.

IMAGE: On a clear day, I can usually see all the way to Watts, 2001. The Bluff Collection. © Mark Bradford

HOUSTON

OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD

Hats Off: Halston Hats from the Masterson Collection explores the art of millinery in the mid-20th century through hats and hair accessories designed by renowned American fashion designer Halston. Of particular note is the now infamous pillbox hat designed by Halston for Jackie Kennedy that she wore at the 1961 presidential inauguration. Through January 21. At MFAH.org.

IMAGE: Halston, for Bergdorf Goodman, Hat, 1959–67, white mink fur, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Rienzi Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harris Masterson III

WHY BE ORDINARY?

Breaking Tradition: Contemporary Approaches to the Decorative Arts features three artists, Sophie Glenn, Steven Young Lee, and Beth Lipman, who challenge the dominant cultural narratives of the decorative arts through iconoclastic furniture, porcelain, photography, and cast-metal pieces. Through January 3. At CraftHouston.org.

IMAGE: Steven Young Lee Gourd Vase with Bats and Clouds, Contemporary, Ceramic, Sculpture, Cobalt, 2019

FOUR FOR THE SHOW

The Mercury Chamber Orchestra is performing the audience-favorite Vivaldi’s Four Seasons under the baton of Antoine Plante, artistic director, with soloist and concertmaster Jonathan Godfrey. Experience the elements of the four seasons with an energetic performance, complemented with dramatic lighting. Special performance on September 5. At www.MillerOutdoorTheatre.com.

 IMAGE: Courtesy of Miller Outdoor Theatre

SAN ANTONIO

CAPTURING THE RENAISSANCE

Hollywood’s Sistine Chapel: Sacred Sets for Stage & Scene captures the Renaissance in both theatre and cinema. Six hand-painted, sound-stage backdrops from the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) studio will “guest star” in this exhibition, alongside exquisite artworks from The Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts. September 10―April 4. At www.McNayArt.org.
IMAGE: Courtesy of McNay Art Museum

THE ANCIENTS' DNA INSPIRES TODAY

The new VISUAL VOICES: Contemporary Chickasaw Art exhibition contains nearly sixty artworks of fifteen present-day Chickasaw painters, potters, sculptors, metalsmiths, and weavers that convey a beautiful and compelling contemporary visual story. On view September 24―January 18. At www.BriscoeMuseum.org.

IMAGE: Copyright: All images property of Andrew Feiler

GO BEHIND THE SEAMS

The Witte’s exhibition, Fiesta Couture: Behind the Seams, takes a rare glimpse inside the workrooms where skilled artisans work together for months, hand-sewing embellishments on the iconic gowns and dazzling trains that together result in the most glamourous night of Fiesta. Through November 15.  At WitteMuseum.org

IMAGE: Fiesta Couture, courtesy Witte Museum

CUISINE THAT CAN CALM

CUISINE THAT CAN CALM

We love supporting our local eateries, don’t you? Join our editors Lesa Rossick in Austin, Cynthia Smoot in Dallas, Jennifer Roosth in Houston, and Eleanora Morrison in San Antonio as they share their stellar statewide recommendations that are must-dines as the weather turns cooler.

AUSTIN

EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY

McGuire Moorman Hospitality has launched another interesting spot to dine, La Piscina Ceviches & Fajitas, in the Proper Hotel. This poolside restaurant overlooks Shoal Creek, and serves delicious, elevated Mexican and seafood cuisine. At ProperHotel.com.  

HONESTLY, MARY

Honest Mary’s, known for its local and organic bowls, has expanded to a second location in Rosedale. Build your own bowl with grains, seafood, meat, vegetables, and herbs. You will honestly feel healthy, full, and happy. At HonestMarys.com

DOLCE VITA

The beloved Dolce Neve Gelato in Rosedale, which translates as Sweet Snow in English, has opened another location in East Austin. Bright and cheery, with the same smiling faces and unique gelato flavors, this is a perfect time to enjoy their new spot. At DolceNeveGelato.com

DALLAS / FORT WORTH

WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S

Behind the pink wall you’ll find Bernie’s, a new cocktail lounge on the ground floor of Preston Tower. Inside, you’ll find classic cocktails, plus a small menu of bites including flatbread pizzas and dips. Membership is required, but easy to obtain. Bernie’s space is small, holding 60 to 70 people, and the menu is intentionally limited. At Preston Tower.

UNO MAS, POR FAVOR

Apart from classics like fajitas, tacos, and enchiladas, the Henderson eatery also offers a variety of vegan and vegetarian dietary options. The cocktails, based on geographical locations in Mexico, include flavors from Mexico City, as well as coastal and mountain regions. Enjoy weeknight specials like Tequila Tuesday and Date Night Thursdays. Their robust to-go offerings of family meals, margarita kits, and more are also available. At UnoMasDallas.com.

SO PRETTY IN PINK

XOXO Dining Room takes nods from Sketch London, with plush, Barbie-pink seating, Press For Champagne doorbells in each booth, and whimsical trees. Beyond the savory cuisine, save room for the Insta-worthy XOXO Cupcake Wheel, which is alcohol-infused with strawberry champagne. A live DJ performs nightly from Thursday―Saturday to keep the energy lively. Look for the shocking pink exterior–you can’t miss it. At XOXODallas.com.

HOUSTON

THAILAND, MEET HOUSTON

A Kin Dee dining experience is  a true representation of Thailand through its unique flavors, ingredients, and overall vision. Focused on made-from-scratch, authentic, and primarily noodle-based dishes, it delivers native cuisine, exactly like it’s served in Thailand, from a 30-dish menu of approachably adventurous options. At KinDeeThaiCuisine.com.

PHOTO CUTLINE: Photo by Elvis Campos

 

HOMETOWN RULES

Returning to his hometown of Houston to launch his first restaurant, Chef Travis McShane has created a true foodie destination with Ostia, a 4500 sq. ft. open-kitchen concept. Located in the heart of Montrose, the extensive restaurant features botanically-inspired, outdoor-oriented interiors, including casually-chic dining spaces, air-conditioned outdoor terraces, and an intimate chef’s table. The farm to table, rustic, and lighter Mediterranean fare with underlying Italian leanings can’t be beat. At OstiaHou.com. ON PHOTO: Photo by Julie Soefer.

ROUX THE DAY

A little bit of New Orleans, okay, a lot, is taking the cuisine scene by storm. The Rouxpour is a Cajun-inspired restaurant with three locations in Houston’s surrounding areas. Guests love its delicious variety of chargrilled oysters, fresh seafood, and inviting atmosphere. At TheRouxPour.com.

SAN ANTONIO

ISLAND FARE

San Antonio chef, Nicola Blaque, owner of the award-winning Jamaican restaurant, The Jerk Shack, has just opened a second dining concept, Mi Roti, located within Pearl’s Bottling Dept. Food Hall. The build-your-own Roti station, dedicated to the classic Caribbean dish, is a favorite. At Mi Roti.

LOCALLY LOVED

Nestled in Alta Vista just north of downtown, 5 Points Local is part restaurant and part yoga studio. The perfect place to take a work meeting or to unwind after a long day. Clean eaters in the Alamo City loyally love this spot for serving delicious 100% Vegan, local, and organically wholesome dishes. At 5PointsLocal.com.

BETTER BURGER

Chef Andrew Weissman, known for his fine dining restaurants across San Antonio, has gained a loyal following throughout the years. His recently opened Mr. Juicy Burger, a more causal concept in Olmos Park, has been a hit since its doors opened. Weissman has taken his fine dining concepts and applied them to a fast-food atmosphere, flipping gourmet burgers, fries and comfort treats at a price point that can’t be beat. At Mr. Juicy Burger.

STYLE FOR MILES

STYLE FOR MILES

As the season cools down, how about stacking your coffee tables and bookshelves a mile high with these latest style stunners? Our bibliophile Lance Avery Morgan recommends the best books to inform and inspire right now.

A HOME FOR ALL SEASONS
By Danielle Rollins

Tastemaker and designer Danielle Rollins invites readers to join her at home in this primer on living and entertaining in style. She shows you how to use home spaces for memorable gatherings, giving as much interior design inspiration, as she does share her secrets for all occasions. $50. At RizzoliUSA.

HARPER’S BAZAAR: FIRST IN FASHION
By Marianne Le Galliard and Éric Pujalet-Plaà

Fashion mavens and design aficionados are drawn to the bright, colorful, and playful patterns that are instantly recognizable as Lilly Pulitzer. But perhaps the name Suzie Zuzek is not as recognizable as it should be. The majority of Pulitzer’s fabric designs from 1962 through 1985 were based on artwork by the Key West-based artist synonymous with Slim Aarons, Jackie O, and the Palm Beach crowd. $50. At RizzoliUSA.com

YVES SAINT LAURENT

By Roxanne Lowit

 

Whether Saint Laurent was surrounded by beautiful models or peeking at the catwalk from the wings, Lowit distinctively captured the famed designer, along with his striking creations with her camera. Here, she creates a vibrant portrait of this towering fashion figure. $34.95. At ThamesAnd HudsonUSA.com

INSIDE MARRAKESH: ENCHANTING HOMES AND GARDENS
By Meryanne Loum-Martin

Contemporary design meets Marrakesh’s splendid artistic heritage in this beautiful volume that transports you to this fabled city and guides us through the extraordinary residences of the city’s leading tastemakers. $60. At RizzoliUSA.com.

THE PERFECT GENTLEMAN
By James Sherwood

This lavish publication celebrates the modern gentleman. It features six historical chapters, from the Regency period to the present. The new generation of designer artisans who are redefining notions of quality and handwork in the era of globalization and digital technologies are also included.$39.95. At ThamesAndHudsonUSA.com.

DESIGNING HISTORY
By Michael S. Smith

Not since Jacqueline Kennedy’s iconic work on the White House has a designer of Michael Smith’s stature been commissioned to bring a new design spirit to the mansion. His updating of the Obama-era White House is unparalleled in style and grace. $60. At RizzoliUSA.com.

GABRIELLE CHANEL
By Miren Arzalluz

Chanel’s ideas on elegance and what it meant to be a modern woman created an immutable sense of style that still resonates today. Aralluz chronicles the designer’s life from birth through the evolution of her timeless style. $60. At At ThamesAndHudsonUSA.com.

AN ENTERTAINING STORY
By India Hicks

Style icon India Hicks has a charming take on entertaining, featuring her dreamy tablescapes, recipes, and enjoyable family anecdotes. It’s brimming with inspiration, tips, and gorgeous photos of Hicks’ home and family. $50. At RizzoliUSA.com.

A PLACE TO CALL HOME
By Cath Kidston

This English country dream beckons us to visit in these pages. It’s both a personal glimpse into this dream home and the surrounding grounds and how they were created, curated, and nurtured, as well as being a design book and memoir. $45. At  RizzoliUSA.com.

THE SARTORIALIST: MAN
By Scott Schuman

Here’s the definitive menswear guide showcasing the diversity of today’s well-dressed man. The book, a true men’s fashion primer, is not a list of rules, but more of an update on style principles, design strategies, and practical lessons on all sartorial matters. From fit to fabric, from head to toe. $45. At RizzoliUSA.com.

ENTERTAINING BEAUTIFULLY
By Aerin Lauder

Accept this invitation into the endlessly inspiring and unique celebrations of the iconic tastemaker and hostess. This elegant entertaining book reveals how to bring beauty, style, and joy into milestone events, holidays, or everyday moments and meals. $55. At RizzoliUSA.com.

INTERIOR VOYAGES
By Matthieu Salvaing

Transporting readers to more than two dozen evocative spaces, and on whirlwind excursions to lush, overgrown corners of the world,  Salvaing’s lens also offers endless interior design inspiration. $60. At RizzoliUSA.com.

THE MR. PORTER GUIDE TO A BETTER DAY
By Mr. Porter Editors

A dawn-to-dusk instruction manual for men to live effortlessly and elegantly in the modern world.Interviews with the world’s most interesting and thoroughly well-put-together men, lincluding a few of your favorite male celebrities, are also included. $40. At ThamesAndHudsonUSA.com.

NAAEM KHAN: EMBELLISHED
By Naaem Khan

A favorite of so many socialites, celebrated fashion designer Naeem Khan unveils a world of chic opulence that includes bridal gowns, and beautifully beaded and embroidered statement pieces in this must-have tome. $85. At RizzoliUSA.com.

A TALE OF INTERIORS
By Louisa Pierce and Emily Ward

These expertly crafted, layered, and lush interiors for rock stars and Hollywood types are over the top in all the right ways. With a flair for artful, organized abundance that is always glamourous, this first monograph is not to be missed. $60. At RizzoliUSA.com.

GOLDEN LIGHT
By Todd Nickey and Amy Kehoe

Top designers Todd Nickey and Amy Kehoe are fascinated by how a room can come together to express its own persona, as though the design just happened. The result is their interior design  appears as if it were a personal collection of the randomly put together, when in fact it is the product of their very mindful curating. $55. At RizzoliUSA.com.

WHO CARES WINS
By Lily Cole

A rousing call to action, this book will leave you feeling hopeful that we can make a difference in the midst of an age of turmoil, destruction, and uncertainty. It is up to each of us to actively choose optimism, collaborate, make changes, and define what is possible. Start here. $35. At RizzoliUSA.com.

JAMES HUNIFORD: AT HOME
By James Huniford and Stephen Treffinger

Stylish and oh-so-elegant, here’s an in-depth look at the design process of Huniford, who is renowned for his skill in juxtaposing opposites like contemporary and traditional, rustic with refined…to create a timeless whole. $50. At MonacelliPress.com.

THROUGH A DESIGNER’S EYE: A FOCUS ON INTERIORS
By Matthew Patrick Smyth

Smyth is renowned for his elegant, sophisticated rooms that combine sumptuous fabrics, well-selected antiques, and contemporary comfort. In this new book, his engaging, first-person narrative focuses on the five elements of interior design that contribute to successful spaces. $60. At MonacelliPress.com.

REGAL ROMANCE

REGAL ROMANCE

Every woman wants to feel beautiful, inside and out. So, now’s the time to turn our heads to more romantic notions as we begin a new fashion season, according to our roving style hunter Eleanora Morrison, of Eleanora.co., who weighs in with her favorite recommendations that will help you create more love in the world…starting with yourself.

ROYAL LOCKS

Since hair adornments are enhancing even the simplest ensembles, why not go for broke, with this bejeweled crescent barrette by Erdem? Everything from faux jade to emeralds to pink diamonds, and beyond will give any hairstyle a romantic boost. Plus, it becomes an instant heirloom piece. $400. At NeimanMarcus.com.

BLUSHING, NOT BASHFUL

The Tatiana blush satin clutch, by Jimmy Choo, is the perfect neutral, and it comes with a long shoulder chain to add even more versatility. The oversized rhinestone clasp will sparkle as brightly as you. $995. At NeimanMarcus.com.

PLEATED, PLEASE

This pretty-in-pink Givenchy silk skirt, which adds height to any outfit thanks to its accordion pleats, features an elastic waistband with a printed monogram logo. The A-line silhouette falls perfectly at mid-calf, making it perfect for dinner, dancing, and beyond. $1680. At The Webster.com.

RUCHE, REALLY

Ruching took front and center at the Fall/Winter 2020 collections. We love these shoes in a colorful, can’t-get-lost-in-a-crowd blue velvet, as a romantic textural gesture, don’t you? Price upon request. At Off-White.com.

SILVER SCREEN

Heads will surely turn as you enter the room well turned-out in this silver brocade evening suit. The slim silhouette boasts a waist-flattering peplum and a cropped pant that can be worn with heels or flats. Price Upon Request. At Erdem.com.

OPTOMISTICALLY BRIGHT

You love the Diptyque candles and scents, and you’ll love the new Fleur de Peau room fragrance that has a plethora of flowers at the heart of its composition. Sprayed in the air, on linens and clothes, or in a fine mist on the skin, it delicately perfumes your world. $110. At DiptyqueParis.com.

JEWEL-TONED GEM

Set for fall, this multi-colored jewel-tone blouse is a go-to basic to add personality to any neutral pairing. It’s perfect for day to evening, no matter how you style it. $395. At Nordstrom.com.

LORD OF LACE

Gucci’s silk-chiffon blouse trimmed with Victorian-inspired ivory lace will bring the drama to any ensemble, day or night. Pair it with wide-leg culottes for a casual look, or with a sleek velvet tuxedo for a show-stopping formal look. $3500. At Net-A-Porter.com.

FIT FOR A QUEEN

Aeydē’s cream Moa flats are sleek, comfortable, and perfectly fit to get you from the boardroom to the ballroom without sacrificing an ounce of style. A stately staple for any season. $230. At Net-A-Porter.com.

PUCKER UP

Looking for lips as luscious as the Queen of Hearts? Lipstick Queen’s Medieval Lipstick is sure to give you an extra rouged pucker that will bring out your royal alter ego. $24. At NeimanMarcus.com.

LUXURIOUS LUSTER

Why not raise a glass that glimmers in gold? For those who prefer a touch of personality in their barware, each of these gilded goblets are just the statement for your next toast. $66 each. At NeimanMarcus.com.

BY ALL MEANS

BY ALL MEANS

In our ever-evolving world, we are all seeking more guidance on modern behavior, aren’t we? Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., our Ms. Social Graces, is here to help resolve your most pressing issues.

Dear Ms. Social Graces,

Lately, I’ve noticed that some people, who are doing carry-out to support their favorite restaurants, are confused about tipping. What do you recommend to help the service industry during these trying times?

Inquiring Tipper

 

Dear Terrific Tipper,

The best way to help the service industry during these trying times is to consider your many options. While tipping is a personal choice and discretionary, it has been a U.S. custom for decades. There are ever- changing standards and rules for different job positions, and sometimes it’s difficult to say what is best. However, tips have always been important, and during a global pandemic, they are crucial–making a significant difference for many service workers and their families. 

Avoid tip-baiting, where a generous tip is promised on an app and then reduced or deleted entirely after the delivery is completed. Maybe not in the past, but today we tip 15-20% for takeout, curbside, and pickup orders because of the extra time and effort involved with anti-viral precautions for the customer. Deliveries require more time and involve someone coming to your front door or high-rise elevator who has not only the risk of personal exposure but also the potential to transmit the virus to their family at home. 

Guidelines for how much to tip different workers, if you choose: 

  • Baristas: $1 per drink (more if customized)
  • Bartenders: 20% plus
  • Restaurant servers: 20% plus
  • Takeout, curbside, pickup: 15-20%

In closing, my advice is to remember that 25-30% is the new 15-20% when tipping. 

 

Dear Ms. Social Graces,

Due to the pandemic, we all know that community giving seems to be off. I support many fine organizations already, yet how do you recommend I address the new ones looking for support?

Give, Give, Give

 

Dear Giving Largesse,

When charitable organizations seek support, think about these guidelines:
 

  1. Set a budget and respect your own boundaries.
  2. Set monthly, quarterly, seasonal, or annual limits.
  3. Define charitable objectives by selecting a primary charity, then making a prioritized list of favorites. When and if your financial situation changes, you can adjust accordingly.
  4. Give considerable thought to and create an annual, a 5-year, and/or a10-year charitable donation strategy with your partner. Consider your legacy, if appropriate.
  5. Donating to whoever is asking often means losing track of how much you’re giving. It can also distract you from focusing on the great work that your primary charitable organization is accomplishing.
  6. Philanthropic giving is a highly personal decision, so avoid the guilt when deciding not to contribute.
  7. It’s always appropriate to advise others that you and your significant other have an annual charity budget–just as any well-run business operates with a yearly budget.
  8. Consider these six polite ways to decline giving to a good cause without guilt once you and your partner agree on a budget and charitable donation plan:
  • Empathic: My spouse and I admire your organization. Keep up the excellent work. However, for 2020-21, we’ve already allocated our charitable funds to [fill in the blank organization].
  • Short and direct: Thank you for thinking of us. However, we’re committed to the charities we are currently contributing to and must decline at this time.
  • Loyal to a different cause: We’ve been donating to a different organization to make a difference in the lives of [fill in the blank]. We appreciate their accomplishments with the funds we’ve allocated and plan to continue our support.
  • Financial change: We’ve supported your cause for many years, but unfortunately, this year, we have to decline. We hope to continue our support next year.
  • Future possibility: We’d consider donating; however, we are already committed to support [fill in the blank]. We’ll review [your organization] and consider it next year.
  • Supportive decline: Congratulations on your success–it is great you’re making a difference. We’ve already made our contributions for the year, so we must decline.