Germany lost to Spain in the World Cup semifinals yesterday. We DVRed the game and watched it last night. It was pretty grim. Me and three Germans, and I don't think I was rooting for Germany any less than they were. So yes. Four grim, disappointed people shouting curse words at the TV before lapsing into stunned silence as we watched the end of the game play out.
Not like I've never seen my team lose before, but the World Cup sucks because it's only every four years! At least with all the other sports I like, you can soothe yourself by thinking about next year. Not so much in this case.
Unrelatedly, after the fight about the tipping, Torsten's parents said they were going to call their friends' daughter, who also moved to the US and still lives here, to find out if what we were saying was true. I wish they would, but I don't think they did. It's nice to get external confirmation, you know?
Also, the whole thing pisses me off, because they've come to the US to visit Torsten no less than four times, and every time he carefully explains that no, in American restaurants service is not included in the price of the food, and yes, you do have to tip a minimum of 15% unless the service was truly atrocious, and no, letting your water glass get half empty doesn't qualify as atrocious, and no, there are no exceptions, when you don't tip you are hurting someone else's income.
(As a side note, can I just say that I think the whole process of paying restaurant servers a ridiculously low, separate minimum wage and forcing them to depend on the whims of their clientele for their income is insane? Truly, it makes no sense. I KNOW that when Torsten's parents aren't with us, they leave MAYBE $1 as a tip no matter the price of the meal. I have seen many other random restaurant patrons do this as well. In what world does it make sense to leave a hardworking person's ability to pay their rent up to the stingy selfish mood of random patrons?)
Anyway! My original point was, Torsten tells his parents that they must tip EVERY TIME they visit. EVERY TIME. And yet, EVERY TIME, they stare at him in shocked disbelief and absolutely give the impression that they have NEVER heard of such a thing before in their lives and cannot BELIEVE something so outrageous.
And yet! When they went to Macy's on Monday? They remembered from their visit to DC two years ago that as out-of-towners, they were entitled to an 11% discount to make up for sales tax. They remembered that they had to go to the customer service counter to get it. They remembered that the customer service counters in Macy's are usually hidden at the very back of the highest floor of the shop. And they remembered what to say, despite their very limited English, to get the coupon. And despite the fact that they had to navigate all this on their own, at a different Macy's location in a different state, they got the coupon with no trouble, and they used it all day.
So it's not like they CAN'T remember things. It's that they CHOOSE NOT TO. And that is possibly the most frustrating part of all.
On the other hand, perhaps this little trick of memory will allow them to forget the misery of yesterday's World Cup game. And that would be nice for everyone.
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