Visiting With a Vengeance

My parents haven’t seen their grandchildren since this pandemic began. They live out of state, but they’ve been good about staying in touch. Now, they want to drive in for a weekend, but the kids, who are tweens, don’t like the idea. They say that they’re afraid to be around their grandparents, because they’re coming in from a distance and they’re afraid that they’ll be bringing the virus with them. Quite honestly, they’re not fond of my parents, and trouble always starts shortly after they hit the door. I’m sure that’s the real reason. What do I say to them or to my parents?— Anonymous, Oak Hill 

Your children may want to stay healthy, but it sounds as if they have an unhealthy relationship with their grandparents. You’ll probably want to make sure that’s the reason for the reluctance. Go ahead and ask them. They’re tweens, which can mean trouble. Maybe you’ll get a straight answer. If trouble begins when the grandparents step over the threshold, perhaps they bring it with them. (You do want to see them, don’t you?) Even if you’re risking telling a white lie, you can pass along your children’s concerns about COVID-19, but your parents are unlikely to buy it. They’ll wash their hands and wear their masks. The kids can at least pretend to act a little grown up for a long weekend and wash their own hands. No hugs will be required. Maybe everybody will like it that way. 

Buck Up

I want to know what to do about tipping when food delivery shows up on my doorstep. When I order a meal online or over the phone, a tip is usually required — a lot of the time with a to-go fee added on, which I don’t understand. But when the delivery person shows up, I feel guilty if I let them leave empty-handed. How much should I give them? Or anything?— Mary Jane, 12South

If you can afford it, give a face-to-face tip, even if you’re doing it out of guilt. If that doesn’t make you happy, you can tell the delivery person, as they hand over the bag, that you tipped them over the phone. You might even say you hope they’ll get the tip, just to let them know that you care — if you think it will make a difference. How much? Ten percent, for their trouble and effort, seems nice. No need to apologize. You can take up the to-go fee with the management — after the coronavirus is under control. Right now, just put a little extra cash into the economy and their pockets.

Calling Names

My friend Jim is named for his father, James. It turns out that his grandfather was named James, too. Now, he and his wife are having their first baby. It will be a boy, and they’re planning to call him JimBo. The baby isn’t here yet. It seems to me that enough is enough. Can’t they name him something else?— Anonymous, Sylvan Park

Keep your advice to yourself, but I think you’re right. Three names in a row are plenty. James IV is overkill. They’re not naming kings of England, you know.