Odds & Ends From Around the Valley : Mom's a Real Card

Mom may need a new agent--she's being elbowed out of her starring role in Mother's Day greetings.

Hallmark has more than 1,200 Mother's Day cards out this year, but only one-fourth of the line is addressed to "Mom" or "Mother." The other 900 cards are for every female you ever knew who had (or is about to have) a baby. Hallmark has even designed a Mother's Day missive for dad because in some single-parent families, the dads are also the moms.

There are cards for daughters and nieces who are new mothers. There are cards for baby-sitters or, if you prefer '80s lingo, "care-givers." And don't forget daughters-in-law and "the mother of a good friend of mine."

"It's not unusual for someone to come in and spend $30 on Mother's Day cards," says Marilyn Singer-Kove, owner of Love 'N' Kisses, a stationery and gift shop in Sherman Oaks. "I would say most people buy about four to six Mother's Day cards. And the bigger, more expensive cards are the first to sell."

Industry experts estimate that 145 million Mother's Day cards will be exchanged this year. Perhaps you send a card to "the mother of my favorite mailman."

Tipping on Takeout

Do you feel cheap when you go into a restaurant to pick up your carry-out food and you don't give a tip? Well, you may be cheap, but you're not alone. Most people don't tip on takeout, to the continued surprise of some restaurant employees.

"It's very rare that someone tips on takeout. It's very sad that they don't because the person who packs that order is paid a little bit above minimum wage. It's an unbelievable amount of work," says Patricia Ostrander, assistant manager of Tony Roma's A Place for Ribs in Encino, where the packer--not the hostess--gets the tip.

Most people don't tip on takeout because they feel that they're not getting the benefit of table service. And they're not sure of who gets the tip and how hard the person worked for it.

What kind of people do tip on takeout? "If someone asks us to prepare a special dish for them--and we do that all the time--they usually tip," says George Annino, manager of the Italian restaurant Zio & C in Van Nuys. "And anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant usually tips."

"A regular customer would tip us," says manager Hideo Suzuki of Nippon Restaurant in North Hollywood.

Most restaurant employees would probably agree with Frances Chavarria, the manager of Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks. "You're surprised if you do get a tip on takeout, and you're especially surprised if it's a good tip," she says.

Female Trucking

Valley girls love pickup trucks.


"I've been selling trucks for 15 years and I've never seen as many women buying them as I do these days," reports Arie Waiserman, truck sales manager at Galpin Ford in Sepulveda. "It's the younger generation, from 19 to early 30s."

Women buyers know exactly what they want, Waiserman notes. "They negotiate their own deals and are very sharp buyers."

He speculates that peppier, plusher models have inspired the new wave of female attraction. "It can be a luxury vehicle with power everything: doors, locks, steering and brakes," Waiserman says.

"Women are even buying four-wheel-drives," says John Carras, general sales manager at Toyota of Burbank.

Rafe Burns, truck sales manager at Jim Bess Chevrolet in Canoga Park, confirms the trend. "Women still don't buy more trucks than men do, but they're buying more trucks than they ever used to."

Comic Caps

Comic-book hero Archie may get the girls (Betty, Veronica), but it's his skinny pal Jughead who's making a major fashion statement--"Jughead" caps, those jagged-brimmed little hats--are the head wear of the moment.

"They're doing great," says Chuck Stein, manager of Bongo Studio City, which sells the caps for $20.

"Club-goers usually pair them with cutoff jeans and black or white T-shirts," Stein says. "Both men and women wear them."

Some Jughead fans like to dress up their caps--which come in black, blue, red or green--with ornaments. "A lot of people pin peace signs or happy-face buttons on the caps," Stein says. "And some people put rivets around the brim, or clip on ornaments they've made themselves."

But would Reggie wear one?

Overheard At . . .

"I get this feeling about shopping that some people probably get about gambling. On some days I just know I'm going to hit it big."

--Woman strolling through Northridge Fashion Center with a friend.

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