I had a lunch date with a friend Saturday¬†at a popular diner, a place that’s always packed on the weekends. I got there ten minutes early to get our names on the list, then sat reading in the crowded vestibule. But my friend still hadn’t arrived by the time my name crackled out of the speakers in the ceiling. I let the hostess know I was still waiting on the rest of my party, and she said to just come up and tell her when my friend arrived.

A few minutes later, another host looked over the sign-in sheets, and then his voice boomed¬†over the PA system: “E. J.! Are you still incomplete, E. J.?”

I wanted to deny it, but the answer, unavoidably, was yes.