“Don’t call me unless you’re bleeding.” Those were my mother’s infamous words, used when her and my dad would go out for the night and me and my brothers were left home on our own. In the days, before 93% of the U.S. population carried a cell phone, it was a big deal to get a phone call. See, there was once a time when going out with friends or being alone with your spouse was sacred. You paid attention to the company you were with or maybe you got lost in your own thoughts, but you did not want to be disturbed. You went out to get away.
Recently David and I invited friends over for Sunday night dinner. I called Jillian earlier in the day and we decided on 5:30. So when they arrived at 6:50 PM, I applied my mom’s babysitting principle: There’s no excuse for being that late unless someone’s bleeding. In an unexpected gesture, Jillian walked in with a cake. When I protested, she said, “What kind of guest would I be if I walked in empty-handed?” Certainly not the kind of guest who cares if the hostess’s pork chops were burned to a crisp or her once puffy sweet potato casserole collapsed in a heap of doody-colored mush.