I call a friend, another professor, to see if she wants to join me and another professor friend at 8pm at a chi-chi pizza place.

“Oh, maybe I’ll drop on by.”

No, you won’t. It’s dinner, at a restaurant. We need to know how many seats we need at the table; the restaurant wants us all to order at the same time. You don’t freaking “drop by.” I say, “well, it’s dinner. Let me know if you are going to go.” I repeat “let me know” twice.

As it turned out, we didn’t go because of an injury. The friend calls me at 8:07pm, wondering where I am. Since she hadn’t committed to going, what would I have called her to cancel?

Another time, six or seven of us are meeting for dinner, Thai at 7pm. One friend is over 20 minutes late. We hadn’t been seated yet anyhow, because the restaurant was very small. Finally we decided to go to a different Thai restaurant, that always has space. The last friend still wasn’t there—we had to leave her, and no one had her cell, though we gave the hostess a description. My friends were all “Oh, I feel bad.” Me: “I don’t. Thirty minutes late for dinner out! That’s ridiculous.”

Honestly, I recognize that professors are often not very well-socialized, but is it really that hard to know how restaurants operate?