Tomorrow, the energetic Mrs. E. and I will pack the progeny into the car and venture to the wilds of Southern Maryland to visit a friend. The country house visit requires, as most visits do, a suitable gift. It wasn’t always this way. At one point, people thought it gauche to bring a gift. That has changed. And it is almost expected that a guest arrive with something in hand. Particularly when your friend never crosses your threshold without a picnic hamper of delicacies. Even if she is only staying for a quick drink.