I was visiting at the hospital yesterday and took a look at the little table that each patient gets — the one that scoots around the room and the table top can be positioned for eating in bed. There were a couple of buttons on the side of the table, one of which was labeled “vanity release”. Although nothing happened when I tried to open it and I’m pretty sure it was probably supposed to yield a pop-up mirror, it made me think. All these people wandering around with gowns flapping open in the back, being poked and prodded with absolutely no privacy whatsoever — it most certainly is a release of vanity, just being there. Wouldn’t it be cool if we had something like that in our lives — a real button — so that when we start to take things too personally, we could push it and discharge part of our superfluous egos.