DEAR MISS MANNERS: I recently attended a black-tie scholarship awards dinner. I noticed that many women attending the event placed their purses on the table. Is this correct?
Did I commit a faux pas by placing my purse at my feet? I've never placed my purse on a table during a meal, no matter how informal the event, so please let me know if I have been incorrect.
GENTLE READER: Miss Manners can assure you that you are correct in thinking that a purse should not be parked on a dining table. Especially if it is one of those whimsical evening purses in the shape of an apple or a chicken.
The correct place to park it is on the lady's lap. From there -- because the lady is wearing a soft evening fabric, and even high heels do not raise her knees sufficiently to have them serve as a barrier -- it slips to the floor. You seem to have put yours on the floor purposely, but the effect is the same.
The difficulty is in retrieving it. Ladies do not belong under the table, for whatever reason. It is therefore necessary to exclaim to one's dinner partner, "Oh, dear, I seem to have dropped my purse" and hope that he will stoop to the occasion.