DEAR MISS MANNERS: When a widow who lives alone has others over for dinner, who sits at the head of the table? I recently had two couples over for dinner, and one of my gentleman guests was taken aback that I sat at the head of the table. Was I incorrect?
GENTLE READER: No, but Miss Manners assures you that you would have a hard time being less correct than your guest.
First, he has no business appearing taken aback at your seating arrangements, even if you choose to place yourself in the middle of the table as a centerpiece. Second, a hostess always presides over her own table, whether or not there is a host at the opposite end.