DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was happy to see my boyfriend get dressed up for my friend’s wedding. But when we sat down to eat, he threw his tie over his shoulder so that it wouldn’t hang down towards the food. I thought this took away from the effect of his nice outfit. Another friend said that he does this, too, to keep his tie clean. Should I get my boyfriend a tie clip for his birthday?
GENTLE READER: Miss Manners assumes the gentleman does not take off his shirt while eating, even though ketchup stains on a white dress shirt are more noticeable than soup on a tie. She can think of at least three alternatives to the clip or the shoulder toss, including a more refined manner of eating, a more heavily patterned tie -- or the number of a good dry-cleaner.