DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have always understood that it is not polite to place a handbag or clutch on the dinner table. I’ve been told to put it behind my back on the chair, or in my lap under the napkin.
However, I am going to a black tie dinner dance soon, and I would like to carry a vintage bag that was left to me by an elderly relative. It is very beautiful, and very delicate. It is shaped like an animal, somewhat rounded and with a flat base to sit on a flat surface.
When I experimented with placing it on my lap, it rolled off. There is no chance that I will put it on the floor. I think I can just manage to trap it on my lap at dinner, but what do I do when dancing commences?
GENTLE READER: Place it on your chair and hope that you are in an honest crowd. If you suspect otherwise, you might hold it in your left hand, behind the shoulders of your dancing partner, trying not to bounce it against him as you dance.