DEAR MISS MANNERS: I went to dinner for the first time in the home of a fellow artist friend and her husband. It was immediately apparent that entertaining was not her forte: Hors d’oeuvres consisted of two bags of chips and two tubs of dip opened on the kitchen counter.
As we sat down for dinner, the hostess tripped on her way to the table and dropped the dish of chicken and potatoes, the entire contents of which landed on the carpet. I offered to help rinse the food, but she just placed it back in the dish and set it on the table.
I was appalled, but not wanting to be rude, I politely ate the food, fighting back a gag reflex. What would you have done?
GENTLE READER: Likely the same. However, Miss Manners is amused by the implication in the first part of your letter. It appears two-fold: that your hostess somehow deserved her fate and that in the wake of it, there was nothing decent to eat.