A napkin can say so much. Knowing how and when to use it can not only save your lap, it can save your seat!
When I first got interested in etiquette, dinners were what I naturally gravitated towards. I loved setting the table, putting out the special china and serving our favorite foods. Now, let it be known I do not advocate hiring out help unless you need it/can afford it, despite what the other Emily says…you know, Emily Post. However, I love a cloth napkin and feel they make any dinner special. Fun fact: napkin rings were created to let each person know which napkin belonged to them; they were kept on the table throughout the day for all meals. Appetizing, I know.
No matter if it’s cloth or paper, as soon as you sit down, the first rule of napkin etiquette is to place your napkin on your lap. Ladies, this would be over your entire lap. Men, this is over your left leg. There your napkin will remain until you get up. If you want to return, place your napkin on your chair; this lets everyone know you’ll be back (Schwarzenegger impression). If you are leaving for good, place it to the left of your plate. That’s it. It’s that simple.