When you sit down at the table, place your napkin on your lap. Do not wait for the waiter to hand you the napkin or for the arrival of your food. Only at a formal dinner should you wait for your hostess to make the first move. If during a meal you leave the table for any reason, place your napkin to the left of your dinner plate, not on your chair. If you drop your napkin, either hope that an attentive waiter will notice and pick it up for you, or try to retrieve it yourself, if you can do so without being obvious.