Remember that your whole house will be in use during a party. You may think it won't be -- that no one will be in the children's bedrooms, or in the playroom or in the cellar, but they will. The guests at a dance don't seem to confine themselves to the first floor -- even though that's where the party is.

I've found evidence - rumpled bedspreads that were smooth when the party began, or a half slip crumpled in a corner of a child's room the next day (the child was away at school) -- that made it clear that no rooms were off limits.

"I found a slip in Steve's room," I said to Bill the morning after a party. "It was under his desk --"

"Everyone's entitled to make a slip," Bill commented with a grin.

And then there was the guest at one dance who threw herself on my daughter's mercy. Perrin, then 13, was watching TV in her room upstairs about midnight. In came a rather dishevelled notable in a strapless dress that had somehow come unzipped. Try as she would she just couldn't get herself zipped up again -- the zipper wasn't broken, it had just lost its bearings, or something like that. Perrin zipped her back together.

Perrin reported this to us in all innocence the next morning. Bill and I tried not to laugh as we praised Perrin as a good samaritan.

Over the years I've collected three slips and one pair of panty hose, but somehow no one has ever called to put in a claim.