Funny: What’s the Best Seat at the Thanksgiving Table?

Seating arrangements can be tricky but the choice chair depends on the table shape. Game on!

By Alison Caporimo
Also in Reader's Digest Magazine November 2013
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    Reader's Digest

    The Safe Circle

    Sit back and relax…literally. You can’t go wrong with this formation. Odds are you’ll find yourself next to at least one interesting person, or someone will drum up a group conversation that allows you to either contribute or nod lazily between bites of stuffing. But beware the table diameter: The bigger it gets, the more important it is that the person next to you is tolerable.

    Reader's Digest

    The Sneaky Square

    It’s all fun and games until somebody starts a diagonal conversation. The result: You’re stuck talking to one neighbor all night­ (fingers crossed it’s not that crazy cat lady who invited herself).

    Reader's Digest

    The Rowdy Rectangle

    It might be worth elbowing your brother out of that middle seat. But how loud your surroundings are determines whether you should risk personal (and social) injury. If the affair is quiet, you can talk with anyone in any direction, opening up a world of possibilities. If it’s rowdy, be sure to like the people on either side of you—they’re the only ones who will hear you.

    Reader's Digest

    The Time Table

    Your mission: Score one of the four interior seats. Timing is everything. Sit down first, and you’ll be expected to file to the end. Opt to go last, and you’ll be stuck in awkward city.

    Reader's Digest

    The Seven-Seat Snafu

    Move fast if you spot this configuration. Why? Because of the lonely, stuck-in-limbo end seat. Get placed there and you’ll undoubtedly be required to talk solely to that annoying aunt all night long.

    The Double-Trouble Table

    Just throw in the towel at this point. Regardless of how you time your approach, you will inevitably choose too soon and wind up at the table full of your most motley crew of relatives. You might be better off visiting the bathroom as seats are chosen—it’ll make it easier to embrace the adventure.


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