The Safe CircleReader's Digest
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.
The Sneaky SquareReader's Digest
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).
The Rowdy RectangleReader's Digest
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.
The Time TableReader's Digest
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.
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The Seven-Seat SnafuReader's Digest
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 TableReader's Digest
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.