ONE MORE BITE
SITTING FOR DINNER
According to Psychology Today, when faced with choosing where to sit at the dining table, each guest sends unspoken messages to the guests sitting around them. Sitting near the middle suggests a level of approachability and collaborativeness, whereas sitting at either end is a power position—and by becoming the presumed leader, guests will be looking to the head to propose the toast. While “assigned” seating might feel stiff, formal, or outdated to some, it can actually provide great comfort for others—and an added opportunity for creative plotting:
► Not every guest enjoys cooking—but perhaps there’s a DIY-er among those invited, who would enjoy bringing handmade place cards to add an artistic, yet functional, touch.
► Seating guests can be a fun social experiment for the host, and an opportunity to curate new connections—cooking up a vibrant conversation based on your hypotheses about the ingredients (your guests).
► Feeling lucky? Indulge your inner game show host, and have guests draw numbers for their seating assignments—but read the crowd and be mindful of potentially combustive combinations!
Whether you’re the host of the meal or just happen to find all eyes looking your way, giving a toast before the feast can sometimes feel like an order much taller than your filled glass. Whether you're looking to express gratitude in traditional or charmingly original ways, here are some suggestions:
► Know your audience—now is probably not the moment for political or envelope-pushing humor.
► Keep it short—under a minute, tops. People are hungry, food is getting cold, and by the time you have everyone's attention you're already beginning to lose it.
► Sitting is fine, but standing helps command attention.
► Memorize it—that way you're sure to keep it concise, and you'll come across all the more sincere.