Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Knowing Your Place

          After a wacky air-head hitch in which I went an hour early to pick up my friend R for our Tuesday exercise class, and then had to return one hour later, we finally got to the neighboring town’s Senior Center as people were setting up chairs. The class involves a lot of aerobic step work but uses chairs for some of the weight lifting portion.

          Everyone had arranged their chairs in a big circle, but one woman had pulled hers farther out. R asked her if we were in her way but she said no, she liked to be in the outer portion for more room.
          “Everyone has their favorite spot, don’t they?” commented R.
          We discussed classes we’d taken or seminars we’d attended and how you needed to think long and hard about where you chose to sit on that first day. There might as well be brass plates attached to them the way everyone always gravitates to the same spot on succeeding days.
          As we spoke, I had an immediate flash of sitting in my particular spot at my parents’ dining table in Virginia, my sister always across from me.
Then I was teleported to the dining room in Tulsa, my grandfather at the head, Granny to his left, my sister next to her, and my mother and me on the other side.
My own kids always had their particular side of the dining table across from each other, perfectly positioned for tormenting the other or making him/her crack up and spew milk midway through the meal.
Maybe now this whole concept is probably hopelessly outdated. I wonder how many families really sit down at home and have an actual meal at a table together.


  1. we did though our daughter's family was sort of hit or miss. I don't remember if we always sat in the same place at dinner but growing up our family always did...father at one end, mother at the other, older sister and younger brother on one side, me on the other. I sat by myself because apparently I couldn't get along with my siblings. as for preferred places at gatherings, I like to be up front and will always choose that if I get there early enough. I suppose it's a habit ingrained from school where the teachers sat us alphabetically. with a last name that started with Abb I always sat in the first seat of the first row.

  2. We used the same seats in my childhood, and I'm trying to remember them. I'm close. I remember my own adulthood and my children. And, I remember Ellen's school seating problem. With Ly, I generally was dead center.

    1. I was a W and sat behind Leni Veitch for years. After marriage I became a D and moved up in the world - if I were still sitting in assigned seats, that is!

  3. I'm sure there must be at least one family somewhere who still sits at a table for meals together.

  4. I tend to be the mobile one when the kids visit. If it's both, I sit at the foot. If it's just him I sit on the left where she usually sits. Opposite if it's just her. When daughter is here with them, then she gets the foot, I get the head and Sue shifts left one beside Danica. Sometimes Sue and I reverse though.

  5. We are creatures of habit aren't we? Or I am. Right down to always sitting on the same seat on a bus when I can.

  6. We still sit around the table fairly often. We have our spots when it's the four of us (me, husband, son, daughter), but things change a bit if there is a fifth (boyfriend / girlfriend / mother in law). -Jenn

  7. Your last sentence is key. Snoopy old me, I rarely see neighbors bring home groceries.

  8. These days we have so much more flexibility. The seating is freer and occaisions may decide how it will pan out. But in the end most sit somewhere and maybe beside a loved one or just a new face. I teresti g how all our ways are varied now.

  9. When I grew up we always sat down for dinner together. But these days, not so much. I laughed when I thought about "my" spot in exercise class. :-)

  10. Dave and I usually eat on the sofa, but it's no different -- we have our favorite spots! (As does Olga.)

  11. We (family) mostly eat in restaurants and thus traditions have fallen away. For somet this is good and for others not a concern.


Thanks for stopping by and I'd love to hear what you think.