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    jdoc1's Avatar
    jdoc1 Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Mar 20, 2013, 08:33 PM
    Card table seating?
    My father-in-law is hosting a dinner party for 10 guests. We're travelling 100 miles to attend and to help him pull it off. He's elderly but very social and this dinner means a lot to him. He told me tonight that he thinks we won't all fit around his table so he wants his son (my husband) and me to sit at a card table in the next room. I'm flabbergasted. I told him some other guests may grab plates and join us. He said "why would they do that "?I explained that seating 2 of us off by ourselves might be uncomfortable for other guests. I said his guest might prefer we all crowd around the table. What do you think?
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,828, Reputation: 5427
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    #2

    Mar 20, 2013, 08:39 PM
    Is there a way to put the card table at the end of the main dining table as a sort of extension? That's how my mil always solved that problem, and also had to shift the big table around a bit so both would fit in the room.
    jdoc1's Avatar
    jdoc1 Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Mar 21, 2013, 12:44 PM
    Hi, thanks for your reply. Round dinner table, so no, not really. My father-in-law doesn't feel there's anything wrong with his plan, so he doesn't feel there needs to be a solution. It's just going to be weird and uncomfortable.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,828, Reputation: 5427
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    #4

    Mar 21, 2013, 12:57 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by jdoc1 View Post
    Hi, thanks for your reply. Round dinner table, so no, not really. My father-in-law doesn't feel there's anything wrong with his plan, so he doesn't feel there needs to be a solution. It's just going to be weird and uncomfortable.
    Is the room large enough to have both tables in it? Otherwise, two more people added to the round table shouldn't make it that horrible. And you CAN stick a card table on the curve of a round table (i.e. let's be creative here... ).
    jdoc1's Avatar
    jdoc1 Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #5

    Mar 21, 2013, 01:11 PM
    Oh, I have no problem being creative... it's my father-in-law who sees absolutely no reason for me fussing about the 8 at one table, 2 at the card table arrangement. I think it's awkward and a little rude. Am I just being a brat? I think the etiquette-wise he is really sending a message to his 'important' guests that we're just his kids. Then why invite us??

    Quote Originally Posted by Wondergirl View Post
    Is the room large enough to have both tables in it? Otherwise, two more people added to the round table shouldn't make it that horrible. And you CAN stick a card table on the curve of a round table (i.e., let's be creative here....).
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,828, Reputation: 5427
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    #6

    Mar 21, 2013, 01:36 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by jdoc1 View Post
    Oh, I have no problem being creative....it's my father-in-law who sees absolutely no reason for me fussing about the 8 at one table, 2 at the card table arrangement. I think it's awkward and a little rude. Am I just being a brat? I think the etiquette-wise he is really sending a message to his 'important' guests that we're just his kids. Then why invite us???
    It IS rude. If we have no room at the main dining room table, we put the children out at the kitchen table. If anything, two of the guests should be sitting at your card table with you.

    Tell your father-in-law to call me. :) I have ideas to help him to host this event.

    Oh, and if I were the one invited, knowing this would be my fate, I would decline the invitation.
    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #7

    Mar 21, 2013, 01:39 PM
    I think you're right. I also think that trying to change our parents in their old age is futile.

    I think you have a couple of options.

    One option is to cancell the trip and tell him, "we'll come when you have room for us. It sounds like you have a full house". When he predictably tells you he has the card table for the two of you, tell him, "We can eat alone at home. We're not comfortable with that arrangement."

    Two is that you can wait until you get there, and offer other creative solutions. If he resists, you have two choices - cooperate or refuse to cooperate.

    If you choose to cooperate, you can be pretty sure his friends will think it's ridiculous and make an issue on your behalf. You can play the role of gracious guests, humoring him despite his rudeness. As another option, you can be helpful until the party is about to begin, then grab your coats and excuse yourself, and go out for dinner. Let him know, "we told you we aren't comfortable sitting in the other room so we're going out to dinner. Have a good time."

    The bottom line is there's no point in arguing - you need to be courteous but have reasonable boundaries and act on them. On one hand I want to recommend you go along with it to keep the peace. On the other hand, I had really rude in laws while I was married, and their rudeness contributed to my eventual divorce. With that experience behind me, I wish I had just determined for myself what situations I was comfortable being in, and if I didn't like their set up, leaving.

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