Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Kids Table

On Saturday, "wedding tour" took me Northwest Massachusetts where I witnessed the marriage of Carrie and Hector. Having now attended the weddings of a good half dozen peers in the past ten months, I've learned a thing or two about wedding edict (for some reason saying thing like, “wow, those napkins match your bridesmaids' dresses” is better than picking the most expensive item on the wedding registry), and, more importantly, table placement. Unfortunately, after finally graduating from the “kids table” at both Thanksgiving and Passover, I’ve once again found myself roped off from the main dinner party along with a mutt-like mix of single, twenty-something’s whose main unifying factor is that they are all too rowdy to sit near grandma and grandpa. Only, instead of sitting at a slightly smaller fold-up adjacent to my parent’s dining room table---where I can ease drop on R-rated topics like town politics, national politics and, especially, temple politics---we’re usually positioned on the outmost perimeter of the reception space somewhere between the bar and the bathroom. Now, things could be worse…I could be placed at "the young cousins table," which is so far away from the bride and groom its actually hit a wormhole magically transporting the entire table into a scene from the Bar Mitzvah movie Keeping up with the Steins. But, either way, I’m slightly offended because I’ve always liked talking with adults more than kids (I’m tempted to launch into a story about how my Transformer action figures all has 401Ks, but that’s a tale for another blog).

After some careful observation, I’ve discovered that there are some ways to safely escape the kids table without secretly switching around some couple's seating arrangements during their cocktail hour. First off, you can simply wait it out and, sometime around age 32, the kid’s table enviably folds into the GA seating section at any wedding. You can also position yourself as part of a larger group or clique in the weeks leading up to a wedding and hope to score a seat at such illustrious tables as “the work/office table,” “the high-school/college friends table,” or the “old-school Phish/Bisco touring crew table (I’ve found that printing out your PT stats and sending them along with your RSVP card is the most secure way to score a spot in the latter group).

But, really, the best way to escape the kid’s table is to either get married or become involved in a serious relationship yourself. This takes a bit of time and advanced planning because I’m told you have to already be involved a relationship before receiving an engagement notice to guraentee a +1 for your significant other. Yet, apparently, if you are involved in a serious relationship for the length of someone else’s engagement, you’ve demonstrated that you can sit still through both dinner and dessert and can move a few tables closer to the bride and groom. You can use your own wedding as ammunition and place any seating offenders at the “obligation table” (a rogue table which boasts both an upper east side ZIP code and family members with pre-fixes like great, grand grand, and step). But, heck, who I’m I to talk. By the time I get married all my friends and their kids will likely be gerrymandered into even smaller tables organized by family group and my wife and I will sit alone at our own little kids table. At least we'll be near the bar.

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