Could you please lay out the place cards on the dining table for Thanksgiving? We have a lot of family coming in this year and they need to know where to sit. I spent a lot of time making sure everyone is seated in the perfect spot, so PLEASE pay attention. Attached are my notes.
Grandpa Joe: Closest to rolls (best for dentures), furthest from butter (cholesterol)
Grandma “Meemah” Miriam: Closest to butter (controlling), furthest from Joe (40 years of marriage = long time :-/)
Cousin Greg: Getting old (30s?) and still single. Repeatedly asked him if he was bringing “anyone special,” no avail. Seat next to empty chair to make point.
Cousin Jerry: Stopped returning my calls. Seat awkwardly at corner of table.
Soon-to-be-Mrs. Jerry: “Forget” to seat her. No good for that boy.
Cousin Gary: As far from stuffing as possible.
Uncle Craig: Against the wall at the far end; will have to scoot past eight people if he wants to take a cigarette break in the middle of dinner, again.
Cousin Jeffrey: Close enough to Craig to hear smoker’s cough. Reminder of what’s to come if he keeps smoking jewel.
Auntie Geraldine: Center of table with good view of backyard window. Reward for good pies. (if pies bad — next to Craig)
Uncle Harrison: End of table, far from Cousin Lenny (very liberal)
Cousin Lenny: Other end of table, far from Uncle Harrison (very conservative) (Am I worsening political polarization? Think on this)
Uncle Barry: Seat with subtle view of TV for football game.
Auntie Bernice: Seat across from Barry; will appear he’s looking at, interested in her.
Cousin Chris & Andrew: Cute couple. Seat between Joe & Meemah to remind them of young love, that times are changing, etc.
Mr. & Mrs. O’Donnell: Neighbors. Why no plans of their own? Pity seats next to gravy.
Ellie (age 15): Far enough from parents to feel independent; close enough to parents to feel pressure to talk to family members.
Christian (age 16): Close to Ellie (fun for teenagers to mope together). Note: NOT too close.
Cousin Dylan: Works at Google. Has Google money. Place near Christian (inspire ambition), in eyesight of Hughey (inspire envy).
Aunt Minerva: Far from Dylan. Shouldn’t have to look at successful boy, not with her Hughey still fooling around…
Isaiah (age 6), Tommy (age 5), Lucy (age 4): Kids table. Camaraderie, shenanigans, etc. Keep Lucy within cheek-pinching distance. If fighting/crying, QUICKLY push into basement.
Baby Rose (age “24 months?!”): Why do her parents still call her baby? Kids table, max distance from parents. Must learn self-sufficiency.
Hughey (age 23): Kids table. “Temporarily, while we wait for a position to open up” — just like he told Minerva before moving back in last June.
P.S. I thought it’d be fun if you sat next to Cousin Hughey! You two always did get along, and I thought it’d be good for you to see him so sad with no job, especially with your own graduation right around the corner. Love you!
Zach Schauffler is a Humor Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.