This Saturday is the annual fund-raising dinner for the school that's affiliated with our church. It's a pretty nice dinner with both silent auctions and live auctions, and it's held at a hotel with a buffet-style meal. Justin's band plays music throughout the event. My parents are watching Lizzy, so it's also like a "date night" for us.
For the first time this year, a few people decided that there would be assigned seats for the dinner portion. They are operating under the idea that it would be good for people to sit with people they wouldn't normally sit with and socialize.
In this circumstance, I'll be sitting at the "band table", and thank the Lord for that, because if I weren't, I would seriously have considered not attending. See, I LOATHE assigned seats at dinners/weddings/functions. Hate them. HATE THEM. I really can't think of any social situation that I dislike more. While I understand the hope behind them (that I'll make new friends and bond with people over the experience), for me, the only thing that happens is that I am painfully uncomfortable.
I don't have an easy time making friends or meeting new people. It's something that I have to seriously work at. And I've been trying to work on it this past year at Mom's Group, and by trying to attend activities that I'm invited to from those moms even though I always fear I'll end up sitting by myself with no one to talk to. It's something that I genuinely have to gear myself up to do. And it was only by chance that I found out about the assigned seating from my sister-in-law. Had I just been a general patron of the dinner, I wouldn't have known about the assigned seating until I arrived, and I probably would have had a panic attack in the bathroom. And cried.
I don't mean to sound snooty. But for me, it is totally uncomfortable to be thrown into a situation like that with people that I hardly know. For me, the evening would have gone to a relaxing enjoyable evening, to one that was super stressful...and who wants to waste one of their few precious date nights on a night where you're stressed out and freaking out the whole time? On the other hand, Justin would have LOVED it. He's a super social person and can talk to absolutely anyone.
Also, everyone is PAYING to attend this event. I loathe assigned seats no matter what the circumstance, but for some reason, I hate them even more when it happens at an event that I've paid for.
What about you guys? What do you think of assigned seating at dinners? Do you hate it? Love it?