« Last post by sweetonsno on Today at 05:09:36 PM »
Having "bad" chairs was a definite misstep. However, I'm surprised that the guests had so little regard for their hosts, who had clearly put a lot of work into preparing a nice meal. Did it really not occur to any of the people they invited to save a "good" seat for the hosts?
Also, to respond to a question that came up more recently, the "host at the head" seems to be conventional in the parts of the northeast, midwest, and northwest that I've been to. That said, I can't recall off the top of my head a situation where the head/foot of the table wasn't also near the entrance to the kitchen.
It's possible that the guests did not consciously take the "best seats" and did not consciously go through a calculation in which they thought "a-ha! I can have free food AND take a good seat away from the hard-working host!" That is to say, it may very well not occurred to them that there were 'good' and 'bad' seats, or not in a way that they gave any actual thought to.
I definitely don't think there was a conscious calculation along those lines. I am simply surprised that it didn't occur to anyone to make sure that the hosts got comfy seats. Perhaps this is a regional or family thing, but I was taught to not take the "best seat in the house" when I was a guest. If the host came out of the easy chairs and spots on the couch were taken, I would move to the footstool. To me, it's in the same category as offering to bring something and offering to help clear. It's just a part of being a good guest and making things as easy as possible for my hosts.