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Hosting question. Can I pull a Sheldon and claim my favorite spot?

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I need some help understanding the etiquette when dealing with a pretty informal weekly gathering at my house. For the past couple of years, a group of friends have been getting together at my house to watch the show “Game of Thrones”. This is a fun group, but after last year, I was feeling a bit burnt out on hosting & I think it was because I was overextending myself.  I’ve addressed two things that were bugging me and need help on the third:

The question I have is about seating. We need to either drag over dining room chairs or throw blankets/pillows on the floor. There are a couple of people that always claim the best spots.  I don’t mind sitting on the floor every once in a while, but every time was kind of peeving me.  When I have a dinner party, I take the proverbial short end of the stick (the chipped plate, the squished spot, the over-cooked piece, etc), but wonder if this applies with this kind of regular, informal group. So my question is this: Should the host always take the worst accommodations, or should I pull a Sheldon and claim my favorite chair? Is there a way to tell the couch hogs to take a turn on the floor or just let people sit where they want?

No one should always get the best seats while others always get the worst. I'm sure its not just you who is uncomfortable and resentful of the uncomfortable seating while week after week the same aggressive folks get choice seating (as a gust after about 3 times, I'd probably stop attending).

I definitely think once in a while its ok to leave something on a seat to claim it or to announce, "oh sit anywhere, except the blue chair, its easiest for me to host if I'm in that chair." After all presumably you are the one who gets up most often to refresh snacks and drinks, or answer the door for late arrivals, etc. Or even just "make yourself comfortable, anywhere is fine, although I planned on the blue chair for myself."

But I don't think you should get the best seating every week either. Everyone should rotate around between better and worse seats... although if any of the seats are truly uncomfortable I think you shoudl eliminate them and perhaps invite less people over.

Personally, I would be put off by a host who announced that he/she had a "spot" I wasn't allowed to sit in.   While I don't necessarily think that hosts automatically have to give up all comforts for the sake of their guests, when it comes to seating, I see it as a first come, first serve thing.  If you're first to the couch, then have a seat.  But if you're busy hosting and are one of the last ones to settle down for the show, then I do think the best thing to do is take what's available.

Another option would be to reduce the party size down to what you can accommodate in comfortable seating.  There are times/events when pulling in dining room chairs to watch a show is ok.  But for most of my movie nights, I only have a few people over...that way, there's room for us to sit comfortably on the couch or sprawl out on the floor if that's our preference.  I think even sitting on a couch that is overly crowded is uncomfortable for the lenght of an entire movie or sports game. 

I don't think that I would go so far as to mandate turn-taking on the sofa and floor... but I do think that you are within your rights to say something like "This is my house that I am opening up to you guys, so this is my chair and I am the only one who gets to sit there."  Your house = your rules, and your rules can extend to reserving your favorite seat.

When I was in grad school I was part of a similar informal group... we got together on a weekly basis to watch Firefly (and other of Joss Wheadon's masterpieces) and the host always had his armchair and his afghan and his pillow that were his and his alone, and everyone else respected that and arranged themselves around the host's favorite seat. 

Frankly I am astounded that you think that the host should always take the worst accommodations.  And if that is the line your guests are giving you, then they aren't very good or gracious guests. 

It is your house after all.  What would the rest of the group do if you decided to stop hosting? 

Maybe if you are getting really burned out, you can also suggest rotating where you all watch Game of Thrones, or that it is someone else's turn to take over hosting entirely?

I think I would restrict my invite list to the number I could comfortably seat. Inviting someone over to sit on the floor just seems off somehow. I know I wouldn't be physically able to sit on a floor for that long (back issues) so if that were all that was available I'd probably have to miss the show.  Is it possible that some of the couch hogs have similar issues?
If not, and your group is okay with sitting on the floor, then I don't think it would be out of line to suggest a couch/floor rotation. Or maybe draw names for the better seats?


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