What's your booth behavior?

It just occurred to me the other day to think about something that I had never thought about before: namely, how people sit in booths at restaurants. I thought everyone did it the same, but apparently after observation I was wrong.

For one thing, I prefer never to sit on the same side of a booth as someone else if there are only two people. I don’t care how close I am to the other person romantically, I’d prefer to sit across from them rather than next to them.

I also prefer never to sit on the inner seat of a booth if given any choice in the matter. I won’t be obnoxious about it, but I always choose to sit on the outside (if there are four people) or the alone side (if there are two). Unless, of course, it’s me, the spouse, and one other person, in which case I sit with the spouse but prefer for him to take the inner spot (he doesn’t mind or care). I particularly don’t like being stuck on the inner part of a semicircular booth.

Finally, I get annoyed when I’m with a mixed crowd and by unspoken agreement the women are assumed to be the ones who’ll sit on the inside. Uh-uh. Ain’t gonna happen. Again, I won’t be obnoxious about it, but I won’t allow the assumption to go unchallenged. (This is true in pickup trucks, too, where when there are two men and a woman the woman is assumed to be in the middle seat.)

What about the rest of you?

  1. What is your gender?
  2. Do you have a preference about where you sit in a booth when with one other person? Two? Three?
  3. Does the gender of the other people matter to you at all?

Silly questions, but hey, the SDMB runs on silly questions. :slight_smile:

I was thinking about asking something similar in a thread. I feel similarly to you. I’ve seen presumably married couples who are sitting alone on the same side of a table that has plenty of space on the other side. It kind of weirded me out for some reason, for one it disrupts conversation. It all seems vaguely Hollywood or Leonardo da Vinci, where the perspective requires all faces on camera.

  1. Male
  2. No, although if pushed I prefer the outside, as it is less of a bother if I need to go to the bathroom.
  3. No, but SOs should be across from each other.

I think if the woman is supposed to take the inside in a booth or truck, it is because she is assumed to be smaller and more compact, no matter if it is true or not. Men also tend to sprawl when they sit.

  1. Male
  2. I couldn’t care less regardless
  3. I usually volunteer to take the inside seat because of the high percentage of people that are likely to have to get up while we’re there. I am not likely at all to have to get up, except of course for when we leave.

Sometimes, if I’m feeling grubby, I’ll go to the restroom to wash my hands, and while I’m there, I might as well see if I have to pee even a little. If I have recently washed my hands and don’t feel the need to do so there, I usually volunteer to take the inside seat. This is mainly because of my observation that women are far more likely to have to go to the restroom while we’re there (notice I didn’t say use).

I don’t think I drink enough water, I can go forever without having to pee. I’d much rather be that way than having to go all the damn time.

I’ve been to dinner where it was just me and another couple countless times. I can’t remember once where they weren’t seated on the same side of the booth.

As far as truck seating goes, I find it much easier for guys to lean against the doors that are next to them, thus leaving the girl in the middle more room. If theres a guy 9especially if he’s a big guy) in the middle, he’s going to be trying to not lean on the driver or the girl, and might not be as successful as he might hope.

  1. What is your gender?

  2. Do you have a preference about where you sit in a booth when with one other person? Two? Three?
    If there’s just one other person, I prefer to sit opposite that person. But sometimes we’ll sit on the same side if we’re someplace and the game is on. As for more than one other person, I’m a lefty, so I prefer to sit in what ever position keeps me from bumping elbow with the person next to me.

  3. Does the gender of the other people matter to you at all?
    No, not really. Though given the chance to sit in between two men I like, I’ll pick that one. I like to be in the middle.

I’m female, short, and fat. Therefore, I tend not to sit in booths at all. Booths tend to have deeper seats than chairs, so I can either sit on the edge of my seat, or I can sit with my butt to the back and have my feet dangle a foot and a half above the floor. Both options are uncomfortable for me. When the host/ess asks how many are in my party, I say X number, nonsmoking, and table, not a booth.

I prefer to sit to the right side of my dining partner, as my left ear is noticeably better than my right ear. Gender makes no difference.

Edited for clarity.

  1. Female
  2. If I’m with just one other person, I prefer to sit opposite. With two or three others, I don’t really care.
  3. The gender of others doesn’t matter to me one bit, and I’m not fussed if I’m on the inside or outside. I probably wouldn’t like to be boxed in too long, though.

Of course. It’s easier to talk.

Me too. I’m 6’4" 210 lbs with size 13 feet. It’s much easier for my Wife to slide in than me. And I’m less likely to be stomping on others feet.

It’s just more practical to have a shorter smaller person in the middle.

I’m a lefty. I prefer the outside where my arm won’t be hitting the wall. Weren’t expecting that were ya? A lefty coming in out of right field to screw up yer data!

I do find it weird when folks sit on the same side of the table. I assume it’s either a couple doing stuff they shouldn’t under the table, or they are pathological liars trying not to get caught by the other one.

Female – and single, which is nice, since it means that when we’re in a booth, I’m either with one other person, and we can sit across from each other, or with a couple, and they can sit next to each other and I get the other side to myself (with everyone’s jackets, probably, but that’s okay).

If I’m with a few people I kind of like sitting on the inside. And if I go somewhere like Steak n Shake with 2 other friends, I sit by myself on one side and stretch a leg out. My boyfriend and I sit across from each other when we go out to eat. At his house the kitchen table is against a wall so we sit side by side then, and at mine too because the table is big.

Female here. Don’t care about gender because I only sit in booths with people I like so it doesn’t matter.

  1. What is your gender?

  2. Do you have a preference about where you sit in a booth when with one other person? Two? Three?
    Um, not really. Sometimes I like to sit next to my Hubby (even if it’s just the two of us) if I’m feeling snuggly. Other than that, I don’t care at all.

  3. Does the gender of the other people matter to you at all?
    No. Except, I don’t like to me mashed up next to ppl. I do need a little ‘comfort’ room.
    As per the truck thing, I agree that the smallest/shortest-legged person needs to sit in the middle. My Hubby is like enipla, 6’5" and 250 lbs. You might put him in the middle, but he will extend out into other areas, possibly interfering with the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle.

heh When I was playing in a three-man band a few years ago, and we’d go out for breakfast after a gig, I was the one who always got stuck on the inside seat in the booth, because I was the smallest guy in the band. I hated that!

1. What is your gender?


2. Do you have a preference about where you sit in a booth when with one other person? Two? Three?

I generally prefer to eat alone. I go out to eat, not talk, and I like to eat my food while its still hot. But if I’m eating with one other person, I prefer to sit opposite. In a group of three, I prefer to have one side of the table to myself, but my second choice is the outside seat on the side with two people. It’s worth noting that in each of my various groups of friends, there is at least one overweight person, and it’s simply more practical to let that person have one side of the booth to him/herself.

Elbows come into play as well. I can easily eat with my elbows held close to my sides, but some people, like the drummer in my old band, couldn’t seem to do that (he’d eat with both elbows straight out to the sides), so he usually ended up with one side of the table to himself while I got squeezed between the wall and my overweight guitarist on the other side of the table.

3. Does the gender of the other people matter to you at all?

Here I’ll just point out why men often assume the ladies will take the inside seat: You can sit more comfortably with your legs together. We men have these dangly bits, you see, and need to sit with our legs apart, which can be difficult to do if we’re sitting between the wall and another person. The same rationale applies to the middle seat in a pickup truck. It’s (theoretically) easier for a woman to sit comfortably with both of her legs together and to the right of the stick shift, out of the way of the driver. It’s quite uncomfortable (and potentially painful) for a man to sit like that.

One other thing to add Re: women to the inside of the booth: This is probably a holdover from men pulling out the chair for a woman to sit, before seating themselves. With a booth, there’s no chair to pull out, so all that remains is to allow the women to be seated first.

I normally dine alone but I take a seat looking out at the rest of the pub. When wityh friends, I sit anywhere.

Whether you’re in a booth, or your name is Booth, shooting the president is bad form.

  1. I’m male.
  2. I have long legs, big feet, and a damaged left knee. My ideal spot is where my left leg is on the open side, so I can straighten my leg occasionally. For two people, I like eye contact without getting a stiff neck. So, sit across from me. For three people, or four, just gimme that ideal spot.
  3. Of course gender matters, but what does that have to do with booths?

I’m pretty much mainstream on this one. Opposite sides for parties of two unless she’s just in a cuddly mood. Who get’s the inside is mostly a matter of who can most comfortably get there, usually myself. Handedness and physical considerations are considered when needed as well as well as needing access to restrooms.

  1. Male
  2. Opposite when two. When out as a family (4 or 5 of us) I sit next to my wife with the kids opposite.
  3. I usually take the inside because it is much more likely that my wife will want to get up to go to the restroom and it is less disruptive if she is on the outside.

The wife and I usually sit opposite each other. She doesn’t like feeling crowded.

But if there are one or more others, we’ll sit next to each other.

My preference is to sit on the outside, and facing the door. The wife understands this and is ok with it. We sit opposite each other whenever possible, because then we can hold hands across the table and be all romantic and stuff like that. Seating arrangements with another couple would depend on who is likely to be talking to who about what. Rather than have two cross-table conversations going, we would like seat the talkers next to each other.

  1. What is your gender?

  2. Do you have a preference about where you sit in a booth when with one other person? Two? Three?
    I prefer to sit opposite whoever I’m with, if there are just two of us; did it just yesterday, as a matter of fact. With three or more, I don’t particularly care where I sit. Inside or outside makes no difference to me - whoever gets there first should just slide on in, I guess.

  3. Does the gender of the other people matter to you at all?