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CD Knowles 6 months ago

Dear Knowles,

I am going to be giving a big dinner party — kind of a gala event — at my house and have a question about seating. How do I decide who sits next to who? And is it wrong to separate husbands and wives or newly engaged couples? The dinner is a catered event for 40 people (five tables of eight) and is a holiday party for my husband’s business. Every time I sit down to figure out seating arrangements I get lost. I really need your help!

Thanks in advance,



Dear Clueless,

I have a sister-in-law who excels at table arrangement and will pass on to you what I’ve learned from her. Start with writing guests’ names on sticky notes. On several pieces of paper draw circles representing your five tables and experiment with who should sit where. You will have to learn about unfamiliar guests from your husband (who should definitely be included in this exercise). Obviously people who don’t get along shouldn’t be seated at the same table. It’s best to group people by interests, and to make sure to have an outgoing, talkative person at each table. If you have guests who like to debate, those should be at the same table. A female guest of honor should be placed to the right of the host and a male guest of honor to the left of the hostess. The tables should be numbered, with seating information available on cards at the entrance to the dining area (as well as at individual places at the table). You and your husband should sit separately and I heartily advise you to separate couples, even if you choose to put them at the same table — this makes for more lively conversation. And while it’s often advised to seat men next to women, I think this is a tradition that can be broken. Better to arrange seating according to who complements whom. Hope this helps! Merry Christmas and enjoy your party!


CD Knowles




my gender

Dear My Gender,

You have made this choice and you should be proud of it. Screw what anyone else says! If you feel in your bones that you’re female, then present as female even if that means all sorts medical difficulties and adventures. It takes a lot of courage to do what you’ve done and I want you to know that ordinary citizens like myself stand behind you. We believe you should fight in the military, too. Why not? Trans people provide a unique combo of female sensitivity and common sense with male strength and practicality. I wish you the best in all your endeavors.

Sarah P., Richmond, KY


Dear My Gender,

If you decide to change your body in drastic ways, then you have to live with the consequences. Your family and friends may reject you. The world may spit on you. That’s your choice. I understand to do what you’ve done takes courage, but I consider it unnatural. You may live as a woman for years to come, but you will still have male medical problems such as prostate disease. Ultimately I agree with President Trump: people should be classified according to their gender at birth, not the gender they choose years later.

John T., Grand Rapids, MI


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Disclaimer: CD Knowles is not a doctor or psychotherapist. Any opinions expressed on Knowles Knows are just that — opinions.

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