Okay, this is a dumb question, but I wonder if anyone else has ever had this conundrum.
Suppose you, an individual of the single variety, are walking into church. You’re fairly early, so there are lots of available seats. (Note: this is a Modern Church, so there are no pews; just individual seats lined up in rows and attached together at the sides.)
One of your friends is sitting in a row that is otherwise empty, so you go to join them. Now, the big question is, do you sit right next to them, or leave an empty seat (AKA, a “Bible Seat”) in between? If you are both male, there is no hesitation. Given that there are enough seats available, two or more males sitting “together” will leave an empty seat in between each occupied seat. This way there is no accidental touching; legs can be crossed, elbows moved about, etc, without bumping into each other. In contrast, two or more females sitting together will always sit in adjacent seats. The precise explanation for this is unknown, but some suspect it may be so whispering during the service is less noticeable.
But what if you are a male, and you’re getting ready to sit down by a female with whom you have a platonic friendship? You don’t want to seem aloof by creating an unnecessary distance between you, but on the other hand, you don’t want to give an impression that is unintended (by you) or unwelcomed (by her). It would be different if the row were already mostly full, but sitting side-by-side with no one else in the immediate vicinity might be awkward.
Am I alone in facing these life-altering quandaries? Is it all in my head, the result of my own insecurity, or have others been plagued by this as well? Any advice?
originally posted 1/23/2005 on bibleforums.org