Ah, the Irish goodbye. In polite society it’s wrong, but I reject that notion.
We, as a society, underestimate the power of the Irish goodbye.
For those unaware, an Irish goodbye is when you dip out of a party or social gathering without properly saying goodbye. It’s an incredibly rude thing to do, but it’s fantastic for the selfish at heart who hate dealing with people. There is a double edged sword to the Irish goodbye. Essentially, if you successfully pull off an Irish goodbye it implies that you can go home and do what you want. It can be quite liberating. If you are the host and don’t realize that one of your guests successfully Irish goodbye-ed you, then you should probably reevaluate that friendship. A successful Irish goodbye is only good for one side- either the host or the guest; never both. The only good thing about becoming an active part of the conversation post-Irish goodbye is that you’re important enough for them to miss your absence. It’s a lovely sentiment.
Like I said, there is a selfishness with the Irish goodbye, but if you are going to commit to the act you have to do it without considering anyone else’s feelings. If you make it emotional, then you lose; then you may as well say the stupid goodbye.
To successfully pull off an Irish goodbye you must read the room and consider the number of guests.
Reading the room is the most important part of a successful Irish goodbye. A sensible rule to go by is to consider the amount of guests. If it’s a party with less than 20 people, just stick it out or make up a clever emergency that will get you home in time to watch “90 Day Fiancé”. It has to be crafted in such a way that the excuse won’t require any follow-up questions. If you have more than 20 people in attendance, you should be able to do it successfully. If there are over 50 people in attendance, you may as well set up a cardboard cutout of yourself in the corner because at that point you’ll be a small fish in a big pond.
I love Irish goodbyes because I hate goodbyes. In any situation, goodbyes are never fun and are always draining. Sometimes they are really hard and emotional; those are the worst types of goodbyes. Goodbyes are associated with a sense of closure, which is wonderful. But closer isn’t always easy. It’s often rather messy. Goodbyes tend to linger in awkwardness and sometimes you end up saying goodbye to the same person twice if you cross paths at the wrong time. That’s a catastrophe because then you have to pretend to make a joke about how silly it is that we get to do this exchange a second time. It’s a whole thing.
All of that excitement is just too artificial for my stone cold heart to bear.
Originally published on Thought Catalog.
I live in New York, representing the East coast portion of Words Between Coasts.