The Irish Goodbye

A while ago, a woman in my office mentioned she pulled an “Irish goodbye.” A what?

She explained that this is when you exit quickly and discreetly from a social gathering without bidding anyone farewell. Oh, I thought, that’s totally me! I looked it up on the Internet and found this definition in the Urban Dictionary:

Leaving the bar or anywhere for that matter, without closing niceties, like a kiss goodbye to that annoying girl or mentioning something to your friends.

Exactly. I also found this one, which I would not publish if I were not half Irish:

Leaving quietly out the side door of a party or bar without saying goodbye to anyone. Mostly due to the fact that family or friends would most likely take your keys away for being too intoxicated.

My wife is big on long, protracted exits where you touch base with everyone and make some eye contact and leave them with a little special something. I’m big on sneaking out the back door. I just prefer it that way — and friends, I’m an expert, so here are a few tips:

  • Leave the coat in the car. Pulling on a coat is a pretty good sign that you’re leaving. God forbid someone makes a big fuss that you’re going somewhere.
  • Survey the room. Knowing where all the exits are will help you escape undetected. Walk out the front door and you may find yourself awkwardly running into someone who’s just arriving.
  • Shore up the story. Tell somebody that you’re off to the men’s room or going to say hello to so-and-so. Then vanish.

It’s easy and with a little practice you’ll be an expert, too. Remember, it’s always better to leave them wanting ┬ámore — instead of wanting to throw you out.

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