Imagine for a second you’re at a wonderful party. The music is bumping, the conversation is flowing, and all of a sudden a guest leans into your conversation pocket, coat already on, and says something to the effect of: “Hey guys! Sorry to interrupt, but James and I have to go. The babysitter needs to leave/we have an early morning tomorrow/we ran out of things to talk about/I have period cramps/etc.”
The conversation stops. Hugs are doled out like dancer brochures on the Vegas strip and now everyone is beginning to question if they should go home, too. It’s an all-too-soon snap back to reality.
Insert, the Irish Goodbye.
You simply leave without saying a word. No disruptions. No awkward lull. No party pooping.
For those who might think this is rude–“Excuse me! You should always thank your host!”–I disagree. The host was probably busy for the first half of the party accommodating everyone’s needs and now chances are, they’ve finally reached a point of relaxation, where they don’t feel like they have to be “on.” When goodbyes start, they have to be “on” again.
As far as gratitude goes, thank your hosts after you leave. Send a text thanking them for the wonderful party and if you had to leave early for a reason, feel free to explain. Better yet, send them a note the next day when they probably have more time to read it.
Obviously, there are a few times employing the Irish Goodbye is frowned upon:
- If the crowd is small enough that your lack of presence would obviously be noticed. Still, if everyone else is still in it for the long haul, try to excuse yourself as quickly and simply as possible.
- If you’re the host or guest of honor. Unless you’re violently ill. Then by all means, GTFO.
- If the hosts are of another dimension that they would be VERY OFFENDED if you did not say goodbye. This is rare.
Sometimes I’ll let a friend know I scooted out (especially if the party is at a bar or restaurant) so people don’t worry. Otherwise, Irish Goodbye your heart out. I do it all the time and have zero regrets.
Anyone else Team Irish Goodbye? Anyone opposed? Love to hear your thoughts.