My boys hated it when little and now that they are all grown-up they still hate it. Our family take their time saying goodbye. From when they were young and I would stop their fun by saying "Come on we are going now" and half an hour later they would be shouting at me from the car while I was still finishing off a story and saying my goodbyes, to today not much has changed.
It happened again last night. Nic was making himself comfortable on my sister's couch. "Don't get too comfortable, we are going now". Now Nic was a tad grumpy. I had just collected him from a second operation on his knee and we had popped in to wish Kelly a happy birthday. He had finished his final law exams the day before and had been out for a bit of a party (big party) the night before. Not much sleep, a hangover, a knee manipulation with a general anaesthetic then a "quick pit stop" to wish Kelly, it was no wonder my usually placid and jovial son was grumpy and snapped at me "Send me a Whatsapp when you are in the car and have the engine started".
So later last night I had to smile to myself when I read this article on "Ghosting". It does take me a while to say goodbye to family, friends and small groups but what I learned from my first husband and his friends was a skill that they called "The Chiropractic Sneak". Named after our friend the chiropractor who would always just vanish from a party without saying goodbye we realised after a couple of years that it was not a bad idea and not such bad manners as we originally thought.
It is very clever to leave a party when it is in full swing without saying goodbye because, as hard as you try, saying goodbye does take time and it does break up a party. It gets everyone thinking "Time to Go", the hosts start to panic and it usually leads to a mass exodus. It can also be fun and exciting to collect your bags, find the best way out (a problem these days with security, buzzers and alarms) and leave without anyone knowing.
This sneaky trick initially horrified my new husband. He comes from an era where you say thank you and goodbye properly to your hosts before leaving. However, the longer he has known me the more mileage he gets out of his statement at the end of the evening "OK Jenny, down to the last 5 people, can we go?". (He has this theory that we are always in the last 5 people to leave a party - When is a theory not a theory?). So when we are at a big gathering and I give a mere suggestion that it is "maybe" time to go he is out of the door in a flash, hoping like hell that I do not leave him waiting in the car for 20 minutes.
Ghosting, The Irish Exit, The French Goodbye - The Chiropractic Sneak. Have you done it?