Stop. Just Stop.

Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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28 Responses

  1. Kazzy says:

    My wife’s mom’s side of the family take hours to say goodbye. “Krilly Goodbyes”, I call them. First you say goodbye in the house, then you walk outside and say goodbye in the driveway, then someone inevitably gets in your car with you to make sure its good to go, then you get in the car, start it up, and say goodbye from the window, then they follow you out to the end of the driveway. It drives me nuts. And I’m trying to fight it, so I understand the desire to avoid awkward and/or lengthy goodbyes, but not saying goodbye is just douchey.

    Last Sunday, we went to a post-wedding brunch for a wedding I was in, and in which I knew both bride and groom, their family, as well as some of their extended family and other guests’ family. We had to hit the road to get Zazzy back to Mayonnaise, but we still made a point to hit the major players for goodbyes and at least one person in each circle so if anyone said, “Hey, where’d Kazzy go?” someone could chime in.

    If you don’t want to say goodbye, don’t even go to the party.Report

    • Mark Thompson in reply to Kazzy says:

      I have exactly the same issue (I even call it the Wife’s Maiden Name Goodbye) made more awkward by the fact that the goodbyes are usually preceded by hours of silent television watching. But not doing it would just be, as you say, douchey.Report

      • HA! Bonded as one, we three. The Better Half’s mother’s side of the family (also known as the Their Surname Goodbye, and a good-humored family joke) takes FOREVER. I am always the one to give increasingly urgent signs that we need to LEAVE ALREADY! It drives me bananas.

        But leaving without saying goodbye to, at least, the host and/or guest of honor is incredibly douchey, as is the article linked. Slate at its Slateyest, indeed.Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Russell Saunders says:

          Make it four. The wife CANNOT leave a social event without saying goodbye to everyone, which involves communicating with them, which leads to extended conversation, which leads to me wondering how long it will take us to actually leave.

          I started a new system with her: I’d tell her that I’d begin telling her It Is Time To Leave about an hour before I actually wanted to go on the premise that that would give here ample time to say appropriate goodbyes to everyone. All that did was make the goodbyes an hour longer.Report

          • Kazzy in reply to Stillwater says:

            Ha, brothers four are we! I should make clear that “Krilly” is a pseudonym for Zazzy’s mother’s maiden name, the side of the family we struggle with, so we’ve even aligned our nomenclature. Huzzah!

            And much like Mark, the goodbyes are often preceded by silent awkwardness, which makes the intensity of the goodbyes all the worse.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Kazzy says:

      Okay, you three need to take a tip from decades of the best business meeting advice and program your phone (which replaced pagers) to beep you with an emergency call a set period after you activate it. Then you pretend that you’re needed to perform emergency open heart surgery on an alien who crash landed in Roswell or something, and you hop in your car and speed away. Your friends and relations can then spend the slotted two-hour goodbye time telling each other how important you are to Star Fleet, MIB, or project blue book.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to George Turner says:

        {ring!} “Hello, Mr. President. What can I do … Yes, of course, sir! I’m on my way!” {hangs up} “Sorry, everybody, that was the, um, dog-sitter. I need to, um, go meet her at the vet’s. See you guys later. If there’s a later. I mean, um, bye.”Report

      • Kim in reply to George Turner says:

        Bonus points if you actually get King Kong to carry you off.Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    Hell, don’t say “Hello”. Just show up, mingle, if someone asks who you are then say stuff like “Oh, I know Knucklehead from work!”, get some food, get some booze, and leave.Report

  3. Glyph says:


    I dunno, it doesn’t strike me as that big a deal. I had a couple friends who were sort of famous for this – one of them would often also just show up without greeting, through an unlocked door or window if necessary. That PROBably wouldn’t fly now, though I dunno, if he still lived in my neighborhood I guess it would depend on how far he took it.

    The other was so famous for just bailing from social gatherings unnoticed that we named the the phenomenon after him: leaving incognito was known as “bolting, Colby-style”.Report

    • Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

      I guess it should also be noted that we would also (and I was an avid practitioner of this one) always try to leave the person on the other end of phonecalls hanging without a goodbye.

      So when the conversation would seem to be winding down, you would launch into some shaggy-dog story, or what seemed like the beginning of a question, then disconnect the call mid-sentence.

      Whoever did this first was the winner.

      Recently, with no prompting whatsoever, my four-year-old boy has started pulling this prank when he talks to a certain person on the phone. I have no idea how or where he learned it, but he thinks it’s HILARIOUS (we have to stop him from calling the person back to do it again).

      I’m so proud, yet a little disturbed that he figured out by four what took us until high school to learn.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        Also also (I swear this is the last one) for a while we would do sort of a reverse version of these in real-life. So you would say your goodbyes, and then wait for the person to reach or better yet pass the doorframe, then excitedly call out to them, like there was one last thing you had forgotten to tell them.

        When they stop, and come back into the doorframe, you just wave and say “goodbye” again.

        It’s really, supremely irritating.

        What I am saying is, “goodbyes” are a fun social convention to mess with.Report

  4. A lot of this is context-dependent. There are certain social events that call for saying your goodbyes to the host and/or specific guests, however, more relaxed events with people you see all the time, I can’t imagine it’s that big a deal (though, there are safety concerns – if you’re with people at a bar, maybe tell someone you’re leaving so that they don’t think you’ve been abducted – and texting after you leave isn’t good enough, because people might not get the text).

    Like others, my wife’s family is really bad at goodbyes. When it’s time to go, someone tends to suddenly have something important or noteworthy to talk about that, for some reason, they didn’t bring up in the previous 5 hours. So, at some events, we will just leave without saying goodbye to everyone. (Thankfully, the kids are a good excuse. ‘Oh the kids are tired, we have to leave RIGHT NOW.’ That usually works.)Report

  5. zic says:

    I think this may have a lot to do with two things.

    First, introversion. Introverts prefer to slip out the back, Jack. The long goodbyes can be painful.

    Second is alcohol consumption. If folks have been at it, just slipping out makes sense; if they’re pretty sober, saying goodbye is good manners.Report

    • Mo in reply to zic says:

      Not to mention, as the article pointed out, culture. Some cultures it’s perfectly normal to ghost. The writer is just saying that they prefer that culture’s norms over the say goodbye for 30 minutes norm.Report

    • Alan Scott in reply to zic says:

      I think at least a cursory “Hey, I’m off” to the host is more important when alcohol is involved, gives them a chance to evaluate whether you’ve had so much to drink that you’re not in any shape to head home and lets them know that they won’t find you dozing on the back porch at 4amReport

    • Kazzy in reply to zic says:

      I’d also say that drinking engagements can often lead to pressure to say. “Just one more drink!”Report

  6. damon says:

    If someone pulled this at a my party and I found out about it, I’d consider it a major insult.Report

    • Glyph in reply to damon says:

      Really? A “major insult”?

      Man, I can see all the way up to “faux-pas”, but that seems extreme.

      If I wanted to observe such strict formalities on pain of “major insult”, I’d be at “work”, not a “party” with my “friends”.

      This is why Larry David is the poet and revolutionary of our times.Report

  7. Mike Schilling says:

    Hello, I must be going.
    I cannot stay,
    I came to say
    I must be going.
    I’m glad I came
    but just the same
    I must be going.

    I’ll stay a week or two,
    I’ll stay the summer through,
    but I am telling you,
    I must be going.

  8. RTod says:

    I find it useful to simply co-opt “goodbye language” from 80s-era movie break up scenes. So if you’re about to leave a cocktail party, for example, you just find the host or hostess and say:

    “I’m sorry, but I’m leaving you. It’s for the best. We never talk anymore, and I need something more. It’s not you, it’s me. I really wish you well. I’ll always treasure our times together. Goodbye.”Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to RTod says:

      Note that this is likely to be the cause of some misunderstanding when employed at your girlfriend’s birthday party.

      Nothing that can’t be solved with a boombox, though.Report

  9. Patrick says:

    My favorite “that’s how this person said goodbye” story was a couple where the woman was the “let’s go already” part of the pair. Her method was to tap her watch and say, “(Name Redacted)? Time for love.”Report