An Argument for the “Irish Goodbye”


We all agree it’s fun to say hello. A hello has the bright promise of a beginning. It’s the perfect occasion to express your genuine pleasure at a friend’s arrival. But who among us enjoys saying goodbye? None among us! Not those leaving, and not those left behind.

Goodbyes are, by their very nature, at least a mild bummer. They represent the waning of an evening or event. By the time we get to them, we’re often tired, drunk, or both. The short-timer just wants to go home to bed, while the night owl would prefer not to acknowledge the growing lateness of the hour. These sorts of goodbyes inevitably devolve into awkward small talk that lasts too long and then peters out. We vow vaguely to meet again, then linger for a moment, thinking of something else we might say before the whole exchange fizzles and we shuffle apart. Repeat this several times, at a social outing delightfully filled with your acquaintances, and it starts to sap a not inconsiderable portion of that delight.

Over at Slate, Seth Stevenson makes the case for the Irish Goodbye/ French Exit/ the Ghost/ Leaving Without Saying Goodbye Because You’re A Little Drunk And The Whole Charade Just Seems Like Quite A Burden Right Now, Honestly.

Do you Ghost? I do, every now and then, and then I just end up apologizing for it the next day. When you’ve had just enough gin you can really convince yourself that you’re saving everybody essential time and trouble. But I know my grandmother would not approve.

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