By ALISSA WARREN.
I was a professional at leaving parties, lunches, baby showers, dinners. Everything.
When I’d had enough, I left.
INTO THIN AIR.
Call it what you will. Ghosting. Phantom. Disappearing. Smoke-bombing. I was one of the best.
But I’ve stopped. Sort of.
When did we become so fearful of leaving? When did it become such a disaster to say good bye? When did we become so rude?
My smoke-bombing reached fever pitch last year. It was wedding season. Anyone and everyone was tying the knot. My weekly diet consisted of champagne, duck pancakes and “chicken or beef”. It was endless. And by the end of each ‘big day’ I just couldn’t face another conversation. I’d had not enough sleep and too much champagne. I became a professional bailer.
I was the opposite of a Wedding Crasher. I was a Wedding Ghoster.
I know I’m not alone. Ghosters are everywhere. Christmas Parties. Award Nights. Work Functions. Baby Showers. Yep, BABY SHOWERS.
It’s time to give the world’s most social awkward moment a few rules. A few … guidelines. It’s time to step up and own it. Because, for too long, smoke-bombing has owned us. There we are, committing a social sin in a cloud of smoke. Shamefully, awkwardly. Come out in to the open, friends. At least just a teeny bit. Stop the guilt.
Let’s be better at being bad.
You must say good bye to the host IF …
If there are less than ten people at the party, you can’t bail without a good bye. It’s obvious and it’s rude. If you’re doing it, stop. I know, I know. It’s so hard. Afterall, this is what you DO, right?
Last week, I went to a small party at a packed pub. One of our friends went to the bathroom and she never returned. I believe she’s living in the bathroom with all the other people who have gone there and never returned or she went home.
I know she got home because she stuck to this rule:
Post-departure, always send a text to the host to say thanks.
You have to send a text. Night of. Morning after. Either is okay. But you can’t miss it. Fact.
Step away from your bag.
Don’t hold your bag while you’re saying good bye to the host. FAIL. If you’re holding your bag, you’re obviously leaving. Leave it until the last minute. Better still, if you know you’re going to be bailing, don’t even take a bag! Because …
You need to be ghost-like.
Be decisive. If you’re not going alone, make the signal and GET OUT OF THERE. Be swift and spooky. You are a ghost, your drunk friends are ghostbusters. Run from the ghostbusters in your most polite – and quick – way.
Say good bye at the following events:
Anywhere that you’ve been given free food, drink, a seat or a gift.
There are more than 200 people at the wedding.
The bride & groom are having their first dance.
The most handsome, swoon-worthy man has whispered in your ear, “let’s get outta here”. Boom.
The event is in an odd, unfamiliar location like a zoo.
But all these rules are meaningless if you bring in the ultimate excuse. The never-failing, best ever, excuse.
Kids. Your’s. Someone else’s. Anyone’s. They’re the only legitimate reason for getting out of anything. We ran out of bibs, someone has a fever, vomit, tired, teething, sprinkled cracked pepper into their mouth.
With this excuse, you are given free reign. Always.
And with that, the guidelines are finished.
Thanks for having me.