The Irish Goodbye

A while ago, a woman in my office mentioned she pulled an “Irish goodbye.” A what?

She explained that this is when you exit quickly and discreetly from a social gathering without bidding anyone farewell. Oh, I thought, that’s totally me! I looked it up on the Internet and found this definition in the Urban Dictionary:

Leaving the bar or anywhere for that matter, without closing niceties, like a kiss goodbye to that annoying girl or mentioning something to your friends.

Exactly. I also found this one, which I would not publish if I were not half Irish:

Leaving quietly out the side door of a party or bar without saying goodbye to anyone. Mostly due to the fact that family or friends would most likely take your keys away for being too intoxicated.

My wife is big on long, protracted exits where you touch base with everyone and make some eye contact and leave them with a little special something. I’m big on sneaking out the back door. I just prefer it that way — and friends, I’m an expert, so here are a few tips:

  • Leave the coat in the car. Pulling on a coat is a pretty good sign that you’re leaving. God forbid someone makes a big fuss that you’re going somewhere.
  • Survey the room. Knowing where all the exits are will help you escape undetected. Walk out the front door and you may find yourself awkwardly running into someone who’s just arriving.
  • Shore up the story. Tell somebody that you’re off to the men’s room or going to say hello to so-and-so. Then vanish.

It’s easy and with a little practice you’ll be an expert, too. Remember, it’s always better to leave them wanting  more — instead of wanting to throw you out.


15 responses to “The Irish Goodbye

  1. I think kids these days are calling it “going ninja.”

  2. Daniel Webster

    “Slan go foill”

  3. Part of this rings wrong. Those Irish-y folks who don’t want you driving are just as drunk, and also plan to drive away. Maybe they want me to die in their car instead of mine, for the togetherness — like, if we’re all in the same SUV, some of the questionables (me) might slip past St. Peter and we can all have a proper nightcap on the other side.


  4. Are you sure the definition of Irish Good-bye isn’t my name (right after yours, of course)? I’m the queen of Irish good-byes and I’m not Irish. Thanks for today’s lesson!
    Although going ninja is sort of cute.

  5. I agree with Kevin, except for the part that kids these days suck at being ninjas.

  6. Terri: I’m going to start calling it a “Conroy.” 😉

  7. Lou: that’s a very spiritual interpretation.

  8. Going ninja is when you sneak into a party, extract food and alcohol, and then leave without anyone knowing you were ever there.

  9. #8 – I thought that was called wedding crashers…

  10. Boy, do I feel like an idiot. I had the whole “going ninja” thing mixed up with “going commando.”

  11. Ha ha, Rob, thanks for the morning laugh!

  12. Which is why Scottish ninja’s are always so popular.

  13. Admittedly, the IG was much easier to pull back in my single days. Still – and I don’t know you, Teri, so forgive me for being so forward – but I’m not willing to give up my tiara just yet 🙂

  14. Sheila: I keep trying to convert Ann, but she’ll have none of it.

  15. who knew there was a name for that?
    It is my preferred method of egress

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