THE IRISH PERF-EXIT

So, this Buzzfeed article about the Irish Exit has been circulating around the web for the past couple of days.  It has been sent directly to me several times from friends because, like Frank Costanza’s ‘Stop Short’,  its “my move”.  I have been using this badboy for decades but because I don’t work for Buzzfeed or any other reputable news source, my expertise on the subject matter has gone largely unnoticed.

Below is Logan Rhoades’ article 14 Reasons Why The Irish Goodbye Is The Best Exit Strategy and below that is a blog (that later became the final chapter of the book) I wrote 4 years ago titled ‘I Hate Goodbyes’ about varying methodologies and practices to make your Irish Exit, well, perfect.

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14 Reasons Why The Irish Goodbye Is The Best Exit Strategy

Logan Rhoades

BuzzFeed Staff

The Irish goodbye (or whatever you may call it: ghosting, the Swedish/Irish exit, etc.) is basically when you leave somewhere unannounced.

It typically happens after a night of drinking, but the somewhat stealthy move can really be used in any social setting.

So why would someone do this?

  1. It keeps the party going. By sneaking out, you’re allowing others to continue their conversation uninterrupted, which is really thoughtful and something only a good friend would do.
  2. It also lets you leave alone. While exchanging farewells, it’s pretty common for others to piggyback on your departure, but that’s not possible when nobody knows you’re leaving.
  3. In other words, you’re being an ideal guest by ghosting.
  4. Now, there are, of course, personal reasons for the Irish goodbye. For instance, maybe you had a brief moment of clarity where you realized you need to leave now or something bad will happen.
  5. Which, depending on how you want to look at it, also makes Irish exiters good party attendants because nobody likes this dude:
  6. But the main reason for leaving without saying goodbye is because it’s easy.
  7. And getting away with doing things the easy way is one of the greatest joys in life one can experience.
  8. It’s sort of like the feeling one gets when removing one’s shoes or bra after a long day.
  9. Or probably like that high that runners are always talking about.
  10. Plus, it’s sort of fun to be sneaky and see if you can leave without being detected.
  11. And honestly, saying goodbye can be a long process where you can potentially get caught up in multiple never-ending conversations, even though you’ve already expressed your desire to leave.
  12. And let’s face it, some people are just plain awkward, so it’s best to avoid saying goodbye to them anyway.
  13. So is it a little rude to not say goodbye to your friends and fellow party guests? Sure. But with the proper Irish exit, they won’t even know it.
  14. And chances are you’ve done this move several times before, which means it’s now sort of your thing, so they should be understanding. And if they’re not, then THEY’RE the bad friend.

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I Hate Goodbyes

Originally posted August 11, 2011

I hate goodbyes.

Outside of your daughter leaving for college or Junior joining the Navy, goodbyes are unnecessary and annoying. In about 90% of the cases, saying a polite goodbye to someone is not required in my book. Chances are that you are saying goodbye to someone you see on a regular basis or someone you don’t really know or care about. In either case, do we really need to go through the exhausting exercise of saying goodbye?

Handshakes, kisses, hugs, bad jokes, empty promises, blah, blah…I just want to get out of here!

For the record, I am not some rude social-phobe or The Lone Gunman who doesn’t like to interact with people. I simply prefer to keep on moving without getting stuck in a drawn out and boring parting of company. On top of that, goodbyes always illicit some type of emotion (be it genuine or fake) or initiate a lie.

Goodbyes are just prolonging the inevitable. Everything ends. Everybody knows when school is out, the party of over, your last day of work, or you just don’t want to be there anymore.

Let me share a few techniques I have perfected that will ensure a speedy and goodbye-free exit from any situation. Use at your discretion.

The Houdini

You have had an awesome time (“Yeah, we know you had an awesome time, Frank”. Movie?) out with your buddies. A million laughs, a few beers and some great stories. Right now though, you are looking at your watch and just want to get home for the rerun of Mob Wives. So, you could do the handshake/high five/fist-bump-thing with all of your boys and get sucked into that one more beer or do what I do; tell them you are going to the bathroom and never come back. Never fails. In special cases you get out of the check too!

The Chauffeur

Family Party. It has been a long day. Kids are crabby (as is your spouse!). So, you can go through the exhaustive exercise of saying goodbye to Clark, Cousin Eddie, Grandpa Ed and the other 700 Griswalds or try this gem; tell your wife/husband you are putting a few things in the car…and don’t go back in! Trust me, after 10-15 minutes of your absence s/he will figure things out and quickly follow suite. (NOTE: Said spouse may be upset, but it is worth it)

The Fugitive

Company picnic, town fair, kid’s sporting event – name your outdoor social gathering. You have already had far too many terrible conversations for one day and just need to escape. This move is a little bit bold, but very effective. Simply walk away. I have found that a kind smile coupled with a few sidesteps away from crowd and you will quickly blend in with the masses as you work your way to the car. The key is to act casual and walk SLOWLY. Think Richard Kimball in The Fugitive. Any attention drawn to yourself could result in another brutal verbal exchange or, in Kimball’s case, imprisonment. Not sure which is worse? “YOU FIND THAT MAN!”

The Commuter

For those of you with a less than exciting office job with even less responsibility, here is a dangerous but extremely rewarding exit I invented in the early, post-college days. You will need the following items, a jacket (be sure it is seasonally appropriate), a spare set of keys and, if applicable, a pair of glasses. Strategically place these items around your work station. Be sure your computer is turned on and open to some type of work-related file. That’s pretty much it. Gracefully walk out the door and head for home. Co-workers will see the litany of personal items strewn on your desk and simply assume you are elsewhere in the building. By the time anyone realizes you are gone, it’s quitting time anyway!

The Man Without a Country

In truly desperate and painful situations, this one is your last resort. Quite honestly, there is no strategy behind it. You just leave or, in special instances, RUN. And when I say “leave” – leave everything and go. Leave your wallet, your phone, your keys and your dignity. Just run. The Man Without a Country is typically reserved for situations involving the authorities, an ex-boy/girlfriend, or the IRS. I would not recommend this move as you are surely to be left without critical personal property. But hey, a man has to do what a man has to do.

Practice a few these at home with your family (I am sure there are plenty of conversations you want to escape from there as well). Perfect these moves and you will find yourself sitting on your couch by the time anyone looks around and asks “Where did Frank go?” The risk you run performing any of these disappearing acts is getting caught. When you do, you are going to be on the receiving end of the taunting of your buddies, the scowl of your spouse, the look of disappointment from your neighbors, a subpeona or a restraining order. But that’s OK – keep at it!

Until next time….. (Yep, I just ducked out the back door)

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