Emily Postmodern: How To Gracefully Irish Exit Any Party

We go to parties all year round, but between November and January the frequency seems to increase. While fun, all of this socializing can be a smidge exhausting and after a few weeks it isn’t unreasonable to be over all the social niceties of party attending. Whatever slightly offensive thing you call it–French exit, Irish goodbye, Ninja roll — leaving a party without saying farewell to your host is not the best of manners, but sometimes you just have to go.

Maybe you had too much to drink, it’s late and you just want to get to bed, or you know that there is no way to extract yourself from the social situation in less than fifteen minutes and you really want to get home in time to watch Last Week Tonight in pants with an elastic waistband.  So what do you do when you wake up after an evening of holiday celebration and realize that either inebriation or social anxiety resulted in you taking leave without formality?

Your decision to just bounce doesn’t have to be a total faux pas. Depending on how formal the party and how well you know the host, your vanishing act might not be something to feel too bad about. At a rowdy and crowded function ,just disappearing into the night is pretty acceptable, but if you are particularly close to the host you probably want to send a text explaining yourself as soon as possible.  Actually, if you don’t know the host that well you probably also want to shoot them an email/Facebook message/whatever your primary mode of communication is the following day saying something along the lines of “Great party! Couldn’t find you on the way out! Had a blast!” Just don’t try and claim that it was too raucous to find your host at a much smaller function.

When you are at that smaller function and you desperately feel the need to get home and get out of your party clothes if the opportunity arises to just go without making even a tiny round of goodbyes arises then take it. Are you standing by the door coat in hand and could just take one step back and be on your way? Go quickly and silently into the night, but  just make sure you send some sort of acknowledgement to the host as soon as you can. However, if you are going to have to walk through a crowd of people including your host just to get your coat and then again to get out the door, good luck. Unless your coat is really a cloak of invisibility you are probably going to have to say goodbye to at least one person.  You can always say you are just stepping out for a smoke, never to return, but that might be a rather flimsy excuse if you are a known non-smoker. Don’t go claiming you are going out on a beer/ice/wine run only to leave for good.  If you want to use that as a way to exit, make the run and then just drop off the refreshments without taking your coat off, everyone will be so distracted by the re-up that they won’t notice you haven’t rejoined the party. In fact, distraction is always a great opportunity for an unnoticed exit. Is everyone counting down for the ball drop? Singing happy birthday? Cutting a cake? This is your moment to be unnoticed. Go for it.

No matter your reason, you can only politely leave a party slyly if you follow up with a gracious communication. How you do that–text message, email, Post-it note left in the bathroom cabinet to be discovered the next morning– is up to you.  Do what feels right and natural to you and your relationship with your host and the party you are at.  But the whole point of the unnoticed exit is that it is unnoticed. If you can’t sneak out without getting caught you are SOL.