As a follow-up to my whine post (no, not wine) about people, some friends introduced me to ghosting.
Editor’s Note: This is not the ghosting that you do when dating where instead of “officially” breaking things off, you disappear. This is what you do with friends, even good friends at social functions. It does not mean that you don’t want to be friends but that you’ve had your fill of people for the evening (or you are convinced your cat just barfed on your bed). In my case it usually means that the party is bigger than my attention span or people tolerance.
I’ve been doing it for years but didn’t know it had a name. Now I know. Cool!
Ghosting is slipping out the door when no one is looking.
It’s leaving a social event without the requisite “good-byes” (which I always find tedious and somewhat artificial). It seems like an abrupt departure but you’ve been contemplating it for a good half hour. Maybe longer…like since you received the invitation.
Some examples of standard goodbyes are:
“I’ve had a wonderful time and hope to see you soon” which translates to “I thought I’d never get out of here alive and where the hell did you find such deviates to attend your party?”
“I really miss seeing you” which translates to the universal “Don’t call me. I’ll call you.”
“The food was exquisite!” which translates to “my cat would try to cover it like poop.”
These are stock phrases you feel compelled to use as you leave. Manners dictates it.
If you truly like someone you will find a way to see them and connect even if it’s Facebook or email. No need to declare undying loyalty at every event. That appears clingy. Never appear clingy!
Disclaimer: There are people I truly do miss, enjoy and hope to see soon but using these phrases for everyone dilutes the value of the comment.
According to our friends there are ghosting rules. You can only do it when there are at least six people attending. That means if you are with a friend and excuse yourself to go to the bathroom, you cannot crawl out the window. That would be rude.
If you are the third wheel in a group, you cannot fade into the background and slither out. You must use one of the standard goodbyes although with a small group you can claim you have a headache. (Buck up buttercup! You accepted this invitation!)
You should be upbeat and positive during the time you are there. That helps to disguise the ghosting.
Keep your coat and pocketbook or anything else you need for a quick departure in the car. It doesn’t matter if you turn purple from cold or your nose needs frostbite treatment. In the end, it’s easier. And kinder. Sort of.
The beloved husband and I do this for large parties all the time. Usually by the time we are ready to head out, the host/hostess is engaged in conversation with one of the
deviates invited guests or cleaning up the kitchen. In either case I hate to disturb (or get sucked in).
Once you are ready to go, you blend into the background (smiling and nodding your head all the way) and slip out, walking sideways like a crab on a beach. Once out the door you run for the car! Life is good!