The Irish Goodbye: A Step By Step Guide


“The Irish Goodbye” or “Irish Exit” is one of my favorite terms and can be used when describing a person that leaves a given location without saying goodbye to anyone that they are with. As an undergrad, this term typically revolves around heavy intoxication. It usually takes place at an after hours event when all motor skills have essentially shut down. Your brain goes into some sort of blacked out survival mode, and through muscle memory, your carcass manages to find a place to safely slumber. However, as a postgrad, this maneuver does not need to involve borderline alcohol poisoning in order to be utilized.

The Irish Exit can come in handy whenever one is trying to escape a dog shit postgrad scenario. When executed properly, this is a move that should be in everyone’s repertoire. Remember, the goal here is to successfully remove yourself from a given situation without having to say goodbye to the people you didn’t want to be with in the first place.

Placement Of Belongings

Best case scenario here is that you have no additional belongings to set aside upon entering your location. But, as most of us have learned, there is no such thing as a best case scenario. Typically, the only extra item you’ll have to worry about before your escape is a coat or jacket in the colder months. To women who carry purses, I honestly still do not know what you do with those things the majority of the time, so you are on your own. If you are at a location with a coat check, feel free to check your coat as long as the booth or closet is off the beaten path and can easily be recovered. If the coat check is front and center, you are better off holding onto it and making some sort of pussy claim that you “have a bit of a chill.” If there is a pile or separate room of coats, typical of a domicile, make sure your coat or jacket is at the top of that pile. This will ensure you will not get caught at the 11th hour rifling through a stack of stranger’s outerwear that should have been dry cleaned months ago.

Number Of Drinks To Consume

This is much more important than one would assume and also plays into the timing of your exit, which I will get into later. Telling people you are not drinking will raise too many red flags for you to make a proper escape, so ensure you have a drink in hand. You will more than likely need one to tolerate these people anyway. I have found the best time to fade into the darkness typically comes between the fourth and fifth rounds if you are drinking beer, or the second and third round if cocktails are predominant. This is when a general haziness will start to envelop the other guests, thus assisting in masking your timely departure. You may hear others suggest that you are better off waiting until people get pretty sauced before making an exit. While this may work on occasion, the last thing you need is to be roped into some elaborate conversation with the friend of a friend about a joint venture in a start up company focusing on creating randomized baby names based off of their parent’s personality traits. That actually happened to me once.

Who To Talk To

This is when you will want to be a bit of a social butterfly. Float from person to person and group to group making sure anyone that needed to know you were there sees your face. Don’t linger too long in any one conversation that may lead to a commitment later in the night. Remember, if you’ve committed to nothing, you can be held to nothing. Working the room will also allow you to figure out your best exit. Whether it’s the backdoor, fire escape or rear window, no way out is below the Irish Exit.

Timing Of The Exit

Clearly, the timing of your exit is the most pivotal part of this endeavor. The arrival of a large group of people, the drunk idiot who just shattered a wine glass or the loudmouth who is about to tell a story about their child’s first piano recital, again, are all prime opportunities to slip through the cracks. There are a countless number of scenarios where it will be ideal to flee, but when it comes down to it, you will have to go with your gut and never look back.

There you have it. A brief overview of the Irish Exit and how to successfully negotiate this tactic. Once you have completed the task, you can feel free to go home and Netflix binge, hang out with your real friends or drink whiskey alone in the dark. No matter which option you choose, they’re all better than the situation you were previously forced to be in. Good night, and good luck.

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Working in Chicago's Loop, living on the Northside and doing a piss poor impression of an adult.

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