Archive for irish goodbye

Lesson One: The Irish Goodbye

Posted in Literary Masterpieces, Loves, Personal work, Rants with tags , , , , on December 26, 2011 by ccartlidge

A few days ago, I practiced the Irish Goodbye at my own party.

Call me the damned Barefoot Contessa: I planned it, I decorated for it, I baked for it. I made mulled wine. I even cleaned of my own volition and not because the apartment smelled like it needed a bleach-based power wash: BECAUSE I WANTED IT TO BE NEAT. (This is a bit shocking, take my word for it.) It was to be grand. However, In spite of honest company I was freshly sick, exhausted, my head was pounding with abstraction and pressure and the ironic holiday music wasn’t helping.

Also, I’d spent the morning crying. In retrospect, I should have seen it coming. I wasn’t in the mood to party. (A sub-lesson: trouble walks together with expectation.) So I did my best, then slipped away.

I’m not proud of this, but honestly I just couldn’t handle saying goodbye to my house full of friends. There are a few “socially acceptable” reasons for leaving a party early, one of them includes being incoherently drunk and I wasn’t. That had already been taken care of, and since I would never be able to upstage that particular exit, I wisely crossed it off my list. Neither did I have it in me to fake one of the other acceptable reasons for leaving a party early (sudden illness, another engagement, discovering irrefutable proof of alien life, living somewhere else, etcetera), so… Zmija.

I felt bad about it, but otherwise it would have been worse for me and awkward for everyone else. As an oversharer and a person who finds self-delusion slightly hideous, it’s difficult for me to lie on the spot or successfully evade questions which have doleful answers. I would have convinced no one. Or I would have simply caught hell. I wouldn’t have dealt with it gracefully and would have gone to bed angry as well as depressed.

The truth is that when you are in the process of realizing the myriad of ways in which you are an asshole, you probably shouldn’t go to parties. But it was our party, so I enjoyed the camaraderie while I could and inevitably allowed the melancholy to wrap its arms around me. My less-than-glorious exit allowed me the best of both worlds: I climbed out of my hole long enough to remind myself that the world remains essentially the same, then crawled right back in for processing. The Irish Goodbye saved my night.

Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. This was my lesson.

I felt better in the morning.