Ah, the long goodbye. Essentially any time one person is forced to interact with another person this bizarre exercise in human interaction can happen. It’s probably happened to you. And it’s the dirt worst.
Imagine. Or recall. You’re at a party, family gathering, meeting, wedding, funeral, work function, bris, intervention, or something as low key as a few quiet beers with a friend… At some point you will invariably decide that the event or whatever is over, you’ve had enough, and you’re going to leave.
This may spontaneously cause others to jump on board with your leaving because they are too gutless to instigate a leaving first, but that’s a rant for another day. Damn piggyback leavers.
So, you’re leaving. Which means, um, you’re leaving. Right? You no longer wish to be at this place. You’ve said all you have to say. You’ve done all the interacting you want to do. You have nothing left to give these people. And you want to go home.
That’s leaving. That’s why people leave places. They’re done. They want to be somewhere else.
So why is it that some people choose that precise moment to start telling you about their kid? Or job? Or holiday? Or affliction? Or renovation? Or political affiliation? Or anything? WHY!?! WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO BEGIN A CONVERSATION? I’M LEAVING! YOU JUST HEARD ME SAY GOODBYE! WHAT IN THE BLUE HELL!?
Some of these people will have said no more than two words to you all night/party/meeting/whatever. Then as soon as you’ve decided to leave and are saying your goodbyes they want to talk your goddamn ear off! Why now? I don’t get it.
Why does the simple act of standing up and declaring that you’re leaving instantly summon a mob of people that don’t understand what that means?
The worst is when you think you’re home free. You’ve made it out of whatever building you and these freaks that don’t understand how leaving works are in. You can see your car. You have your keys in your hand. You think you’re out. Then some asshole, usually one of those piggyback leavers that follow you out on the back of your goodbye, taps you on the shoulder and wants to start an epic conversation about the route he or she took to get here. In a fucking carpark. At 2 o’clock in the goddamn morning!
I’ve been here for 5 hours, significant portions of which I’ve spent by myself sitting in the corner drinking. We could have talked about this inside. In comfort. Where there are chairs, food, heat and beer. There are some pretty solid reasons people don’t hold functions or meetings in cold, rainy carparks. Like the lack of chairs, food, heat and beer. As well as the fact that they’re FUCKING CAR PARKS.
Now, because I’m an asshole that cares not for ridiculous social conventions like politeness, I’ve reached the point where I simply tell people I can’t do it.
“I’m sorry, but are you trying to turn this into a long goodbye? Because I’m going home. Next time catch me inside, before I’m leaving, and I’ll be well up for any kind of discussion you wish to have. Right now though, right now I’m leaving.” And I just leave.
I don’t understand long goodbyes. I don’t like them. And they suck.