I love going out to celebrate my friends or just going out to have a good time with good people. But there comes a point during every outing where I feel like it’s time to leave. And for some reason, I seem to reach this point sooner than other people. Maybe I have less stamina or maybe it’s that my kids wake up at 6:04 every morning, give or take 30 seconds, but it always seems I’m ready to go before most others. It’s never too early on, but I always feel a little funny about it. And when it happens, I have an important decision to make.
Say goodbye … or ghost?
Ghosting is when a person simply disappears instead of announcing their departure, like a normal, polite person would do. But before you get all huffed up with smugness and start thinking I’m so rude for even considering this, try to see it my way.
Then I have to say goodbye to all the people next to her and decide whether to kiss them or not and defensively explain again why I’m leaving, and then find all the other people who would be insulted that I said goodbye to some people but not to them. No upside, my friends.
If I’m at a daytime party with my kid, it’s even worse. “Honey, let’s get our coats,” may seem like a simple request. But if my kid’s buddies are sticking around, suddenly I’m the worst mom ever. Then he’s screaming, “But Johnny and Mikey aren’t leaving? Why do I have to leave?” And then my kid is crying that Mikey’s mommy can just drive him home, which makes me look like I’m volunteering Mikey’s mother for the job. Then she feels bad and suddenly every mom in the room is offering to drive my son home, which really doesn’t work because I need to go to Trader Joe’s and I won’t be home to let him in.
But if I ghost, I’m just gone. And no one will likely realize I’m gone until the next day when they think about it – if they even care at all. That paranoid scenario where suddenly the host is searching for me (“Have you seen Jackie? Did Jackie leave?”) really isn’t happening. No one cares that I left and I saved a lot of awkwardness by nonchalantly inching toward the bathroom and then gunning for the door. And with my kid, I just say, “Let’s go, I’ll explain in the car,” as we bolt for the door. And it doesn’t matter that I have nothing to explain in the car. Because he’s in the car. And that’s what matters.
So if I’m at your party and then suddenly I’m not at your party, please cut me some slack. All of us busy parents are just trying to get through each day the best we can, so don’t get upset. Because I assure you, my friend, it’s not you it’s me.
And it’s my bed. My really comfy bed.