'Tis the season to strategically leave Thanksgiving/Christmas/holiday parties that you get compelled to attend.

I'm very introverted. I do love meeting people and chatting with them at parties and bars but after a while, I hit a socialization wall and as soon as I do, I just want to be completely alone in my pajamas with Netflix. That's the time that I execute a strategic exit from the situation.

This is the holiday season. Friendsgivings, family gatherings, office holiday parties, you name it, it's happening. It's always harder on the front end if it's an event you had to drag yourself to to begin with, but let's say with or without that existential dread, you're ready to go home after a few hours of socializing. How do you make it graceful?


The Art Of The Iowa Goodbye

There are several crossover cultural things from my hometown in Arkansas and the QC and how we leave parties and gatherings is absolutely one of them. Here are the steps to follow as you're mentally planning your party escape.

  1. "Welp"

    "Welp" creates the visual of someone in a recliner slamming their hands on their knees, saying "welp" and standing up. It is the first visual cue that sets the farewell in motion.

  2. Host/Hostess Cue

    If you're a host/hostess of a party and you see the above signal, go to the person who stands. They will say something to the effect of "we really should be going", "should probably head out", or some lame semi-true excuse of something they need to do.

  3. Walk To The Door

    Contingent on the party's vibe/attendees, this simple action can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 minutes.

  4. Hugs

    Mainly for family gatherings, you cannot escape hugs. You just can't. Granny, gramps, the creepy uncle, your nieces & nephews, the whole fam needs a hug. Budget about 10 minutes for this depending on family size.

  5. Doorway Chat/Wishing You Had Done An Irish Exit

    Congrats, you've made it to the doorway. You will now be here an additional 5 minutes chatting with family/friends/the host. By now, if you're like me, this is the point where you can just about taste freedom but you are too involved now to try an Irish exit.

  6. Hand On The Doorknob

    Or leaning into the door. You're close.

  7. The Final Farewell

    "We really should be going", "I gotta head out, girl", "we should be getting home", etc.

  8. Optional: The Driveway Conversation

    If the host/hostess walks you all the way out to your car on the street, you're not done talking yet.

  9. The Window Wave

    You wave goodbye to the attendees as you drive off, even if they (likely) can't see you anyway.

Other Options

Besides this 9-step approach, other escape mechanisms I've tried include a "surprise" text from a friend needing me now or gently telling the host I had to leave and maybe narrowly escaping a ton of fanfare.

You know you'll want to get out of holiday parties this season. Plan wisely.

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