Dear Urban Diplomat: Are guests obliged to say goodbye when they leave a party?
Dear Urban Diplomat,
My partner and I love to host parties. They’re usually lively affairs of 30 people or so, and they often last well into the night. Lately we’ve noticed an alarming trend: guests vanishing without saying goodbye. We feel that’s a faux pas. What say you?
—So Long, Farewell Riverside
I guess, but you know what else is a faux pas? Instructing your guests to say goodbye. I myself have been pulling the same move ever since a wild New Year’s bash in 2009, when I skipped out early to avoid doing the technicolour yawn. The tactic, commonly known as the French leave (or as the French call it, the English leave), is obviously not one I’d pull at a sit-down dinner for six, but for parties of 20 or more, it’s definitely kosher. In fact, I find that many hosts prefer it—provided the guest has made an attempt to say hello—because they’re spared the drawn-out goodbyes. If you still feel it’s offside, try this simple solution: take your guests’ coats when they arrive and stash them out of sight. That way they’ll have no choice but to find you for a fulfilling send-off.
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