An Irish goodbye that is not a goodbye- nor (only) Irish

irish exit sign

Ghosting is the unpopularly common modern day non-etiquette specifically notorious in its ruling large the all important case of dating. But outside its non- romantic character, this trait of just disappearing from being in the concerns of someone, or withdrawing from a personal relationship would also be airing for itself some claims of the cultural. In this latter context of its prevailing as something way, way older than the current easy way out of love, this urge to just randomly disappear isn’t however always a notion in disapproval.

As a cultural reference that had been largely regarded in social acceptance but is unamusing in a smaller frown upon its being, the identity of the Irish exit is one of conundrum. And not just in the nature of it either. In fact with alternate alluding evoking as well the Europeanness of France and the Netherlands apart from the islandic iteration of Ireland, this ‘leave of absence’ though not in any way concerning the drowsy manner of work is one of as much intrigue as it is of part disdain. And it’s something we might have been tempted in doing at least at some point of time but abstained perhaps only in unknowingness of the possible reality of it being an assertive choice that can be exercised indeed.

The namesakes can also be made to don the colors of a couple of other nationalities as well with the Polish exit being the usual name in Germany and the English exit being what the French referring to the idea occurs in. Interestingly, the Brits are who stick with the French exit nomenclature even as the Irish exit is in use in the US, making this diverse make of words- countries rather, adhering to the singular idea in an unceremonious exit made out of a social gathering or from parties assume a rather peculiar connotation. Whether it is ridiculatory in intent or normalisation instead of something generally inappropriate, it still would present as a case in considerable curiousness.

french leave etymology
Source: Quartz

Such commonality of it would be discounted however when one examines the exact basis of their emerging thus in constructing the end idea in an unauthorized leaving. The French term is a work upon the 18th century ‘trend’ of returning from parties or reception without taking leave of the host but such notion would assume corresponding confirmation in the military. Leisurely absence from one’s military duties is a parallel trait explored in this expression and which is significant also in introducing diversity into the concept.

Fed by the considerableness of the history of the Franco- English conflict would be this term of what would come to be interpreted as filer à l’anglaise or to leave English style. The French beginnings would date back to the 18th century, sometime in the early years of the 1770s. The English embroiling would be dated much later, only sometime during the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Somewhere in between a Spanish version would occur as well in lingual denotation of despedida a la francesa once again manifesting the Frenchness of its saying through what translates as an escape in the French manner.

How the Irish moniker came to be associated with this act in doing makes for another dive into the pages of history. The Irish Potato Famine of the mid 1800s is perhaps where another nationality got intertwined with this expression as many of the people fled their homes without even saying goodbyes to their friends and families left behind. More stereotypical a notion of Irishness would be accounted for by such etymology that concerns the prevalent idea of the Irish being so drunken a people that saying their goodbyes would not ever occur through them! Even the alternate notion in not making apparent their drunkenness could be as possible an explanation for the island nation finding ‘representation’ as such.

an irish goodbye
Source: IMDb

Regardless of what’s your pick in evoking thus this idea of a more traditional procedure in ghosting though not in its current ‘casual’ understanding, the fact of the matter is that there indeed is some real world charm resident in this manner of doing. Even when it goes against the propriety of social etiquettes and conditioned conventions, making one’s way out of a party silent but not stealthily still need not be as rude as it might be perceived to be. Of course it can be indeed depending on the circumstances and the context of doing but that is no reason to vilify entirely the essence of such uninformed, seemingly abrupt ‘escape’ from social situations.

In part through, the Irish exit or French leave or however you refer it to as would be a practice lacking in the courtesy of what human civilisation intends. Like in the currentness of its prevailing as ghosting in romantic as well as other similar situations or in instances when the knowledge of your leaving warrants special importance in serving some end or in cases where your unannounced exit might have left someone else in a lurch, escaping like the invisible man would not be a good idea.

Elsewhere though in such valid assertions of not wanting to entertain the exaggerated formalities of bidding goodbye or pressed by some emergency concerns or being uncomfortable with the scrutiny that necessarily entails a farewell, making an unceremonious exit should not be any cause for demerit. If anything, the Irish exit- let’s stick to this particular way of stringing the letters, only relieves the burden of expectations that has led to be enforced expressions of pretty much anything anyone does.

The first impressions of the Irish exit might strike as rude but delve deeper into the intricacies and nuances of this strategy and one would be amazed at the extent of practicality it harbours. To be rather frank, mandated goodbyes do not serve any purpose- they are but unavoidable indispensabilities that the human being has sought out for itself merely and wholly in courtesy. To believe then not saying your goodbyes would likely disrupt the flow and vibe of a party supposing that everyone out there would be speculating over your ‘mysterious’ absence is but entertaining only the lofty views one holds for themselves. Practising the art of the Irish exit- for indeed making your way out of a gathering full of people in all conscious devotion would only make one more susceptible to being hunt down by peering eyes making then the successful undertaking of it emerge as no less a skill, speaks of a self awareness that one is humble enough to have of their own importance- or otherwise to be precise.

is irish exit rude
Source: Twitter

The eternality that the phrase ‘life goes on’ embodies is only establishing further of the idea of something as elementary as parties necessarily continuing irrespective of who is slipping out of that zone. Those who take to exiting this particular way in unceremoniousness are more than assured in this knowledge of what occurs distortedly to some. In allowing yourself the liberty of the Irish exit, you are also unfounding the very selfishness of this act. The couldn’t care less attitude of what it might insinuate is what makes the Irish exit assert as obnoxious in doing. Assuaging then the harshness of such critique by taking upon yourself the onus in its ‘popularising’ is a gratification in practise for the Irish exit to find some acceptance in.

The properness of doing still would be specifically eked in this respect, like when you already are interacting with the host at the moment of deciding upon your departure it would be disrespectful to not let them quickly know the intention of that summing. It still would be a matter of chance, in that what you consider as no reason for informing might greatly offend the other party so much so that there perhaps would not be a consensus in when exactly it is okay and when it is not to be even planning an Irish exit. Much like the diverse origins of the phrase then that might emanate certain some sniffs of prejudice against certain identities, the act itself is one of as unclear conduct- none of which however is prominent ground for us to not tap into the liberating power of what it promises.