THE GOODBYE TOUR
This re-run is from November 2011
The Holiday season is upon us and with it comes parties, family, and friends. I love the company, I love the parties; I hate “The Goodbye Tour.”The “Goodbye Tour” is the complicated process of trying to say good night or good bye as a party breaks up. Women are primarily responsible for this tradition. When it is time to go home your wife needs to say a personal good bye not just to the host, but to everyone at the party. There is much hugging, kissing and “We must get together soon” discussions.
Often as the man slowly slinks to the front door and freedom, the wife gets distracted; losses track and she begins a whole new good bye process. It is like singing a song, forgetting a word and starting from the beginning, she misses a guest and has to go back and do the good bye thing all over from the start.
It turns out that the “Goodbye Tour” is not just a gender thing, it is cultural as well. Mrs. Cranky is half Irish and half Italian, but her Italian half has most of the relatives. The Italian “Good Bye Tour” involves hugging, and a cheek kiss from everyone. Men are not excluded from the Italian “Good Bye Tour.”The Italian family get-together also involves the “Hello Processional.” This is the same as the GBT, except it involves a “How you doin” greeting instead of a “Don’t be a stranger” send-off.
New Years Day we spend at Mrs. Cranky’s Aunt Catherine’s shore house (see “Sometimes People Are Just Nice”)
Aunt Catherine provides great food and good drink and more Uncles, Aunts and Cousins than I can count. Between people coming in doing the “Hello Processional” and those leaving on the GBT, you are constantly standing up, hugging and kissing, sitting down and then standing up again. It is kind of like being a mole in a four hour “Whack-a-mole” nightmare.I am a WASP (white Anglo-Saxon protestant), born with a stick up my butt and a stiff upper lip. I am not used to the Italian family Hello/Goodbye hug and kiss fest. As one recent party was breaking up and Mrs. Cranky was twenty-five minutes into the GBT, I stood by the door and did the all encompassing good bye wave. “What the heck is that….where are the hugs” I was asked. I replied, “This is how WASPS say good bye.” There was dead silence and some weird unhappy stares for what seemed like forever until someone spoke up and said, “I think he said WASPS.” When you say WASPS to Italians, you need to be sure you pronounce the “S” in Saxon.
In am learning how to deal with the huggy kissy salutations. It is not part of my culture, but neither are ziti, meatballs and sausage. I will take the hugs and kisses along with the food and give up the WASP wave and finger-sandwiches anytime!