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Sunday, November 13, 2016



This re-run is from November 2011
Actually it is the third time around,
but I think it is appropriate with Holidays coming up.
If you've read it before, you can skip's OK.

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
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.

I 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! 


  1. Perhaps instead of the GBT you could move to the door, get everyone's attention, then sing the So Long, Farewell song from the movie The Sound Of Music (*~*)

  2. I don't quite do the whole goodbye tour, but before leaving a social gathering, I will make it a point to thank those that invited us to such and just let it go as far as other goodbyes.

    I'm a bit socially awkward so I don't know if what I'm doing is correct, but it works for me :)


  3. In my day, when parties were frequented, we just thanked the hosts. Others had to be content with a wave! I like the Italian way better, I must say.

  4. We say good-bye to everyone in my family, but even when we are all gathered, it's not that many of us, so it's not so onerous. Great food is worth the time to say good-bye.

  5. Oh man, do I hate the goodbye tour. I now plan it out, by putting on my coat a half hour early, just to get out on time.

  6. I was married to a Sicilian long ago. I know all about the entry and exit rituals. You spend 1 hour at the party and the other three either coming or going. I like your wave idea far better.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  7. I was raised without much physical affection so it;'s difficult for me to give and receive random hugs and signs of affection. I've been working at this over the years and I'm much more able to express myself emotionally than when I was younger, but I still tend to make quick goodbyes.

  8. I'm a WASP also and understand. My dad married into a Hungarian family when my mother died and they are huge huggers. They hug and say "Bye, I love you," just going to the store. Parties are like you described. At least with their way, we will have no regrets if one of us get slammed by a semi down the road:)

  9. It's the hubs who has trouble saying goodbye at our house......I just get up and leave.

  10. Hmm, didn't know it had a name. We have a shortened version.

  11. Yup! I read this one to my wife and she loved it as much as I did. She said "he is good!"

  12. According to Jewish legend, Gentiles leave & never say goodbye, Jews say goodbye & NEVER leave!!

  13. Similar to Stephen, I was raised without physical affection (as kids we used to shake our parents' hands when we said goodnight...bwahahaha), but I turned into one heck of a huggy feely touchy person. My husband is more like you, the stiff-upper-lip-quick-wave WASP.

  14. Around here, the host walks you to the door with a plate of goodies, and stands on the porch waving until you're out of sight down the driveway.

  15. I'm not a huge fan of the touchy greetings, but you have a point about being willing to put up with some things for good Italian food.


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