The art of ghosting

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How to disappear from a long night of partying

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in the Other Press. November 11, 2015

Sometimes known as the Irish goodbye or the French exit, ghosting is the act of leaving a party without announcing it or saying farewell to the host or the rest of the guests. It can be humourous for some and insulting to others. Some will be happy that you’ve been able to make it there at all, while others would demand some sort of appreciation for their efforts. As we approach the festive season, where our free time begins to fill up with parties and get-togethers, I figure it’s a good idea to touch on the idea of ghosting.

Before we go any further, I want to say that I am a proud supporter of ghosting. After a long night of drinking or whatever the party entails, you are tired. Just get yourself home and rest. Friends don’t need friends to go through all the bullshit formalities required to leave. Simply leave and forget about it.

We are so connected these days through our phones and social media that if a goodbye was not exchanged, a simple text can fix everything. There is no shame to ghosting and there shouldn’t be any guilt either.

Making it out to a party is hard enough without having to feel rather shitty for leaving early. You might have been having fun; you might not have. Either way, it is not work. You are not being paid to be there. Therefore, you don’t need to punch in and out—in addition to punishing yourself.

You don’t need to ghost completely. Say goodbye to those in your vicinity when you leave. Let them relay any parting messages you may have for other people in the venue that you have missed. Note: they probably won’t relay any messages for you, but they will act as witnesses to your departure. On your way out, you’ll likely say goodbye to a handful of people smoking.

There are many social gatherings that hold attendees to a higher standard than other engagements. Weddings, for example, are a big pain in the ass if you want to leave early. Sometimes people even expect you to help clean up—say what? A dinner party, one where there is a place reserved for you specifically, is different from a night of binge drinking with friends. However, you don’t need to make your exit a big scene. Say goodbye to the host, if nobody else. Thank them quickly. Excuses aren’t really necessary, unless they force it out of you. Pay for your portion (if that is expected), and just leave. It’s ghosting, but that doesn’t make you a monster.

The Report Card: Holiday ins and outs

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By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in The Other Press. Jan. 28, 2014

Holidays are significant. We look forward to them for various reasons. Perhaps they bring family and friends together, perhaps they ignite a sense of tradition, or maybe we just enjoy dressing up and getting drunk. Whatever your reasons are for celebrating a holiday, remember that beneath the rambunctious fun, there is a greater purpose than merely closing shop and getting trashed.

Pass: Unofficial holidays

Unofficial holidays are quickly becoming a trend in North American culture. There is a novelty to it unlike Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or Thanksgiving. Unofficial holidays break the monotony of the year and give us something unique to look forward to. With the help of technology and social networks, holiday implementers can come up with a reason to celebrate and execute it. With little to no effort, they can sent out invitations, spread the news, and host a holiday that hasn’t existed before.

January 21 is National Hug Day, January 25 is Opposite Day, March 14 is Pi Day, April 20 is Cannabis Day, September 5 is International Bacon Day, and September 19 is International Talk like a Pirate Day. There are many more and I’m not exactly sure what they all entail, but we have the opportunity to create new traditions and be inventive with how we spend our time.

So often days, weeks, months, and even years blend together into a blurry life, but with unofficial holidays making eventful marks and breaking us out of our daily routines, we can create new memories—ones that have us covered in make-up for the annual Zombie Walk or taking our dog to work on June 20 for Take Your Dog to Work Day. Now, those are memories, unlike getting wasted at a random bar.

Fail: Drinking holidays

It’s a bit of a shame seeing some respectable holidays turn into an excuse to get drunk. St. Patrick’s Day, a day to celebrate the independence of the Irish people, is now a day where bars serve green beer. Cinco de Mayo, a day that commemorates the freedom and democracy after the American Civil War is just another alcohol-filled fiesta. Finally there is my old favourite, Halloween: it used to be a chance to dress up and get candy, but now it’s just an opportunity for bars and clubs to jack up their cover charges or to make it impossible to get in because the lineup wraps around the block, and Lord knows I’m not waiting in the cold dressed in my Miley Cyrus/wrecking ball costume.

It has become customary to stock up on booze for New Year’s Eve and other statutory holidays because the provincial liquor stores will be closed the next day and getting wasted is, well, important and expected. So, what does it really say about our society that the days we consider significant are also the days that we make regrettable choices?

I think having fun is important, but anticipating a day just to binge drink doesn’t foster a healthy life. Let’s not forget what holidays are really about. It’s rest, not indulgence.