Author Topic: The looooooong goodbye  (Read 3708 times)

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gen xer

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The looooooong goodbye
« on: February 22, 2013, 05:46:02 PM »

Anyone else have family / inlaws / friends where a goodbye can literally take over an hour?  DH's family is like this at every family gathering.  It's like trying to herd cats getting everyone out the door.  It's starting to bother me because it seems like it is always up to me to
a) initiate the departure - DH is an overstayer and if I didn't tell him it's time to go he'd never leave.
b) physically usher ourselves out the door

I feel rude always being the one to hurry things along and end the visit.  Last time I was really impolite after having reminded DH of our agreed upon time to drive home almost two hours and get ready for the work / school week ahead.  The goodbye was dragging into infinity and and I barked out "It is 5:00 pm DH!!!  We still haven't eaten dinner and at this rate we won't be home before midnight!  Now let's get the e-hell out of here - we were supposed to be on the road over an hour ago!!"

Everyone stopped talking and we finally left....but I felt like a heel afterwards and ended up apologizing to everyone for snapping.  I find it so frustrating - it seems like I have to snap before we move and subtle hints just don't cut it. 

DottyG

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Re: The looooooong goodbye
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2013, 06:01:45 PM »
I don't think your wording was bad (albeit with a couple of changes) - it was more of the tone, from what it sounds like.

I think a gentle "It is 5:00 pm, Honey!!!  We still haven't eaten dinner and, if we don't get on the road, we won't be home before midnight!  We should have been on the road an hour ago, so let's let our hosts go now and get moving!" would be fine.  You start moving towards the door and make it clear that you're heading out, as it's time to go.

Don't get to the point that you snap.  Just address it calmly in enough time that you can round the crew up and get them mobilized more gently before you blow.

Raintree

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Re: The looooooong goodbye
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2013, 06:13:37 PM »
Sometimes I employ the "well we mustn't keep you" strategy.

"I think we'd better get going; it's 5 PM and we must be off so we can let you all get your dinner." (As you're putting on your coat and walking away).

Auntie Mame

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Re: The looooooong goodbye
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2013, 06:17:37 PM »
I have a friend (bless his heart) that will take an hour to say goodbye if you let him. Polite hints do not work, you have to be blunt with him.   He always just wants to tell you one more quick thing.  :D  Thankfully he knows this is a bad habit of his and he doesn't take offense when I hand him his coat and shoes and say "Love you sweetie, now get out".    He'll laugh and head towards the door Him: "Oh, one more"...  Me: "No! Shoo! Love you!"

So one thing I do with him now is start giving him warnings on end times "Okay friend, I have until 9:30, it's 8:30 now."  Then I continue countdown.  “Okay friend, we have a half an hour.  We have fifteen minutes.  It’s 9:30, I have to go to bed now.  I will give him about 10 or 15 minutes leeway at this point but then I will resort to opening the door and pointing to the porch while he cheekily yells “just one more thing” as I close the door (this is now a running joke).

Maybe try the countdown thing with your DH.  So he knows when to start saying his goodbyes.  Give him the updates in a cheerful way.  “Hey hon, we have a half an hour, have you said goodbye to cousin Judy yet?”  That way he can start the goodbyes before the leave time.
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DottyG

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Re: The looooooong goodbye
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2013, 06:19:31 PM »
Auntie Mame has a good idea there.


Hmmmmm

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Re: The looooooong goodbye
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2013, 07:08:31 PM »
Thankfully, my DH and I are the type to agree on a departure time when we arrive at an event and we are both pretty darn good and taking our leave and backing each other up. My SIL used to laugh that we were the only parents she'd ever seen who could stand up and say "Ok, we're leaving" and bundle up to toddlers and all their stuff and be in the car backing out within 2 minutes flat.

However, I have a BIL (sis's DH) that can take FOREVER to leave. He always has one more story to tell and then he has to come back in to make sure he didn't forget something and then that will remind him of something else he has to tell you and then he wants to make sure Sis has all of her stuff and doesn't she want to go back in to check and "oh by the way I noticed that tree limb might need cutting" and I have a great guy who I can recommend and then there's the story about how me met the great tree trimming guy....It's exhausting.

So after 30 year of marriage, Sis starts doing much like Auntie Mame.  "DH, we're leaving in 10 minutes, where's your X?" Then in 10 minutes she gets up and says "Ok we're leaving, love you guys, see you next time" goes out to the car and gets in and then that let's us say "Sis is in the car, you better go" and start walking away.

gen xer

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Re: The looooooong goodbye
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2013, 07:18:09 PM »
 I was usually the one to start getting everything ready, bags, coats, shoes etc and rounding up the kids.  DH knows it's time to go but invariably I was the one standing there trying fruitlessly to wrap up the conversations :

"OK....well...we need to go get on the road" or "It's a two hour drive ahead of us DH"...but I was just talked over and ignored until I finally raised my voice.

I wish I hadn't yelled but by golly I was getting mad.  Believe me I have tried the subtle hints and the wind down where I am reminding close to departure time but absolutely nothing seems to work...and I really wish I could find something effective and yet polite.  I have tried talking to DH about it away from the situation and he alwasy agrees with me....but sure as God made little green apples the next family visit it's the same old thing.

Oh Joy

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Re: The looooooong goodbye
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2013, 07:45:13 PM »
Ahhh, yes.  We call it 'the Minnesota goodbye' here!

I suggest you ask DH.  Would he rather start the process an hour before you want to pull out, or would he prefer a more expedient departure?

suzieQ

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Re: The looooooong goodbye
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2013, 07:57:54 PM »
DH used to do this to me and it drove me nuts! His family all smoked, and cigarette smoke gives me headaches. So I had to spend the entire visit outside anyway, then when I thought it was over - it wasn't! There was another hour of stories, good-byes, someone pulling up and DH had to talk to them too, etc.

I finally quit going with him and then he would call me to let me know he was on the way home. I'd expect him to arrive 45 minutes later and he never did. It would be 2 to 3 hours later. I told him not to call me "when he was leaving" because it just made me worry that something had happened when he didn't get home on time. (this was before we had cell phones).

With him, it didn't stop until he stopped visiting them. Once his Mom passed, the visits "back home" fizzled out.
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snappylt

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Re: The looooooong goodbye
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2013, 07:59:41 PM »
Gen xer, I like your word "overstayer"!  My wife often is an overstayer, especially when we're visiting her family.  It's odd, she is almost always late arriving at these events, but once she is there she usually hates to leave.

To be fair, we are usually very busy and she does cherish her time to relax with these people she loves so much.  But sometimes I start feeling uncomfortable, such as where our hosts look very tired, we're the last or almost the last guests there, and then our hosts start yawning...

And when our kids were younger they would often (but not always) get bored at her family gatherings, especially if there were no other kids to play with there.

So, if we all went in the same car, I would try to negotiate ahead of time a time when we would leave.  If my wife had agreed upon a time, I'd go ahead and start getting the kids ready after the agreed-upon time, load up our car, and then say good-bye to everyone and then ask my wife to join us in the car.  The kids and I would wait in the car anywhere from five to twenty more minutes for my wife to say all of her long good-byes, but eventually she would come to the car and we would leave (usually 30 to 60 minutes after the agreed-upon time).

I'll admit there were a few times when she just would not come out to the car to leave with us.   After 15 or twenty minutes I'd go back inside and whisper to her that it was time to leave now.  If another 10 or 15 minutes would go by, I actually once or twice went inside and asked another relative who lived near us if he would give Mrs. Snappy a ride home if I went ahead and took the kids home myself.  (I never left Mrs. Snappy behind without a ride arranged and always only if she agreed to the arrangement.)


What was much easier for us was when we would take separate cars to her family's parties.  I could arrive on time and she could be as late as she wanted.  I could leave after four or five hours (with the kids, usually) and she could stay until she was the last guest there (as she often was).  Everyone was happy.

Taking two cars is harder to do now because gasoline is more expensive and our finances are tighter, but that surely was easier for us!

OP, I take it you live so far away that asking another relative to give your husband a ride is not possible?

I agree that this can be very frustrating, and when it would happen when we had only one car, I would feel guilty about wanting Mrs. Snappy to keep her promises about departure times.  Then again, Mrs. Snappy was showing the kids and me disrespect by not keeping those promises, wasn't she?  (Two cars really was better when we could do that!)

Winterlight

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Re: The looooooong goodbye
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2013, 08:36:09 PM »
I suggest you ask DH.  Would he rather start the process an hour before you want to pull out, or would he prefer a more expedient departure?

This. Of course, then he has to pick one and stick to it. And be sure to define "expedient!"

I agree that this can be very frustrating, and when it would happen when we had only one car, I would feel guilty about wanting Mrs. Snappy to keep her promises about departure times.  Then again, Mrs. Snappy was showing the kids and me disrespect by not keeping those promises, wasn't she?  (Two cars really was better when we could do that!)

I think it's disrespectful to agree on something and then go back on your word without a really good mitigating stance. Aunt Savannah is having heart palpitations and you're the only one with medical training- fine. You can't be bothered to leave on time? Rude.
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Brisvegasgal

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Re: The looooooong goodbye
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2013, 08:50:47 PM »
My DH does the same thing but it only bothers me when there is a reason to get going home.  His family gatherings usually happen on a Sunday lunch, so by 6pm, I'm wanting to drive the 30 minutes home to give the kids dinner and make sure everything is ok for school then next day.  We had similar 'agreements' about what time we were leaving and, like you, DH usually broke the until I would snap.

I had a chat with him about it well before the next visit, calmly explained why his behaviour stressed me (I even wrote it on a piece of paper so I would remember everything) and asked him how we could address this the next time.  Our agreement was that about half an hour before our agreed departure time I would quietly gather the our things and put them near the door, the 15 minutes quietly say to him that there was 15 minutes.  He agreed that he wouldn't get upset but would say his goodbyes and we would leave.  Of course the leaving time is a bit flexible and we now have a quite chat if he wants to stay longer and HE has to come up with a plan for dinner and school prep. 

Good luck.

cheyne

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Re: The looooooong goodbye
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2013, 09:32:31 PM »
Ahhh, yes.  We call it 'the Minnesota goodbye' here!

I suggest you ask DH.  Would he rather start the process an hour before you want to pull out, or would he prefer a more expedient departure?

Bolding mine.

When we lived in Minnesota we would go to DH's grandparents house for ALL holidays for the first 3 years we were there.  Dinner was always at 12:30 but Grandpa expected everyone to be there until at least 4 pm "lunch" and preferably through supper and finish with 9:00 pm "lunch".  When this started we had a 6 year old and a newborn with a 45 minute drive home.  When we would try to leave by 3:30 or so it was at least an two hours of "goodbyes" with Grandpa not letting us leave!  DH felt he couldn't say anything to his Grandpa and we just had to put up with it.  I worked a job that did not give us multiple days off for holidays, so often I had to get up at 5:30 the next morning to go to work.

After 4 or 5 of these Holidays, with me herding kids, dealing with a tired and cranky kid and baby, and being polite about saying, "Hey we have to go now.", I talked to DH before the next time and got him to agree that we would leave at 4 pm.  At the holiday, I pulled Grandpa aside and asked him to understand that I had to get the kids home, fed, bathed and ready for the next day and if he would help us get out the door at 4 pm. I would so appreciate it.  We left at 4:15 that day and it did get better as time went on.

I truly loved DH's grandpa, but he didn't understand the work involved in caring for two small kids and working full time.  Once I got him as an ally, it was a lot easier to leave on time.

sammycat

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Re: The looooooong goodbye
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2013, 09:37:15 PM »
In my dad's large family (aka, Rent-A-Crowd ;D) we have what is known as the 'Surname Family Goodbye' (to be patented). It's usually restricted to larger gatherings, but it does sometimes happen within smaller subsets as well.

It basically involves two more cups of tea, a piece of cake, a series of 'goodbye' photos, a story or two, and finally a flurry of hugs, kisses and 'see you soon'. It takes an average of 60-90 minutes, and I have to admit I love it. :D

If I want to leave at 6pm, I usually start saying goodbye at 5pm. It's part of the way our/dad's family is and I'll miss it as the older generation starts to get smaller and smaller.  :-\

I think it just comes down to individual family dynamics. In my mother's family, goodbyes are usually short and quick, and that's fine too. But whatever the dynamics, it's only going to work if both parties are on the same page. A husband who likes long goodbyes, but a wife who hates them, need to work out between themselves beforehand how they are going to handle it, or it will breed resentment in one party.

TootsNYC

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Re: The looooooong goodbye
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2013, 09:47:56 PM »
When my kids were little, every time we went over to the ILs' house (weekly at least) my MIL used to start coming up with things to talk to the kids about, or things to show us/have them do--as soon as I said, "It's time for us to go."

I finally had to be very blunt about it and point out what she was doing and directly speak to her about it each time it happened.

She finally got better, but I had to consciously train her.

And once we were visiting friends for dinner and they were clearly ready for us to go home, and getting irked, and I'd get us up and nearly to the door, and some topic would come up in conversation (often it was our hosts getting the conversational ball rolling), and suddenly it was 20 minutes later. We'd all *really* enjoyed the 20 minutes of conversation, but it was *later*, and we all wanted the night to END!!!.

After an hour of this, I said, "Honey, shut up, no don't talk, we have to leave now, or these people will never want to see us again. No, host, don't say anything! No one talk. No one bring up ANYthing, we are going out the door, because I don't want you to hate us tomorrow!"