Leaving without saying ‘Aurevoir’ in France is a HUGE breach of etiquette, especially if you’re visiting someone’s house. Now, I’m pretty sure the same can be said if you’re visiting in America as well- you’d want to bid your host farewell and thank them for having you. Normal, right?
Well, the French go a bit above and beyond the call of ‘politesse’ and if you plan on leaving a French get-together, its best you start saying ‘Goodbye’ about twenty minutes or so before reaching the door.
Not only do you and your spouse have to say ‘Goodbye!’ and kiss your hosts cheeks along with every single individual present, - your CHILDREN are also expected to perform this ritual, no matter their age. The bigger the party, the longer it takes to get to everyone. No simple general hand-waving from the exit goes on here.
An assembly line of relatives pretty much assembles whenever somebody’s about to leave- kissing their whole family one by one. ‘Aurevoir aunt Michelle!’ *smooch smooch* ‘Aurevoir oncle Gilbert!’ *smooch smooch*…and the grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins, and just when you think you’re out the door- your husband and you both realize your eldest child has snuck back out to play instead of saying their ‘farewell’ and you’re going to have to bring them around to say goodbye again, which you do, while your husband loads the other two into the car.
And if you should forget to say goodbye to someone (because they were in the bathroom or out smoking a cigarette) you can bet your ass they will be complaining about your rudeness after your departure.
One of the things I'm always thankful for in the U.S. is our tendency to 'wave' goodbye. Much easier and, lets face it, more hygenic. Nothing like rubbing cheeks with twenty people every time you arrive and depart a social gathering.
Hope everyone has a great weekend!