Friday, May 6, 2011

Don't Forget to Say 'Goodbye'!

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!

*CQG*

17 comments:

Anne Gallagher said...

We have always done that in my family. It always takes hours to say good-bye. I guess it's a French thing over here too.

Marisa Hopkins said...

My grandparents and family lived in Paris for several years when I was small and I'm not sure what traditions they picked up vs. what they had before they moved, but man... saying goodbye takes FOREVER. And getting my two kids to politely say goodbye is often a ginormous pain. But nice! A hug or European cheek kiss is much nicer than a wave goodbye! :)

salarsenッ said...

Although I don't live in France, my family is about as French as you can get. I TOTALLY know the etiquette about saying goodbye. You better do it properly or the older aunts will find you and pinch the sh!t out of your cheeks (facial cheeks, that is) next time. :)

Happy Mother's Day, sweets. Have an ode to writing mothers on Writers' Ally, today. :)

Old Kitty said...

Awwww I love the french au revoir way!!! Yay!! Lots of kissie hugs and elaborate gestures!!! Such fun!!

Take care
x

Laura Pauling said...

In a way though that's kind of cool. Not that they might call you rude but taking the time to really say good-bye to people.

Gina said...

It must be a European thing, because my grandparents wouldn't let me hear the end of it if they didn't get a kiss hello AND goodbye. Sometimes my grandfather would bellow, "Did I get a kiss from you?" whether I had or not. I don't mind kissing my relatives but an entire party full of people? Blech!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

My oldest son has Asperger's syndrome. This would not go down well for him. (Mental note: no moving to France before he moves away from home). ;)

Nicole L Rivera said...

Lol. This is hilarious. Living in South Florida there is such a mix of cultures (mostly HIspanic) that I never know how to say good-bye. Some expect the air kiss, some are okay with a wave. I usually follow the hubby's lead, but sometimes I just give the wave and hope I haven't offended anyone. Hispanics usually expect a kiss on the cheek...my family is cool with a wave or a hug or whatever.
Have a great weekend :)

Angela Felsted said...

I'm glad I have you to help me with my social etiquette. Here, in the US, I'm always torn between butting into a conversation to say goodbye or simply leaving.

Karen Lange said...

I like waving too, less pressure. :) Have a great weekend!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Waving is a lot easier for me since my two little ones are so, well, little. But I do like the idea of saying goodbye to everyone, too.

Caitlin said...

Sans the kissing this sounds like my husband's big Italian family! Definitely a culture shock.

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Geoff Maritz said...

A very interesting post. I kinda like a handshake when it comes to saying "tot siens" to men but a woman I'm quite happy to hug. The kissing thing is reserved for family.
Have a wonderfull Mother's day and may the Lord bless you with lots of little kisses from those who love you. Geoff.

Dorothy Evans said...

I'm quite happy to make a fuss and hug the hosts when I leave but the entire party? eugh! Except - as Gina points out above - Grnadparents are different - their demands for kisses (especially from emabrassed teens) are universal, I think!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Good-byes are hard for Italians, too. (At least the Italian-American kind) They follow you out the door and to your car and continue saying good-bye as you roll up your window and try to drive away. You have to be careful not to back over any of your relatives while pulling out.

LTM said...

LOL! Omg, I love it. Have to tell you, this hangs on in south Louisiana. If you leave w/o properly telling everyone "bye" you get it for being rude or stuck up. Not that I know about that first-hand... :D

But thankfully, the kissing has moved more to hugging. Although there are some who still do the cheek kissing... Mostly the older folks, though~ LOVE reading these. <3

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