If you haven’t already, there’s no better time than this weekend to start acquainting yourself with the art of Ghosting.
For the uninitiated, Ghosting is not the questionable practice of fashioning a sheet into a very dire, last minute Halloween costume; nor is it the act of lovingly rendering highly-wrought Snapchat doodles that will enhance whatever mundane moment you’ve just preserved.
Instead, Ghosting is the highly-advisable practice of exiting a party undetected by the crowd and unbeknownst to the host or whoever it was that had an offer good enough to entice you away from an evening spent at 180°.
While it might sound like the height of rudeness to newcomers to the practice, Ghosting as both a lifestyle and a means of taking leave has benefits that are, appropriately enough, hard to see at first but become more tangible with each passing. Nobody likes saying goodbye, interrupting the host mid-conversation, or making half-baked plans to do something soon in a circle of small talk. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, less people get hurt and more times is saved when you Ghost.
There are, however, a few foundational rules that will help make the transitional process of crossing over all the more seamless each time you put it into effect over the coming holiday season, beginning this weekend with Halloween.
Because what is Halloween if not the one night a year when you can Ghost out of a party and no one can say anything else about it.
GIVING YOU LIFE
If you’ve never done so in a spectacular fashion, you’d be well-advised to Make An Entrance. The more unforgettable, the better. Arrive slightly after on time and perfectly in time with the walking bass line of whatever song just came on. For extra credit, seek out the WiFi or Bluetooth codes in advance so as to highjack the sound-system and time your entrance to the song of your choosing. Alternatively, flag your imminent departure on arrival and ply your host with drinks – no one can begrudge you that.
The greater the impression you make on the host and their guests on your entrée, the softer the impact of your unannounced departure will be later on – it’ll almost be like you never left.
LIFE OF THE PARTY
You may be all that, but tonight’s not entirely about you. Throughout the evening – or morning, no judgement – act in accordance with whatever dictates you usually adhere to in your everyday life. Provided you’re a raging delight 100% of the time, make an effort to engage with as many people as possible. Failing that, target the host and those acquaintances whose propensity for enervating small talk is rivalled only by their memory of who’s on the guest list – they’re the ones who’ll notice if you’re gone too soon or before your time.
It almost goes without saying that Ghosting is a highly occasion-specific activity. You can’t Ghost out of an intimate dinner party for four – that’s definitely not okay. At any event that occasioned hand calligraphed invitations or a hard copy summons of any kind or – and this is how you know it’s serious – a phone call, it’s safe to say that your presence has been specifically sought out and you’re in it for the long haul. Don’t Ghost from those either.
Facebook invitations though where the guest-list exceeds twenty names? Forget about it.
After that, you have our expression permission to do you.
Plan your departure in advance. You should by now be familiar with the benefits of apps like Uber that’ll play a critically acclaimed supporting role in aiding and abetting your stealth getaway: from the map visualising the proximity of the nearest cab, to that cab’s ETA, the notifications it delivers on arrival, and the fact that you’ll more than likely receive a call from the driver to let you know they’ve arrived, Uber is the new friend you could’ve made at the party had you the energy or wherewithal to stick it out.
That phone call is your window of opportunity.
If you’re mid-conversation, excuse yourself to take “a very important business-related mobile telephone call”, feigning all the while the hallmarks of said call type: a furrowed brow, assorted statistics, a litany of apologetic hand gestures and expressions thrown in the general direction of whoever it is you’ve just abandoned. Just because you’re Ghosting out early, doesn’t mean all other forms of decorum and propriety should fall by the wayside.
Now, with all the sensual ease and grace of Demi and Patrick’s hands on a pottery wheel, Ghost.
AFTER THE PARTY
The best part about this whole Ghosting scenario? There’s no added baggage – emotional, physical or otherwise. Having manoeuvred imperceptibly from the party, you’re free to slide with the greatest of ease into your Uber and onto your next destination [180°].
As always, no money need change hands; plus, the $20 you save on your next Uber ride when you pay with PayPal can go directly into that trust fund you’ve set aside for emergency drive-thru situations of the kind you’ll inevitably be encountering on your way home. Also, do the right thing by your host and send them your heartfelt thanks the following day. After all, you had such a great time last night you ~literally~ died.