Monday, May 4, 2009

Auf Wiedersehen!

It is only courteous to say goodbye at the end of a conversation, whether you are bidding a friend farewell at a party or ending an impromptu run-in a friendly stranger.

But other than that, there is no real reason for them.

Call me romantic or naïve, but I think that goodbyes are unnecessary on a long-term timeline and should only be reserved for when casual dialog require them.

As I near the end of college, I am flooded with people’s requests to meet to say goodbye, which will be unavoidably the most awkward encounter ever. Seniority cannot even escape this.

You would think after high school and summer internships and trips abroad, we would have some idea of how to go about a send-off. But of course, there still is no real protocol.

I have begun to avoid goodbyes. I do not want my last memory or interaction with people I like or will miss to be some weird, small-talk-fueled, short-lived meeting.

People might look forward to saying goodbye to a crush, it being one of the few acceptable (and less creepy) times to share an extended hug or sneak in a kiss on the cheek. But even in this situation, things would be better if the goodbye was all-together avoided. The absence of that person in your life would not be suddenly felt, being reminded of the impending void with each footstep taken away. Plus, the replaying memory of him or her will not be the retreating blob barely seen through your tear-filled eyes, but of happier times. Hopefully.

The funniest thing is that the most pressure to deliver a serious college good-bye comes from the people you actually hold near and dear to your heart. They are the people you will most-likely see within the year, making a long-winded, heart-stricken farewell obsolete.

Then you also have those situations when you have to give a college good-bye to someone you would not even issue a “ta-ta” to under normal circumstances. Just think of it as an official kick-off to your future without him or her.

It is not to say I, or we, should not have closure in our lives. I just prefer the open-ended kind. No dramatic "OMG. We're graduating. I LOVE YOU. I'm going to miss you sooooo much, but the off-the-cuff “see you soon.”

Because I probably will, thanks to our planning or Fate.


Leland said...

This is exactly how I feel about goodbyes too. The people you think you'll miss the most, you know you'll see again in no time at all. You never know who you'll run into soon at places like, oh, Bonnaroo maybe?? :)

Melanie said...

I agree in a sense, but I'm somewhat torn... I don't know if it's worse to never say goodbye or suffer through the somewhat awkward, tear-filled goodbye hug. Hmph ;\

Anonymous said...

COULD NOT AGREE MORE....i am actually sending this to some of my friends to read because they all think im heartless for not doing goodbyes. i'll be following your blog all the time now that im home, jobless, and bored. cant wait to see you in the real world soon!!