I was talking to my brother's girlfriend the other day and complaining about how I was probably going to be late for an appointment because I was stopping to visit a relative first. She told me to cut things short and be direct with them. Wait, what does this 'direct' word mean? She suggested I tell my relative about my appointment and skip the long goodbye. WHAT?! I GASPED! Girl must not be from Minnesota...because, where I'm from that behavior doesn't fly. Here are the 10 commandments of a Minnesota Goodbye.

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1. Don't be the first to start the "Goodbye Avalanche". No one wants to be the first one to leave the party because it just looks a little rude. People always remember the first ones to leave, but no one remembers the second or third person.

2. The phrase, "Welp, I suppose" needs to be thrown out there to start the process--or some variation. You can't just abruptly spring on the goodbye. People will be so confused, caught off guard, triggered if you will. You must ease everyone into it, like dipping your toes in the water.

3. Don't tie your shoes. They'll be put on and taken off several times before you're actually out the door.

4. Everyone needs to be acknowledged one last time before you're allowed to leave. Even rude, uncle Joe. People will never forget the time you forgot about them. It'll come back to haunt you later.

5. It doesn't matter how long you've been at the gathering...the length of the goodbye is always the same, no matter what. Oh, you've only got 5 minutes left on you lunch break, when out of nowhere, Pam from high school is standing behind you in the line at Caribou?!  Avoid her. Not today, Pam! Make up an excuse later. You DON'T have enough time for the goodbye.

6. Your goodbye is like the beautiful concluding paragraph of a well written high school essay. It must bring everything full circle.

7. You need an excuse and probably a code word. You can't just leave because you're sick of the gathering. You need an actual excuse (real or fake) ready to go that'll get you out of there.

8. Bring a bad cop with you to the party. You need someone at the gathering that will help get you out of long drawn out conversations and stop the random chit chat from spiraling out of control.

9. Be prepared for the Goodbye Parade. It's the group of people who will follow you from the couch to the foyer, out the door, to the car, down the road and will wave at you until they can't see your vehicle anymore.

10. Not even death can get you out of a Minnesota goodbye. If you don't believe me, you've clearly never attended a Minnesota funeral before.

Bonus: You really should give two quick courtesy taps on your car horn as you pull out of the driveway. This lets your group know you enjoyed their company and you've all successfully pulled off the perfect Minnesota Goodbye together.

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