Are we ready to leave yet?

Little in this world is as challenging as trying to gather together the other three people you came with in order to leave a social event or family gathering.

My recent research on this subject revealed that at the very minimum, it takes 92 minutes from the time four people agree to leave to actual departure. By actual departure, I mean reaching a point where the car is moving out into traffic.

Trying to leave a large gathering is especially difficult if you have to pass on the way out a friend, an acquaintance or someone who looks like your Uncle Joe, food or the bathroom.

By the time the last person in your group has been found, the first one is tired of waiting by the front door and is heading back for another cup of coffee. The second person sees a friend she hasn’t “seen for ages” and begins bringing her up to date on her 25 years of illnesses and the third has returned to the hostess to ask for the cheese ball recipe she served last Christmas.

Even after herding everyone out the door, someone remembers leaving a jacket and has to go back inside, only to run into a group talking about the 2016 presidential election, while another requires a visit to the lady’s room even though she lives less than three blocks away and the entire scenario begins again, thus the 92 minutes.

I should be up to the challenge, for I married into a family that has never learned to say goodbye. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is a genetic thing. Actually getting out the door, into a car and backing out into the street often is longer than the visit itself. Granted, there is much history in a family gathering but why, I ask, does it need to be reviewed at the door and re-reviewed by sticking a head through the car window at the last minute?

Chances are the family guests back out only to return moments later to retrieve a cellphone or makeup kit.

Just another of life’s many challenges.

Joyce Ore

Joyce Ore writes delightful stories about life with a dose of humor and sprinkle of nostalgia. Her column appears Saturday in the Tribune.

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