Q: What are the guidelines for making a smooth exit from a gathering? I feel awful when I interrupt the host and hostess if they’re speaking with other people. If it’s a large gathering, do you make the rounds to say good-by to everyone or just the ones closest to the door? I always feel like I’m interrupting good conversation but I’ve heard that saying a good good-bye is as important as saying a good hello.
A: At a large party, it is only necessary to say good bye to the hosts and to thank them for the wonderful time. You may say good-bye to others but it’s not expected that you would say good-bye to everyone. At a smaller gathering – say ten or eight or less guests – it would be appropriate to say a brief good-bye to the other guests. As far as interrupting to say good-bye, try to wait for a lull in the conversation or for someone to pause and quickly apologize for interrupting and extend your brief thanks to the hosts and leave.