In our colum­nist Lori Borgman’s house­hold, good­byes can be a long – very long – drawn-out af­fair.

Lori Borge­man finds the funny in ev­ery­day life, writ­ing from the heart­land of the US. Now, if she could just find her car keys...

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The hus­band’s side of the fam­ily has never been known for quick good­byes. When­ever we were ready to leave my in-laws af­ter a visit, phase one of our de­par­ture was to find my mother-in-law and fa­ther-in-law in the kitchen and tell them we were get­ting ready to go.

My mother-in-law would turn from the kitchen sink (she was al­ways at the sink or the counter), my fa­ther-in-law would put down his news­pa­per, and they’d ask if we re­ally had to leave. We’d say yes and then we would all ex­change hugs. They’d say what a good time they had and we’d say what a good time we had and then we’d prom­ise to come back real soon.

Once we fi­nally had our lug­gage in hand and the kids rounded up, there’d be an­other gath­er­ing at the door and ev­ery­body would hug once again. They’d say what a good time they had and we’d say what a good time we had and then all the kids would give hugs and kisses and we’d file out the door and they’d fol­low us.

Once we were ac­tu­ally at the car and the lug­gage was loaded, it was their cus­tom to hug ev­ery­body once more and tell us what a good time they had. Nat­u­rally, we’d hug them once more and we’d tell them what a good time we had and the kids would all give an­other round of hugs and kisses be­cause they knew that the third round of good­byes was when Grandpa took pa­per money out of his wal­let and be­gan dis­tribut­ing it. Once we were cer­ti­fi­ably loaded in the car and in­structed Grandma and Grandpa to please step back, they’d mo­tion for us to roll down the win­dows. We’d roll the win­dows down and ev­ery­body would shout things like, ‘Drive safely!’, ‘Good­bye’, ‘We love you!’ ‘We love you, too!’ and ‘Call us when you get home.’ They’d stand there wav­ing and we’d wave back and honk the horn as we rolled out of sight.

Once, it was so long be­tween the time we first gath­ered in the kitchen to an­nounce we were leav­ing and then gath­ered again at the car to say good­bye, that I ran back in­side and made sand­wiches for the kids be­cause it was din­ner time. So what if we started to leave shortly af­ter noon and didn’t pull out of the drive­way un­til sun­set?

Some­times say­ing good­bye took an en­tire day of a two-day visit. My in-laws

To­day, when our son and his fam­ily AN­NOUNCE they are leav­ing, our two sons-in-law start the STOP­WATCHES on their smart­phones to time HOW LONG it takes them to get in the car

were sim­ply peo­ple who were never in a hurry and es­pe­cially never in a hurry to say good­bye. To­day, when our son and his fam­ily an­nounce they are leav­ing, our two sons-in-law start the stop­watches on their smart­phones to time how long it takes them to get in the car.

They once made it out of the house and into the car in un­der 40 min­utes. The sons-in-law, both ex­tremely ef­fi­cient, shake their heads in dis­be­lief. ‘What you have wit­nessed are mere am­a­teurs,’ I tell the sons-in-law as I stand on the porch wav­ing good­bye. ‘They’ll never come close to our record.’

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