leaving the partyPerhaps you said, ” yes” when you should have said, “ho ho, thanks but no?”

Perhaps a perfectly lovely party got hijacked by WAYM*-ers. (*Why Aren’t You Married?)

Perhaps an unexpected ex makes a jackass out of himself shows up.

My personal preference all around is for Donner-Dasher (eat and run) holidays but as a single woman, I’ve gotten Better After 50 at strategizing against sudden onset, seasonal self-loathing. All is calm and bright since I learned to make emergency exit plans.

Blame Norman Rockwell. Or Bing Crosby. Or your mother. Or Lifetime and Hallmark.

Nothing underscores the math behind you + your dog = 0, like a holiday cocktail congregation.

You’re the partridge in a “pair tree.”

Picture it: Sipping, snacking and sitting pretty, a pleasant-enough conversation underway.

“Sadie’s daughter got engaged for Christmas. David’s son married his long-time girlfriend, finally. The ink on Karen’s divorce is barely dry and she’s already planning wedding #2.”

You’re half listening to people, half listening to New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, half (?) wondering how bad traffic will be at 12:01, when you hear, “Seeing anyone special (SAS)?” and you realize someone is talking to you.

“Define special,” you smile and LOL.

“Come on, tell! We old married folks have to live vicariously through singles,” LOL-volley right back at you.

“That’s a shame,” you keeping smiling and LOL-ing

By point you are probably silent, rendered so by the rude and the witless, or you are trying to avoid that which should not be said nor done in festive dress and crowds.

This is why we plan, Sugar Plum. For New Year’s Eve, resolve to plan your exit before entering any event.

Before you wrap yourself in emotional Spanx and slip on your little black dress, take notes on the best New Year’s Party Resolutions for soapy-clean getaways.

First and foremost, resolve to put your own comfort and joy first. Second, comfort after 50 is heavily reliant on the bathroom, but you can happily resolve needing to go with needing to go. Third, at least for one night of the year, resolve to take instead of give.

So here are some New Year’s Eve Exit Strategies (for when you need a minute or the rest of the year to yourself):

1) Resolve to sort out your sortie when you RSVP. Tell your hostess you can only stay for a short time. Define short time when you get to the shindig. Could be ten minutes. Could be two hours.

2) Resolve to find your hostess and your freedom as soon as you sashay through the door. With the present of your presence noted, the rest of night is yours to come and go.

3) Resolve to take a powder at the first hint of “Scandal.” The party-quivalent of meditation, relieve yourself physically and emotionally in the powder room. Stay a spell. Return when ready. Or a line forms.

4) Resolve to take in the night sky. As a BA50, you can convincingly fan yourself and ask loudly, is it just me or is it hot in here? Then step out with the smokers. (I said night sky, not night air!)

5) Resolve to take it all in and keep it there. When inquiring eyes turn to you, smile, look confused and say, “What?” Give folks a minute to reconsider or lose interest. If neither occurs, laugh, stand and repeat #1.

6) Resolve to take the High Road. Be Honest. Tell any inquisitioner you suddenly don’t feel well. Because you don’t; you feel excluded, despite all the attention, or perhaps because of it. Excuse yourself.

7) Resolve to take your time when you get WAYM’d or SAS’d. Along with exit strategies, single women need a list of pithy replies so we can pull our punches before we’re forced to start throwing ‘em.

8) Resolve to take your coat and your leave before Father Time if you want. Your hostess is expecting your early exit and no one else should expect anything. Bonus: Arrive early, leave early. A hostess is happiest to see her first guests.

9) Resolve to leave LOLing. Keep the smile plastered on, whether you’re plastered or not. Make sure anyone watching is convinced you had fun at this best party ever. Never let ‘em see you sweat being single.

10) Resolve to ring in 2014 exactly where and with whom you want to be.

Me? Home with the dog.

What’s your best exit line or the worst lie you ever told to get out of a party before LOL turned to FML?

For more on living single Better After 50, check out my blog and like Single and the Sweet Side of 40 on Facebook and follow me on twitter @beth_odonnell.



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