I love “Houdini Exits”. From bars, from parties, from anything, really. Definitely more feasible if one has been in the company of drinkers, and more exciting, if one has also been drinking. Because you think people care enough about you leaving that you have to sneak out. Which is really quite ridiculous, but very easy to believe at certain times, late in the night, when you may or may not have been drunk enough to have decided bootleg whiskey shots were a fantastic idea.
There are certifiable reasons to pull the Houdini Exit that no one is going to argue with: You’re at a bar in New York with your friend who has hit it off with a guy and things are looking like they might work out for her (before he pulled out the winning line, “I hate animals”); a creepy person is hitting on you and is not getting the hint that you want nothing to do with him/her; a hot person is hitting on you and gets the hint that you’re really quite into him/her (in which case, the double Houdini Exit is necessary). And then there are Houdini Exits that seem perfectly reasonable and defendable at the time, and there is no need to explain either then or the next day.
Plus, it’s also exciting when you get the Houdini Exit pulled on you. I respect someone who pulls the slip on me. Sometimes you end up having to find a new way home, end up staying later than you would have and hopefully creating some fun memories, or being told about great memories that you’re having trouble recalling. Good things happen in the chaos that follows a Houdini Exit.
The beauty is that it spares all parties the belabored goodbye. The “oh you’re leaving already”, the “but we’re just about to go to [blank]”, the guilt trip about playing wingman to your friend who hasn’t quite sealed the deal and really doesn’t care if you’re there but needs you to talk to until they don’t need you to talk to anymore, the saying goodbye to people you’ve met there at the bar or event that you’re not going to see again, and so does it really matter if you say goodbye?
Instead, the excitement of figuring out how to best go about sneaking out the door, the sound of solo footsteps on the pavement of the parking lot: freedom.