Knowing the time to gois a more deeply philosophical topic than it might seem at first sight. And that sneaky postaday poster person has tried once again to lead us astray by throwing in a couple of semi-red herrings. At a party? Meeting for coffee? Oh, no, my dear friends. To plumb the depths of this topic would be to strain, indeed were it even possible, to breach the limits of blogdomhood!
But not wishing to push that ephemeral envelope so nigh upon the witching hour, and being in part a brass tacks kind of guy, I will limit myself to a few of the more practical and obvious observations.
At a party depends upon whether or not one is the host. If one is the host and it becomes to tedious, one just leaves (perhaps to meet someone for coffee–see next). Assuming that the party-goers can be expected to refrain from an unreasonable trashing of the place. If this is not the case, merely release the attack dogs. Which leads to the alternate case. If one is not the host, it is most definitely time to go, and I cannot stress this point too strongly, as soon as the attack dogs have been released. At least this has been my own experience.
Meeting for coffee assumes that the individuals are congregating in neutral territory. Depending upon circumstances this can be quite exhilarating. Proper etiquette demands that one remain at the coffee shop no more than 2 hours after closing. If it is cold outside, one might even be inclined to play a little game of chicken to see who wimps out and leaves first. (Among those who study game theory, this is known as a losing game.) At indoor locations that operate on a 24-hour basis, e.g. Norms, the results are quite unpredictable and many positions turn out to be non-winnable.
Speaking of games, when an ancient master from Japan wields his board of 361 points and mystic bowls filled with black and white, it is most definitely time to Go.
Lastly, in this brief tour, when a toddler of un-self-assured training says it’s time to go, well then dear reader, it’s time to panic.