Walking home after dropping the kids off at school, my friend and I stopped to discuss something that had come up the previous evening at the school committee that we both volunteered with.
We were deep in discussion when she suddenly said, “I’d better let you go”.
I had never heard that expression before. Or I should say I had, but in another context altogether – people were “let go” from their jobs. So I was more than a little confused. How could she let me go? And why would she want to in the first place, assuming she could?
As she had continued speaking, I thought I had misheard and we carried on with the conversation.
A few minutes later, however, she said it again. “Oh, gosh, look at the time. I really had better let you go!”
With that, she waved and disappeared around the corner, promising to come over the next day to discuss the school event we were working on.
And then I understood. “Better let you go” was a typically Canadian, super polite way of saying the other person had to run! But instead of saying they were busy and couldn’t talk now, their message conveyed that they knew you were a busy person so they would let you go to attend to the things you had to do. Now, of course, after many years in Canada, I have also become adept at letting people go!
– Bharti Chavan
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