It’s not that I don’t like being Irish, or having roots in other corners of the United Kingdom. I do. I love a lot of Irish music and play it often in the kitchen, or in the car. I feel connected to Ireland’s mysticism and I’m eager to go there someday and see the sod where so many of my relatives sprang.
I have just come to dislike the day of celebration that often shifts its focus to putting on a giant green hat and getting sloshed, all in the name of the old country. Especially when people in the old country don’t celebrate the holiday the way we do in this one.
I’m also not comfortable with the sense of entitlement where it’s OK for some people to show their Irishness in the local parade, but not others. Who gets to decide that?
I know I am pretty alone in these feelings (except for the entitlement part) in my immediate group, especially with my husband, who loves this holiday and celebrates it to the fullest. He boils everything in sight, puts on an Irish brogue, and lays out a grand dinner complete with mournful pipes as background music while we eat.
That’s funny, considering his people were either German, or the predecessors of presidents among the Mayflower folk. He’s lucky if he has a thin green ribbon of Irish blood flowing through him. What he doesn’t have in genealogy he sure has in spirit.
This year, though, there is a twist. The chef, the non-Irish spouse, and the love of my life has taken to bed today with the flu. He is so sick that the smell of cooking corned beef and cabbage would send him right over the bend.
So, I am going to take the high road. We will celebrate St. Pat’s Day tomorrow. He loves this day, and I love him, so I’ll be the one to boil the water and toss everything in. I’ll find a green shirt, and put on the brogue. But I absolutely draw the line at the hat. You have to have some standards!