I am an Irish person who freaking hates St. Patrick’s Day
Ah, St. Patrick’s Day! Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day! You can tell because they are drunk and loud and sometimes singing “Oh Danny Boy” in the middle of a bar.
I think St. Patrick’s Day is weird. I say this every year. For one, there is like, no other holiday that I know of where people joyously pretend to be another ethnic heritage by flamboyantly “celebrating” that heritage’s negative stereotypes. If you think about it, it’s a very odd thing to do. I mean, they could at least emulate our more flattering stereotypes, like being awesomely clever and great at river dancing or knitting or something. And no, you’re not Irish. You’re not Irish until your mother sends you out to the back yard to look for leprechauns so she can get a break from you talking for an hour or so, I say.
As my friend Tom once said “It’s not like people celebrate St. Stanislaus Day by walking into traffic with a mouthful of kielbasa”.
I’m no teetotaler, for sure. I can drink with the best of them and often hyperbolically joke that I like to defy writerly gender stereotypes by drinking too much as opposed to being suicidal. I can also sing the shit out of Danny Boy should the mood take me. But the stereotype of Irish people being drunk all the time is pretty offensive.
You will never see me wearing a shirt that says “Kiss Me, I’m Irish!”. I can’t imagine that is a good enough reason to kiss anyone, and I certainly don’t want strange dudes in a bar thinking of it as an invite to a free-for-all assault on my face. I’m not the Blarney Stone, and I certainly have enough evidence piled up to prove that making out with me will not bestow upon you the gift of gab or make you clever. Would that it were so! Although, if we’re talking ethnic stereotypes here, you’d think people would be more interested in locking lips with my Italian side.*
I also hate St. Patrick’s Day because I feel like I can’t leave my apartment. I am a bit of a curmudgeon and the swaths of green clad goons running around on Pedal Pubs screaming “WOOOOOOOO!” kind of get on my last nerve. Unfortunately, I live on a main street in Chicago with a ton of bars. Which is normally a plus. I have the sort of personality that gets more outgoing when the people around me are quiet and more introverted when they’re loud, so in these sort of situations I kind of just want to shrink back into a corner and die. I also loathe parades (except for the Chinese New Year Parade which is glorious) because they are too loud and have no discernable plot line. Same reason I do not care for fireworks or the the work of Ingmar Bergman.
Thus, I will probably spend this St. Patrick’s Day, as I have spent so many others, crocheting granny squares and reading Joyce. Or, you know, drinking wine alone and watching Real Housewives reruns. Also laundry, I have to do laundry.
*Yes, I’m half-Irish, half-Italian, and if you tell me I must have “quite the temper”, I will punch you in the face. Except not because I’m kind of a pacifist and do not actually have much of a temper at all, unless I somehow find myself in an argument with a Sovereign Citizen.