A small confession

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

I almost forgot.

I’m a Mick by birth. I hope this doesn’t earn a black mark on my permanent record.

I remembered after I’d dressed this morning — in khaki and a multi-colored top that had only one trace of green in it — that I needed to wear green today.  I rooted through my jewelry box until I found a rarely worn necklace with green beads. I added that and a green tank top to my ensemble and declared myself celebratory.

Irish is big around here. It’s big in a way that encourages drinking, spending money and acting crazy. We have a few annual parades organized by Irish cultural groups, but that is the extent of ethnic recognition.

As I ran my errands this morning,  I noted  the number of green-clad revelers wobbling along the pavement as they hopped from pub to pub. (I hope they gave their young livers notice that they would be working double-time today.)

As the descendant of Irish immigrant dairy farmers who settled  on the flatlands along the Detroit River, I grew up proud of my roots. My father made a big deal out of March 17. If we didn’t make it to the annual parade, we at least had corned beef and cabbage for dinner. My mother baked several loaves of soda bread. We all wore green. My dad would drink too much beer and sing “Danny Boy.”

When I studied American history in college, I was shocked, devastated really, to learn that the Irish were not embraced upon their arrival in the United States. They were despised and treated poorly. It dulled some of the shine on my Irish pride.  Since those days, aside from giving my oldest daughter an incredibly Irish name, I’ve not done much to embrace my Irish.

In fact, in the last decade, I’ve almost ignored the day altogether.

I confess: I don’t like corned beef and cabbage.

I don’t like Guinness.

I’m not a fan of “Riverdance.”

I don’t know all the words to “Danny Boy.”

I don’t even like shamrock shakes.

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5 thoughts on “A small confession

  1. WHAT? You don’t like shamrock shakes? The very epitome of all things Irish?

    I lived in Ireland for 2 years (disclosure: I am not Irish), and the people I hung out with really made fun of Americans for the parades, green beer, etc. Of course they pretty much made fun of Americans for everything. (But their corned beef and soda bread were awesome.)
    .-= JD at I Do Things´s last blog ..I Spent 5 Days and 4 Nights at a Luxury . . . Hospital so you don’t have to =-.

  2. I haven’t been able to do a Shamrock Shake since my 7th grade spring trip to Washington DC. It could have been riding on a bus all day or the musty museums but every 7th grader who ordered one spent the evening in the bathroom.

    I can’t do Guinness either. I like beer I can sip, not one I have to eat with a spoon. But, I do like corned beef and cabbage. My house smells like a boys locker room right now.

    I’m not Irish, not much anyway, but my town goes all out with the parades and pub crawls too.

    JD sent me, and I am glad she did!
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..The Wearing O’ The Green =-.

  3. JD: I think McDonalds uses the original recipe from County Cork!
    Jen: Thanks for listening to JD. She does so much for us so that we don’t have to. Sorry about the Shamrock Shake incident. I don’t even have anything great like that to blame. I just think they taste terrible.

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