I’m a Pathetic Irishman

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know today is St. Patrick's Day. Green dye will be thrown in various streams all over the country and green beer will flow like tap water. Ninety percent of the population will claim to be Irish and will sport green on some portion of their body, more than likely with the slogan "Kiss me, I'm Irish". Most cities will have a parade and the day will be a long one. I've noticed when Scandanavian Days come to our part of the county I don't find everyone clamoring for lutefisk!

My family actually is Irish. Cork county, to be specific. Catholic? No. Drunkards? Yes. What can I say? We give the Irish a bad name.

When I was growing up St. Pat's day was my father's favorite holiday, hands down beating Thanksgiving or Christmas. He would take the day off work if it occured on a work day and would take the following day off, too, to recover. His best friend is also Irish and they could out drink a fish.

Once, when I was pregnant with my third, we had planned on having a nice family dinner on St. Pat's. In hindsight, a big mistake. We were going to get the parents together – my husbands' and mine. At that point they hadn't met yet. Everyone was at my mothers' house… except the elusive Irishman. He was still at the local Irish bar where he claimed he would leave and be home in time for dinner. After waiting quite awhile, my mom sent Hubs and I to the bar to find him. He's not hard to find. He's 6'5" tall and towers above most people in any crowd. This was no exception. Wall-to-wall people were crammed into this tiny bar and overflowing into the parking lot where they had a tent set up. We spotted my dad near the back of the bar. Unfortunately, he spotted us, too, and just like a little kid he started running (okay, walking) the other way! I'm seven months pregnant, big as a house already, and trying to squirm in-between people to follow my dad. Finally when we reached the back of the bar we realized he'd escaped… outside… and back in the front!  Needless to say, we split up and finally caught up with him. He wasn't very happy to have to go home and play host.

Over the years this scene would repeat itself, but we learned not to plan anything for St. Patrick's day… it wasn't worth the hassle.

St. Pat's has changed for me. My dad has gotten to the category of "elderly" and is suffering from depression. He rarely leaves the house. We don't encourage his drinking because, ironically enough, St. Pat's was the only time he wasn't a mean drunk. Celebrating for him has become a thing of the past. Here I sit, not wearing a stitch of green. I don't think I even own anything green. I'm diabetic so don't drink. My Norwegian husband doesn't like corned beef, so there will be no traditional corned beef and cabbage (which I happen to love). There was some snow overnight and rain expected to dampen the parade… and I'm feeling about as glum as the weather. It just doesn't seem like St. Pat's to me.

Someday I'd like to go to Ireland. It's the only place outside of the U.S. that I'd really like to see. Maybe then I'd get my Irish back.

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Middle-aged. Anti-social. Mom. Grandma. Town-raised farmer's wife. Iowan. Want more? Come read the blogs.

11 thoughts on “I’m a Pathetic Irishman”

  1. I guess I must live under a rock..I did forget that today was St. Patrick’s Day, until I saw another blog on here! 🙂

    That was a great story about your dad..really made me laugh out loud, with the mental picture you painted!

    Even if you’re not celebrating, I hope that your day is a happy one, my friend.

  2. I can only say GO!!! We just returned from my third trip. And I can’t wait to return. 🙂

    As for food- I had an open invite for my Irish feast yesterday… Next year I’ll try to remember to send you a personal invite.


  3. Other then a big profit day for the bars around here, St Pat’s Day isn’t a real big deal. Of course, considering the population is a very high percentage of Finns, it isn’t a wonder. 🙂

  4. I grew up thinking we were mostly Irish. Later in life I learned that we were probably Norman. I guess this gives me the right to drink green beer like a berserker.

  5. I’m half Irish. My dad’s parents were born in Ireland. I really want to get over there one day and see it. Once National Geographic had a cover with 3 or 4 boys in Ireland sitting on a bench… I had to do a double take because one of the boys looked exactly like my son. LOL.

    I’m not a drinker though – much to the shame of the Irish part of my heritage. I can do white wine and I loathe beer. I don’t remember my dad celebrating St. Pats too much, but we did have corned beef and cabbage. I’m not doing that tonight – but maybe soon.

    I always say that the optimist in me is the Irish side – the pessimist is the German and they war like mad. *grin* Happy St. Paddy’s day to you me lass. Enjoy the day for itself.

  6. My favorite Gpa was an irishman – through and through. A tough day without him…

    I hope you have a great day – even if you don’t have corn beef and cabbage (yuck!)

  7. I wore a green sweater today 🙂 Corned beef & cabbage – I’m with your hubby – yuck! Sorry about your dad. Though I was laughing at the image of him running out the back of the bar and then back in the front as you tried to catch him for family dinner. Sounds much like our trying to catch our daughter to throw her in the bath each night!

  8. We had corned beef and cabbage growing up, just as one of our regular meal options. It was never a huge day for us, except for having a brother named Patrick. My grandmother is Irish but I don’t remember it being a huge part of her life. And my dad? Never needed an excuse to drink;)

    Ireland is right up at the top of my list with Italy as far as places I want to go. I really want to spend a couple of weeks there traveling all over the countryside.

  9. Ate my corned beef in a reuben on Sunday after church. You better bet I wore green to school yesterday! The thought of HS students pinching me if I didn’t wear green didn’t sit too right. (See it even reads wrong!)

    You’re not pathetic either. Thanks for the image of a 7 mo pregnant you squeezing through a bar chasing your father! (I’d forgotten how tall he is!)

    Sounds like you have a bunch of people who would love to join you in Ireland, and you may include me on that list! Let me know when the plane leaves….

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