It’s Saint Patrick’s Day!!! And instead of ending the day bent over a toilet heaving up green beer like all those who declare themselves Irish for 24 hours, I’m just going to do a blog post. And maybe have some Baileys.
(It’s funny ‘cuz I’m a lush!)
Anyway, I consider myself totally Irish. I have a really Irish first name that shows up in songs all the time, I look like a freakin‘ leprechaun, and my skin is practically translucent. But then people find out my last name and it’s like I forfeit any claim to the motherland.
Which isn’t fair, because if my mother had listened to her mother twenty five years ago when she sat her down and said, “You realize your children’s last name is going to be *Insert Ridiculously Difficult to Spell and Not That Pretty Name Here*?”, we wouldn’t have this problem. But noooo, my mom was all, “But oh, I love him!!!”
Pssh. Whatever. She should have thought ahead, that one.
(I love you, Daddy!!!)
I am actually Irish genetically, some percentage that I can never remember, even though my mom and sister who know these things have told me over and over again but I’m just “Whatever, give me the Baileys,” along with German and Polish
and Scottish, even though no one will admit it. But here’s the thing- the German was beaten into submission fifty years ago. I’m pretty sure by the time my mom was conceived the German genes had given up and didn’t even bother making the trip to the zygote.
And Scottish? Why, what have you heard?
But my mom really raised me, and her mom really raised her, and dammit, culturally, I am Irish. I came home from the hospital in an “Irish Baby” onesie, the only music that would calm me down was Irish-American music, I go to Irish Fest twice every year, my mom used to carry me around describing Waterford, Belleek, (and Wedgewood, which is totally British, but I’m ignoring that. Although I do really connect with Britain. I’m pretty sure one of my ancestors hooked up with and Englishman. Do you know where Sligo is? It’s like right next to Ulster. And we all know I’m a whore for an accent. I must have gotten that somewhere.) and I really like potatoes, like, A LOT.
In a recent development, I’m going to write my master’s thesis on something about Irish/British relations.
(Although I wouldn’t hold my breath for the publication. Six weeks ago it was the crusades.
Me: Oh, I love the crusades!!!
Aaron: Which ones?
Me: All of them!
Aaron: Even the fourth?
Me: Oh. Damn. I forgot about that one. Okay, notsomuch with the fourth.
Aaron: Ha! I outhistoried the history major.
Me: Shut up. I need to go study.)
I’ve been reading about Irish history a lot recently, and it’s made me thrilled that I am first and foremost an American and live in a country where I am a free citizen, but it also has given me an incredible respect for the Irish nation who struggled and continue to struggle even today.
My family jumped ship during the 1840’s (because I’m pretty sure they flippin‘ loved potatoes, too) and missed the whole Easter Rising, Irish Free State, Home Rule thingy (although we did have a relative who was totally in the IRA, which is freaky, actually), but they were there for the revolts in 1603, the Battle of the Boyne, the United Irishmen Uprising in 1798, and certainly felt the effects of the Act of Union in 1800. I can’t imagine living in a country and then being told, “Oh, btw, it’s not yours anymore. You’re British now. Congratulations!”
(Except we’ve already established that I’m a whore for an accent.)
So yeah, I’m not sure where I was going with this, except to be all “Up with Ireland!!! Whoo!!!” I think I’m going to go inquire about the Baileys.
(Oh, don’t worry. It’s only 1:30.)
(Give me a couple hours.)
(My Irish eyes will be smiling!!!)