St Patrick’s grump

I don’t know exactly why, but this year St Patrick’s Day in America is bringing out the curmudgeon in me. As a family, we’ve never really observed it here, by going to a parade or anything, though I suppose we could. It seems too hokey altogether to do that sort of thing. Next thing you know I’d be putting Mabel in a wig of red ringlets and sending her to step-dancing classes.

I’m also quite unjustifiably narky today about other people appropriating Ireland and deciding it’s something in the name of which they should get to wear green and drink alcohol and play tricks on their children.*

Mostly, my grump should be directed straight at Hallmark, who fairly reasonably – perhaps, in as much as they’re just in it for the profit – decided that nothing was happening in mid-March – Valentine’s is over; Easter isn’t here yet – and so all of America should push out the boat, dye it green, and decide to be Irish.

It was pointed out to me today, just as I was about to complain that nobody else’s national holiday is celebrated all over America, that it’s just the same with Cinco de Mayo (that’s the fifth of May, Mexico’s day of celebration). Any excuse for a party, all the better if it has some sort of food/drink/colour that can work into a theme for an eye-catching display of chips/dips/chocolate/trinkets in the supermarket, especially when half the country is still miserably buried under a thick blanket of snow.

In nursery school this week Mabel’s class have been decorating large shamrock-shaped pieces of card with green paint and green feathers and pompoms and furbelows and whathaveyou. Her two teachers, who hail from India and Africa, called them clover and didn’t know what the significance was, but that’s what they were doing all the same. This irked me, perhaps more than it should have. (I’m irkable, you may have noticed. Irk me at your peril.)

So I don’t think we’re doing anything special tomorrow. We’re not attending a potluck at the local chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, if there is one; we’re not planning to drink Shamrock Shakes at McD’s; and I don’t have a single potato in the house. If we wear green it will be by accident.

Maybe it’s because tomorrow is the day when it’s not remotely special to say you’re Irish in America.

*The tricks thing. Read my previous post about what Americans do for St Patrick’s Day.

6 thoughts on “St Patrick’s grump

  1. Emily

    Ahhhh, you are, as they would say in our house, in need of a good Oirish HUG 😀 The bit that irks me towards a migraine is the “Patty’s Day” … Hope you enjoy it, though, in whatever you do (and be very thankful you will miss out on having to see Flight of the Doves. Again)

  2. Justine Levine

    My son asked me what we’re doing for St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow. I told him maybe we’d read the story of St. Patrick, and drink green milk and look at pictures of Ireland. 😉

  3. Wendy

    This is our first St. Patrick’s day here in Ireland. We’re loving the long weekend events here and the feel in the air – everyone is very cheery and in a celebratory mood it seems. We are tending towards the smaller towns/parades as the city centre one seemed a bit wild and crazy for our tastes (the whole “Gathering” plug and all).
    In Canada St. Patrick’s day often fell during “March break” from school so it was not a big deal at all.
    Here’s hoping you find something today that brings you happiness 🙂

  4. Unknown

    St Patrick Day annoys me, and my roots in Ireland are pretty weak/old. It must be head-smackingly dumbfounding to see green donuts and Shamrock shakes (okay, I might have the latter from time to time) if one is actually Irish. I don’t actually want to deny people a good time, but ugh.

    That having been said, I usually make soda bread on March 17 and I’m annoyed that I cannot.

  5. bethany actually

    Ooh, wear no green at your own risk…some people pinch greenless folk on St. Patrick’s Day! That’s pretty much the only reason I’m sure to wear green on March 17th. So…happy Sunday to you. 🙂

    1. (Not) Maud

      Mabel wore hot pink all day, but she was hanging out with Italians who were probably none the wiser. Dash had camo pants on, so he’s covered. My jacket happens to be green. Their father, I will pinch. (But lovingly.)


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