Today is St. Patrick’s Day, or as I (and many of my fellow proud and pale Irish-people) like to say, Amateur Day. It’s become a day with a ready excuse to get wildly inebriated while wearing copious amounts of green clothing and accessories stamped with shamrocks. And this annoys me.
I have great pride in my heritage and specifically in being Irish. In fact, quite a few years ago, a few friends of mine gifted me a small (literally – it’s about 2″x2″) book entitled Being Irish… Contemplations on the Nature and Meaning of the Irish Race. It is in no way sincere, but here are some of the entries I enjoy (and identify with):
Being Irish means…
you swear very well.
you have no idea how to make a long story short.
there isn’t a huge difference between losing your temper and killing someone.
someone in your family talks too loudly.
someone else in your family can’t hear anything.
at least one person in your family is yelling right now.
at sporting events, for some reason, the people around you seem very uncomfortable.
you used to get embarrassed when you were younger–not so much anymore.
I think you get the point.
Part of being Irish is about being able to laugh – at your friends, at your family, and most importantly (and generally most often) at yourself. But really wrangling a definition for what truly embodies the Irish is elusive. The stubbornness, the freckles, the ferocious loyalty, the capacity to love and laugh, the bountiful joy and whiskey (I have Bushmills in stock) – the facets are many. So, on this St. Patrick’s Day, I say “Pionta Guinness, le do thoil” (A pint of Guinness, please). And if you are so inclined, read through some of my favorite Irish quotes, sayings, and blessings.
“I’m fucking Irish, I’ll deal with something being wrong for the rest of my life.” – The Departed
“This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever.” -Sigmund Freud, on the Irish
“We are all of us in the gutter. But some of us are looking at the stars.” -Oscar Wilde
“A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures.”
“Ireland is rich in literature that understands a soul’s yearnings, and dancing that understands a happy heart.” -Margaret Jackson
“Maybe it’s bred in the bone, but the sound of pipes is a little bit of heaven to some of us.” -Nancy O’Keefe
May the sun shine, all day long,
everything go right, and nothing wrong.
May those you love bring love back to you,
and may all the wishes you wish come true.