I don’t drink, so what’s left?
We don’t exchange gifts or hide chocolate or dress up and scare the neighbours or eat a giant family meal or light off fireworks.
So what’s left?
I’m 1/8th Irish by birth, but I’m 3/4 English Protestant, so that kind of crushes all claims of being Irish with a giant steel-toed boot and explodes it with a Moltov cocktail. The last 1/8th is Indian Native American Aboriginal First Nations People, in case you were wondering and/or confused by my math. But I married into a 100% Irish family, which sort of makes me Irish-by-marriage, right? Does that count for anything? My last name is undeniably Irish, so if I want to I can pretend and no one will ask questions.
I eat “real” Irish food regularly. I’ve adopted a few “real” Irish sayings into my own vocabulary. I sing “real” Irish lullabies to my kids. I’ve witnessed my “real” Irish husband dance a “real” Irish jig in a “real” Irish pub. If “real” Irish jig means being drunk and disorderly in public while flailing your arms and legs around doing a spot-on Michael Flatley impression. Which it does.
Does that mean I can still celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? I’m dressed in my emerald green, I ate exclusively green carbohydrates for lunch (green, shamrock-shaped pancakes and green, shamrock-shaped sugar cookies), and I’ve sung lovely Irish dancing music for my daughter, who’s name means “Ireland” in Gaelic, to do her Irish dancing to, and I’ve said “toppa da marnin’ to ya” to several people already today.
So, can I be Irish, even if it’s just for today? Of course I can. Because even though I’m only kinda sorta Irish, today everyone is welcome to join the club.