Does not liking St. Patrick’s Day make me a bad person?
I’m not Irish. Like, at all. The closest I’ve ever gotten to being Irish was being detained at U.S. border patrol when Irish Tim and I were trying to get into Michigan to see a football game. I’ve never visited Ireland, although I’ve flown over it several times. And while I love Guinness–not as much as Jeff does, but I still love it–I don’t need an excuse to drink it. So what’s the point?
Which brings me back to St. Patrick’s Day: this morning, when I arrived at work, every single other person in my office was wearing green…yes, even TRB (who, to her credit, is full-blooded Irish, and is thus excused). At lunch, meanwhile, we had a St. Paddy’s Day potluck, which ostensibly involved making and then consuming green foodstuffs. Again, I don’t get it. I’d be willing to wager that the entire rest of the staff is not Irish, and that the ongoing popularity of St. Paddy’s Day is simply an expression of everyone’s desire to be Irish–much like everyone desires to be Australian. (This would also explain U2’s enduring popularity, not to mention why millions of suburbanites think they “get” “Sunday Bloody Sunday.”) I don’t think other nationalities would have the same impact. For instance, if there was a Mao Zedong Day, would everyone wear red to work and then do their best Chinese accents over bonbons in the lunch room? I’m going to venture a tentative “no” on that front.
Ultimately, I’m not offended by St. Paddy’s Day anymore than I’m offended by Ukrainian New Year. I just don’t get why people get so lathered up over it–especially people who aren’t Irish. If that makes me a St. Paddy’s Day Grinch, then so be it. All I know is, at the end of the day, I don’t need a calendar to tell me when to drink Guinness–and that, for my money, makes me as Irish as anyone else.