The Grinch of St. Patrick’s Day

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.

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7 thoughts on “The Grinch of St. Patrick’s Day

  1. I don’t do St. Patrick’s Day either, for similar reasons. Ever notice how Irishness is celebrated by dressing in green, getting really drunk, and acting like an asshole?To me, this is as bad as dressing in blackface on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, listening to Tupac, and bustin’ a cap in the first n*gga you see.

  2. True, St. Paddy’s is a joke if you’re not Irish. I have some teeny bit of Irish in my ancestry about 4 generations back, but I’m far more Scottish. You don’t see me on St Andrew’s day putting a kilt on, painting myself a nice shade of tartan and playing golf while drinking Alexander Keith’s or Scotch Whisky. And I certainly don’t spend the day listening to the Bay City Rollers or Bagpipes and professing them to be great b/c of their Scottishness…but I do think I am now inclined to rewatch “So I married an Axe Murderer” which Mike Myers manages to completely explain Scottish people in North America.

  3. But, as per the criteria, “Bridget O’Grady” is a perfectly accepted celebrant of St. Paddy’s Day. So you’re excused, especially given your recent excursion.

  4. I feel as though as I should say something being that I am actually Irish, except that really I’m British but whatever I could be either I guess and that’s a whole other discussion but I will say this. One of the things that always enjoyed about Canada is that I could actually celebrate the day. You see the holiday itself divides people in Northern Ireland depending on which side of the “Protestant/Catholic” side of the debate they found themselves on. So whilst it may be the case that celebrating by dressing in green, getting really drunk and acting like an asshole upsets a few Canadians, it’s a hell of a lot better that what was the situation over here. To be fair now, it’s a lot better in the last 10 years but the undertones are still there. I guess my point is this – don’t make a big deal out of something that really isn’t that big a deal and hell if you get an extra evening at the pub out of it, everyone’s a winner. Now, Steve-o, quick question for you, do you get Sunday Bloody Sunday?? Very controversial song which indeed they didn’t sing for over 8 years due to what comes along with it. Take care buddy, still planning to see you this summer at some point, likely late August, if of course you are actually in Toronto. Oh and on a PS – come on Torres

  5. Oh, I’m not making a big deal out of it–I’m just puzzled how, on March 17, people who aren’t Irish will come up to you and say, “Why aren’t you wearing green?” I’m more perplexed than anything else. As for “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” I’m aware of what it’s about (sort of, anyway), but I’ve always had the impression it’s a song people love because they *think* they’re supposed to love it. I mean, it’s an alright song, but strictly in musical terms I’d put it behind a bunch of other U2 songs. I’m always weary of “political” songs–not because of what they say, but because of people’s tendencies to listen to them and decide that they’re brilliant, even if they can’t figure out why.ANYWAY: I’m rambling. Lemme know what you think.

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