I am Irish. I identify culturally as Irish. I come from a big Irish-Catholic family. I've sung Irish songs on a bridge in Doolin, for goodness sakes! And I, of course, love St. Patrick's day.
When I was a little girl, I would stage elaborate Leprechaun hunts with the other neighborhood kids. We would spend hours building fairy-houseboats that we floated in the hot-tub and wrestling over imaginary pots of gold which were pretty difficult to find in the mostly dry and rainbow-less climate of Arizona.
As I got older I really embraced St. Paddy's day tradition and drank entirely too much green beer. I had a whole collection of jaunty green fedoras and I know a dozen Irish drinking songs by heart. (I've been known to Karaoke a few of them year round!)
As I've settled down, St. Patrick's day doesn't necessarily mean wild parties, and drunken parades anymore. Now I celebrate in simple ways: face-paint and stories with my students, gooning Brakes out by making dinner with a heavy-hand of green food coloring (who doesn't love green mashed potatoes?) , and my very favorite St. Paddy's day tradition:
Conference Call Irish Car Bombs (CCICB)
When Meghann (my sister) and I followed our men to Utah (where Irish Car Bombs are hard to come by) and Patrick (our brother, we really are Irish!) went off to college, it was tragic for our clan to be split up on our favorite holiday. My brother-in-law Scott, sensing our sadness, managed to score some Irish Whiskey, Bailey's, and some Guinness for our first St. Patrick's day alone. We called my dad on the phone and a tradition was born!
Since then, every St. Patrick's Day, no matter where we are, at a pre-determined time (It's always 5:00 pm in Ireland!) we draw a Guinness, poor a shot, and pick up the phone. Daddy says a few words of toast (generally in several different languages, he is also very cultured) and with a "Sláinte," we drop the shot into the Guinness and drink up!
Last weekend I optimistically bought some Guinness, hoping that Weezy would make her debut in plenty of time for me to get in on the CCICB action... so listen up, Weezy! Your Mov has not had a car bomb (nor so much as a wine spritzer!) in the last nine months! Cut her some slack and come out today!
Dad, Mov, Scott, Meghann, Jessica, Patrick; wait for me! If my daughter follows directions I may be able to toast St. Patrick's day ''09 with you yet!
Eloise, you have 13 hours... get going.