I realized Monday night that none of the shirts I currently own that are appropriate for the office are green. And I when I tried to dig out the good jewelry box where my sterling silver shamrock earrings are, things kept falling down. We really need to go through things in that hutch and toss out stuff we never use.
I did find some nice, dark green rhinestones. But I forgot that the last time we cleaned out that section of the bedroom that I threw out a lot of the cheap earrings.
Still, it’s St. Patrick’s day, so when I found the silly plastic leprechaun earring, I figured that would have to do.
My recent ancestors on one side of the family were descended from Irish catholics who came to America after the potato famine. Some of my ancestors on the other side were protestants who came to America from Ireland, though they were descended from folks who came to Ireland from England along with King Henry’s army in the 15th century. (It’s not all Irish and English, there’s also some German, a lot of French, at least a bit of Norse, and supposedly some Native American, though statistically that’s more likely an old family myth than a genetic reality.)
Anyway, there are some who wonder why I, a gay taoist, makes at least a bit of a deal out of St. Patrick’s Day (since Patrick is a saint in the Catholic church which is far from gay-friendly, et cetera).
Well, looking back up two paragraphs, there are two ways to look at my heritage. One is to say I’m an Irish-Anglo-Franco-German-Norwegian-Native American, and the other is to just say I’m an American, a mutt, a mish mash, the genetic version of a ceasar salad—heck, a whole potluck!
Back in Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is still mostly celebrated as a religious holiday. It’s not a day of drinking—no green beer or discount Irish whiskey shots at the local pubs there. Parades have been a very recent development, and at least according to one report I heard, mostly because American tourists kept asking for them.
But here, in America, it is a party day. We do the tacky green beer and wear the “Kiss me I’m Irish” shirts or “Everyone’s Irish on St. Paddy’s Day” shirts. Since it is only a few days before the Spring Equinox, it’s practically one of the spring mysteries. It’s a Bacchanal!
For me, it’s a day to put on at least one silly earring, to remember my Great-grandpa’s stories about his great-grandpa, to remember my Great-uncle Lyle’s story about my great-great-grandparents.
It’s a day to let out my inner leprechaun. I’m a fairy with at least some Irish ancestry, so that works, right? I may sing a silly song. I may dance a jig at the bus stop. I may cast a wily leprechaun spell that encourages people to give in to the silliness, at least a little. Because life is too short to be borrowing trouble. It’s too short not to have fun.