Good afternoon Followers. Here we are, exactly six days after my birthday and smack-dab in the middle of good ol' St. Patty's Day. Let me start off by saying that I am part Irish - exactly how much Irish is a mystery to me. All I know is that my father's mom's side of the family was predominantly Irish, but the exact percentages were lost along the years. Long story short, this holiday hits home for me on a certain level. Not the level of abandoning my fatherly duties this evening to chug green beer until I start talking like I'm from Ireland and starting fist fights in the alley behind Tommy Condon's... but you get the idea.
St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on the feast day of Saint Patrick each year. While some stories differ in their details, the story basically goes like this: Patrick was born in Roman Britain in the 4th century and at age 16 he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken captive to Ireland as a slave. He was later told by God in a dream to flee from captivity and return to Britain. He did, and upon returning he quickly joined the Church in Auxerre in Gaul and studied to be a priest. In 432, he returned to Ireland as a bishop to "Christianise" the Irish from their native polytheism. Irish folklore tells that one of his teaching methods included using the shamrock to explain the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity to the Irish people.
I'm all for celebrating history (not religious history so much), but I think people take things way out of context these days. I understand the whole "wearing green" tradition - since it reflects the color of the shamrock that was such an instrumental tool in Saint Patrick's teachings. I wore a lime green button-down today to sport a little pride, and Mommy B picked out a nice green outfit for Alli to wear to daycare also.
But some people go way overboard. I was walking through the Blackbaud cafeteria today and saw a gentleman wearing a kilt. He didn't have the sash and beret-type-thingy, but he had the knee-high socks and everything. Easy there killer, no need to proclaim your heritage any louder than your red hair and fair skin already do.
Also, I do not feel the need to drink green beer. Nor do I feel it necessary to make today the one day a year I drink Guinness to make myself feel more Irish. I think others should do the same - especially if they are of the clan that typically drinks beers that come with fruit in them. What's worse is that people think just because we Irish can handle our booze that they can too. It's the second-worst night of the year to go out drinking, after New Year's. Amateur Hour, the sequel. Here's a hot tip for ya, the cops are going to be everywhere. Man up - take a cab, pound a good, strong ale and call it a night. Nobody needs or wants you stumbling past their apartment complex/house at 3am pretending to be Sean Connery. Some people have to work tomorrow.
I do enjoy the festivities that usually come along with St. Patty's Day - the festivals, parades and the like. As a kid, my siblings and I used to walk in the annual St. Patrick's Day parade in downtown Cincinnati. It was kind of cool having everyone celebrate your heritage that way, even if it is just partial heritage. Hopefully we can get Alli involved in something like that when she gets a little older.
And don't make St. Patty's Day more of a cliche holiday than it has already become. Stay out of trouble - don't drink and drive, don't pick fights with strangers because you think you have (green) beer muscles, and please dear lord don't post pictures on Facebook tomorrow of you wearing big shamrock sunglasses while chugging your once-a-year Irish Car Bomb. Let's keep it classy folks. Have fun tonight kids.