Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Slainte...!

As an American Irishman, or Irishwoman, I would be remiss if I didn't take a moment to wish my friends a Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

I'm sure for the International readers, they must scoff at this Holiest of Holy days that we celebrate here in the U, S, of A. But we take our wearing of the green quite seriously. So much so, that even my daughters school is closed for the day.

It's a big deal for us. We plan for this day weeks, if not months, in advance. New green garb is chosen and embroidered, laid out and ready to jump into early on the day.

Christmas has traditionally the busiest of all calender holidays for scheduling. Traveling from one house to another to make sure to stop at each relatives open house and wish them good cheer. Overeating and being over served at each stop. Saint Patrick's day of late has challenged that Numero Uno spot. Or Uimhir a Haon. It now starts early in the day with breakfasts of soda bread and green eggs to late in the evening when the last morsel of corned beef has disappeared from the serving platter. Not to mention the Guinness is gone.

The greatest challenge is to pace the beverage and food consumption. Each stop plying you with yet another sandwich, another bowl of stew, another plate of pickled beef. And more drinks to wash it all down with. Go figure.

It's like training for a marathon. An enjoyable marathon, but some years just about as taxing.

Many years ago I remember a Saint Patrick's Day when already having had more than our fill downtown at the parade, we stopped at several watering holes along the way back to our home. We couldn't help it. With their doors open wide to the spring air, the sounds of merriment spilling into the street drawing you in like a moth to flame. Or a horse to water. Or a Irishman to beer. I was a newlywed this particular year complete with a new Irish last name. I met one of my husbands acquaintances who also had the same surname as my newly own.

As you can imagine by this point in the days festivities, everyone was quite jovial. A few more than others. Johnny was (and still is!) a delightful man. He's a gentleman that gives the saying, 'a glint in his eye' meaning. We were having a grand old time, singing along to the band when Johnny leaned in close and told me, "Darlin'...divorce him and marry me. You'll not have to even change the spelling on your drivers license."

He also shared with me that day that being the true Irishman he was, he said, "I may not be big (as in well endowed) so I can't go deep, but I sure can beat the hell out of the sides."

We've been friends ever since.

Anyone that can share intimate details not highlighting their best features, even if they've overindulged on the day o' drink, is alright with me.

Our Saint Patrick's Days lately have been a little more family oriented. But even so, we have a great time. I'll leave the pursuit of being over served to those that don't have the burden of responsibilities like I do. I've learned that I'm grown up enough to know 'when is when'. My head and body just don't bounce back as fast or easily as it used to. And although I'm in denial of nearing middle age, I don't need to add any more stress than I already endure to my aging frame.

I still might tip one or two out of tradition. A friend just dropped off a wonderful smelling soda bread and I'm slicing the corned beef. The Harp is in the fridge and the lilt of Irish music is playing on my speakers. The sun is shining and it's a chilly but gorgeous day up here on the North Coast. The parade was nice, my nap even better and now it's off to the next installment of green day fun.

I raise my glass to you!

Sláinte!

...or Cheers in english speak. Happy Saint Patrick's Day, my friends!

And please. No more cabbage for me. I think that hurts me worse than the Guinness.

:-)






Footnote: The day was survived with fun had by all! And the pot of gold for me was that I needed no aspirin this morning. Bhi go hiontach! (It was great!)

34 comments:

  1. When I was in college, my roommates used to dye our ranch green, our milk green, and anything else dyeable in our fridge. It was very interesting.

    And funny, I just saw your "must reads" blogroll and laughed when I glanced at Genius Pending and thought it said Guinness Pudding. Now that would be weird.

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  2. Haha...Happy St. Patrick's Day! Hope you LOVE the holiday as much as ever this year.

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  3. Happy St.Paddy's day! I do love the Irish spirit and enjoy to celebrate the green day when possible. Thanks for taking the time to share your traditions. You made me crave for a Guinness!

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  4. Happy St Pats day.....admittedly I have never celebrated it but I very much enjoyed this post as I never knew anything about HOW it was celebrated and now I do. You've educated someone today! Cheers!

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  5. No school on St. Patty's Day? STOP it! How amazing is that. And necessary. The Irish are responsible for all the love in this world. One day I wish to roam through Ireland's western countryside with a bike, a map, and Bono beside me. hahaha.

    Strangely, Husband and I are going out for Thai this evening. We probably won't have trouble getting seated...

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  6. Happy St. Patrick's day. I may not be Irish, but I'm married to one, so we celebrate it with a few Guinness. No cabbage for me though...

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  7. The leprechauns hit our apartment's refrigerator and turned 5 and 1/2 gallons of milk green and left behind a trail of four-leaf clover glitter...

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  8. And I raise my glass to you!

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  9. Happy St. Paddy's Day to you also. Being of Irish heritage, you would think I'd be more into celebrating the day, but I'm not. My 6YO was determined to catch himself a Leprechaun and snatch his pot-o-gold though!

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  10. As one fellow Irish-American to another, happy St Patty's Day!!

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  11. The food sounds yummy and the festivities sound like so much fun.

    Happy Patty Day!

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  12. I'm not Irish and don't even know many Irish, but The BF's good friend from school has a family irish band that we go out and see occasionally and he himself plays the bag pipes. Heres wishing the Luck of the Irish to ya!

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  13. May the luck of the Irish be with ya! I got a wee bit of it in me and I was smart enough to marry a half Irish half Scot.

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  14. It sounds like a wonderful celebration. I have to admit not knowing anything about it aside from wearing green. I even failed at that today. My Mom's side of the family came over on the boat from Londonerry Ireland but we have been watered down by moonshiners and goldrushers. I do love the cabbage and corned beef tho. Thanks for the lesson. Happy Saint Patrick's Day to you and yours.

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  15. I was in NYC today... I heard that it was a mess with the parades and drunken people. They take their St. Paddy's Day seriously. They get started at 6 AM.

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  16. Happy St. Patty's day to ya! I think everyone gets a little Irish today. It's nice to celebrate no matter what we are!
    I love my corned beef & cabbage even if the cabbage doesn't love me anymore either! (((HUGS))) Nasdrowie! (Polish for Cheers!)

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  17. In grade school we learned Irish songs and put on all-school programs. In college we put food coloring in other people's milk, then went out and drank green beer. When I worked in downtown St. Paul I watched the parade of inebriated green people. Now each year I just have to drive VERY carefully past the bar that sets up a huge tent party, draws a gajillion people, and makes a quarter of a million dollars on beer and cover charges on this one day! Sometimes I think I shoulda been Irish, but I don't look good in green, so I'll just watch from the sidelines and say, "Slainte!"

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  18. Now that's an awesome place. Either I live in the wrong area or I just have the wrong genes. Your St. Paddys rocks! Hope it was a happy one!

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  19. Wow, what a dirty pervert your friend is. Had I known you were so moved by filth, I would have proverbially "gone there" a long time ago.

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  20. And a Happy St. Paddy's Day to you, too - fellow Irishwoman! I'm definitely Irish (with green Irish smilin' eyes, to boot!). It's a fun day in our neck of the woods, too. And to the commenter referring to Guinness pudding? Maureen, at Island's Roar, tried a Guinness Milkshake not too long ago - and loved it! Who knew?

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  21. I wish they took St. Patricks Day as seriously down here in Louisiana as they do up there.

    It's not fun to see restaurants and bars celebrating an Irish holiday with Zydeco bands!Haha

    I'd gladly trade St. Patricks Day for Mardi Gras!

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  22. I love that last line about the cabbage hurting more than the Guinness - no truer words were ever spoken, darlin'!

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  23. As an Englishman with Welsh ancestry living in Australia, I didn't celebrate St Patrick's Day - but only because I'm still trying to work out whether to celebrate St George, St David or Rolf Harris....!

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  24. My children are O'Malleys. I am not. I am a simple Mexican woman who waits till Cinco De Mayo to celebrate. My tequila is better than your beer! LOL! I love this post! Hilarious! Thanks!

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  25. Hey Nancy! It's a day late, but Sláinte! Indigo

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  26. ugh, i do not consider eating irish food an enjoyable marathon! i have never enjoyed irish cuisine and i don't think i ever will. tasteless potatoes and cabbage? gross :)

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  27. @Screwed Up Texan - Guiness pudding. That might be interesting...much better thought than blodd sausage. Ick. :-)

    @Gropius - Yeah, NO School. Isn't that fab! I wish I had gone to this school when I was her age!

    @Carlos - Yes, Indeed. Little Johnny was/is slightly scewwed. And me thinks you are too! wink*wink

    @Judge Fudge - A Zydeco bagpipe band might be fun! I'll just make sure to have some heavy duty aspirin on hand.

    @ Matthew - OH the choices. When you figure it out, let me know. :-)

    @ Aladdinsane12 - It is the beverages that make it all enjoyable, I'm afraid. Have you ever had Nana's corned beef? It's a little like eating a concrete block. That's why we stop there LATE in the evening..." Oh No, Nans, I REALLY can't. But thank you!"

    :-)

    Nancy

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  28. I'm finding that Halloween is quickly increasing in popularity. I have several friends who plan year round for house decorations and parties.

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  29. Don't really celebrate St. Patrick's Day ....just wear green!! 2 years ago I was in Dublin, Ireland for the parade which was so much fun. I should have posted pictures!!

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  30. Happy belated St Paddys day Nancy. Hope you had a great time. I wanted to go out and celebrate but still trying to sort out the finances. Though if you have any Irish blood in you, everyday is St Paddys day really.

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  31. I have read SO many St. Pat's posts that deal with tiny manhoods! Poor, poor Irishmen, they are getting slammed this week!

    When I moved to Philadelphia from Erie, I couldn't believe the lack of pomp on the 17th. They think they do it big here because they put shamrocks in their front windows, but they don't know thing one about celebrating the Big Day! The schools are open here, and everyone goes to work, for shame!!

    My son was born on St. Pat's, so it's a pretty big day in my house!

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  32. Happy (Belated) Patty's Day, sweetie! I saw your footnote, so I know you've survived yet another year of merriment. Great post, as always...

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  33. Glad you had a great day! I always wear green for the holiday, too! We had corn beef and cabbage with a group of friends and then went to the St. Patty's dance here at the park.

    I love what the Irishman told you at the bar. Priceless!

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  34. In a world full of delicious baked products, it is my opinion that the plain ordinary irish soda bread belongs near the top of the list of perfect things to eat.

    :) I hope you enjoyed your St. Patrick Day's repast...

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