Saturday, March 17, 2018
Overheard at the Counter: MR talks about St Patrick's Day 2018
OK, so it's La na Phadraig and I’m at Home Depot buying wood for slats for the bed in the guest bedroom upstairs, and as I'm walking through this crowded hellhole, I see a handful of people are decked out in crazy Irish wear, but at least it’s not as bad as I used to see it in high school or even a decade ago. All this, “If you don’t wear green you’ll get pinched.”
I remember a time when it used to be, “If you don’t wear green you get kissed.” At the time they said that I was in grade school and I always wear green because who wants to be kissed by a girl, right? But then a few years go by and you’re in high school and yeah, it’d be frikkin’ awesome if you get kissed by some random girl, so once I didn’t wear green on St Patrick’s Day and nobody did a damn thing. Not a kiss, not a pinch, nothing.
So these people here at Home Depot: like the man from India with the big belly and the Irish Flag t-shirt, and the six foot tall girl with the Irish flag sticking out of her hair, wearing shamrock socks all the way up to her knees, or this old white guys with shamrock stickers slapped to each of his cheeks, these are the true holdouts. At first, I want to pinch them, pinch them awake. “Stop doing that!” I want to say, “No one in Ireland would wear such shite!”
But then, as I go to the aisle with the wood and start pulling out the 10' long slats and look around for the place to cut them, I starting thinking, heck, let the people who are wearing the goofy clothes wear the goofy clothes. So few people adhere to any traditions any more. Everything is watered down and debilitated. The ones who continue wearing crazy shit for traditions that never really existed in the first place, those people, for all their ridiculous dress, are the bravest of us all.
Almost makes me want to go toast them with a green beer. But that's insulting to Ireland. Only Americans drink green beer on St Patrick's Day.