Friday, March 16, 2007

St. Patrick's Day through the years

As you may have guessed (the name, the hair color, the freckles, the penchant for storytelling and fondness for drink), I come from an Irish-American family. In fact, I'm a dual citizen. St. Patrick's Day has always been a pretty big deal for me. (Here's a bio on the patron saint himself.) When I was a kid, we dyed everything that would absorb food coloring green (bagels, pancakes, milk, yogurt), listened to Irish music (my mom used to play piano and sing "Black Velvet Band"), and ate a traditional corned beef and cabbage boiled dinner. Then came college. I went to Notre Dame, so you can probably imagine what that was like.

Then came the year I found out that St. Patrick's Day is not that important to most people. I was in the Peace Corps in Nicaragua, and was thrilled to find out that a sole Irish pub had opened in Managua, complete with Irish owners who imported Guinness from Ireland. My Peace Corps friends and I made plans to meet up to celebrate. We were all staying in the same dingy hostel, and after eating breakfast, I put on a silly green outfit and found my friends in the lobby. "Okay! Let's go." They all looked confused, and announced their plans to go shopping, see a movie, stop by the office, etc..."But, ...but,... you guys said you wanted to go out for St. Patrick's Day?!" I asked, dumbfounded. "Um, we thought you meant at night." Apparently they were not aware of the fact that St. Patrick's Day is an All Day Drinking Event. My friend Kara must have noted the disappointment on my face and took pity on me, agreeing to go to the bar with me. I was expected the place to be packed; by the time we got there, it was already a couple of hours past noon. We walk in, and find the place empty, except for a lone Irish traveler sitting at the bar. His face lit up...Guinnesses all around! Kara and I proceeded to drink delicious Guinness for the rest of the afternoon, and the rest of our friends finally did show up, but by that point we were about done for the night.

Five years ago, I moved to Southie, and for the last four, I've been living right on the parade route. So, it's basically a requirement to throw a huge party every year. They've all somewhat blended together by now, but every year has its own special moments. Like the year my sister drank an entire bottle of whiskey and knocked over a platter of deviled eggs. Or the year an anonymous friend was spotted making out with a fireman in the hallway. Or the year we threw about 50 rolls of toilet paper off the back deck and into the trees. Or the year the guy I was dating broke my window. One of the most memorable years was the one when Eri wore this outfit. There was the year of Johnny B. Nasty (a local guy who got invited because he carried the kegs up the stairs, but he turned out to be really creepy) and the year my Peace Corps friends got into a fight with my grad school friends, as ridiculous as that sounds (Pacifists vs. Scientists?). Other than that, it's the same food, the same cheap beer, mostly the same people, and the same awesome Celtics jersey dress every year.

This year, four of my good friends from college are coming to visit. Yay!

Have a great St. Patrick's Day, everyone. Slainte!


Anonymous said...

If anyone out there is interested in owning a Leprechaun from Ireland. There is an irish based company that will catch one for you.

take a look, its very funny.

Happy Saint Patrick's day to you.

Eri said...

While I don't want to own a leprechaun (?!) I am very sad to not have an inappropriate outfit to scare all of your scientist friends this year. It was great doing lunges in those tights when no one knew who I was. And the bottle of whiskey? Someone else was helping me right? Oh yeah, now I remember....nope, no memory. Never mind. Well, have fun! Drink a pint for me, scratch that, hit the hard stuff and really let loose!

eileen said...

The funniest part of the leprechaun site is when I read this line

"I would like you to catch leprechaun(s) for me at $99.00 each."


"I would like you to catch leprechaun(s) for meat $99.00 each."

Mmm, them little lucky guys sure are tasty, but for $99.00 I'll stick to corned beef.

J.R. said...

Ohh the green fuzzy fig leaf... i had almost forgotton. E-Rye took the cake with that one. And for the record, the "scientist" would have been pummeled by the "pacifist" if it had actually come to fisticuffs, but the best part was this unamed scientist (my good friend) trying to do a little post-incident, revisionist history saying "I think I could have taken that guy!" only to realize That Guy was still right around the corner and heard it, and suddenly there was some quick verbal backtracking to be made. just classic!

ern said...

it's my first year living with eileen on the parade route! even though i've been the first guest to arrive to the parade party for the past 2 years, there are a few differences this year. most notably, the make out closet is now my bedroom. ick.

Anonymous said...

I had some great memories of the make out closet with an un-named scientist. Ern, you might want to wipe the far right corner of the closet when you get a chance. ;)

carmen said...

except for when he licked Maria's face, i really liked Johnny B!! ;)'

Kevin said... has a decent article about the declining Irish presence in Boston. Part 1 of 2:

awkwardandproud said...

Thanks for the shout out! Hope your celebration was fun this year. When I started to read your post, I immediately remembered our Guiness drinking outing while staying at Santos. Good times! (I wonder if that place is still open?)

LisaKate said...

Sigh. Fireman. The only excuse for PDDA (public displays of drunken affection).