Thursday, March 17, 2016

Éirinn go Brách

As a half-Irish (O'Donnell), raised Catholic (practicing heathen), daughter of a woman named Patricia who was born the day before St. Patrick's Day (and who gave me a lecture just Monday about the meaning of shamrocks), I was a dismal failure at celebrating today's holiday like a traditionalist.

I did not wear green, instead opting for magenta and black.

I did not drink green beer, preferring to guzzle Prosecco on tap while admiring the visual wit of a Ralph Steadman-designed label on Pearl Necklace Stout.

I did not go to an Irish bar, I went to the river where I spotted a man in a green plastic hat toasting a woman in a kelly green sweater. Without irony.

I did not eat corned beef and cabbage, I ate corned rock fish over kimchee, salty oysters and smoky chowder.

I did not see a parade, I watched fireworks set off from a nearby dock soaring upwards before landing somewhere far out in the water near a flashing green channel marker.

Sitting outside under a sky still light enough to see clouds yet dark enough to admire moon and stars, I wrapped a house blanket around my legs and listened to one of the guys in the kitchen sing a surprisingly lovely version of "Danny Boy."

To my Irish Grandmother's way of thinking, that could be considered almost as good as being in heaven a half hour before the devil knew I was dead.

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