The lesser the holiday — St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, Presidents Day — the inversely proportionate amount of crap involved. Be it aisles of candy at the store, brightly colored cupcakes, stupid hats, sales, reasons to slather on zombie makeup (yes, I know people who are having Zombie Irish Drinking parties tonight), and of course, drunken escapades — minor holidays bring out the stupid in people.
Yeah, I said it. I would not mind the childlike enjoyment of holidays if half the people celebrating boorishly acted like adults the other days of the year. The people who need a reason to get drunk-to-puking-in-public-while-wearing-thematic-underpants-shown-off-while-leaning-forward-to-retch-in-a-gutter levels on a weeknight would probably be similarly drunk for even lesser reasons! I lost my job! Take a shot! I have my own checking account! Shots! I got laid! Shots! I can’t get laid! Shots! I miss high school! Shots! I can’t commit to an adult relationship! Shots! I have to start at the bottom at my job and still show up and act like I like what I’m doing! Shots!
Sorry, were those new shoes I just barfed green beer on?
One St. Patrick’s Day years ago, I attended a teacher conference. Almost to a person, thousands of educators were decked out in the finest green/Irish crappery that Oriental Trading Company has to offer — so much so that the Shriners next door staged a fashion intervention.
We had meeting after meeting, workshop after workshop, lecture after lecture about best practices and being international leaders in this century. I noticed the higher-paid the speaker, the more respected the lecturer, the nicer dressed he/she was. Sure, an Irish Shamrock pin made it onto a lapel of a natty suit here and there, but I couldn’t help but imagine these lovely teachers giggling at their own ridiculous wardrobes — which wouldn’t be seen by children that day as the teachers were at this conference — and talking about how fun it was. I then saw them trying to lobby as a union, to picket, to urge people to demand respect while costumed.
For me, it was a disconnect. A fun disconnect, to be sure. I particularly loved the Irish fright wigs.
I realize my inner Fuddy Duddy comes out at times like this. I know, emotionally, we need escapes. We need to be silly. Lord knows I could use a Shamrock Shake right now.
Take a look at a rudimentary summary of the actual St. Patrick. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Patrick Celebrate the gorgeous, lush, friendly, beautiful, complex nation that is Ireland.
Then stop drinking and barfing on my car when I’m in Chicago for the two weeks surrounding this holiday.
If you’ve read this screed so far, you do deserve to know I am half Scottish.
We don’t have a similar holiday, and for that, I shall get drunk, wear the family tartan, and go have some McHaggis.