St. Patrick's Day . . .
I'm not talking about the tried-and-true, self-destructive drunks of your cliches and, in very unfortunate cases, your own home life. Nope. I'm talking about people "celebrating" a holiday that I really don't get.
I'm Irish, technically (my Maternal Grandmother and Paternal Grandfather are both from the land of leprechauns and jigs). I was raised Catholic. Between those two things - I should LOVE St. Patrick's Day. And yet . . . I don't get it.
Do I hate people celebrating? Nope. Do I have a problem with a holiday that touts the return of the isles above France of an ENGLISH son (Patrick) and - with him - the arrival of Catholicism in Ireland? Not really. Do I have an issue with a holiday that celebrates pride, confidence, and joy in "who someone is" (the Irish)? No. Does it irk me that MOST people here in the US don't know that the holiday is only about boozing and whooping it up here in the US and in Canada (many towns in Ireland CLOSE their pubs today so that people can be home with family)? Nah. We Americans have a tendency to do what we want, when we want, with what we want (look at Christmas). Do I have an issue with a holiday that is so closely aligned with the Catholic church's small-mindedness and refusal to accept pride, confidence, and joy in who someone is because it doesn't align with a church or theology being so widely celebrated? Yeah - a little.
What is my real issue with St. Patrick's Day? Hypocrisy. Is there precedent for holidays that celebrate one particular culture, religion, point of view, or desire over those that might disagree? Yep. It is called every friggin' holiday in the history of organized celebration OTHER THAN Earth Day, Arbor Day, and other holidays that people who don't celebrate openly mock anyway. Like friggin' St. Valentine's Day (don't even get me started). But the question has to be asked WHY do so many enjoy and partake in the day without realizing what the holiday is about or some of the pride challenges the day is built around. More over - you can't make fun of the Irish for being "drunks" and then assimilate this behavior you see so mock-worth and, yet, be intoxicated by the time this post goes live at 7:30 AM CT on a Monday.
Greg Fitzsimmons illustrates this far, far better than I do . . .
I truly do NOT care how you do or do not celebrate today (my daughter is dressed in green and did some arts and crafts projects around the holiday this weekend) but please at least take a minute to think about the day and what it was, is, and might be.
Erin go Bragh/Sliante, drunks.