Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top of the morning to you!

There's only one holiday that carries the threat of physical harm if you fail to acknowledge it. And today is that day. Look down. Are you wearing green? I hope for your sake that you are. I'd hate to see you get pinched.

When I was a kid, a pinch was the worst thing I could imagine. I still remember walking out the door in the morning to meet the school bus and hearing my mom yell to me, "Happy St. Patrick's Day!" Up to that point, I hadn't realized it was St. Patrick's Day. I knew that meant two things: the milk in the cafeteria would be green, and I'd better be wearing green or I'd end up with a couple of bruises. My backup plan was always that I could lie and say my underwear was green, but that was risky. There was always the chance that someone might need to verify.

Some people try to escape the pinches by saying "my eyes have some green in them." Or, "I'm Scottish." That doesn't work when it comes to the pinching police. You could be from Peru, but if you're not wearing it.

I guess that I shouldn't be too surprised that a holiday that seems to be centered around getting drunk also involves the threat of physical harm.

This is just a holiday I don't understand. I enjoy it, but I don't understand it. Is there a deeper meaning to it? Is it religious? Is it patriotic? All I know about it, and I suspect all most people know about it, are these things:

1. You must wear green, or there will be violence.
2. It's the only day of the year Leprechauns feel safe coming out.
3. If there's a rainbow, you have a good chance of finding a pot of gold at the end of it.
4. It gives permission to a lot of people to get really drunk on a week day, starting at 9:00AM.
5. If you're Irish, you can demand that people kiss you.
6. Something about 4-leaf clovers and shamrocks...not sure what those are all about.

If you're Irish, or you did a report on Ireland in fourth grade, maybe you could enlighten me.


Heather said...

All I have to say is that there have been a couple time in my life where poeple will say to me "Aren't you Irish?" I say no..scottish.. and they say "Same thing" These people are dumb.

Britt said...

I tried to explain to my nice Filipina dentist about the pinching tradition and she just laughed. She couldn't believe it. I don't blame her! :) I like how you've described it here!