When Saint Patrick’s day rolls around there are usually a few things on my mind: Hanging with my dad, drinking Guinness, anniversary of when chris and I became “official”, green silk camis, and hanging with my sister on her 21st birthday because that was the first time we had met a full blooded Irishmen!! It was a bit of a disappointment when he claimed I was a FookIng disgrace for pouring a Guinness with bubbles, and claimed that I would be in trouble if I wasn’t married. (whatever that means)Little did he know I found him a prepubescent, pissin drunk boy. The only thing that made him cool in the slightest was that he was truly Irish. I am just a American half-ly Irish girl, and always have been. Anyways, this unforgettable 21st birthday was the night when my sister and I coined the term Hiya Paddy! Something that is only funny between sisters and after several cocktails , but comes up every st paddy’s day.
This year is different. All I can think about it my grandfather, who past away this February, and the best complement I ever received from anyone…
I sat by his side, as he was suffering and ending his long journey with cancer, and he said “You really are a beautiful Irish lass” He was still a charmer and full of it, but anyone that knows me as Dani, not Vani, the teacher, knows that flattery will get you everywhere.
God knows I am not nearly as Irish as grandpa but I have learned a few things from him about being Irish. , and it really isn’t about Guinness, green silk camis, and Irish boys at all.
I learned that to be Irish is to be resilient; To be emotional, there is no middle ground like there is in Yoga. It is either lovin or fighten. The Irish love God and trust Him to do all the work because, well, he is God and we are human. So we can sit back, enjoy a beer, and screw up as much as we want. I learned to go to church, and to make sure everyone else goes to church, but to find God in nature. The Irish don’t need much to be happy; just a little log cabin, a dog, a beer, and family. But mostly, family. They are just a little bit mystic. I remember grandpa calling Wisconsin God’s country as he would go for long walks and soak up the green. He didn’t drink a ton(when I knew him), but he would drink a beer, and cheers to family, ritual, and calling one another out on their bullshit. It is said that The Irish people are a fair folk, they never speak well of one another, but that wasn’t true. I will hold on to grandpa’s compliment forever, because like a true Irishman he knew how to exaggerate like the rest of them. Most of all I learned that the Irish are loved and lovers.
I’ll leave you with a quote from the eminent Historian Carl Wittke on the Irish Temperament.
“The so-called Irish temperament is a mixture of flaming ego, hot temper, stubbornness, great personal charm and warmth, and a wit that shines through adversity. An irrepressible buoyancy, a vivacious spirit, a kindliness and tolerance for the common frailties of man and a feeling that ‘it is time enough to bid the devil good morning when you meet him’ are character traits which Americans have associated with their Irish neighbors for more than a century.”