Saturday, March 17, 2007

St. Who-now?

Interesting how all bars in the neighborhood are suddenly Irish when St. Patrick's Day rolls around. Strange to pass clumps of smokers on the sidewalks in the early afternoon. It looks almost like the buildings were evacuated, but then you realize, no, these are just people who are out drinking already. Some people at work asked me what I was doing for the holiday, and I may have given the "whuh-huh?" reply of puzzlement. Seriously, is there a manner of celebration that doesn't include drinking or watching a parade? Neither of which holds much interest to me. Oh, yes, there's corned beef, but I don't eat red meat. Not much of a holiday, is it?

I think the parade is pathetic. Year after year they deny gays the right to march "under their own banner." (As they say, because nobody is naive enough to think there are no gays among the bagpipe players, the firemen, etc. ) And the fact that they get away with it, that the parade continues to get all the official permits and associated benefits my taxes help pay for, is astonishing. If the Thanksgiving Day Parade announced that no christian marching bands could march under their own banner, what do you think would happen? I think I've just worked in corporate America too long, where discrimination is illegal and every effort is made to avoid any suggestion of exclusion. We certainly wouldn't have a parade to celebrate that exclusivity. Whoo-hoo! Look at us! Gay-free! Have a beer.

The only other association I have with St. Patrick's Day is a guy I used to date. We went to the parade once (before the ban on gays? or before I became aware of it? or just before I became so annoyingly self-righteous?) and followed it by excessive drinking. We were young, it was fun. We'd started seeing each other when he was transplanted from his home city to mine for a year-long job transfer, and he and his at-home girlfriend agreed to "see other people" while he was away. I was "other people" until his assignment ended and he moved back to his home and to her. They wound up getting married and having several children, but for most of the years that followed our St. Patrick's Day together, he'd send me a card fondly recalling "our holiday." In later years, emails. Once, a couple of years ago, we met for a drink, and wouldn't you know it? He professed to being miserable and "only staying together for the children" and expressed a desire to see me again.

I'm not made of stone, kids, and if there had been any of the old attraction between us, I might have responded differently - not that I'd have jumped into bed with him, but it might have been tempting to spend time with him. But, no, seriously, all I could think was how ridiculous the whole "for the children" excuse is. I'm a child of divorce, you know. If my parents had stayed together, with all their turmoil, I can't imagine how screwed up I'd be. But don't let me get on a tangent here, the point is if he's miserable in his marriage, he should get out, not look to someone else (me!) to make it more palatable for him to suffer through. Nope. Not going to happen.

I did hear from him after that, the usual card or email in mid March. Last year another email came with another hint to get together again, which I ignored. Nothing this year (so far) which is a relief.

I guess I should've said at the start of this post that I do have Irish ancestry. I'm a true European-American mutt, descended from immigrants from at least a dozen different European countries. Ireland is one of the more dominant. One of my standard replies to the "What are you doing for St. Patrick's Day?" query is ignoring it, as my ancestors were Irish Protestants not Catholics. (Which is true - the Catholicism in my background is all from the Italians.) When I was younger I was told that I should wear orange instead of green to show my true heritage. I don't know if that's true, and never had so much curiosity about it to bother looking into it.

I think I'll just spend the day watching the snow melt.


Post a Comment

<< Home

ring logo
Writing Desk Webring

Join | List | Random
Previous | Next
Powered by RingSurf
Locations of visitors to this page