I have no idea why they would think this; could be the red hair, the freckles, the intense love for all things U2 . . .
My grandparents loved the green isle and spoke of it's lush cliffs and shores as if they were molded from the land itself. They fostered this belief with their vast Waterford and Beleek collections, among other things, and books of Ireland on the coffee table in the "pretty room."
So it was awfully shocking to learn that I wasn't a wee bit Irish at all. Nary a bit. I am a collection of ancestries, a tapestry of lineage whose strongest link to anywhere is to Lithuania, on my mother's side.
Not anywhere near Ireland. Or Bono.
Did this mean no St. Patrick's Day for our family? No.
I love to celebrate all the holidays, regardless of religious or cultural ties. Each holiday is cause to celebrate family and learn the customs and rituals associated with it. Especially if drinking and eating is involved (remember, I am a redhead).
St. Patrick's Day is no different. I love teaching my kids the Irish Blessing, the meaning of the claddagh ring, Irish mythology and yes, a pub song or two. One of my most memorable St. Patrick's Days was spent in an authentic Irish pub in Pike Place Market swaying and singing and sloshing beer about with friends and total strangers alike. It was magical. It was people, sharing and bonding and being happy to be alive.
This year was no different. Well, except that instead of rubbing up against strangers in Post Alley, I was sequestered to my dining room. I wouldn't have had it any other way.
And since it is my job as one of the remaining few redheads on the planet, as our species is growing more extinct with each passing year, I thought it best to share my St. Patrick's Day - for redheads everywhere, Irish or otherwise.
Step 1 for a successful St. Patrick's Day: Invite an Auntie over for dinner. She must arrive wearing green lipstick and various green-hued accessories. Feel free to get her drunk.
Step 2: Consume large amounts of corned beef and cabbage. Don't even think about how clogged your arteries will be. The cabbage, hopefully, will counteract any negative effects from the corned beef which, according to my 9-year-old, is kinda like "ham beef."
Step 3: If you can stomach it, drink this. It is the official brew of St. Patrick's Day. Again, ignore those arteries. The Irish are a hearty people, after all.
Last, but certainly not least (how many times have you heard that?), listen to this:
And if that doesn't make you feel like a redhead, or Irish, in the least little bit, than I don't know what will. Perhaps some Lucky Charms?