My mother’s birthday was on March 17, so Saint Patrick’s Day never meant a lot to me. I’m glad. I’ve come to detest Saint Patrick’s Day, and contrary to popular opinion, it’s not simply because I choose to be contrary.
Saint Patrick’s Day is an annual feast day which celebrates Saint Patrick, one of the patron saints of Ireland. So if you’re an Irish Catholic, I understand your participation in the day. But considering that less than 12 percent of Americans are of Irish ancestry, and many of those are not Catholic, it is a little mystifying as to why so many others celebrate this day.
Of course, based upon my observation, the primary means of celebrating this day is to wear green. In fact, I would estimate that at least 80 percent of the people who I know and saw today wore green but will do nothing else to celebrate this day.
And the other 20 percent? As far as I can tell, they use this occasion to drink themselves into oblivion. People were texting my friends from bars as early as 11 AM pronouncing the commencement of their all-day alcohol orgy. When discussing the annual Saint Patrick’s Day parade in Hartford, it was recommended to me that I not bring my daughter, since it “isn’t a family-friendly parade.”
Apparently most of the spectators are drunk by noon.
One of my friends had to alter her route to work this morning because the local Irish pub was already packed with people and the street was jammed.
So what’s the point of this day unless you are Irish Catholic? For most of us, we might as well call it Green Day, because the only thing we do is dress in a uniform color and ask others why they failed to do so. And for those of us who extend the celebration into the bottle, it seems as if it’s just another excuse to drink to excess. For them, perhaps it should be called Drink Until Your Skin Matches the Color of Your Shirt Day.
Either way, the holiday has become a farce. And the worst part is the sheep-like conformists who insist on pouncing on you with the standard Saint Patrick’s Day question:
Where’s your green?
Not having a lick of the color on my today, I got this question five times. My response went something like this:
Look, I’m neither Irish nor Catholic, so this really isn’t my holiday. I assume, since you’re asking, that you understand the meaning of this holiday. So what do you plan on doing to celebrate today, other than wearing green?”
When all three failed to offer another means of celebration, I was able to respond:
“So basically you wore green today because the number 17 appeared on the calendar. That’s great. Why not celebrate Boxing Day as well?”
I think I might. Want to join me?