It’s St. Patrick’s Day. I have very mixed feelings about this holiday.
On the one hand, I’m 50 percent Irish, and I had a fun time drinking in Dublin, during my obligatory 80’s backpacking trip through Europe adventure. I have some half-hearted genealogy charts on a phone app with some names of some drunken relatives from places like Limerick and Enniskillen.
On the other hand, having red hair on this holiday pretty much guarantees being forced to do shots with random people at pubs, harassment on the streets of New York City, and a hangover the next day.
I worked and went to grad school on 43rd St. in Manhattan for 8 years. Drunk high school kids puking on the sidewalk at the St. Patrick’s Day parade in NYC cured me of any American-Irish sentimentality.
And then there was a memorable St. Patrick’s Day about three years ago, when Steve passed out in the bathroom. I called 911, and six obese paramedics crowded in my bedroom and tried to convince me that Steve was just drunk. I made them take him to the hospital. In the ER, the nurses joked about all the people who came into the hospital due to drinking related injuries. Steve, however, was not drunk. He had recently lost about 20 pounds, and his blood pressure medicine was too high for his new weight.
So, I said no to friends who are doing some afternoon drinking today. I’m happy to stay home and work.