Then it usually means they're crying, that's what my mom used to say. The Irish are really happy, but really, they're really really sad, and their happiness is born from accepting that they're all very sad. I have a childhood school friend who, if she's reading this, will laugh at me.
But of course she would. She's Irish.
My mom loved being Irish, and everything about Ireland and the Irish. I think she resonated more with that side of her than any other. Her maiden name was Fair, I suppose that helped.
She used to sing tons of Irish songs to us all, I only remember the main lines... my favorite, aside from Danny Boy, was the one about... something about someone dropping something down stairs... yah, I know, I should have paid more attention. But the old classics were all there. You take the high road... etc
Today, normally, we'd have boiled cabbage and corn beef. I say boiled cabbage, but I think it was boiled corned beef, too, I have distinctive memories of everything being boiled in a big pot together, however, I may not be remembering correctly. Boiled corned beef doesn't sound appetizing. I may be misremembering.
I tossed around the notion multiple times yesterday and today of having Corned Beef and Cabbage. It was always important to my mother to celebrate the small holidays, as well as the big, to remember cultures, to break up the seasons, to just have fun... but I don't recall really enjoying corned beef and cabbage. Not really. I even tried some at a local Irish pub (our one and only local Irish pub, mind you) and... mmm... not so much.
My sister has dodged this by deciding to make 'Irish Stew' which remarkably resembles many other non-Irish stews, but hey, she's making an effort. I bet she's even wearing green.
The one thing I do miss though, are the St. Patrick Day festivities. We don't have a small-town parade with streets lined with people drinking green shakes from McDonalds, or a fun day of you know, Irish fun stuff...
Nope, the only thing we got going on round these parts is that the local Irish Pub will probably be packed, and my son is wearing a green shirt. He went out of his way to find one, because it's St. Patrick's Day -- there be Irish in that boy, I do swear.
Not his brother, though, he's not even wearing a shirt yet and will, at some point today, ask me what day it is... as in.. day of the week... like is it Saturday or Sunday?....
So wherever you be in the land, Happy St. Patrick's Day!
p.s. if you haven't heard Cmdr. Hadfield sing Danny Boy from space, you're missing out.