1. Whenever I wear green, people assume I am a leprechaun and begin demanding my pot of gold.
2. My name is Irish, which does not actually make me Irish. This means I spend St. Patrick's Day wincing every time someone says, "Shannon, eh? A fine-sounding Irish name, that is!"I've developed a few dodges. I used to give out a fake name on St. Patrick's Day. "Valerie" has served me very well over the years. (A bully in sixth grade told me I look like a Valerie, and proceeded to call me that until I eventually changed schools. Where I got pooped on.)
In my mid-twenties, I became the sort of person who couldn't handle crowds. By which I mean, I get bizarre (and often funny) panic attacks in which I speculate how to evacuate the survivors in the event of a fire or explosion. Incidentally, if that were ever my job, you would all die due to my utter inability to manage spatial relations or sound even remotely authoritative.
Once the claustrophobia kicked in, I needed a new strategy. Here's what I came up with:
If you don't like a holiday, dodge the crowds and invent your own! My special holiday is Cinco de Patrick, a fantastic two-part imaginary mashup Holiday Experience. It celebrates the life and times of St. Cinco de Patrick, who rid Ireland of snakes by pouring tequila on them, thereby ensuring Mexican independence.
More practically, it means I go for Mexican food on St. Patrick's Day, and to an Irish bar on Cinco de Mayo. While the rest of you suckers pay outrageous amounts for watered-down green beer, I'll be enjoying a margarita, on the rocks, extra salt, no puking frat boys or young women working out their daddy issues Girls Gone Wild-style. I may even don a shamrock sombrero and perform a Lord of the Mexican Hat Dance.
I'm sure I'll think of you fondly. I'm also sure I'll drop-kick the next person who asks me to recite the Lucky Charms slogan.
Have fun tonight, be safe, and if you can't be safe, be careful!