Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top 'o the Tequila To You

I have always had a tenuous relationship with St. Patrick's Day.


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!

18 comments:

Jo said...

Ha! I'm also going to a Mexican Restaurant/bar tonight for some fajitas and margaritas. Happy St.Cinco de Patrick!

Shannon said...

Jo - Ole go bragh!

charlotteharris said...

oooh irish nachos!

Shannon said...

Charlotte - Corned beef nachos, maybe?

Malnurtured Snay said...

I've got a bit of Irish in me (not much, it's far outweighed by the recovering Catholic), but it's a pity I shaved my big bushy red beard: I bet someone woulda mentioned something about my big red beard.

But. Anyway.

Katherine said...

I'm still pro-hillbilly holiday. But St.Cinco de Patrick is a nice alternative.

Shannon said...

Snay - I don't know why, but i find the phrase, "big red beard" to be highly upsetting.

Katherine - Oh, I celebrate hillbillies every day of the year. I can take a day off for the Tex-Mex Irish.

JFo said...

Great idea. I've been trying since Saturday to talk some friends into going to a non-Irish bar, especially since we really celebrated St. Pat's Day over the weekend. Mexican works.

Marissa said...

St. Patrick's Day makes me sad. It's an excuse to act like even more of a douche, as if this city needs that. Your idea sounds so much better.

Titania said...

hmmm, me like it. 5 de Patrick. Can it be extended to include March, 5th and May 17th too? I like permutations

jman said...

Yes but tell us how you really feel!
It's my least favorite day in NYC because the drinking starts so early and there often is an atmosphere of veiled menace just waiting to erupt. Not owning anything green in my wardrobe means I pretend I am black Irish in case anyone asks. It's why I come straight home after work and don't venture out until the next morning.

Shannon said...

JFo - So where did y'all wind up going?

Marissa - I simply cannot do hordes of drunk people. Remind me sometime to post about the day I spent in the infield at the Preakness.

Titania - If your doctor, your liver, and your clergyman approve, go for it!

jman - That reminds me. Last night there was a homeless African American dude camped in front of the Mayflower, claiming that he was "Black Irish" and singing Danny Boy. It was awesome.

freckledk said...

Any holiday that serves margaritas is a holiday that I can get behind.

bh said...

I'm scottish by descent, so I usually just spend the day generally bitching about the english and watching Highlander repeatedly. It seems to work for me. So far I've refrained from painting myself blue and grabbing a claymore, but the right combination of alcohol might change that.

Shannon said...

freckledk - Any day that ends in "y" is a good day for a margarita.

bh - They can take our lives, but they can never take our...ENCHILADAS!

JFo said...

We ended up at Guajillo Grill (http://www.waheeyo.com/), that Mexican restaurant next to the old Ray's the Steaks, but not before grabbing an overpriced Guinness at Kitty O'Shea's, attempting to go to two other bars, and being amazed that people would wait in a block-long line at 4 Courts only to pay a $10 cover. My friend's comment, who frequents 4 Cs, "I wonder if the people who take my spot at the bar on St. Patrick's Day are the same people who take my church pew on Christmas and Easter."

A good time was had by all at the Mexican place. Enrique, the bartender, put green food coloring in the margaritas and didn't understand that we were joking when we asked him to top off or drinks with more tequila. As we were leaving, he said, "You guys are good drinkers!" To which I responded, "We really didn't drink that much." I didn't bother to point out that being a good drinker really just requires the ability to successfully transfer a liquid from a glass into your mouth.

Shannon said...

JFo - Ah, Guajillo. One of the few ways to get me to cross the Moat (the others are zombie invasion, locusts, and...well, that's about it).

Brett said...

Terrifying. Crowds, that is. Hence why I avoid parades, amusement parks, malls. I almost had a panic attack getting home tonight- I live next to the Irish Channel, and they were overflowing.