By the way, You’re Irish

Stick Chick’s family descends from Europeans.

If you chopped her into 12 slices like a key lime pie, each slice representing three generations before her on both sides, she’d be mostly German, possibly some Polish (though she’s not entirely sure about this due to some name changes), maybe a hint of English, and she’s 1/12 French. Bien sûr!

She learned most of this as a matter of course in the typical way that one does, through day-to-day conversation, and of course family names.

Never did she have Irish potatoes or blatantly celebrate St. Patrick’s Day traditions. She never saw the river in Chicago dyed green, never drank green beer (eww), and never wholeheartedly participated in annual parades as those of Irish background are wont to do.

Photo Courtesy: Muve Magazine
Photo Courtesy: Muve Magazine

More to the stereotypical, perhaps even racist point, no one on either side of her family had pale skin with lots of freckles, no one had red hair, and she had never seen Irish step dancing until Michael Flatley’s Riverdance  gained popularity in the 90s. In fact, the closest she ever came to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day happened in elementary school when not wearing green relegated a person to the unhip crowd.

Oh along with her classmates during “art time,” she undoubtedly made green construction paper shamrocks edged with a thin line of Elmer’s glue and glitter to decorate the classroom, just like everyone else. And Stick Chick clearly recalled wearing shiny green Mardi Gras beads and eating cupcakes with green icing that somebody’s mother had baked fresh the night before, but that is the most Irishness she’d ever managed to muster. To her, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day if you weren’t Irish seemed like a lot of hullabaloo—something on par with celebrating Kwanzaa if one is neither African American nor Pan American. It held little meaning for her.

Photo Billie Joe Armstrong courtesy: Deviantart.com
T-Shirt Photo Billie Joe Armstrong courtesy: Deviantart.com

It’s also fair to note that to this day, Stick Chick still believes Lucky Charms are magically disgusting with their dehydrated marshmallows. Besides, she’s always felt misled by leprechauns. Never once did she find a pot of gold coins as they’d suggested.

Stick Chick found it astonishing then when after sailing headlong into adulthood, after having raised v1.0 and v2.0, that her mother delivered a little “just because” gift for v2.0 last St. Patrick’s Day. Inside a card wishing her well, she had enclosed a huge button imprinted with green words that announced, “Kiss Me I’m Irish.”

“Okay, but we’re not Irish,” she said aloud.

Given that Stick Chick had imparted much of her wisdom on v1.0 and v2.0 as they grew, 2s reaction came unsurprisingly.

“Who is this supposed to be for? I’m not Irish. I guess I’ll be an honorary Irishman for the day.”

“You’re Irish,” Nana Chick retorted with minor irritation.

“Since when?” Stick Chick countered.

“You’ve always been. It’s nothing new. My father was part Irish.”

“Since when?”

“You knew that.”

“No, I didn’t. How would I know that?”

The conversation rapidly devolved into a ridiculous back and forth of silly statements followed by equally nonsensical albeit amusing responses.

Turns out, Stick Chick is a little Irish, even if St. Patrick himself, was not.

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