So, St. Patrick’s Day was this past weekend and we did our Irish-American duty and celebrated. This year, however, we were able to forgo the cold parade and enjoy some excellent Irish dancing down at a pub in Providence. K’s cousin, Meghan, and her troupe were making their rounds of some fine Irish establishments and we coordinated to meet them. We decided to make lunch and a day out of it.
The boys were very excited, both to see their cousins and to have an excuse to dress up. Appropriately green outfits were chosen and stickers and tattoos were broken out. I came down stairs to find two be-shamrocked young men in the living room, each applying temporary tattoos to their faces. M was proudly sporting “I’m Irish!” emblazoned over a shamrock, but it didn’t look quite right. On closer inspection, it looked like the top of the tattoo had been cut off.
“Did that used to say ‘Kiss Me, I’m Irish!’ son?” I asked. “Yeah, but I cut off the ‘kiss me’ part. If I left it on, people might try and kiss me!” So, noted.
C was now walking around making sure his tattoo was good and stuck on. His declared “Irish for a Day!” I hesitated, but dove-in head first, “You know son, you’re actually Irish everyday, not just on St. Patrick’s Day,” I explained. He paused and looked at me quizzically, “I am?” He looked genuinely stunned.
“Yeah, your great-great-grandfather and his wife moved to Boston from Ireland. So you’re Irish too.” This information seemed to confuse him. “You look confused, did you not think we were Irish?” I asked. (N.B. My mother’s family is part Irish and my wife’s family is part Irish as well, so we’re pretty entrenched.”
He walked around the table in silence for a moment, then turned and looked me, “we’re really Irish?” He seemed a little upset. “We are. Why, what did you think?”
“I thought we were Puerto Rican.”