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And the luck o' the Irish to ye.

2008-03-19 - 9:49 a.m.

I totally forgot about St. Paddy’s Day on Monday, which isn’t really a bad thing (except that I forgot to wear my green shamrock socks on the one day of the year they’re appropriate for work, phooey). I’m not a fan. I don’t hate it per se, I just don’t happen to relate to the elements that make it so fun for a lot of people.

For starters, I don’t really drink, and when I do have the odd glass of tipple it’s not beer, which I cannot stand, so the appeal of green beer for me is pretty much zilch. Even when I was a drinker though, St. Paddy’s Day wasn’t the most fun for me – it just meant crowds of really, really drunk people jostling around and getting stupid and, eventually, sick. This was magnified during my years of being a bar-goer but not a drinker. Why would I be at a bar if I didn’t drink? Well, often I was dating someone who wanted to hang out at the bar drinking with his friends… from 11 o’clock in the morning until close. Back in those days people were allowed to smoke in bars too, which made it all the grosser.

I know, I know, I should have just stayed home, but I wanted to spend time with my boyfriend and often was trying to get along with my boyfriend’s friends. Giving the impression of being “uptight” wouldn’t exactly have helped that. Besides, I did enjoy the conversation and camaraderie some years, and I never knew before I went if it would be a good time or a bad one, and if I waited until later in the day to join them I’d never have made it in as the lineups got to be ridiculous by noon.

In my single and non-drinking years however, I came to loathe going to bars on St. Patrick’s day, just as I learned to avoid them on New Year’s Eve. I considered them both the year’s biggest “Amateur Nights” in the sense that there were a lot of people who never really went out to bars much the rest of the year, but felt compelled to go on those particular nights. The bars raised their prices and people didn’t care; they still got completely hosed. But these are people who didn’t know how to handle their alcohol in a public setting very well, so there’d be a much higher concentration than usual of drunk people acting like asses and spewing all over the place. Green spew.

On one particularly unimpressive St. Paddy’s Day I felt like I was a total magnet for the worst of the offenders… until I found out that a “friend” who was there with the same group I was was basically winding up the drunks like those tin toys with keys in their backs and pointing them in my direction. “Hey, you see that girl over there?” he’d ask, “She was telling me that she thinks you’re pretty hot.” Then he’d stand back and watch the “fun” as they stumbled over to me and tried to hit on me. He later claimed it was just too entertaining to resist, watching me shoot down these guys all night. Yeah, I sure can pick my friends, can’t I?

So hey, if you’re Irish (and everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, right?), I hope you had a good time on Monday, but don’t expect to ever run into me on March 17th at a bar to get a Happy St. Paddy’s Day from me in person. I’ll be happy to stay home pasting shamrocks onto construction paper with my kids.

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